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Use the form on the right to send us an email OR phone sales on 1300 795 327. 

46 Main Western Road
Tamborine Mountain, QLD 4272
info@deepcyclesystems.com.au
Tel: 1300-795-327 (Sales)

Technical Support +61 420 684 092

Monday – Friday 8:00am – 5pm
Saturday 8.00am – 1pm

46 Main Western Road
North Tamborine, QLD, 4272

1300 797 327

Deep Cycle Systems is a Lithium Battery manufacturer supplying battery storage systems for marine, recreational vehicles and the renewable energy sector.  

Blog

Deep Cycle Systems - Informative Articles.

How much does your lifestyle rely on a stable power grid?

Paul Tomolowicz

If you, like the customer below also work from home, then that reliability is absolute, and until something goes wrong it’s probably not something you have spent a lot of time thinking about.

One of our latest customers, located in Cockatoo, Victoria had the unfortunate luck to be thinking about his power supply all too often. Whilst trying to run a business from home, the grid power supply was regularly dropping in and out on a weekly basis. And every time it did, the automated home appliances reset. The computer. Internet. Lights. Clocks. All reset. So whether it was 3am when it happened, causing all the lights in the home to switch on, or 2 in the afternoon whilst in the middle of a Skype call, the inconvenience and stress it caused was beyond frustrating.

The all too regular power surging also has a negative effect on the service life of major appliances. An intermittent power supply = a reduced life span.

power companies

So this customer reached out to DCS for help. His biggest motivator in contacting us and others, was ensuring a seamless power supply for his home/business. He had already obtained another quote from a major competitor, however that company was not willing to guarantee the performance of their system. DCS will never install a system we don’t stand 100% behind.

The site itself was a little tricky, as the home was surrounded by trees which threw a fair amount of shade on the house. However Paul from DCS was able to ascertain the optimal placement of solar panels to gain the most yield using a sun path analysis tool. 

 Sun path analysis tool used to determine the optimum PV array size

Sun path analysis tool used to determine the optimum PV array size

What is the solution?

A UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) grid interactive (hybrid) solar system from DCS. 

Using our latest PV Series Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries which provide unsurpassed cyclic life coupled with our DCS 5kW BMU - Multi Mode Battery Inverter which provides the UPS capabilities.

 DCS PV 10.0W LFP Battery managed by a DCS 5kW BMU (Multi Mode Battery Inverter)

DCS PV 10.0W LFP Battery managed by a DCS 5kW BMU (Multi Mode Battery Inverter)

DCS designed and installed a UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) grid interactive (hybrid) solar system. 

This customers UPS / solar system comprises of the following;

- 1 x SolarEdge SE8000H PV Inverter (HD WAVE)

- 1 x DCS 5kW BMU (Multi Mode Battery Inverter) 

- 7.8kw of LG NeonR 325W Monocrystalline PV panels

- SolarEdge DC voltage optimised array (due to heavy shading) 

- 1 x DCS PV series 10.0W (10.24kwh usable storage) LFP battery

- Automatic UPS change over infrastructure

- Reconfigured switch board with load split for normal and backup power circuits

This UPS Hybrid solar system is configured to allow a defined percentage guaranteed for backup purposes (so no more intermittent power) with the balance of the battery storage dedicated for grid interactivity to minimise grid usage. Of course when the battery pack is fully charged the system exports any surplus to the grid on top of what can't be consumed by household loads. Thereby putting more money in your pocket.

How does the system perform post installation?

  • During the month of SEPT it is already able to produce over 23kWh per day

  • With peak PV production just shy of 5kW

solarEdge_cockatoo.png
LG Neon R 325W PV panels

Off road reliability with Deep Cycle Systems (DCS)

Paul Tomolowicz

If waking up to the sound of kookaburras in the early hours is preferable to the drone of traffic, then you are no doubt someone who appreciates getting away from it all. And the further the better. For most people this will mean loading up the 4WD and driving far far away from the noise and lights of the city. The potential downside to this however would be being far far away from services and help should you need it. A remote location, with hard to access points is not somewhere you want to be if you need help. So you need to have complete trust in your vehicle and accessories.

The challenges of off roading are many. Thankfully with a DCS 12V or 24V battery under your bonnet, battery performance and reliability will not be one of them.

DCS FJ Cruiser

Of course not all batteries are created the same. The most common battery cell technology for vehicles is AGM (absorbed glass mat). However those in the know are using the more advanced DCS LiFePO4 technology. With advantages in durability, reliability, safety and being a quarter of the weight and six times the service life of an AGM battery. Not to mention the fact that you don’t need any fancy DC-DC chargers. You can read more about the under bonnet performance between DCS LFP and AGM here: 

http://www.deepcyclesystems.com.au/blog-lithium-charger-battery-marine-solar/2017/8/20/the-ultimate-dcs-12v-dual-battery-setup-for-your-4wd-detailed-analysis-of-under-bonnet-applications

Of course its easy to say that our batteries are the best - I mean why wouldn’t we. But the fact of the matter is the numbers don’t lie. So lets take a look at them.

One DCS LFP battery will do the job of 3 top of the range AGMs. The amount of usable energy of a DCS LFP battery is 100% Depth of Discharge (DOD), compared to around 30% with most AGMs - note that some suppliers will state this number to be 50% but that is misleading as this would reduce the lifespan of that battery significantly. So to keep comparisons fair, we are going with a generous number of 30% even though most manufactures recommend to only do 20% DOD. 

DCS LFP Vs AGM.png

DCS LFP batteries have up to 6 times the lifespan of AGMs.

So 1 DCS LFP battery will do the job of 18 AGMs over the course of its life.

DCS LFP Vs AGM

Now those 3 AGMs under your bonnet would weigh in at around 81kgs.

The 1 DCS LFP battery needed to replace those 3 batteries weighs just 14kg.

That’s a weight saving of 66kgs.

DCS LFP Vs AGM

 

An average 12V 100AH AGM battery will set you back around $340.

A DCS 12V 100AH battery will cost you $1199.

So when you consider that you need 3 AGMs to get the equivalent amount of usable energy as 1 DCS, and that over the course of its life you will need to replace those 3 AGM batteries 6 times, that $300 is actually more like $6,000.

 

So by investing an extra couple of hundred dollars at the start by buying a quality DCS battery you will save over $4,200 dollars in the long run! 

Deep Cycle Systems 12V and 24V batteries have the proven reliability you need to go wherever you want.

With extreme vibration resistance (tested to military standards 514.6) a superior service life, top of the range cell chemistry, reliability and safety as key components, your off road adventures will be limited only by your imagination.

Shakira’s hips don’t lie and neither do these numbers. Install a DCS battery and set off on your off road adventure today.

shakira_hips.jpg

Are you thinking about upgrading your boat batteries to the superior technology of lithium? Here’s how DCS make it a breeze. Upgrading a Jeanneau 39i.

Paul Tomolowicz

Alex contacted DCS back in August ’17 enquiring about what would be involved in upgrading to the DCS 12V marine range of batteries.  It’s a question we get asked all the time.  The short answer is they would be a direct drop in replacement and there would be nothing that would need to be changed.  However, to get the most out of the battery upgrade, we always take a detailed look over the existing setup and make any worthwhile improvements to best enhance the performance of a DCS lithium batteries.  

Alex’s existing setup was;

- 3 x 105Ah AGM house batteries (which only provided a usable capacity of around 95Ah, being 30% of 315Ah and totalled 108KGs)

- 2 x 150W solar panels (300W total) 

- 2 x 10Amp solar regulators

- Charging the house batteries directly from the engines 80Amp alternator

- Cristec CPS2 12V 40Amp mains/shore charger 

- Cristec RCE electronic dual battery isolator (for isolation of starting and house batteries) 

This is a pretty typical electrical setup for boats of this size.

Jeanneau DCS batteries

Another request that Alex had was that he didn’t want to be spending thousands on a wind turbine and wanted DCS to ensure that the battery and solar system could cater for all his power needs, even during overcast cloudy conditions. 

