Blue Nova Lithium Camping Batteries

Overview

Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFeYPO4) batteries have now become the leading technology in energy storage for the modern world. With transfer efficiencies of more than 96% @C2 charge and discharge rates (or 98% @C10), they deliver 10 times higher turn-around efficiencies than leading lead acid batteries. This feature implies major savings in the necessary size of the solar system required to charge the batteries.

LiFeYPO4 batteries are capable of delivering up to 90% of their charge for more than 4000 times. This is achieved in ambient temperatures of more than 35°C without any performance degradation. The batteries are perfectly suited for operation in warm African conditions.

LiFeYPO4 batteries have more than 4 times the energy density than lead acid equivalents. This has great advantages for applications where light-weight energy storage is a requirement. Applications such as 4×4 vehicles, yachts and even apartment buildings benefit greatly from these light-weight batteries. No gassing, no ventilation.

Lithium batteries have now moved in to the same price bracket per kWh as we see for lead acid. Therefor the advantages of Lithium now comes in to play.

  • LFP lasts 2 -4 times longer (10-15 years)

  • 10 year warranty

  • < 25% of the weight

  • As campers we do not abuse the batteries as we would lead acid

  • No gasses or acid

  • 100% safe

  • 100% environmentally friendly

So here are the two main battery options for us as campers, the 108Ah and 80 Ah. Remember 1 Lithium battery is equal to 2 acid batteries.

Opening Bluerhino Safaris special for Feb 2020, T&C applies

105Ah equivalent battery @ R 9750 incl VAT excl transport

80Ah equivalent battery @ R 9100 incl VAT excl transport

Lead acid vs Lithium

When sizing a LiFeYPO4 compared to a Lead Acid battery a 3 step adjustment for the rating has to be performed. The link on the left will give more technical info.

123 Lead to Lithium

Step 1: Adjust for DoD
LiFeYPO4 DoD = 100% for 3600 cycles
Lead Acid DoD = 50% for 1800 cycles
Adjustment factor = 0.5

Step 2: Adjust for Discharge Efficiency
LiFeYPO4 discharge efficiency >96%
Lead Acid discharge efficiency < 70% Difference > 25%
Adjustment factor = 0.75

Step 3: Adjust for terminal voltage
LiFeYPO4 voltage = 52V
Lead Acid voltage = 48V
Adjustment factor = .95

In other words. If you are using 2 x 105Ah lead acid:

2 x 105 = 210 Ah

210 x 0.5 = 105 Ah

105 x 0.75 = 78.75 Ah

78.75 x 0.95 = 74.8 Ah Lithium is equivalent to 2 x 105 Ah lead acid.

 

What to do to convert?

Basically there is not much that needs to be done. 

On the draw side things are pretty much normal, you can just drop the Lithium in and go. 

On the charge side is where we have to be a bit more cautious:

  • Lithium batteries do not like to be charged under 0 deg C temp. 
  • Lithium batteries draw a lot of power and connecting directly to your alternator might damage the Alternator.
  • A Lithium ready DCDC charger is advised as a charging system
  • A Lithium ready solar controller should be used if you are using a solar panel.

 

 

Here is a video of the route

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