The purpose of a battery is to store energy, check out how to do so here. At Battle Born, we want to make charging your batteries, and the methods in doing so, as simple as possible. Whether it is the knowledge of what charger to use, how to charge your batteries, and everything in between, the Battle Born Batteries team has you covered. Check out advice and components for charger accessories below.
Table of contents
- Do I Have to Buy a Special Charger for LiFePO4 Batteries?
- Can I Use a Trickle Charger Accessory on my LiFePO4 Batteries?
- Battery Monitor Charger Accessories
- Battery to Battery Charging Accessory
- How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?
- How Can I Charge a LiFePO4 Battery?
- What Does an Inverter Charger Do?
- All About the BIM
- How to Check Your Batteries Voltage Using a Multi-Meter
Do I Have to Buy a Special Charger for LiFePO4 Batteries?
You don’t need a special charger for LiFePO4 batteries. If you are unsure of what to use, please refer to our blog on Charging Lithium Batteries.
Can I Use a Trickle Charger Accessory on my LiFePO4 Batteries?
It is important to note that trickle charging is NOT acceptable for lithium batteries. The Li-ion chemistry cannot accept an overcharge without causing damage to the cell, possibly plating out lithium metal and becoming hazardous. Although our BMS technology will prevent this from happening once, we recommend that you do not use trickle charging. Doing so can result in voiding the warranty of the battery. See warranty here.
Battery Monitor Charger Accessories
When it comes to monitoring the charge of your battery, as well as programming its settings, there are a ton of useful charger accessories. One of the most known battery monitors is the Victron BMV-712 Battery Monitor with Bluetooth Built-in. Some may be familiar with its previous model the BMV– 702 Battery Monitor (which previously required a Bluetooth smart dongle). This newer model has the benefit of built-in Bluetooth and a free VE.Direct port is now free. This allows you to use the VictronConnect app and simultaneously connect to a Color Control GX or Venus GX for system monitoring. With the built-in Bluetooth, you are now able to access the settings for your BMV– 712 battery monitor through your smart phone, tablet, or computer. When synchronized with your battery, you will never be unsure about your batteries state of charge.
Battery to Battery Charging Accessory
When multiple batteries are installed in a battery bank, certain accessories exist to allow those batteries to charge off each other. One such accessory is the Orion-TR Smart 12/12V-30A Isolated Charger. This charging accessory is an adaptive three stage charger with Bluetooth capability. With three different charging algorithms: bulk, absorption, and float, this battery-to-battery charger allows you to use the mixed chemistry batteries, such as your AGM starting battery to your lithium house bank.
How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?
Answering this question can depend on the amount of space you have on your vehicle and how fast you want your bank to charge. As a general guideline we recommend 200 to 250 watts of solar per 100 amp-hours of battery. This will give you the ability to charge from nearly empty to full in a 6-to-8-hour time frame. Using solar as a method to charge your batteries will also require a solar charge controller.
A solar charge controller delivers power from the PV array to system loads and the battery bank. When the battery bank is nearly full, the controller will taper off the charging current to maintain the required voltage to fully charge the battery and keep it topped off. Below is a chart for reference that will help you determine what type of solar charge controller you may need.
See RV Solar Panels: A Guide For Beginners for more information on RV solar panels.
How Can I Charge a LiFePO4 Battery?
You can use any standard charger, solar or wind charge controller to charge our LiFePO4 deep cycle battery.
There are some chargers and controllers that are programmable to ensure full usage out of your battery, but most will have an AGM setting which normally bulk charges about 14.4 volts and float at 13.6 volts. These levels are great for your Battle Born battery.
See Charging LiFePO4 Batteries for more information.
What Does an Inverter Charger Do?
In a typical PV system, the inverter/charger accomplishes two basic tasks: 1) converts DC power from the batteries into household AC that can power standard appliances and other energy loads, and 2) converts AC into DC energy that can charge deep cycle batteries. One of the most common Inverter Chargers Battle Born Batteries recommends is the Victron Multiplus Inverter Charger 3000 W 12 V. If you are unsure of which inverter charger would be best for your application, we recommend contacting our technical sales team who can be of assistance in choosing the correct inverter charger.
All About the BIM
The LiFePO4 Battery Isolation Manager (BIM) monitors voltage and connects batteries when needed. Under normal charging conditions, the BIM will connect for 15 minutes every 35 minutes. That means that the BIM will connect for 15 minutes, disconnect for 20 minutes, and repeat this cycle until the coach battery is charged.
If the coach battery resting voltage exceeds 13.4 V then the BIM will disconnect. A resting voltage greater than 13.4 V indicates a fully charged battery. Note that “resting voltage” means that no current is flowing to the coach battery.
The BIM will disconnect if the alternator voltage exceeds 14.4 V. This protects the coach battery from over charging. The LiFePO4 Battery Isolation Manager will disconnect if the voltage difference between the alternator and the coach battery is less than 0.1 V. If the voltage difference low, then there is a negligible charging current. In this case, there is no need to connect to the coach battery.
The BIM will disconnect if the alternator voltage drops below 13.3 V. If the alternator voltage is low, it cannot adequately charge the coach battery. In this instance there is no reason to connect.
How to Check Your Batteries Voltage Using a Multi-Meter
To learn how to check the voltage of your battery, watch the above video and have your multi-meter ready!
Also learn more about Amps, Volts, and Watts: Differences Explained in Simple Terms.
Want To Learn More About Electrical Systems and Lithium Batteries?
We know building or upgrading an electrical system can be overwhelming, so we’re here to help. Our Reno, Nevada-based sales and customer service team is standing by at (775) 622-3448 to take your questions!
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