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Solar Books provides the technically correct, up-to-date information for anyone wanting to design and install stand-alone or grid connected solar for homes or properties.

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At rvbooks.com.au you'll find over 100 exclusive articles dealing with the intricacies of Travel Trailers and Motorhomes.  RV Books is one of a very few places on the internet to get reliable, unbiased and un-bought information to help you take your home on the road.

Featured article

Battery Charging Quickly and Deeply by a Generator

Updated 2020

Battery charging quickly and deeply by a generator

Battery charging quickly and deeply by a generator is totally possible. You must, however, know how to do it. This article reveals all. It explains why and how. The article is valid for both 120-volt and 240-volt generators.

All such generators have a 12-volt DC socket. Some generator makers label it ‘Battery Charger’. This socket, however, is intended to power small 12-volt devices, such as a TV directly. Its output is a typically unregulated 13.6-volts. It drops under load (to 12.6-volts or less). That voltage is, nevertheless, fine for running 12-volt lights and appliances.

Battery charging quickly and deeply by a generator - lead acid and AGM batteries

A generator's typically unregulated 13.6-volts is far too low for full and speedy battery charging. It may half-charge a flat 100 amp-hour lead-acid or AGM battery within six or so hours. From there on, charging progressively reduces. It may take further 24 hours to charge it over 70%. And a week or more more to fully charge it.

The solution is simple and effective. Charge the battery via a 240-volt (or 120-volt) battery charger powered by the generator's 240-volt (or 120-volt) outlet. The size charger required (and its safe charging rates) varies with battery capacity and types. This is particularly so for LiFePO4 batteries.

As a general guide, most lead type batteries below 180-200 amp-hour typically have a recommended maximum charging current of less than 40 amps. For these a 25-amp charger is adequate.

Charging Voltage

Recommended maximum charging voltages for most AGM or gel batteries are around 14.6 volts,but always check the manufacturer’s recommendation.

For lead-acid and AGM batteries once fully charged, to avoid overcharging and to extend battery life, the charger should drop to about 13.2-13.3 volts.

Charging in high temperatures

Battery maker charging recommendations usually for an ambient temperature of  250 C. Regardless of battery type, if charged in a high-ambient temperature environment, such as an engine bay, check the battery manufacturer’s related recommendations. Some batteries (particularly AGMs) are not suitable for engine bay installation. Some battery warranties are void if installed in engine bay temperatures.

If there is no realistic way of relocating a battery in higher temperature environment, if feasible charge it a lower maximum voltage. The lowest setting is generally advisable.

It generally takes 40% of the total charging time to recharge the last 20% of a battery, this is the most important stage to help improve the battery’s service life and overall performance. Using a fast battery charger with pre-set absorption times on smart chargers may not provide enough time to fully charge the battery. Pic: Redarc.

The importance of battery specification

read more...

Articles by category

Home systems

  • All solar house – self-building an off-grid all solar house

    We self-built our all solar house in Australia’s far north. It is beautiful and practicable. Living with solar alone is 100% possible. Here’s how and why.

  • Battery capacity required for home and property solar

    This article explains the battery capacity required for home and property solar during periods when there is no solar or other energy input. Solar capacity is now cheap. Battery capacity is increasingly costly. Quality solar modules produce usable energy even under light cloud. Install as much solar as you can. This ensures batteries fully charge ...

  • Best Batteries for Stand-Alone Solar

    Knowing the best batteries for stand-alone solar saves huge sums. This solarbooks.com guide explains how and why. It’s all to do with having enough energy and having enough power. Energy and power, however, are different concepts. For stand-alone solar it is mostly energy, not power, that matters.

  • Charging your electric car at home

    Charging your electric car at home Charging your electric car at home or workplace is readily feasible. Most electric vehicles have a charging unit inbuilt. Check with the vehicle maker for charging options available. This article about charging your electric car at home gives some indication of how many kilometres you can drive. Typical electric vehicles have some ...

  • Convert to your own all solar home

    This vital easy to read guide shows you how to convert to your own all solar home at minimal cost. You can readily do this in much of the world between 50-degree latitudes north/south. This easy to read article shows that doing so can save you thousands of dollars. 

