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Old 03-14-2023, 07:08 AM   #1
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? for Lithium users

Thinking of Lithium conversion. It's my understand I would need to change my converter to charge them properly. I have the WF8955PEC. This brings up my question. assuming I stay with a 55 amp converter how much will this draw on the 110 volt side. My concern is when Batteries our drawn way down and the shore power plugged into my Honda 2000I generator. will that converter draw more than the 15amps provided by the generator and trip the overload circuit? I never had a problem with the lead acid, but they will never take the full charge of the converter. Also at home I plug into a garage outlet. this brings up another question it appears that the converter has 40 amp fuses in the charging circuit. how can the 55 amps be achieved with the 40 amp fuses?
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Old 03-14-2023, 09:20 AM   #2
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Following...and do you need a DC/DC charger in order to charge from hte tow vehicle?
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Old 03-14-2023, 10:12 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by NEWYORKHILLBILLY View Post
Thinking of Lithium conversion. It's my understand I would need to change my converter to charge them properly. I have the WF8955PEC. This brings up my question. assuming I stay with a 55 amp converter how much will this draw on the 110 volt side. My concern is when Batteries our drawn way down and the shore power plugged into my Honda 2000I generator. will that converter draw more than the 15amps provided by the generator and trip the overload circuit? I never had a problem with the lead acid, but they will never take the full charge of the converter. Also at home I plug into a garage outlet. this brings up another question it appears that the converter has 40 amp fuses in the charging circuit. how can the 55 amps be achieved with the 40 amp fuses?
If the batteries are down, they will attempt to draw the full output of the converter. As to whether it will actually be 55 amps depends on the wire length & size, converter design, etc.

My 35 amp converter draws 34.5 amps when my 3 100 amp hour Battleborn batteries are less than full. The input at full output according to Progressive Dynamics should be 550 watts, which at first glance should be around 4.5 amps (amps = watts /voltage). In reality, mine draws 10.5 amps. Why? power factor which is the result of most non resistive loads on AC.

I find that much of a difference from the specs unusual, but according to the technical support at Progressive Dynamics, the 10.5 amps at full load is to be expected.

The short answer is you will probably be OK with a 2K generator but will find it drawing more current than you expect.

The 2 40 amp fuses are for reverse polarity protection, and are in parallel, and are designed to open on the dead short that connecting the batteries backwards would produce. Wired in parallel makes them the equivalent of an 80 amp fuse, so they should not be a problem.
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Old 03-14-2023, 10:44 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by NEWYORKHILLBILLY View Post
Thinking of Lithium conversion. It's my understand I would need to change my converter to charge them properly. I have the WF8955PEC. This brings up my question. assuming I stay with a 55 amp converter how much will this draw on the 110 volt side. My concern is when Batteries our drawn way down and the shore power plugged into my Honda 2000I generator. will that converter draw more than the 15amps provided by the generator and trip the overload circuit? I never had a problem with the lead acid, but they will never take the full charge of the converter. Also at home I plug into a garage outlet. this brings up another question it appears that the converter has 40 amp fuses in the charging circuit. how can the 55 amps be achieved with the 40 amp fuses?
The big question is do you have solar? We are having no problem keeping our two 100 ah SOK batteries 100% full most days in Arizona and New Mexico. We donít go to places with shore power, nor do we need a generator. In our 5.0 our WFCO charger was disabled for nearly three years and didnít miss it. Currently we have 160 watts on the roof and our 100 watt portable.

Now we did have four cloudy days with snow and rain in New Mexico, where our SOC got down to 45%, but two days later our 260 watts of solar got our batteries back to 100%.

Waiting at home are two 200 watt panels that will probably be overkill (560 watts) to be installed in May. Once the 400 watts are installed the portable will not be needed. However, Iíll be installing an inverter for toast, occasional microwave, and, we believe, Terry will be getting a c-pap in May. If not for the c-pap Iíd only be adding one 200 watt panel. I find portables a PITA and it wonít be needed, even in shade, with 350 or more watts on the roof. Weíre having no problems charging our three laptops and two cell phones too.

