Making the change from lead acid to lithium - a thread with pictures

Feb 27, 2020
151
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Castillones SW France
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Well, that's all too technical for me, another reason to stick with my original lead battery, which has always been quite adequate, but then we're not in the "take heaps of electrical kit with us" bracket. Manage quite well without mains toaster, microwave, electric kettle and TV.

Also, some lithium mining done by children, would want to ensure any battery I bought was from a reputable source.
Have you seen the countries that have their ecology damaged by taking the wests waste include lead batteries, you will find the odd shrimp or prawn farms have tonnes of lead dumped on their doorstep, hence some real concerns a few years ago with produce from Vietnam, Lithium is not good but neither is holier than though. Everyone is different and free to make life choices.
 
Feb 27, 2020
151
351
Castillones SW France
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69,051
MH
pilote diamond 783
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2 years
Where people are looking at say two batteries I have been enquiring about single 200 or say 300ah batteries from china I have had these prices so far:

For 12v 300ah LiFePO4 Battery with Bluetooth BMS, USD895
Shipping fee to door by sea, USD198 including taxes and import duties

For 12v 200ah LiFePO4 Battery, USD565
Shipping fee to door by sea, USD125 including taxes and import duties
Delivery time: about 35days

Payment term: TT(wire transfer, added USD30) and PayPal(added 5% fee)

6000cycles-5Years Warranty-lifespan>20years-CE/IEC62133certificated.

Excellent work and updates from the OP but for anyone constrained by space or weght maybe these are worth considering
 
OP
Googlebot
Sep 29, 2019
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Just been out to check, charging rate had dropped to 5amps and voltage at 13.7 so I am hopeful they are nearly charged now and giving the EBL a break.

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Jun 10, 2010
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I was worried about that, given even a repair is more than a dedicated charger, do you think it’s worth biting the bullet?

How would I disable the charging on the EBL, is there an easy fuse to pull?

Fan heater, I wanted to see what current it would draw at 1500 watts. More than 100 was the answer.......
watts divided by amps but then you get some loss through the inverter so 1500/12 = 125 amps and then another 10 ish? losses. You would rip through power - both batteries in just over an hour.
 
Jun 10, 2010
3,924
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Shrewsbury (sometimes)
Funster No
12,013
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N&B Clou Liner MAN
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Where people are looking at say two batteries I have been enquiring about single 200 or say 300ah batteries from china I have had these prices so far:

For 12v 300ah LiFePO4 Battery with Bluetooth BMS, USD895
Shipping fee to door by sea, USD198 including taxes and import duties

For 12v 200ah LiFePO4 Battery, USD565
Shipping fee to door by sea, USD125 including taxes and import duties
Delivery time: about 35days

Payment term: TT(wire transfer, added USD30) and PayPal(added 5% fee)

6000cycles-5Years Warranty-lifespan>20years-CE/IEC62133certificated.

Excellent work and updates from the OP but for anyone constrained by space or weght maybe these are worth considering
Yes nice and cheap but probably a bit crap like most things from China.
I'm trying to buy less from China, difficult I know but I'm really concerned that the most powerful country on the planet is a totalitarian state.
 
Jan 19, 2014
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Phew long read :LOL:....enjoyed your thread.. thank s for taking the time (y)
Like a few on here I've gone over to lithium and on a learning curve..
I still wonder if I'd been prepared to spend an equivalent amount on lead acid whether lithium would have been such a big improvement..in terms of the longevity of the system.. reading seems to suggest it will be worth it and only time will tell..
On your installation do you have any regrets :unsure:( other than your aluminium cable :ROFLMAO: ) on chosing to go through the existing psu with your battery to battery rather than direct to the batteries and possibly then upping the capacity of that unit...
And that is not a criticism as I'm in no position to do so..:ROFLMAO:..
Thanks again...
Andy.

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OP
Googlebot
Sep 29, 2019
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Phew long read :LOL:....enjoyed your thread.. thank s for taking the time (y)
Like a few on here I've gone over to lithium and on a learning curve..
I still wonder if I'd been prepared to spend an equivalent amount on lead acid whether lithium would have been such a big improvement..in terms of the longevity of the system.. reading seems to suggest it will be worth it and only time will tell..
On your installation do you have any regrets :unsure:( other than your aluminium cable :ROFLMAO: ) on chosing to go through the existing psu with your battery to battery rather than direct to the batteries and possibly then upping the capacity of that unit...
And that is not a criticism as I'm in no position to do so..:ROFLMAO:..
Thanks again...
Andy.
If I had the room, I would have probably gone for the 60amp Sterling and disabled the split charge relay.

I was just installing one battery so 30 amps was enough. Now I have two, 60 amps would be better but I had already got the 30amp Votronic.

The main issue was space, the Hymer Exsis isn’t a huge van and I only just fit the stuff in I have.

I will see, if we manage comfortably, I will leave as is. Cost was also an issue, it does run away and the bigger B2B was another £100.

