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Old 07-08-2019, 09:14 AM   #85
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Curious if you have done a full load test on them yet. Brought them all the way down to LVD and all the way back up to HVD (or very close to it). If so how close in balance did they stay? I think you stated you were choosing 14.5V as your max.

One thing I am finding with the larger AH packs is that those mini balancers you have do not have the needed amp capability to make a correction when you are charging with the higher amps that you are if you bring the packs down and up frequently.
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:25 AM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r3meyer View Post
Curious if you have done a full load test on them yet. Brought them all the way down to LVD and all the way back up to HVD (or very close to it). If so how close in balance did they stay? I think you stated you were choosing 14.5V as your max.



One thing I am finding with the larger AH packs is that those mini balancers you have do not have the needed amp capability to make a correction when you are charging with the higher amps that you are if you bring the packs down and up frequently.


Actually your finding is quite the opposite of most users.
Couple of thoughts here you need to decide if you want your pack to be bottom balanced or top balanced but they cannot be both.
I have mine top balanced because I think this is the way to go for an RV. Others think different.
It took me 2 full charge and discharge cycles to get them top balanced and stay that way.
Since then the packs are in use and have not been balanced in the last 3 month.
I just went out and took a picture of the attached meter. I don’t use that to balance by the way.
The min to max cell voltage is 0.014V all the balancing logics that I came across so far are starting to balance at 0.2V difference.
My Victron shows 11 complete full cycle charges and the pack gets used (fans) and charged (solar) daily.
If you experience that your cells stay not in balance then here is my recommendation.
A) if you bottom balanced your High Voltage cut off is set too high or if you top balanced your low cut off needs to be raised.
B) in all scenarios I have seen where packs want to chronically fall out of balance the internal resistance of the pack is not matched either up front when put together or when they age.

C) the C rating for the discharge is not matched to the capacity of the pack. So you install a 50Ah pack and expect it to deliver 250A, while possible and manufactures like to claim their cells can do it I think it is not practical.

And finally D) in the pack assembly there can not be a connection with a different resistance then the rest.

An external balancer placing a parasitic draw on a cell of 0.8 to 1A should be plenty for any pack size you can fit into an RV. It just needs time to do it. But you cannot use it to initially balance your pack.
I think my explanation is getting a bit long here ... anyways I own 14 lithium packs from 12V to 36V and this is what I have learned in the past 6-7 years of using them.
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:43 AM   #87
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watch out new ACA member coming

Quote:
Originally Posted by paul65k View Post
Well, it's the largest rally of the year for the Alpine Coach Association.....almost 100 rigs will be there. Community tent, lots of great information exchanged as well as good food and entertainment........it would be perfect for you with those new Lithium batteries on-board
... Well I better join the ACA then. So far I noticed a bit of a push for people to join here form some members on IRV2. I like to change my lifestyle to be a bit more minimalist ... at leased that the plan LOL so naturally I was thinking that I pass.
Now where I have met here online some of you folks that been around for years I have changed my mind. I will P.M. Dave today he offered to help me get signed up.
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Old 07-08-2019, 11:42 AM   #88
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Alpine06, when you say the HVD is 14.5v (3.62 vpc +/-) that's the battery pack as a whole are your individual cells protected by LVD / HVD in case one was to go rogue? Just wondering.
Nice setup.
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Old 07-08-2019, 01:29 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by Itinerant1 View Post
Alpine06, when you say the HVD is 14.5v (3.62 vpc +/-) that's the battery pack as a whole are your individual cells protected by LVD / HVD in case one was to go rogue? Just wondering.
Nice setup.
I cannot cut off the pack if an individual cell goes south ... at the moment.

Not everyone will understand the point you are trying to make, so lets explain it:
If one cell lags behind in voltage (so falls out of balance) then the other cells (or in some cases just one cell) will pick up the slag and will have a higher voltage. The total pack voltage is fine but the individual cells are not and one cell can get overcharged to a dangerously high level.

Now if this is going on in one of the drop in solution batteries (i.e. Battleborn, ReLion etc) you have no idea that a problem is developing and need to rely on the fact that whatever electronic is installed will do its job. But short from the battery being dead you have no clue what is going on.
I do not like that ... I am somewhat of a geek when it comes to stuff like that and I like visibility. At the moment I can see every cell voltage on my phone / Ipad during charge if I choose to.