  • Ensuring Successful Solar

    Our all solar house was self-built in five months. Hi-tech construction resulted in a superb and workable waterfront home in Australia’s remote far north. It was even built using mainly solar energy. Here’s how we did it.

  • Fuel cells for homes and properties

    Fuel cells for homes and properties provide clean silent electricity. High current prices hinder their acceptance, but this may soon change. Fuel cells enhance solar. Furthermore, they may all but eliminate our need for battery storage. Fuel cells hugely reduce harmful emissions.

  • Generators for Home and Property Systems

    A backup generator is close to essential for home and property stand-alone solar. You can choose to down without but doing so may triple the cost of that system.

  • Going off the electricity grid

    We’ve recently upgraded our system. It now produces three to four times more electricity than we use on almost all days. We are thus not entirely free of the grid – but have yet to draw from it. At night, (or when overcast) we run from battery power. During each day we sell 15-30 kWh ...

  • Grid connect solar problems – what vendors may not reveal

    Grid connect solar problems include, false promotion and vendor claims, incompetent installation etc. Here’s what vendors may not tell you.

  • Have portable solar in your rented home

    It is often feasible to have portable solar in your rented home. Here’s how to do it simply, safely, legally and cheaply using readily bought parts. It requires space that faces the sun for some daylight hours year-round. It must also be within 50 degrees latitude north or south. You use high efficiency maximum-size solar ...

  • How much solar input – here’s how to find out

    Knowing how much solar input is coming in like measuring rainfall. It uses units called Peak Sun Hours instead of inches or millimetres. Here’s how and why.

  • How to stop paying for electricity

    We always wanted to stop paying for electricity, and now we have.  It getting easier to free yourself from dependence on the grid. We decided against going off grid. Why waste excess electricity when someone is willing to pay for it!

  • Inverters for Homes and Properties

    Inverters for homes and properties convert the typical 24 or 48 volt battery bank’s output into grid-like 110 or 230 volt alternating current. Consider only those marketed as sine-wave (not modified sine wave etc). High quality sine wave inverters produce electricity that is ‘cleaner’ than the average grid supply. Other types do not. Their output  is ...

  • Living with solar – how make it all work

    Living with solar successfully requires being totally aware of the energy you use. Here’s a general guide to how to make it all work.

  • Problems with stand-alone solar – much applies also to RVs

    Problems with stand-alone solar include over-selling, vendor claims, poor installation etc. Here’s plain English answers to the most common questions.

  • Refrigerators for Home and Property Solar

    Knowing refrigeration basics is vital! Doing so can literally save you thousands of dollars on the energy needed to drive them.

  • Solar charging your electric car at home

    Charging your electric car at home or work is already totally feasible from a standard grid connection. Many already do so. Small electric cars, such as a Nissan Leaf, require a usually existing standard 230 volt ac 15 amp power point and a power cable that plugs into the car’s on-board charge.

  • Solar Modules for Homes and Properties

    Top quality solar modules for homes and properties catch 18% to 20% of the solar energy available. This is typically 140 watts-180 watts per square metre in full sun from about 10 am to 2 pm. Input tapes off before and after. The most efficient are priced accordingly.

  • Solar Regulators for Home and Property Systems

    Solar regulators for home and property systems manipulate the energy that solar modules produce. They connect between solar modules and the rest of the system and ensure batteries are optimally charged. Most solar regulators for home and property accept a range of solar input voltage: typically 12 – 110 volts dc.

  • Solar Shadowing – reducing the losses

    Solar shadowing is like blocking a water pipe. If one cell is fully shadowed, it does not just block current through that cell, it blocks the entire string. Because of this, only a few shadowed cells can block your total solar output. If partially shadowed, (e.g. by light cloud) the loss is proportional to the amount of sunlight ...

  • TOP TEN SOLAR SCAMS

    Some solar scams are widespread while others are rare. It’s vital to keep yourself informed. Here are 10 scams. There are more to come.

  • Upgrading an existing solar system has unexpected traps

    Upgrading an existing solar system has unexpected traps. It is often better to scrap, use elsewhere, or attempt to sell that existing, and install a new one. This is particularly so with grid-connect systems and doing so with stand-alone systems is still tricky.

  • Vital things about solar in the USA

    This excellent USA system assisted USA’s residential and commercial solar installation to increase by over 1,600% since 2006. That’s a compound annual growth of 76%. It enables home-owners to use the credit to offset their personal income tax. It applies when home-owners buy the systems outright and have them installed on their homes. In the ...

RV systems

  • Battery capacity required for cabins and RVs

    Solar and battery capacity required for cabins and RVs is usually limited. As with homes and properties always have maximum solar capacity. Consider using LiFePO4 batteries as 80% of their nominal capacity is available. LiFePO4 batteries are also light and compact. Lead acid and AGMs, however, are fine for converted coaches. For those, size and weight ...

  • Battery Charging Quickly and Deeply by a Generator

    Battery charging quickly and deeply by a generator is very possible but only if you know how it has to be done. This article shows why and how.

  • Fuel cells for RVs

    Fuel cells for RVs provide electricity cleanly and silently. Their high price is still hindering acceptance but that may well change as new types are being developed. Most use hydrogen derived indirectly from methanol.

  • Generators for Cabins and RVs

    Generators for cabins and RVs vary hugely in noise level, peak and continuous output. Price and quality varies likewise. Here’s how and what to choose. The main need for generators for cabins and RVs is to power compressor fridges, LED lights and charge small computers and mobile phones. Some also backup solar – ideally via associated ...

  • Grid-connect solar modules for RVs – here’s how you can use them

    Using grid connect solar modules for RVs is readily done but needs an MPPT regulator. This article by Collyn Rivers explains how and why it is done.

  • Have portable solar in your rented home

    It is often feasible to have portable solar in your rented home. Here’s how to do it simply, safely, legally and cheaply using readily bought parts. It requires space that faces the sun for some daylight hours year-round. It must also be within 50 degrees latitude north or south. You use high efficiency maximum-size solar ...

  • Inverters for travel trailers – and motor homes too

    Buying inverters for can confuse. Prices vary for products that may seem identical but are not. Here’s what to buy.

  • Inverters for Cabins and RVs

    Inverters convert both solar and alternator output into 110 or 230 volts ac for your cabin or RV’s grid voltage appliances.

  • Lithium-iron batteries in RVs – they are safe to use

    Lithium-ion batteries in RVs – they are safe to use. They deliver a lot of energy and pack a lot of power but need specialised knowledge to use safely and reliably. Here’s how and why for the LiFePO4 variety.

  • Our Solar Equipped RVs

    Our first solar equipped RV was a rare 1974 Westfalia VW Kombi. We added a single 80 watt Solarex solar module (that then cost $650!). It charged a 100 Ah lead acid deep cycle battery. It (plus the alternator) powered two 20 watt halogen lights, and a 40 watt Engel fridge. All proved to be ...

  • Our solar equipped RVs – all proved a major success

    We personally drove our solar equipped RVs some 130,000 km over most of Australia’s inland dirt tracks. Nothing failed in that distance (and 20 years).

  • Problems with stand-alone solar – much applies also to RVs

    Problems with stand-alone solar include over-selling, vendor claims, poor installation etc. Here’s plain English answers to the most common questions.

  • Refrigerators for cabins and RVs

    Refrigerators for cabins and RVs can be LP gas or electrically-powered (ideally by solar). Cabins usually have roof space for the 200-300 watts solar capacity required. Also feasible are portable solar modules placed outside when you use the cabin.  RVs less available space for solar modules. Buy only the efficient monocrystalline.

  • RV electrical work – Victorian exception

    A licence is required in Australia for electrical installations over 50 volts ac. Victoria claims that RVs are not electrical installations and thus exempt. It accordingly classifies RVs (legally) as ‘plug-in appliances’. Furthermore, it states that licensing is outside its jurisdiction.

  • RV Solar and Alternator Charging

    You can make RV solar and alternator charging work. It is complex on post-2014 vehicles. This ongoingly updated article explains how. 

