Battle Born Batteries - Reno, NV

I've been beating the hell out of the same two 110Ah AGM deep cycle batteries for three years across two vans. I've overcharged these things for days, depleted them below 9V multiple times, and generally done everything wrong possible. I could get maybe 50Ah out of the 220Ah total before the voltage dropped below 11V. I've been limping along with some forced creativity just to make it through the night. 

I've been slowly upgrading the rest of the electrical system, saving batteries for last. I'd decided on Battle Born Batteries after a fair amount of research; decent price point, good warranty, integrated battery management system and heating (to protect them from myself), and form factors designed for drop in replacement of lead acid. I ordered a pair of BB10012H for delivery to Texas with the goal to install them down there. But, hey, I was driving relatively near Reno; I decided to just pick 'em up at the factory

I'd designed my van utilities to be readily field serviceable. "Readily" does not in any way mean comfortable or convenient. Wrestling out each of the 80 pound batteries while hanging half out the back of the van in a Reno parking lot with an ecstatic dog is was more awkward than anticipated. Dropping in the 30 pound new batteries, with much nicer (and included!) terminal hardware, was a breeze. 

I reprogrammed the Victron components (settings copied below for my own reference, sourced from Battle Born Batteries' website here and here and here). I wired in the heating element with no cutoff switch: the batteries would use their own power to heat themselves if they ever got below 35F and stop when they got back above 45F. Because they use a negative internal to the battery, I don't think I'll have any visibility of when that's happening or how much power it's drawing through the battery monitor. It rarely gets that cold inside here anyway, but something to remember to account for if the batteries ever seem mysteriously drained. 

I dropped off my old and mostly defunct AGM's at AutoZone, who gives you a $10 gift card per dead car battery you bring in. Fantastic to know, especially with the stack of dead batteries back home in the garage I'd been keeping around to avoid the next "core charge" nonsense, if and when I ever got another lead acid battery. 

So far, so good. They charged fast and even finally hit the float stage (the AGMs would just draw current, forever, probably just emitting a warm glow....) Strong and stable voltage (~13.2V). I'll run them through the paces tonight!


Orion 12/12-30A:

SmartSolar MPPT: