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Old 11-26-2014, 02:16 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by wanderso View Post
One wonders if there are higher fire risks with Lithium. Witness the Boeing 787 battery fire issue (recently fixed) along with both Dell and Apple's challenge in the past.

I would love to get the weight reduction. With more and more cars also utilizing engine start/stop methods, the tech is bound to become more unimportant.
Wanderso, the chemistry and battery logic is much different in the lithium batteries that are being discussed and the lithium batteries you are referring to. The new technologies have been proven to be safe.
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Old 11-26-2014, 09:21 AM   #30
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I meant "important" not unimportant above.

On the question of fires, I agree that they are rare, yet one wonders if the charge controller tech in most RVs is up to snuff. Folks need to be careful and not just replace their flooded cell or AGM into an old system.

I suggest that charging systems need to be certified as safe for their use. I'm skeptical for example that my Triplite inverter/charger made in 2004 is up to the task for these batteries that it doesn't mention in any the triplite materials. If Boeing had trouble and they run far more sophisticated systems than anything we have in an RV, the possibility is still there. Tesla vehicles had a few fires that were attributed to accidents that damaged the battery envelope and one burning in a garage, yet Tesla also updated their software shortly after as well. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/...ing-may-be-bad

What is impressive with Tesla is their rapid response with software updates to address to such issues - a response that I don't expect to see from motorhome and charge controller manufacturers.

Many of these batteries have their own safety systems built in, so perhaps this remains quite remote that there will be an issue. After all, there are greater fire risks already in our RVs from other systems.
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Old 11-26-2014, 10:39 AM   #31
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Wanderso, the chemistry and battery logic is much different in the lithium batteries that are being discussed and the lithium batteries you are referring to. The new technologies have been proven to be safe.
Steve

Exactly. The Boeing Dreamliner issues were with Lithium Cobalt cells, not Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4 aka LFP), which are the ones boaters and RVers are using. Different chemistry entirely.
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Old 11-26-2014, 10:41 AM   #32
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Lithium batteries

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Yes, that is one of the things to be careful of. The LiFePO4 batteries I have are rated at 3C continuous (1C = 200A). Since I use two in parallel that makes continuous a discharge rating of 1200A, no issues here.

The battery pack you are referring to is really about 200AH (they rate at at 2.6KWH, divide by 12 to get amp hour rating) the cells look like the same ones I use, so they are derating it for some reason, most likely the copper buss bars between the cells.

This is the same thing we plan to do. Our Lithium neighbors have a similar set-up and have run their aircon for several hours directly from their batteries with no issues. Once you parallel up the discharge rates are no problem. Plus one of the advantages of lithium is that they have a nearly flat discharge curve (very low Peukertís losses), which means almost no loss of capacity under load, so they can deliver high, steady amperage for longer times. Lead acid batteries drop capacity quite heavily under big loads and are not really suited to running them.

Again not a feature most folks would ever need to worry or even care about unless they boondock extensively.
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Old 11-26-2014, 10:55 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by wanderso View Post
I meant "important" not unimportant above.

On the question of fires, I agree that they are rare, yet one wonders if the charge controller tech in most RVs is up to snuff. Folks need to be careful and not just replace their flooded cell or AGM into an old system.

I suggest that charging systems need to be certified as safe for their use. I'm skeptical for example that my Triplite inverter/charger made in 2004 is up to the task for these batteries that it doesn't mention in any the triplite materials.

You definitely need a smart charger for Lithium, preferably a fully custom programmable one where you can set hard stops and adjust absorb time to zero. Our Tristar MPPT-45 solar charger has that capability, as does our new Magnum MSH3012 (hybrid) inverter/charger. Plus you need to somehow monitor and balance cells.

Yet another reason why Lithium isn't for everyone.
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Old 11-30-2014, 08:09 PM   #34
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there are a lot of good info on this thread. i am a believer of lithium technology and seriously consider to upgrade my system to lithium based after my current wet cell runs out in a few years. think about it, not long ago we were using ni-cad hand tools, nowadays how many people are still using it? all of small tools in my garage, such as drill, impact driver, circular saw, small blowers... are all lithium ones. when more and more people move toward lithium and availability of suppers increases, we should have more choices and the price will come down. go lithium!!
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Old 11-30-2014, 11:17 PM   #35
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At this point the only reason to put in lithium batteries is to able to brag to your friends how much money you wasted.
Well, that response was rude, but I can't say that I disagree. Lithium cells for no generator boondocking makes sense if you have the moola and no place for more batteries.
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Old 01-18-2015, 10:40 AM   #36
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.....
BTW - also need to get realistic as far as figuring out how to get the charge back into super-batteries once they become discharged. Seems to me that for the serious boondocker and full-timer, their dollar will go a lot further by spending a little bit on as much solar as can be fitted on the roof, rather than wasting it on expensive batteries with no (quiet) way of recharging them.
Hi Tony,

I would like to understand what you mean about charging Lithium batteries. They can be charged in an RV from any power source. They charge about 40% faster than AGM and at least 50% faster than flooded type batteries. They never need to be fully charged, which with LA batteries requires a lot of wasted power.