  • Solar Basics You Need to Know

    This article by Collyn Rivers outlines the solar basics you need to know to ensure your self-built solar works first time and every time – at minimal cost.

  • Solar input available for travel trailers – know that available and increase it too

    Knowing the solar input available for is vital, especially up north. This article shows how to know that available and increase it too.

  • Solar Modules for Cabins and RVs

    For RVs in particular, space for solar modules is usually at a premium. It is thus best to use solar for lighting, water pumping, TV, laptop computer. If using solar keep compressor fridge below about 220 litres. Use LP gas (or diesel) for heating and cooking. Buy the most efficient solar modules on the market. They ...

  • Solar Regulators for RVs

    Solar regulators for RVs accept whatever output is produced by the solar array. They optimise that to whatever needed for optimal charging. Most solar regulators for RVs also accept input from the RV’s alternator.

  • Solar regulators with current shunts – how to fix misleading readings

    Updated 2020 Solar Regulators with Current Shunts If connected incorrectly, solar regulators with current shunts may register twice the true solar input.  Here’s why – and how to fix it. An RV magazine article once described a solution to a non-existent problem. That Australia’s sun can produce excess output that overheats solar regulators. It quoted a Plasmatronics PL ...

  • Using correct size cables for RVs is essential

    Using correct size cables for RVs is essential. Get it wrong and your fridge may not cool nor batteries fully charge for the entire life of your RV. Anyone sufficiently capable can legally cable RVs and cabins as long as no part involves grid voltage. This article outlines why.

  • Vital things about solar in the USA

    This excellent USA system assisted USA’s residential and commercial solar installation to increase by over 1,600% since 2006. That’s a compound annual growth of 76%. It enables home-owners to use the credit to offset their personal income tax. It applies when home-owners buy the systems outright and have them installed on their homes. In the ...

Batteries

  • Are Lithium-ion Batteries Worth Their Price – homes and properties

    There are various types of lithium-ion batteries. Those used for homes, properties and RVs are usually LiFePO4. All are about one-third of the bulk and weight of traditional batteries. Here, however, direct comparison ceases. LiFePO4s have far less limits on depth of discharge. They can be routinely discharged to 20% remaining.

  • Battery Breakthrough

    An Australian development may make battery storage cheaper and safer.

  • Battery capacity required for cabins and RVs

    Solar and battery capacity required for cabins and RVs is usually limited. As with homes and properties always have maximum solar capacity. Consider using LiFePO4 batteries as 80% of their nominal capacity is available. LiFePO4 batteries are also light and compact. Lead acid and AGMs, however, are fine for converted coaches. For those, size and weight ...

  • Battery capacity required for home and property solar

    This article explains the battery capacity required for home and property solar during periods when there is no solar or other energy input. Solar capacity is now cheap. Battery capacity is increasingly costly. Quality solar modules produce usable energy even under light cloud. Install as much solar as you can. This ensures batteries fully charge ...

  • Battery Charging Quickly and Deeply by a Generator

    Battery charging quickly and deeply by a generator is very possible but only if you know how it has to be done. This article shows why and how.

  • Best Batteries for Stand-Alone Solar

    Knowing the best batteries for stand-alone solar saves huge sums. This solarbooks.com guide explains how and why. It’s all to do with having enough energy and having enough power. Energy and power, however, are different concepts. For stand-alone solar it is mostly energy, not power, that matters.

  • Connecting travel trailer batteries – there’s no magic way of doing it!

    Connecting batteries is often misunderstood. This article explains what’s possible, and why and how to do it successfully.

  • Electric and Hybrid Vehicles

    Globally, there is move to electric vehicles. Apart from minor rubber tyre particles they are virtually emission free.They are also about 80% efficient. If, however, their electricity is from fossil-fuelled power stations, their emissions are similar to year 2020 petrol-fuelled (or hybrid) vehicles.

  • Electric Vehicle Batteries

    The market for quickly-rechargeable, light and compact batteries is huge. One or another battery will eventually evolve. When it does, electric-only vehicles are likely to have a range unthinkable using fossil-fuels. Moreover, in the meantime, hybrids are an excellent compromise. Furthermore, see also Electric Vehicles – Hybrids.

