Off-Grid Van Conversion

A self-built campervan inspired by the farm

06 Electrical Systems

Going off-grid and nearly all electric is possible. An induction stove and a gasoline-powered heater plumbed into the van’s gas tank allows this build to be propane-free. Undervoltage and low state of charge relay logic is included to protect the batteries from over-discharge.

By the Numbers

  • 600W solar (2 x 300W panels)
  • 100V/50A MPPT solar charger
  • 400Ah LiFePO4 batteries
  • 2500W combined inverter/charger
  • Backup Sources: 60A alternator charger and 120V shore power plug

Lithium Ion Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries, although expensive, were chosen due to the ability to discharge down to a lower state of charge, and for the high discharge current capacity useful for the power-hungry induction cooktop.

System Diagrams

Diagrams of the 120V, solar, alternator charger, and relay circuits are shown below (click to enlarge). For more detail see the individual page in the table above.

Full-size PDF CAD diagrams of the system can be found below:

  • DWG-01-AC-SYSTEM(shows the inverter/charger and the shore power hookup)
  • DWG-02-BATTERY-COMPARTMENT (shows the connections in the main electrical battery compartment and also the solar and alternator charger systems)
  • DWG-03-12V-SYSTEM (shows the 12V distribution fuse block, branch circuits, and loads)

Table of Components

See the table and links below for specific components used.

System Component Model
120V AC Inverter-Charger AIMS 2500W Inverter/Charger
120V AC Induction-Cooktop Summit Appliance
Solar Solar-Panels 2 x 300W Renogy 24V Panels
Solar Solar Charger Victron 100/50 Smart Solar
Alternator Alternator-Charger Sterling B2B 1260
Batteries Batteries 2 x 200Ah Renogy LiFePO4
12V DC Battery-Monitor-and-Relay Victron BMV 712
12V DC Main-Battery-Disconnect Blue Seas ML-RBS 7700
12V DC 12V-System  
12V DC Fridge Isotherm Cruise Elegance 130L

Next: 07-Plumbing-Water-Heater