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Old 07-29-2017, 01:10 AM   #1
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Lithium Build Parts/Makes List

Lithium battery set-up has a lot of traction for me. I thought it might be interesting to get a specific parts/makes list for a build. I've browsed the Lithionics and SmartBattery websites and compiled a few separate parts list based on members threads.
Below is an example of a start on specific make and battery (cut/pasted from Wrinklepants build), but I have many other questions. Do you need/prefer the separate Internal Never Die BMS or is it better to have it external on the Lithionics battery? Do you need the wireless never die remote or no?
1. Lithionics 400 AH
2. Magnum Hybrid 3Kw inverter
3. Balmer has a regulator for the alternator (I'm familiar with this type of set- up as I have a high output alternator and separate regulator tailored to the AGM batteries for my house battery bank on my boat)

If anyone has already been through this and has a complete parts list and/or lessons learned, I wish I'd gone with XXX part/make instead, that would be great.
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Old 07-29-2017, 01:48 AM   #2
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I was going to go with 3-4 300 Ah (their largest) lithium from Smart Battery®, but now that I've seen the Lithonics, I think I want to go with a pair of their 600 Ah lithiums.

Link to Smart Battery®

Link to Lithonics
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Old 07-29-2017, 02:08 AM   #3
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That is some serious Ah stowage! I think for us that would be too much, also stow area and weight are concerns. The 8D 480 Ah lists at 150 lbs. I think that is enough for our main parameter of running the rooftop A/C for 3 hours max. All other functions for us are easily within range with that much in the bank. I could see going with one 600 Ah battery or a pair of smaller 300 Ah batteries.

Another concern is the size of the 2nd alternator. It seems the standard I'm reading is 260-270. Is there a head and shoulders above alternator that comes to mind?

I believe our battery bank will go underneath the aft settee/couch on our build, since it needs to be internal to the van.
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Old 07-29-2017, 02:33 AM   #4
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My wife agreed to let me get an off road capable vehicle. She would have preferred something with more space and not be able to go off road. She does not like being hot and I am fine with having the power to run AC all night.

I have to talk in detail with Brian re. how to keep these charged. Second alternator for sure, probably solar all over the roof (though I know that won't go far toward these puppies, possibly generator (though I don't really want propane and a diesel generator is huge). I will likely have to drive a couple of hours a day minimum, which we would likely do anyway. I will likely have an aux fuel tank.

We will be getting all the upgrades that Van Compass has to offer and that should take care of the weight issue.

Anyway, main reason: Happy Wife=Happy Life. And when my wife is happy, it pays in spades for me. When she's not, well, not so much.
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Old 07-29-2017, 06:33 PM   #5
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The parts list for lithium is essentially the same as an AGM. In fact, you can use all AGM parts, you just need an adjustable charger controller so you can set the various voltages.

The only controller that I think is different (at least with what SMB is installing as of now) is the solar controller. Rather than a Zamp unit, they're doing a Blue Sky unit as I guess Zamp doesn't have a lithium profile. We go back and fourth on solar, though. Part of me feels like it's only a matter of time before someone comes out with an auto-start based on battery voltage. Personally, I have no issues with the van starting and running for 30 minutes when at a TH and we're on a multi-day trip away from the van. Even starting once would get us all the recharge we'd need to run the fridge for 10 days (the most we'd be gone). Solar just seems like something more suited to lead/acid batteries.

Advanced RV does a much beefier Delco alternator with a custom built clutch. It looks to be at least twice the physical size of the nations alternator, if not more. I don't know much about it, though.
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Old 07-29-2017, 06:53 PM   #6
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The Smart Battery link above lists specs and prices both, however the Lithonics link only lists specs-no prices. Here is a link with prices and for purchase of Lithonics batteries. The 12V lithiums start about 25% of the way down the page and end around 40% of the way down.

Lithium-ion Battery Sales in Canada - Superior Lithium-ion Commercial Truck, Courier and Mail Delivery Fleet Lithium-ion Batteries.
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Old 07-29-2017, 07:09 PM   #7
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I'm not overly impressed with Smart Batteries. If I'm honest, the only lithiums I really trust at this point are Lithionics, Victron, and Mastervolt. Lithionics is a much more plug n play system where Victron and Mastervolt are more modular. Smart battery doesn't have a low-temp cutoff to prevent charging when below freezing. That's a problem for me given that we will have a lot of use in winter conditions. Lithionics does have a low-temp cutoff.

If I had to guess, SMB went with Smart based on price. If you guys are interested in Lithionics, reach out to Brian so they know that people are willing to pay a bit more for a better, more established battery.

Lithionics doesn't sell directly to the public simply because their batteries aren't exactly drop-in. You need to design an electrical system for it, and Lithionics doesn't trust the general public to do this alone. Nation's Alternator sells Lithionics, and they're the folks supplying SMB with aux alternators. So, SMB has an established parts channel to get the lithionics batteries.
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Old 07-29-2017, 08:06 PM   #8
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I'm also thinking that if I pay that much for batteries, it would also be worth it to go with connectors and cable with the least resistance, which would mean 1/0-gauge or 0-gauge. There is a lot more out there than this, but here are a few links.

1/0 Gauge Battery, Starter, Power & Ground Cable

1/0 Gauge Battery Terminal Clamp Connector

https://www.summitracing.com/search/...rder=Ascending

1 0 AWG Battery Cable - Wiring Products

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/ancor...foot--P0185504

https://www.darvex.com/store/pc/Pair...al-14p1037.htm

https://www.batterycablesusa.com/0-g...-cable-1-0-awg

https://www.batterycablesusa.com/0-g...-cable-1-0-awg
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Old 07-29-2017, 08:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrinkledpants View Post
Lithionics doesn't sell directly to the public simply because their batteries aren't exactly drop-in. You need to design an electrical system for it, and Lithionics doesn't trust the general public to do this alone. Nation's Alternator sells Lithionics, and they're the folks supplying SMB with aux alternators. So, SMB has an established parts channel to get the lithionics batteries.
Thanks for that. Lots of DIY folks come here looking for info. I hope the things I add to the thread might be helpful to them.
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Old 07-30-2017, 05:33 AM   #10
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TomH and Wrinklepants, appreciate the information. I talked to Brian @ SMB briefly but have not defined the system. September is our commence build date so I have some time to further research. If I am going this route as I am inclined to do, I want to ensure that all the pieces are compatible and as plug and play as possible. I'm leaning towards the Lithionics 8D or perhaps 2 4D or 5D's.

Thanks for the info on wiring as well.

The battery prices are way up there. I don't have an issue with that given the fact that it's going to get us where we want to be with our system, but I also want to baby this battery exactly as specified.

Van will be plugged in when not in use. In winter, at ski areas and on backcountry logging roads in the winter I think I can leave the D5 heat on a low setting for the day that we'll be out on the slopes or backcountry.

I think for our everyday back road/camping use (we won't be using the A/C for that), we're going to be able to go days w/o recharging. The in-town A/C use will be good for the 2-3 hour period minimum we specified with some comfort range on the back end. Gone are the hot summer days in Eastern WA and Montana where we're driving around town in our 4Runner looking for that perfect shady spot for our dogs so we can scurry into shop, do laundry or eat for a minimal amount of time...
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