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Old 06-12-2019, 06:59 PM   #1
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Considering LiFePO4 Batteries.

Let me say right off the bat that I'm not needing to have any discussion on price issues. It is my money and I will spend it as I wish. Sorry if that makes me sound like a jerk.

BTW...I have not ruled out AGM replacements for my wet cell batteries. That would be truly "drop in" replacements with less $$$ and avoiding modifications needed to support LiFePO4.

I like the pros of LiFePO4 with their fast charging, constant voltage, life span and light weight. I'm also aware that you have to be careful in cold weather because charging them when temps are below 32*F is generally a no-no unless you have self heating batteries, heater blankets and such. Besides, current LiFePO4 batteries I'm looking at have protections for some of these issues anyway. There are some bigger issues at hand and I'm wondering if some of you have some real life knowledge on how best to over come them besides throwing more money at it. LOL

1. Alternator issues. LiFePO4 batteries are quite capable of consuming a ton of amps right up to the point they are fully charged. That means that if you are letting your alternator charge them you could toast an alternator. If I understand this correctly this can be corrected with upgraded regulators. Any experience on this?

2. BIM issues. I'm reading something about how LiFePO4 batteries can fool with BIM operations. I'm not certain I totally understand the exact reasons but there are some hints at corrective actions that can be taken. I'm looking for that info.

3. I have the newest revision of the ME-ARC for my inverter. I'm certain that I will be able to figure out how to properly customize the settings but any suggestions on that subject are welcome. BTW, that should solve any AGS issues since AGS can be controlled by SOC.

Clearly, LiFePO4 batteries are not a "drop in" solution but instead require some adjustments to the coach/charging set ups. Are there any other such issues that I might need to address?

THANKS!
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:07 PM   #2
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Interested in responses.

I am sure you know this, but wanted to point out for others that a common task when installing lifepo4 is to weatherproof the battery box.
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbaron73 View Post
Interested in responses.

I am sure you know this, but wanted to point out for others that a common task when installing lifepo4 is to weatherproof the battery box.
How much did you have to do for yours since we have the same basic floor plan?
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:31 PM   #4
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:36 PM   #5
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CoreyinWP beat me to it, but it looks like he installed the same thing I'm recommending. Here's my post FWIW:

Regarding questions 1 and 2, My experience is there's no issue with the alternators. However this may be because my installs were in front engine gas so there are long lengths of fairly small gauge wire (OEM Newmar and Roadtrek wiring) going to the house batteries which self-limit the current. I could not get more than about 70A out of the Canyon Star alternator and less from the Roadtrek.

Having a DP, your wire runs are much shorter so you may get a lot more current. Something that would address both the BIM and your potential alternator heat issues would be the Lithium BIM which is engineered by Precision Circuits but seems to only be sold by Battle Born.

It connects for only 15 out of every 35 minutes which allows the alternator to cool.

Regarding question 3, several manufacturers of lithium batteries have documented suggested charging profiles for Magnum inverters. Here's one suggestion from Battle Born.

EDIT: Found the recommendations on the AM Solar website for Magnum.

Note, I don't have any affiliation with Battle Born and don't recommend them over other "drop-In" batteries, I actually designed and built mine from bare cells with appropriate electronics for balancing, heat and protection.
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky_Boss View Post
How much did you have to do for yours since we have the same basic floor plan?
I have agm batteries, so I have not enclosed mine yet. I plan on doing this soon to keep the area clean.
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:42 PM   #7
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Corey,

All I can say (I think without getting trouble) is DAMN! That is impressive!

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Old 06-12-2019, 07:45 PM   #8
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So easy a caveman can do it...and I am an electrical caveman!
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:46 PM   #9
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You might want to contact Rob Lowe at RV-Parts Plus. He is from canada and has installed LiPo batteries 5 years ago and gives seminars on the benefits and how to do. He winters in FL and that is how I got to know him. He has articles in a lot of the RV magazines also. Google him and a link will come up but he is Not the Actor.
Good Luck
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Old 06-13-2019, 06:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
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So easy a caveman can do it...and I am an electrical caveman!


