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dspray

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Hi All, I have created a "Bi-Directional Charging" work-around for a Rivian.

This video walks you through what I have done and how to replicate:

.

The cost was about the same ($9,000) as preparing my house for the Ford Lightning bi-directional charging setup. But to me this is a far better setup than the Ford for several reasons:

1. I did not really want a Lightning.

2. The Lightning solution works only when the Lightning is at home.

3. It works only with a Lightning.

4. It turns out that for many houses, the Lightning CANNOT provide "whole home" backup. Rather, it may only be able to do "critical loads".

5. I believe that the cost to install the Lightning hardware is NOT eligible for the 30% home battery tax credit whereas I believe this solution IS eligible. This is not tax advice, check with your tax professional.

This video replicates how the critical loads could be powered for more than a month, using the 2 Eco Flow batteries plus a Rivian.

If any of your find this interesting and want to learn more, I am happy to have a phone call or facetime call to answer any questions.
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swazi

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I was thinking about this exact setup recently. Thanks for the explanation!
So your "10 critical loads" are all 110v? And less than 30amp. Is it possible to run 220v through the smart panel?
 

centexR1S

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Hi All, I have created a "Bi-Directional Charging" work-around for a Rivian.

This video walks you through what I have done and how to replicate: .

The cost was about the same ($9,000) as preparing my house for the Ford Lightning bi-directional charging setup. But to me this is a far better setup than the Ford for several reasons:

1. I did not really want a Lightning.

2. The Lightning solution works only when the Lightning is at home.

3. It works only with a Lightning.

4. It turns out that for many houses, the Lightning CANNOT provide "whole home" backup. Rather, it may only be able to do "critical loads".

5. I believe that the cost to install the Lightning hardware is NOT eligible for the 30% home battery tax credit whereas I believe this solution IS eligible. This is not tax advice, check with your tax professional.

This video replicates how the critical loads could be powered for more than a month, using the 2 Eco Flow batteries plus a Rivian.

If any of your find this interesting and want to learn more, I am happy to have a phone call or facetime call to answer any questions.
Your install is interesting, well thought out and, well executed. My critical needs are less than yours. Currently sans a decent bidirectional system I will use HD extension cords to run my refrigerators, air handler, router and lighting. Not all at once and not as graceful as your system. Why do you use 2 Eco batteries? If I wanted to upgrade would your system work with only 1 Eco battery? Can you post a wiring diagram and equipment list.
Thanks for the video and post.
 
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dspray

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I was thinking about this exact setup recently. Thanks for the explanation!
So your "10 critical loads" are all 110v? And less than 30amp. Is it possible to run 220v through the smart panel?
Yes, the 10 critical loads are all 110V. They are half 15 amp and half 20 amp. The Smart Panel allows up to 30 amp breakers. It is possible to run 220V through the smart panels, it cuts the number of breakers in half, to just 5.
 

Madsen203

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“Power house for weeks”

Then reads thread about vampire drain killing battery in 2 weeks or less not powering anything.

I like the work around but the lack of automation is a hassle. It would be nice if you could have it power from 220v vs a 120v extension cord. 800-1300w of charging is barely enough to keep lights and refrigerator running.
 

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dspray

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Your install is interesting, well thought out and, well executed. My critical needs are less than yours. Currently sans a decent bidirectional system I will use HD extension cords to run my refrigerators, air handler, router and lighting. Not all at once and not as graceful as your system. Why do you use 2 Eco batteries? If I wanted to upgrade would your system work with only 1 Eco battery? Can you post a wiring diagram and equipment list.
Thanks for the video and post.
Thanks for your kind words. I have the battery and smart home panel links in the bottom of the Youtube notes. But when I tried to paste here, it copied an enormously long URL and I was concerned it might not work. So, just look at the bottom of the Youtube notes. In the Youtube video there is also a 5% discount code.

Originally I planned to use just one Ecoflow battery because Eco Flow (erroneously) told me that I could charge the battery while it was discharging to the house. Once I had the first battery installed, I realized it would not work. So, my option was to disconnect the single battery for 2.5 hours while I charged it and then reconnect to the Smart Panel. But I wanted uninterrupted power so I bought and added the second battery.

