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Thread: Lithion battery bulk buy

  1. #11
    Adventurist stevemc181's Avatar
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    I've been running a 100a/h LifePo4 for just over 5 years now, its been used and abused and still as good as the day I bought it. I used to charge it via a Redarc BCDC-1225-LV as back when I bought it there was no such thing as a lithium specific DC charger. The Redarc on the Gel profile was good enough for just on 5 years, but I had to constantly reboot it to force it into boost mode to give the battery a charge up to 14.6v. I've recently changed over to an Enerdrive EN3DC40+ charger, this gives me up to 50 amps of charge and gets the battery up to full much quicker than the old redarc. After a full charge, the enerdrive drops back to 13.5 volts and enters power supply mode, detecting loads on the battery and responding accordingly. The Enerdive also has a lithium specific charge profile and user selectable charge voltages etc, I highly recommend this unit based on my limited experience so far with it.

    I can run my battery down to 80% DOD with no problems and it is enough for my needs, powering a 90 litre dual zone fridge and lighting etc. The lifepo4 will take every amp I can throw at it when charging. I bought mine from EV power in WA, along with their cell management system, called BCUPPAK-4. The battery weighs 14 kg's and lives in the back beside the drawers. I also have additional HV/LV shutoffs as a backup in case the battery management system fails. It was an expensive setup when I first went down this path, but its proved it's worth and I'd never use anything else now. The battery and cell management cost me $1100 back then, additional components, charger/victron BMV-702 etc, set me back another grand.

    This was my set up in a previous vehicle, where I made a set of drawers with a cavity in front for the battery/charger/distribution block/compressor etc. I've gone a different route with the patrol and it's tucked away beside the drawers.

    Last edited by stevemc181; 23rd May 2019 at 11:13 PM.
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  4. #12
    Travelling Podologist Cuppa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brissieboy View Post
    There are a few things to be aware of with lithium:
    - they start degrading as soon as they are made: will only last up to two or three years from the date of manufacture regardless of how they are used/abused.
    - they are very sensitive to high temperature: causes them to degrade much faster than they normal.
    - if you completely discharge a lithium battery, it's buggered.
    - if you overcharge them they can become very hot and may burst into flames (or at least be severely degraded if not buggered).
    - they should have on-board battery management.
    - and there is a small but very real chance that a failed lithium-ion battery pack will burst into flames.
    and there maybe more . . .
    The onboard smarts is primarily intended to maintain a balanced charge state (cell voltage) across all cells as their individual voltages will vary as the cells each age slightly differently. Without this, the battery is at very high risk of catastrophic failure. DO NOT USE AN UNBALANCED LITHIUM-ION BATTERY unless you really know what you are doing.
    I know folk with Lithium (LiFEPo4) battery systems in RV's which have been in use for 10 years!
    There are a variety of different types of Lithium batteries - those that have burst into flames are not LiFEPo4, I have never heard of LiFePo4 doing so, it's a myth.

    Really the only thing I agree with in this post is that LiFePo4 batteries need a BMS (Battery management system).Some 'drop in replacements have a BMS built in.

    I am not totally up with LiFePo4 batteries, but they will be the type I purchase when I next need some. More for weight saving than for their exceptional recharge & provision of high current for coffee machine, hairdryer etc. Generally they can be taken down to around 20% SoC safely, & will still provide full voltage at that level. They will accept pretty much whatever charge you can offer them (unlike Lead based batteries) so can be recharged much quicker with the right gear. They also prefer, if being left for long periods in storage/unused to be left in a partial state of discharge - 50 to 70 SoC is good & have virtually no self discharge.

    If anyone is interested in seriously following up on using Lithium Batteries in their vehicle I suggest you get in touch with a very good friend of mine in Mannum SA. He has a small company making up custom LiFEPo4 battery packs & BMS for anything from vehicles, boats & off grid house systems, & has been involved in the Lithium game far longer than most of the big name companies. His name is Terry , known to friends as T1 & his business is T1 Lithium . I would expect this to be a cheaper solution than 'drop in replacements, although prices on drop ins is probably coming down now ...... but there are reasons why they are not a great idea - primarily centered around many of their BMS which may well result in shortened life. If you do make contact with Terry it won't do any harm to let him know it was at my suggestion.

    I may be wrong, but I suspect that bulk buying Lithium battery packs may not be a practical idea. Because of their higher cost it makes sizing them for each application more important.

    There are companies who sell 'standard sized' set ups including everything from solar panels through to the batteries - but they are not cheap. Looked at a 300Ah Enerdrive system online recently. Looked like a great bit of gear, but cost a cool $12,000!
    Last edited by Cuppa; 24th May 2019 at 12:11 PM.

    2006 4.2TDi ex-Telstra Remote area Camper. 425w roof mounted solar, 360Ah Aux batts, BCDC1240, Onboard hot & cold pressurised & filtered water, (25 litre hot water calorifier), ARB fridge, ARB freezer, Built in kitchen, heaps of easy access storage, 240v, 3 Genie exhaust + dynotune, 2 lift, 3900kg GVM upgrade, second glovebox, ROH Blaktrak steel wheels, Bridgestone D697's (now Toyo RT's), Redarc gauges/pillarpod, Hema HX-1, Icom 450 CB, dual rear view cameras, Onboard 30amp Victron mains charger, second glovebox, dual seat conversion, Tyredog TPMS, Boss PX7 onboard air with 9 litre tank, 350w inverter, Steel bullbar, Harrop Eaton diff lock (front), Warn winch, Snorkel, Dual spares , 160 litre water tank, 180 litre fuel in two tanks (approx 1200km range) 2010 Tvan Tanami. (incl another 70 litre water tank) with matching wheels/tyres (& 3rd spare)
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  6. #13
    Patrol Freak 10G's Avatar
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    I'll be interested in this as well.

    Here's a thread of mine from last year on Lithium batteries with great help from the folks here:
    http://www.nissanpatrol.com.au/forum...rand-batteries

    It's good for more info for all that are interested.
    ..

  7. #14
    Patrol Freak 10G's Avatar
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    And without referring to my notes, there is a big difference between Lithium-ion and LiFEPo4 batteries.

    From memory the lithium-ion are the dangerous ones, the ones you can't take on planes etc as they are known to explode (old tech). The LiFEPo4 ones are safe and can be taken on planes (new tech).

    I was very keen on getting a LiFEPo4 battery last year, but decided to wait a few more years for the price to drop.

    Also, everyone says the life out of a LiFEPo4 should be at least 10 years, but the warranty is only normally 2-3, something there doesn't add up for me.
    Last edited by 10G; 24th May 2019 at 03:17 PM.
    ..

  8. #15
    Expert Brissieboy's Avatar
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    Agree with the recent comments. My earlier comments were based on Lithium-ion, not LiFEPo4 which is quite different. I should have known better. I can delete the post if you consider it irrelevant or misleading.

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