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Solving "Drop-In" Lithium Battery Dramas

Updated: Feb 27, 2023

After replacing his AGM Batteries with Lithium "drop-in's" purchased elsewhere*, Ewald came to us with tales of flat batteries and the Charger making little sense.

*This is a 'fault find and fix' scenario following a DIY battery installation. Install A Gadget does not install Batteries purchased elsewhere as we do not warranty other suppliers product.

When AGM batteries are swapped out with Lithium and wired in to original Chargers and Solar Controllers designed for AGM batteries, Lithium Batteries do not charge correctly. The technology of AGM componentry does not understand Lithium and therefore can not feed the required amount of charge at the right times and lengths of time. The end result can be flattened batteries which damages the battery, reduces its' life, capacity, reliability and therefore your enjoyment off-the-grid and the value of your purchase.

To magnify the lack of charge and confusing system signals, a Battery Monitor designed to read AGM systems was also retained and there was no DC charger installed to take advantage of charging from the vehicle whilst driving.

So we removed all original chargers and old circuit breakers and installed:

  • Victron's Smart Shunt Bluetooth Battery Monitor which we programmed it to suit the specific 2 x 100Ah lithium batteries.

  • Victron 20A Smart Solar MPPT Solar Controller for existing panels on the roof.

  • Victron 30A Smart Solar MPPT Solar Controller for portable solar panels to be connected with a red Anderson plug on the side of the van.

  • Our RV Lithium Systems 600W DC Charger which we linked into the Victron system.

  • Victron 30A BlueSmart IP22 30A 240V Bluetooth Charger

We linked all Victron Product to receive battery voltage and temperature information from the Smart Shunt and all Chargers are linked via Victron’s Synchronised Charging. Put simply, this makes all Chargers charge the battery as if they were one large Charger. That's super clever and incredibly efficient!

In this instance we noted some wiring and accessory installation issues with the tow vehicle which we set about fixing for a happy marriage for the caravan connection.

The electric brakes had been incorrectly wired off an Engel fridge fuse that ran from the Auxiliary battery, instead of from the vehicles start battery with an auto reset circuit breaker, so we rewired the electric brakes.

The rear grey and red Anderson plugs and 12 pin wiring were all linked together to run from a pair of wires and one breaker which we corrected by installing new 12 pin wiring which is now switched off with the vehicle ignition key and fitted a new grey Anderson plug, with separate wiring which also switches off with the key.

For problem free travel, contact Install A Gadget



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