Yesterday Tesla announced its batteries for home and business applications. If they weren't insanely expensive, would they make sense for the Rolling Steel Tent?
Right now I have two 12-volt 104 amp-hour absorbed glass mat batteries. They cost about $300 each. Together they take up a 13" by 13" by 9" chunk of space in a cabinet. They weigh 66 pounds a piece.
So far, they meet my power needs, running a refrigerator, some lights, and charging my electronics. Oh, and my hair clippers about once a month. Really, that's enough for the way I live now.
The Tesla batteries for homes put out 7 and 10 kilowatt-hours. Since I'm not an electricity wiz and can't convert kilowatt-hours to amp-hours in my head, I had to look it up. So, my batteries are putting out something in the neighborhood of 2 kilowatt-hours. Would I need five times as much power? No. But I know some van and RV dwellers who would. They'd like to run an air conditioner and a freezer and a big audio system and huge TV and a water heater and...
But where would a van dweller put a 4' x 3' x 6" battery? Hmmmm, maybe on the roof, beneath the solar panels? (Are they waterproof?) Ah, but how much of those solar panels would you need to keep a 10 kWh battery charged? A lot.
I don't think the Tesla batteries make sense for van dwellers yet. Perhaps there will be smaller, lower power—and cheaper—versions down the road. I can wait.