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Old 11-16-2018, 12:44 AM   #1
daveness
 
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Default Power system build with current products

There are lots of posts about this, but I thought I'd lay out what I'm about to do as 1) a benefit for those looking for some of the newest product solutions and 2) welcome input from anyone pro or con on my approach. Everyone's needs are different. For me it will be some park camping, some open desert or mountain camping and not too heavy of a load on my batteries. The loads include, lights, 12v cooler, stereo, espar 2, water pump, and the big one, recharging my drone batteries (45 minutes from 30 amps at 12 volts to 5 amps, quickly dropping). I might put in an induction cooktop (1500 w) and/or an elect water heater (1500 w) down the road.

My solution is:
Let me explain why I'm using "expensive" Redarc and Battle Born components. The Redarc takes care of a lot of functions that normally take many components, wiring between them, space, cost and potential reliability problems with interconnects. It also "manages" everything and provides a comprehensive screen to tell you everything about your whole system. I like the condensed format and information. The Lithium Battle Born batteries can fit, I believe, in the Wagon Adventure battery rack in the engine compartment. Lithium batteries are lighter, can be drained to near zero, can be added onto with more batteries later without having to replace the first bought and they are rugged. Two 100 AH Lithium batteries deliver 200AH of useable power, equivalent to 400 AH of AGM batteries if you abide by not depleting them more than 50%. Lithium batteries also apparently charge faster.

So, comments?
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Old 11-16-2018, 03:53 PM   #2
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Default Re: Power system build with current products

It turns out the Lithium batteries are an inch taller than the AGM's and wont fit in the Wagon Adventure battery tray so I'll put the Lithium batteries under the dinette seat where the inverter and battery manager will be.
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Old 11-16-2018, 09:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: Power system build with current products

If you placed the LiFEP04 batteries under the hood, and the temperature dropped below the minimum charging temperature for lithium batteries, you'd be screwed. So, better to go with plan B, and place them inside the coach to keep them warmer. IMO.
The rest of it seems like it should work, if you've mapped out your maximum energy requirements, and 200Ah of power will cover them. The issue with high capacity storage systems has always been recharging in a reasonable amount of time, after depletion.
I do like the lithium option, in general, and am looking at it myself.
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Old 11-18-2018, 07:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: Power system build with current products

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winterbagoal View Post
If you placed the LiFEP04 batteries under the hood, and the temperature dropped below the minimum charging temperature for lithium batteries, you'd be screwed. So, better to go with plan B, and place them inside the coach to keep them warmer. IMO.
The rest of it seems like it should work, if you've mapped out your maximum energy requirements, and 200Ah of power will cover them. The issue with high capacity storage systems has always been recharging in a reasonable amount of time, after depletion.
I do like the lithium option, in general, and am looking at it myself.
Thanks Mike for the feedback. Yeah, I am putting the Lithium batteries inside.
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Old 11-18-2018, 09:42 PM   #5
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Default Re: Power system build with current products

Good call, the heat in the engine compartment would dramatically reduce the batteries life, especially in warm climates.

Note that the BB units have had a few reported issues with running loads near their rated output, especially inductive ones like motors. A water heater should be fine, the cooktop, probably.

The big benefit of the lithium banks is being able to rapidly charge. I would go for as large a charger as your alternator will handle. Several reports are that 90A, or about 1.2kw of power is reasonable. For a DC-DC charger this is 90A of input power, so do the math to set your output current limit, as each unit has a known efficiency rating.
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Old 11-19-2018, 12:27 AM   #6
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Default Re: Power system build with current products

I like the Redarc kit and run the BCDC1240 B2B Charger in my van, but not convinced about the Manager 30 - or any fully all-in-one system TBH. If it fails, you have no charging capability at all for your house batteries.
If you have seperates then you have a degree of redundancy - If Shore Power charger fails, you can still get charge via Solar and when driving. If your B2B fails, then Solar will help and maybe an overnight at a campsite will get you back to full, etc. etc. Just a thought.