With a great platform in place the upgrades consisted of;

- 3 x DCS 12V 100Ah batteries

- 2 x LG Neon R 360W solar panels (720W total)   

- 1 x Votronic MPP430 marine and lithium spec solar regulator (31.5Amp)

- 1 x Votronic LCD remote display monitor 

- 1 x 60Amp low voltage disconnect

 Removing the old AGM batteries wasn’t as straight forward a task as usual, as they had already started degassing and leaking lead acid everywhere.

Removing the old AGM batteries wasn’t as straight forward a task as usual, as they had already started degassing and leaking lead acid everywhere.

 The acid was eating the timber floor and this needed to be cleaned and neutralised before the new batteries could be installed.  Otherwise you run the risk of the acid eating away the new battery cases.    

The acid was eating the timber floor and this needed to be cleaned and neutralised before the new batteries could be installed.  Otherwise you run the risk of the acid eating away the new battery cases.    

 CRC Battery Maintenance spray, neutralises the acid corrosion.  

CRC Battery Maintenance spray, neutralises the acid corrosion.  

 Once the lead acid clean up was completed, the new 3 x DCS 12V 100Ah batteries had been installed and connected in parallel.  Unlike some lithium batteries on the market the DCS Lithium Iron 12V batteries can be connected in parallel and series. 

Once the lead acid clean up was completed, the new 3 x DCS 12V 100Ah batteries had been installed and connected in parallel.  Unlike some lithium batteries on the market the DCS Lithium Iron 12V batteries can be connected in parallel and series. 

 2 x LG Neon R 360W solar panels (720W total).  Marine spec frames ideal for boats. 

2 x LG Neon R 360W solar panels (720W total).  Marine spec frames ideal for boats. 

Under complete overcast rainy conditions the new solar system was producing 18Amps!  The solar system will ensure the batteries are fully charged during sunlight hours, ready for evening service.  With moderate overnight loads such as fridge, lighting, TV and communications we would expect the batteries to be fully charged by around 10am every day and certainly no need for a wind turbine.  There is also a nice piece of mind knowing that for long distance night passages there is now plenty of reserve capacity in the batteries for navigation and auto pilot equipment.  Usable storage has tripled from 95Ah with the AGM's to 285Ah with the DCS lithium's.         

 The Votronic MPP 430 marine spec solar regulator also features a dedicated engine battery charging circuit to ensure a maintenance charge is applied to the lead acid cranking battery thereby extending its service life.  

The Votronic MPP 430 marine spec solar regulator also features a dedicated engine battery charging circuit to ensure a maintenance charge is applied to the lead acid cranking battery thereby extending its service life.  

 The Votronic remote LCD screen was installed inside the cockpit, which at a glance provides solar power generation (as seen 6.7A), battery voltage and %SOC.  The Votronic regulators are fan forced and so provide reliable long term power output and have a 98% true MPPT conversion efficiency.    

The Votronic remote LCD screen was installed inside the cockpit, which at a glance provides solar power generation (as seen 6.7A), battery voltage and %SOC.  The Votronic regulators are fan forced and so provide reliable long term power output and have a 98% true MPPT conversion efficiency.    

 The 60Amp low voltage disconnect, will disable all 12V loads at 11.5V should the batteries approach 5%SOC (95% empty).  That way the engine can be started to apply a quick charge directly from the alternator OR wait for sunlight hours to automatically resume charging.  However, it would be very rare to ever see this device ever activated.  

The 60Amp low voltage disconnect, will disable all 12V loads at 11.5V should the batteries approach 5%SOC (95% empty).  That way the engine can be started to apply a quick charge directly from the alternator OR wait for sunlight hours to automatically resume charging.

However, it would be very rare to ever see this device ever activated.  

Jeanneau 39i with DCS Lithium batteries and solar system

Complete battery management solutions for DCS 12V lithium Ion batteries

Paul Tomolowicz

To have all your eggs in one - basket or not?  DCS has been designing and supplying boat and RV manufactures in Australia and overseas for many years with our lithium battery solutions.  DCS has actually been involved in the product development of our industry leading 48V 5kW BMU which is an hybrid and off grid battery management unit with an isolated transformer design, with UPS transfer and other software and hardware smarts that rival that of leading european manufacturers - so yes we do know a thing or two about both hardware and software charging equipment and solar MPPT’s (Maximum Point Power Tracking).    

Integrated Battery Management Systems (BMS) are a great idea for space critical installations.  However with most consumer electronics when it comes to space saving options it also usually means a compromise on the selection of internal electronic components, overall performance and long term reliability.  Also with this all eggs in one basket centralised design approach should one component fail you’ll need to part with the entire unit for repair or replacement.  

Some integrated lithium 30Amp battery management systems, can cost upwards of $2,000 AUD and can’t even recover lithium batteries, even though they state they are designed to manage lithium ion batteries.  It’s important that lithium profile based chargers have the capabilities to recover lithium batteries, so that in the event the batteries internal BMS shuts the battery down to protect it from under voltage conditions the charger must be able to wake up and resume charging the batteries as soon as possible to avoid permanent damage being sustained by the cells.    

What does a typical 30Amp BMS do? 

- 12V DC-DC in vehicle charging

- 240V AC mains charging 

- MPPT solar regulator charging (1 tracker) 

- Dual battery isolator  

- Load disconnect 

 

A combined maximum of only 30Amps of charging current can be utilised from all 3 power inputs (vehicle, mains & solar).  These chargers do not provide maintenance charging to the engine cranking battery, so for long term 240V mains connections there is no maintenance charge of engine batteries.  Most of these chargers also feature a low MPPT voltage range, which also limits solar panel selection.         

So what do we like to supply and install for our customers RV’s and boats at DCS?  3 carefully selected and proven components for each of the 3 charging sources (vehicle, mains & solar) a decentralised approach;     

- Enerdrive DC2DC 40Amp for in vehicle charging and automatic battery isolation from engine battery 

- Votronic 31.5Amp MPPT solar regulator (high efficiency 98%) with remote LCD display screen 

- DCS-LFP-1260 240V mains charger 60Amps (correct recovery capabilities of lithium ion batteries) 

- 60Amp low voltage disconnect (VSR) load disconnect 

Total costs $1,443 AUD.

 

Let’s take a closer look at the overall battery management system design and performance.  Unlike the all integrated BMS the DCS solution is able to push all combined charging currents simultaneously to the batteries for a much faster recharge time.  For example if there is a need to fire up a genset you can push 60Amps + 40Amps from the vehicle that’s a combined current of 100Amps.  Or if your running the engine 40Amps and sufficient sun power is available 40Amps + 30Amps = 70Amps.  Or if you really needed to top up the batteries fast you can run the genset (60A) + vehicle (40A) + solar (30A) = maximum combined charging current of 130Amps.  

“Isn’t 130Amps way too much charging current, won’t that damage the batteries?”  Not at all, the latest generation of 12V DCS batteries are able to be recharged at up to 150Amps continuously without hurting the battery cells.  For example running 2 x DCS-12V-100Ah batteries, totals 12V @ 200Ah.  Charging at 130Amps is only a 0.65C charge rate which is fine for our batteries.  Remember these are absolute maximum’s in perfect conditions, which is very rare.  

What else does the system do?  The German made and manufactured Votronic MPPT solar regulator also features a dedicated charger output circuit for the engine/cranking battery.  So it will maintenance charge and keep it topped up, increasing the batteries lifespan and ensuring it’s ready for cranking.  Automatic compensation of voltage losses on the charging cables.  It also features automatic AES (Automatic Energy Selector) mode which triggers Electrolux & Dometic brands of fridges to switch from LPG operation to 12V operation should the batteries be fully charged and excess solar power available (saving LPG).  As well as a very neat slim line remote LCD display screen that provides accurate battery voltage and solar charging current.

