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Old 01-24-2020, 01:06 PM   #1
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Want to get Lithium batteries, lots of questions

Sorry if this is a repeat question, its so hard to search here for what I want to know. I would dearly love to hear from Isata 5 owners who have switched out to the Battle Born lithium batteries. Are they truly plug and play? How many do I need to replace my 2 stock AGMs? DH is saying we want to get more Ah out of lithium if we are going to make the investment, will that mean 2 100 Ah lithiums? ($$$) Do we need to replace anything else? I understand the battery monitor issue, but I'm thinking if we are diligent about charging every day we won't really need to get one. The gal at Battle Born says each increment in 10ths down from 13.x means a certain percentage of battery gone so being aware of that will obviate the need for a monitor. Is it easy to change the settings on the Magnum inverter and solar charger to lithium? What else do we need to know? Any help from anyone who has done this switch will be greatly appreciated!!
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Old 01-24-2020, 01:21 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by LandKKnight View Post
The gal at Battle Born says each increment in 10ths down from 13.x means a certain percentage of battery gone so being aware of that will obviate the need for a monitor.
1, I actually recommend a monitor. I love my Victron BMV. It's an extra expense but it's super helpful in seeing how much power things actually consume.

2, to answer your question. A long time ago, one of the techs at BB sent me this graphic:
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Old 01-24-2020, 01:25 PM   #3
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https://www.mobile-solarpower.com

If you have the time, here is a great Solar/Lithium site...possibly the best out there today.

https://www.mobile-solarpower.com.
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Old 01-24-2020, 01:36 PM   #4
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I've never seen a chart rated so low as the previous post??

I usually go by one about like this.
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Old 01-24-2020, 01:46 PM   #5
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Want to get Lithium batteries, lots of questions

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Originally Posted by SlowrideHD View Post
I've never seen a chart rated so low as the previous post??



I usually go by one about like this.


That chart will not apply to lithium which drops little down to near empty then drops off dramatically.
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Old 01-24-2020, 02:21 PM   #6
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Don't get distracted ,please!

I appreciate the info on states of battery charge etc but that does not address my multiple questions in my original post! I am looking for experience from I5 owners who have switched to lithium from agms. Help me please with answers to my questions, thanks!
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Old 01-24-2020, 03:09 PM   #7
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If you have the time, here is a great Solar/Lithium site...possibly the best out there today.

https://www.mobile-solarpower.com.
That's Will Prowse's site, he also has an excellent YouTube channel. It's must-viewing for anyone interested in mobile solar related, especially batteries.
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Old 01-25-2020, 12:39 PM   #8
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That chart will not apply to lithium which drops little down to near empty then drops off dramatically.
Attachment 222317
I misunderstood that it was a chart for lifepro batts. Very interesting!
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Old 01-25-2020, 12:58 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by LandKKnight View Post
I appreciate the info on states of battery charge etc but that does not address my multiple questions in my original post! I am looking for experience from I5 owners who have switched to lithium from agms. Help me please with answers to my questions, thanks!
Lol...I think your thread has been hijacked..
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Old 01-25-2020, 12:59 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by LandKKnight View Post
I appreciate the info on states of battery charge etc but that does not address my multiple questions in my original post! I am looking for experience from I5 owners who have switched to lithium from agms. Help me please with answers to my questions, thanks!
There actually is an entire thread dedicated to this. Not only 5 series, but also 3 series which has some similarities. If you search for Isata 5 lithium...you should get some hits. but short answers to your questions....

1. They are plug and play to a certain extent. The issue is charging profiles...the alternator and/or charge line from the house will only charge if it sees they are low. Lead acid "State of Charge" is determined by voltage (which is why others posted the SOC charts). So, if a lithium stays at 13.1 volts until the last 10%, you may not get them charged as often as you like.

