Lithium Batteries

Submitted: Friday, Dec 21, 2012 at 20:45
ThreadID: 128457 Views:3846 Replies:4 FollowUps:3
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Does anyone have any feedback on how lithium batteries are performing at this early stage? I understand there are some Bushtrackers out there now with these batteries and that the small pop top version also now has them. I guess one of the key issues is how they perform on corrugated roads and whether their charging rate is any better than the existing batteries. And Merry Christmas to all Boggers!
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Reply By: R&R Leisure Time - Saturday, Dec 22, 2012 at 04:29

Saturday, Dec 22, 2012 at 04:29
I have just picked my van up and have completed about 2500 klm with it all on the hard top but a lot of that was also on roads that may as well been corrugated gravel
In my previous van I had 4x 120h full river's and there is no comparison in the charge rate
The system is expensive to set up (200amh) but it is the only way I would go now after using it

Ron
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Reply By: grumpyolephartz - Sunday, Dec 23, 2012 at 06:38

Sunday, Dec 23, 2012 at 06:38
G'day Wombats, unfortunately our BT has been in the shed for several months so we haven't been using it.

The charge rate is pretty well as flat out as you can pump amps in. If you were to have a 60 amp/hr battery charger, expect the batteries to charge at about 59 amps or there abouts, so the charging is almost lineal. If you had discharged by 120 a/h, you could recharge in two hours to 100% with the electric battery charger. Likewise, if you had a solar charge capacity of 30 a/h, you could recharge in four hours or there abouts.

The charge efficiency is set in the gauge at 99%. You have to say wow to that sort of efficiency.

I love em. Cheers, John
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Reply By: mhwombats - Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 19:11

Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 19:11
Thank you both for that feedback. I am watching this development with great interest because battery capacity often seems to be the factor limiting how long we can stay at some of our favourite locations (often national parks where generators are not allowed and the weather turns overcast).

The main culprit in my case is the fridge. My HDC 221 performs about as claimed in the product sheet but this means that at ambient temperatures around 30 deg C the fridge chews up about 20% of my (theoretical) 400 amphour battery capacity each day. Other things like the TV also chew a lot of power but at least they are optional; the fridge is not. Of course with AGM batteries I try to keep minimum charge levels above 70% if possible because of the dramatic reduction in battery life if you go lower. It seems with lithium batteries you can go down to 20% charge (or even 10%) without problems as long as you have the right control equipment.

Please keep us updated with your experiences and also any others out there with experience of lithium batteries.

Thanks,

Garry
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Follow Up By: grumpyolephartz - Wednesday, Dec 26, 2012 at 09:08

Wednesday, Dec 26, 2012 at 09:08
Really impressed Garry, that if I have the charger plugged into the 240v after a long night of using power, I can see almost 80a/h registered on the amp meter. Actually the morning we went to BTI to collect our BT, Peter T told us how impressed they were with the discharge and charge rates. To pull out 50 a/h for two hours and then recharge at nearly 80 a/h, an hour and a quarter later it was just on 100%.

If we wish while driving, I can also run the car and use the 12v to 12v charger to boost. It will whack through 25a/h to supplement the solar. The impact of a low internal resistance to charging is dramatic.

I have the recommended parameters for the battery management systems for re-programming. Mine wasn't quite right to start, but it has been good since I re-did it. It just used to lose it's place. Not so now.
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Reply By: Dynamic Duo - Tuesday, Jan 01, 2013 at 20:08

Tuesday, Jan 01, 2013 at 20:08
Hi john and heather
we are very interested also with the lithium batteries , are you saying when they are charging the charge rate does not taper off as the agm batties do.

with mine if we use say 100 ah after sunset in the following day the charge rate increases as the sun rises but as the batteries charge the rate of charge drops off as the batteries get fuller, as say at midday we may only be at 90 % but it is only letting in maybe 7amp from 4 x 135 panels , because of this we sometimes struggle to get full charge
cheers Kev & Chris
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Follow Up By: grumpyolephartz - Thursday, Jan 03, 2013 at 00:32

Thursday, Jan 03, 2013 at 00:32
Kev and Chris, I guess you are talking about AGM or lead acid batteries that need an age to charge. The lithium battery pack can be full from under 50% by about lunch time.

I actually put a Ranox (now no longer for sale new) 12v to 12v charger to charge from our car to fully charge out 360 a/h battery pack in our previous camper. The only easy way to charge them is to ensure you can charge at 14.4v and be able to float when the battery resistance builds. A 12v to 12v charger can enable you to help charge. When you read a little more below about programmability of chargers, perhaps the solar charger isn't as programmable as some other equipment. MPPT chargers (Wikipedia ) are more effective than most that are fitted. Mine isn't MPPT but the lithium systems are better able to cope than some. We have a Xantrex C60 like this as our charge controller C60 Charge Controller

That Ranox charger is tops to program too, to charge our lithium battery pack as it is so easy to access the system and program for it.

If anyone offers any BT owner one for sale, they are very friendly. Ranox weren't manufactured any more when the assemblers decided to charge a lot more and the business owners decided they couldn't get another $100 from the market per unit. They have LEDs for the activity and a small LCD screen to tell you the state of charge of your car and the house battery They are capable of charging at up to 25 a/h but get a bit warmer doing that. The input fuse holder is a bit weak in standard form and you are better with the larger form fuses at 30 amps
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Follow Up By: Bobrovin - Thursday, Jan 03, 2013 at 05:52

Thursday, Jan 03, 2013 at 05:52
"are you saying when they are charging the charge rate does not taper off as the agm batties do. "

Hi Kev
In a word YES.
They will take whatever charge your panels, 240v charger or both together can produce right up until they are full.
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