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2014-159 HR in CT
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Discussion Starter · #82 ·
The "Details"

Part 1: Remove the couch and kitchen cabinet to access the wall. I needed to remove a wall panel to add a few wires
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Once the wires were added, I also added a drain pipe for the sink. On some trips, this will be a easy way to drain sink water.
A collapsible bucket outside takes a lot less space than the WaterBrick I used as a grey water tank.
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Then I reinstalled the kitchen cabinet and couch. I also made a new Inverter panel that bolts into place inside the couch
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Next, I installed the Renogy 40A B2B charger on the front wall of the couch... temporarily hooked up a battery to test it.
Also temporary clips to test the D+ and LC control wires.
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Then I mounted the inverter on it's panel. My inverter terminals are the main junction point for all connections, so the Battery Monitor shunt is attached to the (-) terminal. All the other (-) wires are attached to the big silver joiner (modified to fit) and the mini bussbar...
The double red and black wires are provided with the inverter and will go to the battery bank.

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Then I mounted the inverter panel in the couch, after a test hookup
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Like this...Before attachment, I also routed and connected the inverter remote on/off and battery monitor wires.
The panel at the bottom of the picture is the end wall of the "battery compartment"
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I then made a battery hold down "brace" to keep the batteries in place, and also provide a separator to keep the bussbars somewhat isolated
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To be continued...
 

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Discussion Starter · #83 ·
Continued...

Next, I added a (-) terminal for the kitchen cabinet 12V circuit, and any circuits I may want to add later. It's getting a bit crowded back there!

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Batteries installed
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And bussbars added. I made the bussbars from 1/4" x 1" aluminum strips. I also made a junction block for the main fuse and fuse to my main panel.
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Also put the hold down / separator in place. Last connection made was the negative bussbar to negative from the shunt.
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The good news... It Works!

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Still to do:

Mount switches for D+ and LC from the B2B in the area under the driver seat (wires are already there)

Make a plywood cover for this are to keep from dropping things onto the bussbars (the separator does keep a long metal object from spanning from one bussbar to the other)

The battery monitor display and inverter remote need to be mounted up in my front cabinet.

Decide on a shore power charger... looks like the Victron that Gary uses may be the one! (no solar on my setup)
 

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Discussion Starter · #84 ·
Thanks to all who jumped in to make suggestions on my transition from AGM to LiFePo batteries! All replies are appreciated...

Note: for anyone doing this type of install. The last connection to the inverter can make a very big SPARK! There are some good YouTube videos on how to pre-charge the capacitors in the inverter before that final connection... I found 'em after the first spark event!
 

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Discussion Starter · #86 ·
It's really convenient to have an LED on the D+ and LC that you can see from the driver's seat so you know at a glance what's happening back there.
LEDs? That sounds complicated! ;) I was thinking of putting the two switches in the aisle side of the driver seat base trim...
 

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Discussion Starter · #89 ·
Completed the battery compartment cover. This should keep any stray electrons from escaping... and provide a bit of extra storage without exposing the bussbars, etc.

Final compartment dimensions = 22.5" x 22.5" x 11" high... just need to add a shore power charger, which won't be in the compartment.

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Discussion Starter · #90 · (Edited)
As noted in a recent post, I added the D+ and LC switch setup to control my Renogy B2B charger.



Next, and hopefully last, I added a shore power charger. Based on advice from members here (Thanks guys!), I bought a Victron IP67 12V 25A Bluetooth charger.

I tried a few locations and decide that the kitchen cabinet was a location near enough to my batteries and with some available air space around it (it gets very hot when running full steam ahead at 25A... less so at the 10A setting. I'm a bit concerned about the heat it generates, but I have a plan B using a Renogy 20A B2B charger and a 12V power supply.... we'll see!

I mounted it, and also added the remote control delay timer previously mentioned. All wired in, but I will "neaten up" some of the wires and strap down the timer before calling it "done." The wires go through a cutout in the kitchen cabinet and into the couch area where the battery system is located.

So now, it is connected to a shore power outlet but will only charge the batteries if I use the remote control to select 2,4,6,or 8 hours (then off) on the timer.

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The two orange wires provide shore power and inverter power to the transfer switch, also in the kitchen cabinet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #91 ·
Timed charging:

With the install complete, I tried the charging system.

Pressed the 2 hour button on the timer remote, and the Victron 25Ah charger started charging. 2 hours later, the timer turned off and the battery monitor indicated exactly 50Ah more charge than when I began (from 236Ah to 286 Ah).

