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Installing Lithium Batteries – What Else Do I Need To Know?

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Our sales team helped you make the wise decision of getting Battle Born Batteries, our incredible shipping team has packaged and shipped your product to you, now what? It’s time for installing your lithium batteries! Join us as we take you through everything you’ll need to know during the installation process.  

What is the Rate of Discharge and How Does it Affect the Capacity of the Battery?

After installing lithium batteries, you may wonder about the discharge rate you’ll now experience.

The discharge rate is defined as the steady current in amperes (A) that can be taken from a battery of defined capacity (Ah) over a defined period (h).

Rate of discharge does not affect the capacity of a lithium battery because we do not have resistance in our battery. With our battery you could pull 10 A or 100 A, the energy of the battery does not change, you get 100 Ah of energy every time.

Installing Multiple Lithium Batteries in Series: Internal vs. External Balancing?

If you have four 12V Battle Born Batteries connected positive to negative for each battery in order to extract 48 V out of this battery bank. Inside each battery pack are 4 cells in series, each one has an internal BMS system that ensures all cells stay balanced.

At the top of the charge cycle, balancing happens and the cells are always in balance. The same cannot be said when we have four batteries in series because there is no bleed resister that will allow the higher state of charge packs to bleed down to meet the lower state of charge packs. This is ok because even though there is no external balancing, the internal balancing will create external balancing.

For instance, if one of your four batteries is higher in its state of charge, that means when you get to the top of the charge cycle around 57 V the battery could exceed its 14.4 V limit and maybe get closer to 15 V in that case you can have all the cells above the threshold internally and they will all start to bleed down, keeping the bank in balance. This process can be accelerated by using a multi-bank charger to make sure that on every charge cycle each one is on the same state of charge.

If you have a 48 V bank and you are keeping them regularly at around 57 V on each charge cycle, then they will remain in balance. It is possible that you will exceed the high voltage limit on one of the batteries in the bank, if one battery cell exceeds that threshold it will cut off the charging cycle to all the other batteries.

Will I Need to Periodically Balance the Lithium Batteries After Installing Them?

One of the goals achieved by installing lithium batteries is a reduction in battery anxiety. Usually, the devices installed to manage the charging of your lithium batteries will take care of this for you, but there are circumstances where you might need to assist the process.

What we mean by balance is charging up to 14.4 V where the passive balancing mechanism of the BMS kicks in. If you are floating at 13.6 V, there is no balancing occurring and you are not going to be charging the cells until it is around 14.2-14.4 V. If you are in the habit of charging to 14.4 V, you are using a solar charge controller programmed to 14.4 V, you are charging from shore, or you have a DC battery to battery charging alternator, do not worry as they all go up to 14.4 V.

If you don’t typically charge to 14.4 V your cells may get out of balance either due to temperature extremes or large loads. To re-balance them, we recommend charging them up to 14.4 V at least once a month, if not once a week. If you do notice that the batteries are hitting high voltage disconnect sooner than you would expect at 14 V or hitting low voltage disconnects at around 11.5 V, then you want to re-balance the battery cells internally by charging up to 14.4 V.

When Storing Batteries Upwards of a Few Months, What Do I Need to Do to Protect the Battery? Should I Get a Trickle Charger?

After installing lithium batteries for the first time over lead-acid, you might also wonder how they handle being stored for long periods of time.

If you plan on winterizing your RV or not using your vehicle for a long period of time, you want to disable the heating function if using our heated battery. You can do this by removing the positive terminal wire and taping up the connection so that it does not rattle around or contact other live wires or grounds, then put your screw back in the enabled post as not to lose it.

When storing your batteries, it is important not to store them empty. There is a natural self-bleed in the batteries that bleed is about 2-3% per month so if you bleed the batteries on empty, they will go below levels that will be saved by the BMS. We recommend putting at least a 50% charge on the batteries when storing, if you charge them to 100%, they should last at least a year. When storing for an extended period, you do not need to float the batteries, the batteries can be completely disconnected.

Read more: How to Winterize and Store Your Batteries

What are the Proper Charging Voltages for the 12V, 24V, and 48V Batteries?

For a 12V battery such as the BB10012. We like to see a bulk charge voltage of 14.2-14.6 V. At that voltage you get a full charge for the battery and the battery cells will balance internally.

