New lithium tech

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New lithium tech

Postby Whitespeed » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:37 pm

Hi all,
I have not been on the forum for quite a few years and curious how the lithium tech is progressing. Are all the numbers we predicted adding up for people, how are the bigger house banks going, what is the latest charger tech. I read this morning there is one that people talk about that can only be bought through a kickstarter like pledge system.

I have just bought a new caravan and have read there are new 12v lithium “drop in” packs that work without BMS’s and that you don’t have to build, they just look like any other battery. I don’t mind that idea at all once I get over the wallet shock from buying the new van :)
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Re: New lithium tech

Postby davef » Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:37 pm

Hi Whitespeed,

I have just bought my 2nd SBMS on that Kickstarter program. I have used a smaller unit for the last two years, but seeing as it was a key component in my off-grid house situation I bought the SBMS120. He is a professional engineer the product is very well-built and the support has been top-notch.

Probably, worthwhile having a look at his forum http://electrodacus.com/solarforum.html especially the battery section.

My smaller SBMS060 may get used in an off-grid caravan conversion.

There are some good threads on LiFePO4 here http://www.nzmotorhome.co.nz/forum/viewforum.php?f=150

The general opinion seems to be, to stay away from an all-in-one 13.5V drop-in replacement for a 12V lead-acid. Those drop-in packs most likely will have a built-in BMS. One thing to watch out for is the weight of the pack, some claim to have xyz capacity but the weight doesn't stack-up.

Although, you can go for quite a long time without balancing LiFePO4, paying an extra 10% for the proper gear to protect your investment seems a wise move.

Dave
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Re: New lithium tech

Postby Whitespeed » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:03 pm

Thanks Davef,
Will have to have a read re; the new CC’s As for the new batteries. I suspected they had a built in BMS my comment was more about not having to have a seperate, external BMS like on our home systems. If I do choose to go lithium in the van as well I don’t want to install anything an outsider would consider weird, that’s why when I saw them I thought they would be perfect.
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Re: New lithium tech

Postby australsolarier » Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:29 pm

i got two solarking 12V 100Ah batteries. they seem to be alright
keep away from optimum. not only did they not have half the advertised capacity (and weight) the terminals were reversed as well.
seemingly the bms is built in and you can also charge them with 15v or thereabouts. got also a small 7ah battery which i used for the dashcam. seems to go alright connected directly to the cigarette lighter.
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Re: New lithium tech

Postby dRdoS7 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:55 pm

Hi,

I too recently bought 2x100Ah Solarking drop-ins, for our caravan. They replaced 2x94Ah AGMs. Upgraded from a 1000w inverter to 2000w which enables us to bring our coffee pod machine, and frother when free-camped or on the road between. Previously, just ran an 800w toaster. Other devices are TV, DVR, water pump, and LEDs, etc. Best we have managed was 3 full days/night, plus nearly a 4th, when the battery voltages started dropping rapidly < 10.5V. That was right after my wife ran the toaster about 3 times. Did have a tiny bit of solar during the days, about 200Wh each.

According to the BMV712, I have put in 14.7kWh, taken out 14.2. I'm using the same 2 chargers as for the AGMs, plus an MPPT SCC. Sadly both panels failed on our last trip. I won't buy flexible ones next time. I'm guessing they won't be covered by the "25 year output warranty". ;p

Long term? Don't know. The seller offers a 5 year warranty, and their business has been around for while, so I felt confidant. Then again, I thought the panels would last too.

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Re: New lithium tech

Postby davef » Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:48 am

dRdoS7,

Are you able to set your AGM charger to conditions suitable for charging LiFePO4?

Dave
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Re: New lithium tech

Postby australsolarier » Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:56 am

those king solar batteries can be hooked up to a normal car charger. they have their own internal electronics to regulate all the charging and overload, over voltage , etc
at least to their specifications.
i hooked up a small 7ah solarking directly to the cigarette lighter plug for a dashcam. it seems to work.
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Re: New lithium tech

Postby dRdoS7 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:28 pm

Hi,

davef wrote:dRdoS7,

Are you able to set your AGM charger to conditions suitable for charging LiFePO4?

Dave


As "AS" said you can use AGM settings. Which is what I used initially. (Actually, after re-reading he said: "normal car charger").

In my caravan now, one is set to "Normal"=14.6, the other to "GEL"=14.4. I did that to keep below the alarm point on the caravan's battery charge display. I can silence alarm (on/off), but the LED display will flash. The vehicle's alternator has it's own mind, and can be 14.9 or 13.9, shortly after starting. I think the problem there is that the LiFePO4 doesn't drop as low as the AGMs used to after stopping, even if in the short term the voltage does, it goes back up quickly. I always leave the van connected to wagon (Anderson plug) while stopped (coffee, lunch, and overnight). I've found that if I start the wagon, with the van disconnected, then connect the van, it will always go to 14.9, which is what it always does without the van. That's going to be a pain long term. May have to buy a switchable VSR, replace the existing VSR, and add a timer, or voltage controller, to allow the voltage to go > 14.5 before connecting the van.

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Re: New lithium tech

Postby davef » Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:51 am

dRdoS7,

I can only talk about a house-bank situation as I haven't done my caravan conversion yet. The generally accepted charging end-point for LiFePO4 is 14.2Volts. For little loss in capacity and increased cycle-life I have seen recommendations down to 14V.

I would lower my house-bank down to 27V except the SOC function is not adjustable, ie it won't work properly unless it gets up to 28.2V

Maybe, you get reasonable cycle-life with an AGM or "car" charger.
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Re: New lithium tech

Postby australsolarier » Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:21 am

davef,
as previously stated those solarking batteries have the bms and regulator internally. i don't know to what voltage float and bulk is regulated inside them. i suppose you would have to take them apart. i am charging them 14v bulk and 13.4v float.
they also have current limits, where it disconnects the battery when going over it. so you cannot use them as starter batteries.
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