Do we need DC-DC? No, going on two straight months starting January 11, our solar has done its job (even though I have a Victron DC-DC sitting at home that was purchased for a voltage regulator that probably will be sold). Do we reach 100% every day? No, but you donít need to reach 100% daily with lithium. Plus, I donít want to add additional wiring in the truck or camper.

We foolishly thought we needed a lithium specific charger, a Victron Blue Smart 30 amp charger, for our batteries. Itís been used twice. Once to zero out the SOK batteries that Current Connected (our vendor) suggested using our F150ís inverter. Once, for jollies, to see what itís like charging from the 150ís inverter, and it just charged the batteries quicker than the solar panels, but perhaps someday weíll need it. Besides our truck is quieter than any stand-alone generator. Rather than buying a charger for your WFCO Iíd just get the Victron charger for you generator.

We decided to start simple and guess what? It works.

If you donít have solar, and/or arenít willing to put (more?) solar on your roof, you donít need a different charger in your WFCO or DC-DC. Once installed, solar is passive, needs no attention, works going down the road or when boondocking, and doesnít need plugging and unplugging, . However, if you have amp-hour anxiety spend away.

Food for thought,

Perry
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Old 03-14-2023, 12:49 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
If the batteries are down, they will attempt to draw the full output of the converter. As to whether it will actually be 55 amps depends on the wire length & size, converter design, etc.

My 35 amp converter draws 34.5 amps when my 3 100 amp hour Battleborn batteries are less than full. The input at full output according to Progressive Dynamics should be 550 watts, which at first glance should be around 4.5 amps (amps = watts /voltage). In reality, mine draws 10.5 amps. Why? power factor which is the result of most non resistive loads on AC.

I find that much of a difference from the specs unusual, but according to the technical support at Progressive Dynamics, the 10.5 amps at full load is to be expected.

The short answer is you will probably be OK with a 2K generator but will find it drawing more current than you expect.

The 2 40 amp fuses are for reverse polarity protection, and are in parallel, and are designed to open on the dead short that connecting the batteries backwards would produce. Wired in parallel makes them the equivalent of an 80 amp fuse, so they should not be a problem.
thanks for explaining reverse polarity protection. After looking up the specs on the WF-8955-AD on lithium it will put out 50amps 940watts and draw 11 amps. If in reality it draws twice that as yours did do to power factor I be over. I assume escape is using the WF-8955-AD in the new trailers.

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The big question is do you have solar? We are having no problem keeping our two 100 ah SOK batteries 100% full most days in Arizona and New Mexico. We donít go to places with shore power, nor do we need a generator. In our 5.0 our WFCO charger was disabled for nearly three years and didnít miss it. Currently we have 160 watts on the roof and our 100 watt portable.

Now we did have four cloudy days with snow and rain in New Mexico, where our SOC got down to 45%, but two days later our 260 watts of solar got our batteries back to 100%.

Waiting at home are two 200 watt panels that will probably be overkill (560 watts) to be installed in May. Once the 400 watts are installed the portable will not be needed. However, Iíll be installing an inverter for toast, occasional microwave, and, we believe, Terry will be getting a c-pap in May. If not for the c-pap Iíd only be adding one 200 watt panel. I find portables a PITA and it wonít be needed, even in shade, with 350 or more watts on the roof. Weíre having no problems charging our three laptops and two cell phones too.

Do we need DC-DC? No, going on two straight months starting January 11, our solar has done its job (even though I have a Victron DC-DC sitting at home that was purchased for a voltage regulator that probably will be sold). Do we reach 100% every day? No, but you donít need to reach 100% daily with lithium. Plus, I donít want to add additional wiring in the truck or camper.

