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Lithium Battery Install

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Engineerlt

Lithium Battery Install
« on: July 31, 2022, 10:26:10 am »
Hello All
I figured I would put this out there for those of you interested in installing lithium batteries. So I purchased 2ea SOK 206ah Bluetooth/Heated batteries. I chose these batteries for several reasons, I could get the most amp hours in the space I had, they are serviceable (you can actually open them up) , the cost per amp hour was very competitive and they have a good reputation. I had to reconfigure the battery box for the new batteries. I removed the box and did some fabrication.

 Then the wiring, I installed a battery disconnect switch for each battery. I figured it would help make troubleshooting easier by being able to isolate each battery. I put the batteries in parallel using the post method, which is using a bus bar and running a the same length 1/0 wire from each post and then to the bus bar. From the bus bar I ran a 3/0 wire to a copper bus bar that was 1/4in thick by 1in wide and 10in long. This was setup to accept the ANL fuse holders for Solar (40amp), HWH levelers (150amp),  generator (130amp), and  the inverter/power panel (300amp). I also installed a Renogy 40amp DC to DC charger. I chose this one as it is the simplest to operate and gives you the option to go from 40 amps to 20 amps and I figured this might be useful if you had a large electrical load on the alternator.

 So installing the DC to DC charger means you have to disconnect the normal way the alternator charged the house battery. This was done very simply by removing a couple wires from the solenoid located under the coolant overflow bottle. The biggest part of the installation was running the wires.

  I did have a "Oh Heck" moment. After charging the batteries, I discharged them down to the bottom of 10.5 Volts. I wanted to see if the rated capacity of the batteries matched actually capacity. The answer is yes actually 418 amps. The issue was charging the batteries back up, I have a WFCO 9855LIS converter which replaced the stock 55amp Parallax converter, which wasn't rated for lithium batteries. So a 55 amp converter for a 55 amp converter. Well PC's wiring was under sized for the converter, they ran 8 AWG. I guess they figured the converter would never put out rated capacity charging lead acid batteries. So what happened, lithium batteries are almost like a direct short and take as much amperage as the BMS will allow. So the converter went to maximum amperage and the wires from it got hot. So I shut it down and changed out the wire to the maximum the converter lugs would carry and that was 2 AWG. No issues now...

Here are a couple pictures, if you have any questions just message me and I will be happy to help if I can.

Very Respectfully
Lance
« Last Edit: July 31, 2022, 10:29:50 am by Engineerlt »

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fandj

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Re: Lithium Battery Install
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2022, 06:30:12 pm »
Lance,
As expected from seeing some of your other PC upgrade projects,  the Lithium battery installation appears very neat and well thought out.  You should have ample electrical storage for most anything you choose to power.


I hope you provide a follow up after the batteries, solar panels, etc. are installed and you have a few off grid camping experiences to share.


Fred

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jim.godfrey

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Re: Lithium Battery Install
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2022, 07:44:31 pm »
Lance, I think the back plane for your isolation switches would have looked better in plywood. roflol

Nice work as per usual!

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Lithium Battery Install
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2022, 10:49:53 pm »
Ron (& Irene) Dittmer

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parkgt

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Re: Lithium Battery Install
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2022, 07:35:34 am »
Lance knows is stuff and is willing to share his knowledge.  I am following his lead on some major upgrades.  His help has been crucial to me having the courage and guidance to undertake this project(s).  He has had to spoon feed me on much of the electrical considerations and described how to to many steps when I was uncertain.

I have a ways to go, but with his help I think I will make it!

Here is a list of what I am doing and the things he has helped me plan to get done.

Second A/C in back. Both will be the Recpro 3400 Houghtons.
Flexarmor roof coating, with unitstruts for 400w of solar panel.
Charge controller
DC to DC charger
Auto Gen start
Victron Inverter
2 - 206ah SOK batteries
Upgraded wiring as required

A major hurdle is having a enlarged battery box.  Below is the new one I built.