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Old 06-28-2022, 01:58 PM   #1
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Need recommendation on lithium battery capacity

So I'm in the process of converting my 2018 5.0TA to lithium. I've got the stock 160W panel on the roof and another 120W portable panel.

For shore power, I've ordered a Progressive Dynamics 4655MBA/L controller from Best Controllers (Randy is great!) to replace the WF-8995PEC.

I spoke to Go Power about upgrading my stock PWM-30 solar controller and was told that if I configured it for AGM it would charge the lithium batteries, but not optimally. They suggested either the PWM 30 UL or the 30 MPPT controller as an upgrade. I think I'm going to stay with the PWM-30 and then decide later. Not sure if I'd even stay with Go Power.

So on to the batteries. I think I'd like to err on the side of having more capacity than I need or that the solar can charge. So I'm thinking of 200Ah.



I've noticed that some batteries offer a "plus" option in which an upgraded BMS increases the charge/discharge from 100A to 200A. I'm thinking this would not be necessary (not planning on running the AC on batteries) and I'd have to upgrade the 1500W inverter.


Any opinions? Thanks.
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Old 06-28-2022, 08:52 PM   #2
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Will Prowse knows his stuff, here are his recommendations

https://www.mobile-solarpower.com/li...batteries.html


I’d go with 200ah, 2 x 100ah batteries
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Old 06-28-2022, 09:24 PM   #3
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If you have the 1500 watt inverter I would get the 200amp discharge bms . the inverter will cross the 100 amp mark pretty easy . do you have microwave ?
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Old 06-28-2022, 09:50 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by splitting_lanes View Post
Will Prowse knows his stuff, here are his recommendations

https://www.mobile-solarpower.com/li...batteries.html


I’d go with 200ah, 2 x 100ah batteries
Thanks.



Regarding WP and those like him on youtube, I try to keep in mind that they make a lot of money on affiliate links.
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Old 06-28-2022, 09:52 PM   #5
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If you have the 1500 watt inverter I would get the 200amp discharge bms . the inverter will cross the 100 amp mark pretty easy . do you have microwave ?
I guess my concern is in overloading a 1500W inverter?
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Old 06-28-2022, 10:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jkordzi View Post
I guess my concern is in overloading a 1500W inverter?
The inverter would shut down before a over load. at least it should. But if you running a microwave you may need to draw 125 amps or more from the battery or batteries . If you have a 100 amp BMS is will shut down and no micro wave. If you have either two 100 batteries or a 200 amp battery. Then you could comfortably draw what the inverter will need for ampere. generally 1500 watt inverter you would size the system draw 150 amps.


just to clear it up . if you have two 100 AH batteries with 100 amp BMS in parallel . You would be able to draw 200 amps
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Old 06-28-2022, 10:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jkordzi View Post
I guess my concern is in overloading a 1500W inverter?
That's one reason a lithuim installation should always include a fast-blow Class T fuse mounted as close as possible to the final battery output terminal.

That Class T fuse should have an amp rating no higher than the lower of:
  • The inverter maximum peak short-term input current rating (see inverter manual)
  • The battery maximum peak short-term output current rating (see battery manual)
  • The main battery cable amp rating (considering cable length, google internet cable rating sources)
Though as mentioned, other protective systems should preclude inverter or other component problems, that Class T fuse, which is recommended by the vast majority of inverter manufacturers, serves as a component-protection 'insurance device' and helps preclude personal injury or damage in otherwise unprotected situations like an accidental 'cable dead short' with a tool.

IMO, just for your consideration.
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Old 06-29-2022, 09:13 AM   #8
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I use 2 of these https://bigbattery.com/products/12v-...28ah-3-018kwh/

Coupon code diysolar for 10% off
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Old 06-29-2022, 12:32 PM   #9
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A few of us have the Bestgo lithium batteries and I have not heard of any issues. Customer service from Electric Car Parts Co. is exceptional. According to Will Prowse review it is very similar to the SOK but might be a little more $/AH.
www.electriccarpartscompany.com/12-volt-lithium-battery-packs

I have the 400AH
www.electriccarpartscompany.com/12v-400ah-preferred-lifepo4-lithium-battery-packs
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Old 06-29-2022, 05:19 PM   #10
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A few of us have the Bestgo lithium batteries and I have not heard of any issues. Customer service from Electric Car Parts Co. is exceptional. According to Will Prowse review it is very similar to the SOK but might be a little more $/AH.
www.electriccarpartscompany.com/12-volt-lithium-battery-packs

I have the 400AH
www.electriccarpartscompany.com/12v-400ah-preferred-lifepo4-lithium-battery-packs
This is what I have, it’s part of the Centex build-which he mentioned was recommended to him by you-
I cant say enough about the product but also the support I received from Kent in the tech department was so helpful. What made it even more valuable to me was I was not familiar with these setups.
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Old 06-29-2022, 05:32 PM   #11
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Good idea and info - thanks. So I wonder if there is a breaker option that would also function as a battery isolator/shutoff as well?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Centex View Post
That's one reason a lithuim installation should always include a fast-blow Class T fuse mounted as close as possible to the final battery output terminal.

