Lithium Battery, should I get one?

Submitted: Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 17:46
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I have search the ExplorOz web site but could not find the answers to my questions.
My Full River DC-150 AGM 9 year old battery has decided to retire so I need to replace it.
Technology changes and I try to move with the times so I am looking at changing to a lithium battery.
An equilavant Lithium battery I believe would be in the 100ah to 120ah range. I am confused as to what's on offer with prices varying greatly. I currently have these charges wired into my camper, Ctek D250S Duel DC/DC charger, and a Ctek MXS 7.0 240 volt charger. Searching the internet some suppliers say that their batteries can use these chargers, but I am wondering if this is really true. So has anyone had experience with a lithium battery, and if so, which one and what charging system do you use?
Chris.
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Reply By: Greg J1 - Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 20:39

Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 20:39
Hi. Chris

You say your full river battery is 9 years old and finally died. I think that is enough of an endorsement of their quality not to buy anything else.

You obviously know how to look after a battery of that type. My suggestion is to stick with what you know.

Cheers Greg

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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 21:14

Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 21:14
Thanks Greg, and I have not ruled out getting another Fullriver, however there is a very significant weight saving with a lithium battery which is why I am thinking of getting one.

Cheers, Chris
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Reply By: Athol W1 - Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 20:48

Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 20:48
Chris
I have been using Fusion branded lithium batteries and both auxiliary in my vehicle, and also in the van for the past year. These are charged via Redarc bcdc1225D in the truck, and Redarc BDCD1240D in the van, and also a Projecta 35 amp smart charger for the 240v charging in the van. Solar panels are fitted to both truck and van.

The reason for the BCDC chargers is due to the 'smart' alternator being fitted to the truck (2018 Isuzu Dmax), and also you can not successfully run a Voltage Sensitive Relay with a mixture of battery chemistries, particularly when Lithium is involved due to the differences in their manner of operation. Lithium batteries do NOT drop voltage as they discharge until they are well down, whereas AGM batteries slowly and progressively loose voltage as they discharge.

Lithium batteries are NOT all the same, some battery manufacturers specifically require specific charging regimes, whereas others (Fusion for one) say that any good smart charger is sufficient.

Having used both AGM and Lithium batteries I will be staying with the Lithium, due to better quality power, the ability to supply a greater percentage of their rated output without damage, and their weight advantages.

Hope this helps.
Regards
Athol
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 21:27

Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 21:27
Hi Athol, thanks for that, I to have a D-Max with the pesky smart alternator. How do you monitor the state of the battery, ie. how do you know when its about to run out of power?
Cheers,
Chris
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Follow Up By: Athol W1 - Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 21:53

Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 21:53
Chris
Unfortunately I have nothing more than the Redarc and its warning lights to tell that the battery is fully charged, and the light on the Engel fridge tells me it is flat.

In the van I have a battery monitor that tells me the current voltage, charge/discharge rate, and shows a 'fuel gauge' as a graph. This is standard fitment in the Jayco Silverline range of caravans. This unit shows that the voltage remains almost constant until about the 80% discharged.

Due to the charging characteristics of the Lithium batteries they take the full available charge rate until fully charged, whereas the AGM's will severely reduce the charge rate as their state of charge improves due to their natural internal resistance. IE a 25amp charge rate applied to a lithium battery for 4 hours = 100ah of charge, whereas the same charger capable of a 25 amp output could take close to 6 hours to get the same 100ah of charge into a AGM due to the internal resistance reducing the current flow through the battery as it passes a point approximately at 80% charged.