  • Interconnecting batteries in series or parallel- here’s how and why

    Interconnecting batteries in series or parallel is totally feasible. But its best to know how it works – and the limitations of each. Collyn Rivers explains.

  • Inverters for travel trailers – and motor homes too

    Buying inverters for can confuse. Prices vary for products that may seem identical but are not. Here’s what to buy.

  • Lithium batteries in travel trailers and motor homes – their safety and usage

    Lithium-ion batteries in and motor homes pack a lot of energy but need specialised knowledge to use safely and reliably. Here’s how and why – and how to install and use them.

  • Lithium-iron batteries in RVs – they are safe to use

    Lithium-ion batteries in RVs – they are safe to use. They deliver a lot of energy and pack a lot of power but need specialised knowledge to use safely and reliably. Here’s how and why for the LiFePO4 variety.

  • Solar regulators with current shunts – how to fix misleading readings

    Updated 2020 Solar Regulators with Current Shunts If connected incorrectly, solar regulators with current shunts may register twice the true solar input.  Here’s why – and how to fix it. An RV magazine article once described a solution to a non-existent problem. That Australia’s sun can produce excess output that overheats solar regulators. It quoted a Plasmatronics PL ...

  • What Peukert really meant – but is so often misunderstood

    Peukert’s Law, describing battery capacity, became misunderstood following a flawed US article in the mid 1980s. Here’s what Peukert really meant.

Legal & Compliance

  • RV electrical work – Victorian exception

    A licence is required in Australia for electrical installations over 50 volts ac. Victoria claims that RVs are not electrical installations and thus exempt. It accordingly classifies RVs (legally) as ‘plug-in appliances’. Furthermore, it states that licensing is outside its jurisdiction.

Health & Safety

  • Using correct size cables for RVs is essential

    Using correct size cables for RVs is essential. Get it wrong and your fridge may not cool nor batteries fully charge for the entire life of your RV. Anyone sufficiently capable can legally cable RVs and cabins as long as no part involves grid voltage. This article outlines why.

General

  • Are Lithium-ion Batteries Worth Their Price – homes and properties

    There are various types of lithium-ion batteries. Those used for homes, properties and RVs are usually LiFePO4. All are about one-third of the bulk and weight of traditional batteries. Here, however, direct comparison ceases. LiFePO4s have far less limits on depth of discharge. They can be routinely discharged to 20% remaining.

  • Convert to your own all solar home

    This vital easy to read guide shows you how to convert to your own all solar home at minimal cost. You can readily do this in much of the world between 50-degree latitudes north/south. This easy to read article shows that doing so can save you thousands of dollars. 

  • Electric and Hybrid Vehicles

    Globally, there is move to electric vehicles. Apart from minor rubber tyre particles they are virtually emission free.They are also about 80% efficient. If, however, their electricity is from fossil-fuelled power stations, their emissions are similar to year 2020 petrol-fuelled (or hybrid) vehicles.

  • Electric Vehicle History

    Updated 2020 Electric vehicle history Electric vehicles have existed for longer than most people think. They long pre-date petrol and diesel. This electric vehicle history by Collyn Rivers is an overview. The first dc electric motor (1866). Pic: Siemens UK. The electric battery was invented by Allessandro Volta in 1800. In 1820, Christian Oersted showed electricity could produce a ...

  • Electric Vehicle Home Charging

    Many existing home grid-connect solar systems have excess capacity outside peak periods. Solar energy fed in during the day can be re-drawn during off-peak periods, for much the same price, to charge an electric car. This is because many grid networks have excess capacity outside peak periods. Furthermore, such charging extends battery life: all dislike ...

  • Electric Vehicle Motors

    Updated 2020 Electric vehicle motors AC/DC Electric vehicle motors use one or other of the two main kinds of electricity: alternating current and direct current. Both are effective as electric vehicle motors. Alternating Current (AC) is where electric current constantly reverses its direction. It is that used in grid power supplies. In Australia and many other countries it cycles ...

