Electrify is a free online tool that we have designed and developed in order to try and help people planning future van builds and conversions. The aim of Electrify is to offer an intuitive way to size your electrical usage and the effects on your battery capacity.
Jump straight into Electrify.
We had the idea to build Electrify after seeing lots of similar queries on Facebook and Instagram for people wanting to understand topics like;
How many batteries do I need? What type of batteries should I use? How much solar do I need to run a fridge off grid? Should I use Lithium or AGM batteries in my van build? How much power do I need for full time vanlife? etc...
All of these queries are relatively simple to solve using the electrical values attributed to each product, but when you're starting from scratch it can quickly become overwhelming and confusing. Having read about and asked similar questions ourselves, we really wished that we had a tool like Electrify when we were sizing our own van conversion electrical system.
Because we experienced such positivity and help from the van community, it made us want to do something ourselves to help pass on knowledge and also to provide help to the next wave of people wanting to do their own van conversions. It was also important for us that this tool was to be provided to the community for free.
Fundamentally, Electrify is a responsive and visual front end to a set of data and calculations, much like how you could calculate the same information using Excel. Just, no one really likes Excel and our tool was designed for easy use on a mobile phone - we've also got funky sketches.
To make Electrify as accurate as possible, we had to develop some assumptions into the tool. Items that need to be run via an inverter for example are subject to a 10% inefficiency which is added to the amount of Watts that they consume. We also tried to account for items like the compressors in fridges which do not run 100% of the time. When adding a fridge for example we would expect you to have this powered 24hours a day. Electrify will then base power consumption on 33% of the fridges allocated Watts to account for the compressor run time. It is impossible for us to be 100% accurate for items like this and also items with variable power outputs like heaters but we have done our best to provide average values as a rough guide.
Another good example of the above is solar panels. We have calculated a 100w rated solar panel at 50% efficiency. This has been calculated based on the average Uk daylight hours, over a 12 month period using the Victron solar tool.
We worked with Oli and Emily at Vanlife Conversions to create a list of popular product presets using the data supplied from the manufacturers. Things like LED Spotlights, USB sockets and water pumps. We also included some luxury items like LPG heaters and in van WiFi.
As well as providing presets for these items we also built the functionality to allow you add your own custom products. You can do this for as many items you want, including options to charge your batteries. To add a custom product you just need to know how many Watts the item is using and choose how long you wish the run it for - Electrify will work out the rest.
At the end of the tool you are presented with two main totals. Daily power out, and daily power in. We use these values to attain how long your setup will last. You can choose between AGM or Lithium (LiFePO4) batteries and can select between 100ah and 600ah of capacity and see the difference in performance. For the battery capacities we used a maximum discharge of 50% for AGM and 100% for Lithium (LiFePO4) This is just one of many benefits to using Lithium batteries in your setup.
In an ideal world, you want to see the term 'Infinite' displayed under the batteries. This means that your daily power in is counterbalancing your daily power out, and with your desired usage, you will never run out of power. If your requirements for daily power out, outweigh the amount of charge coming back into the batteries we will display how many days your batteries are expected to last.
To edge closer to that 'Infinite' state there are several options. You can increase the size or type of your batteries ie. Moving from 200ah AGM to 300ah, or to a 200ah Lithium battery. You could also look to increase charging opportunities via options like additional solar panels or charging the van from mains power.