Heated Lithium / LifePo4 House batteries in Northern (cold) climates

Red90

Adventurer
It is a cycle life question. If you are not cycling the batteries much then there is no justification for the extra cost of lithium. If you are cycle killing a lead acid within a few years, then lithium makes sense. It is all about your planned usage.

There is also no justification for AGM unless you are off reading a lot. A flooded deep cycle will last just as long for a less money.
 

Buddha.

Finally in expo white.
Also seems on average 2 hours needed to heat a battery so charge can be accepted, which eliminates just short trips past going skiing somewhere further away (my closest place i ski often is 15 minutes)
Store battery in mostly charged state and then disconnect it. When you start your ski trip connect your battery. The battery will take time to warm but you won’t need to charge right away because it’s still mostly charged. Let the battery do its warmup/charge routine for the duration of the trip. Make sure the battery is mostly charged when done, and disconnect battery for non trip mode.
 
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Red90

Adventurer
Maybe unjustified, but Legitimate ’ExPo Guys sure like lithium for their fast speed to recharge, nearly twice the useable capacity and 1/3 the weight of the alternatives.
Legitimate?

You have lost all respect in a technical discussion by being derogatory. I would expand on the discussion but only with reasonable people.
 

Alloy

Well-known member
Maybe unjustified, but Legitimate ’ExPo Guys sure like lithium for their fast speed to recharge, nearly twice the useable capacity and 1/3 the weight of the alternatives.
and.....
...it uses 50% less storage space.
...voltage drop for large loads (inverter) is half
 

DiploStrat

Expedition Leader
One really nice thing about a lithium iron battery is that it does not need to be fully recharged. (Indeed, some will make an impassioned case against a full recharge on a regular basis.) In this sense, a lithium battery acts more like a fuel tank - 1/2 to 3/4 is just fine.

Once you have your chargers set up properly and with a decent BMS, is it pretty much set-and-forget.

In the case in question, the REDARC Manager 30 and the Battle Born BMS, should make it all brainlessly easy as you have two safeties to prevent any charge below 0C. I would just set the heaters to manual control.
 
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Joe917

Explorer
There should be no need for battery heat if the batteries are in the heated envelope of the camper. If the camper is in use the batteries will be warm enough to accept charge. If the camper is stored and unheated there should be no need to recharge the batteries. Cut off the automatic battery heat and your done.
 

DirtWhiskey

Western Dirt Rat
There should be no need for battery heat if the batteries are in the heated envelope of the camper. If the camper is in use the batteries will be warm enough to accept charge. If the camper is stored and unheated there should be no need to recharge the batteries. Cut off the automatic battery heat and your done.
I have a question about just this. So, say I'm heading out in the cold. I plug in the camper to my 12v/alternator and go. The envelope isn't going to warm up until I park and camp and turn on the furnace. I'm assuming this is a valid use case for heated batteries? Also assuming the BMS can heat the batteries while in motion from the alternator? It would suck to wait for two hours to turn on the furnace.
 

coguzzi

Adventurer
I have a question about just this. So, say I'm heading out in the cold. I plug in the camper to my 12v/alternator and go. The envelope isn't going to warm up until I park and camp and turn on the furnace. I'm assuming this is a valid use case for heated batteries? Also assuming the BMS can heat the batteries while in motion from the alternator? It would suck to wait for two hours to turn on the furnace.
you can still draw down/use the batteries when they are below freezing, to a certain temp which i think is -4F for battle born (other vary). so you can still run the furnace, you just will not be putting energy that is used back into the battery until it is above 32F. for sure this would work, but i bet takes a lot longer to heat the room which will eventually bring the battery up to ambient temp than just using a localized battery heater, its still a big brick

SO, what i read on the Volthium specs but still waiting response from them, there heater operates when it senses a charge trying to come in (automatic) and uses that incoming power to operate the heater up to temp before changing over to accept charge. key is using the incoming power to run the heater vs battery power like the battle born. smarter BMS i would say. all fine and dandy for those using just a nonsmart dc-dc (like the redarc bcdc line, victron, sterling etc). but since the redarc manager 30 is smarter and has its own built in temp sensor to control the lithium profile, i dont think it will ever send a charger signal to the battery to engage the heater. next email is going to be to redarc if it sends some kind of signal or not. stay tuned
 

DiploStrat

Expedition Leader
Worth repeating, if only because one of our members here went to great, patient lengths to pound this into my dense skull, in most cases, the BMS can control charging and discharging separately. This is important because:

-- If you have a cell or bank overvoltage, you want the battery to discharge to bring that voltage down.

-- If you have a cell or bank undervoltage, you want the battery to charge so that it can recover.

Also worth noting that some batteries have a kind of low voltage circuit breaker and you may have to push a button or literally jump start the battery to restore it to service.


Again, in the real world, keep your water from freezing and in internally mounted lithium iron battery should be fine. I do like the double protection of the Manager 30 on top of the BMS, but there is no reason to believe that the Battle Born BMS does not function as advertised. They wouldn't be able to offer a ten year warranty if they had a lot of failures.
 

Alloy

Well-known member
No waiting. Lithiums can discharge while cold. They just cant be charged while cold.
If you forget to turn the BB heater on then driving down the road the low temp + low voltage will disconnect the battery.
 

Alloy

Well-known member
you can still draw down/use the batteries when they are below freezing, to a certain temp which i think is -4F for battle born (other vary). so you can still run the furnace, you just will not be putting energy that is used back into the battery until it is above 32F. for sure this would work, but i bet takes a lot longer to heat the room which will eventually bring the battery up to ambient temp than just using a localized battery heater, its still a big brick

SO, what i read on the Volthium specs but still waiting response from them, there heater operates when it senses a charge trying to come in (automatic) and uses that incoming power to operate the heater up to temp before changing over to accept charge. key is using the incoming power to run the heater vs battery power like the battle born. smarter BMS i would say. all fine and dandy for those using just a nonsmart dc-dc (like the redarc bcdc line, victron, sterling etc). but since the redarc manager 30 is smarter and has its own built in temp sensor to control the lithium profile, i dont think it will ever send a charger signal to the battery to engage the heater. next email is going to be to redarc if it sends some kind of signal or not. stay tuned
I wonder if a relay can be used to control BB heater.
 

DiploStrat

Expedition Leader
If you forget to turn the BB heater on then driving down the road the low temp + low voltage will disconnect the battery.
No it won't. Low temperature will disconnect the charge side, not the discharge side. Low voltage will disconnect the discharge side. Two separate circumstances. Of course, you have to have at least some charge in the battery before you start, but that is another issue.

The Battle Born heater can certainly be controlled with a switch or relay, but you are making this much harder than it has to be.

Never thought I would end up as a shill for Battle Born, as I don't own them and they certainly don't pay me, but this is a decent read: https://1t1pye1e13di20waq11old70-wp...1/07/Heat-Instruction-Guide-ALL-BB-MODELS.pdf

It would appear that if you preplace their switch with a normally open or normally closed relay (depending on what you want to do) you might be able to control the heater from your solar charger or your ignition.
 
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Alloy

Well-known member
No it won't. Low temperature will disconnect the charge side, not the discharge side. Low voltage will disconnect the discharge side. Two separate circumstances. Of course, you have to have at least some charge in the battery before you start, but that is another issue.

The Battle Born heater can certainly be controlled with a switch or relay, but you are making this much harder than it has to be.

Never thought I would end up as a shill for Battle Born, as I don't own them and they certainly don't pay me, but this is a decent read: https://1t1pye1e13di20waq11old70-wp...1/07/Heat-Instruction-Guide-ALL-BB-MODELS.pdf

It would appear that if you preplace their switch with a normally open or normally closed relay (depending on what you want to do) you might be able to control the heater from your solar charger or your ignition.
Let me try again:)

It's 10F and you're driving the road with engine drawing power from the battery. How does the battery get charged if the battery heater is turned off?
 

Joe917

Explorer
Let me try again:)

It's 10F and you're driving the road with engine drawing power from the battery. How does the battery get charged if the battery heater is turned off?
Why is the engine drawing power from the house battery?
 

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