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Dual Battery set up, Offgrid-engineering, Adventure Ready or ???

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by YOTA 4X4, Feb 27, 2018.

?

Which dual battery "off the shelf" system?

  1. Off-Grid Engineering

    54 vote(s)
    65.9%
  2. Adventure Ready Seattle

    1 vote(s)
    1.2%
  3. Other (please specify)

    10 vote(s)
    12.2%
  4. Genesis Offroad

    17 vote(s)
    20.7%
  1. Nov 25, 2018 at 5:51 AM
    #61
    TACOVRD

    TACOVRD I Identify As A Prius

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    Workin' on it....
    Interesting....

    Noted for future.
     
  2. Nov 25, 2018 at 5:54 AM
    #62
    snickers

    snickers My heaping pile of shit

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    Good points, just wanted to mention:

    1) I run my Goal Zero 400 Lithium (LiIo) from the AC plug in the bed of the truck. The Goal Zero has a separate 120VAC to 12V converter, so no need to run off 12 V line. It is true that it does not accept a 12V source other than through the included solar panel input connection. It outputs 120V. Just not high loads like microwaves. Weight is 16 pounds. Cost $550. Input max 70 W.

    2) Looks like the main advantage of the Dometic PLB40 portable is the battery chemistry (LiFePo) and compact footprint. Linear output till discharge. Projected retail over $700. Will accept 12V source. Input max unspecified as of now.

    3) Inergy Kodiak is still LiIon ? $1500 for 1100Wh and a little heavier at 20 lbs and accepts all inputs. But you can run a microwave. Input max 600W.

    I have a Dometic CFX-50 fridge running off the 120V of my Goal Zero. Reason why I do that is the fridge has an automatic shutoff if the DC voltage falls below a certain level. I verified with Dometic that battery shutoff can not be disabled. I can walk away from my truck for a day with the fridge on AC output of the battery. Not so much with it on the DC output.

    My main problem with the Goal Zero is that the charge controller limits input to 70W. Goal Zero says it is to protect the batteries from overcharge/heat. The fridge requires ~ 55 W when running. So when I charge while driving the battery has a hard time recharging fully. Especially in the summer when the fridge runs longer and the battery is more discharged. That is a PITA since my travel style is run and gun. I rarely stay more than two nights in one camp and frequently boondock. So I am constantly having to find a 120V source in the hot summer months to charge the battery overnight. Couple of hours in a coffee shop doesn't do it.

    The Dometic PLB40 looks intriguing. But if it's input charge is limited like my Goal Zero, then it's a no go for practical reasons.

    The Inergy Kodiak seems like a really viable option. Doesn't have the linear discharge of the newer batteries, but you have nearly three times energy storage for twice the price of the Dometic PLB40 and can run microwave/instant pots/hair dryers (for that fashion forward look on the road). Just a few pounds and few inches footprint more. If LiIo is too fuddy duddy, one can replace them with super sexy LiFePo packs found on ebay.

    Just passing on my recent experiences.
     
    BlueFourMike likes this.
  3. Nov 25, 2018 at 6:24 AM
    #63
    YOTA 4X4

    YOTA 4X4 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    You are correct, however the most efficient use of power is to go DC/DC not DC to AC and back to DC to change your battery, than DC to AC back to DC to run your fridge.... going through those inverters is a fairly substantial loss each time. My current ARB fridge has 3 low voltage cut out settings and works when it’s on DC... not sure why Dometic would be different, I think they share a lot of internals.

    Your asssment of the Dometic and Inergy packs is spot on, it was the middle of the night and I wasn’t feeling looking up the specifics but it’s great info for someone who doesn’t know.

    Basically the Dometic and Inergy allow much faster charging light weight and long life. Nothing wrong with goal zero they just are a bit more specific and require their own branded add ons in some cases.

    Bottom line of you don’t need the AC inverter capability of the goal zero or Inergy the new Dometic is a VERY attractive option.
     
