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Old 11-22-2022, 03:31 PM   #1
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Battle Born GC2 batteries in winter storage

Looking for some advice for storage of our BB GC2H batteries in our Classic. AS Support says to remove them and place them on a maintainer, and BB says to bring them to 100% SOC and remove one negative lead. From this forum, the consensus seems to be either to disconnect and leave them be, or to remove them.

We have 270W of solar. The storage is uncovered, and seven miles away, so I check on the trailer once a week. Our winter is not extremely cold in SE Virginia.

Advice?

Thanks.

Bill
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Old 11-22-2022, 03:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BGClassic View Post
Looking for some advice for storage of our BB GC2H batteries in our Classic. AS Support says to remove them and place them on a maintainer, and BB says to bring them to 100% SOC and remove one negative lead. From this forum, the consensus seems to be either to disconnect and leave them be, or to remove them.

We have 270W of solar. Our winter is not extremely cold in SE Virginia.

Advice?

Thanks.

Bill
LiFePo4 batteries do not self discharge, so you dont need to keep charging them, like AGMs. They should not, respectively will not charge below 32F so if it gets that cold disconnect the solar charger. They do freeze below -4F so if it doesn't get that cold, you can just leave them put...
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Old 11-22-2022, 04:36 PM   #3
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Thanks. I'm led to believe the BMS will prevent charging below 35F, correct?
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Old 11-22-2022, 04:39 PM   #4
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IMHO

you can leave them inside either disconnected
or
leave them connected and wrap them with heating pads

its - 8c here and with the heating pads , my batteries are at 12C

if the LION go below 0C, they will simply not charge, but will not freeze
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Old 11-22-2022, 04:56 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by BGClassic View Post
Thanks. I'm led to believe the BMS will prevent charging below 35F, correct?
BBs actually cut off at 25F... but they never commented on how they charge below 32F. You actually can charge below 32F but just very very slow but slow to the point it really doesn't make any sense... but then the bms does not control the charge current provided to the battery... not sure how they do it. I'd still play it save and not charge below 32F an if it can get close to -4 id take them somewhere warm...
If you have to use them in the cold think about insulation and heating...

I actually found something... so they decided to not cut off at 32F because they are assuming youd be charging at low C rate so instead of protecting the battery they opted to give the customer a wider temp range.
So when in storage and it can get to 32F definitely play safe and disconnect any charging.
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Old 11-22-2022, 05:20 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by waninae39 View Post
IMHO

you can leave them inside either disconnected
or
leave them connected and wrap them with heating pads

its - 8c here and with the heating pads , my batteries are at 12C

if the LION go below 0C, they will simply not charge, but will not freeze
Thanks. You certainly have a colder winter than us.
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Old 11-22-2022, 05:21 PM   #7
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Thanks for the video, have not seen that one.
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Old 11-23-2022, 10:50 AM   #8
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All battery chemistries have a " self discharge rate " - it just varies between the chemistries , lithium is very low / slow discharge rate .
Then lithium batteries should be stored at a nominal voltage - about 70-80 SOC .
With the cost of lithium batteries & a trailer - completely disconnecting batteries from trailer & each other .
The temp sensors , like anything else can fail - so doing your part is more safe .
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Old 11-23-2022, 11:22 AM   #9
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JohnTF,

Thanks. I should have researched better, I watched the video above and several others, and read the BB instructions. I went ahead and just removed the batteries. It was a pain, pretty tight, but not too hard. We get mild winters here, but we can't predict the weather.

BB instructions say to charge to 100%, and then take off charge/disconnect.

You're correct, we must do our part to minimize any damage.
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Old 11-23-2022, 11:25 AM   #10
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Follow the manufacturers instructions as they warranty them….whats the issue…
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Old 11-23-2022, 12:59 PM   #11
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Follow the manufacturers instructions as they warranty them….whats the issue…
Because manufacturers will not necessarily recommend the best practice for the best performance and longest life See the video I posted above BB opted to not protect the battery over providing a wider range of charging temperature. But they sure factor this into their warranty policy.

Lifepo4s discharge at ~2%/mon imho negligible for winter storage assuming you store them at >50%. To the best of my knowledge it does not hurt the battery to store it at 100% soc but rather the Degradation process when charging the last few % to 100%. Imho if you are charging to 100% throughout the year it’s not going to make a difference. It’s questionable how much of a difference it makes anyways and weather that’s worthwhile. I charge my batteries to ~3.55V per cell that’s ~95% of charge although absorption would be faster at 3.65V but I have a large bank anyways so plenty of headroom. But personally i wouldn’t care if I get 6 or 7000 cycles out of them… (6000 cycles is 16y worth of one cycle every day) that I don’t know how many years from now and batteries are still advancing quickly so by the time I’d get to significant degradation I will want to have them replaced with something different anyways… but that’s also the reason I charge mine to only 3.55V since I will probably recycle them as an extra bank at home instead of just junking them out…
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Old 11-24-2022, 10:01 AM   #12
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I was late in addressing the battery storage, we already had a few nights in the upper 20s. I assumed the BMS would prevent charging at a low temp, and there's no sun (solar) at night. So, I'm fully winterized now. Not worried about 6000 or 7000 cycles, I will likely not have this that long, or be able to tow it by then.
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Old 11-24-2022, 10:07 AM   #13
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I have two BB GC2H batteries in my '22 Basecamp and live in the mountains of Northern CA where we eperience low temps in the teens or on rare occaisions in the single digits. We have just gone thru an unusual period of Novemeber chill with morning in the high teens, but afternoons above freezing. The "H" in your battleborn GC2H's is stands for heated. The batteries should not be charged at temps below 35, so the heater kicks on in each battery at about 35 degrees and heats the battery to 45 degrees where charging can safely take place.

I used to leave my past trailers with lead acid batteries plugged in all winter and occaisonally check their water level...not with the battleborns.

Here's how I work it now: I have everything shut down in the trailer (but leave the "kill switch" on) and the draw from whatever phantom source is about 2 watts now. I monitor the state of charge of the batteries (with a Victron BMV 712) and can see the SOC level drop over a period of weeks. When the SOC reaches 30-40%, I turn on the battery heater (I had the heater switch installed when the batteries were installed ) for a day or so then plug the trailer in to shore power until the batteries are back up to 100%. Turn off the battery heater and repeat. I believe this should adequately protect these batteries as they are not likely to suffer damage at low temps as some previous poster has stated. Not sure that removing the batteries is a great idea, but each to his own. I have not discussed this with Battleborn, but believe from their literature that they made the battery heaters to be used in this manner.
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Old 11-24-2022, 10:33 AM   #14
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The battery heaters were energized until a few days ago, so they were energized during our cold spell. Once again, at night, with no sunlight, I don't know if the heaters turned on or not to support charging.

I believe the batteries would be fine if left installed, and others on this forum appear to do the same, from what I've read. I emailed AS support, and they recommended removal, as you don't know what can happen to the solar panels, or the circuitry while in storage.

I'll see it the trailer's electronics wakes up in the Spring once the batteries are installed.
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Old 11-24-2022, 11:35 AM   #15
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I have 2 BB GC2H in the battery box of my 27FB. For the last 2 winters' for storage, I charge them to 100%, then disconnect the ground. Take about 15 seconds. Up here, we can get temps in the -35 C range for days or weeks at a time.

In the spring, I hook up the ground, and the batteries still read 100 % SOC on my Victron shunt. The batteries do not seem to have suffered any ill effects from the 3-4 months of cold winter storage.
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Old 11-26-2022, 10:41 AM   #16
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Agreed. Lewster told me, after he installed my setup, to just charge them fully and then disconnect the batteries using the switches he installed. When I get ready to go a few months later, they are still fully charged. This has worked for me every year since 2017.

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Old 11-27-2022, 10:27 AM   #17
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Hi

Folks seem to get really confused between various lithium battery chemistries. The only one that matters here are LiFePO4 chemistry batteries. Lithium ion is something different and it has it's own limits.

Your BB's ( that have LiFeP04 cells in them ) have a BMS built in. You paid for a good BMS and you got one. That BMS will protect the batteries when they get cold. It will not allow them to charge at a temperature that would damage them. This is automatic and you don't need to do anything to make it happen.

LiFePO4 cells freeze at something like -40F (or -40C ... makes no difference). They use them in cars and those cars sit out in parking lots unheated and unloved for weeks at a time. The batteries do fine. Tesla even has a test site up in Alaska to make sure this is true. The only reason you see -4F or -20C on the cells is the cell manufacturer can only test them to that limit.

All batteries do self discharge. How much is a function of temperature. When it gets cold, self discharge gets really really small. If it's hot out, yes you may well see some level of drop in storage.

Bottom line: charge them up, disconnect them, leave them be. We've done that for many years with our BB's. There's been no problem at all with them.

Bob
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Old 11-28-2022, 07:13 AM   #18
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Bob,

Thanks for your input. I remember reading one of your posts stating you left the batteries installed over the winter, even in frigid PA. Airstream support recommended I remove them, so I did. I did assume the BB's were well engineered, and would protect from cold weather charging. Just glad I took lots of pics during the removal.
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Old 11-28-2022, 07:48 AM   #19
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Your BB's ( that have LiFeP04 cells in them ) have a BMS built in. You paid for a good BMS and you got one. That BMS will protect the batteries when they get cold. It will not allow them to charge at a temperature that would damage them. This is automatic and you don't need to do anything to make it happen.
Actually, BBs bms is rather stupid compared to many other BMS on the market these days can do...
Its fine but just about that...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BGClassic View Post
Bob,
Thanks for your input. I remember reading one of your posts stating you left the batteries installed over the winter, even in frigid PA. Airstream support recommended I remove them, so I did. I did assume the BB's were well engineered, and would protect from cold weather charging. Just glad I took lots of pics during the removal.
beware BB allows lower than recommended temperature charging without knowing but assuming it would be low C charging... so its safe to leave inside but definitely disconnect from charging if it gets to 32F
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Old 11-28-2022, 08:25 AM   #20
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Actually, BBs bms is rather stupid compared to many other BMS on the market these days can do...
Its fine but just about that...


beware BB allows lower than recommended temperature charging without knowing but assuming it would be low C charging... so its safe to leave inside but definitely disconnect from charging if it gets to 32F
Thanks. I intend to remove them each winter, and if we camp in cold weather, I will run the heaters.
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