AC/DC

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DWags541
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2013/08/07 00:18:49 (permalink)

AC/DC

Hey,
I just started using my new rig. Currently (pun intended), I have everything running on 12v. 2 fans for the hood. One intake/out ceiling fan (RV style), my water pump, and my LED lights. 
I did my first event and after about 8 hours, the volts started dipping enough to dim the lights. This was even with a charging unit attached to the battery bank. So, supposedly, I was drawing more than could be put back via charge.
 
I am wondering what I can do to either increase the charging efficiency (via charger) if there is an opportunity to plug into AC power. Or, how I can set up a system via a power converter(s) AC/DC much like when you plug in a computer, that would sustain the amperage necessary for my appliances (when there is AC power).
So far, I found a 5 amp 12v AC/DC converter plug at an electronics recycling. This was enough to run my ceiling fan and LED lights but I could not run my hood fans or water pump.
 
During the end of the event, after the dip in power, I had to start the engine of the truck to power up my system for the remainder. The truck's alternator is wired via a solenoid to the battery bank to charge it when I am on the move. But I am trying to find a work around for long events where I am stationary and there is some AC power available that doesn't involve idling the truck. 
 
I would think I can rewire my system in a way that allows me to power each of my appliances individually with those 5amp power packs, but I would love to just conveniently juice my whole system as one without cutting up my wiring bank. Would two 5amp power converters in series provide 10 amps? 
 
 
Dave
#1

10 Replies Related Threads

    fishscale28
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    Re:AC/DC 2013/08/07 00:55:57 (permalink)
    That's a great question and I would love some input on this as well.  I have a 6 amp charger that I have on my rig to keep the batteries topped off and have my generator fan (which draws alot for what it is), the water pump and 2 ceiling fans which all run off the batteries.  The generator alternator puts out a measly 5 or 10 amps-something silly so the draw on all the 12v items is just too much.  The past two nights (and all of a sudden) my batteries have been do far gone to even start the engine.  Not fun.  I can turn all the 12v accessories off then let my little charger sit for about 15 minutes and can get back enough to start but there HAS TO BE a better way...guess a bigger charger?
     
    But from the way it sounds you're not using a generator, correct?  You have a battery bank doing all this?  I would think it would be hard to maintain all those items on battery banks alone unless you could supplement.  If you're no using a generator maybe one of the small Honda 2000 (little guys) would be great to just run a heavy duty battery charger for just an hour or so (when needed) to keep things topped off... 
    #2
    DWags541
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    Re:AC/DC 2013/08/07 13:11:53 (permalink)
    I do not use a generator. I created the whole system on 12v to avoid a generator. I think it does find standing alone off the grid when I am doing shorter runs, but an all day/night festival definitely takes its toll right now. But I am using older deep cycle batteries too, so I bet if I started with newer ones there would be some improvement. 
    I am trying out a better charger. I want to see if that helps sustain the batteries during any prolonged draw.
     
    #3
    Rcoy
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    Re:AC/DC 2013/08/07 15:19:47 (permalink)
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    roadkillgrill
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    Re:AC/DC 2013/08/07 16:10:06 (permalink)
    Going to try and answer both with my 2c. I run an 80,000 watt inverter, yes 80k, attached to only 4 250aH deepcycle batteries. I can install up to 30 batteries...lol. (it's a tim the toolman taylor thang)... One word KISS. I run my batteries in the winter only. in the South you dont get good output in the heat and the refrigeration draw is too great. Generator in the summer, batteries in the winter. I really really dont think it's efficient to use batteries for events and I never would. But most important you MUST HAVE two separate battery systems, One system for the truck and one system for the house. you can install a regulator from the alternator for the house batteries only which is a much better charger if you have a 100amp altenator.  Check RV schematics. Over the years I have found that batteries dont last more than 12-18 months at best, grid or no grid that is a high cost of electricity. When they tell you number of charging cycles, they mean it. I learned the hard way at almost $500 a pop. This time I think I will splerge for the acid batteries. My Honda gen costs about $1/hr. Good Luck
    #5
    MurphyR
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    Re:AC/DC 2013/08/07 17:39:27 (permalink)
    If you are using standard auto or marine 12 volt batteries switch to 6 volt golf cart batteries.
    Wire them in series to get your 12 volts.
    You will have a ton more power and it will last much longer.
    I used to install these and inverters on boats to get away from noisy generators.
     
    Golf cart batteries are the only way to go!
    #6
    daddywoofdawg
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    Re:AC/DC 2013/08/08 00:36:20 (permalink)
    so if you have ac why don't you use shore power? other answer would be look a the battery tender.
    #7
    DWags541
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    Re:AC/DC 2013/08/10 13:53:46 (permalink)
    The truck build is meant for a daily route and working off the grid. The alternator keeps the batts charged in between stops, and at night, I recharge fully. But I also plan to use the truck at events where I am stationary for a while. This puts more pressure on the bank than the shorter route style itinerary. Since my fans are all 12v, lights are 12v, I need some way to power the 12v system when AC power is available. Like an inverter but reversed. So, I can circumvent the battery system when there is AC power.
    #8
    eric/Jenn
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    Re:AC/DC 2013/08/13 21:46:40 (permalink)
    I see this is a very old post but I didnt want to create a new one on this subject. If this is the wrong way please advise. I was wondering if a food truck is supposed to have a small breaker box like in a house with breakers wired to whatever outlets etc... then a main heavier power cord running to the breaker box and then plugged into the generator? Or is it supposed to have a battery bank and inverter to keep those charged, and if the later where does the inverter get its power without killing the truck batteries?
    roadkillgrill

    Going to try and answer both with my 2c. I run an 80,000 watt inverter, yes 80k, attached to only 4 250aH deepcycle batteries. I can install up to 30 batteries...lol. (it's a tim the toolman taylor thang)... One word KISS. I run my batteries in the winter only. in the South you dont get good output in the heat and the refrigeration draw is too great. Generator in the summer, batteries in the winter. I really really dont think it's efficient to use batteries for events and I never would. But most important you MUST HAVE two separate battery systems, One system for the truck and one system for the house. you can install a regulator from the alternator for the house batteries only which is a much better charger if you have a 100amp altenator.  Check RV schematics. Over the years I have found that batteries dont last more than 12-18 months at best, grid or no grid that is a high cost of electricity. When they tell you number of charging cycles, they mean it. I learned the hard way at almost $500 a pop. This time I think I will splerge for the acid batteries. My Honda gen costs about $1/hr. Good Luck


    #9
    daddywoofdawg
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    Re:AC/DC 2013/08/14 13:26:32 (permalink)
     supposed to have a small breaker box like in a house with breakers wired to whatever outlets etc... then a main heavier power cord running to the breaker box and then plugged into the generator.it can also have 12v.
    #10
    eric/Jenn
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    Re:AC/DC 2013/08/14 20:08:52 (permalink)
    Thank you very much, one concern out of the way :)
    #11
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