DIY Tesla Power Wall for Cheap - $600.
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DIY Tesla Power Wall for Cheap - $600.

This is a discussion on DIY Tesla Power Wall for Cheap - $600. within the Alternative Energy (Wind, Solar, Hydro etc) forums, part of the Off-Grid Lifestyle category; I'm stoked about Elon's power wall. Right now it's at $3,000 to $3,500 depending on what model you get and that doesn't cover installation and ...

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Thread: DIY Tesla Power Wall for Cheap - $600.

  1. #1
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    DIY Tesla Power Wall for Cheap - $600.

    I'm stoked about Elon's power wall. Right now it's at $3,000 to $3,500 depending on what model you get and that doesn't cover installation and getting permission from your local government and power provider. But the more these get bought and used, the cheaper they become and the more pressure is on local government to accept them.

    One of the things, as we capitalists know, that drives cost down and quality up is competition. Right now, Elon doesn't really have any competition. Except maybe this guy!



    He claims it is a $300 power wall but it is also half the power - so you need two, or $600.

    But for a minimal electrical use cabin situation, that 4.4Kw battery may be more than enough to keep the lights on, and not just the ones inside, but security lights and motion detectors outside, as well as microwaves and other modern conveniences like a CPAP machine. It is CERTAINLY enough to run your coms, especially if you run a 12v tap off of it to go straight into the radio. You could even scale this way back for a portable unit next to your tent if you are going lean and mean.

    See if it tickles your fancy. He has a lot of great videos to baby step you through this.
    Last edited by GTGallop; 02-12-2016 at 12:20 PM. Reason: Spelling corrections - My Ozarks were showing. ;-)
    Auntie, essdub, SittingElf and 4 others like this.
    KG7NDC

    The only thing that separates man from animal is our affinity for toilet paper.
    Once we as a society lose that affinity we begin to descend back into the animal kingdom, and after three or more days you will find the food chain beginning to invert on itself.

  2. #2
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    This is bad ass. I've been running a wheelchair battery outside everyday to see if a solar cell will keep it charged enough to charge all my low voltage stuff (12 volt battery charger, radios, and of course USB for phones, pads, etc). I've been thinking of a good way to put the panel on the roof and make a cubby hole between two studs to store the electronics and a battery.

    I wanted this technology:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickel...93iron_battery But you have to order them $7,000 at a time or so.

    This would be a perfect alternative. I'm also a computer tech and have all kinds of laptop batteries around. Great find. Thanks.

  3. #3
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    Excellent. Another project. Like I needed another project. Lol. Not sure how I've never thought of this, but I'm glad these particular wheels are turning now

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  5. #4
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    Wow...This guy rocked it. And imagine how cheap Tesla is getting all of their materials. No wonder Elon is a billionair. LOL.

    Awesome video. Awesome project. Solar is something I want to do and that is something I definitely will look into DIY'ing when I get into the solar.
    I'm a creep. I'm a weirdo. What the hell am I doing here. I don't belong here.

  6. #5
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    I'm wondering two things.

    How many cells are still usable in used laptop batteries as he suggested. IE what will it really cost and 2. how much the cell materials cost as there were some materials like the fuses that he didn't mention

    None the less very interesting. It is definitely an interesting project to start with seeing how much it costs to make a 12v cell. Personally of all batteries lithium is the one I am most afraid of due to the fact it could explode or start on fire. Cells are pretty normal though, its just the lithium itself that is a little scary.

    Take for example this lot of 20 laptop batteries is selling for $125 US plus shipping 20X Dell T54FJ Lithium ION Laptop Battery Compatible With Latitude E5430 E5530 | eBay

    how much toward that project would you get, that is about $7 per battery. These are 6 cell batteries so that is about $1.30 us per cell. This would mean that for 600 cells it would run closer to $700 however I am guessing he must be buying them a lot cheaper than this one.
    Last edited by Will2; 02-12-2016 at 09:28 PM.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will2 View Post
    I'm wondering two things.

    How many cells are still usable in used laptop batteries as he suggested. IE what will it really cost and 2. how much the cell materials cost as there were some materials like the fuses that he didn't mention

    None the less very interesting. It is definitely an interesting project to start with seeing how much it costs to make a 12v cell. Personally of all batteries lithium is the one I am most afraid of due to the fact it could explode or start on fire. Cells are pretty normal though, its just the lithium itself that is a little scary.

    Take for example this lot of 20 laptop batteries is selling for $125 US plus shipping 20X Dell T54FJ Lithium ION Laptop Battery Compatible With Latitude E5430 E5530 | eBay

    how much toward that project would you get, that is about $7 per battery. These are 6 cell batteries so that is about $1.30 us per cell. This would mean that for 600 cells it would run closer to $700 however I am guessing he must be buying them a lot cheaper than this one.
    I've been researching this pretty heavy and $300 is a pipe dream if you are trying to buy them on eBay at current asking price. I took apart 4-5 packs (total of 26 cells) and so far have 3 with no voltage, 4 measuring under 2V, 12 measuring 2-2.99V, and 8 measure 3V or more. I just ordered a couple of better Li-ion battery chargers to play with. I have one of the <2V on a simple hobby charger to see what it will do. Two of the ones that tested 3 volts and charged for a bit went to 4 volts, but I was using a meter designed for household wiring, not electronics. I've now sorted them using a more accurate meter. I'm not discouraged, but you need to raid the local merchant's "Recycle Your Batteries Here" box to make this cheap. It's also a lot of work to salvage them. I found breaking them over my knee like piece of kindling works well, but there is still a lot of tape etc to remove to get a clean cell.

