Sorry, another Lithium battery thread (1 Viewer)

BillandHelen

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Nov 17, 2013
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@eddievanbitz, spoke with your guys at the Nec show about upgrading my Ih to lithium, but as ever forgot to write down the advice at the time, could I check my understanding please?

My current set up is a 140amp battery, CBE 516 charger, CBE battery master, Truma 100 solar panel and regulator and a Waeco pure sine wave inverter. Cabling runs are very short as you can see in the picture.

C923C0DA-0F5F-49C2-9FFC-F385901931DF.jpeg 786E1B0B-0A1E-4531-8645-B33CD0D82A4D.jpeg EA202B76-F48C-4543-9D59-B8BBE0314D77.jpeg 811E9DB8-68AD-4CBF-8228-2FB3BFFBAFC3.jpeg

Intending to change to a 100 amp lithium for all the benefits you have mentioned before, money not the deciding factor!

Could you remind me what will need replacing please and if any of my charging equipment will be ok? Know I will need a b2b charger, I’ve a 2017 Ducato, upgraded alternator and I assume it’s a “smart” alternator.

Have posted here rather than a pm as thought it might be helpful for others! @colyboy!

Thank you
Bill
 
Jun 22, 2012
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Watching with interest as we have an Ih , single 140 deeply hidden gel battery, vanbitz know where it is though as fitted our other bits! Our van is 4 years old and we have two electric bikes and are wondering about upgrading stuff.
 
Mar 23, 2012
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Says in this months MMM that Oaktree Motorhomes are distributing a litium battery that has the electronics controlling it built into the casing the idea being your existing system is fine might be worth looking into
 
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Robert Clark

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Says in this months MMM that Oaktree Motorhomes are distributing a litium battery that has the electronics controlling it built into the casing the idea being your existing system is fine might be worth looking into
Our Relion lithium betteries have an inbuilt monitoring system.

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NickandClair

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Hi Bill,
Taking a look at the set-up I would recommend the following;

- Your Mains charger can remain "Unchanged". The charge profile can be changed to suit the Lithium we supply here.
- Your Solar Regulator will need to be changed to a more efficient MPPT type and not the PWM type you have fitted. This will not only be correct for Lithium, but an MPPT regular is a far more efficient regulator to get the maximum from your solar panels.
- A DC-DC/B2B Charger. Your vehicle will be fitted with a conventional split-charge relay system, to charge the leisure battery bank whilst your driving along. Some Hymer MLT/MLI Mercedes vehicles (just to name a couple) are fitting such devices as standard, thus doing away with the need of an additional B2B unit. Again the B2B/DC-DC not only handles the correct regime for charging Li, but you will notice the benefits from such a charger when is comes to wanting to recover the battery bank quickly (especially using the van in autumn/winter when the solar just hasn't cut the mustard in recovering any energy back to the leisure battery), compared to that of the conventional split-charge set-up. It also overcomes any issues with Euro6/Reg-gen systems fitted to newer vehicles.
- Battery Monitoring (Not essential - but recommended). Generic Battery Displays (like standard fitted units in most motorhomes) will give you a battery voltage, but with Li this will remain a constant at the Li's rated output (Ours is 12.8v when not being charged). You may want to know the exact capacity of your Li, knowing at the exact point what is in the Li, but also what is going in an going out of the battery.

Now the next comment is a vital one...…………….. whatever battery you choose, it MUST be a road legal E marked (Not CE marked, E Marked) and tested to conform to road use, not the transportation/export CE mark. Insurance companies (Aviva underwriters especially) are clamping down on equipment that is not TUV/Road Legal conforming and as Li isn't to be messed around with, I would strongly advise a tested and approved road legal unit. Ask to see official test documentation from the supplier, if they're legal they will show you as such!
Any other questions, please feel free to PM or contact me.

Rgs
Nick
 
May 7, 2016
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I see that the latest CBE 516 chargers now include a desulphation phase and wonder whether the higher voltage pulses involved would suit LiFePO4 batteries. Does this complicate matters @nickvanbitz ?
 
Feb 12, 2018
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……...

Now the next comment is a vital one...…………….. whatever battery you choose, it MUST be a road legal E marked (Not CE marked, E Marked) and tested to conform to road use, not the transportation/export CE mark. Insurance companies (Aviva underwriters especially) are clamping down on equipment that is not TUV/Road Legal conforming and as Li isn't to be messed around with, I would strongly advise a tested and approved road legal unit. Ask to see official test documentation from the supplier, if they're legal they will show you as such!

