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  1. #1
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    Default Portable Lithium Box

    I am on the brink of a Battery Box Build - Everlasting Excitement! (Or just BBB-EE). I started off by reading everything I could lay my hands on for about a year, then went into shopping mode.

    I purchased a 108ah Blue Nova lifepo4, a Victron Orion 12 12 30 dc-to-dc, a Victron SmartSolar MPPT 100/15 pv-to-dc, a Victron IP65 15amp ac-to-dc, a Victron Phoenix 500va inverter, a Victron BMV 712, a Badger 6-way blade fuse splitter, cable, cable cutter, lugs, Victron battery switch, midi fuses, a hex crimper, and perhaps even some other stuff.

    I have three boxes full of goodies, screaming to be assembled, and I am procrastinating (I am a procrastinator).

    I proposed, to myself, and then accepted my proposal, that the battery box will contain the battery (this was an easy decision), all load ouput devices (including the Phoenix), the BMV, output Anderson and various dc sockets, the Badger splitter, and Anderson connectors for the three load input devices.

    These latter three items will reside outside the box, each in their appropriate environment, the Orion in the bakkie, the IP65 wherever a dc source is, the MPPT wherever the box is within 15m of sun.

    The box will be used to service our (SWAMBO and I only) bakkie camping requirements, as well as our loadshed tv, dstv and pc requirements (fervently hoping that a 400w inverter is up to this).

    For info, we are both (just) on the far side of 60, and are gently entering the camping game. I traded my 10 year old Disco 4 V8 for a new Legend 50 2.8 Extra Cab during the discount madness last year when the new Hilux was on the horizon. I have a Metallian canopy, and the box will go in there. We run a 40l Engel fridge, and have no fancy requirements.

    That's the background, and I have a ton of questions before I start the build, which will be documented, and perhaps turned into a major movie starring Brad Pitt and Jennifer Anniston.
    Leon Smith
    2020 Toyota Hilux XtraCab 2.8 4x4
    Fiat 500 0.9l turbo flattie

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Portable Lithium Box

    Here are the Victron components:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Leon Smith
    2020 Toyota Hilux XtraCab 2.8 4x4
    Fiat 500 0.9l turbo flattie

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  5. #3
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    Default Re: Portable Lithium Box

    The Anderson plugs and housing, busbars and isolators, and blade-fuse splitter:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Leon Smith
    2020 Toyota Hilux XtraCab 2.8 4x4
    Fiat 500 0.9l turbo flattie

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  7. #4
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    Default Re: Portable Lithium Box

    Cable, accessories and and tools:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Leon Smith
    2020 Toyota Hilux XtraCab 2.8 4x4
    Fiat 500 0.9l turbo flattie

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  9. #5
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    Default Re: Portable Lithium Box

    And beating heart:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Leon Smith
    2020 Toyota Hilux XtraCab 2.8 4x4
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  11. #6
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    Default Re: Portable Lithium Box

    My first question: must the output from the inverter go through a circuit breaker before terminating at a socket? Why, and what? Thanks!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Leon Smith
    2020 Toyota Hilux XtraCab 2.8 4x4
    Fiat 500 0.9l turbo flattie

  12. #7
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    Default Re: Portable Lithium Box

    My second question: what must I do with the earth connection (bottom right)? All negative wires return to their respective originating component.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Leon Smith
    2020 Toyota Hilux XtraCab 2.8 4x4
    Fiat 500 0.9l turbo flattie

  13. #8
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    Default Re: Portable Lithium Box

    Subscribed. Looking forward to your build.

    I have a similar project in mind, with the below in mind (I already have this in the Hilux semi-fixed).

    200AH LiFePo4
    Victron Orion Tr Smart 12/30
    Victron 75/15 MPPT solar controller
    BMV 712
    Victron Phoenix Inverter 12/500

    My idea is to include the battery, all wiring and fuse box inside, with the Orion and MPPT on the outside. The Orion especially needs ventilation and I don't want the heat to be transmitted to the battery. I will treat the Victron Phoenix 500VA separately not to make the box too heavy.