That Class T fuse should have an amp rating no higher than the lower of:
  • The inverter maximum peak short-term input current rating (see inverter manual)
  • The battery maximum peak short-term output current rating (see battery manual)
  • The main battery cable amp rating (considering cable length, google internet cable rating sources)
Though as mentioned, other protective systems should preclude inverter or other component problems, that Class T fuse, which is recommended by the vast majority of inverter manufacturers, serves as a component-protection 'insurance device' and helps preclude personal injury or damage in otherwise unprotected situations like an accidental 'cable dead short' with a tool.

IMO, just for your consideration.
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Old 06-29-2022, 06:15 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Ooshkaboo View Post
This is what I have, it’s part of the Centex build-which he mentioned was recommended to him by you-
I cant say enough about the product but also the support I received from Kent in the tech department was so helpful. What made it even more valuable to me was I was not familiar with these setups.
…and I must give credit to Dave from NM (Semievolved) who introduced me to Bestgo and ECP
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Old 06-29-2022, 06:37 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by jkordzi View Post
Thanks.



Regarding WP and those like him on youtube, I try to keep in mind that they make a lot of money on affiliate links.
He's become a shill for everything solar/battery/etc., related. One month he recommends against a product, 2 months later he's jumping up & down extolling the virtues of the same product. His "reviews" are nothing other than orchestrated infomercials.

I stopped listening to him after discovering that his so-called testing methodologies went from doubtful to highly suspect.


Caveat Emptor
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Old 06-29-2022, 09:44 PM   #14
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Fwiw, I'm quite happy with the build quality of the two SOK 206AH batts I installed.

I would definitely go for the MPPT solar controller, I get about 15% more out ofy original 160W panel, and now get great output from a 360W panel I upgraded to. The Victron SmartSolar MPPT 100/30 is working very nicely for me
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Old 07-13-2022, 10:41 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkordzi View Post
So I'm in the process of converting my 2018 5.0TA to lithium. I've got the stock 160W panel on the roof and another 120W portable panel.

For shore power, I've ordered a Progressive Dynamics 4655MBA/L controller from Best Controllers (Randy is great!) to replace the WF-8995PEC.

I spoke to Go Power about upgrading my stock PWM-30 solar controller and was told that if I configured it for AGM it would charge the lithium batteries, but not optimally. They suggested either the PWM 30 UL or the 30 MPPT controller as an upgrade. I think I'm going to stay with the PWM-30 and then decide later. Not sure if I'd even stay with Go Power.

So on to the batteries. I think I'd like to err on the side of having more capacity than I need or that the solar can charge. So I'm thinking of 200Ah.



I've noticed that some batteries offer a "plus" option in which an upgraded BMS increases the charge/discharge from 100A to 200A. I'm thinking this would not be necessary (not planning on running the AC on batteries) and I'd have to upgrade the 1500W inverter.


Any opinions? Thanks.
I had the similar situation, same solar and decided to upgrade in my E-19. I installed a 270A Battleborn Lithium and just switched the setting to AGM on the GoPower. I installed the battery inside, under my U-shaped dinette. It was a tight fit, but it fit. I also installed a Victron Shunt as the GoPower will not accurately measure the voltage to the lithium battery. You do need a new circuit board for the WFCO, and there are threads out there that discuss that. The 170 solar will recharge, but not to max and probably not as fast if you have more solar. I"ve seen readings as high as 13.6v charged from the solar, which is slightly less than max on the lithium. I was told, you can just plug in to AC power from time to time to get max input, but I haven't done that yet. Based on what I'm seeing, I'm not going to upgrade to a Victron solar controller as this setup works fine for my needs. Good luck.
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Old 07-13-2022, 01:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostskier View Post
...
the GoPower will not accurately measure the voltage to the lithium battery.
...
The 170 solar will recharge, but not to max and probably not as fast if you have more solar. I"ve seen readings as high as 13.6v charged from the solar, which is slightly less than max on the lithium.

I did a quick and dirty upgrade to Lithium by installing a pair of 100 AH (Renogy) batteries. As noted, the original charging systems will not charge the batteries to 100%.

Using my usual 'cheap & cheaper' technique, I boosted the GoPower output by a bit using a diode to fool the ground voltage into thinking it is less than it really is. Take a look at my back-of-the-envelope (literally) diagram.

The new arrangement takes the heavy ground (negative) wires off the GoPower solar controller and mounts them to a common post. They are not needed since the controller doesn't actually do anything with the ground current. Then I connected a diode(*) to the controller with light wire. Note that the GoPower controller grounds (-) are connected internally which is why one ground connection can be disconnected.

As noted above, the GoPower has a problem with accurate voltage. Now the voltage reading on the panel is off by the diode voltage, so anything you see is misleading - so ignore it and use your multi-meter and make mental adjustments.
...
I was told, you can just plug in to AC power from time to time to get max input, but I haven't done that yet.
...

I may try this when next at a campground with power.
See my comments in blue.

(*) About the diode. For a .4 V boost use a Schottky diode. For .7 V boost use a silicone diode. Mix multiples of either type for higher voltages. Neither needs to be high amperage since the ground connection to the GoPower only carries the controller operating current in the new arrangement - guessing less than 1 amp.

