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Old 12-19-2019, 09:04 PM   #1
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Upgrade charge converter with lithium?

For those of you who have upgraded to lithium chemistry batteries, did you also update your charge converter to one that is specifically programmed to output 14.4v? My own Progressive Dynamics converter has their smart wizard, which will boost charge at 14.4v then reduce to 13.6v then periodically increase voltage to 14.4 to keep the battery topped. All of this is not needed and arguably will reduce cycle life or capacity of a lithium battery.
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Old 12-19-2019, 09:08 PM   #2
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No. Factory installed PD9245 with add on Charge Wizard pendant.

"All of this is not needed and arguably will reduce cycle life or capacity of a lithium battery."

Please explain? How will this reduce life cycle or capacity?
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Old 12-19-2019, 09:31 PM   #3
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If you program controllers and chargers for AGM batteries, everything will work well. Just don't want to equalize or desulfate.
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Old 12-20-2019, 06:28 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Winterbagoal View Post
No. Factory installed PD9245 with add on Charge Wizard pendant.

"All of this is not needed and arguably will reduce cycle life or capacity of a lithium battery."

Please explain? How will this reduce life cycle or capacity?
How long have you used this setup?

I have read mixed comments. Battle Born says as long as the float charge cycle on the charger is around 13.4-13.6v, their batteries are good to go. Other manufacturers have more stringent charging requirements as stated here:

https://enerdrive.com.au/2017/11/29/...-acid-charger/. (possible lots of 10-15% of capacity or permanent damage to the lithium battery)

I've read some other stores and seen some videos that warm against using chargers intended for lead acid batteries.
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Old 12-20-2019, 07:35 AM   #5
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How long have you used this setup?

I have read mixed comments. Battle Born says as long as the float charge cycle on the charger is around 13.4-13.6v, their batteries are good to go. Other manufacturers have more stringent charging requirements as stated here:

https://enerdrive.com.au/2017/11/29/...-acid-charger/. (possible lots of 10-15% of capacity or permanent damage to the lithium battery)

I've read some other stores and seen some videos that warm against using chargers intended for lead acid batteries.
Not long, but everything seems to work well using the stock factory setup for my year/make/model, except I added a 3rd 100W panel and the PI Charge Wizard pendant, so I could manually control rate of charge from the PD9245. I also have the ZAMP ZS-30A PWM charge controller. I finally went with 2 X 100Ah 12V Relion RB100-LT batteries for their low temp charging capability.

My main (idle) draw is the CSW1012 inverter, which has my chassis battery charger/maintainer plugged in to it, to keep it up. Plus all the other minor stuff that draws directly from the batteries, or from the inverter. Occasionally a light or two if I go inside it while it's all sitting in the driveway. I am plugged into shore power, so the 300W of panels and the PD9245 are sharing the charging duties, summer or winter. In summer I might run the fridge in the driveway if we're getting ready to head out, maybe use the water pump to prep the plumbing, and so on. Those loads use DC power supplied from shore power, via the coach batteries.

When I first started looking into this, I told Battle Born Tech Support what I planned to buy, and what I had, and Jodi said
"as long as the absorption/bulk charge is 14.4-14.6 and float is close to 13.6 then you’ll be good to go" - just like what you've said.

The PD9245 produces 14.4 Boost, 13.6 Normal, and 13.2 Float which are within my required charging specs. I can manually switch between them with the pendant. It will also bump up to Boost every 30 hours if it senses a lengthy idle period, which is fine, since the internal battery BMS will prevent overcharging. Including from desulfation.

The ZS-30A produces an Absorption charge rate of 14.4 on the LiFePO4 and AGM settings, and a Float charge of 13.4 on the LiFePO4 setting, and slightly higher 13.6 on the AGM setting.
I'm still deciding which setting I will use regularly, but Zamp support said (supported by their user manual), that either setting will work for AGM or LiFePO4 batteries. Currently set to LiFePO4.

As I said, I eventually purchased 2 X 100Ah 12V Relion RB100-LT models for their low temperature charging capability, because of where I live (Ontario, Canada). They have similar charging characteristics/requirements to the Battle Borns, and the dealer where I puchased my Relions also said my set up would be good to go, with the Zamp CC set to either AGM or Lithium. I added the PI Charge Wizard so I could use it's 14.4V boost mode when plugged in to shore to top them off, and they also top off nicely from alternator supplied charging, when we go for short (or longer) drives.
It's pretty much a set it and forget it system, but I still check them whenever I'm in the coach for any reason. So far, so good.

EDIT: If you have any questions about my set up, ask. If anything doesn't make sense, let me know. I'm still a noob at this stuff.
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Old 12-20-2019, 10:54 AM   #6
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I want to be careful about how I state some things because I'm still in a learning curve. My coach has 3 X 300ah, Relion batteries, no solar, an MS-2812 inverter/charger, ME-ARC & ME-BMK.

With multiple batteries in series and/or parallel is it to charge at a recommendation of .5C (typically 50A with a MAX of 100A) and to a termination voltage of 14.0V. In theory you can increase charge current by the number of batteries. As an example, if my charger could handle it (it won't) I could charge safely at 150A but there are reasons to avoid that. I'm not going to get into the weeds on that whole subject.

ANYWAY...

To avoid getting into the deep weeds I am willing to share my ME-ARC settings to anyone interested. Just drop me a PM and will send you the body of an email I sent to a Relion engineer.

The short story is that I charge at 80A until I reach 100% SOC. That correlates well to reaching termination of 14.0V. My charger then goes "silent" until I reach 12.9V (about 65% SOC) when it goes into absorb charging until 100% SOC...rinse and repeat.

For some of you really smart folks you might scratch your head and say that 12.9V should put me at a much lower SOC and you would be correct. HOWEVER, in "real life" a very momentary drop in voltage can drop the voltage down to 12.9V and trigger the charge. In a perfect world I would use 13.0V to re-absorb.

My use of 80A max charge is a bit complex but let me try to explain. And much of this is philosophical.

1. If I let the charger apply its max 125A capability it tends to have to back off when it gets warm.
2. If I charge at 125A it will use about 15A of my L1 50A capability. If the back AC is on, and my Oasis water heater kids in I'm seeing nearly 48A of my 120V leg in use and any additional usage has tripped the breaker at the power pedestal.

Using 80A for max charge setting avoids excessive temps in the inverter and minimizes the potential of exceeding 50A on L1. It also reduces the heat factor at the battery level too. Yes, I charge longer but without the worry of popping a breaker.

For full disclosure...I've needed to adopt the above because my EMS doesn't want to shed power in time to avoid popping a pedestal breaker and I'm still working on that. If it did its job in a satisfactory manner I might bump my max charge up to 100A.

Too much info?
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Old 12-20-2019, 12:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky_Boss View Post
I want to be careful about how I state some things because I'm still in a learning curve. My coach has 3 X 300ah, Relion batteries, no solar, an MS-2812 inverter/charger, ME-ARC & ME-BMK.

With multiple batteries in series and/or parallel is it to charge at a recommendation of .5C (typically 50A with a MAX of 100A) and to a termination voltage of 14.0V. In theory you can increase charge current by the number of batteries. As an example, if my charger could handle it (it won't) I could charge safely at 150A but there are reasons to avoid that. I'm not going to get into the weeds on that whole subject.

ANYWAY...

To avoid getting into the deep weeds I am willing to share my ME-ARC settings to anyone interested. Just drop me a PM and will send you the body of an email I sent to a Relion engineer.

The short story is that I charge at 80A until I reach 100% SOC. That correlates well to reaching termination of 14.0V. My charger then goes "silent" until I reach 12.9V (about 65% SOC) when it goes into absorb charging until 100% SOC...rinse and repeat.

For some of you really smart folks you might scratch your head and say that 12.9V should put me at a much lower SOC and you would be correct. HOWEVER, in "real life" a very momentary drop in voltage can drop the voltage down to 12.9V and trigger the charge. In a perfect world I would use 13.0V to re-absorb.

My use of 80A max charge is a bit complex but let me try to explain. And much of this is philosophical.

1. If I let the charger apply its max 125A capability it tends to have to back off when it gets warm.
2. If I charge at 125A it will use about 15A of my L1 50A capability. If the back AC is on, and my Oasis water heater kids in I'm seeing nearly 48A of my 120V leg in use and any additional usage has tripped the breaker at the power pedestal.

Using 80A for max charge setting avoids excessive temps in the inverter and minimizes the potential of exceeding 50A on L1. It also reduces the heat factor at the battery level too. Yes, I charge longer but without the worry of popping a breaker.

For full disclosure...I've needed to adopt the above because my EMS doesn't want to shed power in time to avoid popping a pedestal breaker and I'm still working on that. If it did its job in a satisfactory manner I might bump my max charge up to 100A.

Too much info?
Not too much info and your reasons for limiting your charge amperage to 80 seem legit! I am curious why your termination voltage is 14.0v instead of what I've read it usually is, 14.4 or 14.6v?
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Old 12-20-2019, 12:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky_Boss View Post
I want to be careful about how I state some things because I'm still in a learning curve. My coach has 3 X 300ah, Relion batteries, no solar, an MS-2812 inverter/charger, ME-ARC & ME-BMK.

With multiple batteries in series and/or parallel is it to charge at a recommendation of .5C (typically 50A with a MAX of 100A) and to a termination voltage of 14.0V. In theory you can increase charge current by the number of batteries. As an example, if my charger could handle it (it won't) I could charge safely at 150A but there are reasons to avoid that. I'm not going to get into the weeds on that whole subject.

ANYWAY...

To avoid getting into the deep weeds I am willing to share my ME-ARC settings to anyone interested. Just drop me a PM and will send you the body of an email I sent to a Relion engineer.

The short story is that I charge at 80A until I reach 100% SOC. That correlates well to reaching termination of 14.0V. My charger then goes "silent" until I reach 12.9V (about 65% SOC) when it goes into absorb charging until 100% SOC...rinse and repeat.

For some of you really smart folks you might scratch your head and say that 12.9V should put me at a much lower SOC and you would be correct. HOWEVER, in "real life" a very momentary drop in voltage can drop the voltage down to 12.9V and trigger the charge. In a perfect world I would use 13.0V to re-absorb.

My use of 80A max charge is a bit complex but let me try to explain. And much of this is philosophical.

1. If I let the charger apply its max 125A capability it tends to have to back off when it gets warm.
2. If I charge at 125A it will use about 15A of my L1 50A capability. If the back AC is on, and my Oasis water heater kids in I'm seeing nearly 48A of my 120V leg in use and any additional usage has tripped the breaker at the power pedestal.

Using 80A for max charge setting avoids excessive temps in the inverter and minimizes the potential of exceeding 50A on L1. It also reduces the heat factor at the battery level too. Yes, I charge longer but without the worry of popping a breaker.

For full disclosure...I've needed to adopt the above because my EMS doesn't want to shed power in time to avoid popping a pedestal breaker and I'm still working on that. If it did its job in a satisfactory manner I might bump my max charge up to 100A.

Too much info?
Not at all. I think I understand the reasons for not maxxing out your charging capability, and I'm convinced these systems are best used/maintained in "whatever works best for you" fashion. You've found a blend of efficiency and safety somewhere in the gray area between maximum rate of charge and how quickly they can accept it. I've got a much smaller bank and my charging capability is pretty close to what I believe is the minimum for my Relions.
I'm guessing you're on the verge of adding solar? It can simplify the process if you can get a decent amount of amps going into your batteries for free (after the fixed cost of adding the hardware/labor) during the day when you're not plugged in or spinning the alternator.
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Old 12-20-2019, 01:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winterbagoal View Post
Not long, but everything seems to work well using the stock factory setup for my year/make/model, except I added a 3rd 100W panel and the PI Charge Wizard pendant, so I could manually control rate of charge from the PD9245. I also have the ZAMP ZS-30A PWM charge controller. I finally went with 2 X 100Ah 12V Relion RB100-LT batteries for their low temp charging capability.

My main (idle) draw is the CSW1012 inverter, which has my chassis battery charger/maintainer plugged in to it, to keep it up. Plus all the other minor stuff that draws directly from the batteries, or from the inverter. Occasionally a light or two if I go inside it while it's all sitting in the driveway. I am plugged into shore power, so the 300W of panels and the PD9245 are sharing the charging duties, summer or winter. In summer I might run the fridge in the driveway if we're getting ready to head out, maybe use the water pump to prep the plumbing, and so on. Those loads use DC power supplied from shore power, via the coach batteries.

When I first started looking into this, I told Battle Born Tech Support what I planned to buy, and what I had, and Jodi said
"as long as the absorption/bulk charge is 14.4-14.6 and float is close to 13.6 then you’ll be good to go" - just like what you've said.

