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View Poll Results: If you are currently using LiFePO4 cells for a house bank, propulsion, or both.
Lead is dead, never going back 49 94.23%
Big mistake, going back to lead. 3 5.77%
Voters: 52. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 17-12-2013, 19:07   #151
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Re: A poll Happy with LiFe (PO4)?

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Originally Posted by d design View Post
I dont see why it would be different on a large bank. The marine environment is extremly corosive and good maintanance to your battery connections should give you 100% satisfaction. I wont post any more on this thread as its about peoples experiences with these batteries and not someone ranting on about them.
It's different. Those Rc packs are attached with tinned copper bus bars with a 5/16 bolts slathered in dielectric grease?. C rates of discharge is polar opposite between the two.. I've used both. Rc heli applications (remember A123 systems?) and I'm cruising currently with a 200 ah bank. Real world experience says its different.
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Old 17-01-2016, 15:01   #152
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Re: A poll Happy with LiFe (PO4)?

I just purchased a Lithionics 960 Amp Hour system. Should start installation in a few weeks. I'll update how wide my smile is then....!
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Old 18-01-2016, 11:59   #153
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Re: A poll Happy with LiFe (PO4)?

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Originally Posted by deckofficer View Post
The two "No" votes are from people that have never owned LiFePO4 cells. A reminder, this poll is for folks that have owned and used these cells, not opinions. So, we are still at 100% satisfaction and when a mod gets the chance, please remove the two "No" votes. Thanks.
Yes 100% happy !!!!


Lead is dead , don't invest in it in a boat .

Regards
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Old 17-07-2016, 00:57   #154
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Re: A poll Happy with LiFe (PO4)?

I've been using my LiYPO4 for a year now, could not be happier. Have a 4s3p setup with 200Ah cells 5.7kWh capacity usable. I have also finally found a solution to charging from the engine: https://www.victronenergy.com/dc-dc-...verter-25a-50a It switches on a buck-converter when the engine switches on. It converts the starter battery circuit (and alternator) to a fixed-voltage (programmable) voltage source.

Hoping to install the new device on the boat soon (it's a money thing).
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Old 17-07-2016, 10:47   #155
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Re: A poll Happy with LiFe (PO4)?

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Originally Posted by campr View Post
I've been using my LiYPO4 for a year now, could not be happier. Have a 4s3p setup with 200Ah cells 5.7kWh capacity usable. I have also finally found a solution to charging from the engine: https://www.victronenergy.com/dc-dc-...verter-25a-50a It switches on a buck-converter when the engine switches on. It converts the starter battery circuit (and alternator) to a fixed-voltage (programmable) voltage source.

Hoping to install the new device on the boat soon (it's a money thing).
After writing all this I notice that this is a VERY old thread. Still pertinent but the poll results I am sure not very reliable since the last vote was 2013. I see that SV Third Day voted against Li for the poll but we all know he has missionary zeal in favor of Li today.

Good to hear that you are a happy camper with your LiYPO4 battery to date.

One issue I (and some others) are dealing with now is charging the starter battery, with most seeming to recommend using a dc-dc converter such as an Echo Charger, Sterling, or Duo Charge, and now the Victron one. It is quite a bit more expensive but also more programmable. It seems to be able to change the dc input undervoltage cutoff point. The brochure implies the undervoltage cutoff is set but the manual shows it as programmable but does not give any info as to specifically how (sensitivity or value ranges acceptable). The manual shows 10v in the sample screen (updated via computer USB).

The issue of using a dc-to-dc converter is when it is charged by the lithium house bank and not limited by engine ignition on, although that is an option. Most posts seem to just install the converters with auto function or a manual switch. But they also have undervoltage cutoff at 13.0v which is not suitable for direct connection to the lithium batteries as they are always at 13.0+ at normal PSOC so the converters are always on even without a charging source on. (That is the issue as I understand it but I may be missing some nuance or other reason entirely.)

A workaround proposed is a manual cutoff switch. This causes a possibility of human error when the switch is not cutoff when needed and when to turn it on and for how long, etc. If you only turn it on with the engine on and with an engine alternator on then it would only turn on the converter with a charge source on the lithium bank. That might be a good solution that also means the starter battery would not be charged by solar or other means even though they are on. Just turning it on with the engine running would be a good solution as that is when you will have used the start battery and taken some capacity away from it.

If the Victron buck boost is programmable to a suitable undervoltage cutoff you could keep it powered by the lithium bank regardless of engine ignition on so long as it could be programmed to a suitable lithium PSOC voltage (i.e. settable and sensitive to at least 100mV or less), e.g. 13.6v or something.

The Victron gear is not inexpensive though. I just saw a price of $560US for the 25A version and $700 for the 50A version (discounted US retailer).

Any comments or critiques from the usual suspects?
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Old 17-07-2016, 10:58   #156
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Re: A poll Happy with LiFe (PO4)?

As far as I understood, it works exactly the other way around, it starts generating a fixed voltage from the engine alternator when the engine is started. So set it to 13.8 volts and it will start generating that as a constant current of 25/50A and then change to a constant voltage of 13.8, thus being a CC/CV charger. That's my understanding of how to use this product.

I intend to use it to charge my li-ion from the main engine alternator (which is capable of 100A and had a sealed lead-acid battery for charging.
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Old 17-07-2016, 11:14   #157
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Re: A poll Happy with LiFe (PO4)?