So I think I can comfortably use the "timed" charging setup to control how much charge happens. Otherwise, when I plug into shore power it will charge the batteries to 100%... period. With the timer, I can mange the charging and only use it if the B2B needs some additional help after driving.

If I'm at 100Ah of battery, 2hrs= 50Ah more = 150Ah, 4hrs = 100Ah more = 200Ah, 6hrs = 150Ah more = 250Ah, and 8hrs = 200Ah more = 300Ah total charge = "100% full".

At many campgrounds I'll plug in to power the big stuff (microwave, heater, coffeemakers, etc. from shore power) and if needed, send a timed charge to the batteries...
 

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I've been thinking of your placement of switches for the B2B on the seat pedestal, and confessed I chuckled. I'd have to position my body near horizontal for my finger to reach that low. 😂
 

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Discussion Starter · #93 ·
I've been thinking of your placement of switches for the B2B on the seat pedestal, and confessed I chuckled. I'd have to position my body near horizontal for my finger to reach that low. 😂
I guess it depends on where you are when you want to "hit the switch."

When I'm driving, I just reach down with my arm and click it by touch... easy peasy. Knowing the up is 20A, center is off and down is 40A, makes it easy to do without actually seeing it.

I searched high and low for the features that the remote controlled timer has... it seems to be a great solution!
 

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Thanks to all who jumped in to make suggestions on my transition from AGM to LiFePo batteries! All replies are appreciated...

Note: for anyone doing this type of install. The last connection to the inverter can make a very big SPARK! There are some good YouTube videos on how to pre-charge the capacitors in the inverter before that final connection... I found 'em after the first spark event!
This is one of the reasons why I try to convince people to use a breaker for each battery string.
 

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I guess it depends on where you are when you want to "hit the switch."

When I'm driving, I just reach down with my arm and click it by touch... easy peasy.
Except when I’m driving, my hand barely reaches the rail the seat sits on. The base is waaaay down there. 😂
 

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I don't understand. What's the connection between sparks and multiple breakers?
If the last connection in a power system is done via a wire to or through a fuse, then the person putting it together (or maintaining it later) will always be subject to a large spark event.

There are substantial capacitors in chargers and inverters, and the charge up of these causes a large current to flow - spark.

For AGM batteries, this isn't that big of a deal on them, but especially for a LiFe battery, it can trip the internal BMS of some or all of the batteries.

In order to re-set the BMS, many of them use a "reset" function that works by removing power / voltage from each individual battery. This means that each battery either has to be individually disconnected with it's own breaker, or you have the joy of disconnecting each one - wire by wire and hope that the spark doesn't re-trip the BMS.

If you do all of this via a breaker for each parallel battery string, then there isn't any external spark - it is managed by the breaker.

The one method to reduce this effect is to add in a pre-charge circuit, which more or less is a side circuit with a resistor in line to slow down the charge up of the caps.

Another way is to use a solar charge controller that will pre-charge the bus bar and inverter caps without needing to be hooked up to a battery. Some do, some don't.
 

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If the last connection in a power system is done via a wire to or through a fuse, then the person putting it together (or maintaining it later) will always be subject to a large spark event.

There are substantial capacitors in chargers and inverters, and the charge up of these causes a large current to flow - spark.

For AGM batteries, this isn't that big of a deal on them, but especially for a LiFe battery, it can trip the internal BMS of some or all of the batteries.

In order to re-set the BMS, many of them use a "reset" function that works by removing power / voltage from each individual battery. This means that each battery either has to be individually disconnected with it's own breaker, or you have the joy of disconnecting each one - wire by wire and hope that the spark doesn't re-trip the BMS.

If you do all of this via a breaker for each parallel battery string, then there isn't any external spark - it is managed by the breaker.

The one method to reduce this effect is to add in a pre-charge circuit, which more or less is a side circuit with a resistor in line to slow down the charge up of the caps.

Another way is to use a solar charge controller that will pre-charge the bus bar and inverter caps without needing to be hooked up to a battery. Some do, some don't.
I must have gotten lucky all the times I've re-connected my inverter-charger. Since the beginning, I've always isolated my battery bank with my battery cut-off switch before messing with high-current wiring. I've never seen sparks and I haven't tripped a BMS that I know of. However, I have a 4-position rotary cut-off switch with my two 206Ah lithiums connected to the #1 and #2 positions. They are isolated from one another in all but the 1+2 position. So maybe I reset the BMS without knowing it.
 
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