Regards
Athol
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Follow Up By: Member - wicket - Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 12:02

Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 12:02
One thing to watch with the Fusion is that they have a max current draw of 70amps so you are effectively limited to an 840w inverter.
Saw one of these the other day and has a max draw of 175 amps which should cover just about anything https://www.amptron.com.au/12v-200ah--175a-lithium-lifepo4-battery.html
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Follow Up By: Gronk - Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 20:37

Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 20:37
Only if you use an inverter ?
I only have a can inverter and have not used it for a couple of years !
I know people use coffee machines and microwaves etc, but knowing the current draws of each, are they really necessary ?
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Follow Up By: PhilD - Wednesday, Jan 30, 2019 at 02:10

Wednesday, Jan 30, 2019 at 02:10
Yes, according to my happy wife!
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Feb 01, 2019 at 11:56

Friday, Feb 01, 2019 at 11:56
I've been interested in lithium batteries, primarily for the weight savings, but also the other attributes of these batteries.

Wicket's comment above about maximum draw off while using large inverters got me thinking about using lithiums for remote welding duties. The batteries I've been looking at have a max load of 100 amps, and I'd question whether they could handle 5-10 minutes of intermittent welding, even using 2 or 2.5mm rod?

Perhaps, for remote travel, one should invite a friend, that carries 2-3 large AGM or wet cell batteries. LOL. Any thoughts.........?

Bob



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Follow Up By: PhilD - Friday, Feb 01, 2019 at 12:03

Friday, Feb 01, 2019 at 12:03
Bob, 12v or 24v welding will draw more than 100 amps. I have chosen to carry a 2kva Honda, and inverter welder when going remote. My mate has a 2kva as well, which we join together if needed. I choose not risking my 400 amp hr Lithium, even though it will handle 250 amp draws, as they cost too much!
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Friday, Feb 01, 2019 at 12:13

Friday, Feb 01, 2019 at 12:13
.
Hi Bob,

I also carry welding equipment and have considered the implications of welding with Lithium batteries.

Trying to keep the welding current below 100A could be quite tricky and there would certainly be current spikes well above that, especially when attempting to strike the arc. Well, there would be with me anyway. LOL
So maybe I should stick to my AGM's.

Getting travelling companions to donate their AGM's for welding may take some fast talking too. If I need to use my cranking battery in the welding pack I would feel more comfortable if a friend was nearby to provide a subsequent jump-start.
Maybe a case for carrying a lithium jump-starter?
Cheers
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Reply By: Keith B2 - Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 21:29

Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 21:29
I just took delivery of two 200 AH lithiums from EV Power in WA. They are for a new build so I have not had a chance to load them up yet.

According to EV Power, their LiPO4 batteries are happy with a 14.4 volt charge and a 13.6 -13.8 volt float, something that most conventional chargers will do.
I found them very price competitive and easy to deal with.

Their 100 AH battery is $985 plus freight. EV Power

Keith
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 22:14

Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 22:14
Thanks Keith.
Had a look and they look very good and are on my short list. A great feature is that it can connect via bluetooth to your phone to monitor its condition and other info. I have old phones with bluetooth that I could easily dedicate to this function.
Cheers,
Chris
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Follow Up By: Keith B2 - Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 22:40

Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 22:40
Chris I didn't know about the blue teeth. I'll have to look into that. I have a Victron battery monitor which tells me SOC, amps in or out, volts, AH used and some other stuff I can't figure out.
I am also thinking about a low voltage cut out which will turn the batteries off if they drop below 20 per cent.
Rod Dilkes at EV Power is a very helpful guy.
Keith
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Follow Up By: braggy - Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 09:51

Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 09:51
x2 for Rod Dilkes and Ev Power, have used his systems twice over the last 5 years.

Give him a call and tell him what chargers you have and he will advise.
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Reply By: Member - Bigfish - Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 09:20

Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 09:20
I have 3 x 120 Fullriver agms in my rig. 9 years is good from a battery. Obviously your set up looks after the battery condition very well. I would stay with the Fullriver as the weight has been ok for at least 9 years. Lithium is a great battery but they too will be old technology. Was reading an article the other day about the development of solid state batteries. Way cheaper, lighter again, quicker charging, can be cycled right down and will be better value than lithium. About 5 years away.