For the 24 V battery we like to see a bulk charging voltage of 28.8 V.  In the event you have multiple batteries in a series increasing the overall voltage, for example four 12 V batteries for a total of 48 V, in this case you would expect 14.4 x 4 is 57.6 V which if they are in perfect balance would work great.

If they’re a little out of balance one of them might hit high voltage disconnect first, in that case, you can lower your bulk charge down to 57 V or even lower to 56.5 V. In that case you will get the highest battery voltage to come up above the maximum charging limit at which point it will bleed down and meet the others, balancing over time at which point you can start raising it over 57 V.

This also applies to having two 24 V batteries, you may want to drop the voltage down to 57 V, if you do hit high voltage disconnect the BMS will handle that voltage ensuring nothing negative occurs. If you have two batteries at 24 V and you find you are hitting high voltage disconnect at 28.8 V you can drop it down to 28.4 V.

There is no harm in playing with the voltage a little if you hit high voltage disconnect, drop it a little bit, and over time as it balances raise it a little bit until you get your optimized system. This is just another benefit of installing lithium batteries and their flexibility.

Read more: 12V vs. 24V: What’s the Difference In Battery Systems?

Can Battle Born Batteries be Used to Start an On-Board Generator?

Yes, they absolutely can. Installing lithium batteries can start an on-board generator in an RV and have superior power availability over lead-acid batteries.

Connecting Your Battery Bank to a Large Inverter Charger

 For this example, we consider the definition of a large inverter one that is above 3500 W.

In a large inverter such as that, there is a large capacitor, when those capacitors are empty it is almost like a dead short on the battery. To connect, you need to mitigate that initial current surge by connecting it to the CSL 500 (current surge limiter).

The CSL is mounted between the battery and inverter on the negative side connected in series. The positive sensor wire labeled INB plus should be connected directly to the inverter on the positive side from the switch.

What Happens to Your Batteries When My Charger Conditions are at 15 V+?

This can occur when your charger is trying to equalize the battery which is common for a lead-acid battery system, or if you have an alternator putting out a high voltage if it is very cold out. If this occurs our battery will simply go into high voltage disconnect and will not take the charge. This will not damage anything in the battery, our battery will not be harmed due to our BMS being able to handle high voltages even in excess of 15 V.

Installing, Using, and Storing Heated Lithium Batteries

Installing heated lithium batteries is very similar to how you would install regular lithium batteries. However, there is one key additional difference – hooking up and enabling the heat function!

Here is Engineer Patrick’s Step by Step Installation of our Battle Born Heated Lithium Batteries. These batteries eliminate the concern of cold weather effects on your lithium batteries.

Read more: Lead is Dead: Cold Charging Study White Paper

What’s in the Box?

When you receive your Battle Born Heated Battery package you should have:

Single Heated Lithium Battery Installation

Using a ½” wrench, a ½” socket, and a torque wrench, set to 10-foot pounds, torque down the negative (black) connection. Next torque down the positive connection making sure your heater-enabled jumper wire goes in between the washer and the nylon.

Take the positive terminal connection and put your washer on the 5/16” side of your enable wire and next to the nylon. Once again using your ½” wrench and socket to torque down the connection.

Now that the positive connection is torqued down *PLEASE NOTE THAT THE WIRE IS LIVE AT 12V SO AVOID ANY CONTACT WITH OTHER LIVE WIRES OR GROUNDS* the enable post is not live itself, so this connection should not spark when you make contact.

To enable your internal heat battery, remove the screw, place the other end of your jumper wire down onto the post, and tighten the screw only enough to where you engage the lock washer feature on the ring terminal so that the vibration does not rattle it loose.

Multiple Battery Installation Parallel Connection

One way to connect these batteries is to have an individual jumper on each battery connection, simply unscrew and place your heater enabled jumper down onto your enabled post, then connect your second jumper. With both jumpers connected, both battery heater functions are now enabled. To disable, simply remove the connections.

Multiple Battery Installation Parallel Connection (Daisy Chained)

The second way to connect multiple batteries is to daisy chain. In your add on kit, there is a 14” jumper wire, a 5mm long screw, ring terminals, and heat shrink in case you want to make your own harness. Starting on the enabling post, keep the original screw and install the jumper wire onto the enabling post.

Next, take your 5mm screw, run your jumper to the next battery, remove the screw that came with it, place it through your daisy chain, and then through your main jumper, and install to the enable post. Do not overtighten it, but make sure to tighten it just enough to engage the lock washer capabilities. With this setup, both internal heating functions of the batteries are enabled.