    The idea of the Box is to easily transfer this between Hilux and FJ. The long-term plan is to add solar blankets, but these are still quite expensive and I have many panels at home.
    Last edited by DCTheron; 2021/05/03 at 10:48 AM. Reason: BMV added
    Dirk Theron - Life's a journey, enjoy the ride!
    18 Land Cruiser FJ - build to play
    19 Hilux 2.8 GD-6 Auto 4x4 - my best overland build ever
    2013 LC 200 4.6 Petrol V8 - Ex. The best car I have owned, apart from its thirst
    2014 LC 79 V8 - Ex
    2001 LC 105 4.5 EFI - Ex
    2013 FJ Cruiser - Ex
    1996 LC 80 UK spec VX 4.5 EFI auto - Ex
    2001 Jeep TJ 4L - Ex
    2006 Jeep Cherokee - Ex
    1989 LC Bundera 1KZ-TE 3L auto - Ex
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  15. #9
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    Default Re: Portable Lithium Box

    Hi Leons,

    Regarding your second question, you can have a look on Victron's website (https://www.victronenergy.com/invert...tem-schematics) where they provide possible installation schematics, showing all the cable runs.
    '15 Opel Platkar

    '12 Triton 3.2 DID D/cab 4x4 - sadly sold and dearly missed


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  17. #10
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    Default Re: Portable Lithium Box

    Quote Originally Posted by leons View Post
    My first question: must the output from the inverter go through a circuit breaker before terminating at a socket? Why, and what? Thanks!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Page 1 of manual says:
    The AC output is isolated from the DC input and the chassis. Local regulations may require a true neutral. In this case one of the AC output wires must be connected to the chassis, and the chassis must be connected to a reliable ground. Please note that a true neutral is needed to ensure correct operation of an earth leakage circuit breaker.

    Quote Originally Posted by leons View Post
    My second question: what must I do with the earth connection (bottom right)? All negative wires return to their respective originating component.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    See Pages 12-13 of the manual.

    https://www.victronenergy.com/upload...R-DE-ES-IT.pdf
    Political Correctness
    Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional illogical minority, rabidly promoted by a unscrupulous mainstream media which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd ... by the clean end!

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  19. #11
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    Default Re: Portable Lithium Box

    I will treat the Victron Phoenix 500VA separately not to make the box too heavy.
    Thanks for this Dirk. You've made me consider a small design tweak to make the the upper box (with inverter) a detachable part of the lower one.

    Would you connect the two with an Anderson connector?
    Leon Smith
    2020 Toyota Hilux XtraCab 2.8 4x4
    Fiat 500 0.9l turbo flattie

  20. #12
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    Default Re: Portable Lithium Box

    The AC output is isolated from the DC input and the chassis. Local regulations may require a true neutral. In this case one of the AC output wires must be connected to the chassis, and the chassis must be connected to a reliable ground. Please note that a true neutral is needed to ensure correct operation of an earth leakage circuit breaker.
    Thanks The_Terrible_Triplett. Does this mean that the portability of such a box is limited by a physical copper cable connection from AC output to a physical part of the chassis of the bakkie?
    Leon Smith
    2020 Toyota Hilux XtraCab 2.8 4x4
    Fiat 500 0.9l turbo flattie

  21. #13
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    Default Re: Portable Lithium Box

    This is DANGEROUS territory. VERY.

    If the battery box is going to be used in a vehicle or a trailer/camper, in other words mobile. DO NOT CONNECT any of the two 230V AC outputs to anything. No earth, no bat neg, no campsite Neutral/Earth, niks, nada. The should stay floating relative to the real world and the whole normal concept of L-N-E with Earth Leakage goes flying out the door.

    The inverter output should only be connected to the appliance/appliances that it is going to be driving. And even then these should preferably be double insulated 2 Pin appliances.

    ---------------------------------

    At home, don't connect to the DB board. If you do, get an electrician to do it for you and issue a COC. At home treat it like a camping system. ie plug your appliances directly into the inverter. (via an extension card if necessary.

