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Old 06-24-2019, 05:58 PM   #1
hosspowerinc
 
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Default Solar Charging Lithium and Starter Battery

I have a 2011 Sprinter that is getting 300ah of lithium batteries and a 315 watt solar panel with Victron controller. I am connecting to the alternator via a Victron Cyrix-Li ACR and it will be controlled by the 712 battery monitor to shut off charging when the batteries are below freezing and when they are roughly 80% charged. I imagine some will say that the alternator can't handle this but Ive seen several reports that the factory wiring can only support about 80 amps from the alternator and thus will act as a regulator to keep the batteries from cooking the alternator if they are low on charge.

My question relates to the starter battery and the lithium programming in the solar controller. Victron sells two different Cyrix models that will work, the CT and the Charge. The CT will connect when either of its terminals sees over 13.4V and the Charge will connect only when the input terminal sees 13.7V. My choice would be the CT as it has a built in Start Assist feature and also would help keep the starter battery charged via solar (the CT will connect when solar power is present) but Im not sure if the programming of the solar controller ( higher voltage and no trickle) will hurt the starter battery more than it will help, plus the different chemistry's mingling during the day when there is no load may be problematic.

I can easily add a manual bypass as a jump start option but in my previous van the solar charging on the starter battery was handy during periods of inactivity, though it had AGM house batteries and was straight forward. Thanks for any input.
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Old 06-24-2019, 07:01 PM   #2
john61ct
 
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Default Re: Solar Charging Lithium and Starter Battery

Victron in general makes top notch products.

The Cyrix line is not one.

A Sterling BB series DC-DC would be my reco. Set a 60A limit explicitly on the current pulled by your LFP bank rather than letting your charge system get stressed

Will actually charge faster by maintaining the V setpoint. And even then in hot ambients watch out, a V/A meter on the DCDC input can be informative.
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Old 06-24-2019, 07:21 PM   #3
OrioN
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Default Re: Solar Charging Lithium and Starter Battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Victron in general makes top notch products.

The Cyrix line is not one.

A Sterling BB series DC-DC would be my reco. Set a 60A limit explicitly on the current pulled by your LFP bank rather than letting your charge system get stressed

Will actually charge faster by maintaining the V setpoint. And even then in hot ambients watch out, a V/A meter on the DCDC input can be informative.
What makes the Cyrix inferior?
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Old 06-24-2019, 07:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: Solar Charging Lithium and Starter Battery

Poor build quality,

subject to faster corrosion, not potted

brass studs rather than plated, uncovered

no blinky light, local much less remote

no remote override

no starting isolation

Even if some features since added, they have a much higher reported failure rate than Blue Sea ACRs which are pretty much bulletproof
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Old 06-25-2019, 01:00 AM   #5
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Default Re: Solar Charging Lithium and Starter Battery

John61ct, as long as you know Victron and recommend them as well as the Stirling BB. What are your thoughts of the Sterling vs. the 60 amp Victron Buckboost potentially throttled down to 40 Amps? This would be for a smart alternator VS30.

Apology to the OP and thanks in advance,

Jack
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Old 06-25-2019, 02:43 AM   #6
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Default Re: Solar Charging Lithium and Starter Battery

Have not used nor researched that buckboost to use as a charger, so reco Sterling BB series.

Thought it was just a DCDC converter / OSU style.

Does it have

current derating?
user-custom setpoint adjustment?
remote switch ability?

What sort of stop-charge algorithms?
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Old 06-25-2019, 04:02 AM   #7
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Default Re: Solar Charging Lithium and Starter Battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Poor build quality,

subject to faster corrosion, not potted

brass studs rather than plated, uncovered

no blinky light, local much less remote

no remote override

no starting isolation

Even if some features since added, they have a much higher reported failure rate than Blue Sea ACRs which are pretty much bulletproof
Can you expand on starting isolation and what failure modes / symptoms you have seen?
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Old 06-25-2019, 12:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: Solar Charging Lithium and Starter Battery

https://www.bluesea.com/support/arti...ngine_Starting
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Old 06-25-2019, 01:44 PM   #9
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Default Re: Solar Charging Lithium and Starter Battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
I think this is related, sorry if I'm hijacking! I'll move it to a new thread if it is.

I'm using a Sterling b2b charger(60amp) between my Lithium house bank(200 amp) and my AGM starter batt, wired as per Sterling. I also have solar panels(400 watts) with a Victron MPPT controller(50/100). All above commonly wired to + and - Blue Sea Power bars.
My question is; At rest, will my starter batt receive a charge from my solar without any additional hardware? Do I need some kind of additional combiner? The two banks are connected via the power bars and the Sterling b2b wiring. Will the b2b act as the combiner?
Magnum Energy makes a combiner, ME-SBC Smart Battery Combiner, i was thinking of using. I currently am using their hybrid 3000 inverter/charger and related components(batt monitor and display).
Thanks!
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Old 06-25-2019, 03:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: Solar Charging Lithium and Starter Battery

(Dang... can't find my local copy of a Sterling manual ... so i'll guess):
((the manual confirms my "guess" ... they even speak of "shore power" as being applied to the *starter* battery then reaching through to charge the "domestic" (house) battery))

Sunny: I would be stunned if the Sterling acted as a "reverse joiner" ... it's really a one-way (very complicated) device.

It's only the far simpler (in essence) voltage-sensitive relays that will join the two systems if *either* side appears to have charging voltages (such as solar on the house side and/or alternator on the starter side) appearing at its terminals. BlueSea ACR for example.
BUT: don't just throw an ACR "across" the Sterling without additional "lock-out" wiring/logic, otherwise you'll trigger a loop of "solar fires up ACR which puts charging voltage on starter battery which convinces Sterling it can fire up and charge house battery which is already getting solar which..."


--dick (who'll correct/update this when he finds/re-fetches a Sterling manual)((but i'm 99.95% confident in my "guess"))
Step One: the 1260's current manual: http://www.sterling-power-usa.com/li...Eng_GerV60.pdf
from: https://www.sterling-power-usa.com/S...rycharger.aspx
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((as always: this post may go through a couple of post-posting edits... so maybe give it ten minutes before commenting))

Last edited by autostaretx; 06-25-2019 at 04:13 PM.
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