    I'll know more as I try to charge individual cells. I also have better packs to try. These first few are from my known bad pile.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atilla View Post
    I've been researching this pretty heavy and $300 is a pipe dream if you are trying to buy them on eBay at current asking price. I took apart 4-5 packs (total of 26 cells) and so far have 3 with no voltage, 4 measuring under 2V, 12 measuring 2-2.99V, and 8 measure 3V or more. I just ordered a couple of better Li-ion battery chargers to play with. I have one of the <2V on a simple hobby charger to see what it will do. Two of the ones that tested 3 volts and charged for a bit went to 4 volts, but I was using a meter designed for household wiring, not electronics. I've now sorted them using a more accurate meter. I'm not discouraged, but you need to raid the local merchant's "Recycle Your Batteries Here" box to make this cheap. It's also a lot of work to salvage them. I found breaking them over my knee like piece of kindling works well, but there is still a lot of tape etc to remove to get a clean cell.

    I'll know more as I try to charge individual cells. I also have better packs to try. These first few are from my known bad pile.
    Good luck with that just be careful those things can pop if you charge them the wrong way. I'm guessing you know a little about them already though.

    I will be trying to salvage some cells to fix my rather expensive cfc1 batteries, that may have bad cells. Hoping I can just swap them with known good cells. Need to figure out voltage on them.

  9. #8
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    To me, it sounds great to do this as cheap as the man claimed, but the more important issue is that I can do this a little at a time. Even if I buy all new batteries, if I only spend a couple or a hundred bucks at a time, I can increase the size of this Giant battery I'll be building until I have something that's actually useful. Until then, I'm trying to figure out a way to make each individual group of cells (which could all be wired parallel) removable to power lights or what not. A dozen of these 18650 batteries(many more and it wouldn't be as portable) will power a few of those really bright led head lamps for quite a while (I'm thinking minimal use of lighting during power outage or while camping, etc.) A little tweaking and could probably have a portable solar charger for this small battery (the dozen cells together)
    GTGallop likes this.

  10. #9
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    some 18650 batteries come without the internal safe charging chip built in, others do. You need the more expensive current regulating chip built in batteries to avoid overheating (potential fire) when charging and discharging.

    From what I understand Tesla currently uses the Panasonic Orbtronic 18650 batteries in both it's cars and Powerwall with their built in current regulating chip.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will2 View Post
    I'm wondering two things.

    How many cells are still usable in used laptop batteries as he suggested. IE what will it really cost and 2. how much the cell materials cost as there were some materials like the fuses that he didn't mention

    None the less very interesting. It is definitely an interesting project to start with seeing how much it costs to make a 12v cell. Personally of all batteries lithium is the one I am most afraid of due to the fact it could explode or start on fire. Cells are pretty normal though, its just the lithium itself that is a little scary.

    Take for example this lot of 20 laptop batteries is selling for $125 US plus shipping 20X Dell T54FJ Lithium ION Laptop Battery Compatible With Latitude E5430 E5530 | eBay

    how much toward that project would you get, that is about $7 per battery. These are 6 cell batteries so that is about $1.30 us per cell. This would mean that for 600 cells it would run closer to $700 however I am guessing he must be buying them a lot cheaper than this one.
    There is some nuance in how he explained that. Basically you have to go back and watch two prior videos that he linked via picture in picture, but the short and simple is that he buys dead laptop batteries and usually it is only one cell that failed - the rest are still viable. He has a lot of labor and equipment tied up in testing and separating the wheat from the chaff. That never factors in to his final. But in the end he gets to $300 by what he spent and how many viable cells he ended up with.

    What he doesn't outline is that these are all heavily used cells and may have less than 50% of their life left. That means that almost immediately your 4.4kw battery is going to start degrading as cells die off. The odds of this wall making 3 kw in 4 years is slim. So you will fairly quickly find yourself in perpetual maintenance mode.

    What he needs to do, or what we need to do, is make that wall with:
    1. Replaceable fuses (the ones that he talked about that would pop when a battery failed).
    2. An LED that indicates which battery / fuse had failed.
    3. Individual replaceable batteries.

    That way you don't have to unsolder the whole damn thing to replace three or four and maintaining your power wall is as easy as maintaining the TV Remote in your living room. Think about it. You get five or six that died off over last month and instead of shelling out thousands of dollars, you go down to Costco and buy a pack of 10 or 20 batteries for $60 and just pop them in. Making this an end-user serviceable product will open it up to a LOT of people and reduce the overall amount of cash that it takes to keep it operational. Because remember - all of the profitability and cost offset models assume the device is working at 100% - and we all know that no solar set up and no battery set up operates at 100% indefinitely. As a matter of fact degradation starts immediately and is measurable in the first year. Then five years down the road batteries are really starting to show it. Go ten years and you have to start considering large replacement. But if you had done small replacements all along, then you kept close to the 100% mark and you won't have another $3500 payment in 10 years.
    KG7NDC

    The only thing that separates man from animal is our affinity for toilet paper.
    Once we as a society lose that affinity we begin to descend back into the animal kingdom, and after three or more days you will find the food chain beginning to invert on itself.

 

 
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