Meet "The Commando"
Off Grid Portable Battery Bank Charger

Commando Off Grid Battery Bank Charger
Disclaimer: I assume no liability for what you may see on this page. In the same way that some people should never have any sharp objects, I do not advocate or encourage doing anything shown on this page. With that said, proceed at your own risk and enjoy the show! = CrazyJerry

NOTE** Your computer must not block pop-ups to see photos from the links below.


***Video of CrazyJerry's all terrain charger in action are at the bottom of the page***


The challenge:

    Design a portable dc generator to quickly charge or equalize larger battery banks.
    Make sure there is a readily available parts base in case of a failure.
    Since I am my own warranty, simplicity and customer support are mandatory!
    Should be relatively easy to move from site-to-site.
    Must be of a 12 volt platform.
    Finally, it has to be afforable.

This may seem an easy task but without an unlimited budget, and trying to use as many retired parts as possible, this can be a challenge! Below are some photos of the finished product.

Final solution, A Leece Neville 270 amp alternator mated to an MTD 8hp Tracked snowthrower - yee hawww!!

The parts to build were readily available, and will indeed put some amps back into the 1700 amp hour house battery bank.

For testing purposes (as seen in the video) I used the 3 batteries in the ladder truck.

Can it charge high enough to equalize the batteries?

Yes! By splicing a headlight/dash dimmer switch into the alternator "sense" wire, it's simply a matter of turning the dimmer to fool the alternator into thinking the batteries are still low. In the video you can see the batteries went up into the 16 volt range, and you can hear the engine loaded by the amp surge.


The entire unit is relatively simple. On my 1700 amp hour in-house battery bank, I've tested (and fried) a variety of alternators. On the flip side the big Leece Neville unit will handle the heat. The 8hp gas engine works well but it's no cake-walk. In my opinion, a better match would be a 12 horse or so gas. I chose not to go diesel on this project since it will be subjected to cold weather extremes (especially during transport). What I've noticed is that many folks who have large battery banks really have no decent way to bring the batteries up quickly when they have been deprived of solar/wind/etc/ during our weeks of winter gray-out.

So, if needed, "have alternator will travel"....


And finally:

Video clip of the Commando Portable DC Charger in action! 3.16Meg

Launch in external player


Changzuki Diesel motorcycle that's still pulling an average of 120 mpg!!

Urba Centurion - a 100 plus mpg diesel powered sports car!

The Aurora Project - Lithium Rocket Trike!

A very nice off-grid 375 rpm Lister-style generator!

An 1800 rpm 12 horsepower Petter Style Generator!

Electro-Split - Very fast and very quiet Wood Splitter!

Wind generators page!

CrazyJerry's Off-Grid System! Homepage


Return to off grid page