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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 600Ah 12V LiFePo4 battery bank. I can't figure out what I need in order to charge via shore power. Everything I've found has been for AGM.

What do I need to buy in order to charge my system via shore power?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Also, if you live in SAN DIEGO and want to HELP me configure my charging system, I will pay you :)
 

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>:D Trade them in and get AGM? >:D Then it is simple and cheap and works fine.

You’ve got a BIG battery set and must have an impressive electrical plan. The charger is available.
 

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I have a 600Ah 12V LiFePo4 battery bank. I can't figure out what I need in order to charge via shore power. Everything I've found has been for AGM.

What do I need to buy in order to charge my system via shore power?
The "world" is designed for lead-acid/AGM batteries. The concepts of "bulk", "absorption" and "float" are all related to lead-acid and AGM. Yet, most all of the chargers and solar controllers can be configured for LiPO4.

The starting point, though, is to know what you have . . . meaning, whose 600AH of lithium do you have, what is their configuration (meaning: Parallel-Series or Series-Parallel) and, more importantly, what Battery Management System do you have. Provide more information and we can help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You need a AC-to-DC battery charger for LiFePO4 or a multi-chemistry one, but that includes also LiFePO4 batteries of the voltage You need.

You could take a look, for example, to Bioenno Power, even better contact them for informations, There are also others manufacturers and integrators.
https://www.bioennopower.com/collections/8-ac-to-dc-chargers-accessories?page=1
I bought their 20A LiFePO4 charger and it's done nothing but blow fuses since it arrived. I'm in the process of trying to return it...
 

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Let this be another warning to lithium battery prospective purchasers. These batteries have their place in electric and hybrid autos and many other applications but might not be quite ready for prime time as RV storage as other solutions are much cheaper, the weight advantage is not so important to us and the rapid discharge and charging capabilities are not significant in this application either.
Dont get me wrong they are a great technology, I have some, and I believe they may become the way-to-go, just not now for this specific application.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
As a fulltimer in a class B, weight savings (I saved about 560lbs) and the ability to charge quickly (maybe 2-4 times faster? 50A vs 100-200A) are worth the trouble. Most, if not all, of the RV makers are offering LiFePO4 now. I just gotta work out the kinks ;) I think my first mistake was using cheap components, like this $99 charger...

Gonna start a new post looking for a reliable charger/inverter combo for LiFePO4.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Great point! I noticed on all the cheap trickle chargers I bought at Walmart as a last minute attempt to bring these batteries back to life from being dead for a day that the chargers are all rated for specific battery capacities.
 

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I have a 600Ah 12V LiFePo4 battery bank. I can't figure out what I need in order to charge via shore power. Everything I've found has been for AGM.

What do I need to buy in order to charge my system via shore power?
Buck
You don't specify the brand or source of your battery bank. I think the first place to check would be with the manufacturer or supplier you obtained them from. Some Lithium batteries come with a cell management system installed and others don't. It's not as simple as buying a charger for flooded or AGM but chargers are certainly available. What's important is to buy one that is suited to your particular battery bank design.

For a generic charger I would check with Progressive Dynamics as they are a major manufacturer of RV power supplies and make chargers specifically designed for Lipo batteries - their pd9100L-series.
 

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Let this be another warning to lithium battery prospective purchasers. These batteries have their place in electric and hybrid autos and many other applications but might not be quite ready for prime time as RV storage
Seems to me that this particular bank is just farking huge and thus presents unique problems.
 

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Agreed. This is the future, for sure, but unless you are an well funded electrical engineer or serious experimenter it's still not quite ready for the average pocketbook or "prime time" in a camper van.

I remember 5 years ago, or so, when everyone was up in arms of something as simple as an incandescent light build being phased out. People were hoarding them and crying and moaning about government interference and on and on not to mention the extra cost. Today LED's have become the norm and they are as cheap as the old incandescents. I just bought an 8 pack of R30' floods at Costco for the magnificent sum of $3.99! I've actually replaced every bulb in my house (and I have well over 50 or 60) with LED's and wouldn't ever consider buying anything else in the future - until that next big advancement in technology arrives. ;)

The point is in a few years we will all most likely be using LiFePO4 batteries and look back on lead acid battery technology (and price) and laugh at how far we have come in such a short time. Thanks, in part, to the pioneers here like Winston and others.
 

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Let's start off with a few questions?

What type of batteries are they?
Do you have a BMS?
Do you have an inverter/charger?
Will the van every be anywhere below freezing?

Most good inverter/chargers have a custom setting to allow for custom charge profiles. If you just have an inverter, then as others have said you'll need a dedicated charger. However if you don't even have an inverter yet, just bite the bullet and go with a nice inverter charger. Xantrex just released a pretty nice inverter that's a good value. It's their XC line and has an 80A charger. http://www.xantrex.com/power-products/inverter-chargers/freedom-xc.aspx. Slower charging helps with longevity, but with 600ah, slow charging isn't always an option.

My van has 400ah of lifepo4 and I've been doing research on these batteries for a while, but I'm not an expert, but feel free to ask any questions and I can help where I can or point you to the right place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Below in bold is my response:

Let's start off with a few questions?

What type of batteries are they? They're custom made by Shen Zhen YKX Battery Energy Co. They make a lot of the LiFePO4s being rebranded in the states, I believe.
Do you have a BMS? Yes, batteries each have a built in BMS
Do you have an inverter/charger? I have a 3000W "pure sine" inverter that was $315 off eBay (PUGU is the brand) and I was using a Bioenne Power 14.6V charger model BPC-1520C
Will the van every be anywhere below freezing? Absolutely. Van is designed for four seasons, one of those being winters in Wyoming where it's regularly -20°F or colder. Van has ~R30 on the walls, R20 on the floor and ceiling. Has electric heated floors and a gasoline powered Webasto furnace. I'm not sure that will keep the batteries above freezing at all times, but the BMS is supposed to not let them charge when they're below a certain temperature.

Most good inverter/chargers have a custom setting to allow for custom charge profiles. If you just have an inverter, then as others have said you'll need a dedicated charger. However if you don't even have an inverter yet, just bite the bullet and go with a nice inverter charger. Xantrex just released a pretty nice inverter that's a good value. It's their XC line and has an 80A charger. http://www.xantrex.com/power-products/inverter-chargers/freedom-xc.aspx. Slower charging helps with longevity, but with 600ah, slow charging isn't always an option.

My solution to all of my inverter and charging issues was going to be exactly that: bight the bullet and buy a ~$700 charger/inverter combo. It's actually not nearly as pricey as I thought. When you consider that my cheap chinese "pure sine" 3000W inverter (Keep quoting that because I can prove it's always putting out a steady sine wave) was ~$315 and the 20A charger I got was $115, so $430 combined. For an extra $300 or so, I could have gotten an all-in-one solution from a reputable brand based in the USA (customer support, warranty, etc.) that would charge at four times the rate and, presumably, put out a steady sine wave at its rated wattage.

My van has 400ah of lifepo4 and I've been doing research on these batteries for a while, but I'm not an expert, but feel free to ask any questions and I can help where I can or point you to the right place.
 

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Hey Buck,

Is this the battery you have? http://www.ykxbattery.com/Pro640/850.html

If so, I don't see a mention of any cold weather protection on the spec sheet as most do not have that feature (the only one I've seen is battle born batteries and REC-BMS for stand alone BMS for individual cell management). Just make sure that you keep them above freezing at all times if you are going to be charging. My van has an electric thermostat that turns on when it's below a certain temp that powers heating pads to warm the batteries. The problem with this is they draw a decent amount of current (15 amps) and I imagine your electric floor heating is going to draw more than that. Even with 600ah, powering an electric heater is going to drain those batteries fast. What I plan to add is a shut off switch on the solar so that when it's around freezing, I can simply turn off my solar, not plug in, and turn off my battery combiner so no charge comes from the alternator. I was even thinking about getting a 12v thermostat to trigger a relay to shut off charging manually, then turn it back on when it's back above freezing.

Remember, cold weather is only an issue at freezing temp for charging. Most batteries can discharge perfectly fine up until -4F but your spec sheet says 14F. However if it's that cold, you're probably going to be running the webasto ;)
 

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As an FYI, we've been using a Magnum 2812 combination 2800 watt sine wave inverter and 125 amp charger. It switches flawlessly (transparently) between invert and shore power as shore power comes and goes (we lost shore power a few nights ago and the only way we knew that that had happened was the fan in the Magnum came on as the inverter was drawing nearly 150 amps to supply our AC space heater). It's pricey, but it includes flexible programming making it suitable for lithium charging (we're using a 500ah Elite/Starlight Solar pack and BMS).
 
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