To be honest, there is a lot to be said for getting one EcoFlow and running extension cords. It is very portable. Even though it weighs about 100 lbs, it has a handle and wheels, like a rolling suitcase.. I did my installation to keep floor space in the garage. But if you have room to have it portable, it creates a lot more possibilities. It has 4 AC outlets. So, you might be able to use without the smart panel if you could just run 4 different extension cords.
 
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dspray

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“Power house for weeks”

Then reads thread about vampire drain killing battery in 2 weeks or less not powering anything.

I like the work around but the lack of automation is a hassle. It would be nice if you could have it power from 220v vs a 120v extension cord. 800-1300w of charging is barely enough to keep lights and refrigerator running.
All good points. I am not sure how much vampire drain there is. The batteries automatically charge to 100% at midnight every night. Right now it is 10:22 pm, so almost 24 hours. One battery is 97% and one is 100%, which translates to only 1.5% vampire drain of the entire capacity. To be clear, a single battery puts out 3600Kw and can surge for a few seconds at like 4500 Kw. There is also an option to connect two of the batteries to provide continuous load of 7200KW.

But I agree, it is far from perfect.
 

Madsen203

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All good points. I am not sure how much vampire drain there is. The batteries automatically charge to 100% at midnight every night. Right now it is 10:22 pm, so almost 24 hours. One battery is 97% and one is 100%, which translates to only 1.5% vampire drain of the entire capacity. To be clear, a single battery puts out 3600Kw and can surge for a few seconds at like 4500 Kw. There is also an option to connect two of the batteries to provide continuous load of 7200KW.

But I agree, it is far from perfect.
**vampire drain from Rivian. I presume your battery system has significantly better battery optimization than does Rivian.

Will you consider a Tesla power wall now that you can get one for <10K as a consumer without solar/install? It’s a 10kw system and can equally be linked for greater output.

All of this makes me want to rewrite all of four circuits. We have bathroom circuit on 2 floor powering the fan in living room and bedrooms. Likely against some sort of code. There is an outdoor circuit from previous owner which now also powers part of our living room. Half of our kitchen outlets don’t work. Just a hot mess. If I had time, money, and energy, I would climb in the attack/crawl space and run new lines pushing 20A circuits to each room and multiple 20a to garage, kitchen, and living room.

We are also on 100a service. I would love to be on 200+ so I could increase our solar size and convert our gas water heater to an oversized instant electric system but they require significant amperage to run—more than our whole house circuit for a solid 11gpm ultra high efficiency one.
 

swazi

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**vampire drain from Rivian. I presume your battery system has significantly better battery optimization than does Rivian.

Will you consider a Tesla power wall now that you can get one for <10K as a consumer without solar/install? It’s a 10kw system and can equally be linked for greater output.

All of this makes me want to rewrite all of four circuits. We have bathroom circuit on 2 floor powering the fan in living room and bedrooms. Likely against some sort of code. There is an outdoor circuit from previous owner which now also powers part of our living room. Half of our kitchen outlets don’t work. Just a hot mess. If I had time, money, and energy, I would climb in the attack/crawl space and run new lines pushing 20A circuits to each room and multiple 20a to garage, kitchen, and living room.

We are also on 100a service. I would love to be on 200+ so I could increase our solar size and convert our gas water heater to an oversized instant electric system but they require significant amperage to run—more than our whole house circuit for a solid 11gpm ultra high efficiency one.
I would love to find the clown that wired my house. Actually 2 clowns: the first when the house was built and the second when the basement was finished. Does that make it a circus?
 

BrayBay

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Dave, this is a very clever set up! Thanks for sharing. I think most people imagine plugging in the BEV and it "just works" powering the entire house, but as you said that's not entirely true. This set up requires some manual work, but I think this would cover a majority of people's critical loads (and budgets!)

The portable/mini power station market seems to be heating up, I see them everywhere now. Is EcoFlow the only one you are aware of with a smart panel?

Appreciate sharing the links. In the Houston area too! I'll be sure check out Electrical Panel Experts if I need to do panel work.
 

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Hi All, I have created a "Bi-Directional Charging" work-around for a Rivian.

This video walks you through what I have done and how to replicate:

.

The cost was about the same ($9,000) as preparing my house for the Ford Lightning bi-directional charging setup. But to me this is a far better setup than the Ford for several reasons:

1. I did not really want a Lightning.

2. The Lightning solution works only when the Lightning is at home.

3. It works only with a Lightning.

4. It turns out that for many houses, the Lightning CANNOT provide "whole home" backup. Rather, it may only be able to do "critical loads".

5. I believe that the cost to install the Lightning hardware is NOT eligible for the 30% home battery tax credit whereas I believe this solution IS eligible. This is not tax advice, check with your tax professional.

This video replicates how the critical loads could be powered for more than a month, using the 2 Eco Flow batteries plus a Rivian.

If any of your find this interesting and want to learn more, I am happy to have a phone call or facetime call to answer any questions.
I did essentially the same instead of going with sunrun, except I used hybrid solar inverters (with auto xfer) to be able to pump out 20kW peak, charge it via solar, and have it hooked up to a UL listed 30kW backup battery bank. (All 30% eligible)

I then have a separate input that directly charges the battery bank which I can use my R1T or the Lightning to recharge. During the day it recharges from Solar and I’ve got excess to top off the trucks. During the night it runs off the bank and if it draws to 50% it calls for a “generator” which is a relay to enable the input from the truck.

For anyone looking to draw bigger loads or go longer that would be the way to go. Even if Rivian launches an integration system you can wire it up to just take care of the buffer bank.
 

Yellow Buddy

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“Power house for weeks”

Then reads thread about vampire drain killing battery in 2 weeks or less not powering anything.

I like the work around but the lack of automation is a hassle. It would be nice if you could have it power from 220v vs a 120v extension cord. 800-1300w of charging is barely enough to keep lights and refrigerator running.
Daily vampire drain = 2-3% or approximately 2500-4000W/day. It stinks but you’ll draw that in about 2 hours using this setup anyway.
 

Nilator

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All good points. I am not sure how much vampire drain there is. The batteries automatically charge to 100% at midnight every night. Right now it is 10:22 pm, so almost 24 hours. One battery is 97% and one is 100%, which translates to only 1.5% vampire drain of the entire capacity. To be clear, a single battery puts out 3600Kw and can surge for a few seconds at like 4500 Kw. There is also an option to connect two of the batteries to provide continuous load of 7200KW.

But I agree, it is far from perfect.
Does this 2-battery setup start/run your home Air Conditioner also? If so, do you know what kind of amp draw (LRA) your unit pulls at startup?? I assume you have a soft start of some kind on the A/C if your backup can run it…

Really savvy to bridge/stagger the load between 2 batteries so you don’t black out every time the generator would need a refill.

How long would it take to recharge one battery (empty to full) from a Rivian 115ac outlet?
 

mikehmb

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My name is Mike, and I have a (car) problem
Thanks for sharing! I’m planning a manual setup - transfer switch to an input, which could either be via Rivian, small battery, and/or generator (all of which we own today). I like the automated transfer switch setup you installed - very nice.
 
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dspray

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**vampire drain from Rivian. I presume your battery system has significantly better battery optimization than does Rivian.

Will you consider a Tesla power wall now that you can get one for <10K as a consumer without solar/install? It’s a 10kw system and can equally be linked for greater output.

All of this makes me want to rewrite all of four circuits. We have bathroom circuit on 2 floor powering the fan in living room and bedrooms. Likely against some sort of code. There is an outdoor circuit from previous owner which now also powers part of our living room. Half of our kitchen outlets don’t work. Just a hot mess. If I had time, money, and energy, I would climb in the attack/crawl space and run new lines pushing 20A circuits to each room and multiple 20a to garage, kitchen, and living room.

We are also on 100a service. I would love to be on 200+ so I could increase our solar size and convert our gas water heater to an oversized instant electric system but they require significant amperage to run—more than our whole house circuit for a solid 11gpm ultra high efficiency one.
Thanks for your post. I am actually considering about a 100KW Tesla system once Tesla fully rolls out the Virtual Power Plant in Texas. Every summer afternoon in Texas the spot price for electricity skyrockets. If Tesla will pay the $2 / kwh they have done on the pilot plants, I could create a nice revenue stream from the powerwall. As for linking the Tesla, my understanding is that the Tesla cannot be AC charged, nor any of the other stationary installed residential battery systems.

It was the ability to AC charge the EcoFlow that made it so interesting. Of course, I may be totally mistaken on this, but it is my understanding... Good luck with your project!
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