Food Truck Generator Replacement

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Food Truck Generator Replacement

Postby Chayo on Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:50 pm

I am towards the end of rebuilding a former tool truck into a Mexican food truck. The 20 year old generator was a rusted out piece of junk, and I've decided to install an Outback Power VFX3648 along with 4 Bosch lithium ion battery modules. The battery modules have 24 amp hours of capacity each, so 4 modules will get me 132 amp hours of capacity, enough to run the truck for a full day.

We've had nice weather out here on the prairie for a couple of weeks, so I've been completing tasks on the truck, but snow hit last night and it's time for some bench testing inside today. I just got the Outback Mate last week and started testing this morning. To make things easier, I'm only using two of the four Bosch modules but eventually all 4 will be tied together in a series/parallel arrangement to produce 48vac and 132Ah.

Read the manual twice, wired up some test items (fan for load), flipped the on button and she started right up! When it gets warmer, I'll move the entire setup to the truck itself, along with some improvements to the physical racking and storage.

Robert Conner
Omaha, Nebraska
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Chayo
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Re: Food Truck Generator Replacement

Postby blackswan555 on Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:46 pm

What voltage are the modules ? Any links, Manual etc ?

The battery modules have 24 amp hours of capacity each, so 4 modules will get me 132 amp hours of capacity, enough to run the truck for a full day.


24 x 4 = 96 ? not 132 ? Also be careful as their capacity is not necessarily what you can use, What are your daily loads going to be ?

Tim
My comments are based on my experience and research, They are not endorsed or checked by Outback.I am an independent British electrician living in Spain, So please take this into account when reading /acting on my post`s.
blackswan555
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Re: Food Truck Generator Replacement

Postby Chayo on Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:04 pm

Just got done doing the first 'test' cycle and charge.

My math was wrong - these are 68 amp hour modules. Each individual LiPo cell has 68 Ah capacity and nominal 3.7 volts, so each module of 6 is 68 Ah and 48 volts. 4 modules in a series parallel arrangement gets 136 Ah capacity at 48 volts.

I took the Mate charge settings to the lowest possible point - 52.0v bulk and 48.0v absorb. Refloat and equalize are completely off.

Cells arrived with a 48.5 volt charge, which hasn't changed in the 60 days they've been sitting on the bench. Using an 18 amp charge rate, the bulk/constant current stage went up to 52 volts in only half an hour. The FX3648 then switched right over to the absorb/constant voltage stage and I watched the Mate as it dropped down, down, down. The fan kicked off at about 90% of charge and then it stopped with a final voltage of 52. The voltage has dropped by .5 volt in half an hour, and .9 volt in one hour.

The daily loads on these cells is currently only an estimate. The food truck has three small refrigerators, a roof vent for the hood over the grills, all LED lighting and minimal other electrical equipment. It will currently operate with all equipment running wide open from a single 15 amp landline cord. The roof mounted A/C doesn't work, but I imagine that would increase amp draw by a bunch, especially on startup. I'm pretty sure we can get along just fine with our current ampacity and capacity.

Details: these are the same LiPo modules used on the Fiat 500 and Mercedes 500 electric cars. Bosch/Samsung made them at some point, then Bosch took over the whole production cycle. No way to tell which vintage these modules are. The only information I have (since Fiat and Mercedes aren't very friendly to us DIY'ers) is:

http://www.samsungsdi.com/upload/ess_br ... ure_EN.pdf

Cheers!
Chayo
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