Professional Portable Power Source

  • 6
  • Idea
  • Updated 2 years ago
  • Under Consideration
Merged

This conversation has been merged. Please reference the main conversation: Have you ever considered making a charger that also functions as a batter bank / inverter?

So I just watched a pretty neat video about a Bosch battery lawnmower system available across the pond...  here's the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8n6HLjD0XU

What a concept - a large portable power supply (battery) enabling recharging on the go for professionals who intend to use these tools on large jobs and/or continuously throughout the day!

Hey Ego, you want to own the professional cordless OPE market in North America and offer something to all those companies working in gas powered OPE-Free neighborhoods?  Put something like this together!  The Ego PPPS - Professional Portable Power Source.

How about making it even better, though...  instead of loading it up with 1.7kWh worth of batteries, how about cutting that down to 1kWh or so and adding an optional solar panel to top it up?  The unit itself would be smaller and easier to carry while providing enough power to recharge several Ego packs.  For those contractors who will be using the equipment heavily throughout the day, optional solar panels can keep it topped up and ready to charge.

Many residential solar panels are good for between 200-300W, so offering either a single or double panel solar kit (depending on usage and geographical location) would keep that power pack charging batteries all day long.

Another improvement would be to integrate the actual charger(s) right into the Power Source.  Two or Three charging slots integrated right into the unit would eliminate the need for the standard chargers (which are also not ruggedized for that type of outdoor use), and would be FAR more efficient than converting battery power up to 120V to power a charger that will need to convert back down to 56VDC.

Of course it would also need a couple 120V outputs as well as USB charging capability.

Consider also the marketing advantage it would give a lawn care company who can now claim they are truly solar powered!  :-)
Photo of Blue Angel

Blue Angel, Champion

  • 179,988 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
  • hopeful

Posted 4 years ago

  • 6
Photo of SCDC

SCDC, Champion

  • 54,638 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
Hey blue. I like your ideas, but I'll tell you that I was not impressed with the Bosch batteries or tools. Just me I guess. I liked listening to the German engineers try to get their English right.
Photo of Blue Angel

Blue Angel, Champion

  • 179,988 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
I have a set of Bosch 12v cordless tools that work really well. Having said that, I've been tempted by Mileaukee's 12v lineup since they offer such a wide variety of different tools. Bosch was a leader in 12v tools but not anymore... they haven't expanded their tool lineup in any meaningful way in several years.

Nothing wrong with Bosch's existing 12v stuff, it's rather nice to use actually. But I can't stand having more than one battery platform for a type of tool lineup and I want things Bosch doesn't offer. Time to go black and red. :-)

How Bosch's 12v tools relate to their OPE, I don't know. While usually not class leading, their power tools seem to be well built.
Photo of Jennifer VandeWater

Jennifer VandeWater, Community Manager

  • 81,048 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
Great idea Blue!  We'll be sure to keep this one in our back pocket for future development.
Photo of Kid Rock

Kid Rock

  • 3,612 Points 3k badge 2x thumb
I looked it up. It's $2,600 WOW, too much for me! And it weighs about 100#. I'd rather buy a much less expensive Honda portable RV generator (the one with the pure sine wave output designed to be quiet). Less weight, more power output more power capacity. Very quiet! BUT GAS.
Photo of Kid Rock

Kid Rock

  • 3,612 Points 3k badge 2x thumb
Actually, $2,654 or about $2,900 with tax! According to the Web page review I just read. We're talking close to $3,000... Three grand.
Photo of SCDC

SCDC, Champion

  • 54,418 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
wow, that's just out of reach for most of us.  Rather buy a quality Honda gas generator.  Quiet and reliable.
Photo of Blue Angel

Blue Angel, Champion

  • 179,468 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
Gas just isn't an option in some areas.