My only regret is the money I have spent, but I will forget that soon. :)
 
Feb 27, 2020
151
351
Castillones SW France
Funster No
69,051
MH
pilote diamond 783
Exp
2 years
Yes nice and cheap but probably a bit crap like most things from China.
I'm trying to buy less from China, difficult I know but I'm really concerned that the most powerful country on the planet is a totalitarian state.
These came recomended from a past purchasor on here or fb group and if we going down the line of anti china, well yur f^^% because even the german pproducts are using chineese components all your batteries are cosmetically branded from Chineese sources.
 
Feb 27, 2020
151
351
Castillones SW France
Funster No
69,051
MH
pilote diamond 783
Exp
2 years
If I had the room, I would have probably gone for the 60amp Sterling and disabled the split charge relay.

I was just installing one battery so 30 amps was enough. Now I have two, 60 amps would be better but I had already got the 30amp Votronic.

The main issue was space, the Hymer Exsis isn’t a huge van and I only just fit the stuff in I have.

I will see, if we manage comfortably, I will leave as is. Cost was also an issue, it does run away and the bigger B2B was another £100.

My only regret is the money I have spent, but I will forget that soon. :)
Can you just not double up the b2b?

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OP
Googlebot
Sep 29, 2019
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Ah ok, just I am not experienced on auto specs is that low ? I am yet to take this journey despite oodles of planning
No it’s actually pretty good, 50amp is a lot and Hymer with no mods will charge a lead acid around 20amps and has decent cabling. UK made vans tend to be much worse.

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Sep 4, 2020
128
309
Chester
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75,447
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Hymer S630
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Unfortunately I have an older EBL 4 in the Hymer so for my b2b I've got to run a new 10mm cable from the starter battery which thankfully isn't too troublesome as it runs under the MH and pops up right next to the leisure battery. Space isn't great where the battery is stored but following your project I've now got some ideas 👍
 
OP
Googlebot
Sep 29, 2019
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Checked this morning and the batteries were pulling no amps in from the EBL and were fully charged. Surprising as I didn’t think the EBL would achieve a full charge. Ecotree have told me the 14.4v is fine and indeed, does appear to be. Good news for those like me who don’t want to change their normal charger.

Gave the system a good run today with a 1000watt fan heater, checked for hot spots, warm cables and generally any issues.

C173ED5C-4A2C-413F-8C02-CEA964D5BE1A.jpeg


Absolutely no issues at all and the inverter is quiet and didn't get hot. I can’t see me running loads like these very often but nice to know I can easily if needed.

Checked everywhere for hot cables and points of resistance and happily, only thing that got mildly warm was the cables to inverter which is to be expected.

943127D7-0AE6-452E-94AF-27153A9989FD.jpeg


The only thing left to do now is to see what happens in the real world, I suspect it will be very much improved and for half the weight of batteries.

7C60ACAE-E02D-4277-BD96-ED22A50D8710.jpeg

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JockandRita

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Aug 2, 2007
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I can’t see me running loads like these very often but nice to know I can easily if needed.
And if you ever did, ie, to use a hair dryer for any length of time, to defrost a pipe for example, you know that by running the engine, you've got the B2B giving you 30A immediately, rather than depleting the batteries first. ;)

Great to see the seat back in and everything looking tidy. (y)

Cheers,

Jock. :)
 
Dec 17, 2016
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And if you ever did, ie, to use a hair dryer for any length of time, to defrost a pipe for example, you know that by running the engine, you've got the B2B giving you 30A immediately, rather than depleting the batteries first. ;)

Great to see the seat back in and everything looking tidy. (y)

Cheers,

Jock. :)
I guess if the batteries are allowed to get too cold to charge for any reason ( ie below 2 degrees) you could use the hair dryer to heat them up to a temp where it would be okay to take charge.
Great thread Googlebot , thanks.
Paddy
 
OP
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Sep 29, 2019
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Final post as I am quite sure everyone has had enough of being spammed by my tinkering.

Wife working in the motorhome all day and the heating on via gas. Was on a laptop full blast doing teams for 7 hours via the inverter.

Batteries actually went up by 10% which has never happened this time of year! That’s 20ah that has been shoved in on a not all that sunny day while using the heating and the inverter.

I think this will be cancelled out when we are away by the lights and charging electronic devices, but it looks very promising. I used to reckon about 40ah usage a day this time of year so I am well chuffed with that! With careful use, I reckon 6 days is easily achievable. If the clouds and rain are here, 4 days. That’s more than enough for us, with the B2B as well.

4230FE21-E9F1-48D2-B3B9-5B769F7079F2.jpeg


452B9C90-82C9-40C2-A982-EEA15EABA71F.jpeg
420AA039-0FEF-466D-A8D7-36D689CCBA4C.jpeg
Final picture also shows the Bluetooth dongle I got for £20 off eBay which lets me adjust everything on the inverter. Victron kit is awesome, should have gone for it in the first place.

Regarding the lithium, twice the capacity and half the weight makes it worthwhile for me. Whilst there has been a cost to it all, I am confident I won’t need to touch it again for the lifetime of th8 van which I intend to keep at least 10 years.

Thanks again everyone for all your help.

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Feb 27, 2020
151
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Final post as I am quite sure everyone has had enough of being spammed by my tinkering.