Nick

Hi Nick,

I hesitate to appear to be challenging what you say as I have no in depth understanding of the Statutory Regulations and only a little of the potential dangers of using Lithium Batteries. However, SMC are fitting LIFOS batteries and have offered to install two on my new Motorhome. I have checked the LIFOS website and the "Technical Data Sheet for Lifos 68" refers to CE certification (which I think may cover the transportation by road) and Rohs (which I think covers electromagnetic radiation), but not to E-marking (which refers to use in a road vehicle, I understand).

In my attempt to understand this better I have been looking for any definitive information on the Internet. (Yes, I know you can usually find statements somewhere on the Internet which support any view :cautious:).

From what I have gleaned, the E-mark is a world-wide standard and, in the UK, Section 60 of the Road Traffic Construction and Use regulations makes it a legal requirement. Further, the UK body responsible for regulating E-marking is the Vehicle Certification Agency - part of the Department for Transport, but their Website has no reference I could find to installing Lithium Batteries into motorhomes for habitation/leisure purposes. I also found mention that the E-mark regulations (now covered under ECE Regulation 10) prior to March 2009 were extremely clear - all equipment installed into a vehicle on a permanent basis was required to be E-mark certified, and it was illegal to drive a vehicle that was fitted with non-compliant equipment. However, these Regulations were changed in March 2009 and now require only devices related to safety-relevant functionality to be E-mark certified. Perhaps it might be argued that Lithium Batteries installed for habitation/leisure use are not part of the vehicle required for "road use" (unlike the engine starter battery) and are therefore exempt from the need for E-mark certification. But...… your remark about the attitude of Insurance Companies/Underwriters is somewhat troubling.

Will be very grateful for any further insight you may be able to offer on this. As you can imagine, I am rather uncomfortable with the idea of needing to go back to SMC and to tell them what they are proposing may be illegal!

.

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NickandClair

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Hi Nick,

I hesitate to appear to be challenging what you say as I have no in depth understanding of the Statutory Regulations and only a little of the potential dangers of using Lithium Batteries. However, SMC are fitting LIFOS batteries and have offered to install two on my new Motorhome. I have checked the LIFOS website and the "Technical Data Sheet for Lifos 68" refers to CE certification (which I think may cover the transportation by road) and Rohs (which I think covers electromagnetic radiation), but not to E-marking (which refers to use in a road vehicle, I understand).

In my attempt to understand this better I have been looking for any definitive information on the Internet. (Yes, I know you can usually find statements somewhere on the Internet which support any view :cautious:).

From what I have gleaned, the E-mark is a world-wide standard and, in the UK, Section 60 of the Road Traffic Construction and Use regulations makes it a legal requirement. Further, the UK body responsible for regulating E-marking is the Vehicle Certification Agency - part of the Department for Transport, but their Website has no reference I could find to installing Lithium Batteries into motorhomes for habitation/leisure purposes. I also found mention that the E-mark regulations (now covered under ECE Regulation 10) prior to March 2009 were extremely clear - all equipment installed into a vehicle on a permanent basis was required to be E-mark certified, and it was illegal to drive a vehicle that was fitted with non-compliant equipment. However, these Regulations were changed in March 2009 and now require only devices related to safety-relevant functionality to be E-mark certified. Perhaps it might be argued that Lithium Batteries installed for habitation/leisure use are not part of the vehicle required for "road use" (unlike the engine starter battery) and are therefore exempt from the need for E-mark certification. But...… your remark about the attitude of Insurance Companies/Underwriters is somewhat troubling.

Will be very grateful for any further insight you may be able to offer on this. As you can imagine, I am rather uncomfortable with the idea of needing to go back to SMC and to tell them what they are proposing may be illegal!

.

Again sorry for the late response.

You are correct the CE certification is purely for the purpose of transporting the unit to Z delivery, but not for it's intended use.

