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Old 08-02-2020, 01:59 PM   #1
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Li-BIM 225 Battery Isolation manager - Lithium Batteries

2005 Alpine Coach 36 FDDS

Has anyone installed a Li-BIM 225 Battery Isolation manager on their Alpine Coach? I have seen post (not Alpine) of others who have installed the battery isolator with great success.
https://www.mobilemusthave.com/LiFeP...ger_p_190.html
https://lithionicsbattery.com/
I have a Lithionics Lithium House battery since June 2012 and it works OK but it never get up to 14.3 VDC as recommended. I have four 80W solar panels on roof. It all works OK but I think I have a very basic solar controller because it is not adjustable to Lithium batteries. I am told they should be charged to
14.3 VDC but mine only get to 13.6 VDC. If anyone can recommend a good controller I would appreciate it. Check this out:
This started the Li-BIM 225 Battery Isolation manager post here.
Thanks
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Old 08-02-2020, 02:28 PM   #2
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I went with the Victron DC-DC converter/charger (2 of them actually). You can add a 12-12/30 that will charge your batteries to the parameters you set. It is managed from your phone and easy to use.

A DC-DC converter is the absolute best way to charge your LifePO4 batteries from your alternator and will protect your alternator while charging your batteries to the necessary voltage as programmed by you.
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Old 08-02-2020, 04:04 PM   #3
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Agree with Paul, DC-DC chargers supply the proper voltage to your lithium batteries, and limit the current supplied by the alternator. At low engine speeds, alternator will get hot quickly with the current a LI battery will accept. I know the Bim will connect for 15 minutes and disconnect for 20 minutes. But a alternator turning at low speed [low cooling] supplying high amps to a depleted lithium battery bank will get hot very quickly.
This video is about using a different type of alternator, but does show what happens when an standard alternator at low speed has to supply higher currents.
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Old 08-03-2020, 05:35 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by paul65k View Post
I went with the Victron DC-DC converter/charger (2 of them actually). You can add a 12-12/30 that will charge your batteries to the parameters you set. It is managed from your phone and easy to use.

A DC-DC converter is the absolute best way to charge your LifePO4 batteries from your alternator and will protect your alternator while charging your batteries to the necessary voltage as programmed by you.
Why 2?

I need to make another attempt to trace my alternator wiring. I never did find how it gets into the battery bay.
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Old 08-03-2020, 10:09 PM   #5
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Why 2?

I need to make another attempt to trace my alternator wiring. I never did find how it gets into the battery bay.
Not Paul, but I run one, but might go to two. 30 amps is great for many purposes, but 60 amps would be great for faster charging, and in my case running the ac when driving. But it depends on the size of your alternator, obviously you don't want to overload your alternator.
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Old 08-04-2020, 09:59 AM   #6
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Not Paul, but I run one, but might go to two. 30 amps is great for many purposes, but 60 amps would be great for faster charging, and in my case running the ac when driving. But it depends on the size of your alternator, obviously you don't want to overload your alternator.
Why wouldn't I just buy one rated to the max load the alternator can supply?

I suspect my understanding of the system is over simplified. I treat the alternator as just another possible power source, ie generator, shore power, solar, and alternator. 4 possible input pathways. All feed into the same system, no?
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Old 08-04-2020, 10:40 AM   #7
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Why wouldn't I just buy one rated to the max load the alternator can supply?

I suspect my understanding of the system is over simplified. I treat the alternator as just another possible power source, ie generator, shore power, solar, and alternator. 4 possible input pathways. All feed into the same system, no?
Yes just another power source, but the dc-dc charger will change the voltage the alternator produces to one suited to charging LI batteries. And limits current. Unlike Lead Acid which is somewhat self regulating, LI will take a full 1C charge until full. The video shows what happens when a alternator tries to supply too much current at low speed. So if your batteries are low, and your engine is idling, the alternator will try to produce max current with little cooling because of the low fan speed on the alternator that cools it. I tested my coach when I first got the LI's with direct charging from alternator, did not measure current, but put an IR gun on alternator casing and it went to 250 F. within 5 min. I guess it depends on the size of your alternator, but mine is 160 amps and would not want to send more than 60 amps to house batteries, when you consider what the chassis might draw with lights, blowers etc drawing some unknown amount. At highway speeds you are probably okay pulling a lot out of your antenator, but at low speeds, not so much.
Have not really looked, but don't see many bigger units out there. Besides the Victron 30 amp chargers are bluetooth controlled which makes them easy to set up and see what is going on from your phone.
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Old 08-04-2020, 02:43 PM   #8
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Yes just another power source, but the dc-dc charger will change the voltage the alternator produces to one suited to charging LI batteries. And limits current. Unlike Lead Acid which is somewhat self regulating, LI will take a full 1C charge until full. The video shows what happens when a alternator tries to supply too much current at low speed. So if your batteries are low, and your engine is idling, the alternator will try to produce max current with little cooling because of the low fan speed on the alternator that cools it. I tested my coach when I first got the LI's with direct charging from alternator, did not measure current, but put an IR gun on alternator casing and it went to 250 F. within 5 min. I guess it depends on the size of your alternator, but mine is 160 amps and would not want to send more than 60 amps to house batteries, when you consider what the chassis might draw with lights, blowers etc drawing some unknown amount. At highway speeds you are probably okay pulling a lot out of your antenator, but at low speeds, not so much.
Have not really looked, but don't see many bigger units out there. Besides the Victron 30 amp chargers are bluetooth controlled which makes them easy to set up and see what is going on from your phone.
Thanks. I understand the Lithium issue. Hence my questions.

I'm still unsure why I want 2 modules, but it sounds like at least part of it is due to the 30A Victron product being common/popular.

So if I had a 160A alternator, I only want a 30A DC-DC converter to allow enough remaining current to power the chassis loads. It makes sense I don't want to send 100A into the house batteries.

I think I understand why I want a 30A. Just still not sure why I would want a second vs larger single module.
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Old 08-04-2020, 03:30 PM   #9
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Thanks. I understand the Lithium issue. Hence my questions.

I'm still unsure why I want 2 modules, but it sounds like at least part of it is due to the 30A Victron product being common/popular.

So if I had a 160A alternator, I only want a 30A DC-DC converter to allow enough remaining current to power the chassis loads. It makes sense I don't want to send 100A into the house batteries.

I think I understand why I want a 30A. Just still not sure why I would want a second vs larger single module.
Your chassis lead acid batteries are self regulating and will not take a massive charge like lithiums will. Size or number of dc-dc chargers will depend on your lifestyle. 30 amp charger will return 150 a/h's to your batteries in 5 hours of driving, two will supply 300 a/h's in 5 hours. I have big solar that supplies most of my needs, so after dry camping for couple days, I only need 30 amps from my dc-dc charger to top off batteries, but if you use a lot of amp hours when camping and have depleted batteries, 60 a/h charger may be better. I sometimes run one roof air off inverter when driving, so two 30 amp chargers or one bigger one would be better for me, but if you have only 200 a/hs of lithium, anything over 30 amp charger would be overkill.
Seems a lot of people that have lithium batteries, also have big solar systems, which is why 30 amps is enough for them.
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Old 08-06-2020, 05:24 PM   #10
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Sorry guys I was camped in Cimarron, CO for a few days without an internet connection but here goes;

I have 2 DC-DC chargers so that I can run my AC unit while driving AND still charge the batteries, a little at least, but mostly because I can run the Rooftop AC without running the generator.

These guys are very robust and are pretty big, they even have a bigger heatsync than my 150/100 MPPT controller. Getting just one "Big One" would be MASSIVE and these are designed to support up to 6 in parallel and they are smart and can communicate with each other as well as providing smart charging for your batteries.......you really only need one but I decided to add 2, and I'm very glad I did.

