Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: On the boat cruising
Thanked 104 Times in 99 Posts
Rep Power: 16
Re: Realistic expectations for my house batteries
Comparing the cost of LFP to FLA is a bit of apples and oranges, although they both store energy. A better comparison would be to gel or agm, because at least then you will be comparing physical and operating features like no maintenance, etc.
Consider one aspect of the cost of LFP to be similar to the cost of a watermaker - it is almost always cheaper, even in the long run, to buy and jug water than to get a watermaker. But people cruising still fork over thousands for a watermaker by the droves for very good reasons other than cost. LFP has the same rationale from a general overhead viewpoint, ignoring the details of why.
Not included in most cost comparisons is that it takes less solar and less fuel to recharge LFP.
Replacing batteries often can be inconvenient and expensive. We had to replace a GC house bank in Panama once. Battery prices for flooded golf cart batteries there cost 75% of what our equivalent capacity LFP bank cost. AGM prices in Panama were 3x that, so much more than LFP. And we had to interrupt our cruise to go back to Panama to get them. We had to buy a simple, common automotive start battery in the Bahamas. That one cost $200 - I can't imagine what a house bank of reasonable batteries would cost there, but it would surely be more than a LFP bank.
If money is the sole, or overriding, consideration, then flooded golf cart batteries can't be beat. If one is not cruising or living full-time off grid, then LFP doesn't make as much sense.
Manta 40 Catamaran "Reach"
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