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Old 11-11-2016, 03:44 PM   #1
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My Lithium Project

I decided to upgrade my power supply to state-of-the-art, precluding the need to replace my Lifelines shortly, and preparing for some real boondocking. My trailer has factory inverter and solar.
My research drew me to LiFePO4 batteries from Victron and a suite of Victron equipment to complement. AM Solar is the premier provider of this equipment and they have a good website, plenty of options, and kits made up with all the necessary wiring, connectors, etc.
I ordered everything in September because of the wait time on the batteries, not intending to start the project until after our last rally in November. To my surprise everything arrived a week later due to a cancellation. A pallet of a Multi 3000 inverter/charger, two 90 ah batteries, a 20/200 BMS(battery management system), a DC-DC converter, solar controller, 702 battery monitor with BT dongle, and a remote for the inverter. I also received boxes of cable, wire, connectors, fuses, switches, breakers. I set it aside and just planned.
I had to remove the bed platform to gain access, as well as the top to the distribution panel enclosure. I also decided to replace the ATS with a reliable one from PD and I needed to add a 30 amp main breaker to protect the I/C. I decided to use the existing AC/DC distribution panel, but disconnected the converter. I ripped out the old inverter.
I used the existing pair of AC in wires to hook up the ATS and ran a new cable from the ATS to the distribution panel, through the new breaker. That was the easy part as everything was accessible after disassembly.
I placed and secured the new Victron hardware and started running 4/0 cable to parallel and 2/0 cable for the rest of the I/C wiring. AM Solar thoughtfully provides very flexible welding cable, but short runs are still a challenge. I purchased a cable cutter and a hammer crimp tool cheaply from Amazon and they worked fine.
Next was a mess of misc. wiring as well-diagrammed by AM Solar, connections to the BMS, solar, DC-DC converter, battery monitor and remote. I mounted the battery monitor in the cabinet door below the bed since I have BT to my phone and will never have to get down on the floor to look at it. The I/C remote is on the inside of that same door so I just open the door and can switch the unit on/off and adjust the AC current limitation if I use my generator.
The lithium system requires that the alternator charging line goes to the BMS so that had to be rerouted, same for the solar feed, as well as removing the solar negative from chassis ground. The tongue jack could no longer be attached directly to the battery so I used the old battery cable from the DC bus and connected it to a marine circuit breaker in the battery box and eliminated the fuse, that is so hard to find a replacement for.
Everything worked as designed when I closed the breakers and switches and setup of the electronics was easy. However, this project is not for the occasional DIY person or one with a tight wallet. Total time for completion was 3 days, total cost about $5700. I had tried to get two places, including a dealer, to quote on the job but was unsuccessful. I am glad I did it myself, saved some money and I know how it is all put together. Ready to boondock!

Larry
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Old 11-11-2016, 04:20 PM   #2
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Awesome job Larry!!!!

Glad that your efforts rewarded you with an initial power up of the system. It it doesn't always happen that way.

You will be quite pleased with the performance of your new system!!!!


Lew Farber
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Old 11-11-2016, 04:25 PM   #3
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Thanks Lew, I thought of you often as I was doing this. I would need serious medication if I did this for a living.
Larry
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Old 11-11-2016, 04:57 PM   #4
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Awesome! I am considering a very similar victron power system!

Its great to see that with the AM Solar kit, attention to detail and patience you were able to complete the install yourself!

I am pretty detailed oriented and handy so I think I can do it! I already have a Victron MPPT solar controller and 702 monitor in my trailer - I dig their components.... especially the bluetooth.. I use their mobile app exclusively for monitoring my system.
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Old 11-11-2016, 07:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by lsbrodsky View Post
Thanks Lew, I thought of you often as I was doing this. I would need serious medication if I did this for a living.
Larry
Welcome to my world!!!

I have a major 'Signature' lithium system going into a new Newmar diesel coach starting Monday. You want wires???????

This one has about 40 interconnected wires and cables.

Should be an interesting job......scheduled for a 10-12 day installation........

BTW, next time you decide to do a project like this let me know.......and I'll send you some of the 'stuff' that keeps me going!!
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Old 11-11-2016, 08:21 PM   #6
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Very cool. I'm waiting on my AS to arrive in December and I have been assembling knowledge and materials. Looks like you did a great job.

Lewster has been gracious to provide guidance. I'm not going with lithium yet, decided in 4 agm 220 so I can have 440 amp hours. Didn't want to go all lithium at the cost right now.

Very nice work. Appreciate the photos.
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