2. One lithium battery is typically considered to replace two AGM's of equal size.

3. You will need to replace the BIRD (which regulates when to pair the house and chassis batteries) with a Li-BIM. becasue the Li-BIM will properly read the lithiums which are very different than lead acid. You will also need to change the charging profile within the Inverter/charger to a "constant state" charge. Lithiums can take a high charge 100%...they do not need to go into float stage.

4. You will also need to add a battery monitor. Again...state of charge of lead acid is determined by Voltage (per the chart). BUT a lithium will stay at 13.1 volts...even when it is depleted by 50%. So, I recommend a Victron which has a read out and a Bluetooth app for smart phone. That way you can properly read how many amp hours are left and the battery state of charge.
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Old 01-25-2020, 01:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by bclemens View Post
There actually is an entire thread dedicated to this. Not only 5 series, but also 3 series which has some similarities. If you search for Isata 5 lithium...you should get some hits. but short answers to your questions....

1. They are plug and play to a certain extent. The issue is charging profiles...the alternator and/or charge line from the house will only charge if it sees they are low. Lead acid "State of Charge" is determined by voltage (which is why others posted the SOC charts). So, if a lithium stays at 13.1 volts until the last 10%, you may not get them charged as often as you like.

2. One lithium battery is typically considered to replace two AGM's of equal size.

3. You will need to replace the BIRD (which regulates when to pair the house and chassis batteries) with a Li-BIM. becasue the Li-BIM will properly read the lithiums which are very different than lead acid. You will also need to change the charging profile within the Inverter/charger to a "constant state" charge. Lithiums can take a high charge 100%...they do not need to go into float stage.

4. You will also need to add a battery monitor. Again...state of charge of lead acid is determined by Voltage (per the chart). BUT a lithium will stay at 13.1 volts...even when it is depleted by 50%. So, I recommend a Victron which has a read out and a Bluetooth app for smart phone. That way you can properly read how many amp hours are left and the battery state of charge.
Confidence, the feeling you have before you understand all the issues. I learned a lot from the post.. thank you bclemens. I’m sure you helped the op immensely...
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Old 01-25-2020, 02:28 PM   #12
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Single best source other than BB is Brian Boone ag Got Solar? He travels the country and does solar installs. Booked most of the year. He is not only knowledgeable he is competent.
He did my solar install, I am satisfied, and I am extremely hard to please
He WILL answer your questions. Facebook.
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Old 01-25-2020, 06:00 PM   #13
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Thank you, BC!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bclemens View Post
There actually is an entire thread dedicated to this. Not only 5 series, but also 3 series which has some similarities. If you search for Isata 5 lithium...you should get some hits. but short answers to your questions....

1. They are plug and play to a certain extent. The issue is charging profiles...the alternator and/or charge line from the house will only charge if it sees they are low. Lead acid "State of Charge" is determined by voltage (which is why others posted the SOC charts). So, if a lithium stays at 13.1 volts until the last 10%, you may not get them charged as often as you like.

2. One lithium battery is typically considered to replace two AGM's of equal size.

3. You will need to replace the BIRD (which regulates when to pair the house and chassis batteries) with a Li-BIM. becasue the Li-BIM will properly read the lithiums which are very different than lead acid. You will also need to change the charging profile within the Inverter/charger to a "constant state" charge. Lithiums can take a high charge 100%...they do not need to go into float stage.

4. You will also need to add a battery monitor. Again...state of charge of lead acid is determined by Voltage (per the chart). BUT a lithium will stay at 13.1 volts...even when it is depleted by 50%. So, I recommend a Victron which has a read out and a Bluetooth app for smart phone. That way you can properly read how many amp hours are left and the battery state of charge.
This helps immensely. Thank you! But now I have more questions for clarification.

When you say the alternator and/or charge line will only charge if it sees they are low is confusing. Does this mean they don't get "topped up" continously with the solar or the gen running, or plugged into shore power, but only will charge when they are low? So you have to wait until they are low before they charge? Seems like this is kinda like Russian roulette. What if they reach that state at night while boondocking and you have nothing charging at that time. Will u then wake up with dead batteries? Or am I misunderstanding what you said?