$550 for Fullriver 150 amp/hr is cheap compared to at least double that for the lithium. As I said ...9 years is great from a battery....I,d stick with your winning formula.
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 09:37

Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 09:37
Thanks Bigfish. Where can you get one for $550? I am in Melbourne and have not seen that price.Cheers, Chris
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Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 10:08

Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 10:08
Victorianbattery company. Type in ......150amp fullriver on google

https://www.victorianbatterycompany.com.au/product/full-river-battery-dc150-12/
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Reply By: Joe G2 - Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 17:15

Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 17:15
I contacted EV Power and wanted to speak to someone about what I wanted to do, set up a bank of Lithium batteries in a boat to power an electric trolling motor (24v).
They would not let me speak to someone about this setup and was told I could only email my questions to them. I really did not know enough to ask specific questions and told the lady who I spoke to that but she would not help.
I then rang EV Works also WA based and spoke to Tim Brunner for about 15-20 minutes and guess who had my credit card number and an order for around $1500.00. I have spoken to EV Works since and Tim always has time to talk.

I have no affiliation with EV Works other than this and yes I'm more than happy to tell everybody I can about the lack customer service from EV Power.
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Follow Up By: Rod D - Wednesday, Jan 30, 2019 at 03:18

Wednesday, Jan 30, 2019 at 03:18
I generally make a point not to look at forums, but a customer of mine alerted me to this post. It appears to seek to damage my business EV Power simply because my wife asked you to use the contact page to email us. I do recall that phone call, I heard it from the next room!

The blazing irony of it is that you insisted to speak on the phone for your inquiry but now take to the keyboard to make loud your complaint about having to use email.
How come you did not phone everyone on this forum? Maybe I was busy designing or assembling Lithium battery packs which is what I do for a living. Perhaps I was answering emails to customers, or in a meeting.

I can tell people on this forum this, within the limitations of small business I will always try my best for my customers, as will my staff, usually via an initial email but also on the phone when required.

Fortunately for me most customers we serve are patient and respectful. There are still a few around and that's what keeps me doing what I do.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Wednesday, Jan 30, 2019 at 08:57

Wednesday, Jan 30, 2019 at 08:57
.
Joe, I'm not buying into Joe's complaint but I would point out to you a problem of using the "Contact Page" email facility. You get the sent message but the sender has no copy for possible later referral.
On occasion when compelled to use such I have been put to the trouble of copying then filing my message...... annoying.

Having been a 'Practice Manager' for 10 years I figured that the customer was not 'always right', but it was best if he was allowed to think he was.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Joe G2 - Wednesday, Jan 30, 2019 at 09:06

Wednesday, Jan 30, 2019 at 09:06
Thank you for responding, it was much more than I received the first time. I run a business also and one of our rules is if a customer needs some information and a particular person who has the knowledge to help that customer is not available, we will ask for the customers phone number and we will return the phone call.
I never "insisted" on speaking to someone but I did "ask" to speak to someone for the reason outlined in the first post, there is a big difference between insist and ask. I would have been more than happy to leave my phone number had it been requested so your statement about patience would be not lost on most people reading this.
I will not check this tread again so do not expect me to respond again, what is important I may have helped you improve your business by improving your customer service
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Follow Up By: HKB Electronics - Wednesday, Jan 30, 2019 at 09:24

Wednesday, Jan 30, 2019 at 09:24
I purchased a battery setup from Rod and I'm happy with it, the battery itself was very professionally put together, the BMS is not a bad unit though as they decided to paint the plastic housing blue they could have used a paint that adhered to plastic better.

Communications wise, generally was good but at times a little "cold" so they could work on that area. And yes Rod I run my own business and customers enquiries can be challenging at times, reality is if you wish to remain busy you need to keep potential customers happy:)
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Reply By: Iza B - Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 17:30

Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 17:30
I have been charging a couple of LiFePo4 batteries with a D250S for over a year without apparent issues. Have used both alternator and solar for charge sources. When charging using the D250S I keep and eye on the voltage and disconnect from charge when it is topped up. I have also added a Low Voltage Disconnect set to 11.8 Volts. Because I have two 50 Ah batteries, I charge and use in rotation. Currently getting 4.5 full days of cold beer out of the Engel from two fully charged 50 Ah Li.

