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18650 trolling battery solar charging
#21
(06-09-2020, 11:54 PM)dbldrew Wrote: So just looking at the default settings for the LifePO4 it has equalize, boost and float all the same at 14.4v, the charge limit at 15.5v and high V disconnect at 16v

So im assuming i should probably keep equalize, boost, and float all the same value but at 16.4v high disconnect at 16.6? and charge volt limit was almost 1v higher for the LifePO4 so should that be set to higher voltage as well? like 16.6? or even higher and max it at 17?

And I cant wait to post back on the success! will def keep you guys updated
>Equalize, boost, and float all the same value but at 16.4v
Not for A123 LifePo4(s).   Looking up the specs for LifePO4 - I see a max voltage of 3.6v.   3.6v * 4 = 14.4v.  (I'm assuming your battery is 4s)
You don't want to charge above 14.4v for the A123s   (LifePO4)!
   
Equalize - maybe the manual will let you turn it off (set it to 0v maybe).  I'd go 0v rather than default unless you can find it in the manual because....  the general "Equalize" feature is to temporarily push current above max battery voltage...  this helps Lead Acid internals 'do better', but for Lithium-ion, you don't *ever* want to charge above the max.   If you set it to the max (14.4v in this discussion) it could go higher for all I know.   This usually has a timing as well - like once a month so maybe you can just set it to 'never run'.    

Boost - probably OK as long as its 14.4v or lower.   
-- Did you get a manual? or is there one on line? - its good to actually try to know what your controller is doing Smile
Maybe someone will know your specific controller. 


>high disconnect at 16.6?
Not sure what 'high disconnect' is...  if this is charging, then again - no higher than 14.4v for LifePO4.    If this is PV input voltage or something besides charging then OK.  

Now - for 18650, 4s battery pack, then sure, 16.4v high is good (but same issues with Equalize etc apply - don't let the battery overcharge) 


>And I cant wait to post back on the success! will def keep you guys updated
Look forward to it.
Reply
#22
(06-10-2020, 12:40 AM)OffGridInTheCity Wrote:
(06-09-2020, 11:54 PM)dbldrew Wrote: So just looking at the default settings for the LifePO4 it has equalize, boost and float all the same at 14.4v, the charge limit at 15.5v and high V disconnect at 16v

So im assuming i should probably keep equalize, boost, and float all the same value but at 16.4v high disconnect at 16.6? and charge volt limit was almost 1v higher for the LifePO4 so should that be set to higher voltage as well? like 16.6? or even higher and max it at 17?

And I cant wait to post back on the success! will def keep you guys updated
>Equalize, boost, and float all the same value but at 16.4v
Not for A123 LifePo4(s).   Looking up the specs for LifePO4 - I see a max voltage of 3.6v.   3.6v * 4 = 14.4v.  (I'm assuming your battery is 4s)
You don't want to charge above 14.4v for the A123s   (LifePO4)!
   
Equalize - maybe the manual will let you turn it off (set it to 0v maybe).  I'd go 0v rather than default unless you can find it in the manual because....  the general "Equalize" feature is to temporarily push current above max battery voltage...  this helps Lead Acid internals 'do better', but for Lithium-ion, you don't *ever* want to charge above the max.   If you set it to the max (14.4v in this discussion) it could go higher for all I know.   This usually has a timing as well - like once a month so maybe you can just set it to 'never run'.    

Boost - probably OK as long as its 14.4v or lower.   
-- Did you get a manual? or is there one on line? - its good to actually try to know what your controller is doing Smile
Maybe someone will know your specific controller. 


>high disconnect at 16.6?
Not sure what 'high disconnect' is...  if this is charging, then again - no higher than 14.4v for LifePO4.    If this is PV input voltage or something besides charging then OK.  

Now - for 18650, 4s battery pack, then sure, 16.4v high is good (but same issues with Equalize etc apply - don't let the battery overcharge) 


>And I cant wait to post back on the success! will def keep you guys updated
Look forward to it.

So basically the controller has 4 built in settings that can not be changed other then choosing which one you want to use for charging. there is flooded, sealed, gel and LI (LifePO4) and then there is also a "user" profile that can be changed and customized that i can set. For my A123 LifePO4 battery im going to use the standard LI. I will set up the "user" profile for the 18650 battery. So when i say im setting it for 16.4v that will only be used for the 18650 pack. the A123 will be using the default LI setting for charging, (14.4v)

The manual said

bulk charge: uses 100% of avalible solar power to recharge the battery and is equivalent to constant current
boost charge: when the battery has charged to the boost voltage set point it undergoes an absorption stage which is equivalent to constant voltage regulation to prevent heating and excessive gassing in the battery, boost time is 120min

Float Charge: after boost charge the controller reduces the battery voltage to a float voltage set point, once the battery is fully charged there is no more chemical reactions and the charge current would turn into heat and gas. Because of this the charge controller will reduce the voltage charge to smaller quantity, while lightly charging the battery.

Equalization: is carried out every 28 days. it is an intentional overcharge. Equalizing charge increases the battery voltage, higher then the standard complement voltage, witch gasifies the battery electrolyte

so it seems like most of those are for lead acid, so putting them all at the same voltage basically disables them, which is what they seemed to have done in the LI option.

It does not say what Charge Limit voltage or high volt disconnect do
Reply
#23
(06-10-2020, 01:28 AM)dbldrew Wrote:
(06-10-2020, 12:40 AM)OffGridInTheCity Wrote:
(06-09-2020, 11:54 PM)dbldrew Wrote: So just looking at the default settings for the LifePO4 it has equalize, boost and float all the same at 14.4v, the charge limit at 15.5v and high V disconnect at 16v

So im assuming i should probably keep equalize, boost, and float all the same value but at 16.4v high disconnect at 16.6? and charge volt limit was almost 1v higher for the LifePO4 so should that be set to higher voltage as well? like 16.6? or even higher and max it at 17?

And I cant wait to post back on the success! will def keep you guys updated
>Equalize, boost, and float all the same value but at 16.4v
Not for A123 LifePo4(s).   Looking up the specs for LifePO4 - I see a max voltage of 3.6v.   3.6v * 4 = 14.4v.  (I'm assuming your battery is 4s)
You don't want to charge above 14.4v for the A123s   (LifePO4)!
   
Equalize - maybe the manual will let you turn it off (set it to 0v maybe).  I'd go 0v rather than default unless you can find it in the manual because....  the general "Equalize" feature is to temporarily push current above max battery voltage...  this helps Lead Acid internals 'do better', but for Lithium-ion, you don't *ever* want to charge above the max.   If you set it to the max (14.4v in this discussion) it could go higher for all I know.   This usually has a timing as well - like once a month so maybe you can just set it to 'never run'.    

Boost - probably OK as long as its 14.4v or lower.   
-- Did you get a manual? or is there one on line? - its good to actually try to know what your controller is doing Smile
Maybe someone will know your specific controller. 


>high disconnect at 16.6?
Not sure what 'high disconnect' is...  if this is charging, then again - no higher than 14.4v for LifePO4.    If this is PV input voltage or something besides charging then OK.  

Now - for 18650, 4s battery pack, then sure, 16.4v high is good (but same issues with Equalize etc apply - don't let the battery overcharge) 


>And I cant wait to post back on the success! will def keep you guys updated
Look forward to it.

So basically the controller has 4 built in settings that can not be changed other then choosing which one you want to use for charging. there is flooded, sealed, gel and LI (LifePO4) and then there is also a "user" profile that can be changed and customized that i can set. For my A123 LifePO4 battery im going to use the standard LI. I will set up the "user" profile for the 18650 battery. So when i say im setting it for 16.4v that will only be used for the 18650 pack. the A123 will be using the default LI setting for charging, (14.4v)

The manual said

bulk charge: uses 100% of avalible solar power to recharge the battery and is equivalent to constant current
boost charge: when the battery has charged to the boost voltage set point it undergoes an absorption stage which is equivalent to constant voltage regulation to prevent heating and excessive gassing in the battery, boost time is 120min

Float Charge: after boost charge the controller reduces the battery voltage to a float voltage set point, once the battery is fully charged there is no more chemical reactions and the charge current would turn into heat and gas. Because of this the charge controller will reduce the voltage charge to smaller quantity, while lightly charging the battery.

Equalization: is carried out every 28 days. it is an intentional overcharge. Equalizing charge increases the battery voltage, higher then the standard complement voltage, witch gasifies the battery electrolyte

so it seems like most of those are for lead acid, so putting them all at the same voltage basically disables them, which is what they seemed to have done in the LI option.

It does not say what Charge Limit voltage or high volt disconnect do
Bulk Charge is good - this is standard CC (constant current)  Smile.   You called out "Boost" above but maybe you ment Bulk?   Boost is a specific Lead Acid feature that doesn't apply to Lithium which is why I was calling it out as something sketchy for Lithium.

>It does not say what Charge Limit voltage or high volt disconnect do
If this is a setting per mode, then just set it at the Float or maybe 0.01v or 0.1v higher.   If this is a global setting - then maybe the 18650 16.5v and just see what happens for LifePO4...   maybe measure the voltage on your 1st charge-ups as they nears 100% to make sure its all working / not going over the max for Lithium chemistries.

It sounds like you've got it!  Smile

P.S. The reason I'm so focused on overcharge is that this is one of the key reasons Lithium is so dangerous.    To get an idea of how dangerous - look at this youtube -  https://youtu.be/WdDi1haA71Q  -  at 3:04...  the fire will start.   This is a tesla (18650) battery pack that they put on a charger that was allowed to overcharge the battery...  and they just left it overcharging...  and BOOM.  Its like a cascade of roman candle fireworks and truely to be avoided Smile
Reply
#24
(06-10-2020, 01:45 AM)OffGridInTheCity Wrote:
(06-10-2020, 01:28 AM)dbldrew Wrote:
(06-10-2020, 12:40 AM)OffGridInTheCity Wrote:
(06-09-2020, 11:54 PM)dbldrew Wrote: So just looking at the default settings for the LifePO4 it has equalize, boost and float all the same at 14.4v, the charge limit at 15.5v and high V disconnect at 16v

So im assuming i should probably keep equalize, boost, and float all the same value but at 16.4v high disconnect at 16.6? and charge volt limit was almost 1v higher for the LifePO4 so should that be set to higher voltage as well? like 16.6? or even higher and max it at 17?

And I cant wait to post back on the success! will def keep you guys updated
>Equalize, boost, and float all the same value but at 16.4v
Not for A123 LifePo4(s).   Looking up the specs for LifePO4 - I see a max voltage of 3.6v.   3.6v * 4 = 14.4v.  (I'm assuming your battery is 4s)
You don't want to charge above 14.4v for the A123s   (LifePO4)!
   
Equalize - maybe the manual will let you turn it off (set it to 0v maybe).  I'd go 0v rather than default unless you can find it in the manual because....  the general "Equalize" feature is to temporarily push current above max battery voltage...  this helps Lead Acid internals 'do better', but for Lithium-ion, you don't *ever* want to charge above the max.   If you set it to the max (14.4v in this discussion) it could go higher for all I know.   This usually has a timing as well - like once a month so maybe you can just set it to 'never run'.    

Boost - probably OK as long as its 14.4v or lower.   
-- Did you get a manual? or is there one on line? - its good to actually try to know what your controller is doing Smile
Maybe someone will know your specific controller. 


>high disconnect at 16.6?
Not sure what 'high disconnect' is...  if this is charging, then again - no higher than 14.4v for LifePO4.    If this is PV input voltage or something besides charging then OK.  

Now - for 18650, 4s battery pack, then sure, 16.4v high is good (but same issues with Equalize etc apply - don't let the battery overcharge) 


>And I cant wait to post back on the success! will def keep you guys updated
Look forward to it.

