Lithium

2/10/2017 - 2016 Airstream Flying Cloud FB, 25'

This client came to us with an existing 400W solar charging system using flexible panels (which we discourage due to reliability issues) and an additional 120W folding panel.  We replaced the original roof wiring because one of the four panels had stopped functioning, added two SP100 solar panels and upgraded the charge controller.  We also replaced the PWM charge controller on the folding panel and added a Victron MPPT charge controller with Bluetooth monitoring.  Next, we added a 600Ah Signature lithium battery bank and a 3000W inverter, which all fit tightly under the bed.  This is one of our most elaborate installs.
 

Equipment Added:  1x  600Ah Signature Lithium Battery Bank w/o Color Control Monitor 1x  Victron Multiplus 3000VA Inverter/Charger 2x  SP100 Solar Panel Kits 1x  Roof Mount Combiner Box 1x  Victron 100|45 charge controller 1x  Victron 100|15 charge controller 1x  Victron Bluetooth dongle

Equipment Added:
1x  600Ah Signature Lithium Battery Bank w/o Color Control Monitor
1x  Victron Multiplus 3000VA Inverter/Charger
2x  SP100 Solar Panel Kits
1x  Roof Mount Combiner Box
1x  Victron 100|45 charge controller
1x  Victron 100|15 charge controller
1x  Victron Bluetooth dongle

Lithium BMS components

Lithium BMS components

Charge Controller

Charge Controller

3000VA inverter and three 200Ah lithium batteries under the bed

3000VA inverter and three 200Ah lithium batteries under the bed

2/3/2017 - 2014 Newmar Canyon Star Road Hauler w/ 10' Garage, 36'

This client opted for a unique configuration with his lithium batteries and had us put them inside, under the couch.  Wiring was extremely challenging but the installation was a success.

Equipment Added:   600Ah Signature Lithium Battery System 1x Victron MultiPlus 3000 Inverter 6x SF160 Solar Panels 1x Roof C-Box 1x SunRunner Victron 150/70A System Core

Equipment Added:
600Ah Signature Lithium Battery System
1x Victron MultiPlus 3000 Inverter
6x SF160 Solar Panels
1x Roof C-Box
1x SunRunner Victron 150/70A System Core

Lithium under couch

Lithium under couch

System Monitors

System Monitors

Solar charge controller

Solar charge controller

2/03/2017 - 2016 Monaco Diplomat, 44'

Four months prior these clients had us install four SF160 solar panels and a SunRunner Signature 40/2 Pro Core.  On this installation they swapped out the Blue Sky components for Victron, added another 640W and got one of our 800Ah Signature lithium systems.  Now they have 1280W of solar with one of the most advanced RV battery systems on the market.

Equipment Added:  800Ah Signature Lithium System 4x SF160 Solar Panels 1x Victron BlueSolar MPPT 150/100 1x Victron BlueSolar MPPT 100/15 1x VE.Direct BlueTooth Smart Dongle 1x Magnum ME-ARC50

Equipment Added:
800Ah Signature Lithium System
4x SF160 Solar Panels
1x Victron BlueSolar MPPT 150/100
1x Victron BlueSolar MPPT 100/15
1x VE.Direct BlueTooth Smart Dongle
1x Magnum ME-ARC50

Signature Lithium Battery Bank

Signature Lithium Battery Bank

AM Solar combiner boxes can be used for more than just solar cables.  Here we have connected an antenna wire.

AM Solar combiner boxes can be used for more than just solar cables.  Here we have connected an antenna wire.

Magnum inverter with Victron charge controllers

Magnum inverter with Victron charge controllers

10/12/16 – 2015 Airstream Flying Cloud 25FB, 25'

A client brought in his 2015 Airstream with the following request of AM Solar:
Design an off-the-grid power system (for dry camping and boon-docking) that “runs itself” and requires as little maintenance and oversight as possible both when the trailer is being used and when it is stored.
Specifics:

  • Trailer is used for six weeks in the summer, often in shaded campgrounds, 95% of the time without electrical hookups. Stays range from 3-5 nights before moving to next location. Trailer is also used during the other three seasons typically for three-night stays.
  • Client has monitored his power usage in the trailer for the last year and a half and concluded that 40-50amp hours is the typical 24 hour energy usage.
  • Client doesn’t want to have to bring the batteries to a full charge after each use. Due to not utilizing campgrounds with electrical hook-ups, staying in shaded areas, and often driving short distances between destinations, there is often not enough time to fully recharge batteries via solar and vehicle alternator, especially in the off-season.
  • When sun is available, the client wants to utilize every watt possible from their panels to recharge the batteries as they often only travel 2-4 hours before stopping at their next destination. 
  • Client wants an option to add additional battery capacity and/or solar panels if desired for future energy needs.


