Lithium battery in Lil Snoozy - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-23-2018, 06:49 PM   #15
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Name: Douglas
Trailer: Lil Snoozy
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Carl,

Your analysis is really helpful and thank you for thinking it through. You are right about the need to protect the circuits on the load side. The Snoozy comes with a 30 amp automatic breaker between the battery and the loads and I kept that in the circuit right at the distribution block for the loads. So the 300 amp fuse if for a catastrophe and the breaker is for the more routine shorts in the trailer. You are exactly right in your suggestion.

I appreciate the risk analysis for the charger circuit. The wire is 6 gauge and a strait, simple route to the battery. I think the 300 A fuse will blow before the wire will burn, but I didn't calculate that out. Maybe I should have. But the Progressive Dynamics Charger/Converter has short circuit protection that cuts current in milliseconds.

Doug
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Old 05-23-2018, 06:54 PM   #16
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I left the Progressive Dynamics 9160AL off of the list but included in the total price. I tried to edit the list but am not sure if it took. Cost is $278.
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Old 05-23-2018, 07:06 PM   #17
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Name: Larry
Trailer: Casita
North Carolina
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I recently installed a ReLion 300 amp in my Casita and also upgraded to a Progressive Dynamics system designed to maximize my battery. I have 350 watts of solar on top of my camper and luckily bought a MPPT controller that could be programmed to specs of my battery charge requirements. So far everything has worked as planned and hopefully will for a number of years to come. ReLion and Progressive Dynamics were very helpful and interested in helping me maximize the benefit of my lithium setup. Another bonus was the 300 amp battery only weighs around 70lbs. I anticipate the system to break even cost wise somewhere around 3 to 3 1/2 years at my current level of 1/2 time camping and mostly boondocking.
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Old 05-26-2018, 09:05 AM   #18
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Name: Charlie
Trailer: 2014 Lil Snoozy
North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Air Doug View Post
Charlie,



Here is an approximate cost breakdown.



Doug



Battle Born battery - 950

Blue Sea 5191 fuse block - 19

300A fuse - 12

Cable, 6 gauge 2x10 feet - 54

Victron BMV 700 (minus bluetooth dongle) - 144

lugs - 8

Blue Sea 9001e battery selector switch - 35

Victron Orion-Tr 12/12-9A isolated DC/DC converter - 65

Misc. wire, shrink wrap, terminals, aluminum, screws, strap etc - 70



Total is about $1635


Doug,

Thatís less than I expected. I have the Victron also. It is very accurate. With my two 6v golf cart batteries I can go three days without a recharge. That gives me about 110 usable amp hours discharging to 50 percent. You should be able to do the same with your system since you can discharge much lower.
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Old 06-02-2018, 08:57 PM   #19
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Name: Allen
Trailer: Currently Shopping
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Love your analysis and cost breakdown. Although I don't own a fiberglass trailer, I do own an A-frame trailer, which has may of the same properties. I would like to do a similar upgrade some day.

I am most curious in your "Victron Orion-Tr 12/12-9A isolated DC/DC converter - 65". Has it lived up to your expectations? Would you do anything differently if were redoing it? The specs say 110W output at constant 9A. Which is slightly under what I need, as the fridge 12V heating element is 120W. I would like to be able to run the fridge and charge the battery at the same time. Looks like Victron does make a 220W model.
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Old 06-03-2018, 06:34 AM   #20
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Alben,

Thanks for the kind words.

I have not used the DC/DC converter enough to comment on its long-term suitability. It worked as advertised after installation. It got very good reviews from what seemed like seasoned RV electrical folks over at Airforums (Airstream people) which informed my purchase. I will post a follow-up here after I have more real-life experience with the whole set-up.

Yes, Orion makes not only a 220W (18A) but a 360W (30A). Curiously, the Airstream forum folks recommended the 360W. I didn't understand that because the wire in my tow vehicle and trailer (and probably pretty much every other rig) is 12 gauge and can't handle 18 or 30 amps for that distance. One of the Airstream forum guys actually wrote something about how you couldn't utilize the 30 amps unless you ran heavy wire from the alternator to the DC/DC converter, but still recommended the 30A version.

I double up the 12 gauge wire in my trailer from the 7-pin connector (two 12ga wires from the connector to the DC/DC converter) just to lesson voltage drop. You could do something like that on your trailer and then run a new, heavier gauge wire from the alternator to your tow connector. Folks in the overlander crowd routinely do that and there are videos on where to run it for some tow vehicles. You would have to measure the total distance from alternator to the Orion and then figure out what gauge you needed for enough ampacity.

