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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 13-11-2013, 17:09   #1
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A poll Happy with LiFe (PO4)?

I know the numbers are low for folks that have switched to LiFePO4 cells for a house bank, propulsion, or both, but all you early adopters, vote.
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Old 13-11-2013, 17:42   #2
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Re: A poll Happy with LiFe (PO4)?

Got to give credit to SV Sea Monkey with his post of "....It sounds like nobody here has regretted doing so. Thanks to all for documenting a tremendous wealth of knowledge here." in the big LiFePO4 thread for giving me the idea to poll the early adopters. I think his observation is right on, I've don't know of any that have had regrets for switching but maybe this poll will bring them out.
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Old 13-11-2013, 21:57   #3
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Yep, happy with my LiFe(PO4),

Installed Feb 2013, 8x 180aH CALB cells in 2p4s. For 360ah @12v.
880w @ 12v of solar through a midnite classic. Completely adjustable voltage settings.
Have not hooked up the alternators but plan to soon for those cloudy spells.
Also have victron multiplus 3000/120 inverter charger. Completely adjustable voltage settings too. Only used once as a charger.
Did an initial top balance as per T1 Terry's advice, have a 15-17 mV difference. Have not seen it shift.
I am an amateur(but I read a lot), I built the boat so why not the battery too. Having no experience living on lead gave me no concerns with lfp. Just do it all as safely as you can from research, which the big forum gave me most of the answers. Big help from T1Terry, Mainesail and lagoon4us. Big thanks fellas.

Sberg
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Old 13-11-2013, 22:55   #4
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Re: A poll Happy with LiFe (PO4)?

Sberg, welcome to CF and the lithium club. Did you cast your vote in the poll?
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Old 14-11-2013, 01:33   #5
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Re: A poll Happy with LiFe (PO4)?

Thanks for the welcome deckofficer, been lurking for a long time, just never had much to add.
My number one reason for LFP was weight on my cat but with all the other characteristics, it just made sense. My battery comes in at about 55kg. what would 400Ah of lead be? 120kg-135kg depending on manufacturer.
The poll didn't come up on my ipad app but i have put my vote in now.
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Old 14-11-2013, 03:42   #6
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Re: A poll Happy with LiFe (PO4)?

Installed 8 x Sinopoly 200ah in a 24 v config in 2012. Initial charged each cell with a dedicated charger to 3.65v. Have stayed in balance since then.
also installed two 75ah alternators for fast charging and don't need to clutter the boat up with windmils and solar panels.
These batteries have exceeded my expectations so far: they deliver about 50% more than the rated amp hr's in normal (low) discharge use; they charge ultra fast; they are easy to manage (much easier than lead-acids).
I did vote - guess what
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Old 14-11-2013, 04:33   #7
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Re: A poll Happy with LiFe (PO4)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by deckofficer View Post
I know the numbers are low for folks that have switched to LiFePO4 cells for a house bank, propulsion, or both, but all you early adopters, vote.
Should have a 3rd 'tire kicking' choice. Us non-LiFe users can't see the poll results.
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Old 14-11-2013, 06:32   #8
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Re: A poll Happy with LiFe (PO4)?

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Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
Should have a 3rd 'tire kicking' choice. Us non-LiFe users can't see the poll results.
Click the "view poll results" and you can, I don't know if this was added after your post or not.
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Old 14-11-2013, 08:49   #9
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Re: A poll Happy with LiFe (PO4)?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Click the "view poll results" and you can, I don't know if this was added after your post or not.
You're right, I can see it.

Thanks
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Old 14-11-2013, 10:27   #10
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Installed 360Ah / 12V on my 30' mono - great
Installed 320Ah / 12V on a friend's boat - great turned out to be 380+Ah at 50A discharge
In the process of installing 1400Ah/12V on my cat
In the process of powering a very small dinghy for my wife - she hates to handle the four stroke
Planning 1400 Ah /12V for a friend's cat
Pre-planning conversion of our old motor home to about 200Ah / 12V
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Old 14-11-2013, 10:30   #11
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Re: A poll Happy with LