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Old 01-09-2021, 02:26 PM   #1
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RV Lithium Lite & Lithium Super Upgrade Systems - Mike Mas

Hello IRV2 Users - I just completed my 2nd “Independent” In-Depth film on upgrading an RV to Lithium Power and wanted to share it with the forum. On my most recent film, I designed two different systems for RV’s titled; "Lithium Lite" and "Lithium Super".

The “Lithium Lite” system is based on a 300 amp hour system with 3,800 watts of capacity which essentially replaces and doubles the power of most RV’s AGM batteries. This system is ideal for smaller RV’s such as B, B+ and Class C RV’s.

The "Lithium Super” is a Powerhouse System which uses a 625 amp hour battery with 8,064 watts hour capacity which allows the entire coach to be run totally on lithium power, to even include the roof air conditioner for up to 8-10 hrs at a 50% cycle. This system also offers expansion to 1250 amp hours.

My design includes moving the house batteries (now lithium) from their past “open air” compartment, where the batteries were exposed to extreme temperatures, road dust, water & salt spray, to the opposite side of the coach, to a larger sealed compartment which is temperature controlled. This compartment also houses the inverter, BMS, solar controller and battery isolator, to allow very short cable runs for near zero loss.

My unique design captures “Free Heat” generated from the inverter and a neighboring AquaHot compartment to supplement the lithium batteries internal self-heating system to provider power saving and uninterrupted operation during freezing temperatures. I hope you enjoy the film - Mike Mas

Please click on the link below for the video

https://youtu.be/k2RilLqYE5c



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Old 01-09-2021, 11:14 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idleup View Post
Hello IRV2 Users - I just completed my 2nd “Independent” In-Depth film on upgrading an RV to Lithium Power and wanted to share it with the forum. On my most recent film, I designed two different systems for RV’s titled; "Lithium Lite" and "Lithium Super".

The “Lithium Lite” system is based on a 300 amp hour system with 3,800 watts of capacity which essentially replaces and doubles the power of most RV’s AGM batteries. This system is ideal for smaller RV’s such as B, B+ and Class C RV’s.

The "Lithium Super” is a Powerhouse System which uses a 625 amp hour battery with 8,064 watts hour capacity which allows the entire coach to be run totally on lithium power, to even include the roof air conditioner for up to 8-10 hrs at a 50% cycle. This system also offers expansion to 1250 amp hours.

My design includes moving the house batteries (now lithium) from their past “open air” compartment, where the batteries were exposed to extreme temperatures, road dust, water & salt spray, to the opposite side of the coach, to a larger sealed compartment which is temperature controlled. This compartment also houses the inverter, BMS, solar controller and battery isolator, to allow very short cable runs for near zero loss.

My unique design captures “Free Heat” generated from the inverter and a neighboring AquaHot compartment to supplement the lithium batteries internal self-heating system to provider power saving and uninterrupted operation during freezing temperatures. I hope you enjoy the film - Mike Mas

Please click on the link below for the video

https://youtu.be/k2RilLqYE5c



That's a really clean system. Just curious - how do you get rid of the heat from the inverter in the summer time when heat is a problem for lithium batteries? In my last build, I installed a fan on a thermostat and ducted the hot air out through dead space in the rear cap. Maintained a weather tight compartment but allowed the heat out. On the next one I’m looking at a cooling plate, much like those found in boat refers, to completely control battery temp. Are Lithionics batteries better protected from heat due to the sealed case?

Mean time my old lithiums (14 of the modules anyway) are now going to power my Polaris EV - it’s a 48v system and 14 mods controlled to 4.1v gives me just over 57v which is not only perfect for the on board Polaris charger, but will mate well with the Ventana for rapid charge if I end up going with a 48v inverter on my new system (which I probably will - Victron 48/8000). Fun stuff. Below is the “new” Polaris battery - twice the range and about 500lbs less weight than the 8 L-A batteries currently under the seat.
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Old 01-10-2021, 08:36 AM   #3
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Idleup : Great, have been seriously considering this " upgrade / replacement " for any new coach which we soon should purchase . Hopefully in the not too distant future RV manufacturers will be offering these alternatives optionally or as OEM.The move over to Pilot's side to take advantage of the water heater compartment is brilliant. Would, in your opinion ; the self heating batteries face any detrimental effects from the additional heating supplied from the chosen placement in the h20 bay ? Prepping for Church this a.m. will await you kind response.
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Old 01-11-2021, 07:16 AM   #4
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Idleup : Great, have been seriously considering this " upgrade / replacement " for any new coach which we soon should purchase . Hopefully in the not too distant future RV manufacturers will be offering these alternatives optionally or as OEM.The move over to Pilot's side to take advantage of the water heater compartment is brilliant. Would, in your opinion ; the self heating batteries face any detrimental effects from the additional heating supplied from the chosen placement in the h20 bay ? Prepping for Church this a.m. will await you kind response.
Xkimo.

Thanks for the replies - the internal battery heater will never fire up as long as the core temperature remains above the kick on setting.

There was also a question regarding summer cooling, if you look at the film I show where there is now 40+ cu ft of area which provides plenty of air for convection cooling during summer. While i don't recommend it, I've seen guys stick these inverters in tiny compartments and they work, keep in mind the variable speed fans consume power from the battery to cool themselves.

Stay Safe - Mike
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Old 01-11-2021, 10:24 AM   #5
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I saw that portion of the video, but I was just wondering about camping in the South in August or Sept or similar locations, and whether or not that would be enough. That’s why I installed a fan in mine and ducted the hot air out. It was still typically in the high 90’s in that compartment.

The battery in the new, improved system is going to be in the 20kwh range so power to spare including enough to cool the battery bank. It will also allow me to have fewer panels - probably four on this coach (1260w) - not enough to run an AC, but with the reserve battery power, and the solar contributing 1kw or so, I should be able to meet my off-grid camping goals.

Right now everything is on hold while I address my DEF system woes, but once that’s done I’ll get the important work back on track.
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Old 01-11-2021, 10:33 AM   #6
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Idleup : Great, have been seriously considering this " upgrade / replacement " for any new coach which we soon should purchase . Hopefully in the not too distant future RV manufacturers will be offering these alternatives optionally or as OEM.
Xkimo.
The problem with that is that it would be like OE solar - over priced and under engineered, because they aren’t in that business so they don’t have either the economy of scale or the expertise. Also there will never really be a one-size-fits-all solution because everyone has difference power use habits.

I think you will always be better off doing the research, and designing/building your own system based on your specific goals as Mike shows us here. And with components like the ones in this thread, it’s getting easier (if not cheaper) all the time.
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Old 01-12-2021, 07:49 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies guys - Regarding inverter heat, 80% of all RV inverters sit in tiny 24" x 24 compartments, some with a small 3" vent to outside. Ive seen hundreds of inverters stuck under a dinette seat with no venting in a coach that reaches over 100 degrees in summer and they survive. Keep in mind, if the inverter reaches a critical temp, it shuts down. On my installation I have three large compartments vented together for cooling. In addition, these metal compartments will readily give up their heat in convection.

I did want to mention, that having a lithium system in your coach, is by no means a replacement for your generator. Regretfully, when lithium systems showed up in vans a few years ago, manufactures profited further by removing the generator. Regardless of the lithium system you install, I guarantee you will on occasion deplete your battery and instead of running the engine which in some cases will destroy the DPF on diesels, or finding a campground, a generator will quickly re-charge the battery so you can continue your off the grid activities.

Stay-Safe Guys - Mike
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Old 01-12-2021, 05:50 PM   #8
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Neat and interesting!

As a retired EE, this is certainly interesting! Very slick video as well and informational on the lower energy appliance advances in the Renegade. Completely eliminating propane is cool but I don't know if I could be a proper camp cook without a flame! But I think this is the future of powered camping, and look forward to more advances in battery technology and lower cost. Maybe I'll do a Lithionics system someday.

I have only changed our old 2007 Motorhome over to a single 100AH Battleborne, compatible charger, lithium battery isolation manager, and Victron bluetooth monitor. We dont boondock much so that's as far as I went, primarily to get rid of the flooded battery maintenance headache. Ive also re-gutted the refrigerator with a HVAC compressor kit. So far so good.
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Old 02-18-2021, 05:27 PM   #9
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Thanks for the replies- no one has to upgrade to lithium, it’s more of a toy than a necessity

I spent 40 years camping in RV’s with just a few flooded batteries and a generator and was just fine. One thing for sure lithium is not up to a point where we don’t need a generator yet.

Stay Safe Guys- Mike
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Old 02-20-2021, 12:33 PM   #10
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Can I inquire as to the cost ( ball park) of installing a Lithionics "SUPER" system for a RV with a residential fridge, and two 15K btu A/C's and a microwave?

this system sounds like a Volta system, are they comparable
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Old 02-20-2021, 04:26 PM   #11
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Thanks for the reply - There are so many variables when installing Lithium batteries, it depends if you're just trying to increase your house batteries capacity or run the entire coach with air conditioners on Lithium.


It's important to understand that Lithionics batteries are more expensive that China import batteries because they are a higher grade cell, offer a battery control unit unlike any other and the only battery and meet UL guidelines and approval for RV's. Here's a retail site below that stocks all the Lithionics battery models.



Special Pricing and Deals on Lithionics Battery Lithium-ion Batteries for Cars, Trucks, RV and Marine applications.

Stay Safe - Mike
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