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Old 03-06-2016, 17:46   #1
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Domestic Battery Capacity

Hi L400 owners, and other Lagoon owners too,

Looking to understand what battery types and capacity folks are using for domestic banks. The L400S2 we are looking at has ~600AH lead acid batteries and they look to be finished. It is a great opportunity to upgrade.

Boat has no solar as of yet and will be adding 1250 to 1500W above/aft of the cockpit roof, hoping to achieve 75A charge rates in good conditions. I believe 75A alternators on both engines, and 2x40A Cristek 220v chargers. No inverter, will be adding a Victron 3000W inverter/charger. No generator installed but a Honda i2000 available, which I hope will gather dust.

Boat has the 130L fridge, top loading freezer and a drawer style fridge in the cockpit. Small 12v TV. Raymarine E series plotter and ST70s. No water maker, dishwasher or washing machine and not planning to add them.

Back to batteries:
Currently investigating LiFePo as an alternative - curious to hear if any have had positive experiences with them. 360AH with 80% usable capacity looks to be reasonably sized. Manufacturer has them available in increments of 180AH, so next step up is 540AH, which looks to be oversized considering we are not live-aboards.
The lower cost alternative looks like gel or AGM, replacing the 600AH house bank of LA. With 30% usable capacity, 600AH nets 180AH. Adding additional 150AH nets +45AH.

We are quite power-conscious on our current boat and are pretty much over it, and would like to minimize the engine/generator operation.

Keen to hear your thoughts and to find out what you have installed.

Cheers,

Matt
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Old 05-06-2016, 05:11   #2
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Re: Domestic Battery Capacity

We put in 400 AH of LiFePO4, described here, post #18

Service batteries and mastervolt
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Old 05-06-2016, 05:39   #3
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Re: Domestic Battery Capacity

If you're looking at 1250-1500W of solar, I'd be looking at having around 400AH of usable storage to make the most of it.
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Old 05-06-2016, 05:47   #4
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Re: Domestic Battery Capacity

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quarter View Post
Hi L400 owners, and other Lagoon owners too,

Looking to understand what battery types and capacity folks are using for domestic banks. The L400S2 we are looking at has ~600AH lead acid batteries and they look to be finished. It is a great opportunity to upgrade.

Boat has no solar as of yet and will be adding 1250 to 1500W above/aft of the cockpit roof, hoping to achieve 75A charge rates in good conditions. I believe 75A alternators on both engines, and 2x40A Cristek 220v chargers. No inverter, will be adding a Victron 3000W inverter/charger. No generator installed but a Honda i2000 available, which I hope will gather dust.

Boat has the 130L fridge, top loading freezer and a drawer style fridge in the cockpit. Small 12v TV. Raymarine E series plotter and ST70s. No water maker, dishwasher or washing machine and not planning to add them.

Back to batteries:
Currently investigating LiFePo as an alternative - curious to hear if any have had positive experiences with them. 360AH with 80% usable capacity looks to be reasonably sized. Manufacturer has them available in increments of 180AH, so next step up is 540AH, which looks to be oversized considering we are not live-aboards.
The lower cost alternative looks like gel or AGM, replacing the 600AH house bank of LA. With 30% usable capacity, 600AH nets 180AH. Adding additional 150AH nets +45AH.

We are quite power-conscious on our current boat and are pretty much over it, and would like to minimize the engine/generator operation.

Keen to hear your thoughts and to find out what you have installed.

Cheers,

Matt
Hello Matt, I just fitted replacement batteries in my L400 brought new in 2009 hull 93, after much research I decided to replace with the same four factory fitted 120A Gel Exide, however I could not find the Exide brand in Oz, finally found German Sonnenschein in Sydney who I believe is now owned by Exide, ( they are exactly the same physical size and polarity) which meant they fitted the batterie box exactly and no alteration of the leads required. The reasons I went with the same after considering other options are the old ones lasted six years with no issues, my L400 is all set up for charging Gels I have solar and genset but mainly on shore power. I decided to replace the engine start batteries as well so I now have six new gel's total cost A$2900.00 I removed and fitted myself so no service cost. Regards Peter
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Old 07-06-2016, 00:40   #5
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Re: Domestic Battery Capacity

Thanks for your insights, Gents. Leaning quite hard towards installing LFP.


