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Batteries are heavy

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If you have 6V golf cart types, get a battery strap they make the lift easier, not easy but still an big improvement. This is a good one.

The hook goes from inside out. These only work on batteries with the two  loops on top of the cells for the hooks.

 

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Batteries can be very heavy (depending on the size and composition of them).  I only have four batteries in my rig, but they are 8D AGM batteries and weigh approximately 170 pounds each.  That is a lot of weight to lug around and I am not looking forward to pulling them out when it comes time to replace them.  Hopefully that will be a few more years down the road.  😉

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2 hours ago, Chad Heiser said:

8D AGM batteries and weigh approximately 170 pounds each

I had two of those in my conversion van. They were mounted under the rear of the van so gravity would have helped get them out but I feel sorry for whoever has to put new ones in.

Linda Sand

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There's new battery technology on the horizon. It's being rushed to market with big bucks behind it so it should be commercially available within the next 3-4 years. It's solid state batteries. They are safer because the electrolyte is not liquid, but glass. This means they won't catch on fire, as there's nothing to bur. It can be charged much faster (no dendrites) and works over a wider temperature range (from -4 to 140 degrees F.) It is brought to you by the guy who invented the lithium ion battery and random access computer memory. It's so good that the inventor, John B. Goodenough, just won the 2019 nobel prize for its design. It's supposed to last twice as long as current lithiums, is cheaper and easier to manufacture, uses cheaper, readily available, earth-safe sodium rather than expensive, toxic lithium, and I've saved the best part for last. Their energy density is off the charts - between 2.2 and 5 times that of the best lifepo4 batteries currently available. You can skip about the first 4 minutes of the video, as this is where the good stuff starts.

 

Chip

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10 hours ago, sushidog said:

It's so good that the inventor, John B. Goodenough, just won the 2019 nobel prize for its design.

University of Chicago alum John B. Goodenough shares Nobel Prize for invention of lithium-ion battery

And from Chemistry World magazine:

A Battery Technology Worth It's Salt

And also from Berkeley Lab News

A Peek Into the Battery Technology Pipeline 

Edited by Kirk W

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16 hours ago, vermilye said:

My 100 amp hour 12V lithium batteries weigh 31 pounds each...

I have been extensively using my 130 pound, 400AH lithium battery pack for what will be 4 years in the spring of 2020.  The 400AH of lithium is more than equivalent to six golf cart or Trojan 6V batteries weighting in at about 400 to 450 pounds total with a total of about 700AH of capacity.  

The really nice part is not needing to keep the batteries at 100% charge or being concerned about going below 50% charge.  I can continuously operate the batteries between 30% charge and 80-90% charged.  Which we did on our 4 1/2 month Alaska trip in 2016 when we went for the 4 1/2 months and only ran our generator for about 1.5 hours once to charge the batteries due to several days of heavy cloud cover.  We also only spent 2 nights in an RV Park w/elect hookups.  We have 650 watts of solar to keep the batteries charged. 

Yes they are expensive initially, but the freedom to not needing electric hookups is priceless.  

We do operate our microwave, TV and satellite TV dish with receiver, toaster, CPAP every night, and charging an electric powered wheel chair as needed.  

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Old technology batteries are heavy.

6 hours ago, Al F said:

I have been extensively using my 130 pound, 400AH lithium battery pack for what will be 4 years in the spring of 2020. 

Yes they are expensive initially, but the freedom to not needing electric hookups is priceless.  

I have the same thing @48v.  135lb.  Easily lifted by 2 guys.  No corrosion, no watering, not needing full charge, no  equalization, no absorb, will outlast me... priceless.

Edited by hemsteadc

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this new tech sounds way too good to be true.

sure in a lab one can get great test results. but how much lower use in real life usage?

then the co$t?

worth it?

might be able to go through two or three sets ( for me it counts as six 6 volt) of normal golf cart batteries long before even getting close to the cost of one lipo battries. forget the price gouge of something new and ”improved”. 

unless the cost is far below the lipo units most will never buy into it.

most normal lead acid will last up to six or more years. of heavy usage. and not abused. and you can buy two ( more) sets of them to just one of lipo. sure they have a weight penalty. but only have to touch once every so many years.

now if this new stuff does prove to work out in real life usage. last 10+ years, and cost less than a third of lipo. then maybe they could become popular. 

till then just a toy for the supper rich, and gadget geeks.

i just bought 6 new lead acid 6 volt units. ( total cost of less than one 12 volt  lipo unit) so no need for me to change out for many years.

sure will be keeping a eye on this. maybe install on a new rig in 7 years? ( i retire in 7 years).

 

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5 hours ago, packnrat said:

this new tech sounds way too good to be true.

sure in a lab one can get great test results. but how much lower use in real life usage?

then the co$t?

worth it?

might be able to go through two or three sets ( for me it counts as six 6 volt) of normal golf cart batteries long before even getting close to the cost of one lipo battries. forget the price gouge of something new and ”improved”. 

unless the cost is far below the lipo units most will never buy into it.

most normal lead acid will last up to six or more years. of heavy usage. and not abused. and you can buy two ( more) sets of them to just one of lipo. sure they have a weight penalty. but only have to touch once every so many years.

now if this new stuff does prove to work out in real life usage. last 10+ years, and cost less than a third of lipo. then maybe they could become popular. 

till then just a toy for the supper rich, and gadget geeks.

i just bought 6 new lead acid 6 volt units. ( total cost of less than one 12 volt  lipo unit) so no need for me to change out for many years.

sure will be keeping a eye on this. maybe install on a new rig in 7 years? ( i retire in 7 years).

 

It is easy to list the negatives about something.  In general the negatives you list for lithium are correct.

I think  it would be very helpful to everyone if you would give us the details on how you, in your RV, with about 600AH of golf cart batteries manage to "heavily use" and "not abuse" your batteries. 

Quoting your statement:  

Quote

most normal lead acid will last up to six or more years. of heavy usage. and not abused. and you can buy two ( more) sets of them to just one of lipo. sure they have a weight penalty. but only have to touch once every so many years.

Let me list what I consider heavy usage:

--  With 600AH of battery, a person would use 200-300 Amp Hours most days for  10-21 days or more in a row w/o connecting to shore power.  

--  Additionally this extensive use period would occur 3 to 5 or many more times each year of ownership.

The details I would be looking for include the following:

--  How do you manage to get your battery pack back to 100% full on a regular basis? 

            --  Putting 200-300AH back into the battery is not a simple matter of running a generator of an hour or two.  

           --  Having 600-1200 watts of solar panels (for those who have the space on the roof) would really help.

--  How do you deal with 3-4 days of pretty heavy cloud cover and still get your batteries up to 90-95% full.

Not abusing batteries so that you do get 6 years of use does mean you get your batteries back to 100% full every 5-7 days.  More frequently getting to 100% is better.  

On the other hand, many or most RV'ers only dry camp for a few days, maybe as long as 5-6 days and then back on shore power so their batteries easily get back to 100% full.  They may only do this 2-5 times a year, or maybe just be w/o shore power for 2-3 days several times a year.  

The RV'ers who do dry camp this limited amount will find that their lead acid battery pack will easily last for 6 years and have little reason to switch to Lithium. 

This is also assuming they properly maintain the batter pack while the RV is in storage or not being used. 

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While we're debating the new Ford vs Chevy topic, Merry Christmas folks!

Now back to the show . . .

Edited by Zulu

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11 hours ago, packnrat said:

most normal lead acid will last up to six or more years. of heavy usage. and not abused. and you can buy two ( more) sets of them to just one of lipo. sure they have a weight penalty. but only have to touch once every so many years.

 

Mine never lasted more than 4 years without losing capacity. I never particularly enjoying changing out those big heavy monsters, adding water to them,  keeping them charged, equalizing,  draining them below 50% or worrying my battery tray would collapse. 

I'll be brutally honest here.  I have more money than I'll ever need. I like new technology, things that make my life easier, and not having to maintain acid batteries is one of them.  I also recently bought a 3200w Outback inverter, the best on the market.  I like good stuff that lasts a long time.

My hobby doesn't require me to worry about money.  I like it that way.

Edited by hemsteadc

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Well, my recent battery project included 3 lithium 120lbs each batteries. I could not physically lift them into my front generator compartment. Had to put a ramp, sheet of plywoood, to slide them up into my compartment. I am 63 but more than I could handle.

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13 hours ago, packnrat said:

till then just a toy for the supper rich, and gadget geeks

Fortunately for all of us, Technomadia are gadget geeks who will likely test this out for all of us and report the results. You'll likely know way sooner than seven years if this is viable technology as long as you follow technomadia.com. I have no vested interest in any of this, I am just a grateful follower of Chris and Cherie.

Linda Sand

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DIY with Tito is another vblog like that and he shifted to 4 Li batteries. You have to wonder if these tech blogs are buying all this stuff or the manufacturer is giving them the items in exchange for a 30 minute vblog.

What are those $1400/battery? Almost $6000 for a 4 battery bank!

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2 hours ago, agesilaus said:

What are those $1400/battery? Almost $6000 for a 4 battery bank!

FWIW I got my Renogy 100 Ah lithium batteries for less than half that price.  They regularly run sales and the prices seem to be dropping with time. 

I switched because I too was tired of dealing with corrosion, watering, 50%  discharge limitations and all of the other points outlined by Hemsteadc. I've dealt with Lithium Ion batteries for many years in different applications and they have significant advantages over lead-acid, albeit at a higher initial cost. 

To each their own, but Packnrat's assertion that lithium batteries are "just a toy for the supper rich, and gadget geeks."  is just the kind of well thought out opinion that seems to surface regularly on internet message boards.  Many RV'ers who are neither supper (sic) rich or gadget geeks are changing over for solid reasons. 

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It's probably both. Right now you have to have a fair amount of spare money to afford one of those systems. Prices will probably come down but I suspect not as much as you expect. There is a huge demand on the materials, Lithium, cobalt and other in demand materials in the world now and for the foreseeable future. How many cell phone batteries can you make from the materials in one of those big batteries? EV's will get more common and put more demand on the supplies and so on. These RV battery companies are small in comparison with the industrial giants it is competing with for supplies.

So until the prices drop down to reasonable levels, $250 for a battery maybe, I'm not buying. We do not know the longevity of any of these big lithium batteries right now either.

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1 hour ago, agesilaus said:

We do not know the longevity of any of these big lithium batteries right now either.

If you have a cell phone you probably have a pretty good idea.  I was part of a business that used a lot of cell phone size batteries (1000s) and some lasted a lot longer than others and some didn't last very long.  I just had the battery replaced in my phone and the damage caused by the swelled battery fixed.  Hopefully the warranty is good on these large packs.

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13 hours ago, mptjelgin said:

To each their own, but Packnrat's assertion that lithium batteries are "just a toy for the supper rich, and gadget geeks."  is just the kind of well thought out opinion that seems to surface regularly on internet message boards.  Many RV'ers who are neither supper (sic) rich or gadget geeks are changing over for solid reasons. 

No matter who buys them or what their reasons may be, it is the early buyers of any new technology who pay the way for the improvements in technology and economies of scale that in time bring new products into the marketplace for the average customer. As attractive as they are at this time, for the more typical RV owner the cost isn't justified.............. yet! Given time and market penetration I am sure that they will take over, unless the newer sodium technology takes over the market based on a lower cost. 

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I am not rich. I still work. lol. But the adavantages of Lithium far outway the disadavantages. I found new Leaf batteries and got them at price of AGMs. 

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7 minutes ago, GlennWest said:

I am not rich. I still work. lol. But the adavantages of Lithium far outway the disadavantages. I found new Leaf batteries and got them at price of AGMs. 

You are not the "average" RV owner. By far the majority of the market is made up with part-time users. But do keep buying them and encouraging others to do so as that is what will bring the cost down to where it is justified for people like Packrat & myself. 

Edited by Kirk W

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That is so true Kirk. Give me a few more years and I will be though. Once I finsish my solar lithium project, it will be hard to not retire. Talking on lithium though, you can get by with less battery. Where a 400 amp system is needed with lead acid, a 200 amp would do with lithium. Can only pull 30-40% out of lead acid and 40% is pushing it. Can pull 80% out of lithium. Also no asborb charge. Just bulk and float. You get for all practical use twice tha ah. 

Edited by GlennWest

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On 12/25/2019 at 7:02 AM, GlennWest said:

 Can pull 80% out of lithium. Also no asborb charge. Just bulk and float. You get for all practical use twice tha ah. 

And they accept monster charges.. 34a @ 48v on my 100ah pack.  That's a LOT.

Edited by hemsteadc

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