Choosing the Right Battery for your Caravan
Van lifers are steadily becoming a modern phenomenon across the world. Constantly improving lithium batteries are powering this increasingly popular off-grid lifestyle for those who choose it long term, and even indefinitely. You can go online to see just how many van lifers are sharing their experiences and how they attribute the comfort of their lifestyle to the reliability of their batteries.
From Coopers Creek to Cape York, and Busselton to Broome there are so many beautiful locations to explore and the right battery makes this possible. Why are lithium batteries the preferred option for so many? Size, Weight, capacity, and cost effectiveness.
Lithium batteries are significantly lighter than traditional lead acid. Meaning that you can double your battery capacity using lithium, which can be up to half the weight of a traditional battery of equal or lesser capacity.
One of the advantages of lithium batteries over lead-acid batteries is longevity. If you want to realise the long-life potential out of your lithium battery then consideration must be given to depth of discharge.
A battery lifespan is rated by the number of cycles before the original capacity has reduced by a certain amount; a cycle is defined as discharging from fully charged, to a percentage Depth of Discharge (DOD), and then charging back to full again. So, DOD describes what percentage of the battery capacity is being used each time. Baintech batteries have a cycle life of 5,000 at 50% and 2,000 at 80% DOD.
Lithium batteries can be charged with main power, an alternator or other power sources such as solar. They are an improvement on traditional batteries as they do not need to be fully charged before use and are also smaller and lighter than lead acid batteries, making them a convenient and complete power solution for van, caravan, and campervan enthusiasts.
Managing your Power Requirements
Inverters come in sizes from 100W to 3000W+. To figure out what sized inverter you need, think about what appliances you want to run and how much power they will use. Some appliances need more initial power to start up, so you’ll need to consider the start-up load in your calculations. It is not uncommon for caravan owners to select an inverter that is too small for their needs, so buy a model that is 10% to 20% more powerful than your largest load. For example, if you want to run a laptop (150W) and a LCD TV (250W) at the same time you would select an inverter around 500 Watts. (150W + 250W) + 20% = 480W). Remember, there is no such thing as ‘too big’ when it comes to inverters!
Calculating your Power Requirements
We all love our morning coffees! However, a coffee machine can use a large amount of power (up to 1600 Watts) requiring a 2000-Watt Inverter. There is more to consider than the inverter size here. Running a coffee machine can run your batteries down fast, so you may need to consider upgrading your batteries. Same goes for a microwave which can use up to 1000w even for the smallest one. If high-power items are a must then you will need a large inverter, a large battery bank and a good DC-DC charging system to keep the batteries charged up and in good condition.
With all these things to take into consideration, determining the size of your batteries best suited for your needs is crucial. Speak to our expert team today about your power solution and lithium requirements.