The argument of the battery being used in the vehicle as a habitation battery sadly isn't valid, as in the eyes of the insurers a battery is required to make that M/H a M/H. This also applies to similar applications such as welfare/emergency services vehicles where the Li still has to be correctly E marked for road use as guess what, they are driven on - the road (y), therefore it falls into the new updated regulations as a safety requirement. The insurers also consider TUV or E approval on other equipment/accessories fitted such as tow-bars, awnings as an example. Although Li as a product hasn't been singled out, it is the general product classification overview that is taken into consideration. You imagine that if every component had to be singled out with it's own specific classification!!! o_O
A similar type of strict testing also applies to "Rock-n-Roll" beds (commonly known as pull testing). This criteria is currently under review by the insurers when insuring self-build campers and I believe the DVLA are looking into this when re-classifying self-build campers, with a specific number of seats on the log book. Again this testing is done independently and certified accordingly.

The testing required for approval is very in depth and covers safety protection, vibration and temperature just to name some of the criteria. Testing is done independently by an approved body and then certification is granted. When looking at various LI on the market, there were so many "other choices" we could have gone with (as we hold direct accounts with the likes of Dometic/Victron and the like), but knowing about the safety aspects of the equipment and knowing how the insurances companies are like with Thatcham for the security let alone anything else (including the moral responsibility of fitting safe and approved equipment and not out to make a quick buck), it was vital that the product was not only safe and approved, but has been tried and tested.

We also spent some considerable time on the phone and in person with a quote of insurance companies at the NEC about insurance matters. Mainly the conversation was about security/tracking classification/Ford policy etc, but we asked on the specifics regarding TUV/E Marked products (in particular LI). Their stance was quite simple, if it's not correctly marked for road use, it's not covered.
Now I'm sure that I will get people coming on saying things like "well does that apply to this, that and the third thing?", I cannot comment on the why's and how's of what needs certification or not, but we have to look at the things we are involved in and our obligation to insure that safe, reliable and certified equipment is fitted correctly and safely into our customer's M/Hs.

I hope the above comments give you a little more clarity.

Rgs

Nick
 
Last edited:
Apr 27, 2016
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and Rohs (which I think covers electromagnetic radiation),
ROHS compliance is to do with the environmental aspects of the materials and the manufacturing process - use of solder that is lead-free for example. Electromagnetic radiation is covered by FCC.
 
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Millcourt : have you gone back to SMC for a response?

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Feb 12, 2018
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Millcourt : have you gone back to SMC for a response?

Not raised it with them yet. Have cancelled the 2 Lifos lithium batteries and the sine wave inverter from the schedule of supplementary kit I asked to be fitted prior to taking delivery and will just have the one standard leisure battery (plus, of course, solar/mppt) initially. This will allow me time to explore further how best to meet my needs when off-grid and SWMBO’s wish to be able to use her hair dryer and tongs! I thought it may be best to raise the matter of Lifos batteries not being E-mark compliant (and the potential insurance issue) with SMC after confirming whether or not this is the case with Lifos. I have emailed Lifos and await a reply. Will update this thread in due course.
 
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BillandHelen

BillandHelen

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@nickvanbitz , as promised here goes with my two “stupid” questions!

I thought I understood from other threads that lithium like to be held at 80% ish capacity, is that right? If so does the BMS stop the charging at that point 1) if it’s being charged off the b2b or solar and 2) when it’s in storage and solar is on full time? Bonus question, will my battery master still work whilst van is in storage if lithium is only at 80%?

Again, sorry Nick for schoolboy questions?

Bill
 

NickandClair

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@nickvanbitz , as promised here goes with my two “stupid” questions!

I thought I understood from other threads that lithium like to be held at 80% ish capacity, is that right? If so does the BMS stop the charging at that point 1) if it’s being charged off the b2b or solar and 2) when it’s in storage and solar is on full time? Bonus question, will my battery master still work whilst van is in storage if lithium is only at 80%?

Again, sorry Nick for schoolboy questions?

Bill

Hi Bill, the people that know me well know that I'm not one to judge and am happy to help in any way I can (y). My currency is normally paid in Cider (and I don't mean the cheap rubbish like Thatcher's :D2).
I cannot comment on other manufacturers, but the rating of the units we supply are the "usable power" from the unit. The reason is that the true capacity of the 100Ah we offer is 115ah. 15ah is held back by the BMS for processing, thus leaving the 100ah to be used.
As both the MPPT and B2B have a dedicated Li charge profile, the Li when charged will not be harmed when fully charged as there is a dedicated "Float" charge profile. This also applies to the charge profile we use for the mains charger that is fitted to your M/H (again this varies from van to van, hence why we always assess each installation accordingly).
Your Battery Master's operation remains unchanged. You have to remember that what ever % the Li is at, the voltage stays at it's rated nominal output (12.8V in our Li's case). As the Battery Master is monitoring voltage not capacity, it will still operate regardless of the state of charge of the Li.