I recently started using a new DC to DC charger that automatically disconnects charge at the top; does not go to float. I will now install the 250S in the Grandsons's ute to charge his new Li setup.

The weight saving alone is a compelling reason to go Lithium. Getting on in age now and one advantage for me is that it is seriously easy now to park the Campervan in the shade and put a panel and battery in the sun.

Iza
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 18:21

Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 18:21
Thanks Iza thats very interesting to hear. What brand of LiFePo4 do you have?
Cheers, Chris
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Follow Up By: Iza B - Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 12:11

Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 12:11
Brand name is Himax, model LFP32H3C7. Nominal 50Ah. I bought these off a pallet bulk buy and put the battery together myself. These cells came with Quality Control sheets showing tested capacity. I liked that and have confirmed the numbers myself. $80 per cell so 50 AH 12 Volt for $320 plus the LVCutoff. Battery comes in under 7 Kilos.

Currently playing with a LV cutoff from an online supplier for not much at all. Just attached Bluetooth capable Battery Monitor so I can check charge progress from my phone. Very convenient when charging using the 250S on either alternator or solar panel.

Iza
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Reply By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 22:23

Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 22:23
Hi Chris
Ctek say that the D250s is not suitable for Lithium Iron batteries as its charging profile doesn't suit. l recently fitted three Amptron lithium batteries to a caravan and they come with strick instuctions as to how they had to be wired up being that all cables had to be the same length to each battery from a central +ve and -ve point to get correct charging of each individual battery. I also wired in a Redarc bcdc1250D charger as this is suitable for Lithium batteries. You say that you only want to replace one battery so much of above doesn't apply to you, l said it to show that Amptron seem to know what their on about and that the van owner did alot of research and settled on them
Check out their web site and see what you think, just another brand.
Redarc also make other bcdc chargers that suit Lithium batteries in smaller amperage
Amptron batteries also have a built in BMS which you can look at that in two ways (1) if it doesn't fail alls good (2) if it fails it will deem the battery dead.
Between the battery and correct charger its not a cheap exersise if you have to take instalation into account as well.
As said above if your old if your old system worked well why not just replace you Full River battery at about 1/3 of the price of going Lithium.

Murray
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Reply By: Siringo - Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 12:13

Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 12:13
Around mid 2018 I did a lot of reading up into lithium (lifepo4) batteries.

I was all ready to slap the money down for a 100AH Enerdrive & charger, but just couldn't justify the expense.

From what I found out Enerdrive & Victron are reputable brands. You'll see there are lots of brands of lithium batteries all roughly around the same price, I came to the conclusion that that is most likely as they are all manufactured at the same factory to the same specs and made to the same standard. Then there are batteries that are more expensive, possibly made at the same factory, but to higher standards.

I also had to remodel the inside of my truck as heat kills batteries and I wasn't going to put a $1000 battery next to my motor under the bonnet. This was a problem as space is very limited.

In the end I decided against it and went with a recommended $200ish AGM.

The real advantage of lithium is their ability to provide power to a load down to a lower depth of discharge than AGM, their ability to quickly recharge & their reduced weight.

Good luck with your decision.
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Monday, Jan 28, 2019 at 11:23

Monday, Jan 28, 2019 at 11:23
Siringo,

Lithium will also cycle for about 5 times longer than an AGM. In other words, if your AGM can cycle (discharge & Recharge) about 200 times, then your Lithium battery will cycle about 1,000 times. This means a Lithium battery will last about 5 times as long as an AGM. In simple terms, if your AGM battery lasts on average about 2 to 3 years, then a Lithium battery will last 10 to 15 years, $200 every 2 to 3 years, or $1,000 every 10 to 15 years.

Macca.
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Follow Up By: Siringo - Monday, Jan 28, 2019 at 12:24

Monday, Jan 28, 2019 at 12:24
Yep, you're spot on Macca and that played a big part in why I ended up not going Lithium.

