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Old 02-25-2020, 08:05 PM   #1
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Silverleaf Integration with 1200AH LiFePO4 in a New Aire

I have done a few upgrades on my New Aire recently and thought I would share them with IRV2 folks. I have installed 1200AH of LiFePO4 batteries from Lithionics in place of the AGM batteries. These batteries use a BMS that communicates over the RV-C interface in the coach to the Silverleaf system so that there are some new features become visible on the main display. Drop in batteries don't usually communicate with anything so you really don't know the status of the battery unless you are using a Battery Monitor (such as a Victron BMV) but now I can see the exact percentage of the state of charge for the batteries on the main display.

Image 1, shows how the State of Charge (basically a fuel gauge) percentage in house batteries on the main screen instead of just the battery voltage - which doesn't really tell you much about how full the battery is.
Image 2, shows the detailed DC page where the temperature, voltage, current and SoC of the battery is displayed. Note that the inverter is supplying 10A, but the batteries are only seeing 1A. The 9 other amps are being consumed by systems in the coach.
Image 3, shows that a whole new Lithionics specific page becomes visible in the Special Features menus.
Image 4, shows the Lithionics menu page specifics.

To do this, I had upgraded the Silverleaf TM102 module and the HMS module with new software from Silverleaf. I had to use a flash upgrade tool for the TM102 upgrade piece and Silverleaf's Omniscope tool for the HMS upgrade.

The end result is that I now have more control over two aspects of the DC system. I can configure the AGS to start at a certain SoC percentage. And I can configure the charge bridge that cross connects the chassis battery with the house battery so that I can keep the chassis battery fully charged while I'm on solar... no need to manually enable the charge switch with the dash board switch.

It has taken a little while for me to get the integration right. I had to do a flash memory upgrade of the TM102 module using a programming cable I made based on Silverleaf's drawing and use a flash programming application to upgrade that module. And I had to purchase the Silverleaf Omniscope technician tool to upgrade the firmware of the HMS (main screen). I've still got some tweaking to do, but things appear to be working now as I had hoped.
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Old 02-25-2020, 08:19 PM   #2
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The batteries consist of two modules of 600AH each. Each battery has what Lithionics calls a mini-bms on each cell that monitors critical parameters continuously. If any parameter exceeds limits the mini-bms notifies the BMS and the BMS disconnects the battery. Each battery is temperature monitored as well and contains an internal heater that is thermostatically controlled. The heaters use approximately 30W each when they are needed which I hope we will not use very frequently.
What I have noticed so far is that charging the batteries from solar is much more efficient than charging AGM batteries.

My wife and I just competed 20 continuous days of dry camping and we were impressed with how efficiently the batteries recharged. We had some cloudy days so we had to run the generator sometimes too and I have to admit its nice to see the generator producing more current than our old AGMs could have ever kept up with.
We've also noticed how little voltage sag there is when heavily using the batteries (ie running the microwave).
The picture below shows the batteries in the bay. I'm still working on sealing the bay from moisture and dust.
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Old 02-26-2020, 10:56 AM   #3
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Wow that impressive!
Iím currently researching replacement of my AGM batteries in my 2106 DSDP with Battle Born 100 amp LiFePO4.
Are Lithionics considered a drop in replacement?
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Old 02-26-2020, 11:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtspence View Post
Wow that impressive!
Iím currently researching replacement of my AGM batteries in my 2106 DSDP with Battle Born 100 amp LiFePO4.
Are Lithionics considered a drop in replacement?
There are a number of different battery sizes that you can get from Lithionics that contain an internal BMS.
I chose the type with the external BMS since I wanted the BMS to communicate with the coach as one large battery bank. Lithionics does make batteries with the BMS built into the battery which may be more of what you are looking for.

BB has batteries that come in two sizes and two voltage options (12 and 24). Lithionics has more options available for sure. What I found is that I could pack more capacity into the available battery bay in my coach with Lithionics than I could with BB. It would not have been possible to put 12 BBs in the space I was able to fit the 2 600AH Lithionics batteries.

For my project, I called Lithionics and talked to a very knowledgeable person who helped identify options and provided a straight forward project diagram and quote. They need to know your available space, current charging system, etc... There's a Youtube channel by Lithionics if you are interested in more. Here's a video by Lithionics comparing their BMS tech to BB.
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Old 02-27-2020, 10:53 AM   #5
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Steve
Thanks for the follow up. I spoke with Lothionics yesterday they are getting a quote back to me soon.
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Old 02-27-2020, 01:42 PM   #6
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I have the same setup in my coach, very heavy duty and substantial when compared the to the Battle Born batteries as that video shows. Silverleaf has worked out the bugs in the TM 102 firmware and it is almost plug and play.






Here is my install: https://www.irv2.com/forums/f103/lit...ex-448508.html
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