Dual battery setup questions
Not sure if this belongs in 'power supplies' or 'general', mods please move it if necessary.
So, by trade I am a computer engineer, I spend a lot of time in the field with various equipment and gadgets in the car, mostly running from an inverter. Sadly, this has led to several flat batteries and those not-so-pleasant phone calls to my mother to deliver a spare battery and jump leads...
I am finally now looking at a permanent PC (well, tablet) install, I would like to make it all as efficient and low-powered as possible, and hopefully have a dual-battery setup. I am gradually replacing as many bulbs as possible in the car with LEDs to reduce the power usage and hopefully lighten the load on the alternator.
I've got a 2007 reg Suzuki Swift with wires all over the place. I can spare enough space in the trunk for a couple of extra batteries and necessary cables/adapters. I think it was this forum I posted on about a year ago asking about using sealed lead acid batteries in a dual setup, from what I can remember, I was advised that they would cook in a fairly short space of time when hooked up to the same circuit as the alternator if they did not have a charge regulator.
I would like:
- Car and all standard accessories running from normal battery
- Anything else including tablet pc and whatever else I decide to install running from a 65Ah SLA battery (or 2) in the trunk (I can get these for £5 a piece so I'm not too fussed about the life span of them)
- 65Ah battery (or two) to be charged from the alternator circuit
- If possible, to have 2 SLA batteries in addition to the standard vehicle one
- 2x 65Ah SLA batteries
- More wires than you can shake a stick at
- A techy friend who can get (or make) pretty much any circuit or components I may need
I would like to know:
- If I had 2 batteries, would this be of any use as a charge regulator? If not, could you suggest one?
- Will the stock alternator (from Google, 55 amps, from experience, just about enough to jump start a 2.5 litre diesel van) be up to the job? If not, how much would I expect to pay for one that is?
- How long would it take to charge the extra battery(ies) from say 50% to full capacity?
- Do SLA batteries need ventilation, can I build an enclosure around them to look neat and tidy?
- Am I being stupid even thinking about it?
I'm not sure if it's really worth it but I thought I'd throw a few questions out there and see what responses I get.
Any thoughts on this are appreciated :)