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Alternative mains charger

welshwestie

welshwestie

Messages
102
Hello all. My original Philips PE 2169/01 has been replaced with a Victron Blue Smart IP 67 mains charger. I opted for the 12/25 SI model so that I could continue to have the prong appear in the E 153 display. Basically insert the SI cable into the six pin block, green wire. The green wire is connected to the E 153.

Reason for replacing the Philips is that I am moving to Lifepo4, and the Philips is a) not intelligent b) vented another Wima film capacitor, for the second time. Both times EHU was plugged in, fridge on, and sun shining on the side of the van. As Corporal Jones would say, the Wima "dont like it up em!!!" I will replace the capacitor, this time with a more modern option, and stick it on the shelf.

The only version of the 12/25 si I could find comes with a euro plug, so I needed to purchase a IEC C14 adapater to Euro female. I wanted to retain the factory 'kettle lead' and not void the Victron warranty by removing the original Euro plug.

In order for the SI cable to remain in the 6 pin connector, I crimped a molex male pin and this was a good tight fit.

I thought that the Victron was a better option than the Fraron.
 
Update

Fogstar Drift 280ah Lifepo4 battery fitted in the battery compartment. Bit of a tight fit and would have needed to modify the space if I had not decided to fit busbars. Busbars much tidier option and minimises the amount of cables attached to the battery terminals.

Alternator fitted to the van is 120a, so time to replace the J7 charge relay with something more suitable for a Lifepo4. I am also looking to reduce use of EHU, and so looking to do alot of my battery charging to and from campsites.

Conveniently the J7 relay has a D+ connection. Opted for the Votronic VCC 1212 50 B2B.Plenty of space to fit the B2B in the spot of the old relay. Setup the Votronic so when I occasionally connect to EHU, the starter battery is also charged along with the leisure. Fused both ends of the B2B, leisure and starter batteries

Now I need to work out where I am going to fit an inverter.
 
Have you got any photos of the installation? I'm looking at upgrading my exclusive.
 
What does the LifePo4 do that a gel won’t?
 
What does the LifePo4 do that a gel won’t?
It can provide 100% of its charge without damaging the battery whereas the AGM will start to deteriorate if you use more than 50% of its capacity and is therefore better suited as a leisure battery.
 
OMG, I’ve been using my battery incorrectly for the last 13 years!! No wonder I’ve had to replace it once!
 
Have you got any photos of the installation? I'm looking at upgrading my exclusive.
Sorry so late to answering your question. I know you have gone down an alternative root.

Here is a link that I used to inform my installation.

https://supervolt.de/lithium-batterie-im-vw-bus/

The 280ah battery is a tight fit. I replaced an Exide 1350 that lasted 10 years, before is started to flag. Basically the Exide was lucky to give me a weekend off EHU, even with my solar panel setup. I was fed up of being limited to finding a balance between shade to reduce fridge consumption, and enough solar to keep the battery topped up.

The Lifepo4 can run my fridge 24/7 for a very long time, over a week. I can park wherever I want. Dont have to consider solar as the B2B charges the battery very quickly when driving the van.

The inverter then takes care of my electronics, laptop, tablet, phone etc. I also run a 600w oil filled radiator, and can run the induction ho, and not carry a spare camping gaz bottle.

I have stopped using my led lights and use the original lights in the van. The way EHU prices have gone up over the past 12 months I am happy that I can pick and choose if I want EHU. Its reasurring to look at the overhead display and see that I have so much DC on tap.



battery and charger.JPG
 
Update

Fogstar Drift 280ah Lifepo4 battery fitted in the battery compartment. Bit of a tight fit and would have needed to modify the space if I had not decided to fit busbars. Busbars much tidier option and minimises the amount of cables attached to the battery terminals.

Alternator fitted to the van is 120a, so time to replace the J7 charge relay with something more suitable for a Lifepo4. I am also looking to reduce use of EHU, and so looking to do alot of my battery charging to and from campsites.

Conveniently the J7 relay has a D+ connection. Opted for the Votronic VCC 1212 50 B2B.Plenty of space to fit the B2B in the spot of the old relay. Setup the Votronic so when I occasionally connect to EHU, the starter battery is also charged along with the leisure. Fused both ends of the B2B, leisure and starter batteries

Now I need to work out where I am going to fit an inverter.
With all of this installed, does the display panel also show the battery charge state as it did previously?
 
Hello sidepod. Yes the E153 shows voltage, though the Fogstar apk provides a more accurate reading as it takes information from the BMS. So the Westie might say 13.4v and Fogstar 13.5 for example. The overhead display also shows the state of charge correctly, you know the solid blocks on the E153. You also get an accurate charging state when the alternator is feeding the Votronic b2b. Though the Votronic doesn't have a apk, you can read how many amps are being delivered to the battery via the Fogstar apk.

I have limited the charge from the Votronic b2b to 40amps. I could charge it to 60 amps but the alternator is the original and didn't want to stress it. I'm probably being over cautious though.

I like the Fogstar apk because it also tells you what amp hours are left and current discharge rate when using 12v and/or the inverter. It doesn't take much to work out power usage. Because of the apk I realised the 12v socket behind the drivers seat is connected to the starter battery. I added a USB A/C plug to the lifepo4 and charge phones, tablet and laptop from it.

