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Old 11-13-2018, 06:41 PM   #1
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Battleborn golfcart battery & 2,000 watt inverter installation

I have had two Sam’s Club golf cart batteries in the back of my 66 Tradewind for 8 years now and they have worked out very well. We boondock almost exclusively. The batteries along with a Zamp pure sine inverter have powered my wife’s hairdryer, a 50 watt fan, a 350 watt rice cooker, a 50 watt compressor fridge and a desk lamp. We have gone as long as 7 days without recharging our batteries and have not taken them below 12.1 volts (50% state of charge).

I have been planning on upgrading to lithium ion batteries when I replaced my batteries along with going to a 1,500 watt Samlux inverter that would allow me to run my microwave. I figured that the lithium battery installation would be more compact thus allowing a larger inverter to be installed. I learned about two months ago that Battleborn now has a 100 AH battery about the same size as a golf cart battery. I don’t care how you look at it this is very expensive- $2,100 for two batteries compared to $200 for two Sam’s Club batteries. I decided this upgrade was the way I wanted to go just as I decided that I wanted disc brakes. They were expensive too.

Installation was a bit difficult as there is a lot of stuff going into a small area and the 2,000 watt inverter required 1/0 wire and a 300 amp fuse, but it all worked out just fine. The photos show the installation.

I still need to install the remote switch.

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Old 11-13-2018, 08:55 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by TouringDan View Post
I have had two Sam’s Club golf cart batteries in the back of my 66 Tradewind for 8 years now and they have worked out very well. We boondock almost exclusively. The batteries along with a Zamp pure sine inverter have powered my wife’s hairdryer, a 50 watt fan, a 350 watt rice cooker, a 50 watt compressor fridge and a desk lamp. We have gone as long as 7 days without recharging our batteries and have not taken them below 12.1 volts (50% state of charge).

I have been planning on upgrading to lithium ion batteries when I replaced my batteries along with going to a 1,500 watt Samlux inverter that would allow me to run my microwave. I figured that the lithium battery installation would be more compact thus allowing a larger inverter to be installed. I learned about two months ago that Battleborn now has a 100 AH battery about the same size as a golf cart battery. I don’t care how you look at it this is very expensive- $2,100 for two batteries compared to $200 for two Sam’s Club batteries. I decided this upgrade was the way I wanted to go just as I decided that I wanted disc brakes. They were expensive too.

Installation was a bit difficult as there is a lot of stuff going into a small area and the 2,000 watt inverter required 1/0 wire and a 300 amp fuse, but it all worked out just fine. The photos show the installation.

I still need to install the remote switch.

DanAttachment 327782Attachment 327783Attachment 327784Attachment 327785Attachment 327786Attachment 327787
That is a VERY, VERY nice looking set up and I think you will see good results. Impressive Dan! I too am a Samlex inverter fan. Never come back and I like that a lot
FWIW we just finalized our agreement with Expion 360 for the Viper line. Pretty much the same cost per AH as the (regular size) BB case but in a smaller Group 24 case packed with 120 AH, a flush mounted external serviceable BMS and matching monitor.
Probably wouldn't have mattered in a custom install like that with extra room but those wanting to use the existing tongue battery box or the older Airstreams from the 60s-80s that had the dual insert type boxes under the goucho or side might benefit from the smaller size.
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Old 01-02-2019, 12:46 PM   #3
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2,000 WATT INVERTER OPERATION WITH LITHIUM BATTERIES

I finally got my remote switch and display installed and connected to the inverter (photos 1&2). My inverter output connects to my panel, so all I have to do is turn on the inverter remotely and I have power at all the receptacles. 2,000 watts is enough to operate everything including my microwave and small 5,000 btu/hr air conditioner. The only problem was when I hit the start button, nothing! I contacted Samlex and they figured either a bad remote cable or the remote box itself. They sent me out a new cable and remote. The remote was fine, it was a defective cable. Now when I hit the on/off button on the remote it shows 13.7v as my lithium batteries are fully charged (photo 3).

I wanted to put a significant load on my inverter to see how it would do so I plugged in a small 1,500 watt heater and ran it on low for an hour. The power required to operate the heater was 628 watts (photo 4). This is actually slightly more power than will be needed to run my small air conditioner. This test will thus tell me how long I can run my air conditioner. Now I have a Trimetric battery monitor that will tell me the state of charge (SOC) of the batteries and the power coming out of (or into) the batteries. The initial SOC was 99% and the power consumption was 681 watts (photos 5&6). The battery power consumption is higher than the power needed to run the heater due to the power needed to operate the inverter.

After one hour the battery SOC was down to 71% (photo 7). Since the lithium batteries can be used down to 20% SOC, without reducing the life, it looks like I can operate the heater on low or my small air conditioner about 3 hours. Nothing unusual happened in that one hour of operation, so the test was very successful.

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Old 01-02-2019, 10:44 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by 68 Overlander View Post
That is a VERY, VERY nice looking set up and I think you will see good results. Impressive Dan! I too am a Samlex inverter fan. Never come back and I like that a lot
FWIW we just finalized our agreement with Expion 360 for the Viper line. Pretty much the same cost per AH as the (regular size) BB case but in a smaller Group 24 case packed with 120 AH, a flush mounted external serviceable BMS and matching monitor.
Probably wouldn't have mattered in a custom install like that with extra room but those wanting to use the existing tongue battery box or the older Airstreams from the 60s-80s that had the dual insert type boxes under the goucho or side might benefit from the smaller size.


Randy

Thanks for the compliment.

I am glad you are offering the Expion lithium batteries and that they will work well in smaller locations that some Airstreams have.
The BB batteries fit my space perfectly as they are about the same size as my old golf cart batteries. I also like the location of the terminals being in the front at the bottom. I took the perfect size and terminal location as a sign from above that these were the best batteries for me. I am sorry they are so expensive but they are working out well and I am glad that I decided on them.

Dan
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Old 01-03-2019, 01:49 PM   #5
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Battleborn golfcart battery & 2,000 watt inverter installation

After the heater test I wanted to run a microwave test. After all, this is the reason I installed the Samlex 2,000 watt inverter in place of the Zamp 1,000 watt inverter. I was quite happy with the Zamp inverter but I wanted to be able to run my microwave and any other stuff (like power tools or a vacuum cleaner) that would take more than 1,000 watts. I ran the microwave for 2 minutes to heat a cup of water. When I turned the inverter on the voltage was 13.1 (photo 1). With the microwave plugged in the power consumption of the microwave was 0.4 watts (photo 2). The power out of the batteries, based on the Trimetric monitor, was 44.7 watts (photo 2). This is the power needed by the inverter just to be turned on. When I turned on the microwave the voltage dropped from 13.1 to 12.1 (photo 3). The power consumption of the microwave was 977 watts (photo 4) and the power flowing out of the batteries was 1120 watts (photo 4). Note that the Trimetric only has 3 digits. When you are using more than 1,000 watts you need to add a 0 to the reading. This shows that the inefficiency of the inverter is about 15% (1,120-977/977). After running the microwave for 2 minutes the SOC went from 72% to 71%. Nothing strange happened during the 2 minute microwave test, so the test was successful.

Note that I am a newbie in regard to the Trimetric battery monitor, lithium batteries and the 2,000 watt inverter. Please feel free to post any comments or questions you have. Thank you.

Dan
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Old 01-03-2019, 03:38 PM   #6
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I have justed started researching solar and ran across the forum below. It appear the Sunking guy has quit a lot of knowledge and experience. He cautions against using 2000 watt inverters on 12 V systems. In his words it is playing with fire.

https://www.solarpaneltalk.com/forum...-size-tutorial
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Old 01-03-2019, 04:31 PM   #7
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Well it looks like the info is five years old. Things change. Better inverters, technology, etc.

Many have posted here about their great setups using 2000 watt inverters.

Dave
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Old 01-04-2019, 08:15 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Peanut View Post
I have justed started researching solar and ran across the forum below. It appear the Sunking guy has quit a lot of knowledge and experience. He cautions against using 2000 watt inverters on 12 V systems. In his words it is playing with fire.

https://www.solarpaneltalk.com/forum...-size-tutorial


Peanut

I am not an electrical engineer but I do know Ohms law and have done a fair amount of electrical work on residential houses. He seems to think that the average DYI doesn’t understand Ohms law or the high currents present in the 12 volt wiring or will not be able to make adequate terminations in the wiring because it costs a thousand dollars for the equipment. Sounds a little bit like Chicken Little with the results being an electrical fire.

I really don’t know know what the maximum safe discharge rate in lithium batteries is, but if there was a problem in being used with 2,000 watt inverters, I would think the manufacturer would tell you not to do this. Also, why would a manufacturer even make a 2,000 watt inverter if they were so dangerous and cause a fire?

I am not concerned about my setup. I have a 2,000 watt inverter but the largest load will be my microwave with a load of 1,120 watts and it won’t be operated for more than 5 minutes at a time.

Now having read about the concerns of fire I will run a test to see how hot the batteries and wiring get while operating the inverter to run the microwave.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention. It is Certainly something we should all be aware of. I wonder what Lewster’s, AM Solars, and other forum members who are much more knowledgeable than me, view is on what he has written.

Dan
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Old 01-05-2019, 08:11 AM   #9
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Dan, bravo! Question: Many change out the RV electric receptacles to household units. I hear they are much more durable and safer because on how they are wired. You agree, or would that be overkill?
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Old 01-05-2019, 09:18 AM   #10
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Dan - I hesitated to post until you declared yourself a newbie and asked for feedback because I don’t want to come off like a troll. Glad you didn’t take offense. Please let us know how your testing goes.
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Old 01-05-2019, 10:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peanut View Post
I have justed started researching solar and ran across the forum below. It appear the Sunking guy has quit a lot of knowledge and experience. He cautions against using 2000 watt inverters on 12 V systems. In his words it is playing with fire.

https://www.solarpaneltalk.com/forum...-size-tutorial

The tone of Sunking's post could be a bit less caustic, but he makes some valid points. Especially when you are dealing with Lithium batteries and larger inverters (>= 1000VA).

For example:
A Battleborn 12V/100AH battery can output 100A continuously and 200A for 30 seconds.
A Victron Smart 12.8V/100AH battery has a Maximum Continuous Discharge Current of 200A.
A Victron Multiplus 12/2000/80 Inverter/Charger can output 80A@12V as a charger and can consume 166A@12V (2000VA/12V) when acting as an Inverter.

You put two of the Victron batteries in parallel and you have the potential for a 400A circuit. When wiring these high amp circuits it is critical that ALL components used in the circuit are correctly specified, that the tools used to build the circuit are high quality and designed for the purpose, and that the installer is skilled enough to properly use the tools.
Below is a list, and photo, of the tools I used for my project.

Pat

Torque Wrench – Mine is a Snap-on, Electronic ATECH1FR240B ¼” drive, which will torque from 12-240 in-lbs. Being electronic, you can switch Units on the fly, between (in-lbs., Newton Meters, ft-lbs., and three I never heard of). It can handle all the torque values needed for this project. Torqueing is the most overlooked and, in my opinion, one of the more important steps in making quality electrical connections. All connection points on all components have a manufacturer’s recommended torque value. And yes, too tight can be just as bad as too loose. Remember, you must torque each connection twice; wait at least an hour between the first and second.

Small Crimper - It’s a ratcheting crimper designed for heat shrink insulated connectors on 22-8 AWG wire. This one is made by Ancor.

Cable Cutter – Made by Klein Tools, Model 63060. It’s a ratcheting cutter that will handle up to 400 MCM Copper cable.

Lug Crimper – This is a hexagonal crimper that is adjustable for 8-4/0 AWG lugs. The brand is Ancor.

Multimeter – Fluke 376 FC AC/DC Clamp Multimeter. It has the standard voltage, ohms, capacitance, continuity, and Hz (AC Frequency) measurements. The thing that’s nice about this one is that you can measure amperage, through the clamp, for both AC and DC circuits. If anyone is interested, it uses a “Hall Effect” sensor element for this. Since we are dealing with both AC and DC circuits, it made sense to get one tool that does it all.

Two tools not shown in the photograph are a DYMO XTL 500 Label Maker/Printer and it’s included software, all labels (wire, panel, etc.) were created with this device; and a Ancor Heat Gun to set the shrink wrap.
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Old 01-05-2019, 10:56 AM   #12
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Pat, I think you just found a new business. Pack up all the tools you need as you described and rent them out as a package for say $100.00 for two weeks plus shipping and a deposit.

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Old 01-05-2019, 11:54 AM   #13
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Peanut

I am not an electrical engineer but I do know Ohms law and have done a fair amount of electrical work on residential houses. He seems to think that the average DYI doesn’t understand Ohms law or the high currents present in the 12 volt wiring or will not be able to make adequate terminations in the wiring because it costs a thousand dollars for the equipment. Sounds a little bit like Chicken Little with the results being an electrical fire.

I really don’t know know what the maximum safe discharge rate in lithium batteries is, but if there was a problem in being used with 2,000 watt inverters, I would think the manufacturer would tell you not to do this. Also, why would a manufacturer even make a 2,000 watt inverter if they were so dangerous and cause a fire?

I am not concerned about my setup. I have a 2,000 watt inverter but the largest load will be my microwave with a load of 1,120 watts and it won’t be operated for more than 5 minutes at a time.

Now having read about the concerns of fire I will run a test to see how hot the batteries and wiring get while operating the inverter to run the microwave.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention. It is Certainly something we should all be aware of. I wonder what Lewster’s, AM Solars, and other forum members who are much more knowledgeable than me, view is on what he has written.

Dan

Dan,

I think what SunKing was trying to say is not that a 12V/2000VA inverter is inherently dangerous but, that because of the high amperage's involved, the circuits must be designed and built in strict conformance with accepted standards and practices, or it will be dangerous.

Properly torqueing all connections is often overlooked. Below is a excerpt from the Battleborn 12V/100A battery installation manual.

"WHEN CONNECTING TO BATTERY TERMINALS, DO NOT FINGER TIGHTEN. ALL CONNECTIONS MUST BE TIGHTENED TO THE SPECIFICATIONS OF THE BOLT MANUFACTURER. FOR THE BOLTS INCLUDED WITH THE BATTERY, TIGHTEN USING A TORQUE WRENCH TO BETWEEN 9 AND 11 ft-lbs. FAILURE TO ADEQUATELY SECURING CONNECTIONS CAN RESULT IN FIRE."

Pat
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Old 01-05-2019, 11:54 AM   #14
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Its a worthy post. However a little extreme. Making good crimp joints doesent require training. In fact I've seen many pre crimped terminals come in horrendous shape straight from factories where those trained professionals are supposed to work. A crimper that will do the job dosent need to cost 1000 dollars either.

Making good crimp joints takes a little time and more importantly. Close inspection of the finished join. If you stress the crimp on the wire and can see loose/moving strands anywhere. Start again.

If you make good crimp joins, use the correct size wire along with fuses/circuit breakers. All will be OK.

Regular inspection is also important. Run your inverter with the highest load you have and inspect the wiring from the battery to the inverter. Resistance equals heat. If heat is present somewhere, you have a big problem.
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Old 01-05-2019, 12:13 PM   #15
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Its a worthy post. However a little extreme. Making good crimp joints doesent require training. In fact I've seen many pre crimped terminals come in horrendous shape straight from factories where those trained professionals are supposed to work. A crimper that will do the job dosent need to cost 1000 dollars either.

Making good crimp joints takes a little time and more importantly. Close inspection of the finished join. If you stress the crimp on the wire and can see loose/moving strands anywhere. Start again.

If you make good crimp joins, use the correct size wire along with fuses/circuit breakers. All will be OK.

Regular inspection is also important. Run your inverter with the highest load you have and inspect the wiring from the battery to the inverter. Resistance equals heat. If heat is present somewhere, you have a big problem.

I agree, a good crimper can be had for around $200.00. That's the price of the Ancor lug crimper I use. The difference between it and the professional $1,000.00 plus crimpers is the frequency of use before it wears out of spec. Most DIY folks are not making 100-200 crimps a day like the pros are.

I will disagree about not needing training to make good crimps. There are a number of good videos on the web showing how to crimp wires and with a little practice anyone can learn to do it. It's especially important when you are using closed end lugs where you can't inspect the crimp, other than observing it externally.

Pat
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Old 01-05-2019, 12:19 PM   #16
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Pat, I think you just found a new business. Pack up all the tools you need as you described and rent them out as a package for say $100.00 for two weeks plus shipping and a deposit.

Dave

Dave,


Thanks for the idea. But, I learned long ago not to loan or rent out tools; especially Torque Wrenches and Multimeters.


Pat
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Old 01-06-2019, 08:37 PM   #17
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HHPJ- I changed out the receptacles on my Tradewind because they were 45 years old at the time. I wouldn’t change out the receptacles on a few year old Airstream trailer unless I was having a problem. I also don’t know if they are wired any differently than regular household receptacles.

Peanut- On my posts please feel free to comment any time. All comments are welcomed.

I did run the microwave for 5 minutes today. The power out of the batteries was 1,130 watts. I measured the temperature of the battery terminals at the end of the test and the temperature had only gone up 4 degrees. This sounds like positive test results to me.

pdavitt & Shermy1987- Thank you both so much for your comments. I knew that a good crimp was important, but didn’t even know that I should use something better than my “small anvil and 2# sledge”. I also was unaware of the BB installation instructions for proper torqueing of the bolts. I received no installation instructions with my batteries.

My maximum inverter load will be when I operate my microwave @ 1,130 watts. Since the terminals only heated up 4 degrees after running the microwave for 5 minutes, I figure this sounds fine. Let me know if you have any concerns.

I also was not aware of the limit of 100 amps continuous output from the BB battery. Thanks for some more education. My output is about 100 amps and I have two batteries in parallel, so I figure this is 50 amps output per battery, right?

Please let me know of any action you recommend I take.

Thanks again for all your comments and concerns.

Dan
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:15 AM   #18
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Dan,


You are correct about the parallel battery amperage. When you parallel batteries the voltage remains the same (12V) but the continuous output amperage's are additive. (100+100=200). But remember, your two batteries are "capable" of outputting 400 amps for a short period of time, which they will do if there is a short.


Pat
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Old 01-07-2019, 07:15 AM   #19
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TouringDan, Thanks for running these tests and documenting your results on AirForums. I prefer to study actual experiences to determine my future course of action. Your microwave performance with the Battleborns impresses me. I currently use my generator to run the microwave and A/C. It appears by copying your installation, I could eliminate the generator for microwave use. I'm not ready to upgrade yet, but I like what I am seeing.
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Old 01-07-2019, 09:24 PM   #20
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Battleborn golfcart battery & 2,000 watt inverter installation

AirMiles

I have been extremely happy with the performance of the Samlex inverter. The fact that Randy, of Best Converters, speaks well of them is a real plus also. I originally was only going to get the 1,500 watt model, but the physical size was the same and the price difference was minimal so I got the 2,000 watt size. It is nice to just push the remote switch, operate the microwave then turn the inverter off.

Dan
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