I'm very sure I'll be using my AGM in 2-3 years time, but I'm not sure I'll be using a Lithium in 7-10, I could be dead, I could have my own private jet, Lithium may be replaced by something else etc etc.

I saw it as a big dollar investment without a guaranteed period of use.

Also, from memory the warranty on most lithium batteries is around 3 years. The warranty on the AGMs I purchased is 2 years. $1000 is alot of money to find again should your battery not be replaced under warranty in 3 years.

I personally couldn't justify the financial outlay for my situation.



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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Tuesday, Jan 29, 2019 at 15:42

Tuesday, Jan 29, 2019 at 15:42
Lithium Ion Phosphate batteries have been in use for quite a long time, over ten years, I think their longevity over AGM/Lead/Acid batteries has been well and truely demonstrated.

Macca.
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Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 23:06

Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 23:06
The lithium carbonate market has collapsed badly in the last 6 mths, so I don't understand why lithium batteries are still so expensive.

In May 2018, Lithium Carbonate of battery grade was bringing 139,000 yuan a tonne in China.

However, at the start of this year, Lithium Carbonate had dropped to around 78,000 yuan a tonne.

It's interesting to see that Iza B's Hi-Max battery is made by the Optimum Nano Energy company (www.optimumnanoenergy.com).

However, Optimum shut down their Lithium battery production for 6 months, from June to December 2018, and made nearly all their employees take 6 mths off.

It appears there has been serious overproduction of Lithium batteries in China, largely due to distortions in the Chinese economic system.
The Chinese Govt was giving electric bus builders up to $150,000 per bus to build electric buses - but of course, the system was being rorted, so the Govt ceased handing out the subsidies.

This has left a lot of Lithium battery manufacturers in China in deep manure as they try to balance output with actual, unsubsidised demand.
These manufacturers are also carrying huge debts due to battery production expansion.

It will be interesting to see what happens from here on in - but I would expect that Chinese lithium battery manufacturers would be really keen to drop prices at present, to stimulate demand, so they can stay in business, and repay their debts.

Some interesting links ...

Optimum Nano slashes production to 20% of former output - May 2018

Worlds No 4 Lithium battery maker halts production for 6 mths - Jun 2018

Chinese Lithium prices stable at 78,000 yuan/tonne at end of 2018

Optimum Nano 50aH LiFeP04 battery

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 29, 2019 at 14:05

Tuesday, Jan 29, 2019 at 14:05
Chris,

I have in my van 360Ah LiFePO4 from EV Power (Rod Dilkes) Best thing I ever did. The batteries he supplied are happy with my existing lead-acid chargers as all (Mains, DC-DC and solar) have appropriate voltage options.

Half the weight, twice the useable power, long term cost of ownership equal to or less than lead-acid.

Check out my blog on a LiFePO4 conversion.

Cheers
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Reply By: Numb Thumbs - Monday, Feb 11, 2019 at 11:55

Monday, Feb 11, 2019 at 11:55
I have had 200 Ah of lithium cells in my camper for over 4 years. I am using a Ctek D250s Dual and Projecta 240 Volt charger.

All is well - no problems at all. I also fitted a battery management system which cuts off the load if the Voltage of a single cell goes low, or the chargers if a cell goes high.

Another major advantage of Lithium batteries is that they maintain their Voltage right down to 20% SOC at least. Your fridge will run much better than with the dropping Voltage from a lead battery.

I won't be buying a lead battery any time soon.

Cheers
Numb Thumbs ;)
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Reply By: Member - Rusty - Monday, Feb 11, 2019 at 16:09

Monday, Feb 11, 2019 at 16:09
Talk to this guy @ DCS on the Gold coast $1199 for 100AMP
paul@deepcyclesystems.com.au

very knowledgeable I have one for the Van and so much better than a 125AMP deep cycle I had can now make my toast for breaky and have a electric blanket at night still power in the morning the old one would be flat 11V !


http://www.deepcyclesystems.com.au/marine-rv-12v-deep-cycle-battery-charger-trolling/12v-100ah-lithium
AnswerID: 623770

Reply By: Member - Trevor R VK4KWI - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2019 at 18:10

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2019 at 18:10
Having been involved in the Battery retail and fitting world in the last few years and having seen Lithium, AGM, Flooded technology out there. I personally have some doubts about moving to Lithium at this stage.

