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We have had a few recent threads dealing with lithium batteries-specifically LiFePo4 batteries. http://www.rvnetwork.com/index.php?showtopic=115068 http://www.rvnetwork.com/index.php?showtopic=113352&hl=lifepo4 http://www.rvnetwork.com/index.php?showtopic=115267 . Please post any I am missing. Also note was made of Technomadia's artcicles. http://www.technomadia.com/lithium/ Recently I came across this article which many found very helpful http://marazuladventures.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/diy-lithium-iron-phosphate-batteries8.pdf . Reed, pointed out that the author of that often posts in CruiserForums http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f14/lifepo4-batteries-discussion-thread-for-those-using-them-as-house-banks-65069.html . That particular thread has over 4100 posts and is 280 pages long. The problem I have had in trying to get relevant information is that most discussion is geared toward the hobby world or car batteries. The information is slightly different for both of these applications. The boating industry has the most relevant information and is farther ahead than the rv insdustry. The reason I mention all of this is that I just came across another great practical article from the marine industry (the same guy/?). I have made my way through about 150 of the 280 pages in the cruiser forum and while it is full of extremely good information a lot gets bogged down in experts debating smaller points and using technical jargon. This article covers a lot of the same points in more accesssible language and summarizes many points. With that introduction and just FYI here is the link http://www.marinehowto.com/ Dave

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The Marine Industry is far ahead of the RV world. But then boating folks generally have a bit of loose change hanging about.


Just reread the marinehowto blog. It is quite good. He may also post on Cruising forum under the name Mainesailor but not sure if it the same.

Have been following every fora I can find that discusses LFP. From what I can make out, everyone is happy except for price and problems with vendors. The only rift is whether to use battery management system or to hand balance and then set voltage limit of 3.4 V per cell.

Our battery bank came from a fabricator who designs for the EV world where a battery management system (BMS) is a necessity since they charge/discharge up to 10 C (C being the energy capacity of a battery bank and a 5 C discharge for a 10 kW-hr bank would be 50 kW or 67 hp). We have been quite satisfied with our BMS. An Aussie who goes by T1Terry has posted a lot on Cruiser and Aussie for a on this subject of hand balancing and the setting voltage at 3.4 V per cell. He and his adherents (there are many of them) have been extremely happy with this approach. It does make things simpler (KISS).

Our battery bank is 4 x 12V nominal batteries in series. Each battery is 4 CALB (Chinese Aviation Lithium Battery) cells in series. So we have 16 cells in series for a 48V nominal battery bank. We prefer the BMS to hand balancing every once in a while, and the BMS is already there. The BMS does have heat sensor monitoring and the batteries do have cooling fans that turn on when it gets warm. Extremely high heat can apparently damage the cells.

Reed and Elaine

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