While I was at it, I installed heavy brass posts for both + and - common connections. Makes wiring much easier to modify in the future.

I've only had this up and running for 2 weeks and have not camped yet. Use this dirt cheap lithium charger at your own risk!

I am working on a quick and dirty DC-DC booster to deal with the charging while driving. Stay tuned...
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Old 07-13-2022, 05:54 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkordzi View Post
So I'm in the process of converting my 2018 5.0TA to lithium. I've got the stock 160W panel on the roof and another 120W portable panel.

For shore power, I've ordered a Progressive Dynamics 4655MBA/L controller from Best Controllers (Randy is great!) to replace the WF-8995PEC.

I spoke to Go Power about upgrading my stock PWM-30 solar controller and was told that if I configured it for AGM it would charge the lithium batteries, but not optimally. They suggested either the PWM 30 UL or the 30 MPPT controller as an upgrade. I think I'm going to stay with the PWM-30 and then decide later. Not sure if I'd even stay with Go Power.

So on to the batteries. I think I'd like to err on the side of having more capacity than I need or that the solar can charge. So I'm thinking of 200Ah.



I've noticed that some batteries offer a "plus" option in which an upgraded BMS increases the charge/discharge from 100A to 200A. I'm thinking this would not be necessary (not planning on running the AC on batteries) and I'd have to upgrade the 1500W inverter.


Any opinions? Thanks.
I’m confused weather or not you already have an inverter. if you do have one, what exactly do you have?

Re lithium batteries, I’d go with SOK. They are competitively priced, have a great warranty, have gotten excellent reviews for their quality, have a relatively small footprint.

You need a new solar controller. Don’t delay upgrading. Get a 40A MPPT. You won’t outgrow this controller if/when you add more solar capacity. I would research manufacturers besides GoPro,:

If you already have or plan to install an Inverter 1500W or larger, you’ll need 200ah lithium power . You can purchase either two 100ah 12 volt or two 100ah lithiums.

If you don’t currently have and don’t immediately want to purchase an inverter, one 100ah 12 volt lithium will meet all your needs. I currently have 3 100w rooftop panels, plus one 100ah 12v Battleborn. This setup runs my 12v auto stereo, fantastic ceiling fan (middle power switch), lights, CPAP machine, propane heater, and charges all our mobile devices. This setup is self-sustaining.

Prior to adding my solar system, I went on a series of winter camping trips with my lithium. I basically went over 10 days between charges. So, I really don’t think you’ll have a problem.

Obviously you’ll need to practice energy conservation when off grid. But, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with a minimum setup.

You can always add another lithium if you do get an inverter. But why spend the money until you need it.If you decide to purchase an inverter, get a 2000-2200W pure sine inverter. The difference in price between a 1500W is negligible, and you won’t outgrow 2000-2500w.

Re the solar controller:
  • purchase a 40 amp MPPT.
  • get one with Bluetooth
  • a cabin display screen is preferable

Unless you plan to program your lithium, you do not need a [expensive] Victron. I bought a Rich Solar 40A MPPT. This is the same product as the Renogy Rover 40A MPPT. I choose the Rich Solar because it has larger cable inputs. I also prefer Rich Solar’s customer service.

There are other Solar controllers on the market for you to research.
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Old 07-13-2022, 08:26 PM   #18
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There are a ton of Lithium battery options, and there's no "one right answer" for everyone.


Some people go with BattleBorn, but it gets very expensive if you're looking to build a large-ish battery bank.


SOK is a good mid-range option. They're serviceable, and come with a "7 year" warranty. Keep in mind that warranty is from a company that's only been selling batteries for around two years, so it's anyone's guess whether they'll still be in business to service that warranty tomorrow.



There are also the "low end" Chinese import batteries which get very good reviews, and seen pretty decent for the money. The main thing you give up with those is low-temperature protection on the BMS, and a longer warranty. If your charge controllers have low-temp protection, you can get away without having it in your BMS.


It's worth considering whether the warranty on any of the more expensive batteries is worth the cost premium, especially considering the rapidly downwards trend in pricing, and technological obsolescence. (i.e. was it really worth spending $2000 on that warrantied battery two years ago, when you could replace it outright today for $500)


FWIW, in my case, I went the DIY approach and built my own lithium batteries. I've got 920Ah of batteries, and the cost was around $1,800.


Building your own isn't for everyone, but if you feel comfortable doing some basic wiring, it's not very difficult.
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Old 07-14-2022, 03:09 PM   #19
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re rolling your own battery, finding actual grade A naked lithium cells is not that easy, there's a lot of crap out there on Aliexpress and the like.

I'm very happy with my dual SOK 206AH, they were $1059 each when I got them, with free shipping from CurrentConnected (the USA distributor for SOK). 5200 watt hours is way plenty of power for me, I could go a full week with zero sun, then fully charge them in 2 sunny days with the 360W+MPPT single solar panel I roof mounted... OH, and I'm running a 12VDC 6 cu ft compressor fridge, the Norcold N2175.
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