Good luck with your installation.
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Old 06-06-2018, 03:22 PM   #21
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Name: Fallon
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Originally Posted by CarlD View Post
Doug,
I re-read your original post and have one concern regarding the 300 amp fuse. Because the battery can deliver high currents does not mean you should base your fuse size on it. The purpose of fuses, in most cases, is to protect the wiring from overheating and burning up...
You are so very correct. Fuses (and circuit breakers) protect your wiring, not anything plugged into or connected to that wiring. Always fuse based on the smallest piece of wire in a given circuit. Otherwise there is the potential for that wire to turn into a red hot heating element catching everything on fire. Going a size, possibly 2 higher for wiring is always a good idea (and use a fuse for the next size down). Less risk of any problems & less voltage drop due to the smaller & higher resistance wire turning it into heat.

I have a Trimetric & associated SC-2030 charge controller in my rig & it works great. You can put in custom charge profiles for all sorts of batteries, including lithium. I use a suitcase solar panel for now, but intend on replacing that with a hard mounted charge controller this year for convenience. If you have a dumb converter, you can upgrade it to a smart converter without replacing it by running it's 12v output through the SC-2030 or similar charge controller. It will tend wet cell batteries better, or do lithium as well.

I have a 20ah hour LiFePO4 battery for a ham radio & networking go box along with a Epic PWRgate to act as a UPS & charge controller. Works well and rated to 40@ so within the usage range for our Casita, but not quite setup for RV usage. I wanted a bigger battery with thoughts of putting it in the Casita as well, but it was just to expensive.
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Old 06-06-2018, 05:38 PM   #22
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
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Originally Posted by Fallon View Post
...If you have a dumb converter, you can upgrade it to a smart converter without replacing it by running it's 12v output through the SC-2030 or similar charge controller. ...
I had the same thought some time ago, and decided against doing that. See:

East Coast Rally! IT'S HAPPENING! especially the links in post # 10.

Tell me, have you done it that way, or know of someone who has? My electrical engineering knowledge is a little shy of sufficient to fully understand the issues of a PWM power supply feeding a PWM charge controller.

Also, I have the Trimetric and companion SC-2030 solar controller and I agree it works well. But I am confused about your statement that you have a SC-2030 solar controller and:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fallon View Post
I use a suitcase solar panel for now, but intend on replacing that with a hard mounted charge controller
I have a suitcase (portable) panel that feeds the SC-2030 which is mounted inside the trailer. Thats is to say no controller in the suitcase. So where is your SC-2030? Is it used with the suitcase panels, panel(s) on the roof, or what? Just wondering...


73
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Old 06-06-2018, 07:18 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Fallon View Post
You are so very correct. Fuses (and circuit breakers) protect your wiring, not anything plugged into or connected to that wiring. Always fuse based on the smallest piece of wire in a given circuit. Otherwise there is the potential for that wire to turn into a red hot heating element catching everything on fire. Going a size, possibly 2 higher for wiring is always a good idea (and use a fuse for the next size down). Less risk of any problems & less voltage drop due to the smaller & higher resistance wire turning it into heat.
One of the reasons I posted was to get feedback from other folks with different experience from me and a different set of eyes on what I did. I really appreciate the feedback and you have caused me to re-think my fusing.

As I said in an earlier post, the wiring for all the trailer loads is protected by a 30 amp automatic circuit breaker that came with the trailer and that I incorporated into my system. I looked at the wiring sizes and think that it should be fine. The only questionable one was from the charger/converter and both the unit and the wiring has now been upgraded.

Which brings me to the 300A fuse on the battery. My goal was to protect the system from a dead short across the battery or the charging wiring. The wire from the charger converter is about 7 feet of 6 gauge wire. It is oversized for the 60A capacity of the charger. But what about the fuse? The charger/converter has its own current limiting circuits and reverse polarity fuse protection. So I was really worried about the wire itself.

But I watched this video and used the 300 amp fuse because of it. My wiring is marine rated 6 gauge.
Relooking at the ampacity charts, maybe I should have used something less than 100 amps. That would protect against a partial short.

So plenty for me to think about. Thanks again for the thoughtful input.
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Old 06-07-2018, 09:18 AM   #24
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Name: Fallon
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Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
I had the same thought some time ago, and decided against doing that. See:

East Coast Rally! IT'S HAPPENING! especially the links in post # 10.

Tell me, have you done it that way, or know of someone who has? My electrical engineering knowledge is a little shy of sufficient to fully understand the issues of a PWM power supply feeding a PWM charge controller.