Votronic 31.5Amp solar MPPT regulator
Votronic LCD display

What is our choice of solar panels for marine/boat applications you might be wondering?  We'll it's the LG NEON-2 360W panels, which are a 1700mm x 1000mm 60 cell module.  Featuring unbelievably high 20.8% module efficiency, 25 year warranty, robust dual channel frame for superior rigidity and cyclone wind load resistance (5400 pascals) with a thick black powder coated frame that has far superior corrosion resistance compared with regular aluminium frames.  The panels are of course monocrystalline with an excellent temperature coefficient, so they keep powering on even during extremely high temperature and humidity conditions.               

LG NEON 2 solar panels

The DCS-LFP-1260 240V mains charger is a high performance charger with 60Amps steady charging current output and auto resume charging to keep the DCS lithium batteries at optimum levels when connected to mains for prolonged periods of time.  The charger can also correctly recover DCS batteries by applying a low current should they accidentally be fully emptied and will resume full power charging once the batteries voltages are restored to normal levels.  Backed by a 3 year replacement warranty.  Also available in a 24V model the DCS-LFP-2445.            

DCS-LFP-1260 Lithium Mains Charger

Dual MPPT trackers, the Enerdrive DC2DC also features a 600W MPPT PV input so if you needed to run any additional portable solar panels when free camping you can easily plug additional solar panels in via an anderson plug connection.

Enerdrive 40Amp DC2DC

 

When failure is not an option use only DCS 12V lithium ion batteries.  

The Ultimate DCS 12V Dual Battery Setup for your 4WD! Detailed analysis of under bonnet applications.

Paul Tomolowicz

We get asked all the time, is it okay to install the DCS lithium batteries under vehicle bonnets?  In short yes absolutely.  Why wouldn’t you when the DCS LFP cells have a wider operating temperature range compared with AGM cells are safer more robust and less likely to degas at extreme temperatures and have a significantly longer lifespan.  Let us further elaborate below on the facts.         

AGM cells have been traditionally used for high cold cranking amp requirements as they have good cold temperature characteristics compared to other lead acid cells.  However on the flip side they don’t like the heat.  AGM’s and other sealed type batteries (SLA or VRLA) do not like heat and should be installed away from engine compartments.  Manufacturers actually recommend to stop charging when the batteries are subject to temperatures above 50 degrees C as the cells degrade significantly with temperatures already above 25 Degrees C.

Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4 or LFP) cells have a significantly higher cycle life than AGM cells especially under deep cycle discharge applications.   The disparity is further increased as ambient temperatures increase.  The cycle life of each chemistry can be increased by limiting the depth of discharge (DoD), discharge rate, and temperature, but lead acid is much more sensitive to each of these factors.

The below graph shows the capacity retention % Vs cycle life of AGM cells and Lithium LFP cells, when subject to moderate/normal temperatures (25 Degrees C).  Which is also the temperature at which manufacturers specify their cell capacities.  

 AGM Vs LFP at 25 Degrees C.

AGM Vs LFP at 25 Degrees C.

As cycle life is influenced by the depth of discharge, the figure shows multiple DOD percentages for the lead acid.  It can be seen that the AGM pack must be limited to a 30% depth of discharge to get comparable life to a lithium-ion that is at 75% depth of discharge.  This means that the AGM battery must be 2.5 times larger in capacity than the lithium-ion to get comparable life at normal temperatures.  

Generally speaking at DCS we usually tell customers to work on a 2:1 ratio.  For every 200Ah of AGM battery you only need 100Ah of DCS LFP for similar usable storage.  So what happens under extreme under bonnet temperatures you must be wondering?  Thing certainly do heat up. 

The below graph shows average temperatures of 50 Degrees C.  The disparity between AGM and LFP is further exacerbated.    

 AGM Vs LFP at 50 Degrees C.

AGM Vs LFP at 50 Degrees C.

It can be seen that the AGM pack even when limited to a 30% depth of discharge (DOD) can only do around 1700 cycles with 60% capacity retention.  The lithium-ion cell that is cycling all the way down to a 75% depth of discharge is capable of 2000 cycles with a 80% capacity retention.  The AGM cell would need to be limited to around 5% DOD to have a chance.  This means that the AGM battery must be at least 4 times larger in capacity than the lithium-ion to get comparable life at these extreme temperatures.    

So why have so many 4WD enthusiast been installing AGM batteries under bonnets for years?  And complaining about the terrible lifespan? Is it a lack of knowledge or misleading information being passed on by those national based battery retailers?  One can only speculate, but at least now there is a superior deep cycle 12V battery on the market the DCS 12V lithium batteries. 

Just to clear up some myths; 

1. It is a myth that LFP (Lithium Iron Phosphate) batteries are more dangerous under extreme temperatures.  In fact it’s the exact opposite.  LFP cells have a much wider, safer and robust operating temperature range as can be seen in the above graphs.   

2. Apparently LFP batteries cannot be connected directly to vehicle alternators as there is a possibility of overcharging the battery on a long drive.  The DCS LFP batteries have an internal BMS (Battery Management System) even if the voltage regulator malfunctions in the alternator there is no possibility of overcharging the DCS batteries on long drives.  Most modern vehicles are now fitted with “smart alternators” and these are even better for the DCS 12V batteries as they will maintain a lower overall voltage on the battery packs which will only further improve the lifespan.  Remember from the graphs above "The cycle life of each chemistry can be increased by limiting the depth of discharge (DoD)”.  A smart alternator does exactly that by limiting the charging voltages to conserve fuel.       

So why are the DCS 12V 75Ah batteries so popular for under bonnet applications?  It’s because under extreme bonnet temperatures a single DCS 12V 75Ah battery can deliver similar usable energy to that of a AGM 12V 300Ah battery.  With significantly less weight and room.  You don’t need huge 100Ah & 120Ah batteries under your bonnet.

 

Recently we upgraded a Mitsubishi Challenger 2014 dual battery system.  The customer arrived with;

- 1 x Optima D34 cranking battery

- 1 x Ultimate 120Ah AGM deep cycle battery 

- RedArc Isolator with externally mounted switch 

- Total weight: 20KGs + 35KGs = 55KGs.      

Chocablock packed in there.  The customer was complaining that the cranking battery was struggling after only 2 years and he had the override switch on most of the time to crank off both batteries.  With what you have just learned, that is no surprise is it?  Also the amount of space the batteries had been taking up the engine cooling performance would have been significantly reduced due a lack of air flow and the under bonnet temperatures would have been at extreme levels.    

Old school dual battery setup

We removed both batteries and replaced with 2 x DCS 12V 75Ah batteries.  One for engine cranking and one for auxiliary deep cycling.  Is that enough power?  Absolutely.  With 750CCA these little batteries will easily crank over even the largest of V8 turbo diesels.

- 2 x DCS 12V 75Ah batteries

- Matson 140Amp Dual Battery isolator with integrated switch 

 The ultimate DCS 12V dual battery setup. 

The ultimate DCS 12V dual battery setup. 

With the isolation cut off voltage being 12.8V means that the cranking battery will be able to deep cycle down to around 80% of it’s capacity before it’s isolated.  At 12.8V the battery will crank over the engine.  So with the auxiliary 75Ah + cranking 60Ah (80% DOD) = 135Ah of combined usable storage.  For deep cycle accessories as a dual battery setup this actually more than doubled the existing AGM battery setup which only had a storage capacity of 120Ah with 50% being usable = 60Ah.

135Ah usable storage with the lithium's Vs only 60Ah with the AGM's.  

Overall weight dropped from 55KGs to only 20KGs.  That’s a weight saving of 35KGs off the nose of the vehicle which will keep the suspension happier.   

The DCS batteries are connected directly to the alternator which allows the batteries to swallow everything the factory 80Amp alternator can provide, which would be a maximum of around 60-70Amps.  These batteries can recharge super fast and are designed to be able to recharge at a continuous 100Amps. 

With the superior lifespan of the DCS LFP cells we don’t expect to see this customer again for at least the next 10 years. Or maybe his grandchildren if this beast of a tourer gets handed down.     

DCS Mitsubishi Challenger