Multiple Battery Installation Series Connection Daisy Chained

One of the most unique features of the internally heated battery is that the enables can be daisy-chained, even in a series configuration. All you need to do is find the terminal that is at the highest voltage. For example, we have a 24 V system with a terminal at 24 V where the main jumper for the heater enable will occur.

Take the jumper from the add-on kit and connect it to the second battery. Using the 5mm long screw provided with the add on kit, remove the 4mm, pass it through your daisy chain wire, and then pass it through your main enabled jumper and connect. At this point, the internal heating capabilities of both batteries are now enabled.

Heater Switch Installation

Provided in your kit are two 25’ wires and a switch. Starting with your wire with the heater enabled post (the smaller ring terminal) remove your jumper, take the 5/16” 25’ wire and install it, remembering to torque down to 10-foot pounds. Next remove from the heater enable, keeping your 5mm screw, take the 25’ wire with the smaller ring terminal, place your screw through and install onto the enable post.

Please note that this wire is live at 24 V in this system as you feed this through to your end location.

In the kit, you have a threaded body single pole single throw switch. Remove the plastic nut, take the wires you just connected, and run them through the nut with the teeth of the nut facing forward, this is where you would install your switch through the panel. Connect the disconnects, it does not matter which one you plug onto which terminal, then thread the plastic nut onto the body and tighten it down. Once your switch is installed, the circle on the switch means that the circuit is open, when the circuit is open, the heat functions are disabled. To enable the internal heat functions of the battery, flick the switch on, turning on the internal heat functions of both batteries.

Have Any Questions?

We hope we were able to answer some of the questions you may have once you have received your battery. For more answers, please check out our FAQ page, email us at [email protected], or give our team a call at (855) 292-2831.

Want To Learn More About Electrical Systems and Lithium Batteries?

We know that 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 (855) 292-2831 to take your questions!

Also, join us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to learn more about how lithium battery systems can power your lifestyle, see how others have built their systems, and gain the confidence to get out there and stay out there.

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12 thoughts on “Installing Lithium Batteries – What Else Do I Need To Know?

  1. Called rv places and electricians and no one is willing to help me install batteries, converter, and inverter/charger. Owned these batteries for a year and can’t get them installed. Running my generator 24/7 because of this. Very frustrating. Bad decision to go down this route.

    1. Hi Scott, I apologize for any inconvenience with trying to find an installer. Our team can offer suggestions for installers in your area, in addition to self-installation tips and walkthroughs, at 855-292-2831.

  2. Our rv 2004 Monaco Dinisty I have 8 t 105 6vt .Thinking of replacing the house battery’s .Do you have installers near Fairfield Cal .My inverter is old 2000 watts we have 4 solar panels

    1. Hi Sal! We suggest Avalon RV in Benecia is a good place to start. You can give Adam and his team a call at 707-746-0400. Please let us know if you need any other recommendations and have a great rest of your week.

  3. Hi

    Just purchased two lithium batteries to upgrade my RV. Not sure I can connect the new Battery isolator. Not sure how to replace the one that came with the RV Do you have any suggestions for installers near Denver

    1. Hello Ramon, thank you for reaching out and we’re glad to hear you made the switch to lithium! In regards to installers, the closest option we have is Nathan’s RV Service and Repair in Fort Collins. You can give Bria a call at 970-232-9914. We also have Colorado’s Premier RV Services Inc. in Berthoud, and you can give David a call at 530-304-7775. Thanks again!

    1. Hi Ron, thank you for reaching out. This certainly is a question more geared for our engineering team, but please note that the passive balancing begins at 14.2V and the trip voltage is at 14.7. Please let us know if you have any additional questions.

  4. do you have a installer in the Portland or area? i have 2 of your batteries ( 100s ) and would like to add at least 1 more and some combination of another solar panel, and or a way to hook it up to my alternator to charge in cloudy weather.

  5. Just purchased 4 12v Battle Born batteries and my electrician is asking if the batteries have been balanced and individually charged before they are hooked up to create a 24V system. Is this true ? He is stating the batteries all need to be at the same state of charge before he will install them into the system. If they do how do I know what state of charge they are at ?

    1. Hi Mark! We recommend getting the batteries as close to the same state of charge as possible. The best way to measure the state of charge is with a shunt, which monitors amps going in and coming out of a battery and translates it into amp hours used. Shunts are usually included with most battery monitor kits.

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