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Old 04-19-2019, 07:50 PM   #1
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Default Next Upgrade - Lithium Iron Batteries

Look what FedEx delivered. Four lithium iron batteries. At 100Ah continuous current each, this should make boon docking a whole new experience. So - currently working the placement, storage and protection issue. They're group 27 size, so a bit larger than the 4 group 24 RV batteries I had.
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Old 04-19-2019, 09:42 PM   #2
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Wow!! Beautiful. I gotta look into those sweet things. Do they come in a group 31 size?
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Old 04-20-2019, 12:22 AM   #3
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Looks great, you shouldn't have any issues now with that setup. I manage to boon dock with one battery but do not use much power obviously. If I do in the future I will set it up like yours. Silverado
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Old 04-20-2019, 05:53 AM   #4
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Funny thing about the size - they're kind of their "own" size at 12.75 x 6.875 x 9. Seems that's somewhere between group 27 and 31?
For the 4 lead acid batteries I made the battery tray larger by moving the propane tanks forward and used a 8D NOCO battery box. Won't work for the lithium iron.
I'm going to try and find a box that I can cut the bottom out of and slip it over the batteries for security and protection.
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Old 04-20-2019, 10:59 AM   #5
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What is the weight per battery?

Lighter or heavier than lead/acid or AGM type?
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Old 04-20-2019, 11:13 AM   #6
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They're Battle Born batteries and weigh 31lbs each. My old Interstate lead acid were about 41lbs each. So-I'm also saving about 40lbs which helps offset adding the two generators on the rack over the propane tank. I've got a lot of weight on the front, but I've got an F350 that's "more" truck than I need for the small camper. That and the equal-i-zer hitch help distribute the weight better.
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Old 04-22-2019, 11:35 AM   #7
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Default Cost of Lithium Batteries

Great Battery setup. Lots of power....But Amazon lists the cost at $949 per. Is that correct?
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Old 04-22-2019, 01:15 PM   #8
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Yeah - they're expensive. But 3000-5000 cycles. 10-year warranty. Double the power! Plus the ability to discharge 100%, and each one is 10lbs lighter.
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Old 04-22-2019, 04:35 PM   #9
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And they are smaller, right? So I think you can pack four of them into the space that two ordinary batteries would occupy. That's huge, for those of us who want to increase our available amp/hours.
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Old 04-22-2019, 04:44 PM   #10
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Plus, it looks like Lithium Amp Hours are not the same as regular amp/hours -- the capacity is doubled! You can get 100 amp/hours out of a 100 amp/hour lithium unit, while you can only get about 50 from a comparable lead/acid battery.

So that means if you have two ordinary batteries, you could theoretically get away with one lithium?

This is from the Battle Born site:

Batteries are rated in Amp hours (AH), when you look at a lead acid battery there are a few things that are not clearly represented. The reserve capacity is the actual amount of power in the battery, most the time this number is based on a 20 hour discharge rate which is extremely low and very rarely happens in real world systems. And you can only discharge a lead acid battery to 50% at this 20 hour rate before you start to damage the battery. If you discharge the battery in less than an hour you will get less then 40% of the power.

Lithium batteries are designed to be discharged nearly 100% and at a high rate without losing performance or power. Li-ion deep cycle batteries are rated with (LAH) because they are essentially double the power of a lead acid battery.

For example if you had a 200 amp hour AGM battery you can essentially pull 100 amps out of it over 20 hours. If you want to pull the power out in hour you will only start with 120 amp hours.


When you are cycling a Battle Born LIFEPO4 battery you can get the full 100 amps in an hour. Essentially you would need a 200 amp hour lead acid battery to produce the same amount of power in an hour.
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Old 04-22-2019, 07:00 PM   #11
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Prof - you are right - a lithium iron battery has an amazing power curve - what I mean is that you can use it and use it - battery meter might not be true - meaning it'll show 100% with a very slow drop off - then boom - it's at 10%. A bit of an exageration - but there is little "gradual" power loss - the lithium iron will give you the 100AH until it can't - which is much longer than our lead acid which lose power over the use cycle until they need to be recharged.
So - they are slightly longer than a group 24 battery. I went from 4 lead acid (interstate HD24-DP) at about 64Ah each (256 total) - to the 4 LiFePO4 at 400 (with 200Amp surge (30-seconds) each for 800Amp surge). I have a strong solar charging system and a great Outback inverter - so the surge to crank up the Keurig coffee maker in the morning for a few cups of coffee is very welcomed.
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Old 04-22-2019, 09:19 PM   #12
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Just a thought -- instead of a Keurig, use a paper filter in a cone or basket -- just pour the boiling water over the grounds. No electricity needed! Easy cleanup -- just dump the filter and the grounds into the trash.
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Old 04-23-2019, 04:05 PM   #13
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Well - where's the fun in that? But yes - we have a couple of backup systems for coffee, even Kuerig makes a "add the hot water" manual k-cup maker. Just nice to have all the battery power for boon docking. Solar charges it back up pretty efficiently. Nice to run the heater on all cold nights, or both vent fans during warm days. Also like using a 12-volt accessory charger for usb charging phones and tablets. Running all the LED lights at night and fans too. Just makes camping "civilized" and at my age I'm all about the creature comforts. Not a big fan of the campgrounds that pack them in almost touching each other - but use them sparingly when we need laundry stops, on-the-road repair stops and such.
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Old 04-28-2019, 12:14 PM   #14
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What’s the recharging requirements? Lithium tool batteries need very spacifice charging control circuitry/chargers? Is that going to be an additional cost to the setup?
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Old 04-28-2019, 02:37 PM   #15
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The charging requirements are different from lead acid batteries. It really depends on what you start with. I have a pretty advanced Outback Charger/Inverter, TriStar Solar charging system, a separate Victron solar charger so I just need to change a few settings. For others it might mean more expensive start-up, or if you have a system that doesn't have the flexibility to change settings, it would mean buying additional components that would add cost.
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Old 04-28-2019, 02:56 PM   #16
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Some Lithium batteries actually have circuit cards built in to control charging and such and can use a standard charging system.
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Old 04-28-2019, 03:16 PM   #17
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Interesting! I have been investigating Lithium batteries and here are some items I have discovered.
1) All Lithium batteries are not created equal and some of the cheaper ones are inferior.
https://www.klkntv.com/story/4034558...ithium-battery
2) Attached is a warning from one battery company
3) I found this statement:
If routinely discharged to 50% or so, conventional lead acid and AGM deep-cycle batteries have a typical lifespan of 500-600 cycles. Claims for LiFePO4 vary but vendors suggest about 2000 cycles if routinely discharged to a remaining 20%. This partially offsets their much higher cost.

Also, I caution that you temper your enthusiasm for Lithium batteries because they can explode. Charging and construction can be very critical. Remember Samsung phones? Last week I read of another Tesla which burst into flames. Lead Acid (including AGM and gel cells) and NiMH batteries represent more mature technologies and can also be more cost effective. When Toyota designed the Prius they selected NiMH batteries to power it. I have often thought that repurposing a used Prius battery for RV use would make a lot of sense but you would need a step-down convertor to reduce the HV from the Prius batter pack.
I used to work with a smart engineer who had an expression that you never wanted to be on the bleeding edge of technology. It was better to err on the side of safety when life was at stake.
Jimbo
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Old 04-28-2019, 04:01 PM   #18
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All of this is true. Meaning don't buy the cheapest lithium iron phosphate batteries you can find. You will get what you pay for. Battleborn Batteries has a great reputation and a well marketed onboard battery management system. Another company with a good reputation is Renogy.
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Old 04-28-2019, 04:48 PM   #19
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I would add that you really don't want to "roll your own" by piecing together parts from different manufacturers. On some things you can safely do this and even safely get parts from Ebay or China, BUT NOT for a Lithium-based backup system. Make very sure that a vendor stands behind a specific combination of battery, charger, inverter and all current limiters. The lesson is that the BIG BOYS can have problems with Lithium systems (like Tesla and other EV companies) and that you also can stumble. Don't cut corners!
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Old 05-01-2019, 11:50 AM   #20
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The specs of the battery and description on the Battle Born website are truly impressive. The proprietary BMS (Battery Mgmt System) seems to control all of the parameters. Besides the solar panels, will you also be recharging the batteries from your truck while driving? If so, how do you maintain the charge voltage within the prescribed range? I am thinking that the floating voltage on the truck is dependent upon temperature (i.e., it is designed to match a lead acid battery). This is from the BB manual:
"For your Bulk/Absorption stage, the ideal voltage is between 14.2v-14.6v."
"Our batteries do not need a float stage for charging, but a float voltage between 13.4V and 13.8V can be used when connected to shore power."
"Temperature compensation is not needed with our batteries and in some cases, may trigger the built in BMS to go into protect mode. For this reason, we recommend that temperature compensation be shut off or set to 0."
I am wondering if you might need some sort of a "preregulator" between the truck and the battery to drop the voltage to perhaps a constant 14.2-14.3 during charging and then 13.4-13.8 after it is charged. Alternators can have nasty voltage spikes due to the way the field winding is controlled.
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