awefulspeller
Posts: 87
Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:59 pm

Battery Backup Project

Mon Dec 26, 2016 8:01 am

Hi all,

I'm about to spend about $5,000 on a battery backup for my 2013 Ford Focus Electric. I would have gave this money to Ford in order to increase the range in my FFE, but its not an option so I'll develop myself.

The plan is to use a module from a Tesla battery, inverter and EVSE in order to provide about 6kW to the FFE. This equipment will easily fit in the trunk of the FFE and will allow me to charge anywhere I park. Very handy for me. I'm thinking about enclosing in a Pelican case so it is portable. 6kW is about all I need to add to compensate for the loss of range experienced during the winter. I'm sitting in my car charging my FFE as I type this. Cant make it to family's house and back on a full charge in my 13 FFE. Refuse to buy a 17 FFE.

Wish Ford would offer a battery upgrade option. I would have paid up to $7500 in order to add capacity to my current FFE battery.

fbitz777
Posts: 172
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:05 am
Location: Wexford, PA

Re: Battery Backup Project

Mon Dec 26, 2016 8:29 am

seems like it would be heavy? what size Tesla module are you thinking ( I have a Tesla on order but not familiar with module sizes)?
or are you talking more like the powerwall (which would require not inverters)

seems like a 6-7KW generator with 220V output would be less heavy (and cheaper)...maybe you could live with a 3kw 220V?

there are a lot of very small 110V generators that are no bigger than a gas can but 220V are quite bulky.

I like the idea of the BMW i3 range extender but now that they have a larger 33KWh battery I am not sure they still offer that option.

I know you are not interested in doing the 2017 FFE but with your 5k budget and 7.5K in tax credit plus some trade in you'd be quite ahead?
2014 FFE ..replaced with a 2016 FFE by Ford. Loved it...sold early 2017
2017 Tesla X75 2017 Bolt EV Premier

awefulspeller
Posts: 87
Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:59 pm

Re: Battery Backup Project

Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:22 am

It will only weigh about 100lbs after inverter and module. I'll post pictures once complete.

Generator too smelly for me. Would at least need 220V, don't want to be sitting around forever waiting for a charge. Level 2 charge already takes forever compared to fast charger.

I'm most defiantly interested in the 17 FFE. Thats a good car. The range and price is just about right, and easy with fast charging. But, if I sell my FFE today, I would be giving away the $20,828 I've already paid into the car and have nothing to show for it except a new car with even more negative equity. Better to do the small 5k upgrade now and still be able to pay my car off on the final payment date.

Just saying... this 5k could be in Ford's wallet, and customer satisfaction would increase. "And wow! Look at all these neat options they offer! So my investment won't be completely obsolete once I pay it off".

michael
Posts: 1113
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:55 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Battery Backup Project

Mon Dec 26, 2016 12:14 pm

How often is the lack of range an issue for you? Most days? Or occasionally?

Is there a place (friend, relative, business) along your regular route where you could install a charging station? Or even a 220 V outlet? I did that at a friends house...used that as my private auxiliary charging station. it worked so well that they bought their own EV. All you need is a 220 outlet and a Turbo Cord, you're all set.

If it happens all the time and you can't come up with a simpler alternative, I'd dump the car, take the hit, and get something with longer range. And this time lease, don't buy.
2013 FFE Returned after 3 years with 52,000 miles and battery down to 15.2 kWh
2014 Volt returned with 43,000 miles
2014 Volt 26,000 miles
1967 Corvette 427
1962 Corvette 327
Awaiting a Bolt

Robert123
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:31 am

Re: Battery Backup Project

Mon Dec 26, 2016 2:32 pm

6 kWh and only 100 pounds? What voltage?

Is your plan to invert back to 240v then charge the FFE from the spare battery in the trunk? Have you got all the equipment sourced and spec'd out?
2015 FFE "Orphan"
Adopted October 2016 w/ 3k miles

awefulspeller
Posts: 87
Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:59 pm

Re: Battery Backup Project

Mon Dec 26, 2016 3:40 pm

Robert123 wrote:6 kWh and only 100 pounds? What voltage?