True, it's prohibitively expensive. For that cost you'd be better off just buying a bunch of extra batteries and charging them at night.
Photo of Kid Rock

Kid Rock

  • 3,612 Points 3k badge 2x thumb
I bet I bet in some areas in Europe, they might even have restrictions about noise pollution because people live closer to each other. Only benefit to having a large box that you can plug chargers into is that you can plug anything into it. It's a lot more versatile, especially if you have different battery platforms. - - -
Photo of Glen

Glen

  • 2,136 Points 2k badge 2x thumb
Given the cost of the Bosch, having multiple batteries makes more sense. I would suggest a multi-chargerfor pro's...say a box that can accept 5 batteries (in any/all sizes) at a time and fast charge them. This box can either be plugged into AC or hardwired to 12VDC in a work truck. Additionally, the box would have a built-in inverter, that could use power from the batteries to provide 120V AC, 12VDC, USB, etc.
Photo of Kid Rock

Kid Rock

  • 3,612 Points 3k badge 2x thumb
The vehicle would have to be left on. As with electrical losses it would run the car battery dead ...

This is just one Ego mower battery...

» Ego, energy in battery... 7.5 Ah x 56v = 420 Wh
» Car, energy in battery... 45 Ah x 12v = 540 Wh (small car)
» Truck, energy in battery? 60-80 Ah maybe?

Even if the vehicle was left on, the alternator wouldn't be able to keep up with 5 batteries. Maybe one battery and leave the truck on with something on the gas pedal for ~ 40 minutes (fast charge)... If the charger takes ~ 720w? How many watts for the fast charger?

» alt output (off idle) ... ~ 720w = 60 x 12 (Watts = amps x volts ), and at idle I don't think the alternator could even put that out.

Lithium ion batteries just hold so much more energy /power for their size and weight then lead-acid batteries found in cars.
Photo of Glen

Glen

  • 2,136 Points 2k badge 2x thumb
Ya, the batteries would have to be charged at home on AC each night and then put into the work truck in the morning. During the day, the truck would only be used to top off when absolutely necessary. Maybe the box could be plugged into clients power...
Photo of Kid Rock

Kid Rock

  • 3,612 Points 3k badge 2x thumb
Glen, that would make a lot of sense using the customers power. Especially while you're taking a lunch break, I'm sure a lot of customers wouldn't mind if a person plugged into one of their exterior outlets... With permission of course.
Photo of Steve Warren

Steve Warren

  • 984 Points 500 badge 2x thumb
How about simply putting some USB ports on the batteries to charge devices without the need for additional bulky equipment?
Photo of Jennifer VandeWater

Jennifer VandeWater, Community Manager

  • 81,048 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
Good idea!  That's definitely something we're looking into for the future.  Thanks Steve!
Photo of SCDC

SCDC, Champion

  • 54,608 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
Yeah, Steve's recommendation would be the easiest to implement for simple USB charging.
Photo of Kid Rock

Kid Rock

  • 3,612 Points 3k badge 2x thumb
USB ports on Ego batteries? Good idea and might be a selling point but...

I think, if I was on the road... I would just use the USB charger in my car ( which most people have). This would keep the cost down. And keep my phone locked up while it's charging.

I really like the jump start idea... I'll put my comments for that idea a bit lower on this post.
(Edited)
Photo of Steve Warren

Steve Warren

  • 984 Points 500 badge 2x thumb
Another idea, a vehicle jump start pack. Obviously protecting the battery from over draw would be critical, but it would be really awesome to be able to take advantage of the 56V 7.5ah battery for this!
Photo of Kid Rock

Kid Rock

  • 3,612 Points 3k badge 2x thumb
Jump-starting, well that's thinking outside the box. I like that idea!

So being a mechanic at a dealership for a while... I would say jump-starting would be a bit too much of a load for the battery. Car batteries are often rated more than 500 CCA. 500 amps of electricity for 30 seconds at a certain temperature). That's a lot and look at the size of the posts on a car battery vs the contacts on the Ego battery!

Who would want to risk damaging their $380 Ego battery (7.5 Ah) to jump start a car?

BUT! BUT! HEY! LOOK!

But this might be how it could work... could be an adapter/charger with cables that would allow you to attach it to the car battery for charging the car battery only (topping up a bit). Then the car could start on its own battery (assuming the car battery works OK). This would work well if for example you left the lights on.

» Ego energy in battery... 7.5 Ah x 56v = 420 Wh
» Car energy in battery... 45 Ah x 12v = 540 Wh (small car)

Assuming there would be some loss of power due to inefficiencies of converting the voltage. There seems to be plenty of power for a Top-Up.

