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post #61 of 138 Old 04-12-2019
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Re: Realistic expectations for my house batteries

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doing it not the perfect way (using a genny, not doing it quite the perfect duration etc) would still be better than just never doing it?
Yes, something's better than nothing.

And not a magic bullet either, if the bank is getting harshly abused all the time, just equalizing may not add that much longevity.
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post #62 of 138 Old 04-12-2019
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Re: Realistic expectations for my house batteries

I’m not advocating outright abuse. We are constantly charging with wind and solar. Not to mention gen or engine as the situation requires. And I’ll be moving my radar to remove some shadow.

But it is what it is and I’m not going to stress about it over a certain point.
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post #63 of 138 Old 04-12-2019
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Re: Realistic expectations for my house batteries

No hard-edged defining lines here, it's all greyscale and judgement calls, long as we're basing decisions on solid known principals, best that anyone can expect
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post #64 of 138 Old 04-13-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Realistic expectations for my house batteries

I am curious if anyone has any experience with EFOY fuel cells for charging. They look like a pretty appealing clean energy source in a compact package, albeit a bit on the pricey side.

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post #65 of 138 Old 04-13-2019
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Re: Realistic expectations for my house batteries

yes

https://www.google.com/search?q=site...l+cell+OR+efoy
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post #66 of 138 Old 04-14-2019
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Re: Realistic expectations for my house batteries

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We've got 6-6volt Lifeline AGM for720 ah. Daily diet in mid summer with refrigeration running is 65 ah. That includes many LED , radar and chartplotter and charging of phones etc. Caframo fans (3) and refrigeration use most of power. Don't forget the pumps etc. 360 usable ah. We never worry about electricity. Alternator is a 100 amp Balmar with ACR regulator .
AGM charge more quickly...but more expensive. Wilth proper equilization they have lasted 9-10 years and 500 cycles. That more thann covers their added exp see need of AGM.

The new lithium are super expensive and worth it if your sailing is mainly cruising or you switch from a desiel engine to electric. For most of us this type of battery is not cost effective.
I switched from diesel to electric auxiliary propulsion in 2008 and am still not seeing the need and expense to go to Lithium. My house bank is two group 27 Gel Cells that are still going strong after 11 years. I used Gel Cells because that was one of the two choices my Pro Mariner battery charger offered for charge profiles. The other was for Flooded Lead Acid. I think the main reason why my house batteries have lasted so long is because they have never been charged by anything but the Pro Mariner charger and a solar controller. Never from and engine driven alternator.

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post #67 of 138 Old 04-14-2019
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Re: Realistic expectations for my house batteries

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I switched from diesel to electric auxiliary propulsion in 2008 and am still not seeing the need and expense to go to Lithium. My house bank is two group 27 Gel Cells that are still going strong after 11 years. I used Gel Cells because that was one of the two choices my Pro Mariner battery charger offered for charge profiles. The other was for Flooded Lead Acid. I think the main reason why my house batteries have lasted so long is because they have never been charged by anything but the Pro Mariner charger and a solar controller. Never from and engine driven alternator.
Here's something I never understood: I understand that Lithium batteries make sense for cars etc because of the weight and energy density.

But for sailboats? We CRAVE weight, the keel of my boat is a blob of lead that is literally heavier than the rest of the boat.

Why don't we build a keel out of the cheapest, heaviest lead acid batteries and all go electric? Yes we need to make sure it does not flood but we are pretty good at making things waterproof (like boat hulls).

Maybe this is a topic for a separate thread?
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post #68 of 138 Old 04-14-2019
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Re: Realistic expectations for my house batteries

Gel cells are well-known for their lifespans. The downsides are very narrow charge voltage limitations (one modestly high voltage event can trash them), and they have relatively low charge acceptance rates, as well as relatively low discharge rates - so charging them fully takes longer than other types, and using them for high currents isn't ideal.

Two Group 27's is a small bank, and implies that your electric propulsion needs are modest. For a larger need, high charge acceptance rates becomes important because one needs to put a lot of current back into the batteries before next use. Or one needs longer times between usage to achieve full charge.

Lithium really shines in this application because it recharges as quickly as you can throw current at it, and it is happy to operate forever at partial states of charge if you can't throw enough current at it.

For a continually cruised, large boat, with modest off-grid charging capabilities, lithium becomes the only realistic way of achieving this goal. It is still a tough goal to reach, though. I'd really like electric propulsion to be more generally mainstream, but as it stands today, it is really only for smaller boats that are more lightly used (propulsion-wise).

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Re: Realistic expectations for my house batteries

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Originally Posted by MastUndSchotbruch View Post
Here's something I never understood: I understand that Lithium batteries make sense for cars etc because of the weight and energy density.

But for sailboats? We CRAVE weight, the keel of my boat is a blob of lead that is literally heavier than the rest of the boat.

Why don't we build a keel out of the cheapest, heaviest lead acid batteries and all go electric? Yes we need to make sure it does not flood but we are pretty good at making things waterproof (like boat hulls).

Maybe this is a topic for a separate thread?
Um, some of us don't crave weight - just the opposite. Others who can handle weight don't want it in the places batteries are usually stored. In fact, you might be the only person I've heard of that craves more weight on their boat.

Lithium has advantages other than light weight. The real game-changer for them is the ability to operate their entire lives in a partial state of charge - no need to ever charge them fully just to keep them from destroying themselves. In other words, if you have enough juice in them to make it through the day, you don't need to charge - and this goes on ad infinitum. Then you have the ability to charge them as fast as you can throw current at them - this significantly cuts down on charging time. Replacing 100Ah with a 100Ah charger takes 1hr - where it will take 6-8hrs with a lead battery.

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post #70 of 138 Old 04-14-2019
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Re: Realistic expectations for my house batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by MastUndSchotbruch View Post
Here's something I never understood: I understand that Lithium batteries make sense for cars etc because of the weight and energy density.

But for sailboats? We CRAVE weight, the keel of my boat is a blob of lead that is literally heavier than the rest of the boat.

Why don't we build a keel out of the cheapest, heaviest lead acid batteries and all go electric? Yes we need to make sure it does not flood but we are pretty good at making things waterproof (like boat hulls).

Maybe this is a topic for a separate thread?
If one were designing a boat from the ground up that would make sense. In my boats case I was getting rid of a 424 pound Westerbeke diesel plus another thirty gallons of fuel and an engine battery. It made sense for me to put the electric propulsion battery bank on a platform in the area where the engine use to rest. Even so I still cut 100 pounds of weight off the boat with the install.

Mike
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