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Old 09-17-2018, 03:58 PM   #1
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Talking Lithionic batteries no good for RV's? Help

Afternoon all,

I have a real headscratcher. Just purchased two 300ah Lithionics lithium batteries for a very pretty penny. I have them connected to a new Vitronics Charge Controller and MMPT controller. The system looks fantastic. But the batteries are shutting down.

I am in Tempe having the system installed. It is 105 degrees ambient outside temperature. They have a limiter so that the batteries shut down at 113. That give me 7 degrees and the batteries will produce heat when charging or discharging, eating up all of that 7 degrees. I have a 6 inch industrial fan pulling air through the compartment and the batteries still shut down.

Lithionics recommends that I run the air conditioner to keep them cool. I point out that if I am running on batteries is when I am boondocking and would not have air. They are going to talk to their engineers and call me back. They did say that there are no returns. Even on batteries that have been plugged in for 6 hours.

These batteries are ridiculously expensive and while I certainly do not want to damage them.

Admittedly, if it is 105 degrees outside, I am more likely to be connected to shore power or I am likely to be heading to cooler climates, but it is an odd response for a company in Clearwater, Florida.

I would really appreciate any input you might have. I am sure that there are a lot of folks smarter than I am, and/or have more experience.

Thanks,
Pete
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Old 09-17-2018, 05:53 PM   #2
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have you attached a thermocouple to the batteries and measure the skin temperature?
surely, you should not be eating up the temperature?

Also, please give more information. Charging, discharging, current in / out. Without specific's we are guessing and I think so is the manufacture. Unless you are providing additional info to mfg and not us
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Old 09-17-2018, 06:10 PM   #3
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I use Battleborn lithiums and they operate up to 160 degrees and charge up to 135 degrees. It seems really strange that they set their high temperature so low. It is like these were not designed for the RV industry. It never gets to 100 degrees in Clearwater, FL (maybe 96 tops). This manufacturer must have never planned to market these in these in the hot SW.

I hope they come up with a solution for you.
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Old 09-17-2018, 06:31 PM   #4
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Pete, try: Northern Arizona Wind and Sun in Flagstaff.
https://www.solar-electric.com/

They know and sell lithium’s.
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Old 09-17-2018, 06:53 PM   #5
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My LifeBlue batteries are 131. Yours does seem low. Hard to imagine what they were thinking. Im not crazy about mine at 131 but it has not been a problem but I also havent had them but a couple months.
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Old 09-17-2018, 06:58 PM   #6
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Looking at the datasheet for one of the 300ah batteries listed on their web page it looks like the 113 volt cutoff should only be on the charging side of the system, and you should be able to discharge up to 140. Having been involved in instrumenting field tests of batteries, that's slightly conservative, but not by any means unreasonable. Assorted lithium batteries, much like lead acid batteries deteriorate much more quickly when subjected to high temperatures, especially when charging. Unfortunately, with lithium's requiring a battery management system you're somewhat at the mercy of the designers as to the limits they impose. Personally if it's short of causing significant damage I'd just as soon they left cutoff parameters up to me "the user" as to what's acceptable and simply provide a data curve the same way lead acid manufactures do where they show depth of discharge verses cycle life for me to adjust setting on.
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Old 09-18-2018, 06:26 AM   #7
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What inverter are you using? My Magnum hybrid and some Victrons throw a huge initial surge kick and can clip the BMS. Some folks have started using a current surge limiter. Here is the link to the system I know of:
https://pauhanatravels.com/solarguide/

He uses 2 of these current surge limiters.*https://battlebornbatteries.com/shop...surge-limiter/
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Old 09-19-2018, 04:14 PM   #8
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Additional information

Question: I am still at the location. Should I remove the batteries and leave them here? Are the batteries worth owning?

Here is some additional information. Please understand that I only just had the system installed over the past couple days. I am a novice at best. On the other hand, I am 5' away from the unit so I get whatever info you might need.

