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Old 03-14-2019, 12:46 PM   #1
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Lithium Ion vs. Traditional Generator

Hey All...

Just curious to see if anyone has done much research on the Volta Power Systems (Lithium Ion Batteries) in lieu of a traditional diesel generator.

Pros and cons from what I can tell.

I know just a little:
*56V system
*Can be charged via the main engine, shore power and/or solar
*11,000 watts of inverters that can run everything, anytime, without generator noise
*All outlets work as normal, all the time (not inverted vs. inverted)
*Volta Power Systems is the only company I know of who is working on bringing this to a reality. Already being adopted and working with Thor.


Does anyone know if Newmar is looking into doing something along these lines? I think it would be a very nice option if it works as stated.

I hear things are going that direction.

However, we all know of the issues some Lithium batteries catching on fire, etc.
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:40 PM   #2
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Foretravel tried the above method years ago. Of course they used the generator to supply the inverter to charge the batteries. Don't believe using your big diesel main engine with attached alternator, like on some volta systems , would be cost effective. Appears to work well on the Travato though.
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Foretravel tag axle 40 ft. 500 hp/1550 ft/lbs ism 1455 watts on the roof. 600 a/h's lithium down below.
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Old 03-14-2019, 03:47 PM   #3
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There have been a quite spirited discussion in the class B section of this forum regarding the use of main engine and alternators instead of generators on coaches.

IMHO, in the case of class B's where a lot of times they are moved every day there is a case to be made for the engine powered alternator, however in a class A that stays stationary for long periods of time it makes more sense to use another power source, whether it be solar or generator.
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Old 03-14-2019, 04:41 PM   #4
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I'm not sure what you are asking. Batteries and generators are complementary parts of the same system. Any battery bank "Can be charged via the main engine, shore power and/or solar". Certainly, I don't want to fire up my chassis engine just to charge the batteries after a few days of dry camping. The alternator doesn't put out full power at idle, and it's hugely inefficient.
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Old 03-14-2019, 04:43 PM   #5
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I suppose it has to do with the amount of power these new large lithium batteries are able to provide. It is not more than a few AGMs.
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Old 03-14-2019, 04:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLOweather View Post
I'm not sure what you are asking. Batteries and generators are complementary parts of the same system. Any battery bank "Can be charged via the main engine, shore power and/or solar". Certainly, I don't want to fire up my chassis engine just to charge the batteries after a few days of dry camping. The alternator doesn't put out full power at idle, and it's hugely inefficient.
Does not use standard 12 volt alternator, uses a 58 volt unit designed to give full output at low engine speed.
https://voltapowersystems.com/energy-storage/
Because battery bank is lithium, it can take a max. charge quickly.
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Foretravel tag axle 40 ft. 500 hp/1550 ft/lbs ism 1455 watts on the roof. 600 a/h's lithium down below.
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Old 03-14-2019, 04:54 PM   #7
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That is correct...maybe that will assist the main e fine in recharging the system a lot faster?
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:04 PM   #8
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This explains it.
https://www.lichtsinn.com/about-us/v...stems-overview
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Foretravel tag axle 40 ft. 500 hp/1550 ft/lbs ism 1455 watts on the roof. 600 a/h's lithium down below.
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:05 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by UAV View Post
That is correct...maybe that will assist the main e fine in recharging the system a lot faster?
I meant to say engine. Not e fine. Forgot me glasses.
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Old 03-14-2019, 06:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jcussen View Post
Does not use standard 12 volt alternator, uses a 58 volt unit designed to give full output at low engine speed.
https://voltapowersystems.com/energy-storage/
Because battery bank is lithium, it can take a max. charge quickly.
Did you read the RPM specs of the alternators ?

To get it turning 8000 RPMs at idle, it will be flying apart at full engine RPMs.

Your not going to get a good output at idle.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:06 PM   #11
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Did you read the RPM specs of the alternators ?

To get it turning 8000 RPMs at idle, it will be flying apart at full engine RPMs.

Your not going to get a good output at idle.
They do not state how long to recharge at 1600 engine rpm as opposed to high engine speed, and I did not say idle, I said low engine speed. Depends on battery state. and of course design of alternator.
From their website.
"This best-in-class system is U.S. built in partnership with Volta Power Systems, .... Travato's engine starts and ramps up to 1600 rpms, dramatically reducing recharge ... And when you're parked, the Travato 59GL and 59KL have an auto-start ..."
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Old 03-15-2019, 02:28 AM   #12
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Well, I have a large lithium battery in my coach and a big inverter that powers the whole thing. We have about 1600W of solar PV.

We can go just over 2 days with full air-conditioning, or maybe a week without, before we must charge.

We charge at about 10kW off our generator, coming back to full in ~3-4 hours.

I would not want to fire the big, expensive engine just to practically idle it for hours and hours while charging, even off a substantial large-block alternator.

If we had twice the battery capacity, it would be close in terms of thinking about going without a generator.

As it stands, we would be fine with a much *smaller* generator, although with some substantial runtimes when dry camping, of course.

I don't think the numbers pencil out very well for typical class As, unless the user is pretty sure they'll reach another shore supply every other day or drive most every other day. We probably need to gain another 2-3x capacity per $ and likely per unit volume for it to make sense.
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Old 03-15-2019, 02:52 AM   #13
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Quite interesting to see this era of EVís and power management systems.
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:17 AM   #14
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The Volta with 58v alternator is mainly for Class B's so they don't need a separate generator, main engine does double duty and even has autostart, works pretty good with small gas and diesel engines in the vans.

On a Class A you would not want to be high idling the large engine just to run your air conditioning or charge batteries. Plenty of room and carry capacity for a generator and they are going to be more efficient than big engine for the same power output.

Wouldn't mind a volta system in my rig with alternator but would still use generator while parked.
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