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Lead Acid Vs. Lithium for Mobile Solar Systems



To see what batteries I recommend, check out this page:

To learn more about the benefits of lithium vs. lead acid, check out these pages:

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Check out my “ultimate vehicle dwelling” website:
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These videos are for fun. What I do for a living is write health books on physical therapy and nutrition (and general health).

My latest health book:

If you are interested in seeing other books that I have created, check out my author bio, on amazon.com, by clicking here:
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43 Comments on "Lead Acid Vs. Lithium for Mobile Solar Systems"

  1. Great informative video, thank you for all your time and effort to make these for us!

    Oh, and I love the shirt!

  2. Matt Carber says:

    Your solar videos are hands down the best out there. So clear and concise. Thanks bud.

  3. Matt Carber says:

    How does this guy not have more views or subscribers?! what the hell?

  4. Colin Oleary says:

    All led batteries sealed or not give off fumes when being charged it's why they all have a vent.It's also why I always shake my head at people having these inside a van or trailer they made into an RV
    Great video

  5. brett roe says:

    Yep lithium is awesome. You can get em even cheaper if you make your own pack out of recycled batteries too. Great fun. There's some good open source stuff out there for arduino too if you want to make your own bms. Will find links if you want em, I'm sure you've seen it all before though. Take care will!

  6. Great comparison! You're right in that many of the books on this topic are not well sequenced or organized. I look forward to your book coming out.

  7. Hey dude this is gonna sound weird but it'd be cool to see a model train system installed going around the whole RV like above head height

  8. Wes says:

    Thank you for the information! I look forward to your upcoming book.

  9. Mr. Ray says:

    Will question. What is the best soap to get pool chlorine off your skin?

  10. Spud Bono says:

    that was awesome. you have an exceptional talent for explaining this kind of stuff.

  11. Phil O says:

    thanx Will so u dont think I should get 4 golfcart 6volt batteries, but lithium, but at 1200 each that would be almost 5k thats alot of dough.

  12. High Watch says:

    Lithium is Radio Active from what I hear. The tailing piles send the geiger counter off the charts.

  13. Hey everyone!! I noticed a common mistake that people make and I want to highlight it. Below, "Elvis Dumpster Dining" mentioned that his 6 volt golf cart batteries provide 190 amp hours, and that 4 of them provide around 800 amp hours. This is plain wrong! This is a common math mistake that I have been seeing a lot lately, and I really need to clear it up here.

    Below is his comment, and below that is my response:

    Elvis Dumpster Dining
    Philip O'Rourke – I bought 4 – 6 volt – 190 amp hour- agm- golf cart batteries from sams club for $170 each. Total capacity is around 800 amp hours which gives me 400 amp hours (%50). I've never been without power and they agm batteries work like a charm.

    High-tec and Frugal RV Travels with Will Prowse
    Ok huge problem with what Elvis is saying here. When you buy a 6 volt, 190 amp hour battery, you need to cut it in half to determine its amp hour rating at 12 volts.

    Example:
    A 100 amp hour 6 volt battery will give 50 amp hour at 12 volts

    If you have 2x 100 amp hour 6 volt batteries, they will deliver 100 amp hours, when wired in series at 12 volts.

    The amp hour rating changes when you change the voltage

    So this means that Elvis's battery bank is 380 amp hours. Because they are lead acid batteries, he has a usable capacity of 190 amp hours. Using 50% depth of discharge is a bad idea. There is a large chance that Elvis is not using his batteries to a full 50%. To increase life of the batteries, he should only discharge to 70%, which means that the usable amp hour rating of his battery bank is around 60 amp hours!!! Not 380 amp hours!

    Simple math just saved the day!!

    6 volt batteries are not a better deal. I made this same math mistake about 6 years ago. Anywho, check out my website to see what I recommend for lithium batteries.

  14. pirucreek says:

    Will Prowse if you want to make a project, use some of these 40V/60V/80V lawnmower batteries to make a system. They have protection circuitry built in the batteries.

  15. maZec31 says:

    Hello Will. Do you know He3da Lithium batteries? It is the future of Lithium batteries. It is safe and it is cheap to build and all batteries are 100% recyclable. So do not plan to update your heavy lead acid batteries soon 🙂

  16. Sean Okelley says:

    those eyes charge my soul… haaaa

  17. Fubritzu says:

    You bees a smart boy.