  • Energy and Power

    LiFePO4 batteries are the Svetlanas of the solar world. Lead acids and AGMs are the equivalents of young children. Costly batteries can release a great deal more power but, unless you truly need it, buying them is like hiring a weightlifter to stack those cans. If lead acid (and even more so AGM) battery bank exceeds about 350 ...

  • Ensuring Successful Solar

    Our all solar house was self-built in five months. Hi-tech construction resulted in a superb and workable waterfront home in Australia’s remote far north. It was even built using mainly solar energy. Here’s how we did it.

  • Generators for Cabins and RVs

    Generators for cabins and RVs vary hugely in noise level, peak and continuous output. Price and quality varies likewise. Here’s how and what to choose. The main need for generators for cabins and RVs is to power compressor fridges, LED lights and charge small computers and mobile phones. Some also backup solar – ideally via associated ...

  • Generators for Home and Property Systems

    A backup generator is close to essential for home and property stand-alone solar. You can choose to down without but doing so may triple the cost of that system.

  • Going off the electricity grid

    We’ve recently upgraded our system. It now produces three to four times more electricity than we use on almost all days. We are thus not entirely free of the grid – but have yet to draw from it. At night, (or when overcast) we run from battery power. During each day we sell 15-30 kWh ...

  • Have portable solar in your rented home

    It is often feasible to have portable solar in your rented home. Here’s how to do it simply, safely, legally and cheaply using readily bought parts. It requires space that faces the sun for some daylight hours year-round. It must also be within 50 degrees latitude north or south. You use high efficiency maximum-size solar ...

  • How much solar capacity do I need?

    Updated 2020 How much solar capacity do I need This article answers how much solar capacity do I need. It’s valid anywhere in the world that has enough sun. It can save you a lot of money. The map below shows the amount you typically have available in Australia. Generally, solar is readily feasible where the daily amount ...

  • How much solar energy available?

    A guide to your most probable solar input where and when – in any part of the world

  • How much solar input – here’s how to find out

    Knowing how much solar input is coming in like measuring rainfall. It uses units called Peak Sun Hours instead of inches or millimetres. Here’s how and why.

  • How to stop paying for electricity

    We always wanted to stop paying for electricity, and now we have.  It getting easier to free yourself from dependence on the grid. We decided against going off grid. Why waste excess electricity when someone is willing to pay for it!

  • Hydrogen electric vehicles

    It is now virtually certain that about half of all cars will be electric by 2030. The current part fossil-fuel/part electric hybrids will be phased out as battery storage technology advances (to provide comparable range) and the recharge network becomes global.

  • Inverters for Homes and Properties

    Inverters for homes and properties convert the typical 24 or 48 volt battery bank’s output into grid-like 110 or 230 volt alternating current. Consider only those marketed as sine-wave (not modified sine wave etc). High quality sine wave inverters produce electricity that is ‘cleaner’ than the average grid supply. Other types do not. Their output  is ...

  • Our Solar Equipped RVs

    Our first solar equipped RV was a rare 1974 Westfalia VW Kombi. We added a single 80 watt Solarex solar module (that then cost $650!). It charged a 100 Ah lead acid deep cycle battery. It (plus the alternator) powered two 20 watt halogen lights, and a 40 watt Engel fridge. All proved to be ...

  • RV Solar and Alternator Charging

    You can make RV solar and alternator charging work. It is complex on post-2014 vehicles. This ongoingly updated article explains how. 

  • RV Solar Basics

    Until 2010, solar modules were so costly that intending users did complex sums to minimise the amount of solar input required. Those days have gone: solar is now so cheap (10% of that 2010 price) that the only (RV) limitation today is the space available for solar modules.

  • Solar Basics You Need to Know

    This article by Collyn Rivers outlines the solar basics you need to know to ensure your self-built solar works first time and every time – at minimal cost.

  • Solar Regulators for Home and Property Systems

    Solar regulators for home and property systems manipulate the energy that solar modules produce. They connect between solar modules and the rest of the system and ensure batteries are optimally charged. Most solar regulators for home and property accept a range of solar input voltage: typically 12 – 110 volts dc.

