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Old 13-02-2013, 01:05   #1
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DIY Lithium As A House Bank - 1

The time has come for us to finalise our installation of a new battery bank as our existing lead acid bank is dead. To this end we have decided to go with 400 amps of LiFeYP04 just for the hell of it.

Now we are doing this installation in a foreign country where it's quite difficult to get over the language barrier so it's not a simple matter of walking into an electrical supply store and walking out with a bucket of bits.

I've titled this thread with a 1 hoping that others that are doing the same install respond with their installation details with a 2, 3, etc maybe that will assist others to pick usable ideas from different installs, if that makes sense?

Initially i've knocked up a sketch of our proposal for comment and thus improvement, i'm in no way electrically minded i'm just a retired boatbuilder enjoying life on board again. I'll post the drawing separate so it's easier for comment etc.

Now we intend to use this as a 'housebank' only it will have the ability to connect to the existing LA's that form the 'start bank' they are perfectly good and i like the idea of two separate systems for redundancy.

It's our intent to charge only by 'Solar' because of our cruising area and/or by 240volt electric charger running from our 6Kva gen-set or by shore-power when berthed in a Marina.

We will leave charging by mains powered alternators as an addition once this system has proved itself some.

So here we go please comment on the sketch in post 2#.

Thank you Frank
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Old 13-02-2013, 01:08   #2
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Re: DIY Lithium As A House Bank - 1

Our initial sketch for comment :-
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Old 13-02-2013, 03:22   #3
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Re: DIY Lithium As A House Bank - 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagoon4us View Post
The time has come for us to finalise our installation of a new battery bank as our existing lead acid bank is dead. To this end we have decided to go with 400 amps of LiFeYP04 just for the hell of it.

Now we are doing this installation in a foreign country where it's quite difficult to get over the language barrier so it's not a simple matter of walking into an electrical supply store and walking out with a bucket of bits.

I've titled this thread with a 1 hoping that others that are doing the same install respond with their installation details with a 2, 3, etc maybe that will assist others to pick usable ideas from different installs, if that makes sense?

Initially i've knocked up a sketch of our proposal for comment and thus improvement, i'm in no way electrically minded i'm just a retired boatbuilder enjoying life on board again. I'll post the drawing separate so it's easier for comment etc.

Now we intend to use this as a 'housebank' only it will have the ability to connect to the existing LA's that form the 'start bank' they are perfectly good and i like the idea of two separate systems for redundancy.

It's our intent to charge only by 'Solar' because of our cruising area and/or by 240volt electric charger running from our 6Kva gen-set or by shore-power when berthed in a Marina.

We will leave charging by mains powered alternators as an addition once this system has proved itself some.

So here we go please comment on the sketch in post 2#.

Thank you Frank
Frank,
Before making any comments I have a few question?
How are you charging your engine start battery? (battery isolator, Echo Charger, separately by alternator)
Will your engine alternator charge your house bank while you are motoring?
The ac charger will be powered by either shore or genset?
You will not be using an alternator on genset to charge the house batteries yes/no?
Does genset have it's own start battery? Or shares engine start battery?
Do you have a Windlass? How is it powered?
Lyndon
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Old 13-02-2013, 03:31   #4
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Re: DIY Lithium As A House Bank - 1

Frank,
Before making any comments I have a few question?
How are you charging your engine start battery? (battery isolator, Echo Charger, separately by alternator) The existing system of the Volvo's OEM individual alternators and by the existing Dolphin 80 amp 240volt charger.
Will your engine alternator charge your house bank while you are motoring?No i don't want it to feed to the Lithium's as i cannot do all things at once
The ac charger will be powered by either shore or genset? Yes correct.
You will not be using an alternator on genset to charge the house batteries yes/no?Only through the charger shown on the drawing
Does genset have it's own start battery? Or shares engine start battery? Genset has it's own start battery an existing LA
Do you have a Windlass? How is it powered? There's another LA up front that runs the winch and thruster, it is charged through the engine start circuit ()in fact you must have port engine running on a Lagoon to use winch)

These boats are battery city!!!!!!

