Batteries and power systems

Batteries and power systems

After assessing all the ways to generate power and store it without the use of fuels – I decided on a system that included:

  • Four (4x) AGM batteries in an array (this does not include any factory installed batteries under the hood)
  • One 2,800 watt inverter
  • One 200 watt solar panel (portable not roof mounted)

 

I wanted the benefit of the modified alternator – which would allow batteries to charge faster while the van is driving. However the Sprinter needs a bracket installed for this modification and after speaking with folks at a few Mercedes dealerships I learned that the alternator modification works best when the bracket is installed at the factory – and that results are mixed when it is done later. The Sprinter I ended up with did not have this bracket installed at the factory and I did not want to take the chance of installing it after the fact.

I spent a lot of time learning about batteries, AC and DC power, solar, inverters and controllers. AGM was my  preference even though I looked into lithium. I wanted something proven even though AGM is less efficient when compared to lithium.

I convinced the conversion shop I hired to install 4x AGM (100 amp hours each)batteries even though the most they had installed in the past was 3x. They main reason they had previously installed a max of 3 was largely due to the fact that there wasn’t enough room for 4x due to layout designs and other installed components. I went with the highest watt inverter available from my conversion shop – 2,800 watts (as opposed to their 2,000 watt inverter). I went for max watts with with the 200 watt portable solar panel that I can plug in to an outlet on the left side of the van’s exterior. I am happy to share more about why I chose the power system I did.

 

 


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