1: the battery cost per Amp hour is significantly higher, the average RRP for a 100AHr is around $1200, for a 200 hour is is around $3000 for Lithium

2 AGM and flooded come in various qualities as well. A Full River is a Century with another screen print coming form the Yuasa Korea Factory. At one point they also did the same spec as a Power House brand

3 cheaper AGM deep cycle are good for about 300 to 350 full discharge cycles, Better quality 400. Gel is designed for 600 or there about. High end flooded such as US Batteries are designed for a 1000 cycles.

Most Lithium Ion is only capable of about 300 to 350 100% DOD cycle. Iron Nano Phosphate has less capacity but greater cycle capacity but is not found in practice to do 2500 cycles as much marketing claims. They are typically able to do 1000

4 If the only reason if your looking around then stick with AGM or flooded at this stage based on price and in-use life which will be about 5 years. Lithium will also tend to have an in-use life of 5 years.

5 Lithium batteries do not like being continuously floated, Lead based tech does. This means having Lithium sitting on float with solar and other such items will kill them much sooner than the claimed life on the label. They have the advantage of not readily self discharging and will hold 80% charge after five years sitting on the shelf (if it is a good lithium battery), so lithium can sit around a long time between uses if there is no draw on them.

6 the misconception about lithium is 100% cycling, yes it will do full voltage until flat but doesn't like doing it all the time every day. Lithium does far better with partial discharge and will do the equivalent of 4 times the equivalent 100% cycles if only every partial discharge is no more than 50%. So if the battery is rated at 1000 and you only every 50% discharge it, it will last the equivalent of 4000 100% DOD cycles. (yep the maths is weird, its how the chemistry works)

7 Lithium batteries do build up dendrites between plates and this is rapidly increased with 100% DOD.

8 Lithium charges with constant voltage and constant current. All charges that do lithium and Lead acid change how they charge. Lead acid charging typically now has many stages including rippling voltage and voltage variances between stages. Lithium does not need bulk or absorption. The Victron range of chargers are a good example where the chemistry are defined. Sometimes the the battery manufacturer gets around this by making the battery smart, however this adds more components that can fail.

Finally all good Lithium batteries have a set of protection circuits in them (the only legal way to sell them), this will detect over and under cell voltages and will disconnect the cell from the outside world. This is to prevent shorts and other reactions that will lead to a cell rupture and fire. Once the circuit switches in no more battery.

At this point in time the price point still heavily counts against Lithium being truly viable. There are still safety concerns around them. If a battery does go is will not stop burning until you are out of lithium. It is still proving a big problem in motorbike start batteries.

Personally I stick with Lead technology as it is not worth the Money. Century do a 100AHr AGM for about $480 RRP, I personally see no point in spending a $1000 plus to do the same job.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2019 at 18:24

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2019 at 18:24
.
I knew that there was a good reason I was sticking to AGM....

I just couldn't put my finger on it. lol
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Follow Up By: Member - Greg R (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 14, 2019 at 08:38

Thursday, Feb 14, 2019 at 08:38
I’m sorry Trevor however there are a few misconceptions in your post.
Your conclusion is a cost comparison on AGM 100AHr and Lithium 100AHr batteries. I have a 100AHr Lithium and would say it is nearly as good as a 200AHr AGM, which brings the cost much closer. I base this on
1. Useable amps AGM - 50A Lithium - 80A
2. Charges up much quicker as does not require an absorption phase. (Using a Lithium charger profile)
3. More constant voltage. At 50% discharge (DOD) I pump 13.1v and after 80% DOD mine are still pumping 12.8v. This means all appliances are running efficiently even as DOD increases.
4. Weight - 2 x 100AHr AGM = approx 64kg.
1 x 100AHr Lithium = 14kg. 50kg saving.
5. Easier to work with as it prefers to work in a 30% x 80% DOD range (no need to Topup). AGM Must always be topped up to get good life expectancy.

