Helpful ReplyHot!Generator vs battery setup

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TennesseeBBQ
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2017/07/29 08:51:52 (permalink)

Generator vs battery setup

Hey all! I'm planning on opening a trailer next summer and I'm researching what I want to do for power. I know that most folks use generators and I feel comfortable with how to go about that route. I was wondering if anyone had experience using batteries? I did a search on the forums but could not find much info. Apparently the technology is now viable for this, and I like the appeal of no noise and emissions, and I would love to eventually tie in solar panels to the setup. It seems like it would take about $5,000 to get everything for the battery setup, which is competitive with a generator setup based on what i've seen. Thanks for any thoughts or comments.
#1
paulnye
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Re: Generator vs battery setup 2017/07/29 10:27:23 (permalink)
Check out Reece's P30 thread. He started with a genny, then switched to a full battery bank, then back to a genny. The battery bank was good on paper but the recharge time required the truck be plugged in overnight and some. Also I think he wanted to be selling all day sometimes, and the battery bank would not last
post edited by paulnye - 2017/07/29 10:29:16
#2
Inkys
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Re: Generator vs battery setup 2017/09/07 12:07:29 (permalink)
That was is the same conclusion I came to. I was going to use batteries, if not for all my power, then part of it. I even looked at using batteries for overnight to power the fridges when out of town over a weekend. I canceled the whole idea of batteries. 
 
Recharge time a a problem.
It's not cost effective as you'll wind up with a generator anyway.
Getting the amp hours you need is harder than it looks on paper
And the space and weight are an issue. 
 
 
At this point the last thing I want to do is spend thousands of dollars to add hundreds of pound to my truck having to get rid of some thing more useful to make space for it so I can have another system I need to maintain that at best will save a little gas and at worst will leave me stranded and unable to sell with a fridge full of spoiled food.  
My2Cents
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KrackerKev
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Re: Generator vs battery setup 2017/10/30 19:31:56 (permalink)
I am planning on having 2 large agm batteries and an invertor to run the fridge during travel times. A simple isolator swotch could isolate the 2 reserve batteries from the trucks main starting battery incase you ran its voltage low while using it, but could also use the trucks alternator to charge the batteries during those travels.

Works better for a truck that has to commute to sites rather tham one tjat would sit I suppose
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Blakkmoon
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Re: Generator vs battery setup 2017/10/30 19:43:06 (permalink)
Hey Kevin
Firstly look on the drivers side of the truck as you step in.
Is there a large aluminum box about the size of a battery?
 
I have one.  Opened it up and found a battery.
Found under the hood, an isolator.
Seems Fedex had these built in.
The battery was unplugged and stone cold dead.
Tossed in a fresh one.
Looks like it is working.
 
Anyway, I plan the same kind of thing as you, for traveling to festivals and stuff.
But I don't think you need to over plan it.
I'm not going to run off batteries AND an inverter.
Kinda overkill.
Just going to wire in an inverter. done.
It will run off the truck as it is driving anyway.
 
hhhhmmmm
Maybe I will run the wire to the spare battery that is on the isolator....  now that I am thinking about it.
 
Hopefully you have the same set up.
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Uncle Groucho
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Re: Generator vs battery setup 2017/10/30 21:15:06 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby TravelingPan 2017/10/30 23:17:54
Throw on a 250+ alternator and call it a day.
 
#6
KrackerKev
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Re: Generator vs battery setup 2017/10/31 13:57:59 (permalink)
I dont have the spare battery or box. Maybe because mine was purolator fleet.

250amp alt would be nice. But speaking from experience in competing in car stereos, they arent to reliable unfortunately. The stocker is over 100amp, plenty if the vehicle gets driven any.
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Uncle Groucho
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Re: Generator vs battery setup 2017/10/31 17:01:17 (permalink)
I was gonna say a Mechman 370.
 
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Blakkmoon
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Re: Generator vs battery setup 2017/10/31 20:02:15 (permalink)
So assuming this is only for when you are commuting....
 
Can't you just run something like this??
 
MotoMaster Eliminator Mobile Power Inverter, 3000W
From Canuk Tire.
http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/motomaster-eliminator-mobile-power-inverter-3000w-0111846p.html#srp
 
3000 watts will be way more than enough to run a fridge or 2.
 
Maybe even throw in a hard start helper unit like this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2K0ptvYb6Q
 
I was thinking those would be nice on any fridge or freezer no matter what.
 
