The advantages of lithium battery banks are numerous:
Longer lifespan - 3 year warranty - Less maintenance - Does not require regular full charges - Does not need equalization - More usable capacity - High current output - Fast charging - Highly efficient - Smaller size - Less weight - Temperature resistant - No gassing - No voltage sag, etc.
To learn more about the advantages of lithium batteries over lead-acid batteries read our Batteries page.
Things to consider before a lithium upgrade:
- A basic lithium battery upgrade can start around $5,000 as a DIY project, and more advanced systems can cost more than $15,000 when installed by AM Solar. Complete projects involving solar charging, inverter systems and lithium batteries occasionally exceed $25,000.
- Because the voltage of lithium batteries does not change in relation to charge level as much as it does with lead-acid batteries, a BMS (Battery Management System) must be used with lithium batteries to protect them from being overly charged or discharged.
- Lithium batteries will be damaged if charged at freezing temperatures. Because of this, our systems include cold charge disconnect systems (only compatible with Victron Multiplus inverter/chargers).
- If your goal is to run an air conditioner, know that one fully charged 200Ah lithium battery will give you about one hour of run time on a typical 15,000 BTU air conditioner, assuming no other loads.
System Design Options:
- Lithium battery systems can be custom designed using any of the five sizes of batteries that Victron makes. These sizes include 60Ah, 90Ah, 160Ah, 200Ah and 300Ah. (click here to view the Victron datasheet)
- All the batteries in a system must be the same size.
- No more than ten batteries may be used in a system.
- Due to increasing demand, not all battery sizes may be available at the time of purchase.
V4 Lithium Systems
The V4 Lithium system is built around a base kit that regulates all charging sources (inverter/charger, solar, alternator, generator) and all discharging sources (DC loads, inverter) to prevent over charging, over discharging, cold charging and damage from excessive heat. The base kit combines the lithium battery add-on kits in individually fused parallel connections and is compatible with Victron monitoring kits, system cores and inverter/charger kits.
- The complex relay network of the Signature system on one control board reduces install labor and troubleshooting time.
- Unlike the Essential system, all controls operate on the positive side of the circuit for a more intuitive design.
- Maximum current output is no longer limited by the BMS which enables the use of heavier loads.
- Designed to be DIY friendly
- Pricing similar to that of the Essential system
Click here to view the base kit wiring diagram.
Click here to view the press release.
Battery Add-on Kits:
Expect 40-60 hours of labor plus 1 hour per battery at $120/hr for professional installation.
"My wife and I have just arrived home after 10 weeks on the road, traveling about 8,000 miles as far as Texas and back thru the Southwest camping all the way in the van. The Victron battery performed flawlessly the entire way and has exceeded even my most fervent expectations. What has been especially gratifying is how quickly it recharges whenever we travel even short distances. What a beautiful system! Thank you so much for the part you played in enabling such satisfaction."
Frank from Oregon
*The installation of an AMS Lithium battery system is one of the most complex RV power system upgrades available. We can confidently say that nobody else does anything like it and it is very unlikely that anybody else will be able to match our attention to detail, component quality or ability to stand behind our work. These systems are not cheap, and the custom installation is very labor intensive. Our clients purchase these systems because they want the best there is, not because they want something inexpensive. Tremendous demand has us installing one of these systems each week, and every installation is different due to the variety of rigs we work on. Our goal is to have each project brought in on Monday and finished by Friday, but be prepared to have to stay through the following Tuesday. Unforeseen installation challenges may force the project to take longer than expected and our installers have families that need them on the weekends.