Adding Second Battery _ DYI Building Power Station

JamesDowJamesDow Member Posts: 629
edited November 2023 in Battery/Electrical & Solar

Want to augment my existing lithium battery capacity.
So, I spend some money on Black Friday items.
Plan on adding a 100Ah lithium battery to my existing 100Ah lithium battery on an as needed flexible basis.
 
Bought (or had) the following to start the project:
  Lithium battery for $240.
  Solar controller $37
  400/800 watt power inverter ($50)
  Build box $24
  SAE Cables/adapters $30
  Power cut master switch $20
  Battery monitor $59

I will also need to purchase some additional switches, etc.

I am using the same solar controller as on my solar suitcase, so I will also have a matched backup.
My preference would be for a MPPT controller, but that will/may come later.
I ran across a battery review by Will Prowse (see YouTube link below) and researched the Li Time battery and found it on Black Friday Amazon sale.
I have always thought about a trolling motor so that may be in line for the future.

My plan is to combine the battery, solar controller and inverter into a box which can be used to double my existing T@G power supply or to act as a stand-alone unit for other types of camping. Will also be able to charge my e-bikes.
Maybe when all said and done my out-the-door cost should be under $560 and it will be built so that items can be easily changed or used for other purposes.
This will allow for longer off-grid camping experiences.
It will also provide other around the house uses, such as powering a small storage shed/outbuilding.
 
My T@G use would be simple.
Add the SAE adapter, plug my solar panel(s) in and plug my new power station box.
Should be very simple, double my battery capacity and allow for more solar panels if needed.
Added power station weight should be around 40-50lbs.
I will post additional information as I have the time.
Comments always welcome.
 



 

 

 
 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAaThjkazkM&t=29s

Comments

  • JamesDowJamesDow Member Posts: 629

    OK, this project took a lot longer than anticipated due to a defective battery that needed to be replaced.
    Finished putting it together today and my initial testing shows that all is working as planned.
    This is a unique power station in that all items can be independently utilized and/or all used at once in conjunction with all the current lithium/solar setup that I use with my T@G.
    So now I have twice the battery capacity if needed (100Ah+100Ah), second solar controller (Victron 100V/30A along with the Renogy PWM Voyager 20A solar controller.
    I built into the new power station a 400-watt inverter, which can be easily swapped for a 1000 or 2000-watt inverter.
    Currently the 400-watt inverter is enough to recharge both of my Lectric 3.0 bikes.
    Everything included weighs 38 lbs.
    I will post a parts-lists and schematic as I find the time.

    I will be finalizing things and perform additional testing soon.
    Feedback and questions are welcome.
     



     


  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Administrator Posts: 622

    @JamesDow - I know the MPPT must be mounted vertically, but is that enough ventilation for the device? Clever to contain all of that in a tool box!

    Sharon - Westlake, Ohio | 2017 TaB CSS - Forum Administrator

  • JamesDowJamesDow Member Posts: 629

     
    Heat is a concern for both the solar controller as well as the inverter.
    They are mounted on peg board to help facilitate air flow.
    The inverter has an internal fan.
    I already bought two small fans I was planning to install, but wanted to wait to measure the temp inside of the box first. I have a remote indoor outdoor wireless thermometer that I will track my ventilation needs.
    I can always just open the box top.
    My goal was to keep things as waterproof as possible.
    The two fans I have will be easy to retrofit into my build.
    Since I do a lot of desert camping, heat is a concern as well as blowing dust.
    Camping temps alone are at the peak of the Victron specifications.
    Bottom line, while camping, I can always fall back to my Renogy PWM controller which is part of my solar suitcase.
    When heading out camping, I should be starting out with two fully charged 100Ah lithium batteries.
    Those should keep my Nocold refrigerator in operation for 6-7 days even without sun.
    I also have the idea to use this power station to power a small remote shed.
    So far, I am pleased with the outcome, especially that everything worked the first try.
    That was amazing not to have even one issue.
     

  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Administrator Posts: 622

    Good for you @JamesDow! Nice, compact set up.

    Sharon - Westlake, Ohio | 2017 TaB CSS - Forum Administrator

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