Is your plan to invert back to 240v then charge the FFE from the spare battery in the trunk? Have you got all the equipment sourced and spec'd out?

That is my plan precisely. Maybe a bit more than 100lbs, but no more than 130lbs.

Here is the inverter:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Magnum-Energy-P ... 3641.l6368

EVSE:
https://store.clippercreek.com/level2/l ... ng-station

24v Tesla Module:
Image

fbitz777
Posts: 172
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:05 am
Location: Wexford, PA

Re: Battery Backup Project

Mon Dec 26, 2016 5:45 pm

How do you charge a Tesla 24Vmodule...I thought it takes a lot of electronics to do so and the module is in liquid and that needs to be regulated?

Not to sound simplistic but how about using Lead Batteries instead and maybe go to 48V ...heavier but safer.

As an example:

I have two Raven MPV7100 hybrid mowers and they have a 48V battery (1kwh only) what I can drive the mower for many miles on battery mode....the 48 V pack itself is quite small and can be charged with a 48 charger in a few hours.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Raven-MPV-7100- ... SwMgdXyOZK
2014 FFE ..replaced with a 2016 FFE by Ford. Loved it...sold early 2017
2017 Tesla X75 2017 Bolt EV Premier

michael
Posts: 1113
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:55 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Battery Backup Project

Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:21 pm

Upon further thought, I think yes,this could work. However I still don't think it's the way to go.

You can charge it easily enough, it's only a 6S unit. Off the shelf battery management charger with balancing capability would work. The efficiency will be low, since you are charging one battery pack from another, each with inefficiencies. plus inefficiency of the inverter. Cooling may be an issue. I didn't see on the inverter data sheet the Voltage range for operation. You will need a protection circuit to make sure you don't over discharge the battery pack. But it could work.

I'd still suggest spending the money to install an EVSE at some place along your route. For $1K you can buy one and have it installed. Find someone who will let you use it in exchange for installing it at your expense. Easier, faster, safer. I'd try this approach first. Or, as I suggested, just a 220 outlet.
2013 FFE Returned after 3 years with 52,000 miles and battery down to 15.2 kWh
2014 Volt returned with 43,000 miles
2014 Volt 26,000 miles
1967 Corvette 427
1962 Corvette 327
Awaiting a Bolt

EVA
Posts: 874
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:10 pm
Location: Chicago Area

Re: Battery Backup Project

Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:03 pm

fbitz777 - in the Chicago area, you can't buy an i3 without the range extender. The new bigger battery version absolutely do have the range extender option. BMW kept that around.

The horrible part of that nonsense - you lose the EL plates in Illinois. If there is a gasoline engine in the car, doesn't matter why, you can't have EL plates.

Oh I saw somebody do the math on using a gasoline generator to charge an electric car. It is reprehensible, from just about every viewpoint possible. Charging is super slow, the generator is noisy, you have to carry around gasoline, and it pollutes. A generator is an all around bad idea. Unless you will be somewhere in the middle of absolutely nowhere, with no electric plug anywhere - that's the only time one of those makes even a remote amount of sense.
2014 Platinum White FFE (Turning in mid Dec. 2016 25,000 miles)
2013 Ingot Silver FFE
2012 Titanium ICE Focus
2014 Tesla Model S 85

EVA
Posts: 874
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:10 pm
Location: Chicago Area

Re: Battery Backup Project

Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:07 pm

fbitz777 awefulspeller - good luck dude. Obviously you have made the decision to do this. Hopefully you have fun building it and don't kill yourself with a fire, or electricity.

Can't wait to see your pictures and description of what you end up doing. I take it from the picture, you managed to already buy a portion of a Tesla battery pack? Because that is a very small chunk of the full size battery.

Sorry about that fbitz777 - bad copy and paste earlier.
Last edited by EVA on Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2014 Platinum White FFE (Turning in mid Dec. 2016 25,000 miles)
2013 Ingot Silver FFE
2012 Titanium ICE Focus
2014 Tesla Model S 85

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