And, more importantly, if you undercharge LA batteries, you will permanently damage them. Also, Lithium batteries can be turned off and left for years without damage. Since about 90% of all lead acid batteries are damaged, not worn out, from improper charging or from storing RV's without battery maintenance, lithium make sense for many people.

As long as the proper charge voltage is applied and the battery has a proper EMS to protect it, Li-ion batteries are the best at using your charge sources efficiently.

Larry
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Old 01-18-2015, 10:50 AM   #37
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You definitely need a smart charger for Lithium, preferably a fully custom programmable one where you can set hard stops and adjust absorb time to zero. Our Tristar MPPT-45 solar charger has that capability, as does our new Magnum MSH3012 (hybrid) inverter/charger. Plus you need to somehow monitor and balance cells.

Yet another reason why Lithium isn't for everyone.
Hi,

Did you get the new Magnum Energy ME-ARC, version 4.0? It has the CC/CV setting that you will want for Lithium batteries.

The ME-RC does not do a good job because you can not force it to stay in float mode. It will go into silent mode and not charge again until the battery voltage drops quite low. This is OK for lead acid batteries but not for Li-ion.

The older versions of the ARC will allow you to set a constant float voltage and this works for some Lithium chemistries.

Happy Trails,
Larry
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Old 01-18-2015, 10:59 AM   #38
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.....
And the pricing has come down. You can get 1000 amp hour battery for $1,200. And it can be less if you build your own batteries (from cells).....

Here's some Balqon prices:
Balqon Electric Vehicle Manufacturer

.
Just FYI, those are 3 volt batteries so you will need 4 of them to make a 12 volt bank.

[moderator edit]

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Old 01-18-2015, 05:00 PM   #39
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Lithium batteries

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Hi,



Did you get the new Magnum Energy ME-ARC, version 4.0? It has the CC/CV setting that you will want for Lithium batteries.



The ME-RC does not do a good job because you can not force it to stay in float mode. It will go into silent mode and not charge again until the battery voltage drops quite low. This is OK for lead acid batteries but not for Li-ion.



The older versions of the ARC will allow you to set a constant float voltage and this works for some Lithium chemistries.



Happy Trails,

Larry

Yes, we got the ME-ARC to accompany our new inverter. Installed and ready for action.
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Old 01-18-2015, 05:03 PM   #40
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Lithium batteries

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Just FYI, those are 3 volt batteries so you will need 4 of them to make a 12 volt bank.



I have tried to get Balqon to sell to us and they won't respond. Same story from other people. The price looks good but the company is weird.



Larry

Unfortunately I have to admit we've seen the same thing. Balqon are offering the best prices on the market right now (for pre-built), but they seem heavily focused on automotive and are not being very responsive to individuals. Some buddies and us contacted them in Dec, and they eventually responded, but it was slow and didn't give us a great impression. We were thinking of switching to Lithium this winter, but may hold out for another year.

And yeah, I did realize about the voltages (see my brain fart post above). We were budgeting the full $4,800 for the switch, less if we decide to self-build.
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Old 01-18-2015, 06:00 PM   #41
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Good...is it version 4.0? That's the only version with Lithium settings.

Quote:
Yes, we got the ME-ARC to accompany our new inverter. Installed and ready for action.
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:57 AM   #42
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Exciting times in the advancement of Lithium for both the RV and Boating community.

We looked carefully at these two years ago, and decided to go the Lifeline AGM route for this set of house batteries. (Price was about 65% less at that time for 'getting it in and running'. Over my projection of total life, the costs came down to about 35-40% more. But beyond costs, is the expected better livability/usage factor of the faster charging and more forgiving Lithium's - hard to out a $ value on that.)

I expect we'll see even more dramatic lithium related changes over the next two years. The mega Lithium factory being built at near Reno, should (say should, as I think the priority of this Musk factory will be 1) Solar, 2) Cars, 3) Other (In 'other', I hope to see RV'ing and Boating configurations.)

Either way, the price points should continue to drop.

We expect another 5-7 years of Life out of these Lifeline's - so lots of time for us to let things simmer.

I did install Solar Panels/Controller and upgraded Magnum Inverter/Charger (dang it, missed the hybrid Magnum by a few months!) with future Lithium support capability in mind.

Unless someone is needing to 'do this now' on new House Batteries - I'd personally recommend limping along, or even purchasing some inexpensive wet cells to gap, a couple more years of Lithium simmering. I suspect that these will become more and more mainstream over the next 5 years. And as prices drop, expect more OEM delivery of Lithium House banks.

When installing new replacement components in your RV, recommend you future proof where you can by assuring configurations that support Lithium.

Exciting times indeed... Best to all, and thanks for all the info sharing!
Smitty
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