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Old 06-15-2016, 11:15 PM   #71
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Are you now looking for a seperate 120v charger or are you going to be happy with just charging from the alternator?
No, I like to have both. Not sure where the heck I am going to install the unit but I will need to get it there .

I think I will go ahead and order the LiPo charger I linked to earlier. It doesn't have a control to turn it on/off. My plan is to put in the solid state relay both on the DC output and AC input as redundancy. I will post the details once I get it working.

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The Victron Energy system looks capable but it's a mostly closed system designed to only play nice with other Victron components. It may be adaptable but it requires a series of components instead of a single box to monitor the battery, balance cells, and control charging and discharging. Need to do more research but I'm swamped at work this week.
Yeh, I have been to their site a few times and seeing the same thing you mention.
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Old 06-29-2016, 12:57 PM   #72
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As I continue my intense research and buying spree , on this project, landed on a very useful write up: http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/lifepo4_on_boats

I don't agree with everything he says and the author is yet another self-taught person, it does highlight everything one needs to know. And an interesting strategy of slightly under-charging the cells to make them more reliable and not reliant on BMS to shut the charger off. I would not duplicate everything he is saying but it is mandatory read regardless.
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Old 06-29-2016, 01:06 PM   #73
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LB_3, question for you. These cells naturally swell from charging and as such, require restraint in their broad dimensions. Do you have any ideas of the easiest way to build such an enclosure for them? There is a nice one in the link above on the third page with blue aluminum and threaded rods. Not being a machinist, would love to know of a lightweight mechanism to hold the cells tight together and stop them from expanding.

In other places I have seen metal shipping straps used.
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Old 06-29-2016, 01:08 PM   #74
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Here is another excellent reference showing the charging performance of the Sprinter alternator. It seems very excellent as is: http://www.sprinter-rv.com/wp-conten...nformation.pdf
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Old 06-29-2016, 02:09 PM   #75
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I am partly to blame for this thread going temporarily dark. My husband LB_3 and I experienced a big change in future travel plans, which caused our project schedule to shuffle. Lithium moved down the priority list and another major undertaking skyrocketed to the top. We are a few days away from finishing that one at which time normality will resume.

I'm trying not to get excited about it - don't ever count your chickens before they are hatched. A project is never a success until it is successfully delivered in full. If this one executes successfully, it'll be another game-changer for us.
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Old 06-29-2016, 10:17 PM   #76
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As I continue my intense research and buying spree , on this project, landed on a very useful write up: http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/lifepo4_on_boats

I don't agree with everything he says and the author is yet another self-taught person, it does highlight everything one needs to know. And an interesting strategy of slightly under-charging the cells to make them more reliable and not reliant on BMS to shut the charger off. I would not duplicate everything he is saying but it is mandatory read regardless.

The author is more than self taught. He is a certified master marine electrician. He is a legend in the cruiser sail boat community and posts on the Cruisers Sailing Forum under the handle "Maine Sail".


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Old 06-29-2016, 11:01 PM   #77
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The author is more than self taught. He is a certified master marine electrician. He is a legend in the cruiser sail boat community and posts on the Cruisers Sailing Forum under the handle "Maine Sail".
My comment was specific to knowledge of Lithium battery systems. There, what he knows is self-taught. He has not gained that knowledge from working in the industry, nor does he have lots of experience with actual systems. He has his own and a few others that he has installed. He mentions the same in the preamble of the link I provided:

"It is the sharing of my learning, experimentation & Installation/implementation of LiFePO4 batteries on boats. I DO NOT consider myself an expert on the subject of LiFePO4. If even the Chinese manufacturers don't fully understand this technology, inside and out, how can I? If there is no solid data on fractional C use then how am I to be an expert on it? Again this article is the sharing of some of what I have learned about LFP..."

So while some of his comments on alternators, fusing, etc. draws on his professional knowledge, the rest is from reading what he has learned and the few installs. I call that self-taught and not definitive on the topic. Of course others can choose otherwise.
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Old 06-30-2016, 12:17 AM   #78
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I see your point. When it comes to subject of lithium batteries we are all self taught - including most of the manufacturers. 😀


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Old 06-30-2016, 12:38 AM   #79
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LB_3, question for you. These cells naturally swell from charging and as such, require restraint in their broad dimensions. Do you have any ideas of the easiest way to build such an enclosure for them? There is a nice one in the link above on the third page with blue aluminum and threaded rods. Not being a machinist, would love to know of a lightweight mechanism to hold the cells tight together and stop them from expanding.

In other places I have seen metal shipping straps used.
My understanding is that swelling occurs when charging at 2C or higher (or was it discharging). Some manufacturer warranties require you to have the cells restrained which is one reason I'm interested in GBS batteries. They come with aluminum compression plates and straps:

I haven't seen these plates or straps sold separately. Anyway, I've been swamped at work recently and I'm working the night shift for another week so I haven't been able to get back to this thread. That and trying not to set myself on fire, but I'll let IB unveil the next project after the fourth.
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Old 06-30-2016, 01:16 AM   #80
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Viltron's lithiums don't require banding or cell restraints as do all of the modular cells that are being sold. They even look like a real battery.

http://www.amsolarrv.com/lbats/94v-200
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Old 06-30-2016, 10:46 AM   #81
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Did AM Solar quit selling their Sinopoly battery kits?
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Old 06-30-2016, 03:16 PM   #82
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My Interstate Lithium Battery Adventures

They didn't quit selling them, SinoPoly has moved on to the EV industry exclusively and are no longer supporting any other users.

They left us hanging for 3 pallets of cells that were never delivered.
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Old 07-07-2016, 10:26 PM   #83
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Viltron's lithiums don't require banding or cell restraints as do all of the modular cells that are being sold. They even look like a real battery.

http://www.amsolarrv.com/lbats/94v-200
Do these have internal BMS? If so, then they will shut down both charging and discharging at once, e.g. at freezing temps.

I looked deep at these integrated cells as they are easier to deploy but eventually ruled them out.

BTW, I ordered my batteries. I am now fully committed to the project!

I will sketch out the design later. It is based on Solar BMS that LB_3 suggested in the first post. Took a lot of thinking to figure out an effective way to utilize it. But I *think* I am there.

With our great sunny season here, not sure when I want to take apart the whole electrical system to do this. But with a mountain of parts and pieces in my garage, it will have to be sooner than later.
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Old 07-08-2016, 12:55 AM   #84
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I want to see your schematic. I had to put my plans on hold until November. Between work, an upcoming vacation, the hitch basket I just built, college football, and a licensing exam this fall, I've run out of time.

I plan to order my batteries in August....
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