To accomplish the above client goals we spec’d one of our Lithium Battery Systems, solar panels, solar charger, and battery charger.

  • Because the customer has light AC loads, we chose a 200Ah Essential Lithium Battery system. This will comfortably give them the five nights of camping desired with almost no solar panel input if they are camping under trees in the winter. If the client desires greater battery capacity in the future, this system can be expanded easily with an additional 200Ah bringing the total to 400Ah. Additionally, unlike lead-acid battery based systems, the lithium battery does not need to be recharged to 100% after each use.
  • Due to the potential for tree cover, we chose 400W of solar panels to give the client ample solar charging capacity.
  • We chose a 50A charger to maximize all available power (solar and vehicle alternator) to recharge the batteries as quickly as possible.
  • We chose a three-stage battery charger so that the client can leave the trailer plugged in when stored without having to be concerned about the batteries being charged correctly.
Equipment Added:  4x SP100W Panels 1x Roof C-Box 2x 15.5" Tilt Bar Sets 1x SunRunner Victron MPPT 30A 1x Victron MPPT Control 1x 200Ah Essential Battery Bank 1x Phoenix Charger 12/50 1x Phoenix Charger Control/Monitor

Equipment Added:
4x SP100W Panels
1x Roof C-Box
2x 15.5" Tilt Bar Sets
1x SunRunner Victron MPPT 30A
1x Victron MPPT Control
1x 200Ah Essential Battery Bank
1x Phoenix Charger 12/50
1x Phoenix Charger Control/Monitor

Because the BMS on the Essential system acts on the negative side of the batteries (ground control), the negative (or chassis) from the tow vehicle with the alternator is at a slightly different voltage than the negative output of the lithium system. This creates a design challenge since shorting the negative output of the lithium system to the tow vehicle chassis would damage the BMS.  

In a van conversion or coach, the issue of having two different negatives is easily resolved by routing the output of the lithium battery through the Orion 12/12 DC converter.  The negative output of the Orion converter can then be tied to the chassis and all positives for the DC loads get re-routed to the positive output of the Orion.  If the total DC load is more than 30A, multiple Orion converters can be connected in parallel.  Inverters, or anything else that can have their negative isolated from the chassis will just connect directly to the output of the lithium battery system without going through the Orion converter.

In trailers, the issue of having two different negatives is solved differently.  In this situation, the Orion converter goes on the input side of the lithium system, thus isolating the trailer from the tow vehicle’s chassis.  When this is done, the Orion converter has to be modified so it’s output voltage is 14.2V instead of the factory 12.0V.  This is accomplished by carefully tuning a potentiometer inside the converter that is accessible when the cooling fan is removed.  This design will limit alternator charging current to 30A, but it will protect the BMS from having it’s input and output short circuited.

Victron Orion 12/12 Converter customized to 14.2V output and connected on the input to the lithium battery system

Victron Orion 12/12 Converter customized to 14.2V output and connected on the input to the lithium battery system

200Ah Lithium Battery and Solar Charge Controller

200Ah Lithium Battery and Solar Charge Controller

Essential Lithium BMS and Battery Monitor

Essential Lithium BMS and Battery Monitor

Charge Controller and Battery Monitor Displays

Charge Controller and Battery Monitor Displays

Installation Video

11/11/16 - 2015 Winnebago Vista, 28'

This coach came to us with a complex battery management system that had to be bypassed with a network of diodes in order for the lithium battery bank to function.  It was a challenging install, but everything worked out in the end.  The customer now has a 960W solar charger with a 300Ah lithium battery bank and a 3000VA inverter.