So basically the controller has 4 built in settings that can not be changed other then choosing which one you want to use for charging. there is flooded, sealed, gel and LI (LifePO4) and then there is also a "user" profile that can be changed and customized that i can set. For my A123 LifePO4 battery im going to use the standard LI. I will set up the "user" profile for the 18650 battery. So when i say im setting it for 16.4v that will only be used for the 18650 pack. the A123 will be using the default LI setting for charging, (14.4v)

The manual said

bulk charge: uses 100% of avalible solar power to recharge the battery and is equivalent to constant current
boost charge: when the battery has charged to the boost voltage set point it undergoes an absorption stage which is equivalent to constant voltage regulation to prevent heating and excessive gassing in the battery, boost time is 120min

Float Charge: after boost charge the controller reduces the battery voltage to a float voltage set point, once the battery is fully charged there is no more chemical reactions and the charge current would turn into heat and gas. Because of this the charge controller will reduce the voltage charge to smaller quantity, while lightly charging the battery.

Equalization: is carried out every 28 days. it is an intentional overcharge. Equalizing charge increases the battery voltage, higher then the standard complement voltage, witch gasifies the battery electrolyte

so it seems like most of those are for lead acid, so putting them all at the same voltage basically disables them, which is what they seemed to have done in the LI option.

It does not say what Charge Limit voltage or high volt disconnect do
Bulk Charge is good - this is standard CC (constant current)  Smile.   You called out "Boost" above but maybe you ment Bulk?   Boost is a specific Lead Acid feature that doesn't apply to Lithium which is why I was calling it out as something sketchy for Lithium.

>It does not say what Charge Limit voltage or high volt disconnect do
If this is a setting per mode, then just set it at the Float or maybe 0.01v or 0.1v higher.   If this is a global setting - then maybe the 18650 16.5v and just see what happens for LifePO4...   maybe measure the voltage on your 1st charge-ups as they nears 100% to make sure its all working / not going over the max for Lithium chemistries.

It sounds like you've got it!  Smile

P.S. The reason I'm so focused on overcharge is that this is one of the key reasons Lithium is so dangerous.    To get an idea of how dangerous - look at this youtube -  https://youtu.be/WdDi1haA71Q  -  at 3:04...  the fire will start.   This is a tesla (18650) battery pack that they put on a charger that was allowed to overcharge the battery...  and they just left it overcharging...  and BOOM.  Its like a cascade of roman candle fireworks and truely to be avoided Smile

no there is 4 chargings listed, bulk, boost, float, and equalize

I just contacted renogy directly asking about settings for a 4s 18650 so will post the reply once i hear back
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#25
Sounds like a lot of settings to get right (or wrong). Favors a BMS for each pack that will cut off at max safety voltage and charge current. You can bypass it for discharge if you want, and watch your min discharge voltage manually.

If your charger setup has a max current, under any conditions or voltage, that is comfortably within the pack limit and you use a bms with a charging limit at or above that (but below max pack charging current) then it will be much harder to get in to trouble - even if you set the charging voltage too high. It will drop once loaded down. Just don’t depend on the BMS to limit max voltage as only line of defense. For the 4s lion just watch the voltage and disconnect manually as desired (when reach , say, 16.6v). You won’t get 100% charge this way but close, and easier on your cells.
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#26
Well I did hear back from Renogy and lets just say I'm completely disappointed in them as a company. So I contacted them asking about what all the settings in the app actually do, told them what I was trying to do with the 4s 18650 battery that I need to charge. Took about 4 days to hear back from them and the only reply was that the wanderer WND30-LI does not support "user" settings. And thats all I got. no other info other then i would have to go with one of there higher models if I wanted to have a "user" setting one.