Also, I have the Trimetric and companion SC-2030 solar controller and I agree it works well. But I am confused about your statement that you have a SC-2030 solar controller and:



I have a suitcase (portable) panel that feeds the SC-2030 which is mounted inside the trailer. Thats is to say no controller in the suitcase. So where is your SC-2030? Is it used with the suitcase panels, panel(s) on the roof, or what? Just wondering...


73
The charge controller is mounted in the converter compartment. I have a pigtail with Power Poles that will reach the hatch. I put the standard MC4 solar connectors on the end of a heavily insulated former power cord about 20' long. That stays permanently connected to the Renology suitcase panel as there is room for it between the panels when folded up & the MC4 connectors are a pain to separate. Power Poles on the other end. The power Pole connection is made inside the hatch for security & as they aren't sealed or weatherproof.

Generally you want your charge controller to be as close to the battery as possible to avoid voltage drop. There is voltage drop between the panels & controller, but that's at a higher voltage & dropped down by the controller anyway.

My suitcase setup works good, but is a bit of a pain to always setup & tear down. Im planninh to hard mount a panel on the roof so it's always there & maintaining the battery with no effort on my part. I know full well it will be in the shade more than the suitcase setup. But half my intent is maintaining the battery when not camping as much as when we are. I'll likely leave my power pole pigtail there so I can run both panels if need be. I'll keep the suitcase rather than sell it. I c as n use it for some of my HAM radio field stuff.
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Old 06-07-2018, 10:08 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fallon View Post
The charge controller is mounted in the converter compartment. I have a pigtail with Power Poles t...
I have done similar except the solar controller, shunt for the Trimetric, etc are in the front hatch under the sofa (front sofa model Scamp), so that the wire run to the battery is a short length of 8 gauge. At the far end of the suitcase wires I have MC4 connectors and then a pigtail with MC4 on one end and a 30 amp Trolling motor plug on the other. A trolling motor socket is installed in the camper's body near the tongue. That way it takes two seconds to plug the panels in, and I can switch out the 100 watt suitcase for a 50 watt flex, or any other panel(s) by using the MC4 connectors on the pigtail (about a foot from the camper). BTW, I found that if you use all MC4 connectors from the same manufacturer they are easier to use. At least that is true for Renogy brand MC4 which I can do by hand (with the tool). I switched out any non-Renogy MC4 for Renogy ones.

Sorry to go off topic, but maybe this will be good info.
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Old 06-10-2018, 10:00 AM   #26
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Name: William
Trailer: Trillium
New York
Posts: 14
Doug,
I also recently upgraded our 2015 Trillium electrical system. We managed to kill deep-cycle, Pb/acid, 80A-hr batteries about once/year, and were constantly on the edge of dropping below the minimum 11.7V required by the Dometic electrical fridge. (Nominal power: 40W.) The other significant load is probably the sound system, an after-market car device with a power-sucking bass capability. Lights are LEDS throughout.
Joe at backcountrysolar.com set us up with a BB 100A-hr LiFePO4 battery, and a 160W Zamp portable solar panel. We also added a 30A Zamp digital solar controller. We left the original 80W solar panel on the Trillium roof and simply wired it in parallel with the socket for the 160W portable.
The initial run with this setup was on our annual late-winter trip to the Southwest, where all performed flawlessly over 7 weeks. The portable panel only got used when we found that odd camping spot under towering Ponderosa pines.
The key difference was the BB battery. Only once did the voltage drop to 12V. The Zamp controller was the first time that this retired EE had a chance to see the electrical system performance in near-real-time.
I did not change out the Wfco lead/acid charger, given assurances from BB that it would do no harm. And because we never did plug in on that 7-week trip, it was never a concern. And, frankly, I had not considered the possibility of back-charging the car and therefore did not put in isolation, or, better, a DC-DC booster. Thanks for that suggestion.
We'll be doing some outings in the Northeast, where insolation is a bit less than in AZ and NM. Let's see what happens there.
These little plastic boxes are projects, aren't they?
Regards,
Bill
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:11 AM   #27
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Name: Douglas
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Bill,

It is good to hear your experiences in the southwest as I am now in the midst of the solar panel upgrade. Please do let us know how your system performs during your northeast trip.

Yes, these are projects, which I find to be a lot of fun.

Doug
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Old 06-20-2018, 03:57 PM   #28
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Scamper
New Mexico
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Thanks to all who contributed to this thread. I've sold my tent trailer and I'm awaiting the Snoozy. I've never hooked up to power so I'm interested in being able to remote camp for 4 - 5 days and taking some power with me. My house is solar powered so I have some basic knowledge. I've got a lot of reading to do.
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