  • Solar Shadowing – reducing the losses

    Solar shadowing is like blocking a water pipe. If one cell is fully shadowed, it does not just block current through that cell, it blocks the entire string. Because of this, only a few shadowed cells can block your total solar output. If partially shadowed, (e.g. by light cloud) the loss is proportional to the amount of sunlight ...

  • Solar usage in the USA

    In 2004, the average price of an installed rooftop solar module was about US$3.50 per watt. The cost of solar in the USA is now plummeting. In the four years since 2016, solar modules prices have (in all USA markets) fallen from US$ 0.63 per watt to about $US 0.20 per watt.

  • TOP TEN SOLAR SCAMS

    Some solar scams are widespread while others are rare. It’s vital to keep yourself informed. Here are 10 scams. There are more to come.

  • Vital things about solar in the USA

    This excellent USA system assisted USA’s residential and commercial solar installation to increase by over 1,600% since 2006. That’s a compound annual growth of 76%. It enables home-owners to use the credit to offset their personal income tax. It applies when home-owners buy the systems outright and have them installed on their homes. In the ...

  • What Peukert really meant – but is so often misunderstood

    Peukert’s Law, describing battery capacity, became misunderstood following a flawed US article in the mid 1980s. Here’s what Peukert really meant.

Electric Vehicles

  • Charging your electric car at home

    Charging your electric car at home Charging your electric car at home or workplace is readily feasible. Most electric vehicles have a charging unit inbuilt. Check with the vehicle maker for charging options available. This article about charging your electric car at home gives some indication of how many kilometres you can drive. Typical electric vehicles have some ...

  • Electric and Hybrid Vehicles

    Globally, there is move to electric vehicles. Apart from minor rubber tyre particles they are virtually emission free.They are also about 80% efficient. If, however, their electricity is from fossil-fuelled power stations, their emissions are similar to year 2020 petrol-fuelled (or hybrid) vehicles.

  • Electric Vehicle Batteries

    The market for quickly-rechargeable, light and compact batteries is huge. One or another battery will eventually evolve. When it does, electric-only vehicles are likely to have a range unthinkable using fossil-fuels. Moreover, in the meantime, hybrids are an excellent compromise. Furthermore, see also Electric Vehicles – Hybrids.

  • Electric vehicle efficiency & emissions

    Updated 2020 Electric Vehicle Efficiency & Emissions This article, by Collyn Rivers, discusses electric vehicle efficiency and emissions. All road vehicles emit pollution (and are health issues). Emissions are in two main forms. One includes haze and particulate matter. The other are ‘greenhouse gases’, These include carbon dioxide and methane. Vehicle pollution – 2019. Pic: Original source unknown Particulate ...

  • Electric Vehicle History

    Updated 2020 Electric vehicle history Electric vehicles have existed for longer than most people think. They long pre-date petrol and diesel. This electric vehicle history by Collyn Rivers is an overview. The first dc electric motor (1866). Pic: Siemens UK. The electric battery was invented by Allessandro Volta in 1800. In 1820, Christian Oersted showed electricity could produce a ...

  • Electric Vehicle Home Charging

    Many existing home grid-connect solar systems have excess capacity outside peak periods. Solar energy fed in during the day can be re-drawn during off-peak periods, for much the same price, to charge an electric car. This is because many grid networks have excess capacity outside peak periods. Furthermore, such charging extends battery life: all dislike ...

  • Electric Vehicle Hybrids

    Updated 2020 Electric vehicle hybrids Electric vehicle hybrids are powered by either or both electricity and fossil fuel. They are far from new. In 1898, Ferdinand Porsche developed a hybrid car (the Lohner-Porsche). Its petrol engine ran a generator powering electric motors in its front wheels. The car had a range of 60 km (about 37 miles) ...

  • Electric Vehicle Motors

    Updated 2020 Electric vehicle motors AC/DC Electric vehicle motors use one or other of the two main kinds of electricity: alternating current and direct current. Both are effective as electric vehicle motors. Alternating Current (AC) is where electric current constantly reverses its direction. It is that used in grid power supplies. In Australia and many other countries it cycles ...