    ----------------------------------

    Disclaimer - This is what I would do, proceed at your own peril.
    Cheers

    ZS5KAD
    3 Land Rover V8's
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    If you fly or drive to an anti-Fracking meeting, you have no business being there and you wont get my ear......

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  23. #14
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    Default Re: Portable Lithium Box

    Quote Originally Posted by leons View Post
    Thanks for this Dirk. You've made me consider a small design tweak to make the the upper box (with inverter) a detachable part of the lower one.

    Would you connect the two with an Anderson connector?
    If one do the sums then yes an Anderson will work, i.e 500VA / 12V = ~42A and the Anderson plug is rated 50A.
    Dirk Theron - Life's a journey, enjoy the ride!
    18 Land Cruiser FJ - build to play
    19 Hilux 2.8 GD-6 Auto 4x4 - my best overland build ever
    2013 LC 200 4.6 Petrol V8 - Ex. The best car I have owned, apart from its thirst
    2014 LC 79 V8 - Ex
    2001 LC 105 4.5 EFI - Ex
    2013 FJ Cruiser - Ex
    1996 LC 80 UK spec VX 4.5 EFI auto - Ex
    2001 Jeep TJ 4L - Ex
    2006 Jeep Cherokee - Ex
    1989 LC Bundera 1KZ-TE 3L auto - Ex
    1996 Nissan Sani DC 4x4 - Ex

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  25. #15
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    Default Re: Portable Lithium Box

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    This is DANGEROUS territory. VERY.

    If the battery box is going to be used in a vehicle or a trailer/camper, in other words mobile. DO NOT CONNECT any of the two 230V AC outputs to anything. No earth, no bat neg, no campsite Neutral/Earth, niks, nada. The should stay floating relative to the real world and the whole normal concept of L-N-E with Earth Leakage goes flying out the door.

    The inverter output should only be connected to the appliance/appliances that it is going to be driving. And even then these should preferably be double insulated 2 Pin appliances.

    ---------------------------------

    At home, don't connect to the DB board. If you do, get an electrician to do it for you and issue a COC. At home treat it like a camping system. ie plug your appliances directly into the inverter. (via an extension card if necessary.

    ----------------------------------

    Disclaimer - This is what I would do, proceed at your own peril.
    This is exactly what I do.

    Added: I only use the inverter whilst stationary to charge various batteries (radio, cellphones, etc) for instance. Thick and short cables from aux battery to inverter, from there a short AC lead.
    Last edited by DCTheron; 2021/05/03 at 02:59 PM. Reason: Additional info
    Dirk Theron - Life's a journey, enjoy the ride!
    18 Land Cruiser FJ - build to play
    19 Hilux 2.8 GD-6 Auto 4x4 - my best overland build ever
    2013 LC 200 4.6 Petrol V8 - Ex. The best car I have owned, apart from its thirst
    2014 LC 79 V8 - Ex
    2001 LC 105 4.5 EFI - Ex
    2013 FJ Cruiser - Ex
    1996 LC 80 UK spec VX 4.5 EFI auto - Ex
    2001 Jeep TJ 4L - Ex
    2006 Jeep Cherokee - Ex
    1989 LC Bundera 1KZ-TE 3L auto - Ex
    1996 Nissan Sani DC 4x4 - Ex

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  27. #16
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    Default Re: Portable Lithium Box

    Problems like the above send cold shivers up my spine, and are why I am rather against Mains Inverters in portable systems. With these systems, the whole concept of L - E - N flies out the door. Both connections are neither Live nor Neutral. OR alternatively both are live, depends how you look at it.

    The 230V AC's relationship to Earth or Ground depends on the Inverters architecture. Depending of the manufacturer, the mains can be truly floating, established by galvanic isolation components inside, or one of the mains leads may be "tied" to battery Pos or Neg. Chassis or ground is anybodies guess.

    ------------------------------

    The main problem comes in when there is a fault somewhere, usually in the wiring or an appliance. You really dont want to be in a vehicle where the vehicle is connected to one of the mains connections and the body of a kettle connected to the other. This is the sort of thing that can happen when a metal kettles element goes faulty, hence my advise previously on only double insulated appliances (ie plastic kettle)
    Cheers

    ZS5KAD
    3 Land Rover V8's
    NA - TwinTurbo - SuperCharged
    A V6 and an inline 4

    If you fly or drive to an anti-Fracking meeting, you have no business being there and you wont get my ear......

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  29. #17
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    Default Re: Portable Lithium Box

    Quote Originally Posted by leons View Post
    Thanks The_Terrible_Triplett. Does this mean that the portability of such a box is limited by a physical copper cable connection from AC output to a physical part of the chassis of the bakkie?
    What Fluffy said.

    Fixed installation, my bad, was meant to be at home as a off-grid setup, permanently set up, being a Phoenix.

    Vehicles, Victron have schematic for vehicle installs.

    https://www.victronenergy.com/upload...D-INVERTER.pdf

    https://community.victronenergy.com/...c-drawing.html

    https://www.victronenergy.com/blog/2...n-van-install/

    Ideally you want to speak to a Victron installer, 4x4 electrical installer, that knows all the ins and outs of Victron and vehicle installs.
    Last edited by the_terrible_triplett; 2021/05/03 at 02:46 PM.
    Political Correctness
    Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional illogical minority, rabidly promoted by a unscrupulous mainstream media which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd ... by the clean end!

    Saw this in a pub - no idea why the wife does not see it so:
    I'm not opinionated ... I'm just always right!

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  31. #18
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    Default Re: Portable Lithium Box

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    This is DANGEROUS territory. VERY.

    If the battery box is going to be used in a vehicle or a trailer/camper, in other words mobile. DO NOT CONNECT any of the two 230V AC outputs to anything. No earth, no bat neg, no campsite Neutral/Earth, niks, nada. The should stay floating relative to the real world and the whole normal concept of L-N-E with Earth Leakage goes flying out the door.

    The inverter output should only be connected to the appliance/appliances that it is going to be driving. And even then these should preferably be double insulated 2 Pin appliances.

    ---------------------------------

    At home, don't connect to the DB board. If you do, get an electrician to do it for you and issue a COC. At home treat it like a camping system. ie plug your appliances directly into the inverter. (via an extension card if necessary.

    ---------------------------------

    Disclaimer - This is what I would do, proceed at your own peril.
    Thank you very much Fluffy! This is exactly what I'll do. And you're quite right, I do wish to treat loadshedding as another camping exercise. The box will not be anywhere near mains, but parked next to the TV as if in a tent. I really don't understand AC L-N-E and leakage, and would very much like to read up more about it. Do you have any suggestions for a dummy's guide?
    Leon Smith
    2020 Toyota Hilux XtraCab 2.8 4x4
    Fiat 500 0.9l turbo flattie

  32. #19
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    Default Re: Portable Lithium Box

    My design with similar components. All on the box excluding Orion DCDC.
    All chargers +ve to the battery +ve via fuse

    All loads from Out on battery protect ( including Phoenix remote supply which will disconnect inverter via remote - Phoenix must be connected directly to battery not Battery protect).

    All -ve to Smartshunt Out.

    VE Connect Smart Dongle to Phoenix for VE connect

    Fun project - I used marine ply.
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    Last edited by Rain Hard; 2021/05/07 at 09:32 AM.

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  34. #20
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    Default Re: Portable Lithium Box

    My design with similar components. All on the box excluding Orion DCDC.
    All chargers +ve to the battery +ve via fuse
    Thanks Rain Hard. That's a nice looking box, well put together.

    What does VE direct do? Is it the box next to the shunt?

    Also, I see you're using one of the remote switch connections on the Phoenix. How does that work?
    Leon Smith
    2020 Toyota Hilux XtraCab 2.8 4x4
    Fiat 500 0.9l turbo flattie

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