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Old 22-09-2022, 06:12   #1
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LiFePO4 Electric Schematic for Review and Comments

Hi Cruisers and those with higher Midi-chlorian counts way over 2500 (you know who you are). This is a draft diagram for general review and comments to identify/validate the the intended implementation of Dakota Lithium | Victron | Balmar gear on my P39. Contextually, we are also converting to 120 60HZ and increasing the wiring gauges to accommodate the amperage and adding an isolation transformer. This is the (draft) schematic my refitter is putting together (I am staying in the US to work to financially fund the refit/kitty) . I come from an aircraft maintenance / IT world, so some aspects of marine electrical are new to me and I am on the learning curve. Also, there are some items not yet added that are intended and labels. I have Lucid charts but I believe this is being built in another tool so don't have source files right now, but will convert them to Lucid/Visio. My goal is to just expose our design to hear, learn, consider and potentially integrate good ideas.
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Old 22-09-2022, 06:42   #2
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Re: LiFePO4 Electric Schematic for Review and Comments

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Originally Posted by Stephen_MO View Post
Hi Cruisers and those with higher Midi-chlorian counts way over 2500 (you know who you are). This is a draft diagram for general review and comments to identify/validate the the intended implementation of Dakota Lithium | Victron | Balmar gear on my P39. Contextually, we are also converting to 120 60HZ and increasing the wiring gauges to accommodate the amperage and adding an isolation transformer. This is the (draft) schematic my refitter is putting together (I am staying in the US to work to financially fund the refit/kitty) . I come from an aircraft maintenance / IT world, so some aspects of marine electrical are new to me and I am on the learning curve. Also, there are some items not yet added that are intended and labels. I have Lucid charts but I believe this is being built in another tool so don't have source files right now, but will convert them to Lucid/Visio. My goal is to just expose our design to hear, learn, consider and potentially integrate good ideas.
No, this diagram is incorrect. This can’t come from a qualified Victron installer.

- the 120V input goes to the isolation transformer as well. The switch between 240/120 is done inside the transformer, either automatically or manually depending on the model transformer purchased.

- the relays running the alternator regulators must be controlled by the BMS, not by anything from the engine. When the battery goes into a LVC/HVC cutoff mode, the rectifier diodes in the alternators will burn out, so the BMS must shut it down before HVC.

- no busbars, no fuses where they are required

- how does the combiner switch work? I don’t think that is even possible

I really recommend you follow diagrams from Victron or my reference diagrams aimed at converting boats to LiFePO4, not what your installer presented you with. Being frank: find someone else.

I have attached some diagrams, there are threads started by me for every diagram I uploaded to the forum.
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Old 22-09-2022, 07:15   #3
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Re: LiFePO4 Electric Schematic for Review and Comments

Thanks Jedi, this is an early draft, but my understanding is that all shore power also went through the isolation transformer as well and that is one of the reasons I wanted to offer this early draft for "peer" review on CF to identify potential issues. I will share the feedback and very much appreciate it. I know we have victron DC to DC transformers and are using bus bars as well, they haven't been included in this draft (per pic) that we need to get integrated into the design documentation.
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Old 22-09-2022, 07:50   #4
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Re: LiFePO4 Electric Schematic for Review and Comments

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Originally Posted by Stephen_MO View Post
Thanks Jedi, this is an early draft, but my understanding is that all shore power also went through the isolation transformer as well and that is one of the reasons I wanted to offer this early draft for "peer" review on CF to identify potential issues. I will share the feedback and very much appreciate it. I know we have victron DC to DC transformers and are using bus bars as well, they haven't been included in this draft (per pic) that we need to get integrated into the design documentation.
I understand your situation. I’m trying to tell you that your approach is not optimal. Instead of working from a blank page, or relying on your refitter, you should grab a complete diagram from either me or Victron… whoever has one that is the closest match to what you need, then modify details to match it to your situation.
Those diagrams have been used over and over and can be considered reference diagrams from which you should work. Deviation means experimentation and it has probably been tried and result in less optimal results before.
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Old 22-09-2022, 17:02   #5
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Re: LiFePO4 Electric Schematic for Review and Comments

It actually may be a good thing that you took a crack at this, for educational purposes. It's a good way for some people to truly grok what's going on.

