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Old 05-22-2015, 02:39 PM   #15
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I have a 200w portable solar panel system. I guess I'd have to ditch the built in controller and connect the panels to cabling connected to a lithium friendly controller.

So for a 25fb queen you install a lithium pack under the queen bed and the A frame battery compartment becomes storage.
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Old 05-22-2015, 02:42 PM   #16
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Anyone know the answer to this question: When not in use, and not being charged, how do lithium batteries hold their charge vs. AGM vs. lead acid?
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Old 05-22-2015, 02:43 PM   #17
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Just getting back to Airstream Life after several years of working too hard. Now putting 1972 31 Sovereign back to road readiness. I have had a single PV panel on the roof for over 10 years, still working. Just upgraded to 31 size AGM battery but found it too heavy for battery box- relocated it to space just behind the curb side axel where it sits on the outrigger- takes up some space in that storage compartment, but allows me to use the original battery compartment for other things. Also, several years ago I mounted a 3.5KVA Generac generator in the frame under the sofa. Runs on propane, upgraded to 40# aluminum cylinders. So, not as high tech as a roof full of PVs or bay full of Lithium batteries, but seems practical for a much more reasonable cost. Still great to hear about the next gen stuff though.
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Old 05-22-2015, 05:29 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by field & stream View Post
Anyone know the answer to this question: When not in use, and not being charged, how do lithium batteries hold their charge vs. AGM vs. lead acid?

I have had Lifelines retain charge when totally isolated for over 6 months. With Lithiums in the same situation: at least a year and probably longer due to their negligible internal resistance and self discharge rate.


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Old 05-22-2015, 08:06 PM   #19
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Lew -- thanks for the answer to my question. Looks like next batteries for us will be lithium.
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Old 05-22-2015, 08:50 PM   #20
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"This is where it gets a bit 'sticky' you can't place the lithiums in an outside environment due to their electronic cell balances. "

Lew, why is it that the lithiums cannot be in the outside compartment? I do not understand "electronic cell balances", is that a component?? We have a FC 25FB Twin, so we have a fairly large front center storage compartment right next to the other electrical components, so could the lithiums live in that compartment?

Thanks Lew for your expertise on all of this electrical stuff.
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:14 PM   #21
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Here's some information on long term lithium storage. For the LiPo batteries I use for UAV use I always draw the battery down to 40% charge before any long term (more than a month) storage.

This is from the Elite Power Systems website. http://www.elitepowersolutions.com/faq.html

How should Li-ion Batteries be stored ?
Our batteries have characteristics of very low self-leakage rate, ~ 3% per month, which allows batteries to be stored over extended period of time. Batteries are to be charged to 40-60% full and disconnect all loads before long term storage. Batteries must be stored in cool temperature environment. Avoid batteries being exposed to summer heat. Users are recommended to check cell voltages periodically, e.g. every 2 weeks, to ensure proper voltage level. If cell voltage drops close to 3.0V or under 3.0V, battery needs to be recharged.
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:37 PM   #22
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Excuse me for being slow-wittted here, but I don't get the meaning of this: "Our [lithium] batteries have characteristics of very low self-leakage rate, ~ 3% per month"

3% of what? Of the fully charged voltage? Of some other number?

For example: if it is the fully charged voltage, then if the battery starts the month at a nominal 13v losing 3% the first month would be 12.6v remaining, and after two months only 12.2 volts would be remaining. That does not seem like very low self leakage.
For comparison, what is the leakage rate for AGM's and lead acid?
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Old 05-22-2015, 10:48 PM   #23
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Excuse me for being slow-wittted here, but I don't get the meaning of this: "Our [lithium] batteries have characteristics of very low self-leakage rate, ~ 3% per month"

3% of what? Of the fully charged voltage? Of some other number?

For example: if it is the fully charged voltage, then if the battery starts the month at a nominal 13v losing 3% the first month would be 12.6v remaining, and after two months only 12.2 volts would be remaining. That does not seem like very low self leakage.
For comparison, what is the leakage rate for AGM's and lead acid?
The lithium cells we are working with have a far lower 'leakage rate' (also more commonly known as the self discharge rate) than 3%. Also, they should be fully charged before isolated storage ( this is easily dine in the coach/trailer by using the disconnect switch that is part of the BMS, or battery monitor system) In a 1 year shelf test, they showed the same voltage as when the test began. That is pretty good for long term storage.

Also, as I stated before, lithiums do not show 'voltage sag', or the slow, gradual drop in measurable voltage over time like lead based batteries do. they maintain there output voltage of 12.8 VDC almost until they are totally discharged, and then the voltage drops off a cliff. This is a situation that you never want to be in, as the battery will likely be ruined from this excessive discharge. The BMS we use is designed to cut off the battery from the loads at 80% depth of discharge to avoid any potential damage.

Lifelines use a 2% self discharge rate for the purpose of programming the sophisticated Blue Sky solar chargers that we use. The last time that I moved my storage facility, I discovered a pair of GPL-6CT 300 amp/hour Lifeline batteries in the back of the storage bay that I had completely forgotten about. It was at least 7 months from the time that I received them!

Since Lifeline ships all of their batteries with a full charge, I expected to see either a very low voltage, or almost no voltage at all. Much to my surprise, The measured 6.51 and 6.53 VDC (remember these are 6VDC golf cart batteries). In effect, they lost nothing during the 7 months of forgotten storage!

amaeir7771,

The cell balancers are electronic boards that read the voltage of each 3.2 VDC 'pack' and assure that all of the cells in that group receive the same amount of charge, as individual lithium cells can accept charge at slightly differing rates. Each 12.8VDC complete lithium battery that we use has 4 of these cell balancers in use. It is these electronic boards that dictate that the lithiums not be placed in outside storage, or any place of high moisture.
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Old 05-23-2015, 09:47 AM   #24
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Lewster -- thanks, again! You are the best, a real asset to this community.
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Old 05-23-2015, 11:02 AM   #25
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Old 05-24-2015, 05:54 AM   #26
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I always disable the TV's charge line when placing Lifelines in my installations, per direction from Lifeline as the constant alternator output will overcharge AGMs
How do you do this? Just cut the line (where?), or possibly install an inline switch?

Don't think I'd ever want a permanent disconnection as there's always a chance one may need some charging from the TV.

ETA: Or is this only with a solar installation?
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Old 05-24-2015, 06:02 AM   #27
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How do you do this? Just cut the line (where?), or possibly install an inline switch?

Don't think I'd ever want a permanent disconnection as there's always a chance one may need some charging from the TV.

ETA: Or is this only with a solar installation?
There should be a separate fuse in your TV fuse block. But having a switch in the cab sure would be handy.
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Old 05-24-2015, 09:10 AM   #28
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With all the trailer rewiring we did, we put a TV battery disconnect switch along side the main battery disconnect switch behind the sofa. Thus the 7 pin plug on the truck is always hot in case I tow a different trailer. If ever needed, I can turn the switch on to allow the truck charge to enter the trailer to the battery.

We had rewired the truck much earlier with a direct to the battery #10 wire with an inline auto-reset 30 amp circuit breaker that goes directly to the proper 7 pin plug terminal replacing the #14 wire from the factory.

We also had to put a second #10 wire with 30 amp auto-reset breaker to go to the Tuson DirecLink NE trailer brake controller and then continued with #10 wire from it to the proper location on the 7 pin plug at the rear of the truck. This was necessary for the Titan BrakeRite II SD hydraulic disc brake pump and control head that resides in the original factory battery box.
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