Fogstar Lithium & Sargent EC600 (1 Viewer)

Oct 31, 2017
547
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Kent
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51,209
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We have a 2018 build Swift Bessacarr 597 with a Sargent EC600 electrical system. We are thinking of changing the van but only if we can find the right van at a sensible price. We are off for 5 weeks in the van or in the new one if we buy one before. The van is fitted with 2 x 110ah liesure batteries and a 100 watt solar panel which has done well other than the microwave doesnt work off grid now as the batteries a 3 year s old so Lithium would be useful but only if easy to fit.

I emailed Sargent to ask if I could fit a lithium battery, they were a little slow at replying so I emailed Fogstar Batteries, the chap there replied that having looked at the EC600 manual that the lithium would be a drop in replacement so I ordered the battey which is due to be posted today. This morning I recieved an email from Sargent saying it would need a B2B charger. I emailed this to Fogstar and he said it didnt sound right as the specs in the manual say the system will support lithium.

I would appreciate your thoughts and polite suggestions as Im not sure what to do, ie I dont want to go to the agro of fitting a B 2 B charger if we swap the van soon.

Thanks Roger
 

Tombola

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Nov 21, 2020
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The EC600 is for use with EHu charge only and doesnt have an integrated b2b does it. But may well link to the split charge relay

2 different things
 
Jan 30, 2020
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Mid Bedfordshire
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RS Endeavour
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Just a tad..
You can use a lithium with a mains charger of pretty much any make if the BMS on the battery is well configured. Set to gel on the Sergent charger and don’t worry about it, yes it may not be fully optimised but you can do that on your next van. I assume you’ll be transferring the Fogster to the new van?

Fogster have said it’s okay, get on with enjoying your five weeks away and optimise your battery support infrastructure (charger and B2B) when you get back in either the existing or new van.
 

Tombola

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Nov 21, 2020
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from the EC600 manual

3.4 Leisure Battery A) Type / Selection For optimum performance and safety it is essential that only a proprietary brand LEISURE battery is used and it is suggested to select a battery from the NCC Verified Battery Scheme with a typical capacity of 75 to 120 Ah (Ampere / hours).

Depending on the prospective use of the vehicle the correct type should be selected (A, B or C). A normal car battery is NOT suitable. This battery should always be connected when the system is in use.

The PSU is configured to work with standard lead acid leisure batteries, and in most cases is also compatible with the latest range of Absorbed Glass Matt (AGM) batteries. The system is also suitable for Lithium batteries with built-in Battery Management Systems BMS). Before fitting non-standard batteries please check that the charging profile described in 3.3 is suitable for the type of battery by referring to the battery documentation or battery manufacturer. Some vehicle installations can cater for two leisure batteries connected in parallel. In these cases it is recommended that two identical batteries are used.
--------------------------------------------------------

But Yes a B2B is always a good thing for charging when driving if you have lithium
 
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Roger S
Oct 31, 2017
547
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So if I change the charger to Gel then the lithium will work but presumably not charge fully unless a B2B is fitted ?

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Jul 14, 2021
14
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rollerteam
Hi Been following this thread, just this moment purchased a 105ah battery from Fogstar with discount and postage £383! I plan hopefully is just to drop it in as is into a Swift Select 184 , don't do sites so Ehu charging isn't such an issue. however as the Swift manual says it should be ok with Lithium battery and with a good BMS system, finger crossed.
 
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Roger S
Oct 31, 2017
547
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Ill let you know how I get on, but it wont be until next week sometime.
 
Nov 6, 2018
46
63
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57,103
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Exp
2005
I have been on another discussion for a few days re lithium etc. I received Fogstar 280Ah today. Looks good and they respond well to any enquiries. My motorhome is an Elddis 255 with BCA psu. Fogstar say all will be ok with their bms controlling things. All good. The problem i see is to charge a 280 Ah battery with a max 6amps would take two days. Really need to be a shorter time than that, Therefore need a higher output psu. I have ordered another 2 100 watt solar panels two add the two i have. Fogstar seem a good deal though.
 

Swifter

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Jul 28, 2020
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I bought a 300ah yesterday (and collected it) will fit it over the weekend hopefully
Which manufacturer did you go for ?
Also wondered how you purchased the batteries, 200ah + 100ah or 3 x 100ah ? Please post pictures of the install . I know you have been after these for a while 👍🏻

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MisterB

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Feb 25, 2018
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enough to know i shouldnt touch things i know nothing about ....
Swifter

I went for1 x 300ah Fogstar based on the the types of cells, discharge rate, length of guarantee and price. Bluetooth monitoring via an app and frost protection were also on my spec list. With the discount it came to around £850. I think the 280ah is better value though but I just wanted to have as much as I could in a battery I could physically lift.

