Dometic has taken the next logical leap in mobile/ portable DC charging with their new PLB40 Lithium Battery, and there are a few things to know about you you can use this tool to power your fridge and devices while in camp or out on the trail.
- PLB40s use Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO 4) chemistry – more energy dense than Lead Acid.
- They have a Built-in Battery Magagement System (BMS) w/protection against deep discharge (we've seen that it will shut down at 10% or less on the indicator).
- Can be plugged into charge via AC or 12V DC while powering a fridge on the output side.
- *Deep cycle Lead Acid batteries should not be discharged more than 60% of their capacity, and last longest (3000 cycles) when only discharged 40% of capacity.
- A PLB40 will last 2000 charge cycles at 80% discharge. Discharge rate for a PLB40 battery that is sitting is 3-5% per month. These numbers far outperform Lead Acid batteries, which have a steep self-discharge rate and require solar or a trickle charger to maximize lifespan.
- A fully charged PLB40 contains 512Wh or 40Ah of energy, and will charge a CFX40 Fridge (variable speed compressor) for 40 hours. (Anecdotally we have seen fully stocked fridges go for up to 5 days on a charge—depends on ambient temp/ fridge temp difference. Also, a full fridge will cycle less often than an empty one, since the contents are more dense and hold temperature longer.)
- The PLB40 is NOT recommended for use as a jump-starting device. It can provide output to a battery source via the 12 V output though, with a max current of 15 amps.
- The PLB40 CANNOT be daisy-chained as a dual battery
- The PLB40 is equipped with a DC/DC smart charger, so solar panels can plug directly into the Anderson input (with a compatible Anderson plug such as a Gray or Black Anderson). *Maximum voltage for a solar panel should not exceed 25V DC and current should be limited to 8 Amps DC. We have found that Overland Solar Ranger Series panels that work with the OS PWM-style (Pulse-Width Modulation) 10AMP charge controller will work fine.
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