Cheers Frank
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Old 13-02-2013, 04:43   #5
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Re: DIY Lithium As A House Bank - 1

Frank , Looking over the circuit diagram, I cant see any issues, obviously you need to integrate the alternator into the circuit and hence the issues with HVC, but a secondary contact switching the field line would solve that , leave the alternator always connected to the battery, ie the other side of the HVC . ( and a note on the battery isolators to remind you not to switch them off when the engine is running!).

all the charging sources need to have voltage cutoffs at or below your desired knee voltage

dave
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Old 13-02-2013, 05:00   #6
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Re: DIY Lithium As A House Bank - 1

Dave, thanks it'll be interesting to see how the boat fares with regard to maintaining sufficient power reserves from that amount of solar.

Remembering these are LiFeYP04 cells so i believe the settings are higher?

The GSL MPPT settings/data :-
3400W Solar Battery Charger Maximum Power Point Tracker
Efficiency typical Input voltage 96% 16V to 95V

Saturation Voltage Default 14.6V / 29.2V / 58.4V
Long Life Option 14.3V / 28.6V / 57.2V
High Capacity Option 14.8V / 29.6V / 59.2V
Maintenance Voltage 14.1V / 28.2V / 56.4V
Quiescent current 0.05A
Output power 3400Watt/60A Max
Thermal protection Multi level type

Cheers
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Old 13-02-2013, 05:09   #7
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Re: DIY Lithium As A House Bank - 1

Frank, if I read your diagram correctly, you seem to have reversed polarity of the LiFePO bank. Other than that, looks good.

Marius
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Old 13-02-2013, 05:17   #8
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Re: DIY Lithium As A House Bank - 1

Whoops, i did, sorry bout that.

I included the LV cutout as protection for a rogue cell as we tend to go ashore exploring so it's important for the system to self manage to the point of the BMS failing and in that case you hope you are aboard i guess.

Any long term periods we would shut the Lithium down leaving security and bilge to run from the Start batteries.

Cheers
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Old 13-02-2013, 05:22   #9
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Re: DIY Lithium As A House Bank - 1

Quote:
Any long term periods we would shut the Lithium down leaving security and bilge to run from the Start batteries.
Why, in you need the bilge pumps, Id suggest they be connected to the biggest bank and outside of the LVC. Boat before batteries.

Dave
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Old 13-02-2013, 05:24   #10
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Re: DIY Lithium As A House Bank - 1

Yes i take your point given the seriousness they could come from a separate tapping.
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Old 13-02-2013, 05:43   #11
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Re: DIY Lithium As A House Bank - 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagoon4us View Post
Dave, thanks it'll be interesting to see how the boat fares with regard to maintaining sufficient power reserves from that amount of solar.

Remembering these are LiFeYP04 cells so i believe the settings are higher?
Not in my experience. Charging to 14.0V can push the LiFeYPO4 cells pretty close to the knee. This, 3.5VPC, is far too close for my comfort for "everyday" charging.. I've now cycled my bank about 35 times on the bench to varying levels and experimented with differing charge voltages, using my benchtop power supply.

I plan to start with a charge voltage, for all sources, of 13.8V per bank or 3.45V per cell.. I may decide to lower this to 13.6V or 3.4V per cell. I personally don't want to be pushing my bank to shunting levels every time it is charged. You gain VERY, VERY little in "capacity" pushing beyond 3.45VPC and I am way more than willing to give up this capacity to keep my cells in the safe range....

So far after 35+ cycles, all at well below the shunting level, the cells are still within 0.004V of each other. I certainly would not use solar, wind, shore charger or alt to charge these cells above 14.0V. I initially was going to use 14.0V but after numerous cycles 13.8V keeps them in a safer range and the capacity difference is negligible.

13.8V - 14.0V for all charge sources means I am choosing controllers, chargers and regulators that allow me to dial the voltages to as low as 13.6V if I deem that to work suitably well. it also means that my sources can have temp compensation 100% disabled. MANY solar controllers do "ambient" temp compensation. You don't want this.... Witzgall just ruined some cells by leaving temp compensation connected and the temp dropped..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagoon4us View Post
The GSL MPPT settings/data :-
3400W Solar Battery Charger Maximum Power Point Tracker
Efficiency typical Input voltage 96% 16V to 95V

Saturation Voltage Default 14.6V / 29.2V / 58.4V
Long Life Option 14.3V / 28.6V / 57.2V
High Capacity Option 14.8V / 29.6V / 59.2V
Maintenance Voltage 14.1V / 28.2V / 56.4V
Quiescent current 0.05A
Output power 3400Watt/60A Max
Thermal protection Multi level type

Cheers
Unless that controller can be manually programmed for considerably lower charging voltages, and any "temp compensation" can be 100% turned off, you'd never see me feeding my LiFeYPO4cells anywhere close to those voltages, BMS or not..

