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  #1  
Old 07-20-2013
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Looking for Lithium house bank experiences

I am working the numbers regarding transitioning to a lithium-based house bank for the boat. While the up-front costs are shockingly high, the actual TCO (total cost of ownership) isn't that bad considering the lifespan.

I really like the idea of being able to charge them quickly using my genset and not having to run the generator for extended periods at light loads as I would with lead-acid batteries.

I'd be very interested in hearing from sailnetters who have actually installed and used Lithium batteries on their boat and what their experiences are regarding performance and longevity.
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Old 07-20-2013
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Re: Looking for Lithium house bank experiences

I was in a yard in the Caribbean when a $7,000,000 boat burned when the lithium batteries set on fire while being charged and the Boeing 787 has had lithium battery fires!

My AGM's are 8 years old and still going strong, A 1,200 amp hour bank requires three 135w solar panels and 1.5 hours of generator charging per night while I run the washing machine, the water maker and 2 air conditioners. I never get the batteries below 70% of charge.

Phil
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Old 07-20-2013
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Re: Looking for Lithium house bank experiences

LiFePO4's are what you want. There are several lengthy articles on
Cruisers & Sailing Forums under their electronics thread.
Also, overlook all those that say you are going to catch fire, they don't know anything about LiFePO batteries.
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Old 07-20-2013
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Re: Looking for Lithium house bank experiences

Check with Mainesail at Compass Marine. He has been using LiFePO on his boat this season and there is not a chance in hell he would put anything on his boat that risks a fire.

http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/boat_projects
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Old 07-20-2013
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Re: Looking for Lithium house bank experiences

I bet you can get a bunch of them dirt cheap from Boeing
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Old 07-21-2013
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Re: Looking for Lithium house bank experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorksailor View Post
I was in a yard in the Caribbean when a $7,000,000 boat burned when the lithium batteries set on fire while being charged...
What yard and what boat would that have been?
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Old 07-21-2013
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Re: Looking for Lithium house bank experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim R. View Post
Check with Mainesail at Compass Marine...
Thanks for that hint. I've always enjoyed reading and learning from Mainesail's articles and hope to see some data on Lithium batteries from him soon.
I have a big (960Ah) 24V bank and a smaller 12V bank and might start by switching over the 12V bank to Lithium as it has a separate charger which I can set to a different charging profile from the main AGM bank. This past season I was on board for 5 months and docked twice but occasionally had to run the genset for hours on end t to get the main bank charged to 100% (both for equalization and because I was havig problems with my Xantrex battery monitor) and that was frustrating - with a lithium bank I can charge even the big bank in 2 hours (11Kw genset and 120A/24V charging) which is quite tempting indeed.
The big marine Lithium battery manufacturers (Mastervolt, Victron - both Dutch) have integrated battery monitoring systems with temperature and voltage sensor for each cell so I am not very worried about fires or runaway thermal reactions.
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Old 07-21-2013
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Re: Looking for Lithium house bank experiences

I run my boat on 6 deep cycle marine batteries.
they are exspensive but well worth it.
just my two pence worth.
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Old 07-21-2013
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Re: Looking for Lithium house bank experiences

On a sunny day i can charge them all fully and last for two weeks off them without a charge.
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Old 07-22-2013
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Re: Looking for Lithium house bank experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post

I'd be very interested in hearing from sailnetters who have actually installed and used Lithium batteries on their boat and what their experiences are regarding performance and longevity.

Right now unless you build them yourself, as I do, and design the system and build the BMS (battery management system), they are very, very expensive and not yet ready for "prime time" unless you are not afraid to spend some money. I would strongly suggest you contact Bruce Schwab to talk to him about the Genasun LiFePO4 packs..

These are not at the average DIY level yet. They would be an 11 or 12 on the scale of 10 for the average DIY right now. Mastervolt and Genasun are the two most widely used "branded" marine LiFePO4 banks but an install can run you approx 5 figures by the time you are done.. I worked on a Genasun install down in in Puerto Rico this winter that was over 30K just in batteries and associated equipment. It was an amazing system when it was done but the boat was 70 feet and had both 24V and 12V Genasun LiFePO4 banks....


The thread on CF has already been posted so here's some more info on LiFePO4 from my perspective... Eventually the cost will come down but it's still just not "prime time" yet..

LiFePO4 Pack Build
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