Thought we had some photos of the floor all the way torn up, but alas, you will have to wait a day or two.
Over the past few days we have been in hardcore research mode while we wait to pick up the lumber for flooring and side paneling on Monday. After Kyle busted out calculation after calculation we were becoming disheartened about our power storage options for our solar cells. We would need so many huge batteries to really be viably off-grid.
Then we all decided, despite their seemingly high cost, to start looking in to Lithium batteries (used in cell phones and hybrid cars). We started doing our own cost analysis breakdowns and became hesitantly excited. Once I found the brilliant blog series about Lithium Ion on Technomadia.com, I was fully convinced this was exactly what we had been looking for and knew had to be out there. I wont go into detail because the Technomads have really out done themselves with just about all the info you could need, but compared to top of the line lead acid batteries, Lithium batteries have at least 3 times as many charge cycles in their lifetime, almost twice the usuable capacity, weighs about 70% less, and can charge just about as fast as your power source can put out amps. The upfront cost is greater, but once broken down over time, a lithium system will cost about a 3rd of the price of traditional RV batteries that would have to be replaced 3-5 times over the lifetime of a lithium system. Thinking about all the batteries that can be kept out of the landfills this way makes me so happy to have found this new technology, needless to say we are finally stoked about our power!
Lithium requires a specific charge pattern to keep the batteries at optimum health, and most companies have not caught up to this new technology -most charge controllers only have pre-sets for the different types of lead acid batteries. We expect this technology to become the preferred standard for RV-ing in the coming years, but for now, Victron Energy out of The Netherlands is on the cutting edge and with their high quality is our number one choice for an inverter/charger combo. Their systems even allow power monitoring and programmable settings through your home computer.
Be sure to watch the video up top for some more clean up and demolition – music provided by my awesome friend and producer Jesse Clark, aka Coda in Blue