AGM Batteries – First Major Experiment

Life is returning to normal after the sadness following Mom’s departure.  It still seems a part of me died with Mom.  I used to speak with her every day – sometimes twice a day.  Yep, I was a Mama’s boy and damn proud of that fact.

Nonetheless, life continues onward.  I believe out of this tragedy, I can continue working toward my van dreams.

The first purchases will be two AGM batteries, a smart charger, and an inverter.  I looked at the smart charges with built-in inverters and I could not find one that I liked.  I might still go that route.  I have decided to go the route of the pure sine wave inverter.  As a former electronics technician, I know that you can’t go wrong with a pure sine wave but a modified sine wave can give fits.  One fried CPAP machine would pay for a better inverter.  Decision made.

To breathe at night, I use a Respironics RemStar Pro which is powered by 12V DC via an adapter.  I believe that I can simply use a 259 Amp hour deep cycle AGM battery to power the CPAP for a couple of days at a time.  I plan to buy two of them at the same time to provide house power in the van. 

Using an inverter poses some questions.  Inverters are not terribly efficient. Should I run the CPAP from the inverter and batteries (offering voltage protection) or directly from the battery?  I will use the 12V adapter and power directly from the house battery using a socket similar to a cigarette lighter.  This affords me one luxury – I can throw a switch and use emergency battery power from the starting battery.

So, the first experiment will be to invest in two really good AGM battery with a fat capacity.  A smart charger is important because it helps lengthen the life of the AGM battery.  The old flooded cell batteries could take some abuse. AGM batteries are awesome but require a little TLC when charging them.  Once I get the batteries and charge them, this will permit me to do experiments in terms of how much current the CPAP draws and how long the battery can sustain it.  This will all be done in my bedroom.

Other objects will be acquired as time and money permits.  I had thought that I would buy the van first, then populate it.  I like doing it the other way around.  I am going to buy many of the fixtures first and then buy the van.  I can always back out later, if need be, and not be out a lot of money that way.  🙂

Keep tuned in and I will let you know how each step of the way proceeds. 

Bradford