Keen to hear about what others have on board.
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Old 07-06-2016, 01:34   #6
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Re: Domestic Battery Capacity

Quote:
Originally Posted by peterp View Post
Hello Matt, I just fitted replacement batteries in my L400 brought new in 2009 hull 93, after much research I decided to replace with the same four factory fitted 120A Gel Exide, however I could not find the Exide brand in Oz, finally found German Sonnenschein in Sydney who I believe is now owned by Exide, ( they are exactly the same physical size and polarity) which meant they fitted the batterie box exactly and no alteration of the leads required. The reasons I went with the same after considering other options are the old ones lasted six years with no issues, my L400 is all set up for charging Gels I have solar and genset but mainly on shore power. I decided to replace the engine start batteries as well so I now have six new gel's total cost A$2900.00 I removed and fitted myself so no service cost. Regards Peter
i will follow your path when time comes. I am no good with electricity, so want to keep it simple. And cheap.
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Old 07-06-2016, 02:38   #7
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Re: Domestic Battery Capacity

Hi Matt,
just to give you some idea and a comparison on what we are using. We have a 2004 Lagoon 410. I installed two 6 vote AGM 450 AH capacity batteries. They are a chinese brand called Giant. They were supplied by a company called Aussie Batteries based in Warana Queensland. We also purchased two by 145 Watt Bosh solar panels and a 40 Amp MPPT controler through the same company. I have changed all the lights to LED (big power saving) our hungriest electrical appliance is the fridge and freezer.
I not that you state that you run your battereis to noly 30 percent of their capacity. Most AGMS can safely be run down to 50 % with little issue. We keep a Vitron battery monitor on board and even using all the power we want I have never got below 75% of the battery capacity.
In the tropics are batteries are normally back to full charge by between 11 and noon. We have new Yanma 40 HP motors with 100 amp alternators and at most we have found in bad weather after three day we need to run the a motor for 30 minutes to fully charge up the battery bank.
After two and a half years of crusing we have found that this is more than sufficient power for us. If I were to upgrade I would consider a new Rutland 1200 wind generator and I doubt I would be able to use all the power it generated.


Greg and Sue
SV Sunshine
currently berthed Urangan Boat Harbour QLD. (but not for much longer )
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Old 08-06-2016, 00:26   #8
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Re: Domestic Battery Capacity

Hi Greg and Sue,


Thank you for your reply. We have an Enertech battery monitor in addition to our Jeanneau panel (the same on Beneteau, Jeanneau and Lagoon). We do run our batteries down to 50% but find with our limited charging system that we rarely get recharge back above 85% during the day giving us an effective 30% of the battery as usable capacity - we don't get them back to 100% full until we are back on shore power.
Thanks for sharing your experience as well. It looks like most with LA, gel or AGM have approximately 450-500AH capacity and don't have much for issues with having enough power.
Thanks,
Matt
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Old 08-06-2016, 08:56   #9
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Re: Domestic Battery Capacity

Not quite there yet, but I'm planning on fitting 700AH of Winston LiFePO4 initially, then evaluating if I want a second bank to take it to 1400AH

700AH is 4 Cells worth, connected up in Series, cost approx $5k ish in Aus.

I'll be matching that with between 1600w and 2000w or Solar, Sunpower panels. They maybe augmented by a Watt&Sea HydroGen, and/or a Wind Gen.