°°°°°° Google search °°°°°°°
"A standard small car battery is about 45 amp/hours. That means that it will supply over two amps for 20 hours. A battery should not be discharged at a higher current draw, or asked to deliver more amps than its amp/hour rating divided by 10 in order to get maximum capacity out of it."
Photo of Steve Warren

Steve Warren

  • 984 Points 500 badge 2x thumb
Yes, you and I were both thinking on the same wavelength regarding the inherent issue in this application.  However, if Ego made an adapter that allowed the Ego battery to charge up a capacitor designed for the power requirements of a vehicle starter, then no damage would be done to the battery since the load would come from the capacitor(s).  Sure it may drain the Ego battery, but if you're a contractor with a dead battery, what is worse?  Having a single drained tool battery or having a drained vehicle battery requiring jump assistance or worse a tow?
Photo of Blue Angel

Blue Angel, Champion

  • 179,968 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
An Ego "boost pack" adapter could work, but there's a bit more than looking at the Wh of the pack.

You would need to step the voltage down to ~14-15V or so, and all the electronics to do so would need to be rated for the cranking amperage. Possible, yes, but probably very expensive.

Having said that, a 12v battery charger would certainly work. You could use an Ego pack to charge a dead car battery at 20 amps or so, and after a few minutes the car battery would have absorbed enough energy to start the car.

Pretty much what KR said above.

This would be a super handy feature to have baked into a multi-function power source (USB, 12V etc.). Not sure if having it as part of a large power pack would be quite as useful (given the commercial nature of the target market), but it sure couldn't hurt.
Photo of Steve Warren

Steve Warren

  • 984 Points 500 badge 2x thumb
Maybe a 14V charging adapter to connect to the car battery terminal?
Photo of Kid Rock

Kid Rock

  • 3,612 Points 3k badge 2x thumb
You're right in that it would have to be limited to a relatively small boost.

Since the systems run at different voltages it helps to think in watts..

The most powerful Ego mower motor is 1,000W. A modern car starter, ignition, processor, fuel pump and injectors can easily take 2,000 to 3,000w. And there are the electrical losses from changing the voltage...

I just don't think an Ego battery can provide enough amps to start a car on its own. (we agreed on this already).

Plus, the battery in the car would be sucking amps as a charge at the same time the starter and other systems would be taking all those watts.

It would just need to be used as a charger for the car battery. With the car starting on its own like Steve last said.
Photo of Glen

Glen

  • 2,136 Points 2k badge 2x thumb
I don't know...there's no shortage of these devices on the market. I think an Ego battery could easily be made to start a car.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87Zgq7wsi24
Photo of SCDC

SCDC, Champion

  • 54,608 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
I have a 650 Cold Cranking Amps battery in my crappy KIA. Car batteries put out a LOT of amps.  But trickle charging would work.
Photo of Kid Rock

Kid Rock

  • 3,612 Points 3k badge 2x thumb
Glen, that's a 10 Ah device. compared to the 7.5 Ah battery from Ego.

As far as the smaller size and weight for what seems like a huge amount of power in the little device... I can only leave that to Ego to explain.
Photo of Kid Rock

Kid Rock

  • 3,612 Points 3k badge 2x thumb
The second device you posted even has more at 12 Ah. Still Ego maxes at 7.5.

You have good points, I'm just going from the specs and capacities.
Photo of Glen

Glen

  • 2,136 Points 2k badge 2x thumb
Yes, most of the ones sold today are 12 to 18 Ah but a few years ago, they started at about 6 Ah and could start 4 and 6 cylinder engines just fine.
Photo of Glen

Glen

  • 2,136 Points 2k badge 2x thumb
Here's a 6 Ah unit that can put out 300A to start an engine. http://junopower.com/products/jumpr-cars-best-friend-jumpstart-cars-on-the-go
Photo of Kid Rock

Kid Rock

  • 3,612 Points 3k badge 2x thumb
I think the main difference may be that the packs you are linking to use lithium polymer batteries. Li-Po for short. As are commonly used in very high performance RC racing cars and electric airplanes and helicopters that affords them a tremendous amount of discharge over very short time periods. Very high burst current.