Rgs

Nick
 
May 7, 2016
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@nickvanbitz , as promised here goes with my two “stupid” questions!

I thought I understood from other threads that lithium like to be held at 80% ish capacity, is that right? If so does the BMS stop the charging at that point 1) if it’s being charged off the b2b or solar and 2) when it’s in storage and solar is on full time? Bonus question, will my battery master still work whilst van is in storage if lithium is only at 80%?

Again, sorry Nick for schoolboy questions?

Bill
I was told the 80% charge on my Relion is suggested for long term storage (e.g. in their warehouse) and there is no problem with charging to 100%. More of a benefit to me than a hindrance, I keep my mh in storage without electricity and dont have to worry if I use some of the stored power when it is laid up. I would be tempted to pull the fuse on the solar connection to the leisure battery and divert the charge to the engine battery, which is probably powering the vehicle systems/alarm. Being lead acid the engine battery probably needs topping up more than the Li.
 

NickandClair

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I was told the 80% charge on my Relion is suggested for long term storage (e.g. in their warehouse) and there is no problem with charging to 100%. More of a benefit to me than a hindrance, I keep my mh in storage without electricity and dont have to worry if I use some of the stored power when it is laid up. I would be tempted to pull the fuse on the solar connection to the leisure battery and divert the charge to the engine battery, which is probably powering the vehicle systems/alarm. Being lead acid the engine battery probably needs topping up more than the Li.

Why don’t you take a look at Battery Master? On sale on this very forum

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May 7, 2016
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Why don’t you take a look at Battery Master? On sale on this very forum
I have a new motorhome on order and have not yet decided what goodies and extras I will want. Chelston are going to weigh it on arrival, before I decide. Swapping the gel battery for my existing lithium, inverter and b2b is probably my starting point.
 
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…………..

You are correct the CE certification is purely for the purpose of transporting the unit to Z delivery, but not for it's intended use.

The argument of the battery being used in the vehicle as a habitation battery sadly isn't valid, as in the eyes of the insurers a battery is required to make that M/H a M/H. This also applies to similar applications such as welfare/emergency services vehicles where the Li still has to be correctly E marked for road use as guess what, they are driven on - the road (y), therefore it falls into the new updated regulations as a safety requirement. The insurers also consider TUV or E approval on other equipment/accessories fitted such as tow-bars, awnings as an example. Although Li as a product hasn't been singled out, it is the general product classification overview that is taken into consideration...…….

Nick

Nick - you kindly responded in a helpful way earlier in this thread. However, @teddybear followed this up by asking if I had gone back to SMC for a response. I thought it may be best to raise the matter of LIFOS batteries not being E-mark compliant (and the potential insurance issue to which Nick referred) with SMC after confirming whether or not this is the case with LIFOS. I emailed LIFOS on 7th March but have so far not received a reply a reply.

I have received several private emails from other Funsters who are as uncertain as I am about the legal/insurance position of using Lithium Batteries, albeit they are keen to fit them for the perceived weight/power benefits. I decided to attempt to get a definitive statement from the UK Vehicle Certification Agency and emailed them as follows...….

Dear Sirs,

I wonder if you can help please, or direct me to the Government Department who may be able to do so.

For a new Motorhome which I am buying, the Dealer is proposing to fit Lithium Batteries for the habitation/leisure equipment use (not for engine starting or management, which is the standard vehicle manufacturer fitted battery) and, except for charging from the engine alternator and a solar panel whilst underway, will only be in use when the vehicle is parked.

The dealer is proposing to fit a pair of such Lithium Batteries (brand LIFOS), which I understand are not certified and E-marked. Another dealer is saying this is not legal, as under current Regulations all Batteries permanently installed in a vehicle must bear an E-mark, as does the engine starter battery.

I shall be grateful if you are able to advise or direct me to the Regulation/Guidance covering use of Lithium Batteries in the circumstances to which I have referred.


