Good old Lithium yet again. (1 Viewer)

Lenny HB

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OK Guys, have new van coming at sometime in the future and I'm fed up with sleepless nights going over the electrics. So just to see what you all think.

Will be fitting either 280 AH or 460 AH of Lithium & at least a 2000 VA inverter as we have ordered the van without an oven (didn't like where & how it would be fitted).
So we will be using a lot more electrical gear than we normally do, probably a small Air fryer, maybe a Romeska & our 800 Watt kettle a lot of the time.

The Van is a Carthago CompactLine so the electrics will be CBE.
For the mains charging I may leave the CBE charger on the Gel setting initially as we rarely use EHU, not ideal but OK for occasional use.
Other option is to fit a Victron IP22 charger and leave the CBE charger to take care of the starter battery.
A Victron Multiplus would be a nice solution but with our low EHU usage it would be an extravagance.

I will initially fit 300 or 350 watts of solar not sure how much more I can get on the roof, the van will have a B2B as standard, trying to find out which one as a 30 amp won't be much good with 460 AH of Battery.

I was original going to fit a Votronic solar regulator as I like the dual output for the starter battery & the AES output for the fridge but a few people have had problems with the Votronic with Lithium.

So I am going to play save and fit either a Victron Smart 100/30 or 100/50 regulator and an Ablemail Battery Maintainer to take care of the starter battery.
The next problem comes is keeping the starter battery topped up when parked up at home. I could plug into the EHU which is next to the van but that goes against the grain, IMO Motorhomes should be self-sufficient.

We all know Lithium's don't like to be stored fully charged or on charge but the starter battery needs to be maintained.
Two options I'm thinking of, I will probably transfer my BMV700 over from my current van or fit a new one or a smart Shunt.

So I'm thinking let the Ablemail do it's job and wire the relay output of the BMV to a larger relay to switch the input to the solar regulator. Then set the relay to switch on connecting the solar when the battery is at 40% SOC and to switch off when the battery is at 80% SOC.
If I don't fit the BMV and go for a Smart Shunt I could use a voltage comparator to do the same job.

The second option is to fit a changeover switch to the output of the solar regulator and switch it over to the starter battery when parked up at home, so the solar just maintains the starter battery.

Next problem is the fridge as the Victron regulator does not have an AES output.
So I'm thinking of using either the BMV relay or a voltage comparator to switch a 12v signal to the S+ on the fridge when the battery is at 100% SOC and to switch off when the battery is down to 50% or 60% SOC. Also I will fit a 24 hour timer inline so the AES connection will only be active from say 7 am to 4 pm (depending on the time of year) with it switching on & off in one hour blocks. That should preserve the battery and save a bit of gas.

Next question is for CompactLine owners, mine will be the I 141, the battery compartment is buried amidships in the double floor and looks a right pain to get at. It will accept a 280 AH Lithium the question is with a bit of modding would I be able to get a much larger battery in (460 AH 522mm x 240mm x 218mm).

Also what seems a bit stupid the batty compartment is in the middle of the van the battery cut off switch is about a metre forward of it but the distribution unit is in the other direction in the garage, plain stupid.
I think Motorhome converters employ designers with the logic section of their brains missing.

So I'm thinking of fitting the battery in the garage but that does lose valuable garage space.
 

funflair

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Dec 11, 2013
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Hi Lenny

In the Victron Smart solar regulator you can store your own custom charge profiles, my understanding is that you can drop the voltage down and then it won't fully charge the lithium, as ours goes in a shed we don't have the same problem so I just trip the battery master switch and leave a battery master watching the starter battery.
 

suavecarve

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The non techy viewpoint.
The second idea of a switch to charge the starter battery whilst at home is easiest. I dont think it is warranted (says he with his motorhome plugged in to 240) but the least hassle to get basically the same result
Obviously the maximum amount of solar is beneficial as weight is unlikely to be a concern for you
Do everything to get the maximum amount of lithium into the hidden compartment not taking away from your washing machine space but do you need it or want it ?
With only 280 ah of lithium and shed loads of solar and the times of year when you are away, with your usage, when and how do you think you are going to run out of battery. I m thinking 3 days of poor solar, charging both bikes up for 3 days, watching netflix and cooking casseroles. On the basis that you carry an electric hook up, what is the sin in paying 3 or 4 euros to top up on the very odd occasion versus 500 quid for the extra electric which you wont use on most occasions.
I think 280 is ample for you for your uses. It is, after all, 560+ of gel. Would you want 1000 ah of gel ?
Is 2000 inverter enough for you ? I m thinking of when you are charging your ebikes for 3-4 hours and then air fryer with kettle going on and maybe washing machine. Would an extra ton be worth it to put in sufficient capability or some electrical management be required. You would know the answer to this one better than me, I would just buy the bigger one !

Best of luck
 
Nov 9, 2016
51
51
Cheltenham
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46,006
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Adria
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8 yr
If it is new van it is very likely to have the new series 3 CBE charger - CB516-3 (or similar) , which now includes AGM profile, but it is also now a 6 stage charger which includes a Desulphation & Refresh stages at 15.2v which is too high for most lifep04's .
Exactly what triggers these modes I don't know (I don't know enough about chargers..) but it would put me off using it on lithium.
Early version CBE chargers were only a 4 stage chargers that did not include those two stages.
Of course you might get the -LT version which does have a lithium profile...

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Aug 6, 2013
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I'm considering simplifying my lithium charging system: a decent solar regulator accepts any input from the panels from around 12+volts up to, say, 50v. There will be a voltage input at which the MPPT facility will be doing very little. Probably around 15v. So my plan is to feed the solar regulator with the solar panels and when on EHU with 15v from a simple power unit. I can see no reason why the B2B output should not also be fed into it when the engine is running. The advantage of this system is that I only need one really good charging unit with a lithium profile - this being the solar regulator. Can anyone see any disadvantages or potential problems with this approach?
 
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Lenny HB

Lenny HB

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Oct 18, 2007
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I'm considering simplifying my lithium charging system: a decent solar regulator accepts any input from the panels from around 12+volts up to, say, 50v. There will be a voltage input at which the MPPT facility will be doing very little. Probably around 15v. So my plan is to feed the solar regulator with the solar panels and when on EHU with 15v from a simple power unit. I can see no reason why the B2B output should not also be fed into it when the engine is running. The advantage of this system is that I only need one really good charging unit with a lithium profile - this being the solar regulator. Can anyone see any disadvantages or potential problems with this approach?
An interesting approach certainly different, you have got me thinking.
 
Dec 31, 2010
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You have got to remember Lenny the multiplus is a inverter, charger and cross over switch all in one and it charges your starter battery all in a neet small unit less wiring less space and in my view future proof.
Coupled to a cerbo gx you have built in relays that can be programmed for just about any scenario.
 
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Lenny HB

Lenny HB

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Oct 18, 2007
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You have got to remember Lenny the multiplus is a inverter, charger and cross over switch all in one and it charges your starter battery all in a neet small unit less wiring less space and in my view future proof.
Coupled to a cerbo gx you have built in relays that can be programmed for just about any scenario.
I have seriously considered it but with us doing 100 to 150 nights away with perhaps only 5 or 6 of them on EHU I can't really justify it, I haven't ruled it out completely but it would need to be fitted in the garage near the other electrics and if I fit the battery in the original space the 70 mm cables needed will be another 150 quid.

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BillandHelen

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Lenny, on the Ablemail, imagine you want to get the “dongle” that connects to the device and allows you to amend all settings through an app on your phone? We don’t have this, but after watching the guys at Ablemail simply adjust our settings to what we wanted/needed, thought it would be really useful as long as you know what your doing, as you do and I don’t!! 😀
 
Jan 8, 2013
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s we have ordered the van without an oven (didn't like where & how it would be fitted).
Would you not get away with sacrificing one and a half drawers under the sink to fit a oven and grill?

I thought this could be a faster air fryer than the Romeska
 
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Lenny HB

Lenny HB

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Would you not get away with sacrificing one and a half drawers under the sink to fit a oven and grill?
That's the problem, they fit in the centre draw under the sink, it wouldn't be long before the nice white laminate on the draw above is discolored I know it gets ridiculously hot out friends have one. Also they don't fit any ventilation and charge just under a grand for it.
 
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Lenny HB

Lenny HB

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Jan 8, 2013
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I
Also they don't fit any ventilation and charge just under a grand for it.
I had this Thetford Duplex fitted by the dealer FOC but I lost the cutlery drawer above the normal cooker gap. There is room for a large air grill above it.

IMG_20200123_124837.jpg

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Jan 8, 2013
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Lenny HB

Lenny HB

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Oct 18, 2007
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I had this Thetford Duplex fitted by the dealer FOC but I lost the cutlery drawer above the normal cooker gap. There is room for a large air grill above it.
I was referring to external ventilation for heat & safety, never seen an oven fitted without external ventilation before.
Anyway it's something I can always fit later if we want it.
Oooops

That looks good, I was thinking a halogen oven would be better than a Romiska. The van is a long way off yet.
 

