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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Converter/Charger Questions.

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flyfishing48

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Posted: 04/13/22 01:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a one year old rig and thinking of replacing my WCO converter, or at least have a spare. Last season the stock unit quit charging for a day and started working again the next day. So confidence is low.

So shopping for a replacement but also thinking of upgrading the 2 6 volt batteries to Li batteries in the near future.

My questions are around the recharging.

My solar has a setting for Li so that should be good to go.

The truck is a 2020 Diesel bone stock ???

The stand alone converter/charger is a WCO and the amp rating is forgotten right now but I will be getting it before I purchase a replacement. I would expect I need to get a converter/charger that is LI compatible is that a correct assumption?


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Ed_Gee

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Posted: 04/13/22 02:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, correct that you should get a charger that is LiFePO compatible. Also, if the engine alternator charges the house battery bank, you likely should get a DC-DC converter for that charge line to limit current excess draw from the alternator. (Lithium batteries can draw a LOT of current when being charged)


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Lwiddis

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Posted: 04/13/22 02:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, your converter should be specifically capable of Lithium charging for best results. However, if you opt for a Lithium battery way way over your needs, other settings, while not fully recharging your new Lithium battery, may be adequate. In regard to Ed’s comment, I elected to cut off the TV’s charging of my TT Lithium battery. I rely on my solar system and, as a backup, a Lithium AC to DC charger fed via the Silverado’s 120 volt plug when driving. Last in line is firing up my inverter generator…yuck.


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time2roll

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Posted: 04/13/22 02:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Many to most "lithium" converters are not really good for lithium.

I recommend the Powermax PM3 MBA as a direct bolt in replacement that works.

https://powermaxconverters.com/product/pm3-mba/


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otrfun

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Posted: 04/13/22 03:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Concur with time2roll's comment: Many to most "lithium" converters are not really good for lithium.

It's a very common misconception that a "lithium approved" converter is necessary to safely charge a lifepo4 battery/cells. Not true.

A typical, late model 3-stage lead-cell converter produces 13.2v/13.6v/14.4v. They will safely and fully charge a lifepo4 battery (only exception are WFCO's; they charge safely, but may not charge to 100%). There is nothing inherently magical or special about most "lithium approved" converters except the 14.6v bulk charging voltage.

Some may find this to be somewhat of an eye-opener, but you actually risk over-charging a lifepo4 battery if you float it with a single-stage "lithium approved" 14.6v converter for long periods of time. There is NO such risk with a lead-cell 13.2v/13.6v/14.4v converter. For two reasons. They bulk charge at a lower, safer voltage (14.4v), plus they drop down to 13.2v/13.6v float/absorption mode---preventing any chance of overcharging.

If you feel the need to upgrade to a "lithium approved" converter, seriously consider purchasing a multi-stage (typically 2-stage) lifepo4 converter. They typically bulk charge at 14.6v, then float at 13.6v. Stay away from any and all single-stage units.

P.S. Don't blindly buy into the simple notion that one must charge at 14.6v in order to charge a lifepo4 to 100% SOC (vs. 99.9% SOC at 14.4v). Unlike lead-cell batteries, lifepo4 do better when they are NOT sitting around at 100% SOC. So, what's the point---what do you gain by charging at 14.6v? To my knowledge, not a single thing (except maybe a few seconds reduced charge time and a few seconds of additional discharge time).

* This post was last edited 04/14/22 11:08am by otrfun *   View edit history

wa8yxm

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Posted: 04/13/22 04:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you are thinking of changing battery types then you need a programmable charger. Now... I'd suggest going with more batteries (Doubling what you have now for example till you upgrade) and in your case most Inverter/Chargers are programmable for Lead Acid, AGM. LI and more. Plus with 2 pair GC-2.. Can nuke your lunch.


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ken56

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Posted: 04/13/22 05:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you are comfortable with the knowledge that these batteries can catch fire then go for it. Tesla's have Lithium Ion batteries and some catch fire. Just like those things the kids ride around on today, they can catch fire. Phones catch fire some times. That's why they don't recommend leaving them plugged in to charge over night while you are sleeping. Li-ion batteries are very sensitive to high temperatures. I use an AGM with a good amp hour rating and I don't worry.

otrfun

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Posted: 04/13/22 06:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ken56 wrote:

If you are comfortable with the knowledge that these batteries can catch fire then go for it. Tesla's have Lithium Ion batteries and some catch fire. Just like those things the kids ride around on today, they can catch fire. Phones catch fire some times. That's why they don't recommend leaving them plugged in to charge over night while you are sleeping. Li-ion batteries are very sensitive to high temperatures. I use an AGM with a good amp hour rating and I don't worry.
This has been debated at length. This is not a concern with lifepo4 cells. It's a different chemistry from the lithium cells you're referencing.

Do you have a link showing a single instance of self-induced thermal runaway happening outside a lifepo4 cell? Would love to see it.

BTW, if you're YT fan, puncturing the outer case of a lifepo4 cell with a metal spear does not constitute self-induced thermal runaway outside of a cell. That's equivalent to puncturing the gas tank on a vehicle and having it explode. What's the point?

time2roll

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Posted: 04/13/22 09:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I saw a YT where the LFP cell was charged direct with 120vac from the wall. Yes that was an issue so don't do that.

ken56

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Posted: 04/14/22 08:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I stand corrected. I didn't know there was a difference. Thanks for educating me on that. This is why I love this forum. The knowledge possessed by the members and helping others understand exactly what is what. Like my wife tells me, it's not what you say, it's how you say it. Seriously though, the wealth of knowledge of the members and their willingness to share it is invaluable.

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