Lithium House Bank Batteries

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Boppy
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Lithium House Bank Batteries

Post by Boppy »

After yanking my 2 house bank and 1 engine batteries (all lead acid, group 29 @75lbs each) and bringing them home for the winter and to replace them this spring (they’re 5 years old and my although they test out ok my experience with these tells me they’re at the end of their life), I’ve been thinking hard about moving to either 2 100 AH or 1 170-300 AH Lithium (LiFePo4) battery for the house bank. They would be charged mostly if not entirely by the 370 W solar panels and VictronConnect 100/30 controller I installed this spring. I would use the alternator and/or existing 110 volt 12v/30a smart charger for the engine battery, which I would keep as flooded or AGM battery with good CCA. I know the cost of Lithium batteries is much higher but think the weight and life span would be good offsets for continuing to change out lead acid batteries.

The boat is a 1977 26 HT with single Chrysler 318.

Would appreciate any thoughts about this that are out there. Thanks!

PS I’m starting to feel my 76 years after lugging those bad boys around!!
‘77 F26 HT Since 1999
Erie Canal cruiser lookin’ for my mule
Great Sacandaga Lake, Mayfield, NY

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gitchisum
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Re: Lithium House Bank Batteries

Post by gitchisum »

Do your homework before putting Lithium in a marine environment

http://www.lithiumsafe.com/battery-fire ... %2Dcircuit.
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BobCT
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Re: Lithium House Bank Batteries

Post by BobCT »

I wouldn’t even consider them on my boat, they have a long way to go before they’re safe. Not worth the risk.
1988 10m mid cabin

Boppy
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Re: Lithium House Bank Batteries

Post by Boppy »

Thanks for your info. I checked out the link. Seems a bit dated. From the information I’ve been able to get the chance for exploding LiFePO4 batteries has been mitigated with built in battery management systems (BMS) that sense voltage and temp extremes and shut down the battery. The use of NMC batteries (like those used in cell phones and electric cars) has been more linked to fires than LiFePO4 deep cycle batteries. My house bank is set up under the rear of the port settee and has been 2 100AH lead acid deep cycle batteries wired in parallel. I replace them every 4-5 years. I’m thinking of using a single 170AH lithium or 2 100AH lithium deep cycles. Either will give me more capacity than what I now have.

I’m going through the learning phase while the boat’s on the hard until next April or May, and I appreciate any more information I can get.

Thanks.
‘77 F26 HT Since 1999
Erie Canal cruiser lookin’ for my mule
Great Sacandaga Lake, Mayfield, NY

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BobCT
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Re: Lithium House Bank Batteries

Post by BobCT »

https://www.pbo.co.uk/gear/lithium-batt ... sted-62244


This is worth a read and written this year.
1988 10m mid cabin

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El L Sea
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Re: Lithium House Bank Batteries

Post by El L Sea »

We looking into these when we replaced all our batteries this year. I was not comfortable with their safety track record in a marine environment, even more recently. We went with all AGM, as they provided some of the benefits, without most of the downsides. When we replace again in a couple years, we will reevaluate, but until then, I would say weigh your risk/reward tolerance.
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Boppy
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Re: Lithium House Bank Batteries

Post by Boppy »

Thanks again for the information. I’m still pondering and percolating on LiFePO4 for house bank and keeping lead acid (SLA or AGM) for starter. I’ve read that alternators and lithium batteries are like republicans and democrats these days. Too much time together can cause the alternator diodes to burn out. Apparently this can be mitigated if you’re using a lead acid starting battery by adding a 12V DC to DC battery charger to the starter battery which then uses the alternator to charge the lithium house bank while underway/engine running. Victron makes a 12 - 12/30 amp unit that keeps everything in check. So now I can add another $200 to the $1800 to $2000 I could spend on lithium (and oh yes, buy a new lead acid battery also). Maybe I’ll save 2/3 of that and stick with lead acid all around and prod my big strapping son-in-law to lug these big bad lead acid batteries around between the boat and home every spring and fall. The advantage of living in upstate NY I that you have a nice long winter to think these things over.
‘77 F26 HT Since 1999
Erie Canal cruiser lookin’ for my mule
Great Sacandaga Lake, Mayfield, NY

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RWS
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Re: Lithium House Bank Batteries

Post by RWS »

Can't mix battery type with my BLUE SEAS battery charger

At about $100 each lead acid is the way I roll

If you got 5 years out of yours, that cost you $60 annually for your batteries

The real question here is:

Is the additional benefit worth the additional cost?

