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Lithium Aux Battery
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justdale
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 5:27 pm    Post subject: Lithium Aux Battery Reply with quote

Hi all, De-lurking to see if anyone else is running a lithium aux battery

Here is my setup:
    full camper syncro
    100 Ah LiPo battery pack installed in lower rear cabinet
    Samlex Battery Guard (disconnects on low V, high V, >40A)
    Battery Doctor 150 to merge/isolate with the start battery

This is the first Li setup that Detlev installed (though I believe he has now converted his personal van). I've made some mods since it was put in.

Pros (so far):
    good energy density 100Ah fits in lower cabinet without protruding into the door opening
    The 100Ah + DoD seems to provide great life (truck fridge was still running after 3 days)
    The Li pack should be good for ~1000 cycles


Cons (so far):
    LiPo charge curve tops out at 14+ V, which tends to hold the start battery high enough to prevent the Battery Doctor from isolating the batteries automatically. For now I have a dedicated disable switch. Ideal solution would be a programmable isolator.
    Initial low-voltage disconnect was a solid-state relay. Unfortunately it was causing a lot of voltage drop and eventually failed. The BatteryGuard is better and provides over-current disconnect as well as over/under V disconnect (programmable)
    Cost

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Dale
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Pcforno
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 7:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Lithium Aux Battery Reply with quote

I run a lithium battery also. What you need is an isolator with a signal wire. Just use the blue wire off the alternator, which is only charged when the alternator is turning. Connect this to the energize wire of the solenoid. Any solenoid isolator will work fine for this purpose
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OldSpice
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 8:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Lithium Aux Battery Reply with quote

I have always wanted a light weight battery but waiting for charging technology to catch up- are we there yet ??
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justdale
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 8:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Lithium Aux Battery Reply with quote

Pcforno wrote:
I run a lithium battery also. What you need is an isolator with a signal wire. Just use the blue wire off the alternator, which is only charged when the alternator is turning. Connect this to the energize wire of the solenoid. Any solenoid isolator will work fine for this purpose


Do you also run a solar setup?
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Pcforno
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 8:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Lithium Aux Battery Reply with quote

No - my camping habits are that I usually drive at least every day or every other day so I don't need it as the drive quickly recharges the batteries. I'm running 80 amp/hr total so it would take me more than three days without driving to deplete the battery
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Lithium Aux Battery Reply with quote

justdale wrote:
Hi all, De-lurking to see if anyone else is running a lithium aux battery

Cons (so far):
..... Cost



Indeed. I was surprised to see how much just a 50 AH battery is:

http://www.lithiumion-batteries.com/products/product/12v-50ah-lithium-ion-battery.php

but then it has a built in battery protection system so that adds to cost.

Neil.
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Pcforno
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:13 am    Post subject: Re: Lithium Aux Battery Reply with quote

Yes but don't forget, all the amp hours are usable, unlike AGM or lead acid where less than 50% is usuable. Then there's lifespan- it's lasts at least double if not triple as long. So an apples to apples comparison would be the cost of 2 or 3 100 amp hour conventional batteries. If you figure all that together lithium is actually cheaper. they also weigh almost nothing, compared to lead acid or Agm which are heavier than 2 mountain bikes...
This may help
https://www.victronenergy.com/blog/2015/03/30/batteries-lithium-ion-vs-agm/
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4x4BNB
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:20 am    Post subject: Re: Lithium Aux Battery Reply with quote

I believe AGM is 80%
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Pcforno
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:27 am    Post subject: Re: Lithium Aux Battery Reply with quote

Yes for a true deep cycle (AGM or FLA) 80% DoD is possible, but will dramatically decrease lifespan even further conpared with 50% DoD.
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pablum
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:30 am    Post subject: Re: Lithium Aux Battery Reply with quote

wrote:

Indeed. I was surprised to see how much just a 50 AH battery is:

http://www.lithiumion-batteries.com/products/product/12v-50ah-lithium-ion-battery.php

but then it has a built in battery protection system so that adds to cost.

Neil.


The economics of this market are dizzying. A 5V x 13Ah Li battery pack goes for about $30 (although it'll only do about 5 amps total.) Do the math and it's about half.

Https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Z9QVE4Q/ref=psdc_7073960011_t1_B0194WDVHI
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baltik
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:24 am    Post subject: Re: Lithium Aux Battery Reply with quote

What battery are you using?
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justdale
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Lithium Aux Battery Reply with quote

baltik wrote:
What battery are you using?


In my case it is 100Ah set of cells and controller from Detlev (International Auto in Livermore CA).
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Pcforno
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Lithium Aux Battery Reply with quote

I have one 50 amp smart battery and 2 20 amp smart batteries totaling 90 amps all sitting sideways- they fit perfectly in the battery tray under the drivers seat. I removed the central sheet metal between the seat sliders and was able to fit a charger and a battery isolator in there as well.
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Tobias Duncan
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:52 am    Post subject: Re: Lithium Aux Battery Reply with quote

Bumping an old thread to find out if more people have gone to this.
Has the price come down a bit?
Safety?
Sure seems like a nice bit of gear for our rigs.
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ThankYouJerry
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:49 am    Post subject: Re: Lithium Aux Battery Reply with quote

Iím currently installing Li batteries. Iím going with two ďBattle BornĒ 100 Ah batteries. They are $950/ea. The other brand I was considering was ďReLiOnĒ, but their 100 Ah batteries are about $1250/ea. Price wasnít the only determining factor. Most of these batteries have built in charge controllers and other tech. Battle Born sells ďbundleĒ packages with options like Victron brand monitoring equipment as well as Zamp solar controllers.
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Last edited by ThankYouJerry on Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:56 am; edited 1 time in total
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jmillsj
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:56 am    Post subject: Re: Lithium Aux Battery Reply with quote

I also have two Battle Born 100 ah batteries. Itís overkill and Iím sure one would work fine. After a lengthy camping season, I am very happy with the batteries. I have them under the rear bench seat.
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ThankYouJerry
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:57 am    Post subject: Re: Lithium Aux Battery Reply with quote

^^^
When you say ďoverkillĒ what do you mean? What 12v accessories are you running (fridge, Propex, etc) and how long do they run before needing to be recharged?
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:39 am    Post subject: Re: Lithium Aux Battery Reply with quote

jmillsj wrote:
I also have two Battle Born 100 ah batteries. Itís overkill and Iím sure one would work fine. After a lengthy camping season, I am very happy with the batteries. I have them under the rear bench seat.


I was wondering about LiPo amp requirements given the ability to discharge them up to 75% compared to about 30% for lead acid batteries. I currently have 150 ah of house battery (and about 150 watts of solar panels, only 75 watts permanently mounted) running a fridge and Propex in the winter and the batteries run down to 12.4 volts more often than I'd like.

It would be great to easily camp for 3-4 days (no Propex) with 75 watts of solar and a 100 ah battery. I'd also like to reduce battery space and weight in the van.

What have you been running on the batteries, how many days do you go w/out starting the engine and do you have any solar panels?
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jmillsj
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:24 am    Post subject: Re: Lithium Aux Battery Reply with quote

I run a truck fridge, lights, charge computers, phones, iPads, etc. I also have a 400 watt inverter for charging items. When my propane stopped working on the original fridge I started to think about a better house battery. When I come home from a long weekend, Iím still at 99% capacity, so I believe I overbuilt it.

I donít charge it from the alternator. Instead, I have an onboard charger I use to top off before trips. I have solar, with one fixed 100 watt panel and one 100 watt portable. I donít see a need for a connection to my alternator at this time. The house battery is not connected to the start battery and I use the house battery for all power needs in the camper section. I plan to install a propex heater under my truck fridge, but donít have it in yet. I should have ample power for it.

My wife is a bit of a workaholic, so we needed lots of power so she can keep working when we camp. Donít worry, though, I balance out that workaholic tendency of my wife and focus more on not working.

My last trip of the season we also used the inverter to charge an electronic mountain bike a friend brought. That drew my batteries down to 92% after a long weekend. Still overbuilt, but happy with it. I think I have a few weeks worth of energy if the sun failed to shine, which is unlikely in Colorado.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:26 am    Post subject: Re: Lithium Aux Battery Reply with quote

One last note on solar - I have all the components, but have not yet installed them, so my batteries are not getting charged on my trips yet. That project is coming in the spring when I get my Westy back from body and paint work.
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