The victron units actually overproduced from their stated amperage, and according Victron this is within specs. My (2) 15A 24V chargers, which would be 30A @12V will provide almost 45A while driving, and add to this my solar panels (1600W) and I make enough power to run a single rooftop AC unit, the residential refrigerator, built-in wine cooler and today I was still putting 12A (24A @12V) into the batteries to recharge the bank after leaving the AC running for about an hour while we made a stop in Walmart

You don't need a DC-DC converter and I thought no big deal I'll just start my trips with completely full batteries and won't have to worry about my alternator..........3 months later I was buying a new alternator and I had a 200A upgraded alternator at the time........now I have 240A, but the DC-DC chargers are doing a fantastic time keeping our battery bank charged while traveling and more importantly protecting my alternator........2 DC-DC converter/chargers BTW cost about as much as a 240A Alternator

Cheers!!
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Old 08-13-2020, 07:35 PM   #11
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Li Battery Controller ?????

Has anyone checked out this controller.


I am no where as advanced as most of you guys but I do have a Li battery in place of the 8 LA batteries. It seems like this controller might be netter than the normal DC/DC one. Watch the video and post opinions. PLEASE
I don't see and inverter in the diagram. Also it shows <Solar Adapter Kit> what would that be? How would our generator work into this configuration?
When I replaced my 9 house batteries with one Li battery I just simply replaced and it had been working for 5 years. Now everyone is talking about frying the alternator. My original alternator did fail after 14 years ( 4 years on Li) and my new ALT seems to be acting up. Might just be a ground issue - I hope.
Any and all suggestions will be appreciated.
Thanks
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Old 08-16-2020, 05:53 PM   #12
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I am no where as advanced as most of you guys but I do have a Li battery in place of the 8 LA batteries. It seems like this controller might be netter than the normal DC/DC one. Watch the video and post opinions. PLEASE
I don't see and inverter in the diagram. Also it shows <Solar Adapter Kit> what would that be? How would our generator work into this configuration?

The one downside to this controller is that it requires your solar panels to be wired in parallel. A stand alone MPPT controller usually allows series panel wiring so that you can reduce the size of cable coming down from the roof. If you've already run big #4 to the roof, then I see no problem. For me, I haven't done solar yet, so I'll head another direction to keep cable sizes smaller.
Inverter would tie direct to the House battery, as normal. Because you have a battery charger, which is powered by 120vac (either from generator or shore), the Charger would also connect to House. In my coach, I have a combined charger/inverter, which ties to House.
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Old 08-18-2020, 01:48 PM   #13
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Why 2?

I need to make another attempt to trace my alternator wiring. I never did find how it gets into the battery bay.
Heyduke,
Check the back side (so behind the battery compartment wall) of the main chassis positive terminal. It actually goes through the wall and has connections on the back.
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Old 08-18-2020, 01:58 PM   #14
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Has anyone checked out this controller.


I am no where as advanced as most of you guys but I do have a Li battery in place of the 8 LA batteries. It seems like this controller might be netter than the normal DC/DC one. Watch the video and post opinions. PLEASE
I don't see and inverter in the diagram. Also it shows <Solar Adapter Kit> what would that be? How would our generator work into this configuration?
When I replaced my 9 house batteries with one Li battery I just simply replaced and it had been working for 5 years. Now everyone is talking about frying the alternator. My original alternator did fail after 14 years ( 4 years on Li) and my new ALT seems to be acting up. Might just be a ground issue - I hope.
Any and all suggestions will be appreciated.
Thanks
So this will work just fine. However what are your plans for future solar? You already have the main expensive component -the battery- solar panels are cheap in comparison. So my recommendation is a separate 30A DC-DC charger (Renogy is just fine) and leave your options open to add a separate solar charger in the future. Our rig size has a bit of a limit for solar real-estate, but none the less I would keep the systems separate.
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