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Old 04-08-2020, 12:29 PM   #1
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Lithium - LifeBlue Question & Observations

Did the switch from 2 AGM to one LiFeBlue LB12300-HCLT 300AH battery on my new rig (2020 Isata 5 36DS). This battery was essentially $10 per AH, has low temperature heater built in, and is listed as high current (start generator). Contacted LiFeBlue via email and they sent me settings for my Magnum inverter. Also switched out the BIM-225 for a LI-BIM-225.

The Go Power solar charge controller setting was easy, just switch to LiFePO4 battery.

The Magnum settings were as follows.
Low battery cutoff LBCO = 12.0V
Battery type: CC/CV
Max amps = 150A (from spec sheet)
Chg Volts = 14.2V
Status EndChg = DC Amps
Status DoneAmps = 16A (they recommend 10 for 1 battery but I have DC loads so it might overcharge)
MaxTime = 12hr
Recharge = 13.1 (they recommend 13.3 but the charger was kicking on every Ĺhr due to full charge rest voltage being 13.32V from spec sheet)

Observations:
Installation was easy, settings pretty straight forward.
They also stated to unplug temperature sensor from the battery and inverter and not use.
Since there is always a little discharge amps from the battery I wanted to make sure to not overcharge so set the done amps a little above recommended.
Battery does not need an external monitor, it has bluetooth.
Was concerned there was no protection on cable from front of rig then discovered this little 250A fuse block mounted directly on top of battery terminal under hood. Will be adding one of those on the line from the coach battery cable that connects to LI-BIM-225 when my order arrives. Should have one on both ends.

Question:
How often to cycle charging on and off while connected to shore?
* currently have rig in garage so solar is not available, seems to cycle a lot based on recommended settings.
* charger goes "silent" at end of charge and battery goes to rest voltage over 30mins or so then starts charge over again. That is why I lowered recharge setting.
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Old 04-08-2020, 01:21 PM   #2
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Question:
How often to cycle charging on and off while connected to shore?
First off, I don't have the same battery but I do have two LiFePo4 batteries. Mine are monitored by a Victron BMV 702 and I am using the monitor's relay to turn on/off my converter based on battery state of charge.

Initially I had the control set so charging would stop at 90% SOC and resume at 40% SOC but after the last trip I just cut the main switch and isolated the batteries.

With NO LOAD (zero current draw indicated) my batteries have been sitting at 62% SOC for well over a month.

If it were me I'd just shut off the batteries completely while in storage and not worry. Might just check SOC periodically but I wouldn't worry about charging until just before you want to use the rig again. Then turn on main disconnect (mine is between battery and ALL possible loads including LPG detector etc) and charge.

All the other automatic controls for generator/charging/etc are only necessary when batteries are being used daily while living in your RV.
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Old 07-30-2020, 01:42 PM   #3
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I have a 2019 I5 36DS and I have two of the 330ah LiFeBlue batteries and I love them. I've been using them while we full-time in our RV for almost one year. We boondock about 80% of the time and use our solar to keep them charged. My batteries only have a total of 8 cycles on them even with all the boondocking we do! I love the app that lets me monitor SoC, cycles, current, etc. The only time I hear the fan on the charger is at night (when we're connected to shore power) and I just let the battery decide when it needs topped off. The battery's BMS won't let it overcharge or doing anything that would harm the battery (like charge when its too cold). I recently installed the LI-BIM-225 and it works perfectly.
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Old 08-02-2020, 06:46 PM   #4
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I have a 2019 I5 36DS and I have two of the 330ah LiFeBlue batteries and I love them. I've been using them while we full-time in our RV for almost one year. We boondock about 80% of the time and use our solar to keep them charged. My batteries only have a total of 8 cycles on them even with all the boondocking we do! I love the app that lets me monitor SoC, cycles, current, etc. The only time I hear the fan on the charger is at night (when we're connected to shore power) and I just let the battery decide when it needs topped off. The battery's BMS won't let it overcharge or doing anything that would harm the battery (like charge when its too cold). I recently installed the LI-BIM-225 and it works perfectly.
Like all BMS, the Lifeblue one is there to prevent catestrophic failures. It will not prevent abuse that can shorted life modestly. For instance, if I recall correctly, high voltage cut-off is 16V. That's much higher than you would want to see even once (though I'm very protective of my 12300).

The battery won't decide when it wants to be topped off. That's totally up to the charger. And if the charger is a "converter" that is capable of supporting the load, it should cover that load at float voltage and never need to cycle on.
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Old 08-02-2020, 07:13 PM   #5
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First off, I don't have the same battery but I do have two LiFePo4 batteries. Mine are monitored by a Victron BMV 702 and I am using the monitor's relay to turn on/off my converter based on battery state of charge.

Initially I had the control set so charging would stop at 90% SOC and resume at 40% SOC but after the last trip I just cut the main switch and isolated the batteries.

With NO LOAD (zero current draw indicated) my batteries have been sitting at 62% SOC for well over a month.

If it were me I'd just shut off the batteries completely while in storage and not worry. Might just check SOC periodically but I wouldn't worry about charging until just before you want to use the rig again. Then turn on main disconnect (mine is between battery and ALL possible loads including LPG detector etc) and charge.

All the other automatic controls for generator/charging/etc are only necessary when batteries are being used daily while living in your RV.
Re charging to only 90% .........

This generally does not work. At least for the long term. The problem is that while LFP losses are small, they are not tracked by any SOC monitor that I know of. Any SOC meter will drift out of calibration after a few cycles and need to be "synchronized" (Victron's terminology) or "reset" by a full charge .... i.e., a full charge as indicated by a voltmeter showing 14.4V or thereabouts.

To test this, top off the charge sometime while watching the SOC meter. If it has drifted off because of not being reset in a while, you will see the SOC indicate 100% before the voltage hits 14.4V. Maybe well before, even below 14V. The SOC monitor's 100% reading won't be accurate until the battery has been fully topped off. Ask me how I know!

Re storage ........

Your BMV-702 reading 62% after a month isn't isn't useful. If the battery is disconnected, it can't monitor SOC. And, it can't monitor SOC even if there is some connection and load on the battery unless that load is above some threshold. And, even then it can't see what's going on inside the battery so can't see all energy being used. E.g., for self-discharge. LFP self-discharge is small but not zero. Some LFP makers say 1% per month. This includes self-discharge and the BMS which is always connected and drawing some current. These aren't visible to the external SOC monitor. This is a small part of the reason SOC monitors drift (downward).

The OP's Lifeblue also has the load of a bluetooth transceiver always connected. This only uses a very small current, but it all adds up.

Another problem with SOC monitors is low load. All SOC monitors that I know of including the BMV-712, ignore small currents, maybe as large as an amp. This is a digital thing. If I recall correctly, this is in the BMV manual and you can set the threshold higher if you have problems with "noise" ... or lower if no problems arise.

Yes store at around 50% SOC!
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Old 08-02-2020, 08:00 PM   #6
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Did the switch from 2 AGM to one LiFeBlue LB12300-HCLT 300AH battery on my new rig (2020 Isata 5 36DS). This battery was essentially $10 per AH, has low temperature heater built in, and is listed as high current (start generator). Contacted LiFeBlue via email and they sent me settings for my Magnum inverter. Also switched out the BIM-225 for a LI-BIM-225. .. . ... . ... .
I have the recent non-heated version of this battery. I had the early version for three years prior to this one. The BT went bad on my original hence the new latest model.

You mentioned Magnum inverter .... you meant Magnum charger?

Your are right to be concerned with the cycling. It's needless and will only take life out of the $$$$$ battery! And, setting the "Recharge" voltage lower just exacerbates the problem by making the cycling deeper. Something is very wrong. This cycling should not occur.

And I'm surprised at some of the settings from Lifeblue ... they don't agree with the Lifeblue spec sheet. Though maybe the Magnum terminology is throwing me.

https://www.lifebluebattery.com/rv-b...%20Sheet-2.pdf

I could guess what's wrong, but I'd rather look at the manual for your Magnum to be sure I understand the settings first. Please post the Magnum model number so I can peruse the manual before commenting further.

It will be later this evening ...... my cat is insisting on his walk .. then it's dinner time.
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Old 08-02-2020, 08:02 PM   #7
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I leave my battery with BMV on and disconnected for one or two months at times during Covid. The voltage doesn't move. That's how I know its not self discharging. I try to store between 90% and 70%.
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Old 08-02-2020, 08:55 PM   #8
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Re charging to only 90% .........

This generally does not work. At least for the long term.
Long term in my world is maybe 60 days average.

Then I'm on he road and my batteries are fully charged, monitor sync'd to 100%, rinse, repeat.

Most, if not all, of the issues you described may well be moot in my case.

I'm retired, a widower, financially independent, and don't mind camping in cold weather. In short, I'm gone frequently and long term storage just doesn't occur in my world.
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Old 08-02-2020, 09:14 PM   #9
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Long term in my world is maybe 60 days average.

Then I'm on he road and my batteries are fully charged, monitor sync'd to 100%, rinse, repeat.

Most, if not all, of the issues you described may well be moot in my case.

I'm retired, a widower, financially independent, and don't mind camping in cold weather. In short, I'm gone frequently and long term storage just doesn't occur in my world.
I've envious ....... of the 60 days and back on the road part. Not so much the other!

Yes, 60 days no problem. Top it off to 14.4 before leaving home and you are golden .... with a "synchronized" SOC meter.

When I'm out there, my solar tops off the battery every day so that I'm ready for inclement weather. I'm often on the CA coast where the "marine layer" can hamper solar for a few days in a row. This isn't as bad as several cloudy days, but sure eats into the solar.
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Old 08-02-2020, 09:15 PM   #10
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I leave my battery with BMV on and disconnected for one or two months at times during Covid. The voltage doesn't move. That's how I know its not self discharging. I try to store between 90% and 70%.
You must be measuring the voltage to two or three significant figures!
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Old 08-02-2020, 09:59 PM   #11
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MJ,

My cat said it's too hot out to walk and I didn't argue. So I'm back.

I only found this manual that details Magnum settings. They are probably close enough to yours if not exactly yours. I'll assume they are.

https://www.magnum-dimensions.com/si...%20ME-ARTR.pdf

Look at page 40 and the following pages. See "Final Charge Stage."

I would guess your Magnum is not on an appropriate Final Charge Stage setting for your situation. I don't see it on your list so I'm guessing Lifeblue did not give you this setting.

Worst case, and maybe your case from what you outlined, you are in "Silent" mode. This will cycle back to bulk mode if voltage falls to the "Rebulk" voltage. As near as I can tell, the charger does not monitor for load on the battery in this case so will cycle endlessly if there is some load.

There is another mode they call "multi-stage" which also will cycle the battery, but only between no charge and float charge. I believe in this mode the charger will stay in float if it sees load so I don't think you are in this mode. This would be a better setting in that it skips bulk mode, but not at all an ideal mode.

Better, and the more common approach, is float mode. The Magnum will go through a charge cycle then float endlessly carrying any load that would otherwise be on the battery. It will only start over in bulk if you unplug it and plug it back in. This mode would float indefinitely at your float setting (at 13.6 to 13.8V for Lifeblue and most others). There's no cycling in this mode. If you use this mode, you can set the float as recommended by Lifeblue (I'd use 13.6V).

If I've nailed it, and you change this setting to Float, you can set the re-charge (or re-bulk ... I'm a bit confused .. these may or may not be the same setting) to Lifeblue's 13.3V and no cycling will occur. No cycling will occur if this setting is below the float voltage setting.

None of the above are ideal for storage. As others have mentioned, it's best to discharge the battery somewhat (ideally to 50%; Lifeblue's recommendation) and then disconnect the battery until it's needed again. Let the converter in the Magnum carry the load.

BTW, you didn't list the float voltage. I presume Lifeblue did give you one. Though it's in the specs for your battery.

Some of the other settings you listed surprise me a bit in that they don't agree with Lifeblue's specs. We can go over those if you wish.
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Old 08-02-2020, 10:04 PM   #12
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You must be measuring the voltage to two or three significant figures!
Just the resolution that the BMV-712 gives you on the phone app. Plenty enough!
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Old 08-03-2020, 08:25 AM   #13
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Good info, thx!
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Old 08-03-2020, 04:00 PM   #14
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Just the resolution that the BMV-712 gives you on the phone app. Plenty enough!
Resolution is only as good as the calibration. The BMV-712 has only round numbers for charge/discharge efficiency so like all SOC monitors, is subject to drift. If you top off your batteries thoroughly every few days it's great.
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Old 08-03-2020, 04:24 PM   #15
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Resolution is only as good as the calibration. The BMV-712 has only round numbers for charge/discharge efficiency so like all SOC monitors, is subject to drift. If you top off your batteries thoroughly every few days it's great.
Why wouldn't one do this as SOP anyway?

Isn't that why people install solar or pack a generator?

Even if left in storage for extended periods I'm sure most make sure their batteries are fully chagrged (which most likely forces a 100% SOC sync on a Victron at least) before they leave for the great outdoors.

Compared to what we all had to deal with for years, using the LED indicators, any shortcomings in a SOC monitor today is small.

Worrying about the slight drift in the world of RV's is sort of like trying to clean the fly poop out of ground pepper.
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Old 08-03-2020, 05:20 PM   #16
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Why wouldn't one do this as SOP anyway?

Isn't that why people install solar or pack a generator?

Even if left in storage for extended periods I'm sure most make sure their batteries are fully chagrged (which most likely forces a 100% SOC sync on a Victron at least) before they leave for the great outdoors.

Compared to what we all had to deal with for years, using the LED indicators, any shortcomings in a SOC monitor today is small.

Worrying about the slight drift in the world of RV's is sort of like trying to clean the fly poop out of ground pepper.
The subject was resolution. The BMV-712 might read out to two or three significant figures like 70.33% but if it's off by even 1% then what good is that 0.33. And, yes, a BMV-712 can read 60% when the battery is actually at 55%. Worse if it's not topped off often. In one recent case here or on iRV2.com a fellow was having a problem and the RV outfit that installed his solar messed up his BMV-712 something fierce. And when we dug into his batteries, the battery maker's recommendations on peukert and efficiency were far different from those put in by the installer. They were also much different than the BMV-712 defaults. How many installation tech's get the settings right in a BMV-712? How many owners get them right? Most just use defaults some of which are not even in the ball park. Heck, even Peukert's empirical relationship is based on one ambient condition while actual ambient conditions vary widely.

The default Peukert exponent in the BMV-712 is 1.25. Most AGMs have a Peukert exponent closer to 1.1. How many AGM owners correct this?

I suppose most people do top off batteries before leaving home, but what good does that do a week later when the battery has not been charged or not fully charged. Some don't even realize they aren't getting a full charge Given the long absorb time required. It can take 6-10 hours of generator time to get from 50% to a true 100%. Who does that? How many trust their SOC meter and stop charging when it reads 100% even though actual charge may be 95%. Charging to an indicated 100% can add error on each re-charge.

Solar is even worse. The sun likely goes down before the battery is fully charged.

It's not a slight drift. If you had AGM you could watch your BMV-712 on a charge from 50%. The SOC meter will hit 100% before the tail current gets down to the battery manufacturer's recommendation. This is the result of drift. It happens even on one discharge-charge cycle. But compounds if an AGM is not topped off over multiple charges. I did this experiment with a fellow on iRV2.com some months ago. Quite an eye opener.

Even LFP SOC can drift. The charge discharge losses in LFP are small so are ignored by all SOC monitors that I'm aware of. In my case, my drift over 17 days was 15%. Over that time I cycled daily, going as low as 20% and as high as 90% but never got back to a true 100%. On the 17th day of poor sun, voltage started dropping precipitously under heavy load indicating under a 5% charge when the SOC monitor was still up close to 20%. I don't know how much of the drift was due to the spec'd 1% loss on charge and discharge (potentially 2% drift on each full battery cycle) and how much was due to ignoring currents somewhere below 1 amp, but I learned a lesson. SOC monitoring

BTW, the BMV-712 current threshold default is 0.1 amp. That's good. But, it can be set as high as 2 amps if noise is a problem. Not good.
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Old 08-03-2020, 05:24 PM   #17
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Resolution is only as good as the calibration. The BMV-712 has only round numbers for charge/discharge efficiency so like all SOC monitors, is subject to drift. If you top off your batteries thoroughly every few days it's great.
LOL...who cares. Even it is off by a little bit, I don't see it changing which is the whole point that the batteries are not self discharging when they sit for a month.
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Old 08-03-2020, 05:50 PM   #18
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LOL...who cares. Even it is off by a little bit, I don't see it changing which is the whole point that the batteries are not self discharging when they sit for a month.
Maybe I'm not understanding you, but if you are using an external SOC monitor, you can't and won't see self discharge. Self-discharge means the battery chemistry is changing and losing charge or a BMS is using some current and reducing the charge. Your SOC monitor can't see inside of the battery so can't track this self-discharge.

You can put a BMV-712 on a battery with it reading, say 100%, and a year or some years later (depending on battery type) the battery will be flat as a pancake and the BMV-712 will still be reading 100%.
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Old 08-03-2020, 06:09 PM   #19
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Maybe I'm not understanding you, but if you are using an external SOC monitor, you can't and won't see self discharge. Self-discharge means the battery chemistry is changing and losing charge or a BMS is using some current and reducing the charge. Your SOC monitor can't see inside of the battery so can't track this self-discharge.

You can put a BMV-712 on a battery with it reading, say 100%, and a year or some years later (depending on battery type) the battery will be flat as a pancake and the BMV-712 will still be reading 100%.
You need to read what I wrote. I can look at my BMV-712 and write down the voltage. A month later I can again read the voltage. If that voltage number didn't change or change more than a a couple of hundredths of a volt, it didn't discharge, at least not very much...understand what I am saying now?

The BMV-712 draws less than 1mA. in a month that is a grand total of 720mA. Not enough to worry about. For my 200AH battery bank, that is all of 0.375%
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Old 08-03-2020, 06:23 PM   #20
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I guess I'm just used to charging my batteries to 100% SOC on a regular basis. Even before I upgraded to to the Battleborns.

Currently I find my puny 160 watt solar suitcase capable of fully charging my two Battleborns by mid afternoon, replacing the 20-30 amp hours I use during summer months daily. During overcast days very common during the colder months I run my generator to recharge. Rarely does generator run time exceed 4 hours and often only necessary every two to three days.

My needs are clearly different than others so I don't sweat the small stuff.

For entertainment I prefer to read a book
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