Recently WFCO Electronics contacted me and asked if I’d like to test and review a new product they are releasing. It’s a power converter charger that can auto-detect whether the RV has lead acid or lithium-type batteries installed. Once it detects which type, it adjusts its charging algorithms for the most efficient charging.
I thought my ten-year-old Keystone Cougar trailer would be a great testbed. The OEM installed a WF-8955 WFCO power center which includes a 55 amp converter charger. A couple of years ago, I upgraded to lithium batteries and quickly found out the old WFCO lead-acid type converter charger was less than stellar at charging them. At best, the average charging current is in the 10-15 amp range. Furthermore, the charging usually stalls when the lithium battery bank is at 53% capacity.
Installation of the new WFCO Auto-Detect converter charger is reasonably straightforward for anyone who knows electrical circuits. WFCO makes both products. It’s just a matter of swapping the wires from one module to the newer version.
Disclaimer: Working with electricity is dangerous. The following installation should be performed by a qualified RV technician or electrician. Doing it yourself could cause you serious injury or death and may void your RV warranty and insurance. This article/video is for entertainment and educational purposes and should not be taken as instructional. I accept no liability. – Ray
Once the new auto-detect converter is installed and hooked up, it needs to go through one complete charge cycle. Intelligent circuitry determines whether the batteries are lithium or lead-acid.
If the battery is lead-acid, it uses a standard 3 phase charging algorithm. However, if it finds lithium, it employs a 2 stage algorithm. 14.6 VDC charging mode dropping to 13.6VDC float when fully charged.
*Fair Disclosure* I received the WFCO WF8955-AD Power Center free of charge as a review sample.
WFCO Auto-Detect Converter Installation and Demo Video
So far, in my early tests using a gas generator for off-grid charging, the WFCO Auto-Detect power converter has worked as advertised. It provides a 14.5 VDC @ 50 amps or more until my lithium batteries are fully charged, then it drops to a 13.6 VDC float. Performance is night and day better than the old unit. I’m pleasantly surprised as it was a straight swap with the old converter.
My only complaint thus far is the fan noise. Since the power center is inside our living area, it can be a little annoying until the batteries reach full charge and it kicks to float mode, and the fan shuts off. I’ll continue to test the product out for the remaining months of our snowbird trip and come back with an update in the spring.