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Old 04-09-2019, 08:51 PM   #1
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2015 GT 300 Ah Lithionics Battery Upgrade

Here are a few pictures from my nearly complete DIY battery upgrade
Click image for larger version

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The 300 Ah GTR series fits perfectly under the couch on the curbside. I built a small platform to raise the battery a couple inches in order to avoid interference from the lounge frame and make the restraining bar

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View from the rear doors showing a 225 a class T fuse directly after the positive terminal

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View from under lounge showing the power on/off button, which is a really nice feature when hooking things up. The 16 awg wire is used to turn on and off the BIM for alternator charging based on SOC.

Click image for larger version

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Charge master charge mate 40 BIM turned on and off based on SOC from lithionics BMS via the aforementioned blue wire (switches ground)

Click image for larger version

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Shows the Road side jump seat area. SB64 selenoid was removed and replaced with a switch under the main DC switch. A Victron MPPT solar controller and BMV 712 shunt was installed. I also added a positive terminal block to extend the alternator wire to the chargemate 40.

With regards to the Magnum, Lithionics confirmed today that the AGM1 charge profile available with the MMS1012 is acceptable (although not ideal).

Click image for larger version

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Finally, here it is... all working!

I still have a few more things to complete:

- Install 300 watts of Renogy solar panels and remove OEM flex panel

- Relocate solar circuit breaker to the area near the inverter and main DC switches

- Fix communication issue with BMV 712

It was a big job, but I was able to get all this done in a full weekend and a few evening after work

Looking forward to losing the cord this summer!


Eric
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:14 AM   #2
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That is really awesome. So did you pull the AGMs out from under the van?
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:22 AM   #3
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Eric - great job. That look like a very professional installation.
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:25 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Tobbun View Post
That is really awesome. So did you pull the AGMs out from under the van?


Yes, they are sitting in the garage
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:27 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Boxster1971 View Post
Eric - great job. That look like a very professional installation.


Thanks! That means something coming from you
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:18 AM   #6
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Eric,
Kudos to you on a sweet upgrade! Would you share with those of us thinking of doing the same, a ballpark $$ amount to switch over to lithium?

Thanks
Mark
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Old 04-10-2019, 02:02 PM   #7
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Thanks Rig Rat. The biggest expense is obviously the battery which can run from approximately $1000 / 100 Ah to more than twice that. The additional cabling, switches, solar panels etc was probably another $1000. I chose to invest in Lithionics battery (one of the more expensive options) based on my independent research and several conversations and email exchanges with the good folks at Lithionics.

Hope this helps
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Old 04-10-2019, 08:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmitte View Post
Here are a few pictures from my nearly complete DIY battery upgrade
Attachment 337809

The 300 Ah GTR series fits perfectly under the couch on the curbside. I built a small platform to raise the battery a couple inches in order to avoid interference from the lounge frame and make the restraining bar

Attachment 337811

View from the rear doors showing a 225 a class T fuse directly after the positive terminal

Attachment 337812

View from under lounge showing the power on/off button, which is a really nice feature when hooking things up. The 16 awg wire is used to turn on and off the BIM for alternator charging based on SOC.

Attachment 337813

Charge master charge mate 40 BIM turned on and off based on SOC from lithionics BMS via the aforementioned blue wire (switches ground)

Attachment 337814

Shows the Road side jump seat area. SB64 selenoid was removed and replaced with a switch under the main DC switch. A Victron MPPT solar controller and BMV 712 shunt was installed. I also added a positive terminal block to extend the alternator wire to the chargemate 40.

With regards to the Magnum, Lithionics confirmed today that the AGM1 charge profile available with the MMS1012 is acceptable (although not ideal).

Attachment 337815

Finally, here it is... all working!

I still have a few more things to complete:

- Install 300 watts of Renogy solar panels and remove OEM flex panel

- Relocate solar circuit breaker to the area near the inverter and main DC switches

- Fix communication issue with BMV 712

It was a big job, but I was able to get all this done in a full weekend and a few evening after work

Looking forward to losing the cord this summer!


Eric
Very nice!! I did renogy panels yesterday. The panels I bought were too wide to fit in the old flex panel spot so I wish I would have gotten this one instead. https://www.renogy.com/renogy-100-wa...l-new-edition/
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmitte View Post
Here are a few pictures from my nearly complete DIY battery upgrade
Attachment 337809

The 300 Ah GTR series fits perfectly under the couch on the curbside. I built a small platform to raise the battery a couple inches in order to avoid interference from the lounge frame and make the restraining bar

Attachment 337811

View from the rear doors showing a 225 a class T fuse directly after the positive terminal

Attachment 337812

View from under lounge showing the power on/off button, which is a really nice feature when hooking things up. The 16 awg wire is used to turn on and off the BIM for alternator charging based on SOC.

Attachment 337813

Charge master charge mate 40 BIM turned on and off based on SOC from lithionics BMS via the aforementioned blue wire (switches ground)

Attachment 337814

Shows the Road side jump seat area. SB64 selenoid was removed and replaced with a switch under the main DC switch. A Victron MPPT solar controller and BMV 712 shunt was installed. I also added a positive terminal block to extend the alternator wire to the chargemate 40.

With regards to the Magnum, Lithionics confirmed today that the AGM1 charge profile available with the MMS1012 is acceptable (although not ideal).

Attachment 337815

Finally, here it is... all working!

I still have a few more things to complete:

- Install 300 watts of Renogy solar panels and remove OEM flex panel

- Relocate solar circuit breaker to the area near the inverter and main DC switches

- Fix communication issue with BMV 712

It was a big job, but I was able to get all this done in a full weekend and a few evening after work

Looking forward to losing the cord this summer!


Eric


Hereís a quick update on where things stand...

1) Solar panels have been installed and Victron MPPT set to lithiumís. I did 300 watts total; 2 panels behind the AC and another one where the original flex panel was located. I wired them in series to keep the current low and allow use of existing wiring. The hardest part was caulking around the AM solar Bigfoot mounts. If I had to do it again I would spend the extra $ for the Rocker mounts.

2) Bad news: the magnum MMS1012 charger sucks for LiFePO4. The charge algorithm will not start bulk/absorb charging unless the battery is 12.8 v or less, which will almost never happen (unless you completely discharge). If the voltage is >12.8 it bypasses bulk/absorb step and goes directly to float. You can still charge, but itís slow and will not reach 100% SOC.

SOLUTION: Buy a new inverter/charger.

So, this weekend I will be installing a Xantrex Freedom XC 2000. This will give me 80 amps for charging and the inverter will support the microwave if we need to make some popcorn or warm up a burrito. It was the smallest 2000w inverter recommended so I hope to fit it into the same location as the Magnum. Will post pictures when Install is complete.

3) Some more good news: The Chargemate 40 BIM is working great. Turns on when SOC is 80% and off when battery is fully charged.
Pumps ~35 amps into the battery when the engine is running

More to come after the weekend

Eric
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Old 04-16-2019, 01:40 PM   #10
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Thank you for this thread! Your challenge with the inverter/charger answered a question I had. Size wise the Xantrex will fit in the same location (4"x10.8"x15.4" vs the stock one in there at 4.7x8.4x16.6). I was looking at that one and at the Victron EasyPlus (Victron being only a 1600 unit but longer and afraid it might not fit at 4x8.5x20.5)...

Can you share photos of the panels and how those were mounted?
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Old 04-16-2019, 04:20 PM   #11
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Wachuko,
You have provided so much inspiration and motivation to so many. Iím just happy to provide something useful
Here are some pictures of the panels installed
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PS
I was just looking at your propane refill mod and will be attempting that in the near future
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Old 04-16-2019, 06:38 PM   #12
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I think you’ll enjoy the new battery and solar. Even more so if you put an easy start on your roof AC. :-)

The inverter/Chargers are alright. Just be aware that without a dedicated charge controller, your charging profiles will always be a compromise. Ideally with LiFePO4 batteries you would terminate charging when the batteries are full instead of floating with a 2A charge current..
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:09 PM   #13
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LB_3,

I'm already impressed with the battery/alternator and solar charging over the past few days. I can leave the main power on with fridge running and never go below 90% SOC. I do have the Microair easy start on my wish list. But as you might guess from the residual snow in the last pictures it's not a high priority right now in Chicago.

I have a question related to battery isolation that you may be able to answer. I remember seeing somewhere in Wachuko's thread that it's important to have the BIM disconnect the battery banks if the generator and engine are both running. I'm having a hard time understanding why this would be the case. Once the generator starts (from house bank) its no longer connected. It then supplies AC to the charger which can convert back to DC and charge the battery. As long as my cables are sufficient I don't see why there should be an issue if the charger, alternator and solar are all feeding the battery bank. They just need to stop when the batteries are full, right?

Am I missing something?

Thanks
Eric
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Old 04-17-2019, 07:31 AM   #14
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Wachuko,
You have provided so much inspiration and motivation to so many. Iím just happy to provide something useful
Here are some pictures of the panels installed

PS
I was just looking at your propane refill mod and will be attempting that in the near future

Thank you!! Are the mounts glued in place or did you drilled the roof?


Nice and clean install. I like it! Glad to see that there is plenty of space for mounting these without having to install rails on the factory location. Would had been an issue on the awning side.
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