Advice on Lithium or just some different Lead Acid Batteries?

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by zac, Jan 15, 2019.

  1. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    ... Does this mean you never have fully charged batteries? If so that's a lot of 'capacity' to lose!
     
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  2. zac

    zac Funster Life Member

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    I have one of these mppt things when solar was fitted so assume don't need another for lithium if i decide?
     
  3. Zigisla

    Zigisla Funster Life Member

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    When I had my battery fitted last week, all @nickvanbitz had to do was make the adjustments to the existing Victron MPPT 75 / 15 controller(y)
     
  4. zac

    zac Funster Life Member

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    Ok great thanks for the info
     
  5. dpsuk999

    dpsuk999 Funster

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    Yes but I ‘choose’ when to have fully charged batteries. With my setup (including the Victron Multiplus) when I’m on EHU (and more often than not 6A or 10A as mostly in Europe) the Multiplus supplements the EHU if I’m close to the 6 or 10A limit thus always drawing from the Lithium’s then when my useage reduces the Multiplus then charges the lithium’s, so always up and down.
     
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  6. dpsuk999

    dpsuk999 Funster

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    I have the Victron Smart MPPT so just change the settings via my phone (y)
     
  7. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Sort of. Lithiums need treating with kid gloves which is why every decent lithium cell you own has a protection circuit built in. They must never be over or under charged so these little protection circuits isolate the cell if they go out of limits.

    Also, a LA battery just gets 14V slapped across it and it's left to itself to figure out 2V per cell, which works most of the time. A lithium battery needs a charge controller to make sure each cell gets to the right voltage and does not go below it's "death" voltage. So lithium is an order of magnitude more complex than LA and so statistically more likely to develop a fault.

    Lithium does not self discharge like a LA battery does. Which is fine if you disconnect them when stored but often in a MH you can't because there an alarm/tracker needing power.

    So as I see it, lithium wins on weight and depth of discharge. Loses on not being an exact replacement for LA, complexity and cost.

    Cost ? I see £1000 kicked about ( does that include the complex support electronics ? ) for I assume the bog standard 100Ah which is equivalent to 130Ah of LA. £100 for 100Ah of LA so £130 for the energy equivalent of lithium.

    Weight is the only winner.
     
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  8. two

    two Funster

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    Surely you only need to swap to Lithium once? :)
     
  9. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    This comes up on the Tesla thread on here. Tesla limit charging to something like 80% to get the longest life out of the battery. They allow 100% on demand when the owner needs to go that far but it hammers the battery life.

    It puts a whole new spin on the deep discharge side of lithium.
     
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  10. Theonlysue

    Theonlysue Funster Life Member

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    AGM batteries didn't start showing their failings for a few years.
    I think best to wait to see how lithium copes in a leisure battery enviroment.
    Toys for boys :LOL::LOL:
     
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  11. nickvanbitz

    nickvanbitz Funster

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    Normally as you might be aware, I tend to take a back seat when posting, as my head honcho tends to write most things, but felt the need to have a little go at this posting lark :D (seeing as my name has been mentioned a few times :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:).

    As we all know, technology moves on, after all progress is made on an hourly progress with medicines, technology etc etc etc. It is up to us whether we embrace change and move with these advances, or stick to the devil you know.
    With regards to the comment of trusting a salesman, yes I am a salesman you are right. However this salesman has been motorcaravanning for 18 years. My first van a 1967 split screen camper was what landed me working at Van Bitz in the first place (as value of the vehicle, I wanted it protecting and I wasn't ticketed to fit my own security at the time). My progress through using the vans has made me able to give examples of products we have used and as motorhomers, we can all pull through our knowledge base and look at different products based on our own personal experiences as well as having the advantage to listen to our customers on a daily basis, listening to tales of travels and problems they experience along the way (along with copious amounts of wine that has been drunk during their travels ;)). There has been many a time even when customer's wallets are happily open to spend money, that we have refused to take it as it is the wrong product/equipment for them and won't do the job they thought it would.

    Lithium Batteries are one of those technologies that hasn't been around as much as say the Inverter/solar/advance charging markets, but it has been there lurking in the background. As pointed out previously, initial prices of these batteries were very high, as they were very costly to make. However we have seen a reduction in the price where it has now flat lined to roughly what the average costs are today. I cannot see this going down, based on the costs of the raw materials used, but the construction of these batteries and the technology involved.
    Now going to the argument of I can get so many LA batteries for what it costs for lithium, again you are right you could. My argument is the inconvenience and disappointment when those LA batteries fail right in the middle of a long trip away in the middle of winter when it's cold and you need electric. When battery banking, you are more likely to take out more than one battery when you have a failure, so most of the time you are replacing more than one battery at the time and the failure of a second battery may not happen straight away and so on.
    Then there's the argument of "I change my van every 5 years", well why would you sell the van with the lithium batteries fitted?? My first job would be taking them out and fit to the next motorhome (which I have done for other equipment I'm not willing to let go with the van when I've sold it), which would also brings to a close to the argument on how many LA batteries you would have replaced compared to the costs of Lithium's. Yes in the Motorcaravanning world, there is very little long term proof on how long a lithium would last in their lifetime, but there's certainly no case of early failures either (none that I am aware of anyway!!). Again I cannot comment on other manufacturers, but the units we have are guaranteed at 5 years.
    I cannot comment on other Lithium Batteries on the market, but tests are showing amazing performances on the amount of cycles these batteries can cope with and feedback that I am receiving from MH owners whom are using them to the extreme (For example, running C-PAP breathing machines during the night off-grid, being in the middle of nowhere in crazy temperatures etc). Indications and test show incredible battery cycles from Lithium, without a fall in performance. This also comes with the percentage capacity on the Lithium, again I cannot comment on other manufacturers but the units we use are rated at 100Ah, will give 100ah as they are downrated to allow the BMS to operate, which withholds about 15ah for battery management (so in truth are 115ah units, which has been indicated on the Battery monitors we use).

