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Old 10-18-2020, 08:43 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
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Lithium battery cells... build your battery

Hi all,

I have been away... Started my bus five years ago and trying to get back on it to finish it up.

I have ordered eight 200ah cells from AliExpress. I will be putting these together with an Electrodacus SBMS0 for a 400ah 12v solar/alternator/shore power charge system.

If anyone wants to try putting their own lithium battery system together I suggest videos on Youtube by Will Prowse. Lots of stuff there.

It will be another month before they come in. I'll post pics as I put this together. Lithium prices have come down considerably and if you haven't considered this upgrade and your tired of taking care of those heavy lead acid batteries, you might want to pull up some of those videos above and watch them.

The battery cells should be in around the end of November. I'm collecting all the pieces-parts now and will share a schematic when I have time.

Regards!

Ross
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Old 10-18-2020, 05:24 PM   #2
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Good luck with the build, I really like the design model of the SBMS0, there is certainly a learning curve and it is not always the best option for beginners, but its a pretty powerful, flexible, and unique little BMS, and a great value. Plus Dacian seems like a great guy, smart, helpful, thoughtful, though at times a bit inflexible/single minded.

If you haven't already these:
The Manual
The Message Board
And this thread
...Are good resources for the SBMS0

And These:
Beginner: How to Find Happiness with LifePO4
Intermediate+: Introduction to Lithium Battery Systems
Intermediate+: LiFePO4 on boats
...Are good technical introductions to lifepo4, and how to build, maintain, and protect LFP battery banks. I recommend reading all three if you plan to build and maintain your own LFP system.


I would definitely strongly second your reccomendation to watch some Will Prowse videos for beginners interested in building their own LFP battery packs. Though there are people with more depth of knowledge than Will, he is a great explainer, and great at explaining things simply and in a beginner friendly manner. This quality is worth its weight in gold in technical topics. I would just caution that his videos and his 'blueprints'/examples should be starting points in your design, not necessarily followed to the T, he often sidesteps or overlooks safety consideration that may not be important for hobby systems but are important for a vehicle, skoolie, or home, and tends towards cheaper not always reliable amazon components. With those caveats in mind, I have learned a TON from his videos and very much value his content, and respect his ability and dedication to explaining complex topics in simple terms. I would highly recommend his content to any beginners interested in learning about solar or lithium batteries. Amy at the Altestore and Pacific Yacht Systems are two other good resources for beginner friendly electrical and solar knowledge
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:55 PM   #3
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Thereís also a company called AM Solar in Springfield, Oregon that has a huge amount of information on their website. Click on DIY Solar:
https://amsolar.com/
Iím not affiliated with this company.
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Old 10-20-2020, 05:00 AM   #4
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Thank you Dzl for your informative reply! It was very helpful. I am reading all of the links you suggested.

I wish I could afford to start all over with my current system and build it around the SBMS. I would have gone with 24 volts to begin with and probably could have fit two extra panels if I had chosen 60 cell. At some point I will purchase all new (used) panels as they are readily available and cheap. But I keep backing up instead of moving forward in my build. I really want to get this bus on the road!

Personally, I see the SBMS0 as brilliant! I'm a retired mechanical designer by trade and have enough electrical and programming experience to see the simplicity and most importantly, the reliability and accuracy of his design. Taking the high current, heavy wire conductors and heat away from the processor board makes so much since. Every time I saw a BMS connected to battery posts with fat conductors I shuddered. I expect to pull 1500 watts from my system for short periods. Maybe a tad more. That could be upwards of 150 amps of current on a 12v system! (That's why I would eventually like to go with 24 volt) Having a BMS that can take that kind of current would be expensive and most of the ones I've seen don't really have conductors large enough to carry that kind of current without heating up.

I will have to get creative with controlling external charge and inverter components using the SBMS0 but I think I can do it. The inverter I have does not have the required toggle switch. But with the size of my battery bank, and the likely hood that I will not likely deplete it very quickly, having the ability of turning the inverter off and back on is unimportant to me. I'll figure out a way to turn it off and trigger an alarm of some type. That will be good enough.

I will have four ways of charging the battery bank. Solar, alternator, shore power and a generator. I may add a second smaller inverter just to keep my refrigerator running allowing me to turn off the larger inverter. We'll see.

Anyway, thank you for your reply! I'll continue reading through the information you've linked to your post!

Regards!

Ross
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Old 10-20-2020, 05:29 AM   #5
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Thank you Doktari! I will check it out!

Ross
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Old 10-20-2020, 10:22 AM   #6
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I use a pair of SBMS0 to manage my 48V Tesla battery bank, one per pack. This might come in handy for you to be able to break out the ribbon cable balance leads without cutting the cable:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SUXYN2K

Feel free to ask me anything, although I believe yours will be a newer revision than mine.
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Old 10-20-2020, 11:35 AM   #7
Skoolie
 
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Location: Fairfield Bay, Arkansas
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Year: 1990
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We think alike! I already purchased an adapter board. Waiting for it to come in.

Thank you!

Ross
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Old 10-20-2020, 07:23 PM   #8
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Obviously it's best to educate myself and make my own decisions based on what i learn but I'm curious what everyone's general preference is with voltage into the batteries and the batteries themselves.
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