Upgrading EBL to suit lithium batteries (1 Viewer)

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Jan 16, 2023
3
0
Funster No
93,460
MH
Dethleffs Advantage
I have a 2010 Dethleffs MH with a schaudt EBL 220-2. I am planning to upgrade my now knackered dual agm batteries to lithium.

I came across a company that does upgrades to the EBL to make it suitable for lithium batteries. Has anyone else had this done or come across this upgrade. I haven't seen it mentioned on any forums.

I was also advised to upgrade the solar regulator, (mine is the Schaudt LRM1218). I've also seen on this forum others recommending the upgrade. Is this to improve the charging ability of the solar or to protect the lithium batteries?

Thanks
 

Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
54,938
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On the coast in West Sussex
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You need to find out what the upgrade involves just changing the charging voltage better to fit a charger with a lithium profile. It probably won't cost much more to fit a charger like one of the Victron IP22 range which has a proper Lithium profile.
The LRM1218 has a Lithium setting.
 
OP
OP
V
Jan 16, 2023
3
0
Funster No
93,460
MH
Dethleffs Advantage
You need to find out what the upgrade involves just changing the charging voltage better to fit a charger with a lithium profile. It probably won't cost much more to fit a charger like one of the Victron IP22 range which has a proper Lithium profile.
The LRM1218 has a Lithium setting.
Thanks for your reply. Keen to keep the current charger as it integrates with the control panel giving battery and solar input readings.
 

Lenny HB

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Oct 18, 2007
54,938
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Thanks for your reply. Keen to keep the current charger as it integrates with the control panel giving battery and solar input readings.
It won't affect that as with the EBL you wire the new charger to the additional charger socket and pull the fuse that disconnects the internal charger.

As for the solar always best to by-pass the EBL as you lose about 5% through it.
 
Apr 14, 2022
292
530
Carvoeiro, Portugal
Funster No
88,080
MH
Bavaria T71LP
Exp
50 years of boating, just one on motorhomes.
Don’t forget you are also going to need a b2b charger as you can’t connect the lithium battery to the alternator, The battery will look after itself but not before it destroys the alternator. I am using a renogy 50a and connecting in the solar to that as well. I don’t think you need anything expensive for the mains charger though, ones with the right profile are pretty common
 
Sep 17, 2017
5,972
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Birmingham, UK
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A-Class
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2017
I'm still trying to figure it out, so I take with a pinch of salt...

On the B2B side, at the moment, your EBL just passes voltage through to the hab battery from the alternator whenever you're driving. It assumes it's feeding a lead-acid battery. So the needs to be a new B2B gizmo to convert power from the alternator to voltage profiles useful to lithium. If you stay at 30 amps or below, you can put a B2B in the feed from the alternator to the EBL and everything is none the wiser. Easy. If you want to feed more than 30 amps, you need to bypass the EBL, which is a little more complex as you have to disable the split charge system.

For AC charging, the easiest thing to do is to remove the fuse that feeds output from it's internal transformer to charge the hab battery. In parallel, you add a new AC charger that is lithium aware.
 

Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
54,938
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Don’t forget you are also going to need a b2b charger as you can’t connect the lithium battery to the alternator, The battery will look after itself but not before it destroys the alternator. I am using a renogy 50a and connecting in the solar to that as well. I don’t think you need anything expensive for the mains charger though, ones with the right profile are pretty common
The problem with that combined unit is that if it detects a solar input it cuts the B2B charging rate by 50%. The workaround is to fit a switch inline with the solar input better still a relay switched by the D+.
 

Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
54,938
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On the coast in West Sussex
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If you stay at 30 amps or below, you can put a B2B in the feed from the alternator to the EBL and everything is none the wiser.
Not recommended on a van of that age as the split charge relay contacts will have a build up of carbon on them reducing the charging rate.
 
Apr 14, 2022
292
530
Carvoeiro, Portugal
Funster No
88,080
MH
Bavaria T71LP
Exp
50 years of boating, just one on motorhomes.
The problem with that combined unit is that if it detects a solar input it cuts the B2B charging rate by 50%. The workaround is to fit a switch inline with the solar input better still a relay switched by the D+.
I discovered that after I had purchased it, and I thought I had researched it properly. Never occurred to me they would have done that. I will be putting a relay in.
 
