Guidelines for a camping van gasoline generator alternative

TheGhost

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Jan 11, 2021
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first of all, Hello everyone , I found this forum on an youtube video suggestion.

I think that this community might contain the information I am looking for.
I have a gasoline generator in my camping van, its a 3000w very silent one and it has done well for almost 10years.
The Generator needs replacement and a friend told me about switching to a battery pack, and even add some solar panels to help in a long camping duration.
This is very appealing, to charge at home, them camping with total silence, so I am considering it.
Now the guidelines for handling refueling, the fuel container locations, type and sizes, size of extinguisher, fire containment , generator placement and general electrical safety are very clear, in fact my local fire station had all the information for it readily available. I do not need information on the battery pack or installation, I need information about these guidelines:
- battery and electronics with wireless monitoring are in plastic container with about 250cm x 600cm x 200cm, from them only two cables with DC 24v comes out, inverter will be inside camping van, camping van has no electrical connection to the car(except running lights).
- what type of metal container, dimensions and venting should the plastic container be inside of?
- general guidelines on exterior DC safety switch/cutoff , models approved for exposure to weather/sun, commercial links ? SOLVED MARINE TYPE
- what type of vibration insulator is recommended, what hardness.
- what type of fire suppression should be inside the container
- what type of fire extinguisher should be used
- any videos with people with these systems
- any videos/articles with firefighters suggestions
- any country official guidelines

Its easy to spot that English is not my first language, I will try to be careful about writing and reading :)
edit : cutoff switch questions is solved.
 
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floydR

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Aug 23, 2017
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How many Whs do you use in a typical day?
What is the max Whs you use in a day?
how many days of use between charging (other than solar charging)do you want?
Would you be diying the battery or buying a commercial products?
I would go with LiFePO4. There are many LiFePO4 batteries in various size 12-24 volt.
You type english as well as most native english speakers. (I type horrible.)
Later floyd
 

TheGhost

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Jan 11, 2021
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hello floydR, thank you for the reply.
Please note that "I do not need information on the battery pack or installation," however if you require information about it to reply to my questions I will be glad to provide it.
 

floydR

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- what type of metal container, dimensions and venting should the plastic container be inside of?
A simple sheet metal box would do for LiFePO4 based batteries with dimensions about 1 to 2 cm more than your plastic container venting to the outside, insulation for the climate( liFePO4 above 1 degree C when charging, above -10 degreesC when discharging)
- general guidelines on exterior DC safety switch/cutoff , models approved for exposure to weather/sun, commercial links ?
Look for marine quality dc parts local marine or boating store, Amazon/ Ebay at voltage and amp rated
- what type of vibration insulator is recommended, what hardness.
Standard car battery vibration insulator?
- what type of fire suppression should be inside the container
Line metal box with backer board( tile backboard), fire resistant drywall
- any videos with people with these systems
- any country official guidelines
Specific country codes or guidelines check with local travel clubs, Rv associations,etc also motor vehcicle goverment department.


There are members here with camper, vans that have made powerwalls for there campers both 18650 based, and LiFePO4 based. Hopefully they will respond.

Later floyd
 

OffGridInTheCity

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Dec 15, 2018
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I'm converting a cargo trailer to a camper. I have a 13.5kwh 18650 battery - 14s88p with MppSolar PIP. I simply followed standard home electrical practices - e.g. all wiring in connection boxes. Used a standard RV load distribution center.
The battery:
1610401158328.png
The distribution / electrical center:
1610401197778.png
 

TheGhost

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Jan 11, 2021
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floydR thank you so much, I forgotten that boats do use 24v and have very high weather proofing standard , their cutoff switches will do great!
Yes, the batteries are LiFePO4, they will be charged at home, so far no plans for solar since I have yet to get an answer for the amount of aerodynamic drag, so only consideration is discharge temperature.

So, about vibration dampening, the cells have zero information about it. The BMS could provide some information but at the moment I can not find a BMS with certification for automotive or even vibration limits.

I will inquire about fire resistant drywall, thanks for suggestion.

At the moment, the local firestation is ongoing formation into handling Electrical Vehicles crashes, there is still information missing, the only thing I could get was to avoid 48v despite advantages , this information was also backed by the electrician because 48v automotive system must obey certain standards that he can not certify and would get into trouble if something happen. It is still a non regulated area, although they think new EU laws are coming out soon.

I have spent quite some hours into youtube, there is plenty of information about packs creation and monitoring, however for unknown reasons to me, there is no information about how do deal with fires, or even fire containment systems, safety distances etc. This lack of information is very confusing.
 

TheGhost

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Jan 11, 2021
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OffGridInTheCity thanks for the reply, I am not going to handle the electrical part of the installation.
I intend to aquire enough information that allows me to operate the system in the same safer way that I operate the gasoline generator and then decide to switch to batteries or not.
 

floydR

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I think the current thinking is to extinguish the Li-ion fire with a dry chemical extinguisher then apply water to take cool the batteries.
Later floyd
 

ajw22

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I think the current thinking is to extinguish the Li-ion fire with a dry chemical extinguisher then apply water to take cool the batteries.
Later floyd

My understanding is that extinguishing Lithium Ion cells is nearly impossible, because the cell itself supplies everything to keep the fire going. So the idea is to let it just burn out. The water is to cool the surrounding cells to prevent them from catching fire. So a one time splash of water will not do. You need to keep spraying the water at least as long as the fire it going. Ideal would be a pool of water to throw the battery into.

I've been researching, but LiFePO4 chemistry seem to be pretty much fireproof? Obviously a massive internal short would still generate enough heat to ignite nearby flammable materials.
 

floydR

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Non abused lithium ion batteries don't have much lithium metal which is what makes lithium fires so hard to put out.
This was a test of a123 cell LiFePO4 tossed in a fire
Other lithium chemistries are much worse except LTO
I should have said Knock down the fire, then water to cool.
later floyd
PS the video is not mine
 

TheGhost

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Jan 11, 2021
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ajw22 thank you for replying.
The cells of choice are brand new LiFePO4. I am trying to get safety information about them, information about LiOn like 18650 is not required since I was strongly advised against them, despite the possibility of being lighter for the same amount of energy.
Local firestation does have information on LiOn equipped on Teslas and other vehicles, however they don't have for LiFePO4, that's why I am here :)

floydR I will send this video link to them and if they reply, I will post their opinion.
thank you
 
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