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Demo Lithium Battery System - the details

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 9/12/2017 to Projects
I made a Lithium Battery System on a mobile cart to use as a demonstration and to take to the Annapolis Boat Show. This article, Part 2, is about the details of how it was put together and why, and includes all the various settings used. Part 1 of the article can be found here

Victron Lithium Battery System
SystemLithium BatteryVictron Smart LiFeP04    200 Amp Hrs

Inverter/ChargerVictron Multiplus 12/3000 120V

Battery Management SystemVictron VE Bus BMS 

Load Disconnect Battery Protect 65

Charge DisconnectCyrix-LI-Charge
MonitoringBattery monitoringBMV 712

System Display Color Controller GX

WiFiNano Wifi Module
Solar ChargingMPPT Charge ControllerMPPT 75/15



I have a single 200 Amp Hour Lithium Iron Phosphate Smart Battery from Victron Energy. It is called a smart battery because it has built in Bluetooth and you can talk to it using your phone, even before you open the packing crate it comes in.  

I put a pair of Blue Sea 4017 rubber boots directly on the battery terminals and on the positive terminal I modified one of the boots to allow me to put a Blue Sea 5191 terminal fuse block directly on the terminal and fitted it with a 300 Amp fuse.  These batteries are so powerful that if you were to drop a wrench across the terminals it would be Armageddon

Battery terminals   

Battery Switch

You need a battery switch so you can turn off the system if there is a malfunction, if you want to work on it without it being live, or if you want to put it away in storage without having to worry about it.  I'm using a Blue Sea 6006 battery switch which has a continuous rating of 300 Amps, same rating as the fuse on the battery terminal.  I've taken a tap off the battery side of the battery switch for my "always on" circuits.  More about this later.

Battery switch

Circuit protection

The purpose of circuit protection is to protect the wire, so the circuit protection goes at the power source and is to match the wire size.  Where you drop down a wire size additional circuit protection is needed to match the smaller wire.  

In my case the primary circuit protection is at the battery terminal and my 300 Amp fuse is protecting the 2/0 Battery Cable which has an ampacity of 330 Amps.  I haven't added any additional circuit protection for the inverter because 300 Amps is very close to its power consumption and so the primary fuse is adequate to protect it.  If I had more than one battery in the system I would put a 300 amp fuse in the wire to the Inverter

I have used a Blue Sea 5045 fuse block for my "always on" circuits and each has a 2 Amp fuse.  My "always on" circuits are the BMS (Battery Management System) and the BMV Meter.  I want the BMS to be always on because otherwise the system wont automatically restart when AC power is provided. I want the BMV Meter to be always on because if it went off and was turned back on it would assume the battery was full, even if it wasn't.  If I ever want to put the battery in storage for an extended time I will remove the fuse from these two items, because even very small loads like these will in time run the battery down.  

 I have a Blue Sea 5006 fuse block with a 50 Amp fuse going to the Battery Protect and then a Blue Sea 5035 fuse block for the various other circuits.   

The Battery Protect is rated up to 65 Amps but I don't anticipate needing more power than can be carried by the 50 Amp fuse.  I will use 8 awg wire which has an ampacity of 80 Amps.  Here is a link to the Ampacity Tables  Note I am using marine gauge wire with an insulation rating of 105 deg C.


This is what the inside of the MultiPlus looks like.  They have double terminals for battery positive and negative in case you want to double up on those cables.  To the left of those connections are the AC input and output. Above them are the two VE Bus ports.  Along the bottom row is a bunch of smaller connections that we aren't using in this installation.  A temperature sensor comes with the MultiPlus but we aren't using it in this installation because the battery has its own sensor built in.

Connection area for the MultiPlus

There is one other connection you have to make.  The VE Bus BMS comes with a VE Bus Mains Detector as shown below:
VE Bus mains detector
The purpose of the VE Bus Mains Detector is to wake the system up if it has been shut down for undervoltage.  Even the switch circuit on the MultiPlus uses a tiny bit of power and in the event of a low voltage shutdown even the tiny amount it uses could over time run the battery past its point of no return.  So when the BMS shuts down the system it also shuts down the switch.  The mains detector wakes it all up again.  It comes with some Velcro so you can attach it to the underside of the MultiPlus and it connects into the VE Bus cable.
In my system I have a VE Bus cable going direct from the MultiPlus to the Color Control GX and another going from the MultiPlus to the VE Bus Mains Detector and then to the BMS.


Settings for the BMV 700

Discharge threshold 5% (default was 50%)  This sets the level of discharge that the 'time to go' counter counts to.
Charge efficiency: 99%. 
Peukert: 1.05
Charged voltage 14.1Vdc. (As soon as we reach 14.2 the battery is full.)
These were set using the Bluetooth Dongle although I couldn't find where to enter the discharge threshold so I had to do that the old fashioned way by pushing the buttons on the BMV

BMV Settings screenshot

Settings for the MultiPlus

In the Charger settings:
Check the Lithium Battery box in the VE Connect program and then it prompts you to add the Assistant for the VE Bus BMS
Set the absorption time to 3 hours for the first few cycles then back to 1 hour for subsequent operation
We also  reduced the max allowable charge current so as not to blow any circuit breakers at the boat show.

In the Inverter settings :
Change the Low DC voltage shutdown to 11.5 Volts ( This is a bit higher than when the BMS stops it inverting which is 11.2 Volts)
Change the DC input low pre-alarm to 12 volts
Change the restart voltage to 12.5 Volts
Inverter settings

Charger settings

This is the screenshot of where the charger settings were determined in the VE Configure program.  This was done on a PC connected via the MK3USB to the MultiPlus

Inverter Settings

Here is where we changed the inverter settings.  The whole file along with the Assistants was download all at once to the multi plus

Battery Protect

Set the display to "C" which is Lithium Ion Battery mode

Initialization and start up.

Follow the instruction for precharging the system which involves charging it at a low rate the first time it is used
For multiple batteries charge each one individually first before connecting them together. 

M8 circular connector Male/Female 3 pole extension cable 2m (bag of 2)
I used a shorter than standard RJ12 UTP cable for the BMV meter
Victron Energy VE.Direct Cable 0.3 m long (one each for MPPT and BMV)
Blue Sea 5035 ST Blade Fuse Block for 6 Independent Circuits with terminal jumpers and assorted fuses

This parts list is a bit particular to my demo situation.  In a real life situation some of the parts would probably be beefed up a bit.  As well as the list above I have some assorted lights and a phone charger USB port to use as my demo loads.  And of course as my AC load I have my Victron Energy sign!

Wiring diagram - click to enlarge

I revised the drawing to connect the BMS directly to the Digital Multi Control.  Before I had the digital multi control connected directly to the Color Control GX.  It works wherever you plug it in, but in the event of a low battery shutdown only plugging it directly to the BMS shuts it down.  Because the LED display is quite bright it could use enough power over time to run a discharged battery past its limit, so you need the LED to shut off, and to do that you need to connect it to the BMS directly


The extent of Victron support for other lithium battery systems can be seen here

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