From interstate RV batts to rolls industrial

by Joshua webb
(Rutherford NJ, USA)

As a young idealistic engineer out of college I had what I thought was an original motivation for off grid living. Not only for reducing carbon emissions or for creating clean energy- caring for this planet and, imparticular, the blue ridge mountains that generations of my family, including myself, still call home, but also for independence. Growing up poor in he Appalachain mountains of Cherokee and Scots-Irish decent, independence and self reliance courses through my veins. We were always taught to not infringe upon other people or this planet and not allow yourself to be the victim of such infringement either. And maybe a bit of the rebellious side still makes connections in my DNA. Whether from the Scots-Irish isolationists fleeing British oppression or the Eastern Band Cherokee, my great grand mother being full blooded, fighting the US Army in the hills and hollows of western NC to keep there home, culture and freedom to choose their way of life-allowing anyone enforce upon you what they see fit just wasn’t an option my family has accepted as a lovable option. Although nowadays it’s mainly about not allowing someone to take money you work for or pollute with impunity. But we still see it as a noble cause.
This lead me to turn a lifestyle I grew up with into a career in engineering. I focused on renewable technology and alternative energy and right out of college I setup a grid tie system with a patented VAWT blade geometry and a battery backup. I was using this system for roughly 5 years. I used 48 batteries, 2 turbines with PMSG generators as well as a small experimental hydro system. The batteries I used were Interstate Batteries • Model: GC2-XHD_fs 6V 232Ah Wet Deep Cycle Battery For Floor Scrubbers. I should clarify that this was my first full scale, real world application of this type and it didn’t start out his way. I started out with 6 batteries from one of our tractors, a not so great PMAC and a very decent turbine. But it gradually got bigger and better and served me okay. Living at around 4600ft elevation and as I improved on the capture geometry of my VAWT blade, I was rarely with some sort of production. the system wasn’t the best and it took up space and it was work and the bank alone ran me around $4,500 or so, if I remember correctly.
Now many years and a few houses later- each with a different reincarnation of that original five year metamorphosis, along with some real world experience in my chosen vocation that is now a nice little niche business and one I couldn’t be happier with- I have since made several changes. And have improved greatly on all aspects of not only my personal system but have been able to find a formula to provide my clients with a high level a satisfaction at a cost and level of efficiency that beats PV all day long.
Since I’m supposed to talk about batteries I’ll stick with that. I have now been using Rolls 2YS 62P industrial batteries for several systems, including my own. I tend to stick with the industrial 2v batts thought the exact model may change- but since several of my clients’ systems, as well as my own, are 100% off grid I tend to err on the side of overkill. I’ve also been incredibly fortunate to find an incredible generator company out of Allentown PA by the name of THOR Power who’s product is a small, lightweight PMAC that is super low resistance and incredibly high output. That has actually been the biggest aid along with Rolls industrial battery line as far as my leap in capabilities, especially in areas in the northeastern US with low windspeed- so I have to give them a shoutout. It’s been a real game changer along with the switch in batteries. I even started implementing a hybrid setup of wind and solar thermal to decrease the consumption, storage needs and production requirements also.
Wind is one of those things that has to be designed based on several factors individually, unlike solar-geography, topography, elevation etc., but it’s a fact that if done right it blow it out of the water and cost a lot less.

All my information, specs, tech, designs and setups are open source as well as any vendor information or resources I can help anyone with. Please feel free to pass me I formation or contact me for the same anytime. I have foam plug Cam files for mold making and schematics for different setups we have done from NC, SC, NJ, NY, Antigua, CA, and FL with photos and CAD and modeling files. Anything I can do to help or anything I can learn. Thanks a lot for reading my long WIND-ed off grid story and breakdown (all the pun in the world intended).

Joshua Webb

click here to return to forklift battery review.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x