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Found 5 results

  1. I have a 27' class C with one 175w solar panel. The RV is only capable of holding 2 group 27 batteries. For the past year I've been using Interstate RV/Marine batteries from COSTCO ($80 each). I know I need better batteries, but am unclear on which to get, so am looking for the EXPEREINCES you have had with your choice in batteries. At this point, Lithium batteries are out of my budget range for having only one panel, and I can't fugure out where to install Golf Cart batteries. But maybe I'm selling myself short by not considering Lithium Because of its ability to withstand a slow discharge down to 80% I am therefore looking at GEL as being the best for my use of only LED lights, laptop, printer. refrig, and sometimes heater. My need is of course to have high AH reserves at night. I only boondock while on the road. If, when, I go to a larger rig, or different model (A, or 5th), I can look at Golf Cart batteries, or maybe Lithium. There are many GEL type batteries on the market, so I am wondering what experiences people have had with their make/model of GEL battery. Is any make better than others? I'm not interested in getting Interstate batteries. I hope everyone is having a good Holiday Season, and that everyone has a profitable and plentiful New Year.
  2. This is an followup from questions I asked about Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP or LiFePO4) batteries in Dec 2015 in topics about Balqon batteries and Starlight Solar. In the above topics I asked about experiences with both companies and received lots of great replies. Thanks to all who responded earlier. The short story is, I purchased the 400AH Lithium Battery kit from Starlight Solar in Yuma, AZ. I finished installing the batteries about a week ago and so far I have been very pleased with the whole package. The ordering process was quick and easy, everything arrived in about a week. Shipping charges were not overly expensive, about $150. The primary reasons for buying from Starlight Solar: – Some comments from knowledgeable people on this forum that the installations done by Starlight Solar has been quality work. – So I figured the components they provided would be of good quality. (what I received looks to be good quality) – The lithium batteries and BMS system appear to be coming from an established quality manufacturer and if there is a failure of a component, replacement parts should be available. – Phone and/or email support from Starlight Solar is readily available. – I didn't have to source the individual components, batteries, BMS, relays, etc. – The price of the kit is not greatly more than the price of sourcing buying the components myself and is competitive with other battery packages I have seen online. If you decide to buy this battery package from Starlight, do be aware this is a kit. You will have to assemble all the pieces and build a number of cables to connect everything together. There are no detailed assembly instructions. A wiring diagram is provided and in the link I gave above, the photo of the assembled battery package is what I used as a guide as to where & how to place the components. Larry at Starlight Solar is available to answer questions and has been very responsive to my questions. The battery package consists of four 100AH lithium batteries, a BMS (battery management system), contactors (big relays or solenoids), fuses & miscellaneous parts, and a 7” flat-screen monitor. The batteries Starlight Solar provides are these from Elite Power Systems and the BMS is also from EPS. You can read more about the batteries and BMS in the above links. I really like the BMS and the monitor which displays the status of all the individual cells (16 cells total for the 4 batteries). The BMS immediately shuts down the charging or discharging of the battery package if any cell is over voltage or under voltage. This protects your significant investment in the lithium batteries. Much more info and details about BMS systems and why you want one in the info links below. The BMS system and monitor seems to provide most of the functions of a battery monitor such as Trimetric. However since I already had a Trimetric monitor installed I kept my monitor installed. The Trimetric uses the same shunt as the BMS so it just attaches along with the BMS. Before starting a Lithium battery project here is some recommended reading: http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/lifepo4_on_boats While written for the boating community, this is a great review of the pros & cons of Lithium batteries and their operation. The following links go to info found on BatteryUniversity.com. Lots of great info on this website. However the info is generally not always specifically about the LFP batteries we use in RV's or boats. – http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/types_of_lithium_ion – http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_prolong_lithium_based_batteries – http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/charging_lithium_ion_batteries Note, the voltages referenced in this link are for Lithium Cobalt batteries not the LFP batteries. However I believe the principles are the same. – http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/lithium_based_batteries How do Lithium Ion batteries work. – http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/what_is_the_c_rate Many articles refer to charging “C” rate. Simply put, if a battery is 100AH and the charge rate is 100 amps the the charge rate is 1C. Two articles from Technomadia, early implementers of LFP batteries. I have not read these articles, but others have referenced them. Lithium Ion Batteries for RV Motorhome House System - LFP / LiFePO4 | Technomadia lithium ion | Technomadia A 322 page topic from a boating forum here. Lots of great discussion of the actual used of LFP batteries. Also in that topic are links to two more topics of interest about LFP batteries.