This may seem like a crapload of power gen, However, My goal is.
- No Genset and avoidance on engine runs for charging
- Fairly heavy electrical load of 240v appliances.
- Totaly green
- Capacity for at least 3-5 days power in bad weather.
- Ability to be 'off the grid' for at least 3 months at a time. (Away from any kind of resupply, inc fuel)
- Sailing in High Lattitudes. (Away from the sunbelt, and often with shorter days or low angle sun)

Still speccing it out, but thats the rough plan after a pile of research.

Your goals may vary.

LiFePO4 is critical to this plan, and I recommend it if you can afford it.

Note, I'm an Electronics Tech, so doing this myself.

Regards
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Old 08-06-2016, 15:00   #10
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Re: Domestic Battery Capacity

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catapault View Post
Not quite there yet, but I'm planning on fitting 700AH of Winston LiFePO4 initially, then evaluating if I want a second bank

I'll be matching that with between 1600w and 2000w or Solar, Sunpower panels. They maybe augmented by a Watt&Sea HydroGen, and/or a Wind Gen.


This may seem like a crapload of power gen, However,
It is! You may be able to sell power back to the grid whenever you return to marinas.
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Old 09-06-2016, 05:32   #11
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Re: Domestic Battery Capacity

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuskie View Post
It is! You may be able to sell power back to the grid whenever you return to marinas.
Hehe.

Not sure, PaulinOz, Emerald Sea, and a couple others on here are running similar setups from what I read !.

Of course I have to actually settle on a boat first... Its a run off between 42 and 450 atm. with a 400 bringing up the tail...



For reference for the OP. You need to measure a few things.
1. Your expected load. Generally over 24h. Actually measure it or calculate it.
2. Your expected or required power INPUT over same period. (which you did already)

This gives you the BASE requirement. If Input > Output, it dosn't matter how many batteries you have. They will go flat eventually.

Then:
3: Buffer size. To store that power when its not being used, and make it available when its needed. (Which is not when it is being generated)

The basic purpose of the Battery bank, is to take the short charge times of Generator/Alternator/Solar/Passing Sea Monster and spread it out to cover the full day.

I'd personally advise to size your battery to be able to supply 24 hours worth of power (assuming no top up), at an absolute minimum, and preferable 2-3 days worth.

NOTE: REALLY simplified, so don't shoot me A number of other factors come into play if you want to work it all out.
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Old 09-06-2016, 16:50   #12
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Re: Domestic Battery Capacity

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Originally Posted by Catapault View Post
Hehe.

Not sure, PaulinOz, Emerald Sea, and a couple others on here are running similar setups from what I read !.

I'd personally advise to size your battery to be able to supply 24 hours worth of power (assuming no top up), at an absolute minimum, and preferable 2-3 days worth.

NOTE: REALLY simplified, so don't shoot me A number of other factors come into play if you want to work it all out.
If you go for 1400AH of LiFePo4, that is roughly equivalent to 4,500 AH of lead acid. That's the biggest bank I've heard of. Given your plans however, it is not unreasonable.

We did the planning that you describe and our setup of 1150w of solar and 400AH of Lithium batteries works fine for 95% of time at anchor. Our system runs out of flowing electrons when we do overnight sailing passages. In general terms, the solar doesn't work as well when sailing as the sails shade the panels, at least for part of the day. Our power requirements also increase due to use of electronics, lights and autopilot in addition to the usual fridges, pumps and appliances. When sailing our power demand averages about 20 Amps. So, if we sail all day and then overnight, we find that we have low battery charge sometime during the night. So it becomes necessary to start a motor or our diesel genset to input a few electrons back into the batteries. It's really hard to specify a battery bank size that will never run out.
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Old 09-06-2016, 18:06   #13
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Re: Domestic Battery Capacity