    Like I said in my opening line, we strongly believe this is progress and the evolution of leisure battery power as we know it, it's up to you if you want to embrace it or happy to stick to the devil you know.
    I'm certainly sold on Lithium based on the 18 years me and Clair have been travelling and the power demand we have (along with weight saving and the guarantee of the rated power of the batteries and not guessing "have we got 40-50% SOC??"). Yes installation has to be respected, but again take your time and research taking stock of what your van's current set-up is and what may need to be changed to suit (B2B, MPPT regulator, Charger etc). Having these upgrades done not just respect how lithium is charged, but can improve on your charging and how you use the van "Off-Grid", for example I installed a B2B charger on my Movano Van conversion way back in 2007 and have never gone without one!! That was back when we were fitting Elecsol Batteries, which I started out with a 230ah single unit, to avoid battery banking. This B2B/Inverter-Charger set-up went through 3 van changes, which I finally let the equipment go when I sold that particular van in 2012, but sadly 4 battery changes done during the B2B and Inverter's lifetime.
     
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  12. two

    two Funster

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    It’s difficult not to tar everyone with the same brush, especially when being brief.

    I was very close to buying Lithium, to save weight, but decided to continue with Gel for the time being. Cost was less of an issue than the confusing information I was given at the time and I wonder what some of those people are telling punters now.

    A useful question to ask is always, “Why?” I find that very few salespersons can answer that question convincingly.
     
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  13. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    That's a nice honest accurate post.

    But ££££ wise, 2007 to 2012, 4 batteries which I suspect had a hard life with "b2b and inverter" you were well in profit in terms of cash and simple system you fix next day anywhere in Europe in the middle of winter. We had exactly that with our first MH, battery failed the day before we were on the Dover ferry. Called in to John's Cross, took out the 8 year old German battery, fitted a new one and made the ferry.

    If money were no object I'd go for lithium now just for the fun of it but I don't think I'd see any real world living improvement on what I already have.
     
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  14. two

    two Funster

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    It is my understanding that the individual cells in a Lithium pack need to be carefully monitored and balanced. If you have more than one pack (say 4 of 12V), how is any balancing performed between them?
     
  15. Zigisla

    Zigisla Funster Life Member

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    As we know LA batteries are only good for 50% Ah value where as Lithium is nigh on 100%. Therefore 100Ah Lithium is equivalent to 200Ah LA. Question now is would 1 Lithium battery last 5 x longer than the cheap £100 LA battery. All indications so far say yes easily, so huge outlay for long term savings. You Tube has a lot of videos ref Lithium Leisure battery technology and whilst Sterling maybe bias in some respect, he only stopped his test after 6 months because the Lithium had only dropped 1Ah in that time so he got bored of the test. A slightly unrealistic test for MH users, but still puts the point over. The 2 American Travellers have a good video out as well. "Lithium vs AGM"
     
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  16. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    OK Why did I buy them? To save weight, and I wanted extra deep discharge capacity as I had just had a Victron Multiplus Inverter charger that "tops up" shore power automatically to avoid tripping the shore power when my wife uses her hair dryer (without turning off the heated towel rail lol)

    In my camper I have three large domestic flat screen TV's all fed from a HDMI distribution unit, with a Amazon Firestick, Google Chrome, Apple TV and Now TV boxes and a Humax 1TB satellite all swapping information via a Sony Sound bar and Sub Woofer. This is all straight from the domestic market so 220 VAC

    In addition we have Dyson mini ball upright cleaner and Dyson rechargeable hand held.

    I "could" go away in a tent, I choose not to, I "could" compromise! I "choose" not to. The Lithium batteries enable me to use my inverter set up without too much thought or consideration, if there is hook up? great, I'll use it. If not we can do a couple of nights even in the Winter without too much problem.

    We also have three 150w Solar panels, a 5Kva built in generator and about 200 amp on road charging, again, none of this I need, and to some it would be hard to justify the cost: So I don't try.

    I suspect that if anyone reading this thread answered this question honestly it would put a different tack on things? You win £100M on the Euro Lottery and you treated yourself to a new luxury motorhome and one of the options was an enhanced charging system and bank of Lithium batteries how many would say "Nah, I'll have that old split charge relay and a couple of modified car batteries please!

    Once you remove the fact that they cost a lot more they are better in every repsect

    Which is why I bought them!
     
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  17. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    On the better units each battery has its own BMS (Battery Management System)
     
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  18. Zigisla

    Zigisla Funster Life Member

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    The Sterling Video on YouTube demonstrates this. The 100Ah battery he uses reads out ~118Ah and during test has a few spikes and drops to ~110Ah and he mentions the battery is doing some re-balancing itself.(y)
     
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  19. zac

    zac Funster Life Member

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    So having 2 x 100ah lithiums is the equivalent of heaving 4 x 100ah lead acid going on that lead only gives half of what that are rated at? Is this correct or have i got that wrong, bloody confusing all this ah stuff and charging rates and not charging full etc. What i want is a fit and forget and to be able to use what equipment we have without losing power including the inverter. We only have 150w solar which i thought might be enough but some on here have double that.
     
  20. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Yes you are basically correct OK Gel’s can be taken down to 80% but at the expense of ultimate life cycle expectancy so not really recommended, and yes twice the solar would good but still bank on getting nothing on a grey day.

    And whatever you do you still need to understand what you are taking out vs what you put back in.

    Martin
     
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