Is the remote for Magnum Inverter in the 2018 I5 the proper one? The gal at Battle Born said it has to be rc or arc but I don't see that on the remote anywhere. There is a setting on the remote for battery type: Custom. Is this where you change that setting to constant charge?

Where do we get the Li-BIM? From Battle Born? Is it easy to switch out? Where is the BIRD located? Is it simply a matter of unhooking the one and hooking up the other, or are there things that will need to be set?

Thanks for answering!
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Old 01-25-2020, 09:06 PM   #14
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as I mentioned, if you search there is a thread started on this already. Lucky enough, someone posted on it and it showed up as un-read on my part.
http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...li-200367.html

So that will give you more info on the BIRD to Li-BIM transition.

It is helpful to have an understanding of battery charging and 12V. But to put it simply, if it never stopped charging you would boil a lead acid battery. So while I say "low" I simply mean that when it needs a charge. So you don't have to wait for anything...there is a built in "battery charger" that handles all the logic based on the battery you tell it is in there.

You can pull the manual on which version magnum you have and it will give you the battery options available. I believe your version should be fine...but we have changed versions...not sure when. (minor change) and yes, custom on the magnum would be the one you can set it to constant.

Here is a thread on lithium
http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ng-179312.html

here is a Victron install thread.
http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...on-197020.html

If you look at post #5 here, I post a bunch of stuff, including the BIRD to BIM (retorfit) BIRD to Li-BIM would be the same.
http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...li-200367.html
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Old 01-26-2020, 01:08 AM   #15
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Single best source other than BB is Brian Boone ag Got Solar? He travels the country and does solar installs. Booked most of the year. He is not only knowledgeable he is competent.
He did my solar install, I am satisfied, and I am extremely hard to please
He WILL answer your questions. Facebook.
Totally disagree about Brian Boone. I wouldn't let that guy touch my RV with a 10 foot pole. He is actually very incompetent. Saw pictures of one of his installs with around 10 ring connectors on the load side of a Victron shunt. I asked him about it and he said it was totally fine! He disagreed that you should use a buss bar instead!
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Old 01-26-2020, 10:32 AM   #16
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as I mentioned, if you search there is a thread started on this already. Lucky enough, someone posted on it and it showed up as un-read on my part.
http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...li-200367.html

So that will give you more info on the BIRD to Li-BIM transition.

It is helpful to have an understanding of battery charging and 12V. But to put it simply, if it never stopped charging you would boil a lead acid battery. So while I say "low" I simply mean that when it needs a charge. So you don't have to wait for anything...there is a built in "battery charger" that handles all the logic based on the battery you tell it is in there.

You can pull the manual on which version magnum you have and it will give you the battery options available. I believe your version should be fine...but we have changed versions...not sure when. (minor change) and yes, custom on the magnum would be the one you can set it to constant.

Here is a thread on lithium
http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ng-179312.html

here is a Victron install thread.
http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...on-197020.html

If you look at post #5 here, I post a bunch of stuff, including the BIRD to BIM (retorfit) BIRD to Li-BIM would be the same.
http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...li-200367.html
Again, thank you so much!! I did a search for the thread and not sure if I had found it so the links you put will be super helpful, will look at them now. It seems super do able and worthwhile, now I just have to talk my hubby into it!
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Old 01-27-2020, 07:11 AM   #17
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Again, thank you so much!! I did a search for the thread and not sure if I had found it so the links you put will be super helpful, will look at them now. It seems super do able and worthwhile, now I just have to talk my hubby into it!
That "Lithium is calling" thread is one I started almost a year ago, and the helpful information provided to me by the members on this forum was exceptional. And let me say that the conversion to lithium was one I'm very happy to have done.
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