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuskie View Post
If you go for 1400AH of LiFePo4, that is roughly equivalent to 4,500 AH of lead acid.
That's assuming only 25% available from LA v 80% for LiFePo4.
I think you're stretching it a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuskie View Post
We did the planning that you describe and our setup of 1150w of solar and 400AH of Lithium batteries works fine for 95% of time at anchor. Our system runs out of flowing electrons when we do overnight sailing passages. In general terms, the solar doesn't work as well when sailing as the sails shade the panels, at least for part of the day. Our power requirements also increase due to use of electronics, lights and autopilot in addition to the usual fridges, pumps and appliances. When sailing our power demand averages about 20 Amps. So, if we sail all day and then overnight, we find that we have low battery charge sometime during the night. So it becomes necessary to start a motor or our diesel genset to input a few electrons back into the batteries. It's really hard to specify a battery bank size that will never run out.
Sounds like you need another 100Ah of storage.
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Old 10-06-2016, 17:34   #14
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Domestic Battery Capacity

Our setup for full time liveaboard in Australia is:

1000W solar
800AH Lithium
Backup Honda 2000i portable genset.

In summer we generate almost 100% solar Brisbane or similar latitudes. Not quite as good in Tasmania of course due to lower sun. Can handle a few days of overcast weather.

In winter, Brisbane or North, probably more like 90-95% in the sunny conditions usual at that time of year. But solar even on sunny days will not fully charge the batteries so once a week or fortnight the Honda has to be used. If the weather is inclement then more frequent supplementing is needed. The 800 Ah storage adds flexibility but ultimately in winter there is a deficit that has to be made up by motoring, shore power or genset.

The power load on our 420 is relatively high, given the less than super efficient Vitrifrigio fridge and freezer typical on Lagoons. We also run a 65l Portable fridge/freezer unit, a washing machine, and a satellite TV system.

Shore power charging is a 60A charger designed for lithiums.

Solar uses a 60A charger again with a lithium routine.

In peak conditions have seen 55A solar charge. Winter more like 35 A max.

One piece of advice. Make sure all cables are heavy. High currents generate high temps and I found that we were losing efficiency, seeing signs of overheating at terminals and having trouble with accurate battery sensing/management due to inadequate cabling. Have now upgraded all our cables to adequate size.

We have been running this system for 2 years now from Sydney to Tasmania and now in Brisbane.

Overall works well for us.

Conclusions:

Big advantage of lithiums: Happy wife happy life. Can now run high discharge 240V appliances without any worry about high drain reducing lead acid battery life. Hair dryer, vacuum cleaner, kitchen appliances no problem. (3000 inverter)

800 AH lithium is good. I would not recommend less unless cost is a limitation. I expect to amortize the high cost over a long lifetime. Had very poor life from the best AGMs available previously installed (2 boats) despite careful handling and monitoring, so the per annum cost of batteries is expected to be no higher with lithiums.

Next time I would install more solar, and a larger solar charger, but same storage. Solar panels are cheap so I'd add as much as I could fit. Probably 1300- 1500 next time with the expectation of more efficient panels for the same area. Idea is to make maximum advantage of sunny conditions to recharge when conditions are good. I don't think adding more storage is cost efficient.

Am I planning to upgrade? No What we have is good, and the small inconvenience of supplementing solar with the portable generator is infrequent and cheap. Cost to upgrade what we have now would not be a good investment.



Bob
CASABLANCA L420 #86
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Old 10-06-2016, 23:12   #15
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Re: Domestic Battery Capacity

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
That's assuming only 25% available from LA v 80% for LiFePo4.
I think you're stretching it a bit.

Sounds like you need another 100Ah of storage.
Yep Stu, you're probably right. My point is that 1400AH of Lithiums is a pretty big house bank in comparitive terms. Our old gel batteries seemed to usually operate between 65 and 90% at anchor, so 25% useable AH from LA is not unrealistic; perhaps 80% from Lithium is a bit hopeful.

Not sure that an extra 100 AH of storage would solve our issue of never having to run engines or genset for charging. As Bob on Casablanca points out; he has similiar power hungry appliances and twice our battery capacity yet still needs to periodically burn diesel to top up charge.
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