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Old 06-13-2021, 01:12 PM   #1
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2021 27' Globetrotter
Malibu , California
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 182
Lithium installed - but have questions

Hi all

I just had the guys in Jackson Center upgrade my 2021 Globetrotter to Lithium and install 2 additional 90W solar panels.

I bought all the supplies (2xBattleborne 100amp batteries, Victron 712 monitor and WF-9850 50amph Converter) myself thinking Iíd do the install, but they did it for me.

I am on the Terraport debating if I should stay to have them check it all, as I have the following questions (see images):

- they installed the 712 next to the existing monitor, why?
- the existing monitor, in full sunshine, shows me 1W solar power. Is that because the batteries are full?
- they gave me the converter back, they didnít use it. I donít understand why.
- finally, on the Victron app I canít see the solar power. Would I need to activate it on the app?

Thank you for your help
S
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Old 06-13-2021, 01:21 PM   #2
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1988 25' Excella
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I do not know a thing about it. But if they can explain things to you tomorrow why not have a pizza tonight and stay and have them check it out? Sounds like a short conversation might clear up a lot for you. And let us know what they say. I suspect lots of us are following the lithium conversion threads now for information. I know I am.
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Old 06-13-2021, 01:48 PM   #3
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2017 30' Classic
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Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMHM View Post
Hi all

I just had the guys in Jackson Center upgrade my 2021 Globetrotter to Lithium and install 2 additional 90W solar panels.

I bought all the supplies (2xBattleborne 100amp batteries, Victron 712 monitor and WF-9850 50amph Converter) myself thinking I’d do the install, but they did it for me.

I am on the Terraport debating if I should stay to have them check it all, as I have the following questions (see images):

- they installed the 712 next to the existing monitor, why?
- the existing monitor, in full sunshine, shows me 1W solar power. Is that because the batteries are full?
- they gave me the converter back, they didn’t use it. I don’t understand why.
- finally, on the Victron app I can’t see the solar power. Would I need to activate it on the app?

Thank you for your help
S
Hi

The 712 looks nice next to the MPPT readout. Did you ask them to put it somewhere else?

The solar reads the current into the batteries. If it shows 1A then either:

a) you are in shade and that's all that's available

---- or ----

b) that's all the batteries need right now.

If you have the stock MPPT Victron solar that AS puts in, it is not Bluetooth enabled. There is a dongle you can buy and plug into the stock device. You can also replace the stock part with one that has Bluetooth built in. The dongle is the cheaper way to go ....

No idea what they did about the converter / charger. You would have to ask them about what they did or didn't do there. You may have a free upgrade to the newer stock part or it may be that "we don't put those in ...".

Bob
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Old 06-13-2021, 02:19 PM   #4
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2021 27' Globetrotter
Malibu , California
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

The 712 looks nice next to the MPPT readout. Did you ask them to put it somewhere else?

The solar reads the current into the batteries. If it shows 1A then either:

a) you are in shade and that's all that's available

---- or ----

b) that's all the batteries need right now.

If you have the stock MPPT Victron solar that AS puts in, it is not Bluetooth enabled. There is a dongle you can buy and plug into the stock device. You can also replace the stock part with one that has Bluetooth built in. The dongle is the cheaper way to go ....

No idea what they did about the converter / charger. You would have to ask them about what they did or didn't do there. You may have a free upgrade to the newer stock part or it may be that "we don't put those in ...".

Bob
Thanks so much Bob, please see my comments below:

- I am hooked up to shore power, so I guess that’s what the battery needs as it is clear and sunny

- I thought the Victron 712 will replace the stock solar controller. Could you explain (to a newbie) how the 712 wouldn’t read the solar gain, and if I buy the dongle I guess I would have to connect to a second device to just read solar? I thought the 712 becomes my only device.

- and thanks for the suggestion for the converter, I opened the electric box and they seem to have put a better one in: WF-9850L2, seems to be a newer version than what I bought so I’ll return mine.

- I read some people remove the link to the tow vehicle so that the car battery doesn’t get charged in reverse, is that something you did?
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Old 06-13-2021, 02:36 PM   #5
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Hi

If what you had was the 9850 and not the 9850L2, that's not a lithium compatible unit. You very much want the L2 version.

The 712 is a device that measures what's in your battery. It's a "fuel gauge" for the lithium cells. It will let you know how much is in there and what's coming in or going out. The app will give you all sorts of charts showing this.

The MPPT Solar Charger is a device that converts the output of the solar panels into 12V DC to charge the batteries. It will show you what's coming out of the solar panels. It also will show you the voltage on the panels. Knowing the voltage gives you some idea about how much sun you are getting.

Pulling the charge wire from the TV is the easy way to isolate the trailer. You also can pull a fuse in most trucks. The fancier way to fix the problem is to put in a DC/DC converter. They are < $100 so not a real big deal:

https://shop.pkys.com/Victron-Energy...er_p_6996.html

is a simple / cheap one.

https://shop.pkys.com/Victron-Energy...er_p_8042.html

is its BlueTooth compatible big brother.

Either one will get the job done. The one with Bluetooth will talk to your phone ....

Bob
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Old 06-13-2021, 02:57 PM   #6
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2021 27' Globetrotter
Malibu , California
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Thanks Bob. I just checked I need a special tool tk access the three separate fuse boxes on my Mercedes. Can anything go wrong if that fuse is not removed?
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Old 06-13-2021, 04:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMHM View Post
Thanks Bob. I just checked I need a special tool tk access the three separate fuse boxes on my Mercedes. Can anything go wrong if that fuse is not removed?
Hi

Simple answer is to disconnect the charge wire. Then there's nothing that can go wrong ....

(Probably a good idea to order in that magic tool for the Mercedes .... ... I'm a bit surprised it's not in one of the tool bundles )

Bob
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Old 06-13-2021, 05:12 PM   #8
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If you have solar it will keep the batteries topped off and the charge wire from the 7 pin is not a big deal. It wonít do much but it leaving it wonít hurt the truck either.
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Old 06-13-2021, 05:27 PM   #9
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Hi

If you tow into the evening / night, solar isn't going to help at all. That's also when you have headlights on (and other stuff). That pulls the TV electrical system down. This is the situation where the lithiums in the trailer ( sitting at 13.6V) start to run the entire TV whit it's 12.6V electrical ....

Bob
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Old 06-13-2021, 05:39 PM   #10
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Lithium installed - but have questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

If you tow into the evening / night, solar isn't going to help at all. That's also when you have headlights on (and other stuff). That pulls the TV electrical system down. This is the situation where the lithiums in the trailer ( sitting at 13.6V) start to run the entire TV whit it's 12.6V electrical ....

Bob


So Iím pretty up on batteries etc, not sure Iím buying that. Most automotive alternators put out and charge at 13.2v which is resting voltage for lithiumís. So if my lithiumís are charged theyíre not sending the voltage is a current neutral scenario. In my case I have two batteries and a 270amp alternator. That will provide plenty of charge capability.

From what I understand the big issue is if your lithium batteries are not charged theyíll pull everything most regular alternators put out which can draw down the TVís systems which will create a problem and why folks do the DC/DC chargers to limit current flow.
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Old 06-13-2021, 05:53 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by JonDNC View Post
So Iím pretty up on batteries etc, not sure Iím buying that. Most automotive alternators put out and charge at 13.2v which is resting voltage for lithiumís. So if my lithiumís are charged theyíre not sending the voltage is a current neutral scenario. In my case I have two batteries and a 270amp alternator. That will provide plenty of charge capability.

From what I understand the big issue is if your lithium batteries are not charged theyíll pull everything most regular alternators put out which can draw down the TVís systems which will create a problem and why folks do the DC/DC chargers to limit current flow.
Hi

Nope ...

Resting voltage on a lithium is somewhere above 13.5V.

Alternator output is *very* dependent on RPM's and load. Your "270 amp" alternator quickly drops below 50A as the engine speed drops. Modern drive trains are focused on keeping RPM's low.

The big issue that got us all to go to DC/DC's is the observed discharge of the lithiums after a drive down the road. You started out with fully charged batteries and you arrived with a lot less than that. Some put in diodes to accomplish the isolation.

The charge wiring in a TV plus the cabling in a trailer is quite long. The resulting resistance limits the current that can be delivered. Unless the trailer batteries (any type) are at 10V, you aren't going to get much through those wires.

Even in the case of a dead battery, the trailer charge line has a fuse in it. It might be 20A, it could be 40A, 30A is not uncommon. Regardless of which one you have, that's not going to fry your "270A" alternator.

The "fry the alternator" stuff comes from the Sprinter folks. In a MH, you have much shorter cables. You also don't have a 7 pin connector with a low current rating to "throttle" things. With front mounted house batteries, you could get quite a bit of current into that charge circuit. Turns out to be true with lead acid as well as lithium ....

Bob
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Old 06-13-2021, 06:47 PM   #12
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Iíll jump in here, as Airstream of Tampa is currently installing Battle Borns in our new-to-us 34 Classic. The whole TV DC system draining the trailer batteries is news to me.

Where would one install a DC-to-DC converter? I assume in the trailer, but specifically where? Iím willing to tackle such an install myself, but I have absolutely no idea what has to be done and how. Any pointers? I suppose a YouTube search is in orderÖ.

Jim
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Old 06-13-2021, 07:29 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by AirstreamJim View Post
I’ll jump in here, as Airstream of Tampa is currently installing Battle Borns in our new-to-us 34 Classic. The whole TV DC system draining the trailer batteries is news to me.

Where would one install a DC-to-DC converter? I assume in the trailer, but specifically where? I’m willing to tackle such an install myself, but I have absolutely no idea what has to be done and how. Any pointers? I suppose a YouTube search is in order….

Jim
Hi

The 12V input to the DC/DC comes from the 7pin connector "power" (charge) wire.

The output of the DC/DC goes to the batteries through an appropriate fuse.

The DC/DC is set to something around 13.5V if it's a fixed voltage unit. If is s fancy full up charger then it is set to go up to 14.4 for a bit and then drop back to the 13.5V vicinity.

Current wise, the rating may be on the output. The current at the input could be quite a bit (30%) higher. Most people observe that their charge leads rarely will supply much more than 15A at any sort of reasonable voltage. Going "big" in this case is probably not a great idea. 20A is the biggest I think would do you any good on normal wiring.

If you dive into how AS does the lithium setup in the Interstates, a DC/DC is a stock part of the setup.

Bob
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Old 06-14-2021, 12:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonDNC View Post
So Iím pretty up on batteries etc, not sure Iím buying that. Most automotive alternators put out and charge at 13.2v which is resting voltage for lithiumís. So if my lithiumís are charged theyíre not sending the voltage is a current neutral scenario. In my case I have two batteries and a 270amp alternator. That will provide plenty of charge capability.

From what I understand the big issue is if your lithium batteries are not charged theyíll pull everything most regular alternators put out which can draw down the TVís systems which will create a problem and why folks do the DC/DC chargers to limit current flow.
On my 2008 Chevy once the battery is fully charged the alternator drops down to 12.7-12.8 volts as designed (unless I press the tow/haul button). A bigger issue could also be stopping for the night and leaving the trailer plugged into the TV, if the TV keeps power to the 7-pin (some TVs don't, mine does).
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