lithium batteries advise wanted

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 07:10
ThreadID: 129248 Views:2763 Replies:9 FollowUps:4
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Hi all as per previous post we are updating our batteries
And charger
We are now thinking Lithium
Currently have 4 100 ah batteries and 4 solar panels
So would like advise from people who have lithiums
pros/cons
Obviously will cost us more but we think it may be worth it
Thanks
Chris
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Reply By: MarkB - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 08:07

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 08:07
Hi Chris

We put a 200a/h lithium battery into our 2012BT. We are extremely happy with its performance. It chargers quickly and takes as many as amps that it is given.
It is much lighter than AGM's - we were told we saved 100kg with a 200 a/h system.
They are more expensive but we definitely think they are worth it.

Good luck with your decision .

Cheers
Mark
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Reply By: Bushwhackers - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 09:44

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 09:44
Hi Chris,

We have 200ah lithiums installed as well and love it. Having said that we are making our way to Bushtracker to have it upgraded to 300ah.
For us it was all about the weight and rapid charge as we live in it full time so we were prepared to pay the price.
Although it is expensive, we don't regret the decision.

Cheers
Richard
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Reply By: Emu 65 - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 18:39

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 18:39
Hi Chris,

We've only had our 300ah lithium equipped 19' for about a month and have just completed our shakedown trip. Our previous travel experience has been with 100ah gels in a smaller off road caravan.

Although everything is still new, we were really surprised how well this system worked. We tried to work it hard and the anderson connection to the car or the solars replaced what we used in very rapid time (eg less than 30 minutes). We also couldn't get the batteries below 88% full.

Other benefits are floor space and weight is less. Although expensive, we are very glad we made this choice.

Cheers

Paul
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Reply By: Just Wandering - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 22:17

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 22:17
Hi All - I know its a "how long is a piece of string" question and it will be different for each van but I was just wondering what a full 300ah system would cost? We have 4 solar panels and 4 AGM batteries. Thanks
Cheers Tony
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Follow Up By: Bobrovin - Thursday, Mar 20, 2014 at 01:46

Thursday, Mar 20, 2014 at 01:46
Tony
As you say it depends on what you already have and how automated you want the setup to be.
As a guide, after installing my own 200ah setup I did an install of a 300ah setup for a friend so kept track of all costs for him. The total cost was $2400 which included the batteries (12 x 100ah x 3.2v cells), straping, connectors, relays, busbars, wiring, terminals. Plus a Victon BMS600 monitor and individual cell monitor. We used the existing BT solar controller and he already had a good battery charger (not the BT one)
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Follow Up By: Just Wandering - Thursday, Mar 20, 2014 at 05:58

Thursday, Mar 20, 2014 at 05:58
Thanks Bob
Cheers Tony
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Reply By: Sidetracked - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 23:41

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 23:41
We had 200Ah lithiums in our 21ft van and yes they are great, charge up by 11am most mornings, but being heavy power users(lap tops sat TV ect.) on a trip up the Darling River run in early Feb this year in 40+ degrees every day we found we were down to less that 30% some mornings leaving no room if the next day was raining.
So we just put another 200Ah pack on board, because our van was built in sep 13 we were able to just add another pack.
would recommend a min of 300Ah.
In those temps the fridge alone uses 30-40% of batteries on a 200Ah pack.
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Reply By: Chris & Tracy - Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 07:44

Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 07:44
Hi everybody,

Just to let you all know we have taken the plunge and gone for the 300ah lithium pack. Phew, bit of a price jump but after debating all the pros and cons we are hoping that this is the way to go. Been dealing with Chris at Challenge Batteries in Osbourne Park and Andrew at Enerdrive and they have both been extremely helpful with us novices. Thanks everyone for your replies and advice. Much appreciated.

Chris & Tracy
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Follow Up By: Motherhen & Rooster - Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 10:42

Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 10:42
Good news Chris and Tracy, and nice to have a name of someone to go to in Perth. Chris at Challenge Batteries was very helpful when we purchased our Full Rivers in 2008.

Mh
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Reply By: Gone Bush - Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 11:09

Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 11:09
Chris,

This is the company a lot of Caravaners have used: Ev power

Click on the Contact link on their website and you will see they have offices in Balcatta and Margaret River. I believe they have supplied batteries to quite a few vanners over east.

They will be a good source of additional info for you.

Stephen
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Follow Up By: grumpyolephartz - Friday, Apr 04, 2014 at 08:00

Friday, Apr 04, 2014 at 08:00
Stephen, Rod Dilkes at EV Power has supplied lots of batteries to people I know and supplies good support to them.

Regards from us grumpyolephartz, mostly John, but may be Heather

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Reply By: grumpyolephartz - Friday, Apr 04, 2014 at 08:02

Friday, Apr 04, 2014 at 08:02
We have had our November 2011 BT with 200 a/h lithium since new, and although costly, wouldn't be without them. Have thought about getting a 100 a/h to keep a better reserve, but still managing even using a CPAP over nights, satellite TV too.

An issue we have to watch in the past has been that the genny wouldn't charge the battery as well as run the a/c at the same time, if the battery was low. A 60 a/h charger was a trifle hungry when charging at the maximum, as it could until near 90-95% charged!

Such a different charging situation compared to charging AGMs.

I see you have bitten the bullet already. I don't think you will be disappointed
Regards from us grumpyolephartz, mostly John, but may be Heather

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Reply By: Willie - Wednesday, Apr 09, 2014 at 01:07

Wednesday, Apr 09, 2014 at 01:07
Chris,

I upgraded all the electronics in my 2001 16' BT.

I bought 320AH lithium, plus a new smart charger, an 1800w inverter, two wall fans, two double USB outlets for phone charging, two additional 12v outlets had the lights changed to LED and new wiring throughout the van. After I got a gent in Wollongong to do all the work and paid for the parts, I did not get much change out of $6000.

I am on my first trip with the new set-up now and I am really pleased with the lithium batteries. The re-charging time is half that of old lead acid batteries and wonder of wonders - I can actually use a microwave off the batteries now.

The biggest headache for me, was finding somebody to install the batteries and all the monitoring gear. I could find no one on Sydney to do it, which I thought was incredible. Eventually a Bogger gave me a contact in Wollongong - he did a great job.

Cheers,

Willie.

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