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Old 12-15-2016, 06:28 PM
Chaput87 Chaput87 is offline
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Lightbulb High Output Mobile Power Unit rather than/with generator -Trailer



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Hey there everyone! I am in the middle of a trailer build that I was looking to use as a multipurpose Work/camp/bugout trailer.

With that said I was wondering if anyone had any experience with Lithium MPU's? I am looking to put a 12K4 MPU in and a small generator or solar kit. It has a output of 4Kw and peaks at 12Kw with 3Kw hours. With 3000 watt hours of energy I should be able to run tv's and whatnot for a few days without having to worry about any charging unless I am running the AC or running a lot of tools off it.

I would be able to get a full night of use out of the AC unit I think without having to kick a generator on or plug it in to recharge it. Handy if I go somewhere with quiet hours. Saves a lot on generator fuel too. I think it would pay for itself quickly. If I threw solar on I could get a decent recovery during the day as long as I wasn't using high draw devices.

Has anyone else had experience with high output Mobile Power Units?
Old 12-15-2016, 07:06 PM
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I sure don't but wanted to watch this thread to see if any one else has I would like to also say Welcome aboard
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Old 12-16-2016, 12:22 PM
armycherokee89 armycherokee89 is offline
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solar panels would not hurt and you could place them on the roof of the trailer with a type of stand under them so you could set them up so that they could get sun better would be a good idea. also for the could you could rig something up to heat water from the solar panels that could serve two things at once if you live in a cold climate you could use the hot water to heat the inside of the trailer or for a warm shower
 
Old 12-16-2016, 03:45 PM
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got a link to that mpu? google search came up empty.
Old 12-16-2016, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Chaput87 View Post

Has anyone else had experience with high output Mobile Power Units?
Only in the aviation world. And we are finding that lithium batteries are more trouble than they are worth for back up power. We are having a hard time keeping the lightweight lithium emergency batteries from burning up.

In the automotive world, the batteries are extremely well protected, often liquid cooled with an active system, and very well managed to avoid pushing limits.

If you have the funds, go for it! If not, it's hard to beat the higher quality inverter generators.
Old 12-16-2016, 08:22 PM
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got a link to that mpu? google search came up empty.
Working with a power solutions company here in Phoenix. There are several Lithium Ion solutions that are crappy, they are not using any of them. I could put you in touch with the engineer if you have technical questions about it.

I have legit seen this thing run a welder.

They have done a bunch of military stuff and for about $6500 I can get that whole system in a custom built portable box. 5-yr renewable warranty.

I'll get you a link...I have a card somewhere...

Also, This is what I am currently working with

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Old 12-28-2016, 10:03 PM
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Sorry, got caught up with the holidays but wanted to at least put up a couple pictures of the power system so you can see it. I thought I had his card but I'm not sure where it is. I'm meeting up with them in a couple weeks and I'll get all the info and the website.


Those pics are of a demo unit they have. I know it can run at least 2 air conditioners under load and a microwave all at the same time. He will do it in a case like that with whatever connectors you want or a custom build.

Not sure why the pics are uploading sideways...sorry.



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Old 12-29-2016, 04:50 PM
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Sorry, got caught up with the holidays but wanted to at least put up a couple pictures of the power system so you can see it. I thought I had his card but I'm not sure where it is. I'm meeting up with them in a couple weeks and I'll get all the info and the website.


Those pics are of a demo unit they have. I know it can run at least 2 air conditioners under load and a microwave all at the same time. He will do it in a case like that with whatever connectors you want or a custom build.

Not sure why the pics are uploading sideways...sorry.



Damn that's a pretty cool unit
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Old 12-30-2016, 06:00 PM
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Thanks. It even does 220V!
Old 12-30-2016, 07:37 PM
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I am wondering if that 5 year warranty will cover the batteries themselves? That seems to be the sticking point with most of the electric/hybrid cars is the battery going bad after a few years. Not to mention I can't seem to get a lithium ion laptop battery to last more than 1.5 years, lately.

It looks like a really neat idea for power, though.
Old 12-31-2016, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Chaput87 View Post
Hey there everyone! I am in the middle of a trailer build that I was looking to use as a multipurpose Work/camp/bugout trailer.

With 3000 watt hours of energy I should be able to run tv's and whatnot for a few days without having to worry about any charging unless I am running the AC or running a lot of tools off it.
I don't understand what the electronic device is that has been posted. Starting two AC units and a microwave simultaneously can take near 9000 watts. All of that is coming from a battery bank?

Why not just keep things simple? Get yourself a cheap 3000/6000 watt mod-wave inverter ($300) and some DC batteries from Walmart (6 for $500). Get a 600 watt solarpanel kit from Renogy for $700.
Old 12-31-2016, 09:41 AM
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Current generation lithium ion and lithium iron batteries have very specific limitations/applications and lifespan. You will not be able to skirt these limitations, regardless of what you are told. Work within them and expect trouble-free use. Exceed the limitations and expect early failure.