Equipment Added:  6x SF160 Solar Panels 1x Roof C-Box 1x SunRunner Victron MPPT 70A System Core 1x Victron MultiPlus 12/3000 Inverter/Charger 1x Victron Digital Multi Control 1x 300Ah Signature Lithium Battery System

Equipment Added:
6x SF160 Solar Panels
1x Roof C-Box
1x SunRunner Victron MPPT 70A System Core
1x Victron MultiPlus 12/3000 Inverter/Charger
1x Victron Digital Multi Control
1x 300Ah Signature Lithium Battery System

300Ah Lithium Battery System

300Ah Lithium Battery System

Inverter and charge controller

Inverter and charge controller

System Monitor

System Monitor

9/1/2016 – 2016 DRV Mobile Suites, 40'

This customer came to us wanting the best of the best and the most that could reasonably fit in their rig.  They ended up with a 960W solar charging system and a 600Ah battery bank with a 3000VA inverter.  With a system like this they can enjoy all the comforts of home, while on the road.

Equipment added:  6x SF160 Solar Panels 1x Roof C-Box 1x SunRunner Victron MPPT 70A system core 1x 600Ah Signature Lithium Battery Bank 1x Victron MultiPlus 12/3000/120-50 120V Inverter

Equipment added:
6x SF160 Solar Panels
1x Roof C-Box
1x SunRunner Victron MPPT 70A system core
1x 600Ah Signature Lithium Battery Bank
1x Victron MultiPlus 12/3000/120-50 120V Inverter

960W solar charging system

960W solar charging system

Lithium battery system, inverter, charge controller

Lithium battery system, inverter, charge controller

System monitors and controls

System monitors and controls

9/12/2016 – 2007 Dynaquest Dynamax 340XL, 35'

This customer came to us wanting as much solar and lithium as we could fit in the rig.  The result was 850W of solar panels, an 800Ah lithium battery bank and a 3000VA inverter. 

Equipment Added:  7x SP100 Solar Panels 3x Star-50 Solar Panels 1x Roof C-Box 1x SunRunner Victron MPPT 70A System Core 4x 15.5" Tilt Bar Sets 2x 19.5" Tilt Bar Sets 1x Victron MultiPlus 12/3000/120-50 120V Inverter Kit 1x Victron 800Ah Signature Lithium Battery Bank 1x Trik-L-Start   

Equipment Added:
7x SP100 Solar Panels
3x Star-50 Solar Panels
1x Roof C-Box
1x SunRunner Victron MPPT 70A System Core
4x 15.5" Tilt Bar Sets
2x 19.5" Tilt Bar Sets
1x Victron MultiPlus 12/3000/120-50 120V Inverter Kit
1x Victron 800Ah Signature Lithium Battery Bank
1x Trik-L-Start

 

Lithium battery system with inverter and solar charge controller

Lithium battery system with inverter and solar charge controller

Lithium BMS Components

Lithium BMS Components

Victron Lynx

Victron Lynx

8/11/2016 - 2016 Forest River Forester, 24’

We have never heard a customer say “I got too much solar,” and this customer will never be able to say “I should have gotten more solar,” because the roof is completely covered.  In addition to the 830W solar charging system, a 600Ah lithium battery bank and a 3000VA hybrid inverter make this a very powerful vehicle.

Victron Color Control GX Monitor

Victron Color Control GX Monitor

Victron Multiplus 3000VA inverter/charger

Victron Multiplus 3000VA inverter/charger

Victron Charge Controller

Victron Charge Controller

7/20/2016 – 2016 Outdoors RV Timber Ridge 280RKSB, 34’

This trailer came to us with an existing solar charging system and a conventional inverter.  We rewired the AC circuitry to enable load sharing with a Victron 3000VA hybrid inverter.  In other words, this system can now draw from shore power and the battery bank at the same time.  We also upgraded the lead-acid battery bank to a 400Ah Signature Lithium system with Color Control Monitor showing complete system status.  The result is a very powerful yet compact system.

Victron Lithium Battery System

Victron Lithium Battery System

Victron Color Control GX Monitor

Victron Color Control GX Monitor

Inverter/Charger

Inverter/Charger

7/16/2016 - 2008 Winnebago Vectra, 40’

This is the most sophisticated AM Solar installation ever.  The 1920W solar array was producing over 90A when the system was first activated (in overcast weather).  That high current, coming from dual 70A charge controllers, was fed onto a Victron 800Ah lithium battery bank where a 3000VA hybrid inverter would power all the comforts of home to this power plant on wheels.