Maybe at one point I will add the battery cut off based on individual cell voltage. In the beginning I had a system in mind that unfortunately was not available in the US. It is made in the Netherlands.
My plan is to add it at one point and also to change out the Victron battery protect for the 123 smart relay.

https://123electric.eu/products/123smartbms/

I think it is an awsome state of the art electronics providing full visibility.
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Old 07-08-2019, 02:05 PM   #90
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That's a good explanation for the newbies thinking about getting their toes wet in lfp. I don't think a lot of folks looking at these batteries realize that cell voltage is as important as pack voltage.

I've been using using GBS lfp 500ah (4s5p) that comes as a package fulltime for the past 39 months, with the 98% of the time charging with 1,280w solar.

There are 7 alarms/ safe guards (ems/ cpu) set as:
- Over voltage (highest cell is over 3.8V after a 3 second delay)
- Under voltage (lowest cell is below 2.8V after a 30 second delay)
- Over current (current exceeds 10C for 10 seconds)
- Over temperature (highest cell exceeds 150F or 65C)
- Under temperature (lowest cell is below 32F or 0C, charging is not allowed)
- Ground fault (There is a high voltage leakage greater than 2mA to the chassis pin)
- Unmanaged cells (The programmed number of cells does not equal the number of cells read)

Keep up the good work.
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Old 07-08-2019, 02:30 PM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itinerant1 View Post
That's a good explanation for the newbies thinking about getting their toes wet in lfp. I don't think a lot of folks looking at these batteries realize that cell voltage is as important as pack voltage.

I've been using using GBS lfp 500ah (4s5p) that comes as a package fulltime for the past 39 months, with the 98% of the time charging with 1,280w solar.

There are 7 alarms/ safe guards (ems/ cpu) set as:
- Over voltage (highest cell is over 3.8V after a 3 second delay)
- Under voltage (lowest cell is below 2.8V after a 30 second delay)
- Over current (current exceeds 10C for 10 seconds)
- Over temperature (highest cell exceeds 150F or 65C)
- Under temperature (lowest cell is below 32F or 0C, charging is not allowed)
- Ground fault (There is a high voltage leakage greater than 2mA to the chassis pin)
- Unmanaged cells (The programmed number of cells does not equal the number of cells read)

Keep up the good work.
Very very nice !!! you got a lot of solar too. I have only 1/2 of that and feel it is sufficient ... well I have not been through all seasons yet. And we do not watch TV and no residential fridge either.
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Old 07-08-2019, 03:22 PM   #92
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The solar is flat mounted and during the spring, summer , fall it is way more than enough. I'll switch the fridge over from propane to electric and run it all day from the excess solar along with everything else in the rv. Average power produced 3.5 - 6 kwh daily. During the winter when we're in AZ the solar will keep the batteries in a PSOC (95%-25%) for long periods (2-3 weeks average, longest 35+ days at 85-25%) of time with an occasional full charge, we don't skimp on power usage at all. My settings are bulk 14.2v, absorb 14.2v (10 minute can't be turned off), Float 13.6v. Magnum 3012 inverter/ charger & Magnum PT100 charge controller.
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Old 07-08-2019, 03:32 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpine06 View Post
... Well I better join the ACA then. So far I noticed a bit of a push for people to join here form some members on IRV2. I like to change my lifestyle to be a bit more minimalist ... at leased that the plan LOL so naturally I was thinking that I pass.
Now where I have met here online some of you folks that been around for years I have changed my mind. I will P.M. Dave today he offered to help me get signed up.
Cool....Wife and I are going to be the Wagonmasters at this year's event and I was thinking of doing a primer on Solar/Lithium batteries, it would be great if you were there and we can show off our new systems
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Old 07-10-2019, 06:12 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by Alpine06 View Post
I cannot cut off the pack if an individual cell goes south ... at the moment.

Not everyone will understand the point you are trying to make, so lets explain it:
If one cell lags behind in voltage (so falls out of balance) then the other cells (or in some cases just one cell) will pick up the slag and will have a higher voltage. The total pack voltage is fine but the individual cells are not and one cell can get overcharged to a dangerously high level.

Now if this is going on in one of the drop in solution batteries (i.e. Battleborn, ReLion etc) you have no idea that a problem is developing and need to rely on the fact that whatever electronic is installed will do its job. But short from the battery being dead you have no clue what is going on.
I do not like that ... I am somewhat of a geek when it comes to stuff like that and I like visibility. At the moment I can see every cell voltage on my phone / Ipad during charge if I choose to.