The important thing is to use a proper charger with a Lithium profile as this will take care of any shortening of life cycles caused by floating or overcharging. I would expect to get at least 10 years out of my Battery.
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Follow Up By: Member - Trevor R VK4KWI - Thursday, Feb 14, 2019 at 09:57

Thursday, Feb 14, 2019 at 09:57
Hi Greg,

You also appear to have a few misconceptions about the battery tech, as a 100 Ahr Lead Acid battery at the C/20 rating will do exactly that, deliver 5 amps per hour for 20 hours, which is 100. With a number of real, load tests done at work we often see good Lead Acid batteries deliver 5 to 10% above label ratings and able to do full 100% discharging. Sure the voltage tapers but then it depends on what your running, if its an inverter for your aircon unit then yes that is an issue. That's why most electronic equipment of any quality has a voltage range

If weight is the only factor it is a lot of additional money for a Lithium battery. I personally do not even use AGM as a good flooded battery out performs it by a significant number of DOD discharge cycles and only costs $280 to $300. AGM are great if your worried about spills and have restricted venting.

As for Lithium the tech is still settling in, I have personally seen more burnt out lithium batteries than I have seen AGM or Lead Acid batteries with failed cases causing damage around them. The problem is how Lithium are made and the electrolyte which is highly volatile. The Cells are typically 18650 style inside and these at a 100% charge can reach 120 PSI, which is why when they fail they tend to "vent with flame".

When the new plastic electrolyte Lithium, that is in development comes out then we will get a truly safe battery in this chemistry style.

The DOD and capacity of Lithium is highly dependent upon the chemistry type, pure lithium (Lithium Ion or Lithium Polymer) have the best weight to power ratios. Sadly they have poor cycle life. Here think mobile phone batteries. They also have superior DOD levels. To get cycle life they use nano particles in the metal lattice structure. The current choice is with Nano phosphate, which helps prevent dendrite formation. However by doing this capacity and a DOD is decreased.

If I have a 100K caravan I'm not ready based on current tech levels with Lithium to risk it with a battery that will potentially vent with flame and destroy the lot. I will consider it as the tech is more established and costs decrease.

Sure you get great voltage all the way down to flat on a Lithium, but 1 x 100hr Flooded Lead Acid Battery, 1 solar panel with reg is way less cost than 1 x 100AHR Lithium battery. With my Current battery and panel combo I have had 4 years of service and still going with a fridge that is never turned off in the car.

Lithium is simply way to expensive for what it is offering, and the current tech has not had enough time to truly prove itself for hoped 10 plus year service life.

Where as companies like US Batteries can Gaurantee it for Flooded Lead Acid

Trevor (VK4KWI)

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Follow Up By: Member - Greg R (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 16, 2019 at 09:31

Saturday, Feb 16, 2019 at 09:31
Hi Trevor
I understand where you are coming from. Yes, cost is important however when I started using my 100AHr LiFePO4 Lithium battery 3 years ago I found I no longer had DOD concerns and the fridge ran better as 13.1v is maintained down to about 70% DOD. They also recharge really quick from my 40amp Enerdrive Dc-Dc charger. My previous setup was 2x100AHr AGM’s and this 100AHr LiFePO4 delivers almost the same output and weighs 50kg less (very important as I have a slide on camper and weight is always an issue)
I think you also confuse the issue of safety. You keep mentioning Lithium Ion and Lithium Polymer batteries as unsafe. I am talking about LiFePO4 batteries, a very different beast, and 99% of Caravans are running LiFePO4 batteries.
They are much safer with a lower energy density.
Pic is showing the voltage (12.5v)still available at 90% DOD. As can be seen the battery is also under 4.2 amp load from the fridge.
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