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Lithium Batteries?

  • Balliol Fowden
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26 Nov 2023 11:10 #1 by Balliol Fowden
Replied by Balliol Fowden on topic Lithium Batteries?
Ian,  I had presumed that the page was discussing LiFePo4 since that is the battery type pictured and Renogy only seem to sell LiFePo4 (in the UK at least). But I now see that the first paragraph of text refers to LiPo, so perhaps it all does! Not quite sure why they wrote that page!

I too agree that there is no case for LiPo in barges, hence the discussion was intended to compare opinions on FLA (Trad) and LiFePo4. 

In essence does the undoubtedly superior performance of LiFePo4 justify their use in barges where weight and space is not (usually) an issue, where longevity may be compromised by operating conditions and complexity, where cost is significantly higher (particularly medium term if longevity is compromised for any reason) and where the safety issues are in some opinions not fully understood as yet? Are we still not just as well off to buy medium quality, consumable, simple, readily recyclable batteries without all the electronic BMS etc. and with known and lesser risks to life and property?


Balliol.
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  • Colin Stone
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26 Nov 2023 11:02 #2 by Colin Stone
Replied by Colin Stone on topic Lithium Batteries?
I think this is a better comparison of Li battery chemistries and their pros and cons. A little dated, but most is still true. 

batteryuniversity.com/article/bu-205-types-of-lithium-ion

Like Ian, we only have 408wp of solar, so 2kwh on a good day. Our overnight consumption, no solar, is approx 1kwh/40ah at 25v - under counter fridge, under floor chest freezer, pumps and lighting. All 24v.  240v limited to domestic items - TV, cooker hood etc, so inverter is not left on almost doing nothing. 
But we have gas. 
So we can wild moor for a good few days before we need to run generator. Last summer in 3 months the generator use was approx 10 hours. I stagger the loads so generator is under a decent load for the 30-50 mins, with final battery, wet lead acid 24v 1000Ah, top up by solar.
On a motoring day, 2 - 3 hours alternator, max 205A, charge is enough.

Colin Stone
It's not the destination, it's the glory of the ride.
Barge Register KEI

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  • Ian McCauley
  • Back in Oz
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26 Nov 2023 09:23 #3 by Ian McCauley
Replied by Ian McCauley on topic Lithium Batteries?

Balliol Fowden wrote: This web page from a respected company is interesting, and seems to provide a different but presumably reasonably authoritative opinion on some aspects.


"Different" from what Balliol?

The article just discusses Li-ion/LiPo/Lithium ion polymer (take your pick) with no information on the significantly different characteristics of LiFePO4/Lithium Iron Phosphate types of batteries. Just one example of many - lifetime charging cycles of LiFePO are five to ten times higher than the LiPo batteries discussed in the article, 5,000 vs 500 (typically) respectively. In my opinion, no one considering installing lithium batteries for service power on a boat need consider LiPo batteries as their only advantage is that they are a bit lighter - not a big enough benefit for boat owners to outweigh all the other advantages of the LiFePO4 types.

Ian

 Lisette and Ian
 Catharina Elisabeth

Ian & Lisette McCauley
Boat Register: Catharina Elisabeth
Blog: Eurmacs
Website: WaterwaysTourist
"There are only 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't."

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  • Ian McCauley
  • Back in Oz
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26 Nov 2023 08:13 #4 by Ian McCauley
Replied by Ian McCauley on topic Lithium Batteries?

Balliol Fowden wrote: It would be interesting to develop a list of advantages (& disadvantages) specifically related to barges


At the time we went with lithium, fast charging was our main driver. 

We had four reasonably big lead acid batteries (nominal 24V x 450 Ah/10 kWh total/5 kWh usable) along with 450 watts of solar (max 2 kWh/day @ midsummer, no clouds; half that by the end of September). We don’t have gas aboard so we’re dependent on electricity for all services including cooking. Average daily usage is about 4 kWh. We prefer wild mooring so we spend relatively little time attached to shore power.  So the batteries required regular (ie daily) topping up by the generator.

What became especially irksome was trying to get charge into the lead acid batteries with the generator. Once we achieved 85% charge, it was stupid to keep trying to charge from the generator because the charge rate was so low. So we were left with only 50% - 85% SOC to work our electrics so effectively only 3.5 kWh available from maximally charged batteries. 

We (well Eco Lithium) put in 10 kWh of lithium-ion batteries and immediately life was sweet. We had more space in the engine room. There was plenty of usable capacity to remove the need for daily generator top-ups. When top-ups were needed, the generator could go flat out until the batteries were 100% again. 