The Ego batteries I believe are LCO ( lithium cobalt dioxide) lithium ion which is different.... I could be wrong though!
Photo of Glen

Glen

  • 2,136 Points 2k badge 2x thumb
I don't know enough about the various battery chemistries but it sure seems like the engineers at Ego could figure it out :-)
Photo of Kid Rock

Kid Rock

  • 3,612 Points 3k badge 2x thumb
It wouldn't surprise me if they could. It would be cool if they did.

Still, I would like an Ego high-powered worklight or a vacuum first.

Not for this thread, but they announced a snow blower. I saw it reviewed on workshopaddict. YouTube.
Photo of Blue Angel

Blue Angel, Champion

  • 179,968 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
Those charger packs will have the cells hard wired to the output leads, meaning they crank the car at native voltage of 12.6V or so.

To do that with an Ego pack would require costly step down voltage electronics that could survive the cranking amperage. Not practical.

Sure, Ego packs have enough cells with enough total power output to do the job, but they are configured in strings of 14 cells in series to get up to 56v. Re-configuring the cells into multiple 3 cell series strings would get you there, but that's not possible as the cells are spot welded to high current connections in 56v strings. It is what it is.

A 10-20 amp 12v battery charger might be practical, but not an instant boost pack.
Photo of Kid Rock

Kid Rock

  • 3,612 Points 3k badge 2x thumb
Good points, blu
Photo of Todd Parker

Todd Parker

  • 194 Points 100 badge 2x thumb
I know this an old thread but +1 for the idea of being able to turn our batteries into a "generator" that has USB, DC, and AC outputs. Goal Zero just introduced their new Yeti Li packs and they charge $699 for the same size battery (428Wh) as the 7.5 amp Ego battery pack (420 Wh)
http://www.goalzero.com/p/423/Goal-Zero-Yeti-400-Lithium-Portable-Power-Station

If these were reasonably priced, I'm sure tons of people here would scoop these up since we own so many high capacity batteries  for our tools. I know there is a decent price difference to add the AC inverter so if there was a inexpensive USB adaptor that slides onto the battery and a beefier one with a Goal Zero like feature set, that would be even better. I'd buy a bunch.

Maybe Jennifer VandeWater has an update on this one?
Photo of Blue Angel

Blue Angel, Champion

  • 179,968 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
If Ego offered this as an affordable option, seeing how it would be sold through Home Depot it would appeal to way more people than just those who already own Ego tools.

Ego, how about we get the price of the bare batteries in line and use a few "accessory" tools like the proposed power station to broaden your audience? ;-)
Photo of Steve Valdes

Steve Valdes

  • 6,194 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
Here's another alternative that I was looking at on Indiegogo a while back to use in our solar paneled trailer which we use to recharge the Ego batteries.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/grengine-an-evolution-in-portable-power-gadget-technology--3/x/57...

Because it is in pre-production we had to go with two 12v 250 Ah AGM batteries. That equals 6000Wh (80% = 4800Wh) of recharge capacity before solar recharging; which means we can recharge approx 17 x 5Ah Ego batteries before reaching 80% discharge. I think I got that right?.
Photo of Blue Angel

Blue Angel, Champion

  • 179,988 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
I'd love to see some pics of your ur setup Steve!

5Ah batteries are 50.4V nominal x 5 = 252Wh. At 100% efficiency you'd get 19 recharges at 80% on your battery bank, but in reality it would be a little less. :-)
Photo of Steve Valdes

Steve Valdes

  • 6,194 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
Thanks for the calculations. I will post some pictures after I install my new AGM batteries.
Photo of Ego..Fan

Ego..Fan

  • 104 Points 100 badge 2x thumb
This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Power Station ! .CAMPING - TAILGATING ..HURRICANE SEASON! up to 4 x 7.5ah but r....

Power Station ! .CAMPING - TAILGATING ..HURRICANE SEASON! up to 4 x 7.5ah  but  runs on any 2 batteries?

We all have Batteries.

An Ego Power Station / Generator replacement would be Awesome!

Could have couple USB ports and the ability to charge all 4 at once. 

Might as well add a couple of hidden car battery jumpers poles on there.

Keep it under 399 and It would definitely make my Christmas List.

This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies.