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post #31 of 138 Old 04-10-2019
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Re: Realistic expectations for my house batteries

[QUOTE=Minnewaska;2051594964]That is one approach, but it also means one has significantly more capacity and battery cost than necessary. Over sizing a bank is one way to accommodate poor charging and it's resultant degradation of capacity too.

As to having enough passive to replenish daily use, that depends on how power hungry one's boat is and how much space they have for passive (plus whether they want to look like a solar farm, if that matters).

In our case, on a long cruise, this is what would be running.......

2 chartplotters
VHF radio, with remote
Radar
Autopilot
SSB occasionally
2 refrigerators
3 electric heads
Running lights as needed
Cabin lights, of course.
All sorts of parasitic loads from gauges to the system monitoring of the inverter/charger.

.../QUOTE]

Your boat is 54 and tricked out you'll need a lot larger banks. Typical for Shiva is

2 plotters when underway
boat speed, depth and wind instruments
Radar only when visibility is challenged
LED tricolor
Sailcomp
VHF
AP (low amp draw)
occasional pressure pump

We have 2 8Ds and 110 watts pf solar... and dump amps in when we leave mooring and enter harbor until anchor is down... and this is when our holdover plate frig is cooled down. Espar is a big drawer but rarely runs in summer months.

pay attention... someone's life depends on it
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post #32 of 138 Old 04-10-2019
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Re: Realistic expectations for my house batteries

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Originally Posted by makobuilders View Post
I've always been a big fan of the 2v FLA industrial batteries, which have amazing performance even down to 100% discharge. But I don't care about weight or size, those aren't my concerns.

Now I'm starting to understand a huge advantage of the lithium batteries, in that they can absorb as much energy as you can dump into them. They don't have the slow, inefficient float charge characteristic of FLA.

Since I would like the next boat to be (possibly) 100% powered by solar, that means we would need to capture every single photon hitting those solar panels. This is where I can see the (horribly expensive) lithiums coming into play.
They aren't horribly expensive. I just looked and Trojan 2V industrial batteries are ~$1,000ea (excluding shipping) and weigh 225lbs. To make a 12V battery from them will cost $6,000 and weigh 1,350lbs.

Our roughly equivalent capacity LFP bank cost $3,500 (including shipping) and weighs 145lbs.

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post #33 of 138 Old 04-10-2019
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Re: Realistic expectations for my house batteries

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Now I'm starting to understand a huge advantage of the lithium batteries, in that they can absorb as much energy as you can dump into them. They don't have the slow, inefficient float charge characteristic of FLA.
Yes FLA are tremendous value. But do **not** regularly deplete to even 70-80%, never 100% DoD.

Even in mostly solar, long as input beats outgo on average, in fact they work perfectly with solar's low and slow, especially in long-day conditions, give an ICE boost before in the AM.

Where LFP "no need to fill" and high CAR truly shines is eliminating any need for solar if you're regularly burning ICE a few times a week anyway.

With a larger boat, no matter how much energy you use, can size things so an hour a day of charge time's all you need. Maybe two to be gentler on a smaller bank. . .
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Re: Realistic expectations for my house batteries

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They aren't horribly expensive. I just looked and Trojan 2V industrial batteries are ~$1,000ea (excluding shipping) and weigh 225lbs. To make a 12V battery from them will cost $6,000 and weigh 1,350lbs.



Our roughly equivalent capacity LFP bank cost $3,500 (including shipping) and weighs 145lbs.



Mark
Well that's certainly not a normal choice for such a small Ah bank. Plus leaving out BMS and other required infrastructure upgrades.

Most FLA in the US even good quality is $1-2 per Ah @12V.

Do you have a build thread detailing your LFP system sourcing?
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Re: Realistic expectations for my house batteries

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Well that's certainly not a normal choice for such a small Ah bank. Plus leaving out BMS and other required infrastructure upgrades.

Most FLA in the US even good quality is $1-2 per Ah @12V.

Do you have a build thread detailing your LFP system sourcing?
Tell you what - I'll show you mine if you show me yours.

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post #36 of 138 Old 04-10-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Realistic expectations for my house batteries

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Cool looking and accurate for SOC are two entirely different things. If you don't mind fiddling with an Ah counter, testing for actual Ah capacity, etc., etc. then the SimMarine can give you a lot of good info but currently it does not track SOC as well as it should.

If you want super easy, the original Balmar Smartgauge is about as simple and accurate as it gets but it will not work with LiFePO4.

The new Balmar SG200 expands on the accuracy of the Smartgauge and adds a shunt and a state of health feature. The new SG200 also works with LiFePO4 and is self-learning meaning no continual fiddling to keep the monitor in sync with your bank as it ages and gets PSOC cycled.. The longer it remains connected the more accurate it gets. The way the self-learning SG200 works is the complete opposite of the rest of the Ah counters currently on the market.

Also keep in mind that you really only need to know your SOC perhaps once per day so the display does not even need to be prominent, and can even be mounted inside a cabinet etc.. The original Smartgauge is very antiquated looking but also very accurate. The SG200 is better looking, expandable, less money and also very accurate.
Have you got experience with the Simarine system? From what I have read so far it is supposed to "learn" the battery bank just like the others do, but I have yet to find any testing or reviews that evaluate how well it does that.

While it it nice to have a good looking, modern display, there are a lot of other things going for the Simarine product. For starters, it is expandable. You can add shunt modules that allow you to monitor amp draw and track power consumption on individual loads. You can add tank a tank module to monitor status of water, fuel and black water tanks. You can monitor current input from each charging source. There shunts also have temperature sensor inputs, so you can monitor battery temps, or repurpose the temp inputs for things like inside and outside air temps, and refrigerator/ freezer temperatures. All that data can be presented on screen in whatever format you choose.

The system broadcasts it's own wifi signal to allow you to interface with your mobile device, which also allows quick and easy software updates. Presumably that means that the manufacturer can continue to improve their algorithms and add functionality in future. (That is no guarantee that they WILL of course, but they CAN!)

Of course all of that functionality comes at a premium price, but for many it may be a worthwhile investment.

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post #37 of 138 Old 04-10-2019
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Re: Realistic expectations for my house batteries

No one's saying it's not a great product overall.

Just that they haven't got SoC accuracy to a great level yet. Apparently after Bruce's comparative test their next firmware updates did improve things a bit, so maybe that will continue.

Even the best SoC meters aren't **that** accurate anyway, so if the unique aspects of the Pico are important to you, just get a SmartGauge as well to calibrate against.

And no, only that and SG200 have that learning feature, at least among non-military consumer systems.
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Re: Realistic expectations for my house batteries

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No one's saying it's not a great product overall.

Just that they haven't got SoC accuracy to a great level yet. Apparently after Bruce's comparative test their next firmware updates did improve things a bit, so maybe that will continue.

Even the best SoC meters aren't **that** accurate anyway, so if the unique aspects of the Pico are important to you, just get a SmartGauge as well to calibrate against.

And no, only that and SG200 have that learning feature, at least among non-military consumer systems.
What comparative test is that? Have you got a link?

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Re: Realistic expectations for my house batteries

Aside from a few "showboats" so to speak, no one has built a real boat powered 100% by solar. Nowhere near it.

You'll find launches that are kept up by solar, and small sailboats that basically having docking engines capable of being run at 3 knots while the sun is overhead, and then really short distances in flat water when it isn't, but nothing that approaches the ability of a typical built, to motor head into adverse wind and waves for 24-48 hours straight.

If you chase down the numbers for fuel density for diesel or petrol, and then compare that to what the very best of batteries can store, and the most optimistic of solar panel claims, the number still come down to fossil fuel, or highly limited purposes for the solar propulsion. They certainly can be enough--but if you run the numbers, solar still comes down to a docking or maneuvering engine, or other light use. (No pun intended.)
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post #40 of 138 Old 04-10-2019
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Re: Realistic expectations for my house batteries

I must have missed it, was anyone talking about electric propulsion?
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