If I struggle to lift it into place they said I could just swap it for a lighter one or a couple of lighter ones.

As you pointed out ear the 480ah was a big heavy lump and was too heavy for me to lift comfortably on my own into where I wanted it to go (underneath a bench seat).
 
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eddie

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 4, 2007
8,190
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Taunton Somerset
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540
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RV
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since 1989
We have a 2018 build Swift Bessacarr 597 with a Sargent EC600 electrical system. We are thinking of changing the van but only if we can find the right van at a sensible price. We are off for 5 weeks in the van or in the new one if we buy one before. The van is fitted with 2 x 110ah liesure batteries and a 100 watt solar panel which has done well other than the microwave doesnt work off grid now as the batteries a 3 year s old so Lithium would be useful but only if easy to fit.

I emailed Sargent to ask if I could fit a lithium battery, they were a little slow at replying so I emailed Fogstar Batteries, the chap there replied that having looked at the EC600 manual that the lithium would be a drop in replacement so I ordered the battey which is due to be posted today. This morning I recieved an email from Sargent saying it would need a B2B charger. I emailed this to Fogstar and he said it didnt sound right as the specs in the manual say the system will support lithium.

I would appreciate your thoughts and polite suggestions as Im not sure what to do, ie I dont want to go to the agro of fitting a B 2 B charger if we swap the van soon.

Thanks Roger
So what would you like to read?

The man flogging you something tells you ‘It’s fine, all OK no problems’

The man that made your equipment, who isn’t flogging you anything, gives you his expert opinion, an opinion that I agree with, it’s not a drop in replacement

Back to the salesman, ‘Oh he’s wrong’

Sargent have absolutely nothing to gain, or loose by telling you what their equipment can or can’t do, free advice and you should take it!
 
May 7, 2016
7,372
12,007
West Sussex
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42,951
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Malibu Van 640 LE K
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Since 2003
So if I change the charger to Gel then the lithium will work but presumably not charge fully unless a B2B is fitted ?
I don’t worry too much about whether my battery is kept fully charged when on a hook up. I only need it fully charged battery when I am not. Unlike lead acid under charging a LiFePO4 battery does it no harm. A B2B makes sure the battery is full when I arrive somewhere without ehu. The BMS will protect the battery from extremes but the external equipment controls charging, not the BMS.
 
Apr 27, 2016
6,950
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Manchester
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42,762
MH
A class Hymer
Exp
Since the 80s
The problem i see is to charge a 280 Ah battery with a max 6amps would take two days. Really need to be a shorter time than that, Therefore need a higher output psu.
Are you sure it's a 6A battery charger? That sounds very small. Is it one of those 'off-line' chargers, where there is a Power Supply (PSU) of about 20A supplying all the habitation circuits, with the battery switched out. The battery is charged separately with a small charger. If it is, you could get a charger with a lithium setting, say 15A or 30A, and just connect it straight to the battery.

It will work fine when on EHU. When not on EHU, it won't be on anyway, so no problem.
 
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Nov 6, 2018
46
63
Funster No
57,103
MH
Low line
Exp
2005
BCA kindly sent me installation and tech specs of their different power supply units. The unit in an encore is the dual output unit which supplies a total of 20 amps but only 6amps max in the 3 stage charger output. The Victron 30 amp 3output may do both but cannot see if the outputs can be configured separately for lithium on one output and power supply on another. Could just run a single output to battery and leave original PSU feeding van as suggested. All good fun. Another two solar panels and an mppt Victron arriving today. All good fun that will stop me building another aircraft I hope.

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Apr 27, 2016
6,950
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Exp
Since the 80s
I have a Victron Blue Smart IP65 charger, and it has a single output, so can't be configured as two different supplies. I think if the 20A PSU is adequate for your habitation loads, as I'm sure it is, then you could just wire the charger straight to the battery. Probably don't need to disconnect the 6A charger either, that may need to be left connected so that the hab loads switch to battery when the EHU is disconnected.

The idea of having an 'offline' charger with a separate power supply is definitely a minority view for a motorhome, technically better but no real-world advantage with modern smart chargers.
 
Jul 14, 2021
14
4
Funster No
82,685
MH
rollerteam
Sorry don’t wish to hijack this thread. Bit for info I received my lithium battery this afternoon and installed into my motorhome as you can see from the pictures whilst driving I’m getting 10+ A charge to the battery and currently charging at home and getting 7 A
 

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eddie

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 4, 2007
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Sorry don’t wish to hijack this thread. Bit for info I received my lithium battery this afternoon and installed into my motorhome as you can see from the pictures whilst driving I’m getting 10+ A charge to the battery and currently charging at home and getting 7 A
That is a very low charge rate, do you know why?
 
