If you’ve followed our blog for a while, you know by now that we’re rolling with a 420 Amp Hour Lithium battery in our motorhome. Maybe I’ve even mentioned that the battery is from Lithionics. Well, we’re 6 months or more in with that battery now, and it shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, we’re at a serviced campground right now, and I HAVEN’T EVEN BOTHERED TO HOOK UP THE ELECTRICITY. Our battery is so solid that most days, even pulling out the electrical cord is more trouble than it’s worth.
So when we were in Tampa recently for the Florida RV SuperShow, we couldn’t resist the urge to drive across the bay, eat some seafood by the water, and head over to Lithionics’ facility in Clearwater. There, we met CEO Stephen Tartaglia, and he took us on a tour. Have a look:
The one thing that really came through for me on this trip was the attention to testing. For example, each battery that goes out – and I mean every one – is subjected to load testing. And while it’s being tested, they take FLIR images of the battery to find any anomalies or hot spots in the assembly. They save all of their results and images and can tell you – even six years later – how much of the original capacity you still have, and how their battery is holding up.
The BMS is something else that’s pretty interesting. All of the individual cells in the battery have to report in to the BMS every second, or the battery shuts down. The BMS itself communicates over optical cabling (because optical cables are immune to magnetic and RF interference). Pretty neat.
Another thing that came up is the safety of the batteries and the particular chemistry they use (LiFePO4). Lithionics batteries are the only ones I know of that are cleared to ship by air. Think about that one for a minute…
Anyway, now that I’ve visited the battery mother-ship, there’s a lot more I could tell you about their batteries. But for now, let’s just say I’m pretty happy with ours.