Lithium Batteries for caravan

Submitted: Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 20:17
ThreadID: 137326 Views:1895 Replies:5 FollowUps:11
Just reading the recent threads on the topic of lithium and lead crystal batteries bought to mind a query I had on the choice of which of these two I would replace my original AGMs with,--(they're getting up in years served) so maybe learned travellers on this site maybe able to help......forgetting price differences, and given it seems accepted that Lithium is better, would say one only 120AH lithium be equal to the demands of my two current 100AH AGM's, or would you need to match a pair for pair method to receive the same output.....(I do bush camp a lot in our van)----would value your input
SapperD
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Reply By: Keith B2 - Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 21:14

Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 21:14
Sapper,
On face value the 120AH lithium at 80% drawdown will give you 96AH. The two 100AH AGMs at the recommended 50% drawdown will give you 100A and will weigh about 65Kg, while the 120AH lithium will weigh about 15kg and will take up a less than half of the space.
A 160AH lithium is about 21Kg and will give you 128AH usable and still take up less space than the two AGMs.
Add in the other advantages of lithium and it's a no brainer really. That's if you don't mind the cost.
AnswerID: 621496

Reply By: Gronk - Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 21:31

Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 21:31
As said, apart from the BIG price, which isn't a consideration for you, the Lithiums are a no brainer..
AnswerID: 621497

Reply By: Member - John - Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 08:12

Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 08:12
Lithium also require changes to the charging regime, something to factor in if you can't alter existing charging means.
AnswerID: 621502

Follow Up By: Sapper D - Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 10:25

Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 10:25
Yes John, I had heard that, I'm not sure if my existing Setec system in my Jayco can do the job, or can be altered to do it---it seems a good system with the AGM's, but might be a bit involved to change---shame really, as the Lithium seems a good replacement
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Follow Up By: Keith B2 - Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 12:33

Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 12:33
Sapper,

You might like to check the bulk charge voltage and the float voltage of the charging system in your van with the supplier of your lithium batteries.

My lithium batteries are coming from EV Power, who advised that my 14.4 volt charge and 13.8 float voltage, which is the AGM setting on my regulator, DC-DC charger and mains charger, would be okay with their lithiums.

Mine are in constant use with a big fridge, composting toilet fan and a few other small users and under constant solar charge, with a battery management system fitted.
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FollowupID: 894025

Follow Up By: Batt's - Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 13:20

Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 13:20
Hey Keith what size and how much did it cost for what you bought thanks. I read on their site they keep their cost down because they don't conceal the cells sounds like a good idea considering they are already in a case.

I
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FollowupID: 894027

Follow Up By: Keith B2 - Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 13:56

Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 13:56
Batt's, mine is a huge system which is designed to run a very small aircon overnight off the batteries. So I will have 1,000 watts of solar plus a 60 amp DC-DC charger (expandable) and a 70 amp inverter charger.
The battery bank is two 200AH lithiums. I got two rather than a single 400AH unit because of ease of handling. The batteries were $1,575 each + GST plus $187 + GST for freight and handling of the two. This works out at a little under twice the price of four 200AH AGMs.
There was really no option for me as the weight of AGMs would have killed my light weight build by adding about 180Kg and taking a big part of our storage space.
I shopped around a bit and found EV Power had the best pricing and they were very helpful too. There are huge price variations with lithium batteries.
If you are interested and have time on your hands, you can see my build on Myswag under "World's Slowest Build."
Keith
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FollowupID: 894028

Follow Up By: Batt's - Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 14:14

Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 14:14
Keith thanks very much for the reply good info this will help myself and others. When my 2 agm's in my ute's canopy die I will be looking into lithium replacements, this will also help when we get another van later on so we can set it up correctly. I will have a look at your build.

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FollowupID: 894029

Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 15:53

Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 15:53
Lithium is the way to go. They are expected to drop quite a lot in price as the years go by. Have read reports that within 5 years we can expect a 50% decrease in price......hope so. Different battery types are also on the horizon which will help keep prices and weight down. Technology improving all the time. My 3 x 130 agms are only 2 year old so , hopefully, in about 4 years time lithium will be a hell of a lot cheaper and will allow me to save a lot of weight when I renew my set up.
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FollowupID: 894031

Reply By: bobsabobsa - Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 18:01

Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 18:01
Hi Sapper
I have gone the Lithium way a year ago , and it it fantastic
yes you will have to change the charger, I did away with the setec and put a fuse panel in its place, I just run all from the battery
I purchased a Pro Power 150 ah including their 20 amp charger for $1680 ebay 30/6/2017
This pro power 20 amp charger puts out a constant 14.4 volts
The guys were very helpful when setting up my solar
I have a 30 amp Mason pvw controller, this a programmable type
the setting I changed to .... Lithium from standard
.....................................Lithium.................................Standard...............
Bulk...............................14.4..................................... 14.5....................
Absorb............................14.4.....................................14.6......................
Float................................14.4....................................13.5.....................
LVD..................................13.6....................................13.5.....................
LVR..................................13.3....................................12.5.....................

The battery comes with its own BMS internally .
The battery's ability to accept the charge is incredible .it is so fast
.
We have 340 watts of solar on the roof for the charging and very rarely park where there is power.
I run a 55litre freezer at -12C and a 40litre drinks fridge at 0 C the usual stuff 2 x computers lights ,pumps etc
All I can say it works very well .
We just spent 3 months in the tropics from Darwin to Cairns and all went well
hope this helps out
The BMS work as I made a mistake and left the 3 way on 12 volt ,beware if it drops out you have no power so keep a torch handy
all good it does charge up fast I was getting 17 amps into it from the solar and if you want and have power put the charger on and it will take the 20 amps as well ,it loves it.

Cheers Bob
ps add up your AGMs the extra cost is not that much more including the charger and fingers x if they last the 10 years that people talk about you would be way in front .




AnswerID: 621517

Follow Up By: HKB Electronics - Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 15:09

Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 15:09
Are you sure about the float voltage for the Lithiums, many purpose built chargers for Lithiums turn off once the battery is charged?
HKB Electronics

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Follow Up By: bobsabobsa - Friday, Oct 12, 2018 at 10:02

Friday, Oct 12, 2018 at 10:02
Hi HBK ,
looking at the specs my charger will charge at 20 constant until fully charged then will go to Trickle charge at 1 amp so yes maybe i need to look at the float charge settings
Would you suggest to turn it the float off if I can, or lower the voltage setting
I would hate to destroy a battery
thanks Bob
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FollowupID: 894085

Follow Up By: bobsabobsa - Friday, Oct 12, 2018 at 10:07

Friday, Oct 12, 2018 at 10:07
just checked my setting and I had already lowered the float to 13.6 volts
I cant edit my post bugger
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Follow Up By: HKB Electronics - Friday, Oct 12, 2018 at 14:23

Friday, Oct 12, 2018 at 14:23
Most agree it is not a good idea to float charge Lithiums, the up market chargers stop charging once the charging voltage and current reaches the set limits, they then will resume charging when the battery SOC drops to a predetermined figure.
HKB Electronics

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Follow Up By: Malcom M - Monday, Oct 15, 2018 at 09:40

Monday, Oct 15, 2018 at 09:40
Agreed
You don't float charge lithiums!
You also do not store them fully charged if you can avoid it.
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FollowupID: 894137

Reply By: Keith B2 - Sunday, Oct 14, 2018 at 09:31

Sunday, Oct 14, 2018 at 09:31
My new 200AH lithiums arrived on Friday. Each weighs 27Kg. They have LEDs on each bank which report malfunctions. The little box on top is the battery control unit. Now to install them.
AnswerID: 621566

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