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Old 12-05-2019, 02:19 PM   #1
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LiFePo battery upgrade - What charger? (2018 BC)

I’m replacing the stock wet cell batteries in my 2018 BC with two 110ah 12v batteries. I need to replace the converter/charger but have seen conflicting info. Looking for feedback from BC owners (or others with the WFCO 8955 power center) who upgraded to LiFePo batteries. I understand the considerations include:
- Different charging algorithm (14.6-14.2, 13.5, 13.5-13.2) for bulk/boost, absorption, and float respectively.
- ability to reset the BMS if the battery shuts down.
- Support “house” DC power requirements if the batteries are absent or disconnected and connected to shore power.

I’m getting a recommendation from AMSolar to use the Victron Blue Smart IP67 12v/25A 120v charger...but I know that the stock WFCO 8955 is 55A. Not sure about the impact (if any).
WFCO offers a lithium compatible...but the doc says it will NOT reset a shut down battery.

Thanks.
Bill
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Old 12-05-2019, 02:37 PM   #2
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Hi

If you want to go for a lot of amps, go with the Victron Multi Plus 3000 hybrid inverter / charger. It will also replace your inverter (if you have one). It will set you back a pretty good pile of money. It also will take up a bit of room.

Not all lithium batteries have a BMS that needs to be reset. What batteries do you have? That may be a bigger issue than any other.

The existing / stock / low cost converter chargers that claim to put out 50A put out around 20 to 30A in reality. The Victron gear puts out what they say it does at full voltage. The actual current out of your stock charger and the Victron from AM Solar are essentially the same.

Bob
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Old 12-05-2019, 03:49 PM   #3
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I second that if you have the space, installing a combined inverter/charger simplifies the install and upgrades your inverter to handle demands like a microwave or hair dryer. Most have programmable charge levels that you can customize as well.

On another front, you should invest in a lithium compatible DC to DC charger to handle the different charge profiles between your new trailer batteries and your lead-acid engine battery. Also, a State of Charge (SOC) monitor and shunt will be needed to track power into and out of your new lithiums so you have an accurate idea of their charge level. Voltage readings that work well on lead-acids to track charge levels, are not a very reliable indicator of lithium battery charge levels.
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Old 12-05-2019, 04:38 PM   #4
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What brand of batteries are you installing? You will safely have 176 amp hours available. If you use 50% of that overnite (88ah) then a 25 amp charger will take about 3.5 hrs to charge. So a 25 amp charge should be adequate.


AMSolar are experts at this and won't steer you wrong.


The stock batteries need a larger charger since they have a long absorb time.
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Old 12-05-2019, 05:02 PM   #5
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Hi

110AH is a bit unusual for lithiums. We probably would do a better job of helping if we knew what batteries you are using. The parts most people are putting in (and what the advice would be based on) are all 100AH.

Some of what's out there have really unusual requirements. I just came across one that wants > 14.6V (like 14.8 +/- 0.2) for charge and < 13.5V once charge is complete. That's way off from the parts most here use.

Bob
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Old 12-06-2019, 06:31 AM   #6
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Did I say 110ah...typo...100ah Renogy 12v

Sorry for any confusion. The batteries are Renogy 100ah 12v. They have a BMS but are not the new “SMART” battery.
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Old 12-06-2019, 07:09 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by bkitchens View Post
Sorry for any confusion. The batteries are Renogy 100ah 12v. They have a BMS but are not the new “SMART” battery.
Hi

At this point (at least as far as I can find ) there is no official information from Renogy about just what the magic "wake up signal" is. Indeed some of their own stock chargers did not supply the "magic signal" until an update to the hardware that came out recently.

My *guess* (and that's all it is a guess) is that the charger needs to put out voltage even when there is zero volts on the input. Some chargers will not put anything out in this situation. They *assume* that zero volts means a circuit error (like a short).

Right now, my plan is to use the Victron stuff (the 15A version, but the same device as you mentioned) with the Renogy batteries and see how it goes. Will it work out? Who knows. In my case, they are not the main power for the RV so its not as big a deal as if they were the main power.

Bob
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Old 12-06-2019, 07:41 AM   #8
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we moved to the Victron Multi Plus 3000 hybrid inverter / charger.
yes it replaced our old converter, but gave us much more functionality
we also use other victron parts and they all talk to each other.

it is our long term investment
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Old 12-06-2019, 07:51 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by waninae39 View Post
we moved to the Victron Multi Plus 3000 hybrid inverter / charger.
yes it replaced our old converter, but gave us much more functionality
we also use other victron parts and they all talk to each other.

it is our long term investment
Hi

For the main power I run a Multi 2000. The *only* reason for going with that instead of the 3000 was to fit it in a specific space in the trailer. If I had wanted to put it somewhere else, the 3000 is virtually the same price ....