WESTY66

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OK Guys, have new van coming at sometime in the future and I'm fed up with sleepless nights going over the electrics. So just to see what you all think.

Will be fitting either 280 AH or 460 AH of Lithium & at least a 2000 VA inverter as we have ordered the van without an oven (didn't like where & how it would be fitted).
So we will be using a lot more electrical gear than we normally do, probably a small Air fryer, maybe a Romeska & our 800 Watt kettle a lot of the time.

The Van is a Carthago CompactLine so the electrics will be CBE.
For the mains charging I may leave the CBE charger on the Gel setting initially as we rarely use EHU, not ideal but OK for occasional use.
Other option is to fit a Victron IP22 charger and leave the CBE charger to take care of the starter battery.
A Victron Multiplus would be a nice solution but with our low EHU usage it would be an extravagance.

I will initially fit 300 or 350 watts of solar not sure how much more I can get on the roof, the van will have a B2B as standard, trying to find out which one as a 30 amp won't be much good with 460 AH of Battery.

I was original going to fit a Votronic solar regulator as I like the dual output for the starter battery & the AES output for the fridge but a few people have had problems with the Votronic with Lithium.

So I am going to play save and fit either a Victron Smart 100/30 or 100/50 regulator and an Ablemail Battery Maintainer to take care of the starter battery.
The next problem comes is keeping the starter battery topped up when parked up at home. I could plug into the EHU which is next to the van but that goes against the grain, IMO Motorhomes should be self-sufficient.

We all know Lithium's don't like to be stored fully charged or on charge but the starter battery needs to be maintained.
Two options I'm thinking of, I will probably transfer my BMV700 over from my current van or fit a new one or a smart Shunt.

So I'm thinking let the Ablemail do it's job and wire the relay output of the BMV to a larger relay to switch the input to the solar regulator. Then set the relay to switch on connecting the solar when the battery is at 40% SOC and to switch off when the battery is at 80% SOC.
If I don't fit the BMV and go for a Smart Shunt I could use a voltage comparator to do the same job.

The second option is to fit a changeover switch to the output of the solar regulator and switch it over to the starter battery when parked up at home, so the solar just maintains the starter battery.

Next problem is the fridge as the Victron regulator does not have an AES output.
So I'm thinking of using either the BMV relay or a voltage comparator to switch a 12v signal to the S+ on the fridge when the battery is at 100% SOC and to switch off when the battery is down to 50% or 60% SOC. Also I will fit a 24 hour timer inline so the AES connection will only be active from say 7 am to 4 pm (depending on the time of year) with it switching on & off in one hour blocks. That should preserve the battery and save a bit of gas.

Next question is for CompactLine owners, mine will be the I 141, the battery compartment is buried amidships in the double floor and looks a right pain to get at. It will accept a 280 AH Lithium the question is with a bit of modding would I be able to get a much larger battery in (460 AH 522mm x 240mm x 218mm).

Also what seems a bit stupid the batty compartment is in the middle of the van the battery cut off switch is about a metre forward of it but the distribution unit is in the other direction in the garage, plain stupid.
I think Motorhome converters employ designers with the logic section of their brains missing.

So I'm thinking of fitting the battery in the garage but that does lose valuable garage space.
If you want my advice, PM me :rofl: :rofl:
 
Jan 8, 2013
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I was referring to external ventilation for heat & safety, never seen an oven fitted without external ventilation before.
Anyway it's something I can always fit later if we want it.
My one seem to vent heat mostly out the top of the door? It never gets hot at the vent, I guess its very well insulated.
I know it definitely more powerful than any Dometic ovens I've had in the past and the grill actually works --- well.

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WESTY66

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All the gear, and no idea!
Lenny HB on a serious note, the only positive thing I can say is that if you Chuck the batteries in the garage, the worlds your lobster with the amount of AH you can get in there, the only restriction being the position and the needs for your use of the rest of the garage. I Will follow your eventual install with interest👍👍
 

eddie

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My set up is 3 x 120amp lithium, 120 amp, buck boost b2b, Victron 3200w/120amp inverter /charger with a VE Bus, 3 x 175 solar panels through a Victron MPPT, 5kva Onan LPG built in generator (factory fitted)

The inverter charger is in series with the mains hook up, and all controlled by Bluetooth thanks to the smart shunt and the VE Bus

I can run anything when I want it, we have only had the camper since September but haven't come close to getting near the lower third of our capacity

Do I need a Battery Master?
 