  • Electric Vehicles Energy Use

    Electric-only vehicles of today are most suited to urban driving, but as battery technology inevitably advances, and charging facilities increase, these will be decreasing issues.

  • Hydrogen electric vehicles

    It is now virtually certain that about half of all cars will be electric by 2030. The current part fossil-fuel/part electric hybrids will be phased out as battery storage technology advances (to provide comparable range) and the recharge network becomes global.

  • Solar charging your electric car at home

    Charging your electric car at home or work is already totally feasible from a standard grid connection. Many already do so. Small electric cars, such as a Nissan Leaf, require a usually existing standard 230 volt ac 15 amp power point and a power cable that plugs into the car’s on-board charge.

Recently updated articles

Solar usage in the USA

In 2004, the average price of an installed rooftop solar module was about US$3.50 per watt. The cost of solar in the USA is now plummeting. In the four years since 2016, solar modules prices have (in all USA markets) fallen from US$ 0.63 per watt to about $US 0.20 per watt.

Electric Vehicle Batteries

The market for quickly-rechargeable, light and compact batteries is huge. One or another battery will eventually evolve. When it does, electric-only vehicles are likely to have a range unthinkable using fossil-fuels. Moreover, in the meantime, hybrids are an excellent compromise. Furthermore, see also Electric Vehicles – Hybrids.

Electric Vehicle Home Charging

Many existing home grid-connect solar systems have excess capacity outside peak periods. Solar energy fed in during the day can be re-drawn during off-peak periods, for much the same price, to charge an electric car. This is because many grid networks have excess capacity outside peak periods. Furthermore, such charging extends battery life: all dislike ongoing deep discharges.

Solar Success explains how to design and build home and property systems that ensures affordable solar success first and every time.

Making renewable solar energy work effectively involves more than purchasing lots of solar panels.  It's a process that involves reduced consumption, energy efficiency and effective use of technology.  This book covers all those topics and more.

Whether you're building a new home or adding solar to an existing structure, this is the one book you can't afford to be without.

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Solar Success book explains how to design and build home and property systems that ensures affordable solar success first and every time.

Whether you’re building a new home or adding solar to an existing structure, this is the one book you can’t afford to be without.

learn more

Caravan & Motorhome Electrics is the totally rewritten successor to the original globally selling Motorhome Electrics. The book's content now also covers every aspect of designing, installing and fault finding of the electrics in fifth wheel and conventional travel trailers, camper trailers and motorhomes.

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Solar That Really Works! explains, in clear English, every detail of designing and installing solar in boats, camper trailers, travel trailers and motorhomes. It is up-to-date, valid globally and technically accurate. Like all of Collyn Rivers' books it is written in plain English.

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Want to find out more? Our books cover all these topics and a lot more.  Click on a book to find out more.

Solar Success book explains how to design and build home and property systems that ensures affordable solar success first and every time.

Solar That Really Works! explains every detail of designing and installing solar in boats, camper trailers, travel trailers and motorhomes.

Caravan & Motorhome Electrics covers every aspect of designing, installing and fault finding of the electrics in fifth wheel and conventional travel trailers, camper trailers and motorhomes.

Solar Success

Solar Success is a unique, plain English, complete guide to understanding, designing and installing stand-alone and grid connect solar for homes and properties anywhere in the world.

Alan T. Gray

Earth Garden Magazine

Caravan & Motorhome Electrics

Collyn Rivers has done it again! – if you need to know anything about motorhome electrics, then this book is for you...

Collyn must be, without doubt, the foremost authority in Australia on this subject.

The Wanderer (Campervan & Motorhome Club of Australia Ltd)

Solar that Really Works!

Collyn is an accomplished engineer who knows how to design and build successful systems. It is refreshing to see practical advice written in plain language when there is so little solar information around. . . this is an essential text . . . you won’t find a better guide.

Alan T. Gray

Earth Garden Magazine

Collyn Rivers

Collyn Rivers has put his encyclopaedic knowledge into print . . . there is virtually no issue he hasn’t covered. Certainly his engineering background is a superb credential but best of all Collyn has done it all himself.

Caravan World