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 > Are lithium batteries worth the cost?

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jaycocreek

Idaho

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Posted: 04/21/21 10:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I can tell you this about lithium,there are more opinions on what to do and what not to do than I ever expected...One guy says this and another says that then Battleborn itself answers questions and the experts disagree...No kidding..

So I guess it's common sense that prevails and of course your battery maker...Good support is mandatory in my opinion so there advice trumps the experts..lol

I read that regular old voltage meters do not work with lithium..Wrong,atleast in my case..I check my battery daily for SOC and voltage with a Victron smart shunt but my old regular voltage meter is spot on,all but exactly the same except to the tenths not hundreths...Yet nobody agrees on voltage as a way to tell capacity...Some say it is others say it isn't....

So I won't argue anything lithium because there is no absolute it appears..lol

Siletzspey

Shedd, OR

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Posted: 04/21/21 11:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What are your requirements for powering things, and what are your opportunities for charging? Batteries just act as a reservoir and reserve of power between power-in and power-out.

FLA and AGM batteries are great for many situations, and in other cases you'll only meet your need with LiFePO4.

Some people look at the question in terms of total cost of ownership or $ per Ah, but you can have the most spend-thrift solution that isn't meeting your needs, and the most gold-plated solution that is overkill.

For my truck camper and boondocking, 300W of solar in summer gives me a surplus of power in summer, and FLA/AGM would be fine. Come winter with solar production way down and furnace times way up, I could only survive long stints with LiFePO4, hence I went LiFePO4 despite the cost.

--tg

Kayteg1

California > Nevada

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Posted: 04/21/21 11:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Siletzspey wrote:

....

For my truck camper and boondocking, 300W of solar in summer gives me a surplus of power in summer, and FLA/AGM would be fine. Come winter with solar production way down and furnace times way up, I could only survive long stints with LiFePO4, hence I went LiFePO4 despite the cost.

--tg

You could spend $150 on 1000W inverter generator and survive it even better, although with less convenience.
It is all about how much money you are willing to spend on doing nothing down the road.





Avid Fox

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Posted: 04/21/21 03:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Kayteg1 wrote:

Siletzspey wrote:

....

For my truck camper and boondocking, 300W of solar in summer gives me a surplus of power in summer, and FLA/AGM would be fine. Come winter with solar production way down and furnace times way up, I could only survive long stints with LiFePO4, hence I went LiFePO4 despite the cost.

--tg

You could spend $150 on 1000W inverter generator and survive it even better, although with less convenience.
It is all about how much money you are willing to spend on doing nothing down the road.


I already have a generator in the AF1150. I just don't like running it at 6am when coffee needs to be made, or when I want the electric mattress pad on. Inverters are awesome. Just last week I pulled the 100lb generator out of my camper. Rides better now too.

specta

utah

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Posted: 04/21/21 05:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Avid Fox wrote:


I already have a generator in the AF1150. I just don't like running it at 6am when coffee needs to be made, or when I want the electric mattress pad on. Inverters are awesome. Just last week I pulled the 100lb generator out of my camper. Rides better now too.


I've just kind of skipped through this thread because I have no interest in lithium batteries but what kind of camping do you mostly do?


Kenny
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Regular cab. The best looking trucks.


Avid Fox

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Posted: 04/21/21 05:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Desert, mountains, generally unplugged. I usually hit a campground of some kind about every 4 days or so just to dump and fill.

FWC

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Posted: 04/21/21 05:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Avid Fox wrote:

Desert, mountains, generally unplugged. I usually hit a campground of some kind about every 4 days or so just to dump and fill.


Given your usage, and that you have a truck camper where weight matters, then lithium is probably a reasonable choice for you. If you can afford the up-front cost and plan to keep the camper for some time, then go for it.

n0arp

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Posted: 04/21/21 05:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Substantially increased usable energy in the same footprint, a fraction of the weight, and many times the cycle life. Whether or not it is worth the investment depends on your individual usage. If you're boondocking extensively, they're absolutely worth it.

I believe that people who advocate against LiFePO4 specifically, are those who have never used them or who don't have a camping style appreciable to them.

As noted elsewhere in this thread, charging them below freezing can be an issue. The battery bay on your AF1150 will not provide a lot of insulation, so you would want to invest in batteries that have built in heaters. It easily mitigates the issue.

Also, as you scale up bank size, Lithium becomes the only way to go due to space/weight -- but it doesn't sound like you're considering more than the two drop-ins at the moment.


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otrfun

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Posted: 04/21/21 05:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Avid Fox wrote:

I can carry two group 29s in my AF1150.

Are they worth it?
We just built a 200ah LifePo4 battery pack that fits inside a group 24 battery box for approx. $750 purchasing cells and BMS from US distributors (~$550 purchasing from China). I've easily gotten ~160ah out of this battery pack under high loads (>100a) discharging from 100 to ~20% SOC.

You could easily fit two of these in your truck camper. This could provide you with 320-340ah of unrestricted, usable power without stressing the battery. LifePo4's can be discharged down to almost 10% SOC under extremely high loads with only a .2v to .3v voltage drop (lead cells drop 2-3 times as much). With proper cabling you'll have zero worries about low voltage inverter alarms.

With 320-340ah you could power a typical 10k-11k truck camper a/c (120vac, 10-11a) for at least 3 hours (100 to 20% SOC) with the compressor running 100%. With the compressor cycling you could probably get 4-5 hours. Amazing performance from just two, small group 24 sized LifePo4 DIY battery packs!

* This post was edited 04/21/21 06:31pm by otrfun *

Avid Fox

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Posted: 04/21/21 06:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

otrfun wrote:

Avid Fox wrote:

I can carry two group 29s in my AF1150.

Are they worth it?
We just built a 200ah LifePo4 battery pack that fits inside a group 24 battery box for approx. $750 purchasing cells and BMS from US distributors (~$550 purchasing from China). I've easily gotten ~160ah out of this battery pack under high loads (>100a) discharging from 100 to ~20% SOC.

You could easily fit two of these in your truck camper. This could provide you with 320-360ah of unrestricted, usable power without stressing the battery. LifePo4's can be discharged down to almost 10% SOC under extremely high loads with only a .2v to .3v voltage drop (lead cells drop 2-3 times as much). With proper cabling you'll have zero worries about low voltage inverter alarms.

With 320-360ah you could power a typical 10k-11k truck camper a/c (120vac, 10-11a) for at least 3 hours (100 to 20% SOC) with the compressor running 100%. With the compressor cycling you could probably get 4-5 hours. Amazing performance from just two, small group 24 sized LifePo4 DIY battery packs!


And what do you use for charging them? Are they in a truck or RV which use DC charging sources?

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