We now have 14 kWh of LiFeYPO4, also courtesy of Eco Lithium, which are even lighter and take up even less space. 
  • Use Case: Boat with all electric services; limited solar; limited space for batteries; intention to have extended wild mooring.
  • Advantages: see above and - essentially will never need replacing (Catharina and I will be well over 400 years old before they reach the 80% recharge threshold),  no maintenance, don't need charging when unattended over winter.
  • Disadvantages: initial cost, system re-design in some cases for engine alternators and risk-sensitive insurers. 

Ian

Lisette & Ian
Catharina Elisabeth

Ian & Lisette McCauley
Boat Register: Catharina Elisabeth
Blog: Eurmacs
Website: WaterwaysTourist
"There are only 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't."

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  • Jan Pieterse
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25 Nov 2023 21:47 #5 by Jan Pieterse
Replied by Jan Pieterse on topic Lithium Batteries?
Weight and price was a decision point for us when we swapped our batteries, after 7 years.
We started with 8 Mastervolt AGK 6V 400 AH  (24V 800 AH) which we found on market place.
Opted for four 24V 200 AH LiFeYPO4 from Eco-Lithium (A DBA member)
With a bow depth of 30 CM and a stern depth of 90 CM, we welcomed the lower weight. 

www.jan-kees.us
jan-kees.blog

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  • Andy Soper
  • Neeltje
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25 Nov 2023 19:22 #6 by Andy Soper
Replied by Andy Soper on topic Lithium Batteries?
Not sure how many insure through Newton Crum but see attachment - will probably spread to other insurers.

My view is that Lead Acid (AGM or traditional - the latter with an auto watering system) is still the right answer for barges where weight is an advantage not a constraint!  And trad will do unless you want to go coasting.

Best Wishes
Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Cookham
0044 (0) 7940598364

You don't need a barge to join - a dream of boating in Europe will do'. See www.barges.org
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  • Julian Edwards
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25 Nov 2023 18:58 #7 by Julian Edwards
Replied by Julian Edwards on topic Lithium Batteries?
Yes indeed Balliol, we wanted to go with Lithium, but partly as a result of your advice and some in depth research on the web and conversations with HKJ the insurers, we have opted to use conventional lead acid. Possibly if I were to wait six months HKJ might make things easier, but I wanted to put them in now.

This issue is far more prevalent in the vast sailing world where space and weight is more of an issue and there are numerous discussions on the subject. 

The key issue from my perspective is that it seems insurance companies pay out just 50% in the event of a battery fire, there are several documented cases. So while I would not expect a problem from good quality batteries and associated equipment, I can't justify risking 50% of a total write off claim should we have a fire. 

This is an example clause that seems to be common in the sailing world, even new build boats supplied with Lithium batteries run the same risk. 

Any claim associated with fire caused by a lithium ion battery, including consequential damage, shall require the client to pay the first 50% of the claim or the deductible whichever is greater, this clause supersedes clause "5. Deductibles" in the PDS."

Now, sold our house to live full time on a barge. A large boat and lots to do on it.

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  • Balliol Fowden
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25 Nov 2023 11:42 #8 by Balliol Fowden
Replied by Balliol Fowden on topic Lithium Batteries?
I could only manage the first 40 minutes or so of the webinar since we had visitors. What I had hoped to see discussed was the simple question “Why should I change to Lithium batteries?” Perhaps it was discussed later?

We are all long term users of Lithium batteries in our phones, our tablets and all sorts of other gadgets, and the energy density and thus compactness and lightness of an Li battery is undoubtedly a very valuable advantage in many gadgets. The question I would like to see discussed is actually more specific. “Why should I change to Lithium batteries in my barge?”

This web page from a respected company is interesting, and seems to provide a different but presumably reasonably authoritative opinion on some aspects.

au.renogy.com/blog/everything-you-need-t...20wholly%20recharged .

It would be interesting to develop a list of advantages (& disadvantages) specifically related to barges, or should I say “boats that carry ballast” and then debate.

Obviously I have my own thoughts but I will let others set the ball rolling if there is any appetite for debate.

Balliol.

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  • Ian Litton
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24 Nov 2023 14:53 #9 by Ian Litton
Replied by Ian Litton on topic Lithium Batteries?
It will be online, but they didn’t say when

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  • Forum Manager
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24 Nov 2023 14:53 #10 by Forum Manager
Replied by Forum Manager on topic Lithium Batteries?
There was no mention of it, so I couldn't say.   

I was dozing off after an hour. As a long-term LFP user I was slightly underwhelmed.  Did anyone else see it?

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