The PD9245 produces 14.4 Boost, 13.6 Normal, and 13.2 Float which are within my required charging specs. I can manually switch between them with the pendant. It will also bump up to Boost every 30 hours if it senses a lengthy idle period, which is fine, since the internal battery BMS will prevent overcharging. Including from desulfation.

The ZS-30A produces an Absorption charge rate of 14.4 on the LiFePO4 and AGM settings, and a Float charge of 13.4 on the LiFePO4 setting, and slightly higher 13.6 on the AGM setting.
I'm still deciding which setting I will use regularly, but Zamp support said (supported by their user manual), that either setting will work for AGM or LiFePO4 batteries. Currently set to LiFePO4.

As I said, I eventually purchased 2 X 100Ah 12V Relion RB100-LT models for their low temperature charging capability, because of where I live (Ontario, Canada). They have similar charging characteristics/requirements to the Battle Borns, and the dealer where I puchased my Relions also said my set up would be good to go, with the Zamp CC set to either AGM or Lithium. I added the PI Charge Wizard so I could use it's 14.4V boost mode when plugged in to shore to top them off, and they also top off nicely from alternator supplied charging, when we go for short (or longer) drives.
It's pretty much a set it and forget it system, but I still check them whenever I'm in the coach for any reason. So far, so good.

EDIT: If you have any questions about my set up, ask. If anything doesn't make sense, let me know. I'm still a noob at this stuff.
I'm planning to do similarly. My Progressive Dynamics charger puts out 60a, what my LiFePo4 battery manufacturer recommends for this 400ah battery,and also has the wizard. I have an mppt solar charge controller that does most of the charging anyway and that is user programmable to eliminate the equilzation phase.
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Old 12-20-2019, 02:17 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Allen_C View Post
Not too much info and your reasons for limiting your charge amperage to 80 seem legit! I am curious why your termination voltage is 14.0v instead of what I've read it usually is, 14.4 or 14.6v?
Relion does recommend 14.2 - 14.6V for a single battery. They have specific instructions for multiple batteries on a single charger. I hadn't seen that being addressed with other battery manufacturers.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Relion_Charging_Instructions.pdf (66.4 KB, 11 views)
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Old 12-20-2019, 02:45 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Winterbagoal View Post
...
I'm guessing you're on the verge of adding solar? It can simplify the process if you can get a decent amount of amps going into your batteries for free (after the fixed cost of adding the hardware/labor) during the day when you're not plugged in or spinning the alternator.
Sometimes I see folks try to enforce theoretical/ideal parameters and not consider real world alternatives. LOL

When I upgraded my battery bay this summer I was working with all that technical information and felt I had it all wired. I wanted to get rid of 8 X 6V batteries and the outgassing that came with them. I also wanted to reduce the overall weight however these babies are still heavy but manageable. Beyond wanting the old batteries gone I was looking for more usable power and better voltage levels through out the bulk of a discharge cycle. Finally, I wanted enough power to handle occasional overnight boondocking without sacrificing the things we wanted in the all electric coach.

Then, there were the unintended consequences that we ran into. I was not thinking about limiting the charger output nor its impact on my L2 (Not L1 as I mistyped earlier) leg. Left uncontrolled it pulled down nearly 18 amps. We would pull into a park, hook up, fire up the ACs and, of course, the Oasis would fire up. That exceeded 50 amps and pop went the breaker. I would have been perfectly fine with the EMS shutting down AC #3 or the L1 Oasis element. But...I need to get that sorted out.

I haven't planned to add solar for a few reasons.

1. Cost. I've been quoted just short of $6K for AM Solar to install everything I need for a 850W system. https://amsolar.com/rv-complete-solar-systems/99-vt085
2. We really don't boondock much.
3. Roof access. I miss the ladder we had on the previous coach. Getting on this roof is a chore I don't relish using a ladder not attached to the coach.

Even if cost wasn't that big of an issue, the access is. SIGH!
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Old 12-20-2019, 06:12 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Sky_Boss View Post
Sometimes I see folks try to enforce theoretical/ideal parameters and not consider real world alternatives. LOL

When I upgraded my battery bay this summer I was working with all that technical information and felt I had it all wired. I wanted to get rid of 8 X 6V batteries and the outgassing that came with them. I also wanted to reduce the overall weight however these babies are still heavy but manageable. Beyond wanting the old batteries gone I was looking for more usable power and better voltage levels through out the bulk of a discharge cycle. Finally, I wanted enough power to handle occasional overnight boondocking without sacrificing the things we wanted in the all electric coach.

