Question - Can Amptron LiFePO4 batteries charge from a standard commercial solar module or does it require a special module? And is there a need for a controller?
Response - The battery can be charged from standard commercial solar modules, but it definitely requires a solar charge controller. Now, when it comes to solar charge controllers, our batteries can be charged from most nominal 12V controllers however there are compromises. When it comes to modern solar controllers, there are 2 main characteristics that needs to be considered:
To sum all of this up, yes you can charge our Amptron batteries with standard commercial solar panels, but a charge controller will be needed. As for charge controllers, an MPPT charge controller will definitely be the preferred option unless lowering cost is really necessary, and as for MPPT charge controllers, it is preferable to use an MPPT charge controller that can charge the battery with an LiFePO4 profile.
Question - Can I install this under the bonnet in a car engine bay?
Response - As for installing the battery under the bonnet, the main concern is heat. Our batteries are designed to operate up to 65 degrees C. This would be ok under most conditions, however there may be situations where the ambient temperature gets very hot such as in hot summer conditions and when the engine is working particularly hard, where the temperatures under the bonnet could cause the battery temperature to exceed these tolerances.
Therefore there is no simple answer to this. It would depend significantly on where the second battery tray would be located in your engine bay (i.e. it would make a significant difference if it was close to the front near the radiator with good airflow, vs. tucked away behind the motor at the back), and the conditions that you would run your vehicle under.
Our battery management system does contain a thermal valve that would disconnect the battery should it overheat to protect the battery from excessive damage. However, if the battery is running hot much of its life, it would shorten the battery life.
Therefore, as a basic rule-of-thumb we do not recommend it. However, we do have several customers who do install our batteries in the engine bay but they understand the potential impact. To date, we have not yet had any reported issues. However, if there is evidence that the battery has been operated under excessively hot conditions, then that may void the warranty.
Question - Do I need to upgrade my charger to a LiFePO4 charger for a 12V 200Ah / 100A Continuous discharge Lithium LiFePO4 Battery. I currently have a redarc BMS30 installed?
Response - Our battery management system allows our batteries to be charged with the older BMS30 (that does not have a Lithium profile), however there are a few things you should note: