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Old 05-18-2020, 04:41 PM   #1
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2019 30 FC Standard Converter with BattleBorn GC2's

I've read hours of postings on Batteries, Solar etc. I can't find anything definitive on Converter models. I hope I didn't miss it.

My MSRP Label says: 110V/12V Pwr Ctr/55 Amp Multistage Converter. I think I recall WFCO as brand but it is not in the paperwork.

Why do I ask? Without the brand and model I won't know if the Converter can be reprogrammed for charging two Battleborn GC2 LifePO4 batteries I am considering. I'm sure someone knows.

In one of the threads someone mentioned that they know the converters installed in many of the late models.

I have a 2019 30 FC Twin. Anyone know?

Also, since the dealer swapped it out because I was having electrical problems, how to I confirm the model? Is it as simple as removing the screws holding in the fuses and breakers? Will I see a model number once I remove that panel? If not, how do I physically get to the converter at the point where it shows the model?

Background:

I know this is just one question of many that should be asked before dropping in Li-ions, so at the risk of providing Too Much Information I'll add my considerations below. No need to read further but I know that there is a wealth of expertise in this forum and some may want to warn me about all of the implications of switching. That is welcome info if someone spots a fatal flaw:

Goal: Simple easy solution that allows me to run my furnace overnight without concerns during September Montana overnights. I also will watch a couple of recorded shows each evening and the computer, iPad, iPhones are always on.

Stuff in place:
-Generator: Yamaha 3000 Inverter
- Solar: Zamp Portable Suitcase 230 Watt (will need to change charging specs)
- Victron BMV-712 Battery Monitor (will need to reconfigure from the Std. Interstate wet cells)

Considerations:

-Inverter: I have no desire to switch out the inverter. If I want to use the microwave I will start the generator. Maybe someday but not now.

-TV 7 pin: I've got a 2018 Ram Diesel Mega cab so I can probably figure out how to cut off the charging pin. If not I would just unhook the tv when stopped.

-Cold weather charging: Initially manage by not charging if too cold. After installing and assessing available room, consider the BB heating unit. Will investigate available space vs. width of the wrap.

Challenge: Size of Factory Battery Box made worse by interior intrusions

-Starboard:
1) Interior fasteners for Zamp Solar plug connector (factory installed). 3/8"
2) Nylon lock nuts for sending unit for TST Tire pressure monitoring system, bolted to side of box. (Not Factory) 1/4"+

-Port: Nylon nuts for mounting of weatherproof box that holds the BMV Shunt 1/4"+

GC2 Configuration within the box:

Batteries laid on their backs with the bottom of the battery tucked under the 1" front ledge that supports the cover. Terminals in the rear facing up.

-New (because I am laying them on their back) height: 10.32". Capacity 12" after removing bottom tray.
-New Length front to back: 11", Capacity at opening 12", Capacity within the box, approx 14".
-New width (port to starboard): 14.72" / NET interior capacity Port to Starboard 14 1/4" because of intrusions
Solution: with dremel shave off the strap ears. Width of BB GC2's after shaving off the strap ears = 13.72"


The Shaving of the ears without losing warranty as confirmed by Battleborn has moved me one step closer to pulling the trigger.

Unless I have missed something, I think the converter is the final question to answer before deciding on this simple conversion. Thoughts?

bickp
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Old 05-18-2020, 05:33 PM   #2
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I was wondering pretty much the same thing. For what it's worth WFCO says its converters can safely charge a lithium-ion battery. https://wfcoelectronics.com/lithium-solutions/. But I don't think its optimal. The same WFCO page pitches a new line of "tailored specific to lithium-ion batteries" products. It seems to me that the cost of a converter that is optimal isn't all that much and, when I make the change, I expect to change the converter as well.
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Old 05-18-2020, 05:50 PM   #3
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To get optimum performance from the BB's you should get a converter with the proper charge profile.

I doesn't have to cost a lot.
We have 360w of solar charging thru a Boondocker Lithium compatible converter.

Bob
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Old 05-18-2020, 06:13 PM   #4
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Indeed DCPAS the stock converter is a WFCO and is not optimized for Lithium Ion batteries. Even the upgraded converters often paired with Solar are not settable for LiPo4 or at least in 2018 they were not.

bickp, since they swapped it out at the dealership, we can't be sure what you have till you look. The label indicates you have 30A service and at lease had the stock integrated WFCO Power Center / Converter. That being the case, the model can be confirmed from the face of the power center which has the breakers and fuses.

If instead you had 50A service the power center and converter are two separate units. Let me know if I have this right.
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Old 05-19-2020, 08:58 AM   #5
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50 amp service

Quote:
Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
.....................

bickp, since they swapped it out at the dealership, we can't be sure what you have till you look. The label indicates you have 30A service and at lease had the stock integrated WFCO Power Center / Converter. That being the case, the model can be confirmed from the face of the power center which has the breakers and fuses.

If instead you had 50A service the power center and converter are two separate units. Let me know if I have this right.
Hi Brian: Not sure about the label showing I have 30 amp. Can you clarify. I have dual AC and 50 Amp Service. Do you know where the converter is located on a FC 30' and how to get to it? Did not see the physical location in the manual other than it appears to be behind the fuses and breakers.
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Old 05-19-2020, 09:16 AM   #6
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Okay then the window sticker just shows the base level, which is not surprising. Since have 50A service your converter is most likely in back of the breaker/fuse Power Center. Not sure how to best access it to find the brand and model.
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Old 05-19-2020, 09:31 AM   #7
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Iím not sure on your 30í but on my 2018 FC25 the converter is in a compartment at the under the circuit breaker fuse panel. You remove the outside black plastic cover.
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:08 AM   #8
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I have a 30' FC RB and I found the converter behind the load center (where the breakers and fuses are) under the fridge. Looking at the floorpan for you AS it looks like it will in the same place.

You have to pull the load center out completely to get to the converter. Not an easy job, but doable. There are some very stiff cables coming into the load center from shore power and the converter.

Best of luck with it.
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:29 AM   #9
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I took the front cover of the load center off and in the gap under the panel, I was able to see the manufacturer label and model on mine without removing the load center itself.
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:31 AM   #10
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That's where I found it, totally unsecured.

The front panel slides up exposing the bottom two screws. Found some scrap wood when I opened it up. Also found what appears to be a converter sitting askew lying of top of cords. Tough to get clean pic's but not what I expected.

Pictures are rotated in various directions.
Pic's 1 & 2 Rotate your head left.
Pic 3 is correctly oriented. It is the left side of the converter with metal edges sitting directly on cords, unsecured.
Pic's 4, 5, 6 rotate your head right.

Wonder if this is how the dealer found it from the factory or if this is dealership handiwork. This discovery is a completely different subject so I don't want to go down that road.

For purposes of the original thread, I am getting the consensus to pull this one out and put in a converter designed for use with Li-ion batteries. I will research threads on optimal converters with Li-ion. Otherwise I don't think anyone made comments on other fatal flaws in my proposed setup. But always open to input.

Bick
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:54 AM   #11
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It looks like the WFCO 98xx series. from the vents and the mounts it looks like one of the standard 35,45,55 models for Lead Acid batteries. If this is the case, the profile is okay for Li-Ion but not optimal as previously indicated.

WFCO makes a LI-Ion model 98xx and a switchable also but the cases are different on those.
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:59 AM   #12
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converter options

Check your converter for charging profile settings. The older lead acid converters may show flooded / AGM / Gel / custom.
Lithium batteries like constant current / constant voltage (14.5V) to charge the quickest. The battery charge and discharge rates are governed by the individual battery BMS. BattleBorn has a 100A BMS. You can charge up to 100A but for better cycle life it is best at 30% of any lithium battery Ah or 30A.

Other brands have more robust BMS.
Relion offers a 200A BMS with their RB170
https://relionbattery.com/
AMPS offers a 200A BMS and a 300A BMS with their 4D 304Ah and 8D 400Ah batteries.
https://lithiummarinebattery.com/

A good read is the ReLion charging instructions guide.
https://ceb8596f236225acd007-8e95328...structions.pdf

You can use a lead acid charger but you will only see about a 15% gain in speed. The lithium is 99% efficient whereas the lead acid is max 85% efficient. The volts and amps drop when it goes into the absorption stage so you lose the lithium advantage of higher amp and volt. Set it for flooded and disable the float and equalization settings.

If you have custom settings on your converter, you can set bulk and absorption to 14.5V. Disable the float and equalization (boost) settings. If you can set the current output then set them for 30 - 100% of the individual battery. Unlike lead acid, lithium batteries control their own charging. When it is full, it cuts off. If it sees too much incoming amps, it will cut it off. Over voltage (15.6v+) and over amps will stress the BMS which is never good.

The alternative is to purchase a lithium converter/charger. I like Progressive Dynamics.
https://www.progressivedyn.com/lithi...acement-units/

You never want to equalize (boost) a lithium battery. If you try, the BMS will disconnect the battery from the system and could damage the battery.

I hope this helps.
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Old 05-19-2020, 11:10 AM   #13
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I'll check out the links, thanks for great responses everyone.
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Old 05-19-2020, 06:23 PM   #14
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A bigger problem then the converter is the wiring. My original WFCO converter said 55A, but when charging the batteries they would see less than 10A most of the time. For started, the WFCO converter refused to go above 13.6v even though it was suppose to go to 14.4. Replacing the converter helped some, but the real problem turned out to be the wiring. To push 50a from the converter to the batteries you need #6 or #4 gauge wires. AS uses thin wires routed between several distribution panels.

If you are going to invest in lithium, I would certainly recommend upgrading the converter and the wiring, so you can enjoy your investment.
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Old 05-19-2020, 06:30 PM   #15
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Progressive PD9160ALV 60-AMP

In reviewing the Progressive site I found the following quote:

INTELI-POWER 9100L series converters do NOT
support the Charge Wizardfunctionality or provide
a TCMS interface. The 9100L series converters
incorporate an interface for a remote shutdown
module for use with a smart lithium battery system.

That makes sense. You don't want all 4 stages when charging LI. But look at this picture from their site. The label says TCMS Interface. The second sentence (above) says it includes the 'interface' for remote shutdown. The quote below seems to support that this is not a TCMS interface but instead a Shut down module interface.

From page 6 of the owners manual:

OPTIONAL REMOTE SHUTDOWN MODULE
Your INTELI-POWER 9100L converter is equipped
with a Remote Shutdown Module interface. The
converter can be shutdown using either a high or
low side control, or by connecting two wires by
means of a mechanical switch or relay contacts.
This allows the battery management system to
shutdown the converter after battery charging and
balancing are complete.

My conclusion: The picture has the wrong label. The interface we are looking at must the the Shut down module interface. Can someone set me straight?

Question: Whoever is using a Progressive 9100L series converter, are you using the shut down module?
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Old 05-19-2020, 09:35 PM   #16
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The slippery slope vs a simple solution

Thanks chugchug. You have provided the exact kind of input that encourages me to push forward on this thread.

But remember, this is exactly the slippery slope that prompted this thread to begin with. In the many threads I've read about Lithium it has become clear that this is a rathole that can get very expensive. Some of us have needs that could be accomplished by solutions that are less expensive than Li-ion. I get it. But, why not accomplish those needs with a solution that you can build upon, even if it is a more expensive during the first step.

I'm not challenging, just trying to assess input based on the considerations, goals, current resources (stuff) as mentioned in the original post.

1. I don't want a tear up. I want something simple that I can do.
2. I want to be able to sleep overnight with no worries for the month of September in Montana.
3. Everyone else would upgrade the inverter, but not me. I'll use the genny to run the microwave
4. ............................. refer to original posting...........for other goals, current setup et al.

If I add 2 new BB GC2's and a progressive PD9160ALV (60-AMPS) will I meet the objectives listed in the original post? Or is it true that the specific requirements/goals cannot be accomplished without a re-wire? Or something else that I have not considered?

chugchug, please don't take this as a challenge. It is not. In fact you mentioned (wiring) one of the items that I omitted in post 1. So thanks for bringing the wiring into the discussion. I think there are others like me that want a simple move to Li-ion, who don't need to boondock for a week solo. They, like me, are ok with the challenge because it helps us move forward, knowingly.

Again,
- knowing that I might be leaving capacity on the table now.
- knowing that there may be cheaper solutions to meet the current goals (agm, golf cart, ....)
-knowing that I should also upgrade the inverter, but I can do that later
-wanting to take baby steps to an eventual killer solution that won't require re-do's
- ......................

Can I accomplish the current goal with 2 BB 100Ah GC2's and the Progressive PD9160ALV (60-AMPS)?

(Also still wondering about the image on my prior post and the interface)

Don't hold back, this is all for education.

Bick
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Old 05-20-2020, 12:08 AM   #17
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Do you want to charge the batteries from your tow vehicle while driving? If so, youíll need a way to step that voltage up to 14.3 volts. I use the Victron DC-DC converter to do this. Mine is only 9A because my F150 doesnít supply much current. Mine is the Omicron 12 /12 9A

A fancier solution is the Renogy DC-DC charger. This wasnít out when I did mine.
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Old 05-20-2020, 06:25 AM   #18
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You don't need to tear down much. When you pull out the factory converter and replace it with your new one, just don't connect the 12v side to the distribution panel where the original was. Instead run heavy wire to the Victron shunt and the battery positive, and a big (100A) fuse along the way for protection.
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Old 05-20-2020, 07:19 AM   #19
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Another workable plan to avoid rewiring is to land the converter +12 on the lead side of the Use/Store Solenoid. Airstream runs a #6 to the + bus which is adequate for a 60A charge. The -12 from the power center back to the - bus is also #6. The use/store solenoid is attached to the back of the power center.
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Old 05-20-2020, 09:18 AM   #20
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Clarification re wiring

Brian: Is the use/store solenoid that is attached to the back of the power center easily identifiable? If yes that sounds like a much easier solution than fishing wire.

Brian and chugchug: Are you saying that it is mandatory to address the wiring issue for the progressive converter to charge the GC2's to capacity?

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