Epoch’s new 460 amp-hour, external communicating battery arrives and testing begins
In a short time, Epoch has made a name for itself producing high-quality batteries at a remarkable value. I first tested their 100 amp-hour batteries and thought they were the best blend of value, features, and quality I have encountered. In fact, there were only two areas I thought Epoch could improve upon. First, higher density, and second, external communications. Epoch seems to have addressed both those issues and more.
I just received my battery the end of last week so it’s early days of testing. The battery is currently charging to 100% so I can run it through a series of 20-hour capacity tests. As you can see from the specs above, this battery is a monster. Two of these in parallel will satisfy the vast majority of 12-volt house bank needs. In fact, for many applications, they may be overkill. Fortunately, Epoch has introduced a pretty complete line of 12-volt options.
My current bench test setup uses a Raspberry Pi running Venus OS and I’ve realized that setup has neither VE.CAN nor BMS CAN. So, I have a Cerbo on the way but I haven’t been able to test communication with the Venus OS and hence VRM yet.
Epoch still includes the 10-segment LED gauge with alarm, but that now comes as part of the wiring harness that also enables external CAN communications. Additionally, they now include an external power switch with a ring that glows when the battery is powered on. The 460ah battery also includes a roughly half-meter cable with eye terminals on one end and an Anderson Powerpole connector on the other end. There’s no mention of this cable in the literature or an intended purpose.
My plan is to put the battery through a thorough set of electrical tests including load tests, high current draw tests, and if I can figure out how to supply enough power, high charge rate testing. Then I’ll dig thoroughly into the Victron connectivity and integration. But, capacity testing may be a little bit of a challenge. My trusty Rigol DL3021 load tester maxes out at 21 amps of load at 13.5 volts. BCI ‘s 20 hour capacity test calls for placing 1/20th of the battery’s rated capacity on it for 20 hours and measuring the total output. Unfortunately, 1/20th of 460 is 23 amps and just in excess of the DL3021’s maximum load. I’m going to run the early tests at 21 amps. I might also try to place a fixed two amp load on the battery to get to a toal of 23 amps of load.
After all the functional testing is done, I’ll tear down the battery. Based on what I saw in my teardown of their 100 amp-hour batteries, I’m pretty excited to see what’s under the cover of this battery. Based on its weight and dense feeling, I don’t expect to find nearly as much unused space as I did with the smaller batteries.
Stay tuned for updates. Lastly, if there’s anything specific you’d like to see tested or explored, let me know in the comments below.