Customer review:Lifepo4 battery 172Ah(VB101) in DUCATO panel van installation

 Creabest172Ah lifepo4

Electricity/energy/battery in the van

I have to admit that I was shocked: when you came from T5 / T6 California, you were used to the energy/electricity of working there. In California, you can easily maintain a self-sufficient life for 2 days without shore power. Because the camping monitor can clearly show how much power is left in the box.

This is because: As a Volkswagen bus of California Ocean or Comfort Line, only 2 batteries are used for the camping parts on the ship. Small refrigerators are rarely used, and LED lights are rarely used. In addition, it contains a standard 230V small voltage converter-even if it only manages 100W.

The difference in the van

Vans usually have an auxiliary battery (ONE!). But many manufacturers will install a second battery in order to charge additional fees; or dealers conduct fast food delivery business and sell the second AGM battery. Almost all manufacturers have installed AGM batteries ranging from 85 to 100 AH (ampere hour).

At the same time, there are also many electrical equipment in vans, such as compressor refrigerators that like to consume 4 amperes or more. In addition, there are many lights; the heater has a fan, a sink with a water pump, a washbasin and a toilet. Finally, many people also installed other equipment: such as light chains or televisions.

AGM battery: mature technology 

Built-in AGM batteries are a good thing in principle: they are economical and technologically mature. It can operate normally even at temperatures below zero. But the problem is: you can't discharge it completely and can't use and place it under high temperature, and the depth of discharge can't exceed 50% at most. If it exceeds, there will be a danger of "deep discharge", which will damage the battery and affect its service life.

Battery indicator in truck

It cannot be called a "treasure" because it only shows the current battery voltage. Unfortunately, this data naturally depends on whether the consumer is working and will fluctuate accordingly. Therefore, it is actually impossible to fully estimate the current state of charge of the battery.

The built-in AGM battery can’t even last a day

Take the first trip in the new HYMER van-on the beach of Sankt Peter Ording. I quickly understood: the battery can only be used at night (when the refrigerator's performance is reduced) at 35 degrees in the sun and the refrigerator is running. If the power of the refrigerator is too high, the battery may only run out of power in the afternoon.

The display in HYMER is not very helpful, because in principle, it only displays the three states of "full-unknown-empty".

Install battery computer and second AGM battery or install lifepo4 battery? 

lifepo4 akku

We must consider how to solve the above-mentioned situation.
My first idea: install a second AGM battery and an onboard computer that "exactly" knows how the battery works. It should be noted that: Ideally, two AGM batteries must be consistent and have exactly the same life span. Installing a battery computer is no big deal, but cables must be laid. This will take us some time.

The cost of installing the two together (two AGM batteries and a battery computer) is about 800.00 Euros. This is not a small expense. Of course, after spending this expense, you can enjoy a self-sufficient life for 1.7 days.

My second thought: directly upgrade the battery to lifepo4 battery. You know, lifepo4 battery is much lighter than AGM battery and can reduce the weight of truck. And no additional cables are required. The Van actually needs more than two NETTO AGM batteries, which means that the lifepo4 battery has a capacity of at least 120Ah.
After some comparisons, I decided to use lifepo4 batteries.

LIFEPO4 vs. AGM battery

creabest VB101-172Ah

The problem was quickly explained: LIFEPO4 (or "LITHIUM" battery) has a higher capacity and a lighter weight. They can generate higher current (when charging and discharging), and have an intelligent BMS battery management system, which can prevent the battery from overcharging and overdischarging, and can effectively protect the battery. It can also be deeply discharged, and the number of battery cycles can reach more than 3000 times.

Most lifepo4 batteries also come with app and Bluetooth, you can view battery data directly through your phone. So there is no need to install an extra battery computer.The most important thing is: their service life is 2-4 times that of AGM batteries.

However, LIFEPO batteries also have disadvantages: they are more expensive than AGM, and the lower the temperature, the lower the charging efficiency of LiFePO4 batteries, which is the charging characteristic of LiFePO4 batteries.

However, from my point of view, there is no problem with the Van because the battery is installed under the seat.Therefore, if you walk a little bit, the temperature of the battery will quickly rise above the critical 5 degrees Celsius, and you can also charge it.
However, it is recommended to store the battery in a dry environment between 0°C and 20°C.

Creabest Lifepo4 battery

lifepo4 172Ah

For me, the price/performance ratio of CREABEST batteries is very convincing, and they have a good customer service.

To put it bluntly: When the refrigerator is running, the expected service life of the 172AH battery is 2.8 days. It may be more because the refrigerator will never run for 24 hours...Using solar energy, you can of course greatly extend this running time...
This is why I chose the 172AH version with Bluetooth and apps.

Installation of the LITHIUM battery in the HYMER panel van

I made a little video about installing the battery. In all honesty, it's less complicated than you think. Fortunately, HYMER panel vans apparently have a different seat console than most other manufacturers, which is why it is very easy to dismantle.

Notice:The above content comes from bulliluft forum(https://bulliluft.de/lifepo4-lithium-batterie-von-creabest-im-ducato-hymer-kastenwagen/)



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