Batteries & Battery Charging

Electric Vehicle Batteries

The market for quickly-rechargeable, light and compact batteries is huge. One or another battery will eventually evolve. When it does, electric-only vehicles are likely to have a range unthinkable using fossil-fuels. Moreover, in the meantime, hybrids are an excellent compromise. Furthermore, see also Electric Vehicles – Hybrids.

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Electric and Hybrid Vehicles

Globally, there is move to electric vehicles. Apart from minor rubber tyre particles they are virtually emission free.They are also about 80% efficient. If, however, their electricity is from fossil-fuelled power stations, their emissions are similar to year 2020 petrol-fuelled (or hybrid) vehicles.

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Baghdad battery myth

In the 1930s, German archaeologist Wilhelm Koenig claimed that whilst excavating an archaeological dig near Baghdad (Iraq), he uncovered a small clay jar. It had a plug that sealed the opening. That plug had a copper tube with an iron rod inserted into it. If filled with an acidic liquid, the device functioned as a basic battery. Koenig and others made similar versions that generated up to two volts per unit.

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Lithium battery rival

Lithium-ion and lithium-iron-phosphate (a lithium battery rival) are two types of rechargeable batteries. They share some similarities but differ in high-energy-density, long life-cycles, and safety. Lithium-ion is used in smartphones and laptop PCs. Lithium iron phosphate (LiFEPO4) is that used in RVs etc.

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Lead acid batteries for caravans – they are still a good buy

Lead acid batteries for travel trailers are still a viable buy. They are made in different shapes, sizes and capabilities. All work in a basically similar way. Energy is stored within them as a result of electro-chemical reactions between lead plates and a water/acid mix (called electrolyte). They are charged by imposing a voltage across them that is greater than the voltage ‘within’ them at the time. The greater that voltage difference the quicker and deeper batteries charge. When battery voltage reaches the charging voltage, charging ceases.

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Blade fuse problems in travel trailers – they may burn or melt

Blade fuse problems in travel trailers include fuses and fuse holders burning or melting. Fire risk is high because the fuses may continue to conduct. Ongoing current flow, however, may heat the fuse holder to burning point. This article by RV Books explains why and how to overcome the risk.

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Dc-dc charging – how to speed alternator charging

Initial charging of a deeply discharged battery is generally limited to a basic dc-dc charger’s capacity: not the alternator’s. Dc-dc chargers under 20 amps thus usually take longer to charge close to flat batteries to half charge. Thereon, charging is hugely faster.

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Battery ventilation is vital – why take any risk?

All lead acid batteries, AGMs and gel cells, generate explosive gas. Even though most are sealed, makers stress that battery ventilation is vital still. Confusion exists over this. Around 2000, some battery makers began to claim that no ventilation was required. Or, ventilation, is advisable but not necessarily essential. They withdrew this advice, however, shortly after. Many batteries thus have a warning notice as below. 

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LiFePO4 jump starters really do work – they power other things too

Despite their very small batteries LiFePO4 jump starters really do work. This article by Collyn Rivers explains how and why. A lot of power (the rate at which energy is used) is needed. The amount of energy (the ability to perform work) required, however is surprisingly small. In the days of vintage cars, a strongish 55 kg (120 lb) girl could hand crank start a 4.5 litre Bentley with relative ease.

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Lithium batteries for caravans

Lithium batteries in caravans and motorhomes pack a lot of energy but need specialised knowledge to use safely and reliably. Here’s how and why – and how to install and use them.

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Imported RV electrics

Imported RV electrics are often not fully compliant. Their owners often wrongly believe they are. They cannot legally be sold unless remedied.

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Solar That Really Works!

Solar that Really Works! covers the design, installation and use of solar in cabins, camper trailers, travel trailers, fifth wheelers, campervans and motor homes.

eBook versions

Paperback version

The book retailers set their own prices which can vary substantially. We'll aim to keep a selection of the better prices above.

Any bookshop, whether online or bricks and mortar, can order copies of Solar That Really Works!  Just ask.
ISBN: 978-0-6483190-3-0

Caravan and Motorhome Electrics

The essential handbook for anyone with an RV of any kind.  Everything you need to know to make the electrics in your rig work for you.

eBook versions

Paperback version

The book retailers set their own prices which can vary substantially. We'll aim to keep a selection of the better prices above.

Any bookshop, whether online or bricks and mortar, can order copies of Caravan & Motorhome Electrics.  Just ask.
ISBN: 978-0-6483190-8-5

Solar Success

Whether you’re building a new home or adding solar to an existing structure, this is the one book you can’t afford to be without.

eBook versions

Paperback version

Any bookshop, whether online or bricks and mortar, can order copies of Solar Success.  Just ask.
ISBN: 978-0-6487945-4-7

Caravan and Motorhome Electrics

The essential handbook for anyone with an RV of any kind.  Everything you need to know to make the electrics in your rig work for you.

eBook versions

Paperback version

The book retailers set their own prices which can vary substantially. We'll aim to keep a selection of the better prices above.

Any bookshop, whether online or bricks and mortar, can order copies of Caravan & Motorhome Electrics.  Just ask.
ISBN: 978-0-6483190-8-5