That being said, your doc needs a lot to really be a valid working document.

I would suggest you take your drawing and one of the reference drawings and see what is different, missing, or connected differently. That should reveal some areas where your design has holes and will highlight design choices or omissions pretty well. At the very least it is a pretty comprehensive checklist of thing to consider.

I think at the end of the day, you'll probably decide to take your components, translate them toward your preferred reference design, and evolve from there, rather than trying to re-invent the wheel from your current version.

Also, it may be helpful to group things (perhaps dashed outline). For example, I think you are assuming a DC bus. I think that might be the two blocks following the BlueSea DC fuses. But, I can't tell at this resolution and originally thought those were fuse blocks for Class T fuses. I am still not sure.

I think you mean to have a bus bar between the Multiplus and the Batteries, though I am not sure of the connectivity or where the batteries would be fused/switched relative to the connections. Also, it is not clear how you would fuse this. (Saw your comment about including a bus bar after typing this).

There are a bunch more things like this (e.g. how you bring in the DC via the Orions, what actually controls the alternator disconnects and the battery disconnects; how your DC panel fits in) in addition to the things Jedi raised.

But, it's a good start and a good exercise, even if you may have to retrace a bunch of your steps.


One other bit of advice - spend adequate time doing/optimizing the physical layout once you have a solid design. You'll find things like cable lengths, mounting clearance, switch and fuse access, etc. depend on this, and these are the things you need to order/build/install. As a simple example, reorienting my battery disconnects relative to my batteries and Multiplus, relocating my MPPTs a little bit allowed me to remove 1.5ft from each of my 2/0 red cables and 1 ft from each of my black 2/0 cables. With 6 batteries, that's 15 feet of cable and a lot better airflow. It would really suck to build a bunch of cables with lugs and have to rebuild them for a different length.
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Old 23-09-2022, 09:42   #6
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Re: LiFePO4 Electric Schematic for Review and Comments

@catlystcat @jedi thank you for your review and comments. I am going through this exercise with the presumption that our implementation probably is not optimal and can benefit from being informed by your feedback with intent to integrate them. I have already sent Jedi's reference architectures and technical comments to my integrator as feedback.
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Old 23-09-2022, 09:49   #7
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Re: LiFePO4 Electric Schematic for Review and Comments

One specific question is, what are your thoughts on having the alternator field energized by relay at engine startup BY the house LFP bank such that is the BMS shuts down the LSF house bank, the field is collapsed and charging discontinues in the same event. Our BMS is the integrated Dakota Lithium BMS and we have the balmar center fielder. Can those be integrated such that DL BMS (as opposed to a custom external BMS as seems to be indicated in the reference architectures) can shut down alternator charging prior to Shutting down the batter for temperature or other reasons. I am calling Dakota on this and possibly Balmar, but would be interested in your comments.

Thanks,

Stephen
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Old 23-09-2022, 14:13   #8
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Re: LiFePO4 Electric Schematic for Review and Comments

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Originally Posted by Stephen_MO View Post
One specific question is, what are your thoughts on having the alternator field energized by relay at engine startup BY the house LFP bank such that is the BMS shuts down the LSF house bank, the field is collapsed and charging discontinues in the same event. Our BMS is the integrated Dakota Lithium BMS and we have the balmar center fielder. Can those be integrated such that DL BMS (as opposed to a custom external BMS as seems to be indicated in the reference architectures) can shut down alternator charging prior to Shutting down the batter for temperature or other reasons. I am calling Dakota on this and possibly Balmar, but would be interested in your comments.

Thanks,

Stephen
I have the relays and them controlling the regulator and thus field current in the schematic. I have connected the relays to the BMS and in the text described how this should work. I have little knowledge of features of available BMS’s, but ai do know that any BMS, internal to the battery or external, must have this feature to comply with ABYC. If a drop in battery with BMS doesn’t have this feature, then it is not ABYC / ISO compliant and will probably be turned down by your insurer.
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