We foolishly thought we needed a lithium specific charger, a Victron Blue Smart 30 amp charger, for our batteries. Itís been used twice. Once to zero out the SOK batteries that Current Connected (our vendor) suggested using our F150ís inverter. Once, for jollies, to see what itís like charging from the 150ís inverter, and it just charged the batteries quicker than the solar panels, but perhaps someday weíll need it. Besides our truck is quieter than any stand-alone generator. Rather than buying a charger for your WFCO Iíd just get the Victron charger for you generator.

We decided to start simple and guess what? It works.

If you donít have solar, and/or arenít willing to put (more?) solar on your roof, you donít need a different charger in your WFCO or DC-DC. Once installed, solar is passive, needs no attention, works going down the road or when boondocking, and doesnít need plugging and unplugging, . However, if you have amp-hour anxiety spend away.

Food for thought,

Perry
I should have mentioned. I have both factory 190 watt solar panels. so 380 on the roof. I also have a portable 100 watt panel i planed on wiring in But haven't real had a need for it. I think I done with portables. I like the quick no set up. we do a lot of boondocking. I carry my Honda 2000I in case I want to run air, But the one time we used the air we happen to have power. I have gotten by pretty well with the two 6 volts, but I am getting the lithium bug again. I run cpap at night and Furnace. furnace is the big draw for us. 1500m watt inverter used to make toast once in a while. we spend October in U.P of Michigan. we see some single digit nights and by then the sun angle is low. I was thinking the faster charging of the lithium would help at that time of year. what I liked about upgrading the converter 50amps of charging would not take too long. If I can get to run with generator. Of course, if everything works well there no need for the generator. Its road along on many trips without use. I was thinking maybe I be better off disconnecting my charge wire from my 7 pin on my f150 than buying a dc -dc converter. There are a few concerns I have with lithium in my install.
1. the 19's are light in the front end as it is and if I remove 138lbs of the tough and replace it with 38lbs 2x100AH under dinette bench will I still have enough tongue weight.
2. Is temperature concerns. I think Be ok installing them inside. I can program the solar controller to stop charging before 32 degrees and so far, we never camped below zero.
3. from what I understand its best to store these battery's at about 50% charge. so, after a trip I have to run them down some and shut off my solar. then remember to charge back up before next trip. Bringing them inside in winter would be a problem I do that now with my lead acid.
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Old 03-14-2023, 01:23 PM   #6
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...
I was thinking the faster charging of the lithium would help at that time of year.

Yes, lithium's can take a fast charge, and three in parallel might be able to take more than your generator can provide - but - that doesn't mean they must take a fast charge. To limit the charge rate is easy. Just don't upgrade the undersize wire that Escape provides between the converter and the batteries. That also means don't shorten them either. E=IR, or more user friendly, Current (I) is proportional to the voltage (E) divided by the resistance (R). So what happens if you use undersize wire? Charging current will be less and your batteries will take longer to reach 100%. Now, the electrical engineer might say - what about the heat you are generating in the wires? Good point, so while charging, take a minute and feel along the wire, especially where it makes a connection to items like a circuit breaker, a switch, a battery connection. Anything that gets hot should be removed, cleaned or replaced.

1. the 19's are light in the front end as it is and if I remove 138lbs of the tough and replace it with 38lbs 2x100AH under dinette bench will I still have enough tongue weight?
Load the trailer for camping and weigh the tongue. That's the safest solution.

2. Is temperature concerns. I think Be ok installing them inside. I can program the solar controller to stop charging before 32 degrees and so far, we never camped below zero.
Inside will solve a lot of temperature concerns. Or purchase the more expensive batteries with built in heat pads.

3. from what I understand its best to store these battery's at about 50% charge. so, after a trip I have to run them down some and shut off my solar. then remember to charge back up before next trip. Bringing them inside in winter would be a problem I do that now with my lead acid.
I left mine in the trailer this winter with the solar turned off. We hit -16F in Denver this winter. I'll be checking the batteries real soon with my fingers crossed.
See my comments in blue.
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Old 03-14-2023, 02:08 PM   #7
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See my comments in blue.