Bob
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Old 12-06-2019, 08:33 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by bkitchens View Post
Sorry for any confusion. The batteries are Renogy 100ah 12v. They have a BMS but are not the new “SMART” battery.
Two Renogy 100Ah batteries (like yours) are what I recently installed in my class b Airstream Avenue (Chevy chassis).

It started out as a modest desire to run the 700W microwave (that actually pulls about 1200 watts) without being plugged in or starting the generator. I also wanted to get rid of the 150 year old lead-acid technology and double my usable amp hours so we could boondock more than one night. Modest goals I thought.

All parts of my project are Renogy (except for Victron 75/15 Bluetooth solar controller replaced last year). Mainly because the Renogy's were the only batteries that fit (and their prices are right). I guess I was feeling flush with cash when Renogy put their 100Ah lithium batteries on sale for $719 (no tax, no shipping) back in August, I took the plunge and ordered two. After initially ordering a 2000W inverter without charger, I realized it would be easier to install a combined inverter/charger. Sent it back and reordered a combined inverter/charger.

Here's what I've done
:

Inverter/charger
- Replaced the old 750 Tripplite with the Renogy 3000W Pure Sine Wave Lithium Compatible R-INVT-PCL1-30111S-BC. Currently out of stock) https://www.renogy.com/3000w-12v-pur...w-lcd-display/. It happened to just fit the long and fairly skinny space I had available. Just know their dimensions are wrong as they do not include the bottom mounting flange in their width measurements and cable securing grommets in length. It is actually 11.25 inches wide and 21 inches long. With a wonky end-panel that is better left off if installed in a concealed area. It is working well so far.

It is truly an easy plug & play replacement for the Tripplite so long as you have the additional space. It is easily programmed from it's top LCD screen. Charger rates can be set in 5A increments up to 65A. I set the charge rate for 45 amps which is the same as the old Tripplite on high charge. A comparable Victron will run you about $1300. A respected product, but at nearly twice the cost when Renogy runs a sale.

2 x 100Ah Lithium Batteries
- Besides being on sale for $719 at the time I purchased, Renogy recently had these batteries on a Cyber Monday sale for almost $100 less. They are the only batteries I found that were actually slightly smaller than Group 27 sized. Battleborns, besides being more expensive, simply wouldn't fit my application. I ended up installing the Renogy's inside, next to the inverter, by re-purposing a small storage compartment. Makes for short cable runs of 24" for everything but the Inverter positive, which is still only 36". I purchased all new cables except for the 2ga parallel cables from the old batteries.

DC-DC Charger - At the time, Renogy offered 20A ($129) and 40A ($179) models. I chose the 40A since I figured the 20 wasn't enough and the 40 would still not over-tax my engine alternator (just my guess). I effectively isolates the lithiums from the lead-acid engine battery bypassing the old Isolator to which the Ignition switch was wired. This required I move the Ignition wire that turns on the DC-DC charger on to new charger and running a new ground.

State of Charge Monitor/Shunt - To track the lithium charge levels, I purchased the Renogy 500A Monitor for $99 (I've seen it on sale for $79). It has a nice, easy to read backlit display. Comes with it's own shunt which is wired to the negative cables. It handles 500 amps and can be programmed for up to 9999 amp hours of battery, so again, I won't have to replace it if I add future battery capacity.

Unexpected Discoveries during install:
While the install when pretty much as expected and there was no smoke or fires. Moving the batteries inside and disconnecting from the chassis battery resulted in the following unwanted, but necessary changes.

1) One of the major reasons for the upgrade was to run the microwave from the inverter. But I soon realized the plug behind the microwave is not on the inverter curcuit. Oops. We are leaving on a trip in a week so I temporarily ran an extension cord behind the cabinets to the a wall outlet connected to the inverter. A permanent fix will have to wait.

2) Love how fast the batteries charge with the new system. However, the inverter fan (which only runs intermittently under load) is noticeably noisier than the old Tripplite. Still, we don't plan to run the inverter except to use power-hungry appliances like the Microwave or a hair dryer and they will drown out any additional noise from the inverter.

Final thoughts
:

I just hate the old technology of lead-acid batteries and am glad to have them gone. So far I'm in for about $2700 and that is "doing it on the cheap". I am wondering if the upgrade is worth it for the incremental benefit. Rationally no, but if there were truly a plug & play lithium battery option that worked with existing components, then for sure I'd say yes.
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Old 12-06-2019, 08:46 AM   #11
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Hi

.... the 100AH Renogy batteries went up on Amazon for $518 a piece / free shipping last Monday.

Bob
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Old 12-06-2019, 10:13 AM   #12
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Great post Rowiebowie! I'm watching the Lithium battery market. I'd love to upgrade to Am Solar's 400AH Battleborn kit $4,500 https://amsolar.com/rv-lithium-batte.../40-libbbmv400 and a Victron Multiplus https://amsolar.com/victron/inv-vt-3000 $1,300. But that's $5,800 self installed so that I can run the microwave. Its hard to justify except for the cool factor. I get along just fine with my low-tech lead-acid golf cart batteries for everything else except the microwave.

I'm liking what Renogy is doing with their pricing. Batteries in the $500 range are getting tempting. Uncle_bob, let us know what you are doing with the Renogy batteries and how they perform. I hope Will Prowse makes a video of a Renogy battery teardown like this one for a Battleborn

As Uncle_bob says - "lots of fun".
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Old 12-06-2019, 10:28 AM   #13
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Hi

The Renogy batteries are mating up with a radio or two for "portable" HF ( = Ham radio ) operation out and about .... With all the various teething pains Renogy seems to be having on these, I'm not real sure I'd want to dive into them as "main power" quite yet. Indeed I already have 400AH of Battle Born's and no great need / room for any more.

Bob
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Old 12-06-2019, 10:37 AM   #14
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AM Solar is doing my lithium upgrade. Victron components are what I’m using too.
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Old 12-06-2019, 10:46 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

The Renogy batteries are mating up with a radio or two for "portable" HF ( = Ham radio ) operation out and about .... With all the various teething pains Renogy seems to be having on these, I'm not real sure I'd want to dive into them as "main power" quite yet. Indeed I already have 400AH of Battle Born's and no great need / room for any more.

Bob
I agree that Renogy batteries are somewhat of an unknown at this point. I was hoping you were going to volunteer to do a teardown on yours! Still, it will be interesting to learn your thoughts from using a pair of Renogy's compared to your Battleborn's. Thanks for the reply.
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Old 12-06-2019, 11:56 AM   #16
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My read of the Victron IP67 charger is that it will apply low voltage to a 0v response with the expectation that the battery will slowly build to a serviceable level. Some chargers with Reverse Polarity breakers assume that the 0v indicates the batteries are hooked up wrong and they will stop input.
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Old 12-06-2019, 12:31 PM   #17
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I agree that Renogy batteries are somewhat of an unknown at this point. I was hoping you were going to volunteer to do a teardown on yours! Still, it will be interesting to learn your thoughts from using a pair of Renogy's compared to your Battleborn's. Thanks for the reply.
Hi

I *suspect* that the only batteries that get torn down (a this point) are ones somebody got for free or close to it. If one does get torn down I'd at least *hope* for a verdict of "well made for a Chinese battery" or something close to that.

Bob
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Old 12-06-2019, 02:24 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by AirMiles View Post
Great post Rowiebowie! I'm watching the Lithium battery market. I'd love to upgrade to Am Solar's 400AH Battleborn kit $4,500 https://amsolar.com/rv-lithium-batte.../40-libbbmv400 and a Victron Multiplus https://amsolar.com/victron/inv-vt-3000 $1,300. But that's $5,800 self installed so that I can run the microwave. Its hard to justify except for the cool factor. I get along just fine with my low-tech lead-acid golf cart batteries for everything else except the microwave.

I'm liking what Renogy is doing with their pricing. Batteries in the $500 range are getting tempting. Uncle_bob, let us know what you are doing with the Renogy batteries and how they perform. I hope Will Prowse makes a video of a Renogy battery teardown like this one for a Battleborn

As Uncle_bob says - "lots of fun".

If I had the extra cash and space, I'd go with Victron and Battleborns. But the Renogy batteries and inverter/charger fit (and I mean a tight fit) the confined space I had available. And, I'm all in at $2700 self installed. But that is just for two 100Ah batteries.


Uncle bob, do you have an Amazon link to the $518 Renogy batteries. I can't find them at that price.
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Old 12-06-2019, 06:21 PM   #19
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I do believe the renogy prices where for cyber Monday only. I also just checked Amazon and the pricing is a penny short of $900. I just looked at Renogy's web site and the "smart" version is sold out but on the right side of the page they listed the ?older version? SKU: RNG-BATT-LFP-12-100-BC



The sold out one states "NEW" just released.
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Old 12-06-2019, 07:11 PM   #20
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bkitchens
Bill
In reading the above posts If you are looking long term consider the Xantrex XC2000/1000. It has the ability to charge 0v batteries with the lithium charge profile program. I've attached the spec sheet.

If I'm correct your converter is mounted in your breaker panel and you may have to bypass/disconnect and mount the new inverter elsewhere. WFCO just released a new Lithium converter.


https://wfcoelectronics.com/wfco-ele...-ion-solution/

XC2000 -- 2000 watt inverter pure sine wave -- 80 amp charger with dead battery charging capabilities-- 30 amp transfer switch with pass through --
Attached Files
File Type: pdf freedom_xc_spec_sheet.pdf (578.7 KB, 4 views)
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