EZA 130 Lithium Power-Pack

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Windy66, Nov 4, 2017.

  1. Windy66

    Windy66 Funster

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    Ok it may seem like madness to spend some £3k on a leisure battery, but after a few weeks of consideration and deliberation I decided to go for it!

    There were a number of reasons why I took the leap of faith but it was essentially about being independent and being able to be off grid. Also about efficiency (battery weight, solar utilisation etc). Also I was putting the battery into my middle of the range van and this upgrade I would have gladly taken as an option at purchase time.

    Now it's fitted, here are my first thoughts.

    Fitting

    It replaced two 110Ah leisure batteries and went under the passenger seat of my Chausson 718EB Welcome passenger seat, replacing said batteries. The approved fitters had to remove some of the floor insulation to get it in properly but it was safely mounted with relative ease. They took the seat out for easy access but no great shakes. It was mounted plugs facing rearwards and this made the lights and buttons fairly easily visible and accessible.

    Powering Up and Charging

    It powered up no problem and showed 13v straight away. It connected to the Android app (no iOS version available yet no matter what any website says) very easily via bluetooth. There is some useful info available immediately but it said it needed to charge to 14.2v before any history was available. So a long drive and some charging via the solar panels sorted that.

    App

    As mentioned there is an iOS app coming but I found the Android version pretty clunky. So didn't use it generally. I look forward to upgrades! Take a look at the web for the app description.

    Solar Input

    The instruction is not to use any solar regulator inline with the EZA. Instead the panels go directly to the EZA solar input plugs and the inbuilt EZA regulator and circuitry is used. Previously, with the 2x110Ah batteries the 2 x 100w solar panels would keep them topped up in Mediterranean climates and in good weather in the uk. But in the winter I would need to plug in the van when not in use otherwise the batteries would deplete. However, using the same panels, and the EZA inbuilt regulator, the single EZA battery charges nicely. It gradually increases from 13.4v to 14.2v over about 2 weeks.

    So clearly the solar utilisation and efficiency is much better.

    1500w Inverter

    I had an inverter fitted that switches in automatically when there is no 240v plugged in to the van. It works well and the EZA copes well when in use. It does not overly deplete and there are no noises or heat coming from it. We don't use the inverter excessively but I think it would be good for quite a bit of use.

    Off Grid

    The costs for 240v site power are increasing UK and abroad but obviously investing in an EZA is not going to be covered for quite some time by not having to pay for onsite electricity! But what we found it became irrelevant whether we were plugged in or not - the experience was the same. I suppose I could use the lack of need to buy campsite power to add weight to my decision to buy the EZA but that would simply be kidding myself somewhat :) It is true to say though, we do feel very much more independent and don't really think about having to have campsite power or it's the end of the world! We are free to choose better pitches with a nicer view or more secluded spots. Wild camping - no issue on that score either.

    Supply and Fit

    I bought from RoadPro. Purchase experience was adequate but as they could not fit for quite a while I opted for approved fitters in the South West. North Road Motorhome and Caravan Servicing. They are excellent and can be trusted to do the job right. No cutting corners.

    Conclusion

    No matter how you look at it, they are not good value for money. 2/3 of the current price would be more agreeable. Maybe half. But if you feel that the cost is less important then I can say the EZA is an excellent addition to your motorhome experience. It provides freedom and really does get the best out of your solar panels - summer or winter.
     
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  2. Richard and Ann

    Richard and Ann Funster

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    What's not "independent" and "off grid" about a wet lead acid battery?
    No offence but I think you've got (had?) more money than sense.
     
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  3. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    A lot of dosh but if you are pleased with it thats what counts.
    Unless you have a real payload problem I don't see the advantage over a fitting a larger battery bank. We have 3 x 80a/h Gel's gives us all the power we need and mainly camp off grid, could do with adding more solar otherwise fine.

    I question your solar installation you said "But in the winter I would need to plug in the van when not in use otherwise the batteries would deplete." even a 60 watt panel would keep your batteries topped up in a UK winter when not being used.
    Also, you said "However, using the same panels, and the EZA inbuilt regulator, the single EZA battery charges nicely. It gradually increases from 13.4v to 14.2v over about 2 weeks." I would expect the voltage to come up in a few hours not a couple of weeks.
    I think at least one of your panels is dead and loading the other one.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
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  4. Freespirit1

    Freespirit1 Funster

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    You've been very brave spending that much money - but as has been said above, have you done a simple open circuit voltage check individually on those solar panels?

    Thanks for sharing your EZA experience.
     
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  5. CazPaul

    CazPaul Funster

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    I,d love to know how much profit the likes of Roadpro make on selling one battery for 3k.
    But they sound like nice batteries, well done for taking the plunge. Let us know how they continue to perform please.
     
  6. Windy66

    Windy66 Funster

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    Well, very true. But I was not getting what I needed from my existing batteries. I looked for the best solutions and gel was an option but only if I changed the charger / circuit. If I remember rightly.

    As far as 'being had' as you put it. I chose and bought it. It wasn't sold to me.

    I think my point is: it works, it's a great piece of kit - but not at that price.
     
