BATTERY INSULATION MANAGEMENT
Although Van (Sprinter, Transit, Promaster or other), Motorhome (VR), and Skoolies alternators are usually fitted with alternators that charge at a voltage suitable for lithium (14.2 to 14.6V), we recommend d ” isolate your Lithium batteries from the starter battery (lead-acid) with a DC To DC charger or a Battery Isolator Manager (BIM).
As the recommended charging amperage for our batteries is 5 – 50A and modern alternators reaching capacities up to 240A, the installation of one of these devices will allow the charging amperage from the alternator to be adapted. to maximize battery and alternator life.
WHAT TO CHOOSE BETWEEN DC-DC AND DIODE (BIM)
DC To DC (Charger)
Recommended installations of 1 or 2 Volthium Batteries of 100A
DC To DC chargers (also called Battery To Battery or B To B) do; in addition to limiting the charging amperage for your battery bank (between 20 and 60A depending on the model) will stop the charging process when the engine is not running to prevent unwanted discharge of the starter battery.
Here are some models:
- RENOGY – 12V DC To DC on board-battery charger
- (DC-DC Renogy is not compatible with self-heating batteries)
- VICTRON – Orion-Tr Smart CC-CC
- STERLING – Power Battery to Battery Charger 12V
Some DC-DCs are not able to reactivate batteries that are completely dead. In this case, it is suggested to install a “* Bypass” which will have the function of temporarily connecting the auxiliary batteries directly with the alternator in order to reactivate the lithium batteries.
* Push button type
Some models also act as an MPPT solar charge controller, eliminating the need to purchase and install a second component.
Here are 2 models that we recommend:
- KISAE – DMT-1250 Smart battery chargers
- RENOGY – 50A DC-DC on board battery charger with MPPT
Battery Isolator Manager (BIM)
Recommended for installations of 3 LifePO4 batteries of 100A or more:
BIM has the advantage of having a lower purchase cost than a DC To DC in addition to allowing recharging up to 225 amps. Charging the batteries with a higher charge current will therefore be more efficient for a battery bank of 3 or more batteries. Note that the BIM works with a 15 minute charge cycle followed by 20 minutes of disconnection. This prevents overheating of the alternator. Another advantage of BIM is that it will reactivate your lithium batteries if they are completely dead. Here is the recommended model:
- PRECISION – Circuits Battery Isolator Manager (Chose the lithium model
SOLAR CHARGING CONTROLLERS
A solar charge controller is a current or voltage controller that manages the power that is transferred from your solar panels to your battery bank.
There are two main types of solar charge controllers:
PWM Charge Controller (Pulse Width Modulation)
With their low cost, it is a basic charge regulator, which has the function of adapting the voltage of the panels for your battery bank. However, they do not allow charging a 12V battery bank with panels whose voltage is greater than 23V. Nowadays, they are used less and less.
MPPT Charge Controller (Maximum power point tracker)
With more sophisticated charging algorithms, this type of regulator provides up to 30% more efficiency compared to a PWM regulator (especially during cloudy periods). Finally, MPPT regulators accept a higher input voltage (up to 250V) compared to PWM (23V or 55V max). They therefore make it possible to charge a 12V battery park with panels of 24V or more.
The most recent devices offer a Lithium function which allows rapid adaptability for the replacement of your batteries.
For charge controllers that do not have this feature, adjusting the settings on your device will allow you to optimize it for charging your lithium batteries. Simply adjust the voltage (Bulk) to 14.4 –14.6V and the voltage (float) to 13.6
For more details, please refer to the user manual.
Solar panels are available in a wide range, sizes, powers and voltages.
Monocrystalline solar panels are made from a single complete silicon crystal while polycrystalline solar panels are made from several fragments of silicon crystals fused together. This manufacturing difference allows monocrystalline solar panels to offer better performance. Although they are more expensive, the fact that they can produce more energy outweighs the extra cost, in addition to having a longer lifespan. In addition, their black color is more discreet than the blue of polycrystallines.
As a rule of thumb, a panel of around 200 watts for every 100Ah of lithium batteries will provide you with daily range by allowing your battery bank to be recharged from 50 to 100% during a full day of sunshine.
INVERTER, CHARGER AND INVERTER / CHARGER
An inverter is a device that transforms direct current (DC) from your batteries, into alternating current (AC) used by several electrical devices (coffee maker, toaster, computer and cell charger, etc.) plugged into an outlet. domestic standard.
A charger (converter) transforms a standard 120V AC power supply and converts it to a DC power supply to charge the batteries. You will therefore be able to recharge your batteries from a standard AC power source.
There are also electrical devices called an inverter / charger, which as the name suggests, is a combination of an inverter and a battery charger.
The most recent devices offer a Lithium function perfectly suited for our batteries, while other models allow adjustment of the output voltage parameters. In this case, adjust the voltage (Bulk) to 14.4 –14.6V and the voltage (Float) to 13.4 – 13.6V.
for more details, please refer to the user manual.
Some popular chargers, such as WFCO and Progressive Dynamics, do not achieve the recommended charging voltages for lithium. Although these devices are able to charge your batteries, the charge will be slower and may not reach a 100% state of charge due to the output voltage of 13.6 V. In some cases, you may need to be replacing the charger in order to obtain optimal results.
Please note, it is not mandatory to replace your converter / charger if you are installing lithium batteries. Indeed, if you have solar panels, they will be able to complete the charge to 100%.
In short, the original charger converter will do most of the work and your solar regulator will compensate for the shortfall.
This type of device gives you specific information about your battery bank, such as the remaining power and the total Ah consumed. Their level of precision can however be improved since this type of device does not take into account factors such as the temperature of the batteries and their wear. In addition, they must be reset regularly.
At Volthium,our Bluetooth batteries provide you with all this information with much greater precision than a monitor. By downloading the Volthium IOS or Android application, you will have access to the data collected directly by the BMS. In order to give you an accurate indication, the algorithm takes into account internal temperature, cell voltage and battery wear. This information is interpreted to display the actual state of charge (SOC). Other data such as internal battery temperature, voltage, current, health status and number of cycles performed are displayed in the Volthium app.