Here are the significant items. I can post the full list, if that helps.
Victron Multiplus 3000
Lithionics GTR12V300A-5DR-CTRL400 (two batteries)
Victron BMV-712 Battery Monitor
Victron Smart Solar 150/70
Victron Color Control GX
Blue Sea Fuse Block (Solar Combiner ) 5025

I went with the Lithionics because of the really hard sell by the installer. To his credit, I honestly believe that he was doing what he felt was right. I do not believe he knew about the limitations either.

I have since heard that Victron goes to 123, and some of you have noted that your batteries go much higher.

I would appreciate any input you might have?
Pete
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Old 09-19-2018, 04:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorcq View Post
have you attached a thermocouple to the batteries and measure the skin temperature?
surely, you should not be eating up the temperature?
I do not have a temperature sensing thermocouple. While it seems useful, if I really need that, it seems like I am already in trouble. That said, can you point me to one that you would suggest? Would it integrate with my system?

Quote:
Also, please give more information. Charging, discharging, current in / out. Without specific's we are guessing and I think so is the manufacture. Unless you are providing additional info to mfg and not us
I am not certain how to give you that. I know that the input to the batteries has been restricted to 50amps. Take a look at the pictures that I posted below and tell me a bit more clearly what you might need.
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Old 09-19-2018, 11:24 PM   #10
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Paustin, I am late on this but I doubt if they did it right. Just a few things -

(1) Temp - I have been using lifepo4 on RV for both house and chassis since 2014. I put them all in one of the storage bins where the old lead acid batteries were housed. No a/c for them. There has never been a single case that overheat or overcool. I personally has stayed in over than 105 degrees, battery had no issues.

2) Charge current limited to 50A - this is WAY WAY OFF. I have known that Lifepo4 is mostly charged at 0.3C and max at 3C. If you have 600AH, normally you can safely charge it at 180A and max charge it at 1800A (not a typo here). No idea why they limited it to merely 50A. (Remember Lifepo4 is supposed to be charged at a faster/bigger rate. 50A is not even bigger than the rate to charge a lead acid battery.)

3) Lifepo4 has been used on RVs for years, that being said it's suitable for RV. I know a few folks active on this site installed 1200Ah on their RVs, (I am one of them), and none has reported the problem similar to yours. Probably you should talk to the vendor to get it resolved or get money back!

Best luck!
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Old 09-20-2018, 04:58 AM   #11
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I looked at the spec sheet for the 300AH battery and it says max charge rate 400amp, why the heck would they tell you 50..need to contact the manufacturer about this installer and get them straightened out. I agree that they don't know anything about Lipo's
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Old 09-20-2018, 08:35 AM   #12
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At this present moment it would seem the charge rate is the least of his issues, the ambient outside temperature shut down being so low is a bigger deal.
Do lithionics battery bms allow for actual individual cell temp readings?
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Old 09-20-2018, 08:59 AM   #13
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The charge rate was intentionally restricted as a temporary attempt to reduce the overheating.

I believe that there is an ability to measure heat, though I do not know if it is at the individual cell level, or at the battery level. However, it would require purchasing additional components. At this point I am reluctant to chase good money after bad.

Sidennote: I know Chris and Cherie of Technomadia a bit and swapped some emails. They noted that their home-built batteries did suffered a steeper capacity loss than expected. They implemented a better airflow system and that reduced the curve significantly. Temperature clearly has an impact.

So, here is what I am getting from this thread:
The 113 degree charging cut-off seems very low and not in line with current industry norms.
Folks are using many other batteries very successfully
I should work on abandoning these batteries for an alternative if possible

Let me know if I have missed anything
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Old 09-20-2018, 09:13 AM   #14
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I have the same style batteries (Elite GBS) as Technomadia our 500ah/ 1,280w solar bank has been operating for 29 months now continuously. These are in the front compartment of the 5th wheel with no special heating or cooling, I have placed a remote thermometer there so I can see what the temps get to and even in the hottest areas boondocking 95-100f that compartment might get to 90+ and never have I seen the batteries cells get over 87f (individual cell voltage/ temps can be seen).

If the installer didn't do something wrong it seems like lithionics is more for a controlled environment.
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