Two weeks ago we finally escaped the intense Arizona desert heat in Lake Havasu City, and headed to nearby Flagstaff. Sitting at elevation 7000 ft, it’s many degrees cooler and has things that are green.
We came here intending to cool off – both our bodies and on the bus projects. We were also tempted here to be temporary neighbors with some fellow nomadic friends.
We had dreams of lots of hiking, catching up on some projects, exploring Flagstaff, birthday celebrations and beer.
Upon arriving, some prior conversations we had started inquiring about the state of lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4 – or LFP) battery technology for RV use elevated from intriguing to interesting. This newer LFP isn’t your old school lithium ion battery chemistry that is known for exploding – it’s non-combustable, making it vastly safer.
As our bus came with no house battery system or inverter, tackling that project was on our priority list – especially with planning to go off-grid at Burning Man at the end of the month.
One conversation lead to another, and we were introduced to a supplier of the technology – who happens to be just down the hill in Phoenix.
As we know that Burning Man would present an ideal opportunity to field test such a system, if we’re going to get it done – we had to move quick to take advantage of the Phoenix connection before leaving the area.
So instead of our chill no bus project escape, our time in Flagstaff has been consumed with intense all-nighter research into batteries & inverters, house electrical systems and taking measurements of all our bays. We’ve been weighing the benefits and risks of a bank of lithium ion versus AGM batteries, corresponding with our braintrust of electrically inclined friends and tracking down our ideal inverter.
We’ve decided that while lithium ion batteries have not fully proven their potential yet, especially for RV house electrical systems – heading to Phoenix this week is worthwhile. If it continues to hold our interest, by the end of the week we could have one very interesting and cutting edge house electrical system that could be a fantastic platform for our eventual solar install.
And yes, you can bet I’ll force Chris to sit down and write a more technical report.
So, this morning we’re off to Phoenix. Back into the intense Arizona desert heat.
I haven’t even checked the weather forecast for the expected highs.. I really don’t want to know.
By the way, we should note – we are not trying to motivate anyone to follow us on this path. We are not selling these batteries, we are not affiliates with any battery dealer, we paid for all our components and nor do we have any financial stake in the technology beyond our own systems. We are simply full time RVing technomads who are designing our own cutting edge home & office on wheels, and are sharing our research & project. Of course we’d love to have more folks out there pioneering and helping us take the arrows in our backs. Right now, we do not consider this technology ready for the mainstream, and those contemplating this technology need to be a bit savvy with electrical and battery technology.