Equipment Added:  12x SF160 Solar Panels 2x Roof C-Boxes 1x 19.5" tilt bar set 2x SunRunner Victron MPPT 70A system cores 1x Victron Multiplus 3000VA Inverter Kit 1x Victron 800Ah Signature Lithium Battery Bank 1x Progressive Ind. 50A Surge Protector w/display   

Equipment Added:
12x SF160 Solar Panels
2x Roof C-Boxes
1x 19.5" tilt bar set
2x SunRunner Victron MPPT 70A system cores
1x Victron Multiplus 3000VA Inverter Kit
1x Victron 800Ah Signature Lithium Battery Bank
1x Progressive Ind. 50A Surge Protector w/display

 

1920W of solar

1920W of solar

Class T fuses and high current switches

Class T fuses and high current switches

AC Wiring

AC Wiring

Dual Combiner Boxes

Dual Combiner Boxes

800Ah of lithium batteries

800Ah of lithium batteries

Battery Management System

Battery Management System

7/8/2016 - 2015 Airstream Flying Cloud 20'

We installed a 300W solar panel system with an MPPT charge controller and a 300Ah AMS Generation 1 Lithium Battery System.  In order to install the battery bank and access the existing inverter we had to very carefully remove the bed and then put it back once everything was connected.

Equipment Added:  3x  SP100 solar panels  1x  Roof C-Box  1x  SunRunner Signature MPPT 25A system core  1x 300Ah Lithium Battery Bank

Equipment Added:
3x SP100 solar panels
1x Roof C-Box
1x SunRunner Signature MPPT 25A system core
1x 300Ah Lithium Battery Bank

Blue Sky 2512iX-HV MPPT Charge Controller and AMS Lithium BMS

Blue Sky 2512iX-HV MPPT Charge Controller and AMS Lithium BMS

Blue Sky IPN Pro Remote Monitor

Blue Sky IPN Pro Remote Monitor

AMS Generation 1, 300Ah Lithium Battery Bank

AMS Generation 1, 300Ah Lithium Battery Bank

7/1/2016 - 2017 Nexus Phantom 31P, 31’

Space constraints were a major issue with this rig.  We had to reinforce the bay and temporarily remove the bay door to get everything to fit.  In the end we managed to install two Victron lithium 200Ah batteries in our Signature lithium system feature complete cold weather charging disconnect systems.  The inverter is a Victron hybrid 3000VA and there is 1120W of solar panels on the roof.

Victron Multiplus 3000VA

Victron Multiplus 3000VA

Victron System Controls

Victron System Controls

Lithium Battery Bank Controls

Lithium Battery Bank Controls

7/1/2016 - 2016 Itasca Navion 24G, 24'

When air conditioning is important, you better go big with your battery capacity.  This customer got an 800Ah Victron Signature lithium system will full cold weather charging disconnects.  The Victron 3000VA inverter/charger can draw from shore power or a generator at the same time as it draws from the battery bank to power large loads like air conditioners.

Before Lithium

Before Lithium

During Installation

During Installation

800Ah Victron Lithium System

800Ah Victron Lithium System

6/24/2016 – 2016 Arctic Fox 27-5L, 30'

We installed 640W of solar using four 160W solar panels and a variety of “L” foot sizes to accommodate the curved roof.  We also installed a 420Ah lithium battery system and a Magnum inverter.

Equipment Added:  28x Lithium Cell 60Ah 12.8V 1x AMS Gen 1 Lithium BMS Kit 1x  Magnum MS2000 Inverter  4x  SF160 solar panels  1x  Roof Box  1x  SunRunner Signature MPPT 40A signature core

Equipment Added:
28x Lithium Cell 60Ah 12.8V
1x AMS Gen 1 Lithium BMS Kit
1x Magnum MS2000 Inverter
4x SF160 solar panels
1x Roof Box
1x SunRunner Signature MPPT 40A signature core

AMS Gen 1 lithium battery bank

AMS Gen 1 lithium battery bank

Roof detail

Roof detail