You really, really need to understand the math. The Tesla cars manage an absolutely huge battery bank very effectively. The maximum discharge rate is limited to about 4C (4 times the batteries Amp Hour rating) . The normal discharge rate cruising down the road is as low as 1/265th of the amp hour rating.

A small battery can provide the same output levels (for a shorter time) but the lifespan of the batteries is vastly reduced. Consider how long laptop batteries and lithium flashlight batteries last. 3-5 years. At which point, expensive replacement is required.

Your portable power pack, running a single portable AC unit (about 650 watts continuous) will produce about 6A at 115V. It would take 31ea, 18650 cells at 3.7v/3AH to run that AC for 30 minutes, completely discharging the batteries, at a battery killing 2C rate (twice the AH rating) . Not a smart use of those expensive batteries. Better to make the battery bank 4x larger at that discharge rate. And to limit the depth of discharge to 70% or less.

SO, a safe and repeatable 30 minute small air conditioner run would require 120ea. 18650 batteries. Or about double the battery pack pictured below. Such a design might last 5 years. WITH ONE 30 MINUTE RUN PER DAY.



Running 2 portable AC units and a microwave at the same time is not difficult. Doing so repeatedly for any length of time, with a portable power pack, is sadly, impossible. Recognizing that the microwave is a 1200w short term load, 2 AC units for 24 hours would require about 31KWH of real world battery capacity. Or about 60KWH worth of cells. Roughly 1000 pounds of battery.
Old 12-31-2016, 11:48 AM
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Besides the normal running current draw of an AC unit- the start-surge @ 115 volts can be 30 amps (3500 watts). A microwave of any size can draw 9-12 amps even if on low heat. Even a 700 watt microwave can need 1100 watts ti run. Only exception is an inverter-microwave that actually draws low current when on a low heat setting.
Old 12-31-2016, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by dmzline View Post
I am wondering if that 5 year warranty will cover the batteries themselves? That seems to be the sticking point with most of the electric/hybrid cars is the battery going bad after a few years. Not to mention I can't seem to get a lithium ion laptop battery to last more than 1.5 years, lately.

It looks like a really neat idea for power, though.
Yes, the 5 year warranty is for the batteries. It's renewable for another 5 years with the schedule maintenance at the end of the first 5 years.
Old 12-31-2016, 06:49 PM
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I don't understand what the electronic device is that has been posted. Starting two AC units and a microwave simultaneously can take near 9000 watts. All of that is coming from a battery bank?

Why not just keep things simple? Get yourself a cheap 3000/6000 watt mod-wave inverter ($300) and some DC batteries from Walmart (6 for $500). Get a 600 watt solarpanel kit from Renogy for $700.
This has a pure sign wave inverter and also offers 240V. Pure sine is a lot better for motors and electronics. The advantage is that even on a worksite I can have high output power without a big generator. It's quiet, no gas or diesel fumes, portable, rechargable (very cheaply when you charge it overnight). Some campsites have noise restrictions. No problem with this unit. I can recharge it in an hour or so with a generator in the daytime if i want or charge it off my vehicle while driving from the alternator.

The batteries we are working with do WAY more than anything your going to find at walmart. If you want to have power for lights that's fine, but if you want to power anything that takes a lot of energy at once, you need a better solution.

I do have a solar kit that is going on top of this though.
Old 12-31-2016, 06:55 PM
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Current generation lithium ion and lithium iron batteries have very specific limitations/applications and lifespan. You will not be able to skirt these limitations, regardless of what you are told. Work within them and expect trouble-free use. Exceed the limitations and expect early failure.

You really, really need to understand the math. The Tesla cars manage an absolutely huge battery bank very effectively. The maximum discharge rate is limited to about 4C (4 times the batteries Amp Hour rating) . The normal discharge rate cruising down the road is as low as 1/265th of the amp hour rating.

A small battery can provide the same output levels (for a shorter time) but the lifespan of the batteries is vastly reduced. Consider how long laptop batteries and lithium flashlight batteries last. 3-5 years. At which point, expensive replacement is required.

Your portable power pack, running a single portable AC unit (about 650 watts continuous) will produce about 6A at 115V. It would take 31ea, 18650 cells at 3.7v/3AH to run that AC for 30 minutes, completely discharging the batteries, at a battery killing 2C rate (twice the AH rating) . Not a smart use of those expensive batteries. Better to make the battery bank 4x larger at that discharge rate. And to limit the depth of discharge to 70% or less.

SO, a safe and repeatable 30 minute small air conditioner run would require 120ea. 18650 batteries. Or about double the battery pack pictured below. Such a design might last 5 years. WITH ONE 30 MINUTE RUN PER DAY.



Running 2 portable AC units and a microwave at the same time is not difficult. Doing so repeatedly for any length of time, with a portable power pack, is sadly, impossible. Recognizing that the microwave is a 1200w short term load, 2 AC units for 24 hours would require about 31KWH of real world battery capacity. Or about 60KWH worth of cells. Roughly 1000 pounds of battery.
This system isn't meant to keep those item going at full load for hours, it was just a demonstration. I understand the math just fine but thanks for the opinion.