Course I was thinking of the much more affordable kind.
 
post edited by Blakkmoon - 2017/10/31 20:10:57
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KrackerKev
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Re: Generator vs battery setup 2017/10/31 20:53:57 (permalink)
Those do seem nice, will have to research those to understand whats going on. Thanks for the links!
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TravelingPan
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Re: Generator vs battery setup 2017/11/01 07:09:20 (permalink)
$200 seems WAY cheap for a 3kw inverter... I'm guessing it will function for less than 2 months. I ran a lot of inverters in my semi over the years and you cannot go cheap. It's just not a good place to cut costs. I've seen folks wire capacitors in series and eliminate their car battery entirely... but I've no experience with them.
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KrackerKev
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Re: Generator vs battery setup 2017/11/01 07:53:16 (permalink)
Well it just happens to be 50% off at the moment. Probably has a decent warranty to
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TravelingPan
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Re: Generator vs battery setup 2017/11/01 09:25:05 (permalink)
KrackerKev
Well it just happens to be 50% off at the moment. Probably has a decent warranty to

Better go back to the page and read the reviews....

#13
Blakkmoon
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Re: Generator vs battery setup 2017/11/01 11:22:48 (permalink)
Yup 
My bad
 
Should have read the reviews first.
 
They are are pretty informative.
I learned a lot.
 
Gonna have to re think things.
 
Thanks for pointing out my DUH!
 
I officially retract my previous statement.
post edited by Blakkmoon - 2017/11/01 11:32:16
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Blakkmoon
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Re: Generator vs battery setup 2017/11/01 11:39:03 (permalink)
I can't wait till these kind of things are actually in production somewhere.
I can see that they exist at the inventor level.
We just need them at the consumer level.
 
http://www.thesmithgenerator.com/
 
Its a little tin foil hat of a video.
 
But there are others.
 
 
 
post edited by Blakkmoon - 2017/11/01 11:54:07
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TravelingPan
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Re: Generator vs battery setup 2017/11/01 16:41:11 (permalink)
Blakkmoon
I can't wait till these kind of things are actually in production somewhere.
I can see that they exist at the inventor level.
We just need them at the consumer level.
 
http://www.thesmithgenerator.com/
 
Its a little tin foil hat of a video.
 
But there are others.
 
 
 


I like the idea of axial engines.
https://youtu.be/ScS-QCWHfb8
post edited by TravelingPan - 2017/11/01 16:42:20
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Blakkmoon
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Re: Generator vs battery setup 2017/11/01 19:28:22 (permalink)
These were more along the lines I was thinking about.
Just couldn't remember where I bookmarked them in the morning.
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzOhM4HsIeg&t=384s
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4ESYbL1ho8
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-a8QAeCoNU&t=453s
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DI8rNvj8360
 
I like this one
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4_yitCl_Gw&t=10s
 
Hook that to a magnetic motor and yer good to go.
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOJmp6f22wg
 
post edited by Blakkmoon - 2017/11/01 19:30:44
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cavemaneats
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Re: Generator vs battery setup 2017/11/08 13:27:51 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby TravelingPan 2017/11/08 22:18:03
We too have looked into batteries vs generator. There are three factors to consider when weighing your options.
 
Time: How long will you be operating?
Battery Power is good for up to 4-6hrs without recharging based on a 4500w, 15amp system with a foot print for 12x 12v batteries. If you plan on doing more than a Lunch or Dinner each day then you may want to go with a gen-set or maybe an battery/inverter/converter setup that allows you to run power while the truck is running. But if you are looking to have any type of refrigeration these may need a shore power option. 
 
Output: What equipment will be used?
Add up all the wattage and amps of all things on the truck including stuff like AC, Heaters, Water Heaters, Pumps, maximum out put on all food related equipment to find out what your total DRAW is. the multiply that by one hundred and thirty-three percent(x1.33) to account for changes over time an surge capacity. Refrigeration requires about 30-45 minutes to initially cool in order to meet health standards and maintain food temperature.
 
Cost: How much is it going to cost me in the long run?
Part of the overall Planning and Budget will always hinge on sustainability? not the environmental hippy version, but how long will I get out of my investment. Standard Car batteries have the longest durable life but over time will lose load capacity with each charging after a while. Think law of Diminishing return. Lithium Batteries hold their load capacity better but have a 5 year use life "Period". And that's from the date of Manufacture not from date of purchase. Although the initial cost of Battery Power is equivalent, the long-term output is much lower as you will need to replace the batteries every few years 2-3 for Lithium, 4-7 for standard. Generators on the other hand have the cost of fuel and regular maintenance.
 
