Are you looking to upgrade your current rig, home, or marine power system with long-lasting, reliable, safe, and lightweight lithium-ion batteries? With the right components installed in your system, it’s a simple switch!
Let’s explore the essential components needed to create a Battle Born Batteries lithium power system.
A standard inverter is an electrical device that turns direct current (DC) power into alternating current (AC). A battery charger (converter) takes standard 120 V AC power and converts it to DC power to charge your batteries. An inverter charger, much like the name states, is a combination of the two.
Taking the AC power produced by a generator or shore power, an inverter charger will convert it to DC power to charge your battery bank. Once the battery bank is charged, it will also turn the DC power produced by the batteries into AC power that can be used by household appliances or electronics.
The size of your system and power requirements will determine which of our inverter chargers is right for you!
*Additional components may need to be purchased alongside an inverter charger to fit the needs of certain systems
In contrast to an inverter charger, which converts DC power to AC power, a converter will convert AC power to DC power. While most household appliances run off AC power, many of the onboard electrical components in an RV need DC power to run.
A converter charger will allow you to charge your battery bank from an AC power source by converting it to DC power. It then will distribute the DC power from your batteries to any onboard electrical components that may need it. There are a variety of converters and chargers to choose from depending on your power needs.
Battery Isolation Manager
A Battery Isolation Manager (BIM) is essential for alternator charging in 12V systems.
Since the BIM is designed to allow up to 225 amps of current from the alternator to the batteries during a charge cycle, we recommend using it in systems with three or more batteries. If the BIM is used in smaller battery banks, overcharging can occur, which could shorten the cycle life of the batteries.
When using the BIM while your batteries are charging, it will be connected for 15 minutes and disconnected for 20 minutes, repeating until your batteries are charged. The BIM will ensure the alternator charging disconnects to protect the batteries from unsafe operating conditions, including:
- Once the battery’s resting voltage exceeds 13.4 V, this indicates a fully charged battery. Note that “resting voltage” means that no current is flowing to the batteries.
- If the alternator voltage exceeds 14.4 V, which protects your batteries from overcharging.
- If the voltage difference between the alternator and the coach battery is less than 0.1 V.
- If the alternator voltage drops below 13.3 V.
Additionally, we recommend incorporating a BIM into your system when you want to charge your house batteries from your alternator. It can monitor the voltages of your chassis and house batteries in a variety of ways to ensure the chassis and house battery voltages match
We recommend installing the Victron Li-BIM 225 to prevent overcharging and protect your batteries!
For 12V power systems, a battery guardian (BG) allows you to remotely disconnect the vehicle from the battery(s) by monitoring its voltage. These are especially important when you intend to store your system for long periods of time.
When a BG is incorporated into your system, it works as a direct current (DC) disconnect switch, and it will cut off loads once your batteries reach 11.5 V. This, in turn, protects your batteries during long-term storage as it prevents the loads from draining your batteries without having to disconnect them physically.
We recommend utilizing the Battery Guardian AuoSelect to protect your batteries during long-term storage.
Solar Charge Controllers
A solar charge controller is a current or voltage controller that manages the power as it transfers from your solar array to your battery bank. These devices serve a dual purpose by taking the power from the solar array to the battery bank and acting as a one-way gate to prevent power from transferring back to the solar array and draining the batteries.
There are two main types of solar charge controllers:
Pulse Width Modulation (PWM)
Pulse width modulation solar charge controllers are relatively simple controllers that are connected directly between your solar array and your battery bank. They work to “pull down” the voltage of your solar array to match that of your battery bank.
As your battery bank approaches its maximum capacity, the PWM solar charge controller will begin to reduce the amount of power feeding into your batteries. These solar charge controllers will also trickle charge your batteries to keep them topped off once the battery bank is full.
PMW solar charge controllers are better suited for smaller systems as the voltage of the solar array must match the voltage of the battery bank.
Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT)
Maximum Power Point Tracking solar charge controllers are a more complex option that harvests more energy from the solar array leading to increased efficiency. Similar to a PWM solar charge controller, an MPPT will reduce the power flowing to your battery bank as it approaches reaches maximum capacity.
Unlike a PWM, an MPPT solar charge controller can be used with a solar array and battery bank of different voltages. It will down-convert the voltage of your solar array to match the battery voltage and will subsequently increase the current so more available solar power can be harvested. MPPT solar charge controllers are also 20-30% more efficient than PWM solar charge controllers, making them a great option for high-power systems.
Victron MPPT Solar Charge Controllers can be pre-programmed for your specific system.
You can determine which solar charge controller is best for your system through this compatibility chart.
When selecting solar panels to use in conjunction with your Battle Born Batteries lithium power system, there are a few key things to consider to ensure proper charging.
How many watts?
As a rule of thumb, we recommend 200-250 watts of solar for every 100Ah of your lithium battery bank. Following this will allow for the complete charging of your batteries in one full day of direct sunlight.
How much voltage per panel?
The solar charge controller you choose will determine what voltage your solar panels should be. We recommend MPPT solar charge controllers as they can handle solar panels anywhere from 75V to 250V, depending on the model. If you plan on using a PWM solar charge controller, you will be limited 12V or 24V panels.
Should I connect my solar array in series or parallel?
This will also depend on your solar charge controller. For most PWM controllers, parallel connections work best. Parallel connections keep the voltage of your solar array low. With MPPT controllers, series connections are preferred as they can create more efficiency through higher voltages.
Another key consideration is shade tolerance. Parallel solar connections offer some shade tolerance, meaning if you cover one panel out of the array, the other panels still generate a decent amount of power. Series solar connections allow for efficiency and power but tend to have much lower shade tolerance. When possible, utilizing both series and parallel connections with your solar panels will give you the best of both worlds.