  18. versatec1 says:

    I don't use a BMS on my lithium battery for multiple reasons works great ..I do however have a low voltage alarm …i always isolate my battery when I leave the truck , so the battery and I have a real time buddy buddy system ! Ref overcharging- not possible – I charge at 16. 8 volts from my scooter (solar will happen ) as the cells reach this the Amps simply drop to almost negligible – I LOVE MY HOME MADE LITHIUM BATTERY – lead acid take a hike, get outta here !! 😂😘👍❤️🙏

  19. LB RoVe says:

    I just had this discussion yesterday. Another benefit of the lithium over lead acid is you do not have to fully charge the lithium battery once you start that cycle. With the Lead acid it is recommended to fully charge them to 100% once you begin the charge cycle. It is not always an easy task if you dont have shore hook ups and the sun is going down. I have an Aims 24 volt 3000w inverter that does not support lithium with 1000 watt solar array. If I knew a year ago what I know now, lithium would be in my camper instead of the AGMs, along with a different inverter. Good to see your on top of this info!

  20. Finn Green says:

    .
    .

    Professor Will

    Anyone ?

    .
    .
    .

  21. How many amps does your 12v refrig use per hour?

  22. smr144 says:

    Damn!!! What a great vid!

  23. magentawave says:

    Will, 2 questions, please… 1) What size is your lithium battery? 2) Does it fit in the house battery tray that's under the hood of your Toyota motorhome?

  24. Terry Cooper says:

    Answered many of my questions. Excellent! Much thanks.

  25. ArgosK9 says:

    I am planning a new van and your solar info is really helping me go a good direction that will make life much better.

  26. waine dodd says:

    deffo work on that book Prowser. Rick dreamsideout is a shit hot artist if you need system drawings

  27. Wil, do you need a special charge controller or solar panel for lithium batteries?

  28. A BOOK??? I need this immediately! My panels have been sitting in my living-room since November and I am finally starting to feel more confident to install. A Will Prowse solar bible to guide the way!?!?……come on dude, I gotta have it!

  29. James Morrin says:

    I just pulled the trigger on a 100ah Lithium ( LiFePO4) battery for my RV. Very expensive but after a lot of research and looking at battery technology it is the best battery for your dollar! The battery I got has a built in BMS system and it charges much like an AGM battery but it doesn't require an absorption or float charges.

    I also ended up getting a high-quality inverter charger that can be adjusted to charge the battery properly.

    Also spent some money on pure copper 0 gauge cable to wire the inverter charger!

    I should make an install video, it is going to be a huge upgrade for the vehicle.

  30. Awesome video you just pushing me to lithium which i should we full time so i think we need to get some lol

  31. Kris Barron says:

    Maybe its just me. But does it look like Will has been appling eye shadow and trying harder at advertising?

  32. egn83b says:

    the way to get cheap batteries go buy a hybrid pack from the salvage yard and buy a bms for the cells and then you come way cheaper even if used but off the shelf 800 to 1200 dollars is a lot of money those who are on a budget.

  33. lithium battery, expensive as hell. What are you going to do when the crackhead steals your $1,600 battery ??

  34. when I get a newer van ill probably go with lithium just for the space and weight savings.

    also wanted to point out that you can safely discharge LiFePo4 to 20% remaining, not 0% remaining. still much better than lead acid of course, but they arent bullet proof, and the rated cycles alone makes them worth the extra cash.

    my question is can they be safely charged off a 14(ish) volt supply as thats what most lead acid batteries charge at.(for split charge relays and standard mppt solar controllers)

  35. now my question is can u use these kind of batteries as your car battery only

  36. Gwen Wittig says:

    great video explains in simple understandable form the huge difference between sealed lead acid and lithium..thank you

  37. Dufisthenics says:

    Great stuff but I am confused. I thought in the RV tour I saw you have lead acid batteries in your set up still?

  38. bigfoot one says:

    Using my 12V/70Ah LiFeYPo4 for years. The BMS still pulls the same amount off power out as on the first day. So happy i decieded to go for Lithium

  39. Someone needs to make an app for battery capacity that lets you know when it gets near the voltage you set. Just a little alarm that beeps on your phone. I'm not sure how complex that would be but I'm sure everyone that uses solar like this would get it. I'm thinking about situations were you left something on and didn't know it and this will protect your batteries.There may be some such device already. If there is please let us know. Thanks for the effort you put in.

  40. Jon Huebner says:

    Great information. Thanks

  41. Super helpful vlog there, Duck Tales! I mean Will, WILL! Nice job. Fav'd. 😀

  42. From your videos I could see you fitting in well in the 1980s & 1990s as well too. Of course the present suits your creativity and intellect quite well. I'm considerably older than you but am really enjoying and getting a lot out of your videos.

  43. I agree with much of what you said but it is still a HUGE chunk of cash up front. A lot of people have been posting videos also saying they are not getting life span as advertised even Tecnomadia reports loss of capacity after 3 years of use. Weight and maintenance would be the biggest benefit I think but not capacity for the dollar in a RV. Solar, generator and just driving can replenish a well balance system rather quickly for many years without huge investment. Don't get me wrong Its great technology but for me the cost needs to come way down. Good video Will Thumbs up.

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