Two late on the wire upgrade. I put in 2/0 when I did the inverter. plus upgraded a few of the other wires. I might be better with a stand-alone charger. I wonder how much the stock converter would charge. I assume with the lower voltage it would be slower and only get to 60-70% but i just guessing.
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Old 03-14-2023, 09:54 PM   #8
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My solution was the victron multiplus inverter charger transfer switch. You can program the charger to limit the charging current in amps
I have two 205 amp hour batteries that are limited to 50 amps each. I current charge them at 80. However if I have limited shore power or a weak generator I can limit them to whatever value that my source can provide. This is also true of the shore current. Without a 30 amp shore connection I limit my ac input to 15 amps.

While this gear was expensive the control and monitoring capabilities are superb. I noticed the 23 Karl showed off has that same gear in it. Along with the cerbo and screen.

The batteries should never be stored colder than -20
and not charged under 32f. Each manufacturer will
list the parameters for absorption and float.
A charger that’s adjustable for these values is desirable. My camper came with a two stage PD lithium charger which is adequate for most lithiums, however it’s a fixed value. My upgrade listed above has granular control over values of charging. I admit I’m a tech guy and enjoy this stuff, but the quality of the victron gear is hard to beat.

Still one could drop in a quality lithium battery and it would work even with a stock converter. Just not great.

I did put in a low amp dc to dc converter. I expect with the stock 10 gauge feeding the 7 pin I’m getting about 10 amps of the 18 it’s capable of. With my roof solar it’s probably going to be good enough and it was easy to wire. If my battery bank gets bigger then I’ll run a dedicated cable from the truck battery and alternator but that’s a whole bunch of work I’d rather not do. The dc to dc charger isolated the two battery systems when the truck is off sparing me from the possibility of back charging from the truck to the lithium bank.
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Old 03-14-2023, 10:46 PM   #9
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My PD4655L pulls about 700 watts off the AC line when the Lithium batteries are charging at about 50 amps and 13.X v... the voltage doesn't actually go up to 14.x V until the batteries are like 95% charged, and the current drops at that time. 700 watts is about 6 amps at 120VAC.

as it stands, the 360W solar panel I installed keeps my batteries fully charged as long as I get some sun every few days. If my 412AH of batteries gets run down hard to very low, it can take two fully sunny days to fully charged them. I leave my converter switched off most of the time.
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Old 03-15-2023, 07:54 AM   #10
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My PD4655L pulls about 700 watts off the AC line when the Lithium batteries are charging at about 50 amps and 13.X v... the voltage doesn't actually go up to 14.x V until the batteries are like 95% charged, and the current drops at that time. 700 watts is about 6 amps at 120VAC.

as it stands, the 360W solar panel I installed keeps my batteries fully charged as long as I get some sun every few days. If my 412AH of batteries gets run down hard to very low, it can take two fully sunny days to fully charged them. I leave my converter switched off most of the time.
Doing some research I see lots of people prefer the wildcat PD4655L over the wfco stuff.
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Old 03-15-2023, 08:36 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by NEWYORKHILLBILLY View Post
Thinking of Lithium conversion. It's my understand I would need to change my converter to charge them properly. I have the WF8955PEC. This brings up my question. assuming I stay with a 55 amp converter how much will this draw on the 110 volt side. My concern is when Batteries our drawn way down and the shore power plugged into my Honda 2000I generator. will that converter draw more than the 15amps provided by the generator and trip the overload circuit? I never had a problem with the lead acid, but they will never take the full charge of the converter.
Volts X Amps = Watts
12 Volts X 55 Amps = 660 Watts
660 Watts / 120 Volts = 5.5 Amps

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Also at home I plug into a garage outlet. this brings up another question it appears that the converter has 40 amp fuses in the charging circuit. how can the 55 amps be achieved with the 40 amp fuses?
I upgraded the stock 50amp thermal breaker between the Power Center and the battery switch to a 60 Amp Blue Sea Thermal Breaker. I also upgraded the wiring (1 AWG) and the fuses (200 Amp) between the two battery banks and battery switch.
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Old 03-15-2023, 09:08 AM   #12
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Two late on the wire upgrade. I put in 2/0 when I did the inverter. plus upgraded a few of the other wires. I might be better with a stand-alone charger. I wonder how much the stock converter would charge. I assume with the lower voltage it would be slower and only get to 60-70% but i just guessing.
Leaving the Escape wiring to limit current flow was bad advice in my opinion anyway. The resistance is translated into heat which can melt the wires and start a fire. That's the whole reason you properly size wires for the load and fuse for the wire size.