Also I have the EHU symbol when charging from mains. When choosing an alternative to the A10 charger, and a b2b I wanted them to mirror the original equipment through the E153.

The Votronic can also charge the starter battery via the Victron when using EHU.

I have repaired the old A10 charger. Twice it let me down when on the continent. Both times connected to EHU and the sun shining on the side of the van where the charger and fridge is located. Same wima film capacitors let go as they should whem stressed. The Victron, I hope is more robust. It's a sealed unit, no fan. I will have to wait and see.
 
Hello sidepod. Yes the E153 shows voltage, though the Fogstar apk provides a more accurate reading as it takes information from the BMS. So the Westie might say 13.4v and Fogstar 13.5 for example. The overhead display also shows the state of charge correctly, you know the solid blocks on the E153. You also get an accurate charging state when the alternator is feeding the Votronic b2b. Though the Votronic doesn't have a apk, you can read how many amps are being delivered to the battery via the Fogstar apk.

I have limited the charge from the Votronic b2b to 40amps. I could charge it to 60 amps but the alternator is the original and didn't want to stress it. I'm probably being over cautious though.

I like the Fogstar apk because it also tells you what amp hours are left and current discharge rate when using 12v and/or the inverter. It doesn't take much to work out power usage. Because of the apk I realised the 12v socket behind the drivers seat is connected to the starter battery. I added a USB A/C plug to the lifepo4 and charge phones, tablet and laptop from it.

Also I have the EHU symbol when charging from mains. When choosing an alternative to the A10 charger, and a b2b I wanted them to mirror the original equipment through the E153.

The Votronic can also charge the starter battery via the Victron when using EHU.

I have repaired the old A10 charger. Twice it let me down when on the continent. Both times connected to EHU and the sun shining on the side of the van where the charger and fridge is located. Same wima film capacitors let go as they should whem stressed. The Victron, I hope is more robust. It's a sealed unit, no fan. I will have to wait and see.
Ok, interesting. My original Philips charger is still ok but it’s gotta be on borrowed time.

I like the look of what you’ve done here.

Only question mark is the +5 deg charging temp of the Lifepo.
So if touring around in cold weather, you could potentially never be able to charge up or is the reality that van internal temp will be higher?
 
Fogstar Drift 280ah has a heat pad that will heat the battery cells. Just Google and you will be directed to specs pdf. Charge range is -20c to 60c.
 
Late to the party on this, but needing to swap out my ES1600 Gel and was investigating LiFePo4 alternatives.

Interested to see how you have done this - especially around modifying the battery connections. Do you have any other photos of this area you could share?

My current plan is to use a pair of 100Ah batteries with built in BMS so I can limit the B2B charging via that and not have to change the split relay - do you think this would work?
 
I followed the steps here https://supervolt.de/lithium-batterie-im-vw-bus/

The A10 charger was designed for wet and gel batteries, obviously not lifepo4. That takes care of mains charging. The A10 uses a temperature sensor and charges at 10amps. Info here https://www.t4-wiki.de/wiki/Ladegerät_A10

The J7 takes care of charging the leisure battery from the alternator. Info here https://t4-wiki.de/wiki/J7

Whatever lifepo4 battery you decide on it would be best to check with supplier or manufacturer if the A10 and J7 are suitable.

More info here https://www.t4forum.de/forum/index....rnia/&postID=3988963&highlight=j7#post3988963

I know people have not modified their charging systems when installing lifepo4 in the Westie. However I don't know what particular battery they used. Not all lifepo4 batteries are the same. Sign up to the t4forum.de as there are a few examples
 
I followed the steps here https://supervolt.de/lithium-batterie-im-vw-bus/

The A10 charger was designed for wet and gel batteries, obviously not lifepo4. That takes care of mains charging. The A10 uses a temperature sensor and charges at 10amps. Info here https://www.t4-wiki.de/wiki/Ladegerät_A10

The J7 takes care of charging the leisure battery from the alternator. Info here https://t4-wiki.de/wiki/J7

Whatever lifepo4 battery you decide on it would be best to check with supplier or manufacturer if the A10 and J7 are suitable.

More info here https://www.t4forum.de/forum/index....rnia/&postID=3988963&highlight=j7#post3988963

I know people have not modified their charging systems when installing lifepo4 in the Westie. However I don't know what particular battery they used. Not all lifepo4 batteries are the same. Sign up to the t4forum.de as there are a few examples
Thank you - I had found the supervolt.de link as well, very helpful indeed.

Not found the t4forum.de before though - just wasted a few hours reading through the stuff on that now!!

Looking further into it shows I will need a DC/DC charger to replace the split charge relay so was looking at the Victron ones, but they are around £200 for a decent capacity.

The mains charger has already been replaced with a Fraron that has a LiFePO4 setting so that's all good - its just the expense of the battery, cable rerouting and the above mentioned DC/DC unit to justify versus the "simple" answer of buying another ES1600......
 
I was in the same boat as you. But what swayed me was the convenience of having so much ah available.

I would be mindful that the older victron b2b get hot and are on the large side. As they heat they reduce in efficiency and amperage. The new Victron Orion XS has been released. Some reviews, appears, to run cooler and more chance of getting the max amperage.

Does your Fraron have the fan or not? Fanless were reduced in amps due to removal of fan.

Also if lifepo4 why 2 x 100ah and not a single 200ah?

I read loads before making the decision. Didn't want to burn the van down.
 

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