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Old 10-20-2020, 12:36 PM   #1
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Lithium Ion batteries & Charging

Upgrading to lithium ion batteries. I have read that my WFCO 8955PEC will not properly charge the lithium batteries.


Do I need to upgrade my Wfco? If I am connected to shore power the batteries aren't being used and don't need the full charge. When on solar they will recieve their full charge.


We mainly boondock using 400 Watts of solar panels to a Zamp 30 amp charge controller. Primary charging routine is starting the generator for an hour in the morning to make coffee, warm up the trailer, with the added benefit of prepping the batteries for a day of solar charging. By afternoon our batteries are fully charged by solar. Full timers so our battery usage is high but we stay lower states in winter higher states in summer.

I guess I am a cheapskate for not wanting to replace but I am also a believer in, don't fix something that is not broken.
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Old 10-20-2020, 01:10 PM   #2
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Why change if what you are doing is working?
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Old 10-20-2020, 01:25 PM   #3
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My understanding is that your standard converter will provide a partial charge to your lithium batteries, and that partial charging does not adversely affect the batteries. That means if you occasionally are in a location or have weather issues where your solar panels will not fully charge your batteries you will be OK. The worst thing is more frequent charging.

If I am incorrect I would like to be corrected.

If it were me, I would change out the converter. That is just because I have a “thing” for correctness, and not because there is an actual need.
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Old 10-20-2020, 01:35 PM   #4
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I think it will charge a LiFEPo4 battery but you might have to run it manually.
You probably have a breaker for the charger, if not you can add a switch.

Put in your batteries and run them down.
Then enable the charge and I'll bet it will charge them.
Now it might tend to stay in bulk mode. I can not tell for sure how the smart charger is programmed. You'll have to watch it through at least a few charging cycles.

If it doesn't tend to stay in bulk mode then you're good to go.
If it does tend to stay in bulk mode then you'll just have to only turn it on when you need it and be sure to turn it off when the batteries are charged enough. It probably won't be to damaging to hold you batteries at 14.4V all the time but it isn't considered best practices and will probably reduce their life.

Your solar will eventually top off your batteries. If the charger didn't get them full and balanced and reset the BMS or what ever else has to happen at full charge with your system, the solar will. Assuming your solar is setup properly.

BTW. We are on full hook up long term so I dialed back my solar to 13.4V and disabled my charger so that my batteries never get to 100%. At 13.4V they stay at about 60% SOC, but the BMS looses track of the SOC and they do get out of balance a bit. All I have to do is run a full charge every now and then and reset everything.

LiFePO4 will last a lot longer if you run them between 40 and 90% SOC.
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Old 10-20-2020, 08:37 PM   #5
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Lead acid Trojans have limited life and I can tell mine are getting to replacement time. The lithium ion are able to give me more amp hours. We boondock so those amps will be used to power a 12v freezer, lol.

I am under the same understanding that it doesn't hurt to keep them at 85% SOC. We do stay at parks during travel and when moochdocking we are able to hook up to electricity but the bulk of our stays are no hook up. Zamp says it charges lithium ion batteries.
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Old 10-20-2020, 09:00 PM   #6
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I think I will reach out to Battleborne with these questions. I was under the impression their BMS takes care of the charging issues, so the batteries cannot be overcharged or over depleted.

The Zamo solar charger is always on, so I cannot prevent the batteries from staying at 100%. Likewise the lithium setting on my PD converter does not dial back the charge voltage.

I hope keeping the batteries charged will not damage them.
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Old 10-20-2020, 09:59 PM   #7
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It is amazing to me how much misinformation I see sometimes.

What you will need from your charger is to be able to provide a bulk charge of 14.3 Amps or higher in the Bulk mode to get those BB or Lion batteries to their full charge where the BMS will shut down the charging.

For those of you without LiFePO4 batteries, the batteries will tell you when they are charged if they have a good BMS, unlike Lead Acid batteries that need a smart charger to adjust the charging based on the resistance they encounter during the charge cycle.

It looks like your current Converter/charger can charge at 14.4A with a maximum output of 55A. You should be able to use this to charge your Lithium batteries but it may not charge them fast enough, however it should work with no potential damage to your batteries.

Your best bet is to call Battle Born if you're going with those and show them the specs on your controller which can be found here and see what they have to say;

https://wfcoelectronics.com/product/wf-8955-55-amp/

Good luck, you will love your new batteries
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Old 10-20-2020, 11:05 PM   #8
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Lithium Ion batteries & Charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by paul65k View Post
It is amazing to me how much misinformation I see sometimes.

What you will need from your charger is to be able to provide a bulk charge of 14.3 Amps or higher in the Bulk mode to get those BB or Lion batteries to their full charge where the BMS will shut down the charging.
Sometimes unintentionally, eh?

I believe that should be "14.3 volts" since the current (amps) will vary with the state of charge.

Ray
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Old 10-21-2020, 03:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Sometimes unintentionally, eh?

I believe that should be "14.3 volts" since the current (amps) will vary with the state of charge.

Ray
Exactly
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Old 10-21-2020, 05:31 AM   #10
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I have 3 Battleborns, and changed out the converter to a Lithium model.

They say this will charge a one Lithium from discharged to full in 2 hours. I ran mine down to about 60% and it was about 2 hours for a full charge, also my Solar is set for 14.4, but I only see 14.3 from the Victron shunt.

From what I see it will charge to 14.3 Volts and go to absorption. I base this on hearing the fan running in the convertor.


Try this converter here.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 10-23-2020, 08:16 AM   #11
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I replaced the converter section of our WFCO 8955PEC with a Progressive PD4655L Wildkat from bestconverters.com for charging our two LiFePO4 batteries. It works great.

PD 4655L MBA WildKat 55 Amp Main Board Assembly for WFCO 8955 or Parallax 7155 (Includes 4600 Remote)
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Old 10-24-2020, 12:37 PM   #12
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Do I need to change converter if that is not my primary battery charger?

It is not that that i am adverse to change out a converter but another $200 after almost $2k for batteries, for a trailer, I might trade out in a year or two doesn't make sense. I will take the batteries with me but would leave the converter.

We buy these batteries to boondock not park at full hookups. Shouldn't the solar charger be enough?
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Old 10-24-2020, 01:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktn1966 View Post
Do I need to change converter if that is not my primary battery charger?

It is not that that i am adverse to change out a converter but another $200 after almost $2k for batteries, for a trailer, I might trade out in a year or two doesn't make sense. I will take the batteries with me but would leave the converter.

We buy these batteries to boondock not park at full hookups. Shouldn't the solar charger be enough?
Check out your converter, some may have the ability to charge at the constant voltage that lithium requires, I have the PD 4060 K which has a pin bridge on the control board that will change it from 3 stage to constant voltage by just moving the bridge from one pin to the other.
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Old 10-24-2020, 06:03 PM   #14
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Jcussen: the current converter is unable to force a higher charge or properly fully charge lithium ion batteries. And, if i had to do any work on the converter; Why? I don't plug in often to care if it is charging

If you spend 3k on a bunch of batteries, converters, inverters, switches, Why do you go someplace that you are hooked up to shore power. I would just put an old car battery and save me 3k.

My two Trojans work great for our current power consumption. I want to add a dometic style freezer so we can carry more ice cream. I needs more amp hours.
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