Jul 14, 2021
14
4
Funster No
82,685
MH
rollerteam
Not entirely sure but I believe my vehicle battery was pretty low as a vehicle been sat for a few days.
 
May 7, 2016
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Perhaps the charging voltages of 13.6V and 13.5V are too low as well. On my set up for a Relion Li battery those would only be maintenance voltages, having dropped from a higher charging voltage of 14.4V only when full.

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Jul 14, 2021
14
4
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rollerteam
Beginning to believe the connectors on the positive lead is slight damaged. Looks like cheap soldering is loose. So May have to change them. unsure
 
OP
OP
Roger S
Oct 31, 2017
547
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Kent
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Carthago T149
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Since 2016
So what would you like to read?

The man flogging you something tells you ‘It’s fine, all OK no problems’

The man that made your equipment, who isn’t flogging you anything, gives you his expert opinion, an opinion that I agree with, it’s not a drop in replacement

Back to the salesman, ‘Oh he’s wrong’

Sargent have absolutely nothing to gain, or loose by telling you what their equipment can or can’t do, free advice and you should take it!
Having read in the manual where Sargent speak of dcharging a nnd Lithium it doesn't say one needs to change or alter the charger, it does say it will support Lithium albeit in a round about way. Time will tell it arrived today.
 
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OP
Roger S
Oct 31, 2017
547
1,215
Kent
Funster No
51,209
MH
Carthago T149
Exp
Since 2016
Sorry don’t wish to hijack this thread. Bit for info I received my lithium battery this afternoon and installed into my motorhome as you can see from the pictures whilst driving I’m getting 10+ A charge to the battery and currently charging at home and getting 7 A
What van or charger do you have ?
 

eddie

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 4, 2007
8,190
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540
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since 1989
Having read in the manual where Sargent speak of dcharging a nnd Lithium it doesn't say one needs to change or alter the charger, it does say it will support Lithium albeit in a round about way. Time will tell it arrived today.
It’s slow enough to say it’s not really working.

I have a 120 amp DC 2 DC charger and normally see circa 100 amps which means a short driving hop see’s me arrive with a fully charged battery bank.

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Roger S
Oct 31, 2017
547
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It’s slow enough to say it’s not really working.

I have a 120 amp DC 2 DC charger and normally see circa 100 amps which means a short driving hop see’s me arrive with a fully charged battery bank.
I may have to fit a b2b I will test first.
 

Hoovie

Free Member
May 16, 2021
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Autotrail
BCA kindly sent me installation and tech specs of their different power supply units. The unit in an encore is the dual output unit which supplies a total of 20 amps but only 6amps max in the 3 stage charger output. The Victron 30 amp 3output may do both but cannot see if the outputs can be configured separately for lithium on one output and power supply on another. Could just run a single output to battery and leave original PSU feeding van as suggested. All good fun. Another two solar panels and an mppt Victron arriving today. All good fun that will stop me building another aircraft I hope.
The Victron 3 output charger has a single configuation and voltage output is the same across all 3 outputs. What varies is the current to each output (which is not configurable by the user, it is determined by the battery demand).
 
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OP
Roger S
Oct 31, 2017
547
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Kent
Funster No
51,209
MH
Carthago T149
Exp
Since 2016
I have fitted the Fogstar battery this morning and it is charging at 14.4v on tickover and about 15v when reving up, I checked on mains and that was charging at 14.4v too so it seems I dont need to alter the Sargent system after all. Happy with that.
 
May 7, 2016
7,372
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West Sussex
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42,951
MH
Malibu Van 640 LE K
Exp
Since 2003
15V would be too high for my LiFePO4 battery. Within the BMS cut off limit but higher than recommended for charging.
 
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Lenny HB

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Oct 18, 2007
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On the coast in West Sussex
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658
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Hymer B678 DL
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Since 2008 & many years tugging
Swift select 184 2019! Going to halford tomorrow and buy a couple of new battery terminal as the wiring look very iffy. 😂
Being a Swift your problem is the wiring will be way under size so you will be getting a volt drop across the wiring limiting the charging rate.
If you don't have a B2B you need to fit one to enable the battery to be charged correctly and to protect the alternator. Cables need to be sized relative to the cable length & max charge current.
You also need to replace the cables from the batteries to the distribution unit with at least 16 mm sq cable.

Absolutely no point in fitting Lithium if you don't upgrade the system and wiring to take advantage of it.

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