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Originally Posted by campr View Post
As far as I understood, it works exactly the other way around, it starts generating a fixed voltage from the engine alternator when the engine is started. So set it to 13.8 volts and it will start generating that as a constant current of 25/50A and then change to a constant voltage of 13.8, thus being a CC/CV charger. That's my understanding of how to use this product.

I intend to use it to charge my li-ion from the main engine alternator (which is capable of 100A and had a sealed lead-acid battery for charging.
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I wasn't familiar with the term "undervoltage cutoff" so I googled it. I found a paper from Victron describing it as I think I said above. But I was not thinking about it from your point of view, i.e. from the alternator to the starter battery and not really incorporating the Li batteries in the loop. Since my alternator will be connected to my Li house bank they really are one and the same to me.

My understanding is still that the converter will not start up until the input voltage (from an alternator or another battery bank) reaches and holds at the input voltage cutoff. That is, not until the alternator (or battery) reaches 13.8v from your example. I really did not look at the specs for programming the output side of it when I wrote the above. Rereading the manual I did not see specifically that it changes from constant current to constant voltage but it may well do. You can set, not only the input voltage minimum, but the output voltage maximum, the output current maximum, and the input current maximum (so as to not burn up your alternator).

But I may have missed something.
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Old 17-07-2016, 12:38   #158
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Re: A poll Happy with LiFe (PO4)?

If you look at the data sheet it clearly states the situation I describe. The CC is limited current by the low resistance of the lipo cells. Once the voltage is almost reached, the current will slowly drop as the voltages close.

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Old 17-07-2016, 17:46   #159
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Re: A poll Happy with LiFe (PO4)?

We are running 16 cells (LiFePO4 with added yttrium for fuller flavour and satisfaction :-) in a 48v/200Ah configuration and have been doing for about 3 years now, admittedly not on a boat but as an off grid power system for the off grid house, (with a 4Kw Studer inverter/charger).
We average 8Kwh per day and during the summer months we rely on a bank of 10x300w PV panels, during winter we use a 6kva diesel (inverter) genset about 8 hrs a week to keep things ticking along nicely.
Plus side over Lead?
As many have said, less or zero maintenance, no fumes, no problems with orientation (not a problem on a house but....), less weight, longer life/more cycles and they are happy to sit unconnected for months without self discharge. (not done this)
This last point should please those with smaller boats with no "real estate" for PV Panels or wind generator. This means you can just leave it sitting in the boat for months and still have power for essentials, nail polishers, curling tongs etc. the moment you hop on board. The light weight factor also means you can take the battery home to charge it if you have no alternator.
I am surprised we have not had the obligatory "They catch fire all the time" comment from those avid readers of negativity. Yes, the "old" LiOn battery packs for toys, some laptops and indeed the occasional passenger jet did suffer from thermal runaway but the addition of the phosphate and, later, yttrium, have all but eliminated this problem by increasing internal resistance with heat buildup.
All in all a happy floater, as it were. Can't wait for the old lead acid dinosaur batteries on the boat to go the way of the... um.. dinosaur.
;-)
eta...
The boat system was there when we bought it earlier this year and is a horrible reminder of the amount of work needed to maintain the early Victorian lead acids.
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Old 18-07-2016, 07:35   #160
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Re: A poll Happy with LiFe (PO4)?

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Originally Posted by campr View Post
If you look at the data sheet it clearly states the situation I describe. The CC is limited current by the low resistance of the lipo cells. Once the voltage is almost reached, the current will slowly drop as the voltages close.

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Thanks for the info campr. I'll take a closer look.
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Old 24-07-2016, 01:58   #161
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Re: A poll Happy with LiFe (PO4)?

Found a similar device for _much_ less. It creates ~150W of adjustable voltage (again, USB programmable) by use of a DC-DC buck-boost design:
DCDC-USB-200, Intelligent DC-DC converter with USB interface $59
It's intended for creating a stable source of voltage (for a computer) from an automotive source (so it has start detection).
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Old 25-07-2016, 06:41   #162
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Re: A poll Happy with LiFe (PO4)?

Although the discussion about DC/DC charging is slightly offtopic in this thread: yesterday I've replaced the Balmar Digital Duo with a Sterling battery to battery charger (ProCharge B). Works as expected and is a drop-in replacement. Remote activation/deactivation of charging via "timer relay prolonged Ignition+" works.
Happy camper with this.
The other charger just mentioned here IMO is fine for charging another (smaller) LiFePO4 but not for a Lead Acid battery which likes proper CC/CV charging curves.

To get back on topic: extremely happy so far with my LiFePO4 setup.



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Old 25-07-2016, 07:34   #163
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Re: A poll Happy with LiFe (PO4)?

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Originally Posted by mbartosch View Post
Although the discussion about DC/DC charging is slightly offtopic in this thread: yesterday I've replaced the Balmar Digital Duo with a Sterling battery to battery charger (ProCharge B). Works as expected and is a drop-in replacement. Remote activation/deactivation of charging via "timer relay prolonged Ignition+" works.
Happy camper with this.
The other charger just mentioned here IMO is fine for charging another (smaller) LiFePO4 but not for a Lead Acid battery which likes proper CC/CV charging curves.
Thanks for your information Martin. I want a backup to my inverter/charger for dock charging (or backup Honda small generator). The Sterling may be a good choice.
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