Ok that kind of stinks but after looking into it a bit more the WND30-LI is still adjustable in the LI profile. So I can choose the LI profile and change some of the voltage settings through the app. So that sounds ok, just have to change it back for when I'm charging the 26650 bank. So I reply back again asking about the settings and what they do and if me changing the LI profile voltage will work with what I'm doing. This time i never heard back from them at all. So I still have no idea if this will work or not. Soon after the bluetooth module shows up (you have to order a standalone bluetooth adapter for the app to work with there chargers)

So I have a bit of a decision to make, do I just send everything back and try another option, or just do some experimenting and see if I can get it to work. I figure that I will give it some more time and maybe I will hear back.. Well after a while I gave up and figured I'm starting to run out of time here because im leaving in a few weeks. So I decided to do a little experiment to see. I discharged 8 of my 18650 cells down to 3.5v and then connected them up in a 4s configuration. Hooked up 1 of my 50W panels up to the charge controller, hooked up the bluetooth and upped the voltage up to 16.8V. And it charged up to 15.5v and never went over that. no matter how long I left it on there. The settings that I could change was the boost charge, float charge, equalize charge could all be set to up to 17v. The high volt disconnect was stuck at 16, and the charge limit voltage was stuck at 15.5v and i could not edit them at all. So It seems that the charge limit voltage at 15.5v is whats stopping it from going any farther. THIS WOULD OF BEEN HELPFUL INFO FROM THE $%^#&*@ COMPANY!

On a side note the app is complete garbage. You have to log in as an admin and then "add device" to connect to the charge controller.. EVERY TIME YOU LAUNCH THE APP! And if you just shrink down the app to answer a text.. disconnected and back to logging back in and searching for a "new device" to add it again. And then the voltage settings you have changed revert back every time you log in. I was actually worried that once the app closes the voltage settings default back. So I left the app running for about 1.5 hours to see if I could get it to go past the 15.5v.. It didint

So for the 18650 pack I'm going to have to go 3s on that one and just hope the lower voltage will work on the trolling motor. Thank god you guys talked me into the LifePO4 option as well. At least the default settings on the charge controller will charge that one.

I will keep you guys updated on how it all works out in a few weeks
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#27
I tried to save you... this is why I recommended the Victron Smart MPPT for a charge controller on post #9
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#28
(06-16-2020, 09:59 PM)Crimp Daddy Wrote: I tried to save you... this is why I recommended the Victron Smart MPPT for a charge controller on post #9

i did look at those, even downloaded the app and they have a cool "demo" feature on the app that allows you to load up any controller and play around with the settings. It had a user defined option just like the renogy app did. The difference is the victron for the 20a charger was $165 compared to $40 for the 30a renogy and they both seemed to give me the control that I wanted. Turns out the renogy that i bought does not have that control. But that doesn't change the fact that the victron was never really an option for me at that price. Hard to justify that extra $$ for my "back up" battery when I can just have that one configured as a 3s.
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#29
well I'm going to need a plan B. Finally finished up both batteries and put the LifeP04 on the solar panels to test how it would work. With 4-50W panels in direct sun at 12:00 it was only producing about 3-3.5A for charging. So that is a huge disappointment for the solar panels. And looking at the weather for next week (thats when I will be camping) there is only a few days of sun..

So is it possible to charge the battery using my truck? Thats how I would charge my lead acid trolling battery in the past, just start the truck and hook up some jumper cables and let it run for an hour or so. Is that an option for the 4s, a123 LifeP04 battery? Probably wouldn't want to do it with the 3s 18650 battery due to the possibility of overcharging, but a fully charged 4s a123 is a higher voltage then the alternator actually charges at so was thinking if the truck could get it ~80% charged and then solar to top it off maybe?

Am I going to have to bypass the BMS for something like this and then use the BMS for powering the trolling motor and solar charging? Or is this just not going to work?
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#30
I mentioned it on post #9...  use a DC-DC converter/charger.  Victron makes a quality adjustable option which is suitable for battery charging. I would not use jumper cables because you can't control the inrush current.

I still feel you can just approach this like it's an RC battery pack and just use a powerful balance charger.

RC charger would replace the need for a BMS when charging.  And it gets you a lot more value than a DC-DC.  Just make a nice little mobile charging/battery management station. So much more control and saftey.

[Image: IMG_20190710_085809_480x480.jpg?v=1563720687]
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