That battery system in the picture you have isn't anything like the one in this unit. I'll see if I can get a picture of the battery so you can see what this is. It's really cutting edge stuff.

You can get additional battery storage as an add on if you need it. Plugs right into the first case and about triples the capacity. One A/C unit has been let run for hours on one of those single case battery systems though.

It's good for job sites. You can haul a welder anywhere without needing a 100 foot extension cable, and that's if you have 240V somewhere. You usually need a generator for that if you don't. It just open up a lot of options and it's portable, super handy. Really nice for off grid stuff.
Old 12-31-2016, 07:00 PM
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This has a pure sign wave inverter and also offers 240V. Pure sine is a lot better for motors and electronics. .
Very few portable inverters sold as "pure sine-wave" make a pure sine-wave. Many cheap modified-wave inverters work better with some electronic components then those sold as "pure sine-wave"

I cannot say I have owned or tested them all. I CAN say I've tested many and know what I am stating is true. There is a lot of marketing BS out there when it comes to inverters. Now if yu have a $2000 inverter that is grid-tie certified for the power-company (not what call portable) - then it will make a good sine-wave. If it is portable in the 1500-3000 watt range and cost less then $500 then I bet it does not make anything like a "pure sine wave."

I have been running household and shop equipment for 30 years off of inverters. Overall - the modified-wave inverters have worked better. So far, I have encountered two things that I needed a so-called "true sine-wave" inverter for. #1 was a hard-wired smoke alarm that buzzed all the time with a mod-wave. #2 were certain brands of GFCI outlets that also buzzed with a mod-wave. I had even more problems with things that did not work well with a "true sine wave" inverter and worked fine with a modified-wave. In fact - my wife's new Dell laptop will not work correctly with any of my "true sine-wave" inverters, yet works fine with all my mod-waves. Same with our Motorola Droid phones.
Old 12-31-2016, 10:28 PM
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Very few portable inverters sold as "pure sine-wave" make a pure sine-wave. Many cheap modified-wave inverters work better with some electronic components then those sold as "pure sine-wave"

I cannot say I have owned or tested them all. I CAN say I've tested many and know what I am stating is true. There is a lot of marketing BS out there when it comes to inverters. Now if yu have a $2000 inverter that is grid-tie certified for the power-company (not what call portable) - then it will make a good sine-wave. If it is portable in the 1500-3000 watt range and cost less then $500 then I bet it does not make anything like a "pure sine wave."

I have been running household and shop equipment for 30 years off of inverters. Overall - the modified-wave inverters have worked better. So far, I have encountered two things that I needed a so-called "true sine-wave" inverter for. #1 was a hard-wired smoke alarm that buzzed all the time with a mod-wave. #2 were certain brands of GFCI outlets that also buzzed with a mod-wave. I had even more problems with things that did not work well with a "true sine wave" inverter and worked fine with a modified-wave. In fact - my wife's new Dell laptop will not work correctly with any of my "true sine-wave" inverters, yet works fine with all my mod-waves. Same with our Motorola Droid phones.
It's a $1,000+ certified grid tie inverter. You don't need pure sign wave for most applications but it does matter for some and this thing handles everything I threw at it. I was pretty impressed.

You are right, there is a lot of marketing bs out there. I saw what a cheap 4000W inverter did when hooked up to that same system. It had problems running some items. It was a cheap inverter and you will get what you pay for most of the time. I think the inverter weighs as much as the batteries.
Old 01-01-2017, 09:11 AM
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I think the inverter weighs as much as the batteries.
Probably much of that weight is the step-up transformer inside. Good inverters get pretty heavy unless they have high-voltage inputs. An inverter with a 200 something volt input and a 200 something volt output can be pretty light.

My house has a pair of 4000 watt Outback grid-tied inverters. Pretty expensive and heavy but a requirement for grid-tie. My cabin in the woods has several inverters and it is a toss-up as to which works the best with what. I have two "true sine wave" inverters. One a 2000 watt AIMs ($400) and the other a 3000 watt Ramsond Sunray (cost $600). Neither work as well with cell-phones or computers as my cheap mod-wave 2000 watter from Harbor Freight for $120.
Old 01-01-2017, 10:31 AM
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This system isn't meant to keep those item going at full load for hours, it was just a demonstration. I understand the math just fine but thanks for the opinion.

That battery system in the picture you have isn't anything like the one in this unit. I'll see if I can get a picture of the battery so you can see what this is. It's really cutting edge stuff.
Do you have something with significantly different specific energy than a high quality 18650? There are many ways of packaging Lithium batteries, the 18650 and it's variations are simply the most common.

The flat prismatic or pouch cells commonly used for RC aircraft and Zero motorcycles have their own issues. They are not more energy dense, have a shorter life cycle and are more difficult to manage thermally. Plus they expand.

Each type has it's own set of requirements, strengths and weaknesses. But I am fully unaware of anything better.

I would very much like to see a pic of the battery you are using.
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