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OnSite Power Management


mike2016

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I meant to post this for a while about how I'm supplying power to my site during works. In the Republic of Ireland you can't get a temporary electricity supply like the UK, not unless you're a big developer anyway. You may be lucky enough to be building next door to a house you own, or have a friendly neighbour but in my case while I could go borrowing a lead the odd time, it would start to annoy people I'm sure. 

I did consider a generator at one stage, the old Honda route but I upgraded my electric car last year from an Opel CorsaE to an MG EV4. One of the main reasons besides a bigger boot, was the Vehicle to Load function. I immediately bought a V2L cable ready to live the dream. 64kWh of power at my fingertips! 

So how has it been? Well, a little mixed I must say. I've the car plus two batteries. The smallest 550amp hour Bluetti is fine for working from the site and keeping my laptop running and charged along with my phone mobile hotspot and charging headphones etc. The Laptop will run for 1/2 day but then needs power to get it through the last 4 hours of the shift. I might be only onsite to take delivery of items but this gives me some flexibility to be there and it avoids the toss the bricks over the fence scenario! 

The next Battery up I got a good deal on during a sale, it's a 2kWh battery bank - Anker 767 (called something else now!), 2.6kW max output enough for any of my power tools. It's an EU model thanks to Brexit but I've a couple of 13amp adapters to allow me to power loads. You can with both batteries power on selecting sections of connectors, the key items are the DC panel - only using what you draw, if you power on the AC it constantly drains the battery even with no load. I've had the 2kW unit for > 6 months and 5 months into the project only charged it once and have 61% remaining today! Mitre Saw & circular saw are the main items I've used. 

You might assume I've all battery power tools but I've built up a collection of 240v mains tools over the last few years of DIY as I owned a house with power sockets everywhere! These are what I wanted to keep powered. Why go out and re purchase battery versions of existing tools for this project?! 

I will say with hindsight I wish I HAD purchased the more expensive battery versions as I went along, all the same brand. A battery bank is very useful but currently very expensive still. But if you have, like me, a working set of mains powered tools, this is the way to keep using them. There's no substitute for battery versions though - I've drills, an impact driver and oscillating tool all DeWalt and battery powered and they are much handier! 

My Car can output 3kW and I've heard some people getting higher with the right adapter. I connect the V2L to an extension lead and run it into the main workspace without difficulty. This could also be run up the scaffolding which I'll be doing later when mixing render. Once you connect the cable you have to tell the car to start discharging and it sets a minimum charge level so you can get home! You can fully lock the car with this running and no one can drive off! It doesn't appear to time out at all. 

So what problems have I had? I've found tools work with one or the other. Today my angle grinder wouldn't start on the Anker 767 battery (the 2kW one), but would off my car. The McAlister circular saw I have along with an Erbaur Mitre Saw are both fine with the Anker, thanks goodness! A large angle grinder has problems with both the last time I tried it. A Titan vacuum cleaner worked fine with my car today, first time using it, not tried it with the Anker. The problem devices will usually try to start and then drop out - I think the Mitre Saw wouldn't work with my Car and I had to reset the V2L each time but never got it working. 

It can be a bit frustrating but for the tasks I'm doing now, the Anker is working out great and I didn't need to revert to using the car for a few weeks now, just did today to get photos for this post! 

A petrol genie would probably work far better with everything but I'm at tight quarters with the neighbours -tool noise comes and goes; a genie is usually left running longer not as suited to an ongoing 12 month building project but that's just my view!

What way do you power your site / plan to? Did you go the mains power route for tools or are all your battery operated already? Leave a comment! 

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3 Comments


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SteamyTea

Posted (edited)

Your tools are possibly drawing too much starting current, this will cause the inverter to automatically disconnect.

Maybe something like this may help, a soft starter, it limits the initial current (instantaneous current is infinite).

 

https://norwall.com/products/generac-sure-start-16-32-fla-soft-start-kit-8008/

 

Your Z Book is quite a power hungry laptop, (up to 150W) which is about 10 times what mine draws.

 

Edited by SteamyTea
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I didn't get a temporary power supply couldn't see the point, so just got the proper final supply on site as soon as I could - at foundation stage. Mounted a meter box on a post in approx correct position. When I was at a stage to mount the meter in its final position, the house was water tight, so cut the box away from the meter and the electrician placed it in the final location.

 

Screenshot_2024-05-19-08-58-31-74_965bbf4d18d205f782c6b8409c5773a4.thumb.jpg.22e8cdd049dbed91cc5fd4cd392c8e6e.jpg

 

 

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We didn’t bother with a temp supply either and went straight to a final supply in a GRP box. The issue we had was it took months to get the meter installed. Up until then I used our EV too. Worked really well. 

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