I installed the WFCO WF-8955-AD-MBA it will output 55 amps and no more, no matter how much the batteries can take. I have two battery banks one with two 100ah LiFePO4 batteries and the second with a single 300ah LiFePO4 battery. Each battery is capable of charging at 100 Amps. When both banks are charging the single 300ah (has Bluetooth on the internal BMS) the BMS shows it charges at about 23 Amps, when I switch my battery A/B/Both battery switch so only it is charging it charging it shows the 8955AD is charging it a full 55 amps.
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Old 03-15-2023, 09:12 AM   #13
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Volts X Amps = Watts
12 Volts X 55 Amps = 660 Watts
660 Watts / 120 Volts = 5.5 Amps



I upgraded the thermal breaker between the Power Center and the battery switch to a 60 Amp Blue Sea Thermal Breaker. I also upgraded the wiring (2/0 AWG) and the fuses (200 Amp) between the two battery banks and battery switch.
Yes that's how it works out on paper. But as Jon pointed out in post #3 in the real world it a lot more. I just don't want to spend the money on upgraded converter only to find out it will not work. I don't like to use my generator so if I need to use it probably be because the 200ah bank was down to 20%. not likely to happen too often but would like to have that capability.
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Old 03-15-2023, 10:14 AM   #14
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Yes that's how it works out on paper. But as Jon pointed out in post #3 in the real world it a lot more. I just don't want to spend the money on upgraded converter only to find out it will not work. I don't like to use my generator so if I need to use it probably be because the 200ah bank was down to 20%. not likely to happen too often but would like to have that capability.
That is real world. I'm at Bahia Honda as we speak. Prior to that I did a month long trip to Texas, with a mix of boondocking and electrical hookups.

My WEN2350 can output 1900 watts continuous. The WFCO WF-8955-AD-MBA draws a maximum of 940 watts. Going back and forth between Watts and Amps can be confusing.

WFCO 8955AD Specifications
Output Power: 940 W
Input Voltage/Hz: 105-130 VAC, 60 Hz
Weight: 7 lbs.
Converter Type: Three-Stage Converter Charger, Two Stage Converter Charger
Output Current: 50 A, 55 A
Voltage Output:
Lithium-Ion – 13.2 – 14.6 VDC, 13.6 – 14.6 VDC, 13.2 – 14.4V DC Range
Bulk Mode: 14.4V DC (quick charging voltage)
Absorption Mode:13.6V DC (nominal voltage)
Over Current Protection: Yes
Over Temperature Protection: Yes
Over Voltage Protection: Yes
Reverse Polarity Protection: Yes
Cooling fan: Yes

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I installed the WFCO WF-8955-AD-MBA it will output 55 amps and no more, no matter how much the batteries can take. I have two battery banks one with two 100ah LiFePO4 batteries and the second with a single 300ah LiFePO4 battery. Each battery is capable of charging at 100 Amps. When both banks are charging the single 300ah (has Bluetooth on the internal BMS) the BMS shows it charges at about 23 Amps, when I switch my battery A/B/Both battery switch so only it is charging it charging it shows the 8955AD is charging it a full 55 amps.
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Old 03-15-2023, 01:43 PM   #15
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I should note, when my batteries are charging off the PD4655L at 50 amps DC, the EMS reads way higher than reality, nearly double... When asked, the Progressive Dynamics support folks said its to do with power factor, and the way the EMS reads current. I just checked my notes, it actually is drawing up to 8 amps (950 watts) maximum at ~ 50 amp output to my 412AH of LFP.

