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Old 01-22-2017, 12:19 PM   #241
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The battery is 'only' 300AH but it's usable capacity is about 5x what we started with. I purchased BlueSea bus bars.
I think he is asking about the intercell connecting bars which came with your battery.
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Old 01-22-2017, 02:21 PM   #242
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Amirm is correct, was wondering about those connectors. Those came with the batteries? Was wondering as I saw another video where they used copper and made them on their own.


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Old 01-22-2017, 05:31 PM   #243
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Amirm is correct, was wondering about those connectors. Those came with the batteries? Was wondering as I saw another video where they used copper and made them on their own.


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He is using the GBS battery pack that is designed with those special terminals: http://www.elitepowersolutions.com/discover.html



I use another brand and built my own out of heavy gauge solid copper and it is working quite well but took a while to make so many of them.

Strangely it is hard to find already built buss bars. And the few I found were pretty expensive.
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Old 01-22-2017, 08:03 PM   #244
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The connectors come with the GBS batteries. Due to how I configured my 3 batteries into a single pack, I had to order a few extra. I toyed with the idea of getting connectors water jetted out of copper plates but that was expensive and not a significant upgrade over the OEM battery connectors.
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Old 01-23-2017, 12:08 AM   #245
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Light are on but nobody's home:



I'm tired and going to bed now. Much more work to do but at least now I won't need to hold a flashlight for everything.
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Old 01-23-2017, 01:33 AM   #246
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I'm tired and going to bed now. Much more work to do but at least now I won't need to hold a flashlight for everything.
Same feeling and same excitement when I was doing this project .
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Old 01-23-2017, 06:12 AM   #247
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Thanks Amirim! Your help and encouragement throughout this slow moving project is throughly appreciated.
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Old 01-23-2017, 08:32 AM   #248
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Nice job and progress. Starting an upgrade in my trailer and I can't wait until I see the light!


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Old 01-23-2017, 09:03 AM   #249
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Troutboy, I hope you have an easier install than I have had. Removing and relocating the converter, distribution panel, and all the 120V gadgets has been far more work than I anticipated. Of course every project I've ever started has taken longer than I've planned and this one is no different.
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Old 01-23-2017, 02:29 PM   #250
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My projects ALWAYS take longer than I think. For my project I have already removed the front couch/lounge, the inverter, charger, converter and power panel. I am adding 4 new AC circuits, solar panels 500W inverter/charger, lithium batteries 320 amhr, and much new wiring. It's pretty major, also considering it's a 2017 we bought a month ago.

Wife thinks I'm nuts as everything is tore up and it's brand new and never been camped in.

What can I say, I like to tinker. And love to camp. This seemed like a good fit....


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Old 01-23-2017, 03:36 PM   #251
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Same feeling and same excitement when I was doing this project .
For me, it's also a type of relief. The van has been totally down since before Christmas. Perhaps non-employed people such as retirees might have gotten this done sooner, but we're employed and LB_3 has the more demanding job by far, and he is the brains of this operation, so it just takes time.

Well, the van being such an intimate living space - especially for me because I both vacation AND work in it - it becomes an extension of the self. When it's off-line for an extended period, it messes with the head. Seriously. There's this nagging "something's not right with the world" feeling.

Anyway, we are up and running on the solar charging and 12 volt right now, so the head is restored to a better place.

This pic shows the batteries, appurtenances such as buss bar, main fuse breaker bar (I might be imprecise with my terms), and grounding apparatus, with closet floor, closet door, and closet front removed. Obviously that one vertical panel beside the batteries to the lower right still needs to be painted - I have to leave for at least one out-of-town professional engagement tomorrow, so it got a bit rushed yesterday (the SW oil-based enamel is wonderful paint durable but it takes at least 24 hours to dry). The inverter is not yet installed on the rack above the battery array, and the coiled thing hanging down is one of the new a/c lines awaiting connection.

BTW I spell buss with two s's because my industrial electrician colleagues do the same. I think it can be spelled both ways.

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Old 01-23-2017, 03:49 PM   #252
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OK, let's see if I can get some of the basics of this particular management system stated correctly. I just started learning it today, so LB_3 might correct me at some point.


-- Battery voltage top left is self explanatory.

-- PV1 stands for photovoltaic system 1, of which we only have the one system (three panels on the roof) so PV2 is idle.

--Center screen you can see 1, 2, 7, and 8 with data in amps, I think, stated next to them. And correspondingly, there are four bars with the same numbers 1, 2, 7, and 8 at screen right. That provides a pictorial representation of the same information - this is the part of the device that's constantly shunting solar energy in such a way as to keep the four lithium groups balanced. Every one second or so, the highlighted numbers will change (in this pic, 1 and 2 are highlighted).

-- The green bar at the bottom is batteries percent full. They were bench-charged prior to installation in the van, and it only took this device about 15 minutes to figure that out.

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Old 01-23-2017, 04:07 PM   #253
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Completing the information, you have 82 millivolt of imbalance between the cells. That can take as much as two weeks to settle down.

On PV2, are you living on Solar as the only charge source? When I had the system deployed that was connected to my alternator+AC charge sources.

FYI, my solar BMS came back. A PC board trace was blown that was responsible for measuring external current. Neither the designer or I can figure out how that happened. But it did just when I was tidying things up and finish! Grrr.

Took me another week to put another system in its place and go through the power bring up again. New system is working well although I still plan to design my own custom solution....
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Old 01-23-2017, 07:18 PM   #254
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Is that kind of thing common with electrical systems in vehicular contexts? (that sounds so stuffy)

Prior to our lithium retrofit, our replacement multi-stage Parallax converter shorted out ("burned out") a circuit on its board and almost burned down our van in the process. Parallax admitted it was their component's failure, had seen it happen a handful of times previously with others of the same model, but had no idea what was triggering it.
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Old 01-23-2017, 07:21 PM   #255
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Forgot to mention... for the moment, we are living with solar alone. Not a big deal for me in the short term as I was already doing that when we had the single Lifeline battery. We had so much trouble with the previous alternator charging set-up that I was in no hurry to suggest that the alternator be re-connected to the system. It all left a very bad taste in my mouth. Life only became peaceful and fun and the van's electrical system only became stable after I asked my husband to simply sever the alternator connection.
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Old 01-23-2017, 07:37 PM   #256
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Amirm, I've got the 60A Sterling battery to battery charger on order but need to do an alternator upgrade before that goes in. It's not going to be needed until I get the inverter and all the AC stuff hooked up.
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Old 01-23-2017, 08:01 PM   #257
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Is that kind of thing common with electrical systems in vehicular contexts? (that sounds so stuffy)
No, it is the nature of Lithium battery cells when combined. The weakest cell gets charged fastest and its voltage rapidly rises. To keep it from getting destroyed, the charge controller will shut off charge and discharge that cell. Problem is that the discharge current is only 0.2 amps relative to 300 amp total you have. So it will have to cycle back and forth this way for a long time before equilibrium sets in.

Once there, if you don't heavily discharge the cells, they will stay in balance with differential of 10 to 15 millivolts. With deep discharge they will drift apart but sync up pretty quickly.
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Old 01-23-2017, 08:03 PM   #258
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Amirm, I've got the 60A Sterling battery to battery charger on order but need to do an alternator upgrade before that goes in. It's not going to be needed until I get the inverter and all the AC stuff hooked up.
Great. I was worried you were going to live off the sun alone . I have the 120 amp unit. The first one blew and they gave me a loaner 60. I then upgraded back to 120.
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Old 01-24-2017, 05:02 AM   #259
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Great. I was worried you were going to live off the sun alone .
I don't yet have a feel for whether or not that would be possible, or if it is, within what operational limitations. Living off the sun alone with only one Lifeline was easily done as long as the usage was casual - we had buckets of juice to spare as long as we were just engaging regular 12 volt draws from lights, refrigerator, maybe the furnace fan, water pump, Fantastic, device charging, etc. but no major energy sucks such as a 17" Dell mobile workstation which is plated as drawing up to 240 watts.

It's an important question because my ultimate goal is maybe to spend a week off-grid at a time, much of it working. Even if the upgraded alternator is there, I foresee intervals of minimal driving.
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Old 01-24-2017, 07:28 AM   #260
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Great. I was worried you were going to live off the sun alone . I have the 120 amp unit. The first one blew and they gave me a loaner 60. I then upgraded back to 120.
They haven't shipped the 60 yet. Should I cancel that order for the 120? I was worried about having 12 ft of Airstream's 4 awg wiring in between it and the alternator. I can't reach it so the only way to increase it is to run another wire under the chassis. Is there a setting that will throttle the 120 down to 85A or maybe 100A?
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