Wife working in the motorhome all day and the heating on via gas. Was on a laptop full blast doing teams for 7 hours via the inverter.

Batteries actually went up by 10% which has never happened this time of year! That’s 20ah that has been shoved in on a not all that sunny day while using the heating and the inverter.

I think this will be cancelled out when we are away by the lights and charging electronic devices, but it looks very promising. I used to reckon about 40ah usage a day this time of year so I am well chuffed with that! With careful use, I reckon 6 days is easily achievable. If the clouds and rain are here, 4 days. That’s more than enough for us, with the B2B as well.

View attachment 465328

View attachment 465330 View attachment 465331 Final picture also shows the Bluetooth dongle I got for £20 off eBay which lets me adjust everything on the inverter. Victron kit is awesome, should have gone for it in the first place.

Regarding the lithium, twice the capacity and half the weight makes it worthwhile for me. Whilst there has been a cost to it all, I am confident I won’t need to touch it again for the lifetime of th8 van which I intend to keep at least 10 years.

Thanks again everyone for all your help.
When you say adjust everything on inverter - exactly what please ?
 
OP
Googlebot
Sep 29, 2019
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When you say adjust everything on inverter - exactly what please ?
Here you go, here are the screens available.
C60F73A6-3C6A-45EF-8E64-22630F9B0A54.png

D07F50DA-4D7B-4179-B9BD-ED993CA5FE20.png


I have to say, if it hadn’t been £20, I wouldn’t have bothered. The remote switch on and off via Bluetooth however would be really useful to some, personally, I lean down and flick the switch. :)

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Lenny HB

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Oct 18, 2007
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During a sleepless night (Tam's been talking to me about electrics for his new van :eek: ) I didn't notice an isolator switch inline with your inverter. If you don't have one you really should fit one. On my install I have an isolator switch and a 100 amp relay that is switched remotely.
 

Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
27,641
46,656
On the coast in West Sussex
Funster No
658
MH
Hymer B678 Dynamic Line
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Since 2008 & many years tugging
Checked this morning and the batteries were pulling no amps in from the EBL and were fully charged. Surprising as I didn’t think the EBL would achieve a full charge. Ecotree have told me the 14.4v is fine and indeed, does appear to be. Good news for those like me who don’t want to change their normal charger.
I take it you have the EBL on the Gel setting as I think on AGM it's 14.7v.

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OP
Googlebot
Sep 29, 2019
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During a sleepless night (Tam's been talking to me about electrics for his new van :eek: ) I didn't notice an isolator switch inline with your inverter. If you don't have one you really should fit one. On my install I have an isolator switch and a 100 amp relay that is switched remotely.

I don’t have one, do I need one? The inverter switches off and pulls nothing out the battery so I didn’t fit a separate isolator


I take it you have the EBL on the Gel setting as I think on AGM it's 14.7v.

That’s the one, bizarre and I don’t know if the Ecotree lithium BMS steps up the voltage but they came up as fully charged on it. I probably need to check they were at the correct discharge as afterwards I set the shunt to as I left the solar to do it’s job and then synchronised to 100% once the controllers said they were full.

The temperature sensors also cut in which is good.
 
Last edited:

Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
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I don’t have one, do I need one? The inverter switches off and pulls nothing out the battery so I didn’t fit a separate isolator
I would, so you can isolate it when not in the van, if the inverter developed a fault you wouldn't want a nice bonfire.
 
Dec 2, 2019
839
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Amersham
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67,145
MH
van conversion
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I'm a newbie
During a sleepless night (Tam's been talking to me about electrics for his new van :eek: ) I didn't notice an isolator switch inline with your inverter. If you don't have one you really should fit one. On my install I have an isolator switch and a 100 amp relay that is switched remotely.
The victron inverter it’s got a switch built in, and also via dongle can be switched as well.
If you put another switch, all you do is allow the caps to drain and energise every time you operate that switch. That’s unnecessary stress, caps are the first to reach the limited lifespan then the rest of the board. The built in one, allows the caps to stay energised. I would only fit a switch if there is none built in, and a fuse.

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OP
Googlebot
Sep 29, 2019
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It’s fused as are both batteries.

The only place I can think to put a switch is inside the compartment which defeats the object as I don’t think I will open up the compartment to switch it off every time.

I need to move a solar switch somewhere else as well for the same reason, taking the compartment to bits is a pain to just switch off the panels to avoid a full charge when it’s on the drive.
 
Sep 7, 2016
380
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Ayr
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45,007
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Adria Matrix M670SL
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That’s buggered it again!

Just checked the specs of my big panel, it’s a 275 watt and not a 250.

That means it’s too much for the one controller I have if I stick in the 90 watt as well.


As above I am afraid, one is an old 90 watt and the other newer one is a 275 watt.

I reckon I can get a 150 in the place of the 90 watt though, so I might wait till the 90 expires and go that way.

Not easy this motorhome stuff is it? 😂
Check Oxford welding supplies, they have a shop on eBay as well. Definitely cheaper, I got 35mm for 5 a meter and lug.
Always get your cables from a welding supply company much better quality and lots cheaper as well they are used for earth cables for welding plants so they are the best of stuff
 
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