Then, there were the unintended consequences that we ran into. I was not thinking about limiting the charger output nor its impact on my L2 (Not L1 as I mistyped earlier) leg. Left uncontrolled it pulled down nearly 18 amps. We would pull into a park, hook up, fire up the ACs and, of course, the Oasis would fire up. That exceeded 50 amps and pop went the breaker. I would have been perfectly fine with the EMS shutting down AC #3 or the L1 Oasis element. But...I need to get that sorted out.

I haven't planned to add solar for a few reasons.

1. Cost. I've been quoted just short of $6K for AM Solar to install everything I need for a 850W system. https://amsolar.com/rv-complete-solar-systems/99-vt085
2. We really don't boondock much.
3. Roof access. I miss the ladder we had on the previous coach. Getting on this roof is a chore I don't relish using a ladder not attached to the coach.

Even if cost wasn't that big of an issue, the access is. SIGH!
I don't boondock much, but once in a while free power is nice. I really use 2 redundant charging sources to keep my little 200Ah bank ready to provide off grid power. When we do find ourselves somewhere without shore power, or after a long days drive and we pull into a rest area or truck stop or wherever, it will be nice to be able to function close to normal without it. So far, I've had no symptoms of parallel battery imbalance.
Cost can throw water on the fires of using cutting edge technology. I'll spend what's necessary to make our travels simpler, more comfortable, more functional, and worry free.
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Old 12-20-2019, 06:14 PM   #13
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I'm planning to do similarly. My Progressive Dynamics charger puts out 60a, what my LiFePo4 battery manufacturer recommends for this 400ah battery,and also has the wizard. I have an mppt solar charge controller that does most of the charging anyway and that is user programmable to eliminate the equilzation phase.
Tally Ho!!!
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Old 01-05-2020, 07:00 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Sky_Boss View Post
Sometimes I see folks try to enforce theoretical/ideal parameters and not consider real world alternatives. LOL

When I upgraded my battery bay this summer I was working with all that technical information and felt I had it all wired. I wanted to get rid of 8 X 6V batteries and the outgassing that came with them. I also wanted to reduce the overall weight however these babies are still heavy but manageable. Beyond wanting the old batteries gone I was looking for more usable power and better voltage levels through out the bulk of a discharge cycle. Finally, I wanted enough power to handle occasional overnight boondocking without sacrificing the things we wanted in the all electric coach.

Then, there were the unintended consequences that we ran into. I was not thinking about limiting the charger output nor its impact on my L2 (Not L1 as I mistyped earlier) leg. Left uncontrolled it pulled down nearly 18 amps. We would pull into a park, hook up, fire up the ACs and, of course, the Oasis would fire up. That exceeded 50 amps and pop went the breaker. I would have been perfectly fine with the EMS shutting down AC #3 or the L1 Oasis element. But...I need to get that sorted out.

I haven't planned to add solar for a few reasons.

1. Cost. I've been quoted just short of $6K for AM Solar to install everything I need for a 850W system. https://amsolar.com/rv-complete-solar-systems/99-vt085
2. We really don't boondock much.
3. Roof access. I miss the ladder we had on the previous coach. Getting on this roof is a chore I don't relish using a ladder not attached to the coach.

Even if cost wasn't that big of an issue, the access is. SIGH!
Cost is why I've spent 3 years researching and figuring out how to do this myself! My cost for solar - two 160w 24v panels with an mppt 40a charge controller was about $450. 400ah LiFePo4 battery, upgraded inverter and accessories cost another $1,800.

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Tally Ho!!!
I've installed the lithium battery and upgraded the inverter. While working on making sure all the 12v and 110v power, outlets and electrical items operate correctly, I found out after I did some rewiring, the charge converter does not charge the batteries. Although this may seem to be a problem, I see it as a blessing since I received a 60a charger with the battery and will plug it into one of the outlets powered by shore or generator power only. This will charge the battery only when the RV is plugged in. Once I move the solar charger lines, solar will charge the battery all other times.

Can anyone find a reason this will not work long term?
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