btw, if you have a single LFP, check its recommended charge current, mine suggest 25-30A each, but since I have two in parallel, thats 50-60A, so the 55A output of the PD4655 is fine.
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Old 03-15-2023, 02:11 PM   #16
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I should note, when my batteries are charging off the PD4655L at 50 amps DC, the EMS reads way higher than reality, nearly double...
I was getting erroneous (impossible) amperage readings from my EMS also with just my dual 6 volt batteries and the original converter. The wire that goes through the loop that measures the amperage needs to be perfectly straight. Escape installed mine with a horseshoe shape. The half coiling (horseshoe) of the wire acts like a amperage multiplier for a clamp on multimeter. Progressive sent me a new sensor, but, before I received it, I straightened the wire and then was getting accurate amperage readings.

The converter isn't drawing any more than rated wattage, it's just the EMS is giving a false reading due the way it was wired.
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Old 03-15-2023, 02:16 PM   #17
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I was getting erroneous (impossible) amperage readings from my EMS also with just my dual 6 volt batteries and the original converter. The wire that goes through the loop that measures the amperage needs to be perfectly straight. Escape installed mine with a horseshoe shape. The half coiling (horseshoe) of the wire acts like a amperage multiplier for a clamp on multimeter. Progressive sent me a new sensor, but, before I received it, I straightened the wire and then was getting accurate amperage readings.

The converter isn't drawing any more than rated wattage, it's just the EMS is giving a false reading due the way it was wired.


oooh. where is that wire?
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Old 03-15-2023, 02:26 PM   #18
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I should note, when my batteries are charging off the PD4655L at 50 amps DC, the EMS reads way higher than reality, nearly double... When asked, the Progressive Dynamics support folks said its to do with power factor, and the way the EMS reads current. I just checked my notes, it actually is drawing up to 8 amps (950 watts) maximum at ~ 50 amp output to my 412AH of LFP.

btw, if you have a single LFP, check its recommended charge current, mine suggest 25-30A each, but since I have two in parallel, that's 50-60A, so the 55A output of the PD4655 is fine.
I see now, so the amps on the EMS are not the true draw. Maybe this is where Jon was reading the amp draw also. The Batteries I am looking at recommend a 20-amp charge. I was planning on using two 100ah.after measuring looks like i could get three in the space behind the converter. I really having a hard time deciding whether to go for the 3rd one. I have 380watts on the roof. It might be nice to have the extra storage when you go a few days with no sun. In fact, maybe if 300 Ah I would not need carry generator or converter upgrade. I like the idea of having a second way to charge but honestly just never seem to use it. Last year I decided if I do all my trips without starting it, I will stop carrying it. I wonder if a guy could set up something with a dc -dc converter and jumper cables. Just to put some power in the battery bank in a pinch.
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Old 03-15-2023, 02:36 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by TTMartin View Post
I was getting erroneous (impossible) amperage readings from my EMS also with just my dual 6 volt batteries and the original converter. The wire that goes through the loop that measures the amperage needs to be perfectly straight. Escape installed mine with a horseshoe shape. The half coiling (horseshoe) of the wire acts like a amperage multiplier for a clamp on multimeter. Progressive sent me a new sensor, but, before I received it, I straightened the wire and then was getting accurate amperage readings.

The converter isn't drawing any more than rated wattage, it's just the EMS is giving a false reading due the way it was wired.
I understand now. Looks like my best option is to upgrade the converter. either the PD4655L,WFCO 8955AD,or the WF-8955LiS . The 8955lis has a switch for lead or lithium. Looks like the 8955AD is replacing that with auto detect.
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Old 03-15-2023, 02:37 PM   #20
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Mid Left Coast, California
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 4,497
I stuck my 2 206AH SOK's under the rear curbside corner of my U shaped dinette...

if your 2X batteries recommend 20A each, I'd probably get the PD4645, you don't need the '55.
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