  3. The Wheelinit.us blog is posting some great info about their recent upgrade to Lithium batteries and additional solar panels. Not only are they providing great info about the whats and whys of what they did, they provide a number of links, all in one spot, to a huge amount of technical detail about solar & batteries in RV's. Here are the first two entries. There are more entries to come in the near future. http://wheelingit.us/2016/02/24/the-big-beastly-solarbattery-upgrade-part-i-why/ http://wheelingit.us/2016/02/29/the-big-beastly-solarbattery-upgrade-part-ii-component-details/
  4. Hello all, I am hoping I can get some info./assistance/guidance from some of you kind and knowledgeable folks... I do realize this is an RV forum, but I know you can still give me good advice. THE SHORT: BALQON = NO USER MANUAL or USER GUIDE = NO COMMUNICATION = MY 27kwh LiFEPo4 Battery pack sitting outside for several months NOT hooked up = me freaking out about self discharge (which I didn't even know existed) and a possible 800lb. expensive brick!!! THE LONG: This past summer (2015) my wife and I refinanced our house, took out loans, and spent our life savings to pursue our mutual life-long dream of a full turnkey Solar scenario. The goal was to get all the components in and then hire a local professional to put it all together and guide us through it all, including the use and maintenance. After doing some comparisons of battery options I decided to go with LiFEPo4. I contacted Balqon, and Samra (CEO?) spent well over an hour on the phone with me and convinced me that was the route to go and that his company was the way to go. We went through a Solar company to get 24 panels, mounts, a Schneider/Midnight Classic all-in-one wall of electronics and a 27kwh battery bank in an external enclosure, from Balqon. Balqon took tons longer to ship than promised, after awful communication. Then, despite calls and emails DAILY from myself as well as from the company I bought it through, we still have yet to get a response. And all we were trying to do was get a User Manual or User Guide for the 27kwh battery pack. You know, "This is how you hook it up, Do this, Don't do this, This button does this, This is how to actually open it up, etc..." Well, then there had been ridiculous and extensive problems and delays in getting the mounting in. (FedEx Freight basically ran over everything with a fork lift, then I get sent the wrong stuff, then they won't send the right stuff, then they want me to pay for the right stuff cause it's not what they were told to send, etc...) So, as of today I now have all the components in. (Except any of the information I needed from Balqon, that is.) While online last week doing some research I ran across people talking about self-discharge (which, again, nobody ever told me was even a thing) and how it could brick your battery. (I am aware of the BMS and it's self cut-off to prevent it getting too low, etc.) Well now I am FREAKING OUT!!! Due to all the calamity of errors and delays, the battery has been sitting outside untouched for several months! I don't know how much charge it came with, how to hook it up, nor how to operate it (because I never got a manual, nor did I have everything in to begin an install) From the looks of things it will probably be this Spring until the panels are mounted and we are ready to actually hook up to it. So, please, tell me, what do I do??? Assuming I hit the "On" button and it isn't dead, how on earth can I put a charge into it without all the solar panels hooked up to get it to last till the spring without bricking? Can I hook jumper cables up to it from my car for countless hours? Is there a way to hook up a generator directly to it without the wall of electronics? Can I plug into it from my house? I mean, I don't need to fill it up and worry about an over charge, I just need to keep it from dying. Then, If I go to push the "On" button and nothing happens, or it is totally dead what options do I have? Quite Sincerely, Recent Newb
  5. Nuke-E

    Lithium Battery Project

    I've finally gotten around to doing a little bit of writing on the lithium battery project. So far, most of it is introductory, but I've generated a voltage vs. SOC curve, put the battery under load, and looked at a few other things. I should be rolling out more info on a pretty regular basis now, as the project gets a little more attention. Here's the first post: http://rvnerds.com/2016/01/18/new-project-installation-of-a-new-lithium-ion-house-battery-bank/ If you want to keep tabs on the project, here's the link that will get you a list of all of the posts about it: http://rvnerds.com/category/projects-and-how-tos/lithium-house-battery/ Comments, questions, and suggestions are appreciated--and I'll try to post back here when there's new information posted.
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