We offer a variety of solar panel options to suit your specific system needs!
Battery monitors give you specific information in regard to your battery bank, such as how much power you have left and the total amp-hours consumed.
We carry three different types of battery monitors:
The Victron BMV-700 and Victron BMV-702
The Victron BMV-700 and BMV-702 will calculate the remaining battery capacity based on your ampere-hours consumed, discharge current, and the age of your battery. The physical display can show voltage, current, ampere-hours consumed, the state of charge, time to go, and your power consumption in watts.
By connecting the quick-connect protection circuit board (PCB) on the current shunt, you will have access to all of this information as well as the ability to program audible and visible alarms, a relay, and data storage, which allows you to track battery usage and health.
The BMV-702 varies from the BMV-700 as it allows for an additional input to be able to measure the voltage of another battery, temperature, and midpoint voltage monitoring. Midpoint voltage monitoring gives you the voltage halfway along your string of batteries. This information can inform you if there is an issue with your battery system, which can prevent severe damage down the line. The BMV-702 also allows for alarm and relay settings for these additional features.
The Victron BMV-700 and-702 can become Bluetooth enabled by adding the Bluetooth Smart dongle to your system. This dongle simplifies the programming of your BMV and allows you to monitor your system on a smartphone, tablet, laptop, and other mobile devices.
The Victron BMV-712
The Victron BMV-712 provides the same functionality as the BMV-702, but it also comes fully Bluetooth enabled. This will simplify the wireless communication between products and your overall installation process.
DC to DC Chargers
DC to DC or battery to battery chargers are a great way to charge your Battle Born Batteries using your vehicle’s alternator and starting battery. These devices provide quick and smart charging with the added benefit of isolating the chassis and house batteries when not in use.
These devices are typically used in conjunction with one to two Battle Born Batteries as they reduce the charging current under the recommended charge rate. The size of your system and power needs will determine which DC to DC Converter is right for you.
Other Lithium Power System Accessories
An EasyStart employs a 4-part start ramp sequence that results in the lowest possible start-up current for air conditioners, even reducing start-up current by 65-75% compared to a compressor’s LRA (locked-rotor amperage).
These devices offer a solution that allows an air conditioner to operate on a generator, inverter, or limited utility power when it would otherwise not have functioned.
Fuse Kits (300A, 400A, and 500A)
ANL fuses are designed to melt and separate into two pieces for the purpose of breaking a circuit in the event of excessive current. These fuses are essential components protecting against a catastrophic event and are typically placed between Battle Born Batteries and the inverter.
Our ANL fuse kits include the base, cover, and the fuse itself, allowing for simple installation.
Our heat pads provide uniform heat to the standard 12V 100A, 12V 100Ah GC2, and 24V 50Ah Battle Born Batteries.
Adhesive allows the pad to stick directly onto the case, wrapping around the battery. The heat pad runs off of 12V allowing it to run off of the battery itself, or another 12V source, such as an engine alternator. It takes 30 watts of power when it is on, meaning it can run around 40 hours off of a full battery without a charging source.
Included with the heat pad is a temperature switch that turns the pad on when the temperature of the battery falls below 35 °F (1.6 °C) and stays on until the temperature rises above 45 °F (7 °C). This ensures that the heat pad is only on when needed.
*Disclaimer: All of our heat pads are tested with our Battle Born Batteries. Please do not use similar alternatives, as they can cause the battery casing to deform.
Victron Energy Color Control GX
The Victron Color Control GX is the communication center of your installation. It offers live information at a glance and lets you control all products connected to it.
Through the Color Control GX and our Victron Remote Management Portal (VRM), you can monitor your system from anywhere in the world.
*Necessary cables to connect your other Victron devices are NOT included.
VE.Bus Smart Dongle
The VE.Bus Smart Dongle will allow you to monitor your Victron Multiplus inverter charger via Bluetooth and will also act as a temperature and voltage-sensing device by utilizing the Victron Connect App to monitor and operate the system.
Victron Energy Digital Multi Control
The Victron Energy Digital Multi Control panel is intended to be used with the MultiPlus and Quattro Inverter Chargers. It allows PowerControl and PowerAssist current limit setting for two AC sources. For example, a generator and shoreside current with a setting range of up to 200 amps.
Use the MK3-USB to connect the following products to a computer for configuration of a variety of Victron components including the:
- Inverter (only models with aVE.Buscommunication port)
Current Surge Limiter
The Current Surge Limiter (CSL500) is a field-effect transistor (FET) based current limiting device. These devices are useful when Battle Born Batteries are used in conjunction with large (4 kw or greater) inverter chargers.
A CSL is mounted permanently in series between the negative pole of the battery bank and the negative direct current (DC) input terminal of the inverter charger. This device protects the battery management system (BMS) from damage caused by the initial current spike that is created when connecting directly to the large capacitors (> 5 milliFarads) that are typically on the DC input side of the inverter chargers.
The limiting device allows the batteries to charge the capacitors (within 1 ms) slowly, avoiding the high-current shutoff.
Battery switches or “master disconnect” switches are common items in RV and Marine systems. These battery switches cut all power from a battery bank and connected loads when performing maintenance or an emergency shutdown. Battery switches go between the inverter(s) and a bank of batteries.
Many factors can impact which components and solar panels we recommend for your system based on the size of your battery bank and your power needs. Our technical sales team would love to help you configure your electrical system. Give us a call at (855) 292-2831 or email us at [email protected].