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Old 12-24-2018, 09:46 AM   #1
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LiFePO4 Battery Isolation Manager

Hello everyone! I tried to search but was unable to find the answer, so here it goes.


We have a 2014 Itasca Viva 23b which currently has one 12v AGM factory battery under it. On black Friday I ordered 2 100ah Battle Born lithium batteries and a LiFeP4 Battery Isolation Manager ( https://battlebornbatteries.com/shop...ation-manager/ ). They told me since I have a motorhome, that I would need the battery isolation manager to protect the new battery investment


I am trying to figure out where to wire this in. Does it replace both the factory solenoid and relay? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


I was not able to post a picture, but here is the factory stuff by the battery box: https://imgur.com/a/ifjUIoH
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Old 12-24-2018, 10:34 AM   #2
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What did BattleBorn tell you the Isolation Manager was for? Surely, they told you what it would be needed for. Could it be to isolate the battery from overcharging with the vehicle's alternator. That's a total guess.

If we knew what it does it might help in answering your question.

I looked at the BB website and see this description:

Quote:
Under normal charging conditions, the BIM will connect for 15 minutes every 35 minutes. That means that the BIM will connect for 15 minutes, disconnect for 20 minutes, and repeat this cycle until the coach battery is charged.

If the coach battery resting voltage exceeds 13.4V than the BIM will disconnect. A resting voltage greater than 13.4V indicates a fully charged battery. Note that “resting voltage” means that no current is flowing to the coach battery.

The BIM will disconnect if the alternator voltage exceeds 14.4V. This protects the coach battery from over charging.

The BIM will disconnect if the voltage difference between the alternator and the coach battery is less than 0.1V. If the voltage difference is too low, then there is a negligible charging current, and no need to connect to the coach battery

The BIM will disconnect if the alternator voltage drops below 13.3V. If the alternator voltage is too low, than it cannot adequately charge the coach battery, so there is no reason to connect.
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Old 12-24-2018, 10:52 AM   #3
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What did BattleBorn tell you the Isolation Manager was for? Surely, they told you what it would be needed for. Could it be to isolate the battery from overcharging with the vehicle's alternator. That's a total guess.

If we knew what it does it might help in answering your question.

I looked at the BB website and see this description:

That's the question I have . They were slammed when I called on Black Friday and told me that I would need one. I had talked to the Battle Born owners while at Nomadfest and they told me I needed one as well. But didn't say why and I was asking other questions and forgot to get more details on the iso manager as I was asking questions about the batteries mainly.


I have an email into them, so hopefully I get a response after the holidays. I just hoped someone on here had upgraded to lithium and had to install one already and would be knowledgeable as well.


What you found on Battle Borns site is about all I could find. I also looked at Precision Circuits website (since they make the product) and it isn't even listed on their website.. I also have an email into them
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Old 12-24-2018, 11:44 AM   #4
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It may take a while because of the holidays. But I'm sure they'll give you an idea of where that gets installed. Seems like it will be between the alternator and both your chassis and coach batteries.

You'll find complete wiring diagrams for your coach on www.winnebagoind.com.
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Old 12-25-2018, 07:20 AM   #5
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Pretty basic I believe.

-- Leave the factory installed stuff in place.
-- Install the stuff from Battle Born between the red cable from the battery and any other wires, cables going to the battery. If you only have a single red cable connected to the positive post on the battery then just move the end of the cable to the stuff from BB. You will probably need to by a heavy duty cable to jumper from the new parts to the factory installed parts.

-- You can buy pre assembled cables from amazon. The existing red cable on your battery should have the wire size printed on the cable. Look for something like AWG 2 or AWG 1. Do a search on Amazon for the wire size and length. Also match the size of the cable connectors for the new cable to the posts you will connect to. Probably 5/16 inch is the size of the post and connector you need.


Creativepart posted excellent info from BB's website for the details on why you need the parts.

Very important to install the parts.
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Old 12-25-2018, 07:40 AM   #6
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Most timely question. I have been trying to figure out a way to isolate my lithium batteries from the engine alternator, but yet allow the alternator to charge the battery. Now I know what to buy and where to buy it.


I am in the process of moving the lithium batteries I have been using (not Battle Born) from my old RV to my new to me RV.
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Old 12-25-2018, 07:47 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by West6550 View Post
That's the question I have . They were slammed when I called on Black Friday and told me that I would need one. I had talked to the Battle Born owners while at Nomadfest and they told me I needed one as well. But didn't say why and I was asking other questions and forgot to get more details on the iso manager as I was asking questions about the batteries mainly.


I have an email into them, so hopefully I get a response after the holidays. I just hoped someone on here had upgraded to lithium and had to install one already and would be knowledgeable as well.


What you found on Battle Borns site is about all I could find. I also looked at Precision Circuits website (since they make the product) and it isn't even listed on their website.. I also have an email into them
Shame on BB if they did not supply any installation info.
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Old 12-25-2018, 07:58 AM   #8
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Here is some detailed info from Precision Circuits about a very similar product on their website http://www.precisioncircuitsinc.com/...ard-Rev1-1.pdf


It appears you can just install the positive cables to the 5/16" terminals and then add a ground wire to the battery on a the GND terminal. It looks like you can ignore the ignition and SIG terminals.



I see no harm in wiring this way and then taking a volt meter and seeing if it works.
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Old 12-26-2018, 04:05 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by al1florida View Post
Most timely question. I have been trying to figure out a way to isolate my lithium batteries from the engine alternator, but yet allow the alternator to charge the battery. Now I know what to buy and where to buy it.


I am in the process of moving the lithium batteries I have been using (not Battle Born) from my old RV to my new to me RV.

Well I am glad that it helped someone else then
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Old 12-26-2018, 04:08 PM   #10
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Here is the response I got from Battleborn for those wondering:
"Attached is the wiring Diagram we have for the BIM. Yes, it does replace the relay and the solenoid you currently have in your system."


Here is the wiring diagram for it: https://imgur.com/a/KYWr7Jk
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Old 12-26-2018, 05:43 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by West6550 View Post
Here is the response I got from Battleborn for those wondering:
"Attached is the wiring Diagram we have for the BIM. Yes, it does replace the relay and the solenoid you currently have in your system."


Here is the wiring diagram for it: https://imgur.com/a/KYWr7Jk
Thanks for coming back and providing the info BB gave you.

I have ordered this isolator. It looks like it is going to take some experimenting, or emails, to understand its operation.
-- The wiring diagram states that the Ignition terminal "should" be wired to the ignition. That implies it doesn't have to be connected to the ignition. I wonder what happens if it is not wired to the ignition. Also wonder what changes when the ignition is off.

-- The sig terminal can be connected to either ground or 12V through a momentary switch. Wonder what happens when it is connected to 12V? This doc from Precision Circuits website http://www.precisioncircuitsinc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/00-10041-3XX-Battery-Guard-Rev1-1.pdf

shows the sig terminal going to ground. While the PDF doc is not exactly the same product, it is very similar from the same mfg. NOTE: I wouldn't wire the sig terminal to 12V w/o verifying that it won't damage the unit.
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Old 12-26-2018, 06:56 PM   #12
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Battle Born LiFeP4 batteries have a built in charge controller that controls charging to the batteries and shuts down charging internally within the battery. And they output a almost constant voltage of well over 13 volts until they are almost totally discharged, about 90%, then the charge controller disconnects the battery from the load.

What the Battle Borns charge controllers want to see is 14 volts across them no matter what their charge state is. The built in controller will decide how much current to draw off that 14 volt external voltage and will stop drawing current when it senses the LiFeP4 cells inside the pack are charged. It also has the smarts to protect the batteries against being used or charged when it is too hot or too cold, something else you have to consider when using them in a RV.

So the OEM battery isolation manager disconnects the chassis from the coach too soon, because it sees a voltage well over 13 volts and thinks the coach batteries are already charged or are being charged from somewhere else like the AC charger, and the LiFeP4 batteries never get fully charged when charging from the chassis alternator.

Hopefully the sold you a new AC charger for your RV, too. The OEM one has the same issue and will not properly charge, either.

Solar charge controller has to be re-programmed or replaced, too, depending what kind it is.
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:13 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by powercat_ras View Post
Battle Born LiFeP4 batteries have a built in charge controller that controls charging to the batteries and shuts down charging internally within the battery. And they output a almost constant voltage of well over 13 volts until they are almost totally discharged, about 90%, then the charge controller disconnects the battery from the load.

What the Battle Borns charge controllers want to see is 14 volts across them no matter what their charge state is. The built in controller will decide how much current to draw off that 14 volt external voltage and will stop drawing current when it senses the LiFeP4 cells inside the pack are charged. It also has the smarts to protect the batteries against being used or charged when it is too hot or too cold, something else you have to consider when using them in a RV.

So the OEM battery isolation manager disconnects the chassis from the coach too soon, because it sees a voltage well over 13 volts and thinks the coach batteries are already charged or are being charged from somewhere else like the AC charger, and the LiFeP4 batteries never get fully charged when charging from the chassis alternator.

Hopefully the sold you a new AC charger for your RV, too. The OEM one has the same issue and will not properly charge, either.

Solar charge controller has to be re-programmed or replaced, too, depending what kind it is.

Great info thanks!


This will be my second solar system install, I did 800 watts and a 2000w inverter/charger on our travel trailer. But we recently sold that trailer and picked up our B+. I have all the solar stuff and the inverter charger figured out for the lithium's. I was just not sure about this as I had no alternator charge to worry about on the old system and we had six AGM 6 volts on that old system .


I will be doing some tinkering to figure this out it seems.
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Old 12-27-2018, 01:01 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by al1florida View Post
Thanks for coming back and providing the info BB gave you.
I have ordered this isolator. It looks like it is going to take some experimenting, or emails, to understand its operation.
After reviewing Winnebagos wiring diagram, I got out the multi-meter and had the wife flip some switches for me. I then called Battleborn and confirmed my findings and asked some questions. I should be installing the new batteries next week and will swap out the solenoid then. But here are my findings, I made an easier to read diagram over an actual picture of my realy / solenoid system.


My Wiring Diagram: https://imgur.com/a/6jcJYTc


From the factory the yellow wire connected to the solenoid is "hot" whenever either the engine is on and running (ignition) OR the factory battery boost switch is pressed. Which makes the solenoid connect the chassis and coach battery together.

On our coach (Itasca Viva) the relay / battery disconnect (aka the black box) does not have to be replaced. That way we keep the ability to turn off 12v to the coach and generator with a simple switch by the door.


I'm going to try and keep it simple, here we go:

The solenoid (silver can) will be removed and replaced with the switch I linked ( https://battlebornbatteries.com/shop...ation-manager/ ) which has specific voltage switches for lithium. Other wise the factory one will not charge the coach lithiums due to them holding a higher voltage normally.

The red wire coming from the left (with red wrapping) is the Chasis battery positive. Which will go to the Chasis side of the new switch.

The red wire with yellow wrapping is the coach battery positive and will go to the coach slot on the new switch.

The ground will go to a ground (negative), easy enough.

The yellow small wire attached to the solenoid will be moved to the IGN spot on the new switch. That wire will need to be spliced and then go to the SIG spot as well on the new switch.


It will work like this.

When the engine is on, that yellow wire will let the new switch know, and allow it to charge the new chassis batteries.

When the engine is not on and you need a boost. You press and hold the factory battery boost switch. It will power the switch and keep the coach and chassis battery connected as long as that switch is being held.

Basically the factory relay system will have the factory switches attached to it and will still turn off 12v to the coach and generator. It will also handle the part of sending the IGN or SIG current to the new switch to allow the batteries to connect to each other when either the ignition is on (running) or the factory battery boost switch is pressed. Oh and it will get rid of the clicking noise you get from the solenoid apparently.


al1florida Since our coach already has a factory 5 amp circuit breaker built in for the yellow wire (which is hot when either the engine is on, or the battery boost switch is held). I asked Battleborn if I needed to step that down to a 2 amp fuse (per the wiring diagram they sent me). She asked and said it will not be a problem. I even mentioned that the IGN side of the diagram is not even fused on their diagram and it will be the same spliced wire due to our factory system. She said no problem and even double checked to make sure. Which means as you mentioned earlier, it can be wired to a positive connection. Also if you don't have the "battery boost" switch on your RV then you don't need to wire anything to the SIG spot, it is only there for a booster type connection.


I have been extremely impressed with Battleborn. They answered very fast and with no transfers was able to answer the questions I had. Just awesome.
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Old 12-28-2018, 07:02 AM   #15
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What a great write up on your planned install. Lots of wonderful detail.
It is also good to hear of a very positive report on Battle Born. I have not seen reports, positive or negative about BB. I have been wondering about their products and support.
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Old 12-28-2018, 10:45 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by West6550 View Post
Hello everyone! I tried to search but was unable to find the answer, so here it goes.


We have a 2014 Itasca Viva 23b which currently has one 12v AGM factory battery under it. On black Friday I ordered 2 100ah Battle Born lithium batteries and a LiFeP4 Battery Isolation Manager ( https://battlebornbatteries.com/shop...ation-manager/ ). They told me since I have a motorhome, that I would need the battery isolation manager to protect the new battery investment


I am trying to figure out where to wire this in. Does it replace both the factory solenoid and relay? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


I was not able to post a picture, but here is the factory stuff by the battery box: https://imgur.com/a/ifjUIoH
I believe the lithium batteries are damaged if they are charged over 13.4V. The AGM's charge to 13.8V if I recall.
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Old 12-28-2018, 11:56 AM   #17
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I got conflicting info from BB this morning regarding the recommendation of the BIM, and a recommendation to install a Sterling Power Battery to Battery Charger.


In an effort to clear this up, I sent BB an email requesting a full clarification on what to do, and why, and a recommendation that they post it on their web site.



When I bought mine back in September, it was touted as a drop-in lead acid replacement, due to the internal Battery Management System, and nothing else was required,



I will let you all know what they say.
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Old 12-28-2018, 12:41 PM   #18
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Here's a little tutorial to try to educate, and to correct some mis-information in this thread.

LiFeP04 Batteries are made of multiple small 3.2 volt nominal battery cells connected in a combination of series and parallel. UL Listed ones MUST have a integrated Battery Management System (BMS).

BMS does constant monitoring of each of the four (3.2 Volt) Lithium Cells connected in series that are required to produce a 12.8 Volt Lithium Battery. The BMS disconnects the battery from the load or charger, to prevent damage, if monitoring indicates. Each cell is monitored for temperature and excess current drain and again the battery is disconnected from the load if these limits are exceeded. The BMS also monitors the state of charge for each of the four cells and automatically balances their voltages during the recharge cycle to bring all cells to full charge at the same time. This balancing ensures a safe full charge and long battery life. This complex BMS accounts for much of the high cost of UL Listed LiFeP04 batteries, along with the cost of interconnecting many small LiFeP04 cells together in series and parallel to make a large size battery pack. For example, it takes 80 type 26650 5 Ah capacity 3.2 V LiFeP04 cells to make a 100 Amp Hour LiFeP04 battery. FYI, 26650 is the same size individual batteries used in the Tesla electric car.

Some key facts:

UL Listed 12 volt nominal LiFeP04 battery need a charging voltage of 14.4 to fully charge. Any battery equalization feature of converter/chargers that would output more than 14.4 volts needs to be disabled.

LiFeP04 purpose designed chargers and solar charge controllers only have 14.4 volt output "boost mode" and 13.6 volt output "float mode".

Unlike Lead Acid batteries, LiFeP04 chemistry batteries accept full charge current up to about 95% charge, allowing them to be recharged faster as they only use a bulk charge mode and don't need an lower charge rate equalization charge mode.

The 95% charged LiFeP04 battery starts delivering load when the system voltage is 13.4 volts or less. Voltage will drop to 12.8 after a few % of storaged charge is consumed then slowly drop to 12.0 at about 80% consumed.

LiFeP04 batteries worst case storage and discharge temp range is -4 to +160 F. All manufacturers currently recommend a narrower operating temperature range than this to extend life and to avoid pusing the limits of what the batteries can do.

LiFeP04 batteries should not be charged if the individual cell temperatures are below freezing, 32F.

LiFeP04 batteries only lose 2-4% of their stored charge per month if they are stored disconnected.

Typical Automotive / Truck Alternator DC charging systems output less than 14.4 volts and this prevents them from fully charging LiFeP04 battery packs and increases charge time due to the lower voltage difference between the charging voltage and the internal battery voltage. It will recharge them to about 70%.
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Old 12-28-2018, 05:52 PM   #19
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Jesse from BB called me this afternoon, and we got a lot of things clarified.



The "drop in" feature of the 100ah battery mainly refers to its physical Group 27 size. The integral BMS does protect the battery from over charge, over discharge, temperature excursions and the like.


As noted above in Powercat's excellent summery, Li batteries need 14.4 volts to come to a full charge. The BMS doesn't, however, fully charge a battery from the standard alternator or converter sources.


For my one (potentially 2) 100 ah battery system, the solution he recommended was the Sterling Battery to Battery Charger BB-1230. This is essentially an intelligent DC/DC boost converter that takes the nominal chassis battery voltage and boosts it to a programmable DC voltage, 14.4 in this case, to fully charge a BB battery. It's a simple 2 wire connection, to each battery's positive terminal.


In my case, the Xantrex inverter charger needs to be set to 14.4 volts charge. I can leave my existing Progressive Dynamics converter in place. I might just shut off its breaker and leave it connected for emergencies.


When I add solar, I'll have to set that controller to 14.4 as well.



Jesse said that the isolator mentioned above would be used for 300AH or greater battery banks, mainly to minimize the wear on the alternator trying to charge a depleted big bank.


I pointed out that there was some confusion out there and that they really needed to add this sort of information to their web site.


The good news is that I haven't damaged my BB by not fully charging it. This also explains some behaviors I saw on our 1800 mile shake down cruise.
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Old 12-28-2018, 11:27 PM   #20
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Here's a link to a Battle Born blog post on how to install and set up the Sterling Battery to Battery charger.


https://battlebornbatteries.com/ster...ttery-charger/


For the OP, unless you have other equipment in place, the BIM will not allow the BB battery to charge fully off the alternator.
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