I suppose it was expecting too much to get a specific comment on LIFOS branded Lithium Batteries. Instead I received this morning a more general response as follows.......

Good Morning

Thank you for your email.

There is no need for an e-mark under automotive legislation on a battery. However a CE mark may be required. Batteries will generally be covered by one or a combination of the following:
  • General Product Safety Directive (for consumer products – does not require CE marking)
  • Low Voltage Directive (LVD) (with these voltage limits 50 to 1000 volts AC, 75 to 1500 volts DC)
  • Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Directive
  • Radio Equipment Directive (RED) (e.g. when using wi-fi communication)
The latter all require CE marking. RED also covers electrical safety and EMC requirements.
There are also requirements applying to all batteries here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/regulations-batteries-and-waste-batteries
Further information on all of these is available on gov.uk or from BEIS.

Kind regards

attachment.ashx


VCA Headquarters
General Enquiries Team
Corporate Affairs1 The Eastgate Office Centre
Eastgate Road
Bristol, BS5 6XX


The sentence in Red above is my highlight. All of this leaves me still somewhat uncertain as to whether or not to go ahead with fitting a couple of LIFOS Lithium Batteries. I think caution may be the best course of action and for the time being to continue with lead/acid and wait to see how the use of Lithium batteries for habitation use develops.

Not sure ithat the foregoing will be of much help to others considering fitting Lithium Batteries, but I did promise in an earlier posting to update this thread on what I uncovered.

:confused:
.
 

Jim

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There is no need for an e-mark under automotive legislation on a battery. However a CE mark may be required. Batteries will generally be covered by one or a combination of the following:

I've written to the VCA about this just recently asking the same. Except making sure they understand that the batteries are not regular batteries in as much as they have an onboard Electronic BMS, and they are hard-wired to the engine systems by way of a B2B or a SC Relay so are active when the vehicle is moving. Also asking if the B2B needs to be E-Marked.
 

Abacist

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Surely - if the insurance companies have decided that lithium batteries must be E marked then that is what you must go by. It will take heaven and earth to shift them from this stance so it must be easier just to comply rather than risk being uninsured.
 
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I asked my NFU agent about my LiFePO4 battery modification when I insured with them last autumn and was told it was not a problem (though there is a limit on how many shotgun cartridges I can carry). I also read in “another place” that someone had confirmation by email from Comfort/Aviva that a Relion RB100 with no E mark was ok. Confusing it is but I am comfortable with my Relion installation.

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eddie

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We are still getting people asking for Category Six and Category Five tracking systems as they have been told that their Insurers are "insisting" on it

Trouble is the Insurers (ABI) own the testing centre (M.I.R.R.C.) at Thatcham

Thatcham delisted Category Five and Category Six December 2018!
 
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Says in this months MMM that Oaktree Motorhomes are distributing a litium battery that has the electronics controlling it built into the casing the idea being your existing system is fine might be worth looking into

Oaktree fitted mine and did not change any of the existing electrics, have done a 2 night weekend and it was brilliant, I am booked into Jasmin for longer at easter so it will be interesting to see how they cope !!
 
May 7, 2016
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Oaktree fitted mine and did not change any of the existing electrics, have done a 2 night weekend and it was brilliant, I am booked into Jasmin for longer at easter so it will be interesting to see how they cope !!
Why do Oaktree claim “Transporter Leisure batteries are the only lithium-ion leisure batteries with CE approval in the UK and Europe.” My Relion is CE marked and I believe the Sterling one is too.
 

Abacist

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Why do Oaktree claim “Transporter Leisure batteries are the only lithium-ion leisure batteries with CE approval in the UK and Europe.” My Relion is CE marked and I believe the Sterling one is too.

Typical sales "Puff or Exaggeration"
 

eddie

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Why do Oaktree claim “Transporter Leisure batteries are the only lithium-ion leisure batteries with CE approval in the UK and Europe.” My Relion is CE marked and I believe the Sterling one is too.
The guy that imports them was at the NEC making all sorts of claims :doh:

@nickvanbitz has been away for a,few days and knows a lot more than me about this.

Sterling have been in business years, and have spent Thousands getting them E Approved which they had to do to allow them to supply them to the Emergency Services

Wasn’t done on a whim

The other bloke? Never met him or heard of him till he was at the NEC telling everyone that they were wrong

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