Apr 14, 2022
292
530
Carvoeiro, Portugal
Funster No
88,080
MH
Bavaria T71LP
Exp
50 years of boating, just one on motorhomes.
Not recommended on a van of that age as the split charge relay contacts will have a build up of carbon on them reducing the charging rate.
Just go straight to the battery and disconnect the main starter battery connection on the EBL. There is a second circuit that does the fridge supply and also trickle charges the starter battery from the mains charger. I needed several paracetamol after working through the circuit diagram
 
Apr 27, 2016
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Manchester
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A class Hymer
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Since the 80s
Just go straight to the battery and disconnect the main starter battery connection on the EBL. There is a second circuit that does the fridge supply and also trickle charges the starter battery from the mains charger. I needed several paracetamol after working through the circuit diagram
While you have the paracetamol handy, the internal mains charger has a second signal output that switches on a relay when the mains supply is connected. That relay connects the starter battery trickle charge circuit to the mains charger output (after the fuse), ie the leisure battery connection. So if you want to trickle-charge the starter battery from the other mains charger, the original mains charger needs to be active, but with the output fuse removed. If the mains supply to the internal mains charger is removed, the starter battery doesn't get trickle charged.

I think a better solution is to wire a small mains trickle charger to the starter battery - it can be left permanently connected. An easy connection route is using pins 1 (neg) and 2 (pos) of the 3-way solar connector, which goes directly to the starter battery along the fridge supply you mentioned. Note that Pin 2 is not connected to the starter battery on all EBL models, but it for the EBL220 it is connected.
 
OP
OP
V
Jan 16, 2023
3
0
Funster No
93,460
MH
Dethleffs Advantage
So EBL should be fine if it is set to gel setting? Also still thinking I get it modified by apuljack for lithium.
Solar charge controller that I have - LRM1218 is suitable for lithium.

I'm still unsure about the B2B. Is it known that dropping in lithium batteries will ruin the alternator on 2010 Ducato? And if so, is the best option to fit a B2B?
 
Apr 27, 2016
7,134
8,404
Manchester
Funster No
42,762
MH
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With Lithium you will have the problem that charging at low temperature, below about 3 deg C, damages the battery. If the charges have a temperature sensor, they can avoid that problem. However it's not a problem with lead-acid-based batteries, so the standard chargers probably won't have that facility.

If you rarely use the mains charger, you can simply ensure it is switched off when at low temperatures. It's more of a problem with solar controllers, and definitely a problem with a B2B. You can fit manual switches to disable the solar and B2B chargers. For some reason the 'just drop it in' brigade never mention this aspect.

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Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
54,938
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On the coast in West Sussex
Funster No
658
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Since 2008 & many years tugging
So EBL should be fine if it is set to gel setting? Also still thinking I get it modified by apuljack for lithium.
Not worth the cost of getting it modded as you can buy a Victron IP22 charger for not much more.

I'm still unsure about the B2B. Is it known that dropping in lithium batteries will ruin the alternator on 2010 Ducato? And if so, is the best option to fit a B2B?
Your van will have fairly substantial wiring so a good chance of burning out the alternator without a B2B
 
Sep 17, 2017
5,972
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Birmingham, UK
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2017
With Lithium,you will have the problem that charging at low temperature, below about 3 deg C, damages the battery. If the charges have a temperature sensor, they can avoid that problem. However it's not a problem with lead-acid-based batteries, so the standard chargers probably won't have that facility.

If you rarely use the mains charger, you can simply ensure it is switched off when at low temperatures. It's more of a problem with solar controllers, and definitely a problem with a B2B. You can fit manual switches to disable the solar and B2B chargers. For some reason the 'just drop it in' brigade never mention this aspect.
I'm of the opinion that lithium batteries sold for motorhome use really ought to have a low temperature cut-out built into the battery's BMS. I wouldn't trust each of the chargers.
 

Peppadog

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Sep 11, 2018
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Sunlight C600 pvc
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Since the late 70's
This company says they do:
But they also say its a drop in unit!!
 

Peppadog

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Sep 11, 2018
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Since the late 70's
I should add that I have an interest in this. I have just removed the drivers seat of my 2020 (2019 built) Ducato camper to find a 95ah Varta battery. Some measuring looks doubtful, or very tight, for adding another alongside it. A 200ah Lithium battery that fits the seat locker is available from ksenergy. But its just over £1k compared to Tanya's price for the Varta at £193!

I'm wondering what do do for the best.
 

Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
54,938
157,365
On the coast in West Sussex
Funster No
658
MH
Carthago Compactline
Exp
Since 2008 & many years tugging
This company says they do:
But they also say its a drop in unit!!
Loads of them do, they will work but you won't get the best out of them. Why bother to spend all that money on Lithium them not bother to install them properly.

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Peppadog

LIFE MEMBER
Sep 11, 2018
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842
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Sunlight C600 pvc
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Since the late 70's
So we can’t believe this or a. n. other company selling these if they claim their bms has a low temp cut out or protection. Thats a staggering breach of trade description?
Generally though, there’s working and working properly.

Edit. I think I should have been more clear LennyHB, as these articles are wide ranging on second look. I was responding to Guigsy’s last paragraph when I said: “This company says they do”.

I'm of the opinion that lithium batteries sold for motorhome use really ought to have a low temperature cut-out built into the battery's BMS. I wouldn't trust each of the chargers.
 
Last edited:

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