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Goran
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Re: Lithium House Bank Batteries

Post by Goran »

Boppy
I must agree with the rest , I will stick with AGM
But why you carry batteries home every winter ?
If I remember You have quite enough solar power for keeping them OK

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Boppy
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Re: Lithium House Bank Batteries

Post by Boppy »

I store the boat in a shed over the winter. No solar there and winter starts here in upstate New York now through April and temps can freeze FLAs. Been there, done that.
‘77 F26 HT Since 1999
Erie Canal cruiser lookin’ for my mule
Great Sacandaga Lake, Mayfield, NY

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Goran
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Re: Lithium House Bank Batteries

Post by Goran »

Understandable , well I forget about this :)
In my place this is not the problem , so I use my son in low for other things :))
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Boppy
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Re: Lithium House Bank Batteries

Post by Boppy »

Hey Goran, You’re in Croatia, right? Went there on a trip that started in Zagreb and then down to Split and then on a small boat on the Adriatic. If I ever win the lottery I’m moving to Korcula. Great island, and think that’s where Marco Polo was born?

Anyway, for all doubting folks about LFP batteries I suggest a good source is ABYC video on LFP. The design of good (aka not cheap) LFP batteries has incorporated several improvements, including cell chemistry and BMS (Battery Management System) that make them much much safer that LiPO batteries and other configurations that contributed to “Thermal Runaway” (aka AHHHHHHH, My Tesla is burning up!!!!!)

Finally, yes, I’m gonna go the lithium route for the Blue Heron’s house bank. It’s a lot more expensive that replacing my lead acid house bank but some of us are retired and don’t want to collect stamps or learn to play the harmonica in our twilight years. Just as soon take a few chances with 21st century upgrades to old 20th century Trojans. Vietnam didn’t get me. Maybe technology will?? :lol:

Happy Thanksgiving to all!
‘77 F26 HT Since 1999
Erie Canal cruiser lookin’ for my mule
Great Sacandaga Lake, Mayfield, NY

Boppy
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Re: Lithium House Bank Batteries

Post by Boppy »

OK. I’ve decided to add the LFP house bank to my little old F26 HT. The ABYC had a good online seminar about LFP on boats. That dumped me over the edge. Yes, it’s going to be expensive, and yes, I can afford it, and yes, I’m getting too old to know better....BUT, it makes sense to me, as I like to get off the dock and be self-sufficient without gennys.

Here’s the “almost final” schematic showing actual components I’m using. I installed the solar panels and controller his year and will be installing the LFP and components for house bank once the sun shines here in upstate NY. After spending a lot of time researching and getting information from supplier support contacts, as well as the ABYC I’ve confident I’m making the right decision.

I’m still on the fence about incorporating the ACR between the 2 battery banks. It’s an older model that allows me to set the combine/isolate voltages between the LFP and FLA batteries. I’m waiting to hear from my supplier contact about what I should do. Notice that I’m not charging the FLA except with the alternator. The DC/DC charger will keep the alternator in check when underway. Biggest issue I’ve found with LFP is their charging profile off a “dumb” alternator, like I have, but the built in BMS (Battery Management System) in good LFPs prohibits under/over voltage issues.

I’m 76, in great health (knock wood) and plan on the new system outliving me, and my kids sending me off to a flaming Viking funeral (not because of thermal runaway of the LFPs, I hope!). So, bottom line, I’m not making an issue about cost/long-term return.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!
8B5693C6-7E16-4283-B7A8-DDF94C7DF693.jpeg
8B5693C6-7E16-4283-B7A8-DDF94C7DF693.jpeg (112.79 KiB) Viewed 115 times
‘77 F26 HT Since 1999
Erie Canal cruiser lookin’ for my mule
Great Sacandaga Lake, Mayfield, NY

paskyhawk
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Re: Lithium House Bank Batteries

Post by paskyhawk »

I'm probably missing it but what keeps the engine battery bank from being overcharged while the alternator is sending power to the rest of the system. Do you have to do anything special with the drive belts and pulleys with the extra load.

Thanks,
Rich

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prowlersfish
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Re: Lithium House Bank Batteries

Post by prowlersfish »

Looks like a nice set up .


As far as over charging the starting battery looks like voltage reg is still using starting battery voltage .
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