  4. Nov 25, 2018 at 7:08 AM
    #64
    snickers

    snickers My heaping pile of shit

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    Sorry, I forgot the Dometic fridge has separate cut out settings as well. Great for marketing points, just not functionally important. Yes it is extremely inefficient to do all that conversion. But, the issue is the Goal Zero limits source power period. Straight household AC is limited by the battery's management system to 70 watts.

    Would you link information about the charging rate on the Dometic PLB40? I can't find info on that. If it is limited like the Goal Zero it is functionally useless for my needs.
     
  5. Nov 25, 2018 at 8:10 AM
    #65
    AverageGuyTaco

    AverageGuyTaco Well-Known Member

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    Another option for lithium battery’s (LiFe) are Battle Born Batteries out of Reno,NV. My brother has two in his sprinter van build and they seem to work great. The guys that did his build use to put 4 AGM batteries in the same builds. Now they can get away with two and the weight saved is huge. The LiFe batteries are the way to go since they are natively 12v. Li batteries also have battery management systems (BMS) build in so you never have to worry about under or over charging them. The up front cost sucks, but over time I guess it would save you money. (Kind I’d like Costco? At least that what I always tell myself when I’m buying two hundred rolls of toilet paper).
     
    YOTA 4X4 [OP], snickers and Atomic like this.
  6. Nov 25, 2018 at 9:21 AM
    #66
    PNW Explorer

    PNW Explorer Well-Known Member

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    Not all of these are apples to apples comparison, i.e. Kodiak is an all in one, while Battle Born is simply a battery, but figured I would throw another one in as well. Like @YOTA 4X4 I decided against lead acid and am planning to use LiFePO4 batteries because they are lighter, can discharge much more of their stored energy, etc. Obviously the cost is way higher, but when you compare energy available and weight savings it starts to become way easier to swallow. Lead acid is the past tech and lithium is future. So continuing with my motto in my current build: "buy once, cry once" I am looking at Renogy batteries. (https://www.renogy.com/renogy-lithium-iron-phosphate-battery-12-volt-170ah/) It is cheaper per amp hour than the two above (not taking into account additional products needed to match Kodiak out of the box functionality) and in my opinion looks better put together. So my plan is to design an entire solar, possibly dual LiFePo4 battery, inverter, and charge connection from alternator system this winter to buy and install in the spring.

    I haven't looked into the minutia of details yet, but after working on a hybrid racecar for my master's thesis, I've learned that splurging for quality at the start will save you a lot of headaches, especially if everything is interoperable out of the box. Your time is money lol. Has anyone looked into jumping their main battery from LiFePO4? I still need to research surge amperage, etc.
     
    colin1qk and YOTA 4X4 [OP] like this.
  7. Nov 25, 2018 at 9:39 AM
    #67
    snickers

    snickers My heaping pile of shit

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    The start of the thread was about dual battery options and migrated to weight penalties/cost/convenience/case useage. Just like all threads migrate :eek:.

    The battery born seems compelling cause you can drop those into the already available multi battery solutions available and save weight and have a shorter charging time. You just have to run 12 V to our beds off one of the batteries and empty out your bank account.

    Edit: Course you can tap into your tail lights for the 12 V. Silly me. And make sure that line feeds from the second battery.
     
  8. Nov 25, 2018 at 10:01 AM
    #68
    PNW Explorer

    PNW Explorer Well-Known Member

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    Not sure the taillight would give you enough power to charge at max amperage though.
     
    snickers likes this.
  9. Nov 25, 2018 at 10:05 AM
    #69
    snickers

    snickers My heaping pile of shit

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    Yep. You're right.

    I am suspicious of that Dometic PLB40. I think they will limit input charge just like Goal Zero for legal reasons. Which makes it useful only for running laptops off grid and market shows.
     
  10. Nov 25, 2018 at 10:18 AM
    #70
    crazysccrmd

    crazysccrmd Well-Known Member

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    Battleborn is having a Cyber Monday sale that some of you guys might want to check out.
     
    snickers likes this.
  11. Nov 25, 2018 at 10:37 AM
    #71
    HBMurphy

    HBMurphy Ban Pending

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    I put my second battery in the cubby behind the rear passenger seat - that radiator support and inner fender is just WAY too weak - I had one up front that contributed to the many cracks that were partially due to the weight of two batteries.

    I used a 200 amp solinoid that connects the two batteries when the ignition is on.

    My next setup, if I get around to it, is to scrap the subwoofer and install both batteries to behind rear passenger side and it will help with compensating for the lean and get better weight distribution.
     
    snickers likes this.
  12. Nov 25, 2018 at 3:27 PM
    #72
    YOTA 4X4

    YOTA 4X4 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I started this thread a long time ago and it was revived a day ago... it was and is about dual battery options. It’s just migrated into more modern and powerful lighter weight options... still a second battery just not in the “traditional” sense.

    Technology has come leaps and bounds in the past year for this...

    As a side note I’m going to see if I can contact Donetic and find out how much input current the new offering can accept....
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
  13. Nov 25, 2018 at 3:42 PM
    #73
    URBIKESUCKS

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    Thats how I have mine as well National Luma with 2nd batt behind passenger seat. I run a 100 watt renogy pannel and moringstar charge controller. go out for days runnin fridge and other goodies. Has worked well so far, 2yrs
     
    snickers and HBMurphy like this.
  14. Nov 25, 2018 at 3:51 PM
    #74
    HBMurphy

    HBMurphy Ban Pending

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    I did an overkill. My second battery is powered by a 00 cable connected through a 200 AMP fuse to the solenoid then to 200 AMP curcuit breaker and then to the alternator. 00 cable at that length was around 97+% efficent - meaning less than a 3% voltage drop.
     
  15. Nov 25, 2018 at 4:18 PM
    #75
    TacoBleu

    TacoBleu Well-Known Member

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    Mine is on the left of the steering column, just picked a flat area on the console. I've been using the Genesis system with dual Optima's for a year with no troubles. It helps when camping to have an accessory battery you can just thrash and still have confidence you'll be able to crank and go when done.
     
  16. Nov 25, 2018 at 4:36 PM
    #76
    URBIKESUCKS

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    There ya go big cable short distance and low voltage drop every lil bit counts. I run solar at hm every small detail adds up to running a more efficent system.
     
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  17. Nov 30, 2018 at 12:14 AM
    #77
    Sleevez

    Sleevez Well-Known Member

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  18. Nov 30, 2018 at 1:22 AM
    #78
    YOTA 4X4

    YOTA 4X4 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I haven’t ever heard of that brand before but that’s very inexpensive for a LiFePO battery.... which is either good, or not so much. I realize that’s not much help but Hopefully we can keep the thread up front for a bit
     
  19. Nov 30, 2018 at 7:15 AM
    #79
    AverageGuyTaco

    AverageGuyTaco Well-Known Member

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    I would be cautious. Looks like junk to me. Look at the only review. First unit he got didn’t work. And it has useless stuff 15v, 20v sockets. Looks like you also need to buy a solar charger for it? It’s a little confusing, says it can be charged by solar charger solar panels. I assume that means you need a panel and charge controller. That increases the cost if you want to use solar. I wouldn’t buy it.

    What do you want to use it for? Figure out your power needs, your budget and then work from there. 288wh may be enough for your needs or it may be way under.
     
    Sleevez likes this.
  20. Nov 30, 2018 at 7:43 AM
    #80
    Sleevez

    Sleevez Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the feedback, I'm not looking for anything crazy, just thinking of having a second batt setup for camping needs, like charging cell phones, lighting and maybe running a little heater. Would be nice to have solar to recharge itself though. Having it as a portable power source seems nice. Would like to keep it light.
     
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