Jan 1, 2019
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I have seriously considered it but with us doing 100 to 150 nights away with perhaps only 5 or 6 of them on EHU I can't really justify it, I haven't ruled it out completely but it would need to be fitted in the garage near the other electrics and if I fit the battery in the original space the 70 mm cables needed will be another 150 quid.
Vanbitz moved our batteries to the garage next to the Victron Inverter/charger 2000. Works really well and as mentioned, we can add to the battery bank if and when required. So far, things work brilliantly 🤞
 
Dec 2, 2019
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You have got to remember Lenny the multiplus is a inverter, charger and cross over switch all in one and it charges your starter battery all in a neet small unit less wiring less space and in my view future proof.
Coupled to a cerbo gx you have built in relays that can be programmed for just about any scenario.
I echo this advise, in the long run this is the best and most economical approach. No charger will match a multiplus. Also it has the bases of a integrated system, the VE bus data can be vied remotely, it has relay, virtual switch all programmable, it can limit the ehu in on weak supply etc. And if you don’t want to splash for a GX, a simple RPI 3+ will do all the integration, solar, bmv and you can also automate for you boiler to use the sun for a shower.
On the battery side, just skip the 280ah, you WILL upgrade later, or always work round it with limitations. When not in use, just leave it at 80% charged and let the abelmail take care of the cab. When drops to 20-30% Soc, set a alarm in vrm to warn you, and turn on a smart plug connected to multiplus to recharge. I have smart plugs that takes care of lots of things in my absence, sometimes over 3 months.

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Lenny HB

Lenny HB

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Oct 18, 2007
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The non techy viewpoint.
The second idea of a switch to charge the starter battery whilst at home is easiest. I dont think it is warranted (says he with his motorhome plugged in to 240) but the least hassle to get basically the same result
Obviously the maximum amount of solar is beneficial as weight is unlikely to be a concern for you
Do everything to get the maximum amount of lithium into the hidden compartment not taking away from your washing machine space but do you need it or want it ?
With only 280 ah of lithium and shed loads of solar and the times of year when you are away, with your usage, when and how do you think you are going to run out of battery. I m thinking 3 days of poor solar, charging both bikes up for 3 days, watching netflix and cooking casseroles. On the basis that you carry an electric hook up, what is the sin in paying 3 or 4 euros to top up on the very odd occasion versus 500 quid for the extra electric which you wont use on most occasions.
I think 280 is ample for you for your uses. It is, after all, 560+ of gel. Would you want 1000 ah of gel ?
Is 2000 inverter enough for you ? I m thinking of when you are charging your ebikes for 3-4 hours and then air fryer with kettle going on and maybe washing machine. Would an extra ton be worth it to put in sufficient capability or some electrical management be required. You would know the answer to this one better than me, I would just buy the bigger one !

Best of luck
You have contradicted yourself a bit there Jon.
'er indoores says do what ever floats your boat but don't un-float mine, I'doomed I tell yer, doomed.
The current van has 234 ah of Gels a week in November in the UK we never got below 80% but were doing a fair bit of driving but with the new van I reckon to take advantage of the Lithium and our usage will be at least 3 times the present.
Gels & Lithium have appox the same amount of usable power if you treat the Lithium nicely hence why I'm looking at 460 AH.
 
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Lenny HB

Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
54,027
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On the coast in West Sussex
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If it is new van it is very likely to have the new series 3 CBE charger - CB516-3 (or similar) , which now includes AGM profile, but it is also now a 6 stage charger which includes a Desulphation & Refresh stages at 15.2v which is too high for most lifep04's .
Exactly what triggers these modes I don't know (I don't know enough about chargers..) but it would put me off using it on lithium.
Early version CBE chargers were only a 4 stage chargers that did not include those two stages.
Of course you might get the -LT version which does have a lithium profile...
Carthago fit Gels a standard so will have a standard Gel profile so should be OK. By the time I get the van it may have a Lithium profile of course the salesman tells you that you only get that if you cough up £1700 for a 90 AH Lithium. Anyway we will find out when we get the van.
 

JJ

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So just to see what you all think.

I'll tell you what I think...

If you switch on the light and it goes on and then you switch it off and it goes out... all is fine and dandy.

If it does not do either (or neither) of the above, then contact Lenny HB on the Motorhome Fun forum... he knows about this sort of stuff and is very helpful with his advice.


JJ :cool:
 
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Lenny HB

Lenny HB

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Hi, Lenny, can you enlighten us to which 2000w inverter. your thinking about as i am looking for one at the moment Regards Bill
The Victron Phoenix Smart inverter 2000 VA which is 1600 watt true power. May go for the 3000 VA if I fit 460 AH of Lithium.
A few good inverters and quite a bit cheaper but nothing comes close to the low standby power of the Victron, very low in Eco mode.

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