Maybe at one point I will add the battery cut off based on individual cell voltage. In the beginning I had a system in mind that unfortunately was not available in the US. It is made in the Netherlands.
My plan is to add it at one point and also to change out the Victron battery protect for the 123 smart relay.

https://123electric.eu/products/123smartbms/

I think it is an awsome state of the art electronics providing full visibility.
That does look like a nice bms, watched all the you tube videos that had it shown.

To bad it's not readily sold in the America.
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Old 11-29-2019, 04:11 PM   #95
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Lithium Charging while cold

Here is an update since installation 6 month ago and one more addition that I made to the system.
First off the system performed flawless and I am happy with my solution.

As you might know Lithium cells can be discharged below freezing temps BUT they cannot be charged. If that happens the battery is toast in just a few cycles.
If you have a drop in battery then your BMS should take care of this. However you now have a battery that you cannot charge unless it gets heated.

This is why the preferred method of installing a lithium battery is in the headed compartment of the coach. Mine is not it is in the original battery compartment.

There are 3 charging sources that need to be controlled
1. The solar system
My Victron charge controller has a temp sensor connected to the battery (+) pole and shuts the charging off below 5C (my setting). So that one is easy.

2. The Alternator / Vansco / Trombetta
Anytime you just take off in freezing temperatures the alternator will start to charge the chassis battery and once 13.5V are reached the Vansco will activate the trombetta charge relay and combine both batteries. This one was tricky to solve but my final version is a Renogy DC-DC charger. It has an ignition sense wire that I picked off the fuse box. Here the trick I installed a small temperature controller with a relay that opens this circuit once the temperature falls below 5C. (picture attached).
I also disconnected the trombetta switching wire from the Vansco. This means I have at this moment no boost button. However I have a dedicated 120W solar panel for the chassis battery so hopefully I will not need it. I also loose the ability to charge the chassis battery from the gen set. I am o.k. with that in the moment and it takes just a minute to get all that functionality back by placing a fuse back in - I installed an in-line fuse and use it as a "switch" if I have to.
3. Generator charging
My default setting is to have the battery charge disabled. So I manually control when the battery is charged.

lets see if that pic uploads:
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Old 11-29-2019, 04:23 PM   #96
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So you can see that I only have a 20A DC to DC Charger installed. At the time I did not know that this changer has a function to cut the charge current in half. I would have purchased the 40A version instead and play around to see what the alternator Amps would be. So 20A is totally safe and protects the alternator nicely. A 3h drive will add 60Ah to the battery but more importantly it A) limits the charge current and also can boost the voltage from the alternator to get the battery to a full state my chassis is running on 13.8-13.9V max.

What happened before is that the trombetta connected both batteries together and in many instances the RV would run of the house battery until it was depleted down to 13.8V ... and that was just not desirable. So that is solved now. 20A is a bit low for a charge current but hey I don't have to worry.
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Old 11-29-2019, 04:42 PM   #97
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And finally my heating solution.

The battery sits in a tray and has also a foam board under that - think insulation.
I placed a 150W silicone heating pad into that tray and added an aluminium plate on top of that. The battery sits on top of that plate.
The pad is controlled by a PID thermostat controller and I have a temperature sensor on the top side of the battery. The PID output is switching a solid state relay. Initially I had the same ON-OFF type controller as pictures in the post above but that did not work. The bottom is toasty until the top finally started to heat up.
The PID has an automatic learning cycle and pulses the on/off heating for the heating pad allowing the relatively large mass of the battery to heat up slowly.
Once above 5C all the regular charging will happen. At 10C the heater shuts off.
Here a picture of the heating pad. It is not ideal, I have 2 100mm x 200mm pads on order with 50W each that will give a better heat distribution but the aluminium plate does an "o.k." job for now. Disregard the A on the meter I tested the idle current of the On/Off relay.
Joerg
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Old 11-29-2019, 04:47 PM   #98
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Also in the picture above you see that the wires to the transmission module go right over the charger - I have tested the electromagnetic noise on the bench using a camera from my FPV drone that is rather sensitive. There was a little noise I hope it is o.k. but if my transmission acts up I know why LOL.
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