Novitec Megapulse, hero of dead batteries (or not?)

As you might know we have a little problem. A little big problem – because our leisure batteries are more or less dud. Fuck, that’s gonna be expensive… or?

After being slightly shocked after testing the first battery which I suspected to be mostly dead, I now tested the second AGM as well. Therefor I disconnected the battery from the rest of the system and loaded it for a day. Afterwards, when the sun was down and the solar computer showed the icon for “night” I connected a power source where I know the amount of power that is taken – in that case one of the old extra lights of the voyager which has a osram 55 W bulb inside. So I knew it draws 55/12 = around 5 Amps (4.8) of power. Then I waited till it hit the mark of 12 Volts on the scale, after which it drops power quite fast (that’s a usual behavior for lead acid batteries). After 2.5 hours this mark was reached – so there is approx 12 Amps left in the second battery. Better than the first with only 1 Amp (dead lead) but still very bad, considering it’s a 120 Amp AGM. 13 AMP out of 240 have survived after 2 and something years (bought them in August or September 2014, from mainly January on there were constantly used).

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… but the batteries are

At the moment I have a serious matter on the table. I was wondering why the batteries seem such a lousy capacity lately and at first suspected that the solar system doesn’t load sufficiently due to too much heat on the rood of the car, which influences the output of such panels. Although that problem does exist and I have to find a way too cool the panels down when the car is not moving, a way more serious issue are our batteries as I learned that the panels produce a lot more power then the batteries can actually hold at the moment. The batteries tend to be full after only two hours of loading and then all further power is mainly wasted.

We have 460 amps of capacity in the back, the sun of Thailand on the solar panels, and the power was barely enough to power the water cooker and the notebooks for some hours every day and even then I sometimes needed to start the car to keep the power up. The calculations I did simply didn’t add up – we used a lot less power then we actually received, till I read into the topic.

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No the climate control project isn’t dead..

But after Chiang Mai and leaving the cosy flat, I found other bits and pieces on the car that needed attention first. So while spending time on beautiful Koh Chang I build several things for the car, like propper frames with mosquito nets for the rear windows, a new table, reorgainsed most of the storage in the car, added some new 12 Volt outlets, build 12 volt connection boxes with  DC DC step up and step down inverters to connect the notebooks directly  to the 12 Volt plugs without needing the inverter (gonna do the same for many other things), build a new cupboard in the back which is a preparation for the  climate control, repaired Elton after he decided to stop at the centre of a crossing (was just a fuse, but I suspected air in the diesel which led to a major chaos…), repaired again when he went dead on Koh Chang (all fuses good, dirty cable plug under the car that time)…

So time flew by, but latest in February we need to have it, when the hot time starts. At the moment its considerably cool so its nice in the car with normal fans, but that will change for sure.

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7 simple energy saving tricks in an electricity powered camper

(I write this on my mobile, so there might be a fair amount of errors)

Foreword: To a person living a normal western live our live must sound archaic and I think it would have been strange for us as well, if we had been confronted with all changes at once. But we adopted slowly along the road and our western live style is several month and many kms away.
So what I want to say is that our live, which follows some energy saving measurements, doesn’t feel strange for us although its completely different to our former live with unlimited amounts of drinkable water from the tap and as much power as we needed.

We had some half-hearted energy saving things in our flat. But out here we only have so much energy available each day, so we need to save for the sake of our needs.

With a small completely electrical camper like ours and just 200 Watt solar power, energy saving is a must.

As you might know from earlier posts we wanted to be independent from other sources like diesel or gas, so that our basic energy needs are sorted, no matter what might happen.

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Camper DIY air condition based on a vacuum, Zeolite and Peltier elements

The rainy season slowly but steadily comes to an end, the temperatures are climbing again. Soon we will leave Chiang Mai and set out again to explore the hidden spots of South East Asia.  And along with it comes heat, sweat and mosquitos. Yuck…

Dehumidifier you say… hmmm

About a month ago I was googeling around for a dehumidifier as humidity is one of the key bastards that make our live a misery in the car and found some small electrical units which claim to be able to do that. So I got curious how they operate and found out that they work with Peltier Elements. Those are used in cheepish Camping Fridges as well. Peltiers get hot on one side and cold on the other, by connecting them to some power, usually 12 Volts. Interesting.

Peltiers come into play… but … no

So my mind got locked into those things and I started to make plans for a Peltier based Air Condition. Downside of those things are: They are power hogs (around 5 amps per unit at 12 Volts) and after learning how to calculate the amount of heat (aka Watt) I need to handle in Elton to get a cooling effect, I learned that I need to operate a Peltier farm. So…, no.

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