RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-15-2017, 10:21 PM   #1
4 Rivet Member
 
fran&frank's Avatar
 
2016 27' Flying Cloud
Hartsburg , Missouri
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 372
Frankís lithium battery and inverter upgrade

Well after weeks of research and asking questions on this forum I am proceeding with my lithium battery and inverter/charger upgrade. After seriously considering Victron and GBS battery packages like many others on this forum have used I went a different direction and bought a Lithionics 330 AH battery. I choose Lithionics because it was competitively priced compared to Victron, was a single battery as opposed to wiring multiple batteries in parallel, is built to order in the U.S. and ships within a few weeks, has an internal BMS that simplifies wiring, and after several discussions with their engineer and CEO I felt they were a solid company. I certainly acknowledge the great packages and technical support AMsolar provides, but I enjoyed researching and sourcing some of my own components and liked the Lithionics battery. Lithionics also just became a Victron dealer and they programmed both devices for their battery before shipping them to me. Lithionics does not have an online retail site but if you make a inquiry using their online contact form they will follow up with you. They appear to primarily work with manufacturers and RV dealers but will work with "knowledgeable DIYers". They were very responsive to my questions.
Step one was to remove the original Lifeline AGM batteries--by the way the batteries and all the original electronics I took out are for sale and only have about 3 months use on them! Next I removed the original converter and AC panel so I could install a new split AC panel so I had a main panel and subpanel to be powered by inverter. I went with a progressive dynamics split panel recommended by Lewster and Troutboy.

Click image for larger version

Name:	origpanel.jpg
Views:	437
Size:	144.3 KB
ID:	281518Click image for larger version

Name:	panel.jpg
Views:	381
Size:	173.8 KB
ID:	281522

Next I had to route two lengths of stranded marine 10/3 AWG triplex wire from the AC panel to the inverter location to provide the AC power to the inverter and then back to the panel for the inverter powered circuits. This will eventually be covered with some wiremold.

Click image for larger version

Name:	wires.jpg
Views:	364
Size:	114.4 KB
ID:	281521

The only practical option for location of the battery and inverter was under the bed, as other have done:

Click image for larger version

Name:	bed.jpg
Views:	355
Size:	142.2 KB
ID:	281515Click image for larger version

Name:	batinv.jpg
Views:	422
Size:	136.4 KB
ID:	281523

Now it’s time to connect up a disconnect switch and fuse on the positive side and a disconnect and shunt for the battery monitor on the negative side. I used 3/16 x 1 inch cooper bar and some 4-0 cables made up at a local battery shop.

Click image for larger version

Name:	top.jpg
Views:	419
Size:	185.3 KB
ID:	281520

Since I mounted the Victron inverter /charger horizontally I removed the top cover to provide better ventilation.

Click image for larger version

Name:	side.jpg
Views:	387
Size:	171.7 KB
ID:	281519

I haven’t decided where I want to ultimately mount the battery monitor, or if I am going to get a remote panel for the inverter, but for now everything is reasonably accessible through the door on the front of the bed.
Click image for larger version

Name:	front.jpg
Views:	400
Size:	155.2 KB
ID:	281516
Last step was to hook up the mppt soalr controller with my original stock solar panels. Next project is to replace the two stock 53 watt panels with four 100 watt panels.

Click image for larger version

Name:	mppt.jpg
Views:	389
Size:	161.3 KB
ID:	281517

Everything appears to be working. I do need to still program a "charge assistant" in the inverter/charger so when the temperature sensor on the battery monitor detects temperatures are below 32 F it will disable the charger. I'm awaiting delivery this week of the temperature sensor and the cable to connect by laptop to the inverter to do this. Thanks to several people on this forum who've been very helpful with their responses to my earlier posted questions and pms!
__________________
Frank & Fran
2016 27' FC FB with 600 W solar
2016 Ford F150 EcoBoost
Equalizer Hitch
fran&frank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2017, 09:31 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
DaveP's Avatar

 
2004 28' Classic
Monument , Colorado
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 935
Very nice job!! What was the cost of the Lithionics battery?
__________________
DaveP
2004 Airstream Classic 28 "Willard"
2014 Ford F150 FX4 Ecoboost
DaveP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2017, 11:43 AM   #3
4 Rivet Member
 
Ohiobrits's Avatar
 
2015 27' FB International
Howard , Ohio
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 267
Looking good!
__________________
Boundless Power Systems LLC
Mount Vernon, OH
27FB International / Porsche Cayenne Diesel
Ohiobrits is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2017, 12:29 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
BambiTex's Avatar
 
1955 22' Safari
1967 26' Overlander
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Clear Lake Shores , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,342
Ad?

How much for the Lifeline AGM's?
BambiTex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2017, 01:10 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
KJRitchie's Avatar
 
2008 25' Classic
Full Time , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4,309
More info on Lithionics
https://www.thefitrv.com/rv-tips/wha...to-lithionics/

Kelvin
__________________
2008 Classic 25fb "Silver Mistress"
2015 Ram 2500 6.7L Cummins. Crew Cab, 4x4, Silver
KJRitchie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2017, 01:10 PM   #6
Full time Airstreamer
 
SCOTTinNJ's Avatar
 
2014 30' FB FC Bunk
Anywhere , USA Living.Somewhere.Yonder
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,356
Nice work.
__________________
@living.somewhere.yonder | Instagram
SCOTTinNJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2017, 01:39 PM   #7
Refugee from Napa, CA
 
Photobum's Avatar
 
2015 25' Flying Cloud
Currently Looking...
Formerly Napa , On the road
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 582
Images: 5
Blog Entries: 1
What is the weight of the new battery? Cost?
__________________
Instagram. Alluminator
Photobum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2017, 02:28 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
waninae39's Avatar

 
2017 22' Sport
NCR , Ontario
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,411
great job

can you post a schematic of your work and a link to the supplier

cheer
waninae39 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2017, 02:30 PM   #9
3 Rivet Member
 
2017 30' Classic
Cave Creek , Arizona
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by fran&frank View Post
Well after weeks of research and asking questions on this forum I am proceeding with my lithium battery and inverter/charger upgrade. After seriously considering Victron and GBS battery packages like many others on this forum have used I went a different direction and bought a Lithionics 330 AH battery. I choose Lithionics because it was competitively priced compared to Victron, was a single battery as opposed to wiring multiple batteries in parallel, is built to order in the U.S. and ships within a few weeks, has an internal BMS that simplifies wiring, and after several discussions with their engineer and CEO I felt they were a solid company. I certainly acknowledge the great packages and technical support AMsolar provides, but I enjoyed researching and sourcing some of my own components and liked the Lithionics battery. Lithionics also just became a Victron dealer and they programmed both devices for their battery before shipping them to me. Lithionics does not have an online retail site but if you make a inquiry using their online contact form they will follow up with you. They appear to primarily work with manufacturers and RV dealers but will work with "knowledgeable DIYers". They were very responsive to my questions.
Step one was to remove the original Lifeline AGM batteries--by the way the batteries and all the original electronics I took out are for sale and only have about 3 months use on them! Next I removed the original converter and AC panel so I could install a new split AC panel so I had a main panel and subpanel to be powered by inverter. I went with a progressive dynamics split panel recommended by Lewster and Troutboy.

Attachment 281518Attachment 281522

Next I had to route two lengths of stranded marine 10/3 AWG triplex wire from the AC panel to the inverter location to provide the AC power to the inverter and then back to the panel for the inverter powered circuits. This will eventually be covered with some wiremold.

Attachment 281521

The only practical option for location of the battery and inverter was under the bed, as other have done:

Attachment 281515Attachment 281523

Now itís time to connect up a disconnect switch and fuse on the positive side and a disconnect and shunt for the battery monitor on the negative side. I used 3/16 x 1 inch cooper bar and some 4-0 cables made up at a local battery shop.

Attachment 281520

Since I mounted the Victron inverter /charger horizontally I removed the top cover to provide better ventilation.

Attachment 281519

I havenít decided where I want to ultimately mount the battery monitor, or if I am going to get a remote panel for the inverter, but for now everything is reasonably accessible through the door on the front of the bed.
Attachment 281516
Last step was to hook up the mppt soalr controller with my original stock solar panels. Next project is to replace the two stock 53 watt panels with four 100 watt panels.

Attachment 281517

Everything appears to be working. I do need to still program a "charge assistant" in the inverter/charger so when the temperature sensor on the battery monitor detects temperatures are below 32 F it will disable the charger. I'm awaiting delivery this week of the temperature sensor and the cable to connect by laptop to the inverter to do this. Thanks to several people on this forum who've been very helpful with their responses to my earlier posted questions and pms!


What is the model of the Progressive Dynamics dual panel?
__________________
Pete B55
2017 Classic
2017 F-250
Pete B55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2017, 02:59 PM   #10
Full Time Adventurer
 
BoldAdventure's Avatar
 
2007 27' International CCD FB
Nomadic , USA
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,748
Looks great. Love that Victron hardware. Been thinking about ebaying all my Blue Sky stuff and inverter and upgrading. I love Victron's integration with it's systems and the bluetooth and app are nice for us techies.
__________________
Family of 5 exploring the USA with a Ram Power Wagon & Airstream in tow.
OUR BLOG | INSTAGRAM
BoldAdventure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2017, 03:45 PM   #11
2 Rivet Member
 
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 34
Please describe your AGM set up
Your location
And price
Thanks
Steve Stanton
asherstanton@gmail.com
Asherstanton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2017, 10:17 PM   #12
2 Rivet Member
 
2018 25' International
Sioux Falls , South Dakota
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 66
Images: 2
Blog Entries: 1
Thumbs up Frank & Fran: Extremely "knowledgeable DIYers".

Wow Extremely thoughtful, well designed, and professional job!

Clear & clean presentation.

We hope, someday, to be able to replicate your fine work.

It seem that the RV solar power space is becoming a competitive market.

More choices, better pricing, helpful suppliers, and more convenience for customers.

Pretty soon, Airstreamers will be able to place complete solar power system orders to be shipped to them or their installer. All we will need to do is to specify our AS's year, model, and length. Bingo.

Supply and Demand still works!

Great Job, and good luck down the road. Thanks for sharing.
DaytonaDan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2017, 08:46 AM   #13
Rivet Master
 
Troutboy's Avatar
 
2017 23' Flying Cloud
Parker , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 1,651
Images: 1
Frank, well done! Looks great and I envy all that space and how well you used it. I'm still waiting for my batteries (Victron), and told they will be here in a week or so.

I highly recommend the remote for the Victron multiplus, but you have easy access, so maybe it doesn't matter.

I hope you get great use out of the system!
__________________
Thanks,
Troutboy
Troutboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2017, 01:50 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
wulfraat's Avatar
 
2017 30' International
Broomfield , Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,684
Images: 1
Frank nice job. I like the simplicity of the install.... Question for you based on the photos -

Seems that the only 12v device that you have connected to the batteries themselves is your MPPT charge controller.

Regarding other 12v devices in the trailer (overhead lights, etc..) are you powering those from the converter which is fed 120v from the inverter when not on shore power?

IE - when not on shore power, do you first invert 12v -> 120v to feed the panel and converter, then use the stock converter to convert back down to 12v to power the 12v panel that feeds the various accessories connected to the 12v bus?

Thanks!
wulfraat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2017, 10:01 PM   #15
4 Rivet Member
 
fran&frank's Avatar
 
2016 27' Flying Cloud
Hartsburg , Missouri
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 372
Thanks everyone for the nice comments. I was out of town a few days and will try to get caught up with questions.

wulfraat and waninae39: I labeled the picture below in lieu of a schematic. There's is a positive wire that goes from the copper bar between the battery and disconnect switch to the original airstream positive bus bar to power the dc circuits, so its fed by the battery and also the converter as long as the disconnects are turned to on, but battery only if the positive disconnect is off.

Click image for larger version

Name:	dc battery connections.jpg
Views:	799
Size:	67.8 KB
ID:	281796

For those asking about the supplier and cost of the battery: I got the battery from Lithionics Battery after contacting them via there website. I negotiated a price with them with the understanding I would post about my install to raise awareness about their product with Airstream owners. All I can say about price is they are competitive with Victron battery packages from other dealers. For a limited time in 2017, Lithionics Battery is offering the batteries for sale factory-direct. Once the OEM and dealer networks are established, they will be sold through RV dealers. You can contact the factory in Clearwater Florida directly at 727-726-4204, or, by info@lithionicsbattery.com."
Check out the video link in KJRitchie's post for more info on Lithionics. The battery weighs 115 lbs.

Bold: So far I am liking the Victron equipment a lot too. The end user documentation is not great but with help from dealers and this forum you can figure out what you need to. I haven't decided whether to go with the blue tooth connections or remote panels or some combination. I hoping eventually the inverter will also go blue tooth like the battery monitor and mppt so its all blue tooth!

Asherstanton, sorry my AGMs are sold.

The new split AC distribution panel is the PD55B006 intended for 50 amp service with a 30 amp sub panel that I bought from Best Converter. My only complication with it was the sub panel had three slots which let me use a 30 amp breaker for the main and two tandem 20 amp breakers for four circuits on the inverter. Because I needed tandem breakers to get 4 circuits I could not use the full-sized gfci breaker so I put a 20 amp gfci outlet in the line in lieu of the breaker. I don't know if there is better model that gives more slots for the inverter powered subpanel.

Remaining tasks are to program the Victron inverter charger to shut the charger off when temperatures are 32 and below and to replace my two stock 53 W panels with 4 100 W panels--will do a separate post about that. Then to take the trailer down to the Texas coast for a week in April to try try out the new systems!--Frank
__________________
Frank & Fran
2016 27' FC FB with 600 W solar
2016 Ford F150 EcoBoost
Equalizer Hitch
fran&frank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2017, 10:56 PM   #16
Rivet Master
 
wulfraat's Avatar
 
2017 30' International
Broomfield , Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,684
Images: 1
Frankís lithium battery and inverter upgrade

Thanks Frank. Super helpful. Love the simplicity.

Did you install a D.C.-D.C. Converter (like the victron Orion) to regulate the voltage from the tow vehicle plug so as not to charge the battery with an incorrect voltage from the tow vehicle alternator when towing? Or do you simply disconnect the battery from the system when towing to avoid the 13.x volt charging source?

I assume the latter would be sketchy if ever the trailer separated from the tow vehicle as there would be no 12v source onboard to lock up the brakes once the breakaway switch is tripped....
wulfraat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2017, 11:15 PM   #17
4 Rivet Member
 
fran&frank's Avatar
 
2016 27' Flying Cloud
Hartsburg , Missouri
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 372
I asked Lithionics if I should be concerned about the tow vehicle as a charge source and they suggested their built in BMS could handle it. But I've alos wondered about putting in a disconnect so I could shut off the tow vehicle as a 12 v source, and let the brakes work off the the lithium battery and solar? -- Frank
__________________
Frank & Fran
2016 27' FC FB with 600 W solar
2016 Ford F150 EcoBoost
Equalizer Hitch
fran&frank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2017, 12:05 AM   #18
Rivet Master
 
wulfraat's Avatar
 
2017 30' International
Broomfield , Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,684
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by fran&frank View Post
I asked Lithionics if I should be concerned about the tow vehicle as a charge source and they suggested their built in BMS could handle it.
Interesting.... I thought charging at anything other than the recommended voltage range (14.0-14.4v for Lithionics per their website) was a no-no for lithiums...

Quote:
But I've alos wondered about putting in a disconnect so I could shut off the tow vehicle as a 12 v source, and let the brakes work off the the lithium battery and solar? -- Frank

I believe you could disconnect the main TV 12v charging line from the hot 12v bus in the trailer to eliminate charging but the brakes would still be sent voltage from a secondary variable voltage line in the trailer connection. I think You'd have to look carefully at the wiring schematics to be sure...

But I'm no expert
wulfraat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2017, 12:15 AM   #19
Rivet Master
 
Troutboy's Avatar
 
2017 23' Flying Cloud
Parker , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 1,651
Images: 1
I thought it was important to separate this as well. It is for the Victron setup, and can damage the BMS in the Victron setup. That is why they have the Orion D.C.-DC as you mention. I'm not sure what it does to the battery, maybe Lewster can answer if the battery is at risk.

This is the explanation on an AS install from AMsolar, and they call out BMS shorting.

"Because the BMS on the Essential system acts on the negative side of the batteries (ground control), the negative (or chassis) from the tow vehicle with the alternator is at a slightly different voltage than the negative output of the lithium system. This creates a design challenge since shorting the negative output of the lithium system to the tow vehicle chassis would damage the BMS.

In a van conversion or coach, the issue of having two different negatives is easily resolved by routing the output of the lithium battery through the Orion 12/12 DC converter. The negative output of the Orion converter can then be tied to the chassis and all positives for the DC loads get re-routed to the positive output of the Orion. If the total DC load is more than 30A, multiple Orion converters can be connected in parallel. Inverters, or anything else that can have their negative isolated from the chassis will just connect directly to the output of the lithium battery system without going through the Orion converter.

In trailers, the issue of having two different negatives is solved differently. In this situation, the Orion converter goes on the input side of the lithium system, thus isolating the trailer from the tow vehicleís chassis. When this is done, the Orion converter has to be modified so itís output voltage is 14.2V instead of the factory 12.0V. This is accomplished by carefully tuning a potentiometer inside the converter that is accessible when the cooling fan is removed. This design will limit alternator charging current to 30A, but it will protect the BMS from having itís input and output short circuited."
__________________
Thanks,
Troutboy
Troutboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2017, 06:52 AM   #20
4 Rivet Member
 
fran&frank's Avatar
 
2016 27' Flying Cloud
Hartsburg , Missouri
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 372
I'm going to check back with the engineer at Lithionics on the possibiity of the tow vehicle charge voltage damaging the battery or BMS and will report back what I find out. In the mean time I will investigate if its possible to use a disconnect on the charge line from the tow vehicle connection whilie letting the tow vehicle continue to operate the breaks and not disabling the breakaway switch function for the brakes--I think this should be possible. --Frank
__________________
Frank & Fran
2016 27' FC FB with 600 W solar
2016 Ford F150 EcoBoost
Equalizer Hitch
fran&frank is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Battery and Inverter Upgrade Boxster1971 Sprinter and B-van Forum 21 08-17-2018 12:04 PM
Replace stock inverter when going to lithium? fran&frank Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 5 12-12-2016 11:36 PM
Lithium Battery - 2012 doublebubble Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 23 08-05-2012 10:43 AM
Lithium ion battery sk8r29 Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 18 03-30-2011 02:33 AM
Frank and Peggy say Hi to everyone and are really glad to be here. lhs49errag@b Member Introductions 4 03-23-2008 09:12 PM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:50 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.