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  7. Windy66

    Windy66 Funster

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    I did have the panels checked out before deciding on the EZA. Everything was in order and working ok. I think a better regulator would have helped. I was truly initially undecided on the EZA but all things considered I decided to put some money into the 'risk' and go for it.

    As for the charging rate, the power delivery from the solar panels will not charge an EZA, two lead or gel batteries in hours. Especially at the tail end.
     
  8. jezport

    jezport Funster

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    You mentioned that it charges your battery from solar better than before. It should do you now have gone from 220AH batteries to 130AH

    I have 2 AGM and a cab battery being kept topped up by a 140w solar panel just fine during the winter.
     
  9. Windy66

    Windy66 Funster

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    Be happy to. :)
     
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  10. Windy66

    Windy66 Funster

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    Not entirely true. The existing batteries were 100Ah effective. You can only draw 50%. Yes, I now have 130Ah. But you are absolutely correct in that there is now only one battery and the EZA does (by design and definition) charge faster.

    Two EZA's (unthinkable price wise) would result in slower charge rate. My point is that 2 x lead acids replaced by 1 x EZA gives me a better overall solution.
     
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  11. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Well I would like to say thanks for posting this, an honest report I would say.

    We all do what we do in a way that suits us, yes keep us informed please.

    Yes the price will come down and at the "right price" whatever that is others will also be thinking about this technology in the future and will benefit from your testing and evaluating this product.

    Martin
     
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  12. Pausim

    Pausim Funster

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    Thanks for the review, very helpful to have your user experience. If we all stuck steadfastly to what we have known and trusted for years little progress would be made. I am grateful when people are brave enough to spend their money, give something a go and then tell us all about it.
     
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  13. DBK

    DBK Funster

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    I guess it is an easy solution to fit as, if I read it correctly, it has its own built in charger handling 240 volt, 12 volt and solar input as they require different voltages to the chargers currently fitted. This means if you fitted a lithium battery such as this one from Victron you need to change all the chargers.

    http://www.off-grid-europe.com/vict...6YcIdRrwV1n1Bl_G3boQbTsV13ScvBchoCSKgQAvD_BwE

    But something you say above doesn't sound right. You said your batteries discharge in winter when the vehicle is not being used, despite having 200W of solar. This shouldn't happen unless there is a continuous heavy draw of current from something. Mine has 190W of solar and just two 90Ah batteries and it never has problems out of use - the batteries are always fully charged.

    But it will be interesting to hear how you get on with the new battery. I'm sure it will be fine. :)
     
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  14. Windy66

    Windy66 Funster

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    Thank you indeed. My philosophy is go with your decisions and accept it if you were wrong. If you were right, bonus. BUT without learning from others we can't progress - as you rightly say. So sharing the experience, either way, is vital to help others.

    I have benefited immensely from forums such as this. Reading other peoples experiences and getting advice. So I know that sharing information is key - bad experience or good. The power of these forums and that given to those who are prepared to use them for research, means we can protect each other from suffering bad product or taking poor decisions regarding what is our precious time given to us by our motorhomes.

    I believe it's really about helping others.

    Of course you get the odd critical response but sometimes people are just like that or have their own reasons. They are not wrong - they just have a different view. It all goes in the mix.
     
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  15. Windy66

    Windy66 Funster

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    Yes, I'm wondering too if I should have investigated getting a better solar charger regulator before taking the plunge with the EZA. I guess, the advice to others thinking about an EZA to replace their existing battery/batteries, they should check their solar setup is working efficiently first.

    Certainly the solar panel regulator is key to good panel efficiency.

    Thanks for your steer - I think you have a good point.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
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  16. Wissel

    Wissel Funster

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    Hi @Windy66

    Thanks for posting your review - very helpful as there's not a huge amount of first-hand information available on any LifePO4 setups.

    Could I ask a couple of questions?

    1. Does the EZA app show the rate that power is put into the bank whilst driving?
    2. Assuming it does, can you give an example of how long it's taken you to put a number of AH's back into the bank?

    I'm very curious about real world charging times.

    Many thanks,
    David
     
  17. CazPaul

    CazPaul Funster

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    Are all motorhome chargers compatible with the new battery, do you have to get a specific charger too?
     
  18. Freespirit1

    Freespirit1 Funster

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    Yep - good advice there - and don't dismiss new technology like CIGS flexible solar panels that are marginally more expensive than the best monocrystaline but so much better than these fixed frame type in so many ways.

    https://mipvsolarpanels.co.uk/
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
  19. Windy66

    Windy66 Funster

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    Hi David

    Yes, the app shows the Current (Amps) figures for all the inputs and outputs.

    When driving after it was first installed and when driving it was showing 19A. Seemed high be that was the figure shown. After about 20 or 30 mins of driving it dropped to 13A. Once it had reached full charge I think it shows 2 or 3A but I'd need to check that figure for you.

    The battery has never dropped below 13V. But when it was at 13.4V a drive for 1 hour recharged it to 14.2V. I don't know within that hour when it reached the 14.2V number through. Again I'd have to check that figure for you.

    Hope thats ok?
     
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  20. Windy66

    Windy66 Funster

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    No I didn't have to get a new charger. My understanding is that all MH chargers are compatible. The EZA is intended to be a straight swap for your existing batteries.
     
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