Also, for $1100 you could get good quality seperates so it is not like you are saving by having a combo unit (my 40A B2B + Victron 100/30 + Victron IP22 12/20 was a lot less than $1100 - and could have gone bigger on the IP22 and still well within $1100)
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Old 11-19-2018, 02:55 PM   #7
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Default Re: Power system build with current products

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midwestdrifter View Post
Good call, the heat in the engine compartment would dramatically reduce the batteries life, especially in warm climates.

Note that the BB units have had a few reported issues with running loads near their rated output, especially inductive ones like motors. A water heater should be fine, the cooktop, probably.

The big benefit of the lithium banks is being able to rapidly charge. I would go for as large a charger as your alternator will handle. Several reports are that 90A, or about 1.2kw of power is reasonable. For a DC-DC charger this is 90A of input power, so do the math to set your output current limit, as each unit has a known efficiency rating.
Thanks for the info. I'll look at charging current to get the benefit of the fast charging Lithium.
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Old 11-19-2018, 02:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: Power system build with current products

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildebus View Post
I like the Redarc kit and run the BCDC1240 B2B Charger in my van, but not convinced about the Manager 30 - or any fully all-in-one system TBH. If it fails, you have no charging capability at all for your house batteries.
If you have seperates then you have a degree of redundancy - If Shore Power charger fails, you can still get charge via Solar and when driving. If your B2B fails, then Solar will help and maybe an overnight at a campsite will get you back to full, etc. etc. Just a thought.

Also, for $1100 you could get good quality seperates so it is not like you are saving by having a combo unit (my 40A B2B + Victron 100/30 + Victron IP22 12/20 was a lot less than $1100 - and could have gone bigger on the IP22 and still well within $1100)
Excellent point about the lack of redundancy. Especially if someone is going long distances, like traveling down Mexico and Central America. I'll look up the models of components you mentioned and give that some thought but I have to say I like the cleanliness of one unit. Figure if it fails I could always hard wire from alternator to Lithium in a pinch.
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Old 11-19-2018, 09:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: Power system build with current products

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveness View Post
Excellent point about the lack of redundancy. Especially if someone is going long distances, like traveling down Mexico and Central America. I'll look up the models of components you mentioned and give that some thought but I have to say I like the cleanliness of one unit. Figure if it fails I could always hard wire from alternator to Lithium in a pinch.
Yes - a hard wire is always an option and worthwhile keeping the parts needed to make that happen. It could be as simple as prepping the cables ready to make the connection with a removable fuse or breaker between the two to make as needed :)

I like the pedigree of the Redarc - sealed units so no damp or dust to get in and designed for use in the Aussie outback so should be rugged.
Something I did inmy van when I changed from a VSR (Voltage Sensing Relay - think you may call them something else in the US?) to the Redarc B2B was keep the VSR installed and wired up and have a flick to switch between the two

Added Charger Switch
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Old 06-02-2019, 05:05 PM   #10
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Default Re: Power system build with current products

I too am looking at the Redarc Manager30, it is completely designed to solve our multiple issues outfitting a van. It does something I don't see any other system doing, which is combining solar and alternator charging concurrently, using up all the solar available and then adding in alternator. My hesitance in going with it is that the installed base seems very small, i.e. not many people in the US have it running so problems that always arise with any new system have not all been discovered yet, meaning that when you get a hiccup of some sort there will not be 20 posts here telling you what to do! I do like the 'one-stop-shopping' aspect of the unit in the way it coordinates three different charge inputs, very relaxing to me. It will result in a 30 amp limitation to maximum charge current from 120V mains/shore and engine alternator. For lithium we can handle higher amps and thus have shorter charge times, using separate components lets you have 50+ amps from 120V and engine alternator.

The other options I am considering are:

Kisae DMT 1250 MPPT solar/alternator 50 amp DC-DC charge controller
Iota DLS -55 120V -> DC charger 55 amp

Does anyone know how these separates will behave when three charging sources are active at the same time?
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