Both my alt and solar controller have their own HVC relays. For the alt regulator it breaks the B+ wire and for the solar controller it breaks the output to the battery. Some controllers can not be broken on the "output" side and must be broken on "input" so check with the manufacturer before deciding on an input vs. output cut for HVC.

In my system the BMS is an emergency back up system only. I don't plan on pushing into it every day... If I need to top balance I will do it with the power supply and push the voltage to shunt levels but dial the current way back while doing so..

Your cells though and you can do it however you want. We have the same cells and that is how I am approaching it. With what I've seen here on the bench, anywhere over 14.0V is far too much for my comfort for every day charging via solar, wind, alt or AC charger....
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Old 13-02-2013, 06:24   #12
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Re: DIY Lithium As A House Bank - 1

http://www.gsl.com.au/tl_files/pdf-s.../MPPT60-2L.pdf

I'm listening to what you are saying and am trying to make sense of it all, the above controller is built for Lithium and those are the settings.

The battery manufacturers spec for charging etc is :-

Lithium Yttrium High Power Cell LiFePO4/LiFeYPO4 (3.2V/400Ah) - Original Winston Battery product WB-LYP400AHA (formerly ThunderSky TS-LFP400AHA, Thunder-Sky TS-LYP400AHA) - capacity 400Ah

Nominal voltage of the cell is 3,2 V and the operational voltage is 2,5 - 3,8 V.
The maximum charging voltage for initial charge is 4 V.
Recommended subsequent charging is to 3.8 V.
The minimum voltage is 2.5 V.
The cell is capable to provide short time discharge current up to 20C or 3C continously.
There is no Selfdischarging effect - can be recharged at any state of discharge (no memory effect).


So the spec for the batteries recommends 15.2 volts for subsequent charging?

Can it be the cells are different?

I appreciate your input.
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Old 13-02-2013, 06:42   #13
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Re: DIY Lithium As A House Bank - 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagoon4us View Post
Our initial sketch for comment :-
Frank,

There probably aren't a lot of cruisers who have gone to Li batteries yet. Thanks for your answers earlier. I am attaching a circuit diagram for you. I have a US background, which may differ from yours. The US normally switches only the positive side of the DC, not both. First the disclaimer - I am not a qualified electrician and my suggestions may not adhere to current wiring standards. I would advise you to run your final plan by a qualified electrician.

After looking at the 123 BMS, I have some comments.
  • I would install the solar cutout relay.
  • If you are going to add an inverter I would use the load relay to be able to shut it off, otherwise I would not install the second relay. It is optional to install the second relay after the bus where you have it shown.
  • I would place the manual switch between the bus and the house panel. This will let your batteries stay at 100% when you have turned off the cable to your panel.
  • Installing a fuse on the negative side of the battery is a good idea, I did not illustrate it.
  • If you have an SSB that can use different circuits for the radio control and the radio transmitter, then I would connect the transmitter to the DC bus (through a fuse) and power the control circuit through the DC panel.

Lyndon
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Old 13-02-2013, 07:23   #14
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Re: DIY Lithium As A House Bank - 1

I would install the solar cutout relay. What activates this relay?

If you are going to add an inverter I would use the load relay to be able to shut it off otherwise I would not install the second relay. It is optional to install the second relay after the bus where you have it shown. I was thinking that if the BMS sensed a cell that's voltage had dropped or the whole bank dropped below LV threshold it would be good to cut power here.

I would place the manual switch between the bus and the house panel. This will let your batteries stay at 100% when you have turned off the cable to your panel. Good point.

Installing a fuse on the negative side of the battery is a good idea, I did not illustrate it.
If you have an SSB that can use different circuits for the radio control and the radio transmitter, then I would connect the transmitter to the DC bus (through a fuse) and power the control circuit through the DC panel.
No SSB

What are your thoughts on the charging voltages and battery specifications?

Thanks for your input
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Old 13-02-2013, 08:59   #15
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Re: DIY Lithium As A House Bank - 1

Quote:
I would place the manual switch between the bus and the house panel. This will let your batteries stay at 100% when you have turned off the cable to your panel. Good point.
For LA yes for Li No. Dont float charge them, I would not let teh charger sit at a voltage for long periods connected to an idle battery. Lis have tiny self discharge.

I would also keep in the negative switch, its useful to totally isolate the batteries.
Dave
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