Our DRAW is 12kw, at 48 total amps put us out of contention for a Battery option. But if all you need is enough for a pump/water heater for a hand sink you may be able to use the battery option. We picked up our 15kw generator for $550 used and have a backup 10kw genset incase it ever goes down while we are out(we wouldn't be able to run the Heat/AC though). We also setup our breaker box to run on a 50amp input for shore power and for plugging in at events that don't allow generators. They do exist.
 
As a side note I am constantly seeing solar powered food setups getting posted for sale. Which leads me to believe that they are having a hard time maintaining output or that they aren't seeing a quick enough return on investment to warrant the extra cost.
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Blakkmoon
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Re: Generator vs battery setup 2017/11/08 22:40:19 (permalink)
Which generator did you end up using?  The 15 kw
So far I think I can get away with a 10 - 11kw, but might go with a 15
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cavemaneats
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Re: Generator vs battery setup 2017/11/09 01:09:59 (permalink)
We use the 15kw, but I always keep a 10kw in the back of my Reefer van just incase.
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Blakkmoon
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Re: Generator vs battery setup 2017/11/09 10:35:39 (permalink)
I was asking what kind / make / brand is the 15 kw??
 
Did you just use a harbor freight predator?
Or a big old Generac?
 
or something like an Onan, or MQ power silent - ish deisel?
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cavemaneats
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Re: Generator vs battery setup 2017/11/09 12:47:49 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby TravelingPan 2017/11/09 14:46:06
Came with a 4kw onan but couldn't tow the load
The 15kw is a Generac? Newer, but not well built
The 10kw is also a Generac but from those couple of years that Brigs & Stratton owned the company. So its been much easier to deal with and more reliable by far.
But I curious about two diesel onan marine 20kw generators I found on craigslist for $3000. That would solve a lot of issues for me.
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Blakkmoon
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Re: Generator vs battery setup 2017/11/09 14:37:21 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby TravelingPan 2017/11/09 14:46:10
WOW!!!
I would drive down there for an Onan 20kw for 3 grand !!!!
 
There are a couple here for sale.
ONAN 7000 KW - Gas (Used) $3,800.00
ONAN 10,000 KW - (Used) - Diesel, complete with tank, battery, stand (self-contained) - $6,800.00
 
I think I need a trip to visit you!  And the generator.
You said there are 2...
One for you ....one for me  ...
what was that link again??
#23
TravelingPan
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Re: Generator vs battery setup 2017/11/09 14:46:50 (permalink)
Yeah, you should buy those or give us the contact info. Those would be great just to flip...
 
#24
cavemaneats
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Re: Generator vs battery setup 2017/11/09 14:48:07 (permalink)
Yeah, but that's both onan for $3000. Just wish I had the scratch right now or I'd be there yesterday.
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Blakkmoon
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Re: Generator vs battery setup 2017/11/09 14:58:21 (permalink)
HOLY f----   fish farts!!
So just pm me the link....
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cavemaneats
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Re: Generator vs battery setup 2017/11/09 15:18:53 (permalink)
I Know right, looks like they sold or expired this morning. I had been lusting over them for 4 weeks so makes sense. The link was.
seattle.craigslist.org/see/bpo/d/2-20kw-onan-marine-generator/6351769542.html
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cavemaneats
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Re: Generator vs battery setup 2017/11/09 15:21:03 (permalink)
is a 11.5 onan standby that popped up a couple days ago. $1750
seattle.craigslist.org/tac/mat/d/onan-genset-propane-fueled/6378962060.html
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Blakkmoon
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Re: Generator vs battery setup 2017/11/09 15:26:04 (permalink)
That would be great.
But I can't bring propane into the mix.
Because then the propane / gas fitter, and all the other associated rules get applied.
 
I am trying to avoid that.
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cavemaneats
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Re: Generator vs battery setup 2017/11/09 16:27:05 (permalink)
Me Too,
Since I don't want to deal with hood and fire suppression on our Sandwich truck we decided that we could go all electric. Saves us a lot of added regulations. I've had a good 2-3 yrs experience with all the equipment we are using for the truck and know the local IBEW electrical workers union guys from years of events. They trust our builds more than some of their own journeyman.
#30
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