Dear Caveman,

Is there a post with all the parts, details, and follow up with how they’ve been working out? What settings need to be changed in the ME controller? Tarzan wants to know.
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Old 06-13-2019, 07:10 AM   #11
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Dear Caveman,

Is there a post with all the parts, details, and follow up with how they’ve been working out? What settings need to be changed in the ME controller? Tarzan wants to know.
Neal beat me too it.... This is also on my roadmap (just no ETA) and would be interested in what folks have had to do.
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Old 06-13-2019, 07:25 AM   #12
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Will put it together.
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Old 06-13-2019, 08:06 AM   #13
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All-Several threads on this forum about this subject. Additionally, lots of videos on YouTube of folks who did it. Learned some things about that process. Some extra pieces are needed for them to operate correctly I believe, again, so far form knowledgeable, it's not worth discussing. They are expensive, and if you don't boondock a lot, it might be more economical to just get AGM, lifeline batteries makes some great ones, with excellent customer service. But, your money as you said. Some brands last 10 years (projected) if monitored and charged correctly. The main components all come from China, we don't make any of those in the USA, so don't know quality control at point of manufacturer, Battle Born Batteries has good reputation as well.
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Old 06-13-2019, 10:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky_Boss View Post
Let me say right off the bat that I'm not needing to have any discussion on price issues. It is my money and I will spend it as I wish. Sorry if that makes me sound like a jerk.

BTW...I have not ruled out AGM replacements for my wet cell batteries. That would be truly "drop in" replacements with less $$$ and avoiding modifications needed to support LiFePO4.

I like the pros of LiFePO4 with their fast charging, constant voltage, life span and light weight. I'm also aware that you have to be careful in cold weather because charging them when temps are below 32*F is generally a no-no unless you have self heating batteries, heater blankets and such. Besides, current LiFePO4 batteries I'm looking at have protections for some of these issues anyway. There are some bigger issues at hand and I'm wondering if some of you have some real life knowledge on how best to over come them besides throwing more money at it. LOL

1. Alternator issues. LiFePO4 batteries are quite capable of consuming a ton of amps right up to the point they are fully charged. That means that if you are letting your alternator charge them you could toast an alternator. If I understand this correctly this can be corrected with upgraded regulators. Any experience on this?

2. BIM issues. I'm reading something about how LiFePO4 batteries can fool with BIM operations. I'm not certain I totally understand the exact reasons but there are some hints at corrective actions that can be taken. I'm looking for that info.

3. I have the newest revision of the ME-ARC for my inverter. I'm certain that I will be able to figure out how to properly customize the settings but any suggestions on that subject are welcome. BTW, that should solve any AGS issues since AGS can be controlled by SOC.

Clearly, LiFePO4 batteries are not a "drop in" solution but instead require some adjustments to the coach/charging set ups. Are there any other such issues that I might need to address?

THANKS!
Don,

For question #1 that is a real concern. The BIM in Corey’s second picture from Precision Circuits should take care of that for you.

For question #2 see above.

For question #3 I would more closely follow AM Solars recommendations for charging with a Magnum inverter, Battleborn is totally out to lunch on what they recommend. Unless your lithium batteries are nearly dead (something below 12.6v) the Magnum charger will go straight to Float charge and stay there, not the Bulk/Absorb/Float cycle.

AM Solar has more the right idea with using Silent for rebulk and/or Equalization for a quick recharge.

Enclose your battery compartment to protect from heat and cold and have some sort of battery monitor for SOC as bank voltage is totally useless. Take everything you know about care and feeding of LA batteries and throw it out the window as this baggage is one of the worst mindsets when it comes to lithium batteries. Lithium does not need to be nor does it like to be kept at 100% SOC or kept at high voltages (upper knee) for extended periods of time.
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