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Lithium Conversions - Don't Destroy your Alternator

Updated: Aug 25, 2023


Lithium Phosphate Batteries (LifePo) solve a lot of the shortcomings of traditional lead based systems. such as full discharge without damage, 3,000+ charge cycles (once a day for 10 years 365x10=3,650), lightweight, non toxic, non flammable, waterproof, 100+ amp charging without boiling or overheating. and an integrated battery management system.


Lifepo batteries run at over 14+ volts so to charge they need higher voltage than traditional alternators can produce safely. AC shore power battery charges typically cant produce the proper voltage profile either. To add to the complexity, with a very few exceptions, lithium batteries do not have the instant surge capacity needed to turn an engine starter and so you still need a traditional engine battery. To correctly make this change you need to increase the voltage from both the Alternator and AC battery charger for the house lithium's and provide the traditional lower voltage to the starter battery simultaneously. If not done correctly the demands and capacities of this 12v system will stress the components beyond their intended safe working parameters resulting in damage and premature failures.


There is a lot of conflicting, confusing, and incorrect "professional" advise on the internet such as how lithium charges work, the need to isolate the starter and house batteries, lithium fire hazards, how standard alternators work, or how to integrate solar to mention a few.


There are configurations that make the lithium transition less financially painful so you can grow your setup over time, or if you want to fully commit then be sure your system is properly designed as there is a lot of room for expensive, inconvenient, or even dangerous failures.

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