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Mobile power solution build - Expedition vehicle
#1
Part way through a powerwall build into a 2012 Mercedes Sprinter Van. 

24v 3.5kw (7kw goal) 
640w solar (4x 160w) 
Backup 12v AGM charged from alternator

Current tally 420 cells at an average 2400mah. 7S60P. Still hunting for about 100 more laptop packs to get to 7kw.

BlueSwordM, Korishan, ivnz And 1 others like this post
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#2
Looks like you're off to a good start!
What are your plans with the van? Smile
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#3
(02-09-2018, 11:31 AM)wimpie007 Wrote: Looks like you're off to a good start!
What are your plans with the van? Smile

Primary goal is to tour Australia with my lovely lady later this year. The concept of heading out to the middle of nowhere, cooking breakfast, drinking hipster coffee after a hot shower is rather appealing. Especially so if it's done without gas or firewood. It will end up as my daily driver (motorcycle as backup to get around parking issues). 

I started collecting for the power wall thinking I was going to build a container house out on a remote property, but when I considered what could be done in a slightly smaller space, I decided to skip the buying stupid amounts of land and just park anywhere. 

I found another 60 laptop batteries today, so once testing is done, 7S80P is happening Smile
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#4
Why a van instead of an RV like type of vehicle? Good plan, none-the-less Smile
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#5
Awesome John! That’s quite some capacity you are going for. I am planing a similar project, I also have the short/high 144 Sprinter. 2x 320W panels? I just installed the maxxair roof fan, so I will only fit a single 320W panel. Am thinking about a 2.5-3kw goal right now. Am very curious to follow your build, are you documenting this somewhere? Thanks for sharing.
Merten
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#6
(02-09-2018, 07:36 PM)Korishan Wrote: Why a van instead of an RV like type of vehicle?   Good plan, none-the-less  Smile

Hi Korishan,

This is also going to be my daily driver, so it was important that it "fit" in standard car parks (it actually does... just). As a van it just looks like a van from a casual glance. The concept of stealth camping is a little interesting. I may even do it one day.

The other factor was cost. Any sort of pre-designed RV would be well over my budget. Instead of a $45k build, it would be approaching $145k... Just not doable. Plus, RVs are uuuuuuugly Smile
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#7
(02-10-2018, 08:40 PM)pacificmeister Wrote: Awesome John! That’s quite some capacity you are going for. I am planing a similar project, I also have the short/high 144 Sprinter. 2x 320W panels? I just installed the maxxair roof fan, so I will only fit a single 320W panel. Am thinking about a 2.5-3kw goal right now. Am very curious to follow your build, are you documenting this somewhere? Thanks for sharing.
  Merten

Good choice on van Smile

I made sure to do most of the measuring before anything else and ordered rails instead of roof racks for more flexibility. I went for 4x160W instead of the larger panels, so I would be able to tetris into odd shape combinations if needed. I went for the fantastic fan over the Max Air because of its smaller footprint. Since the 160W panels are only 1200x550mm and the centre mounted fan just 400mm wide, they fit along each side with only 20mm overhang (still less than the curve of the main body). I'll even be able to have a rear fan above the bed for cross flow.

The other design option if it looks terrible would be mounting 3 sideways behind the fan for 480w. There's 2200mm to work with there, so still no worries even including cross beams.

I'll add a build log somewhere soon and link it. Right now it's just going to facebook....
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#8
Scored 3 boxes of laptop batteries on eBay last week. 
100 batteries in total (~600 cells). 

20 look to be stupidly old, many cells testing at 0v, but roughly half have great cells. So far testing at 2200mah average. The mountain of plastic has begun.

Without counting chickens, it's possible I'll see 7S100P within a month.
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#9
Nice and enjoy. Most of mine were 0v and the majority are still good after a couple cycles.
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#10
Nice to see but I don't get why you need such large capacity?

I've got a renault traffic camper van with 100watt solar, a split charger and 180ah lead acid battery and it charges itself fully all day and I can run the fridge and TV all evening and have loads of juice to spare the next day. And this is in England! Smile

Anyway i'm interested how you get on, as I've wanted to upgrade mine to lithium ion at some point. Are you using any battery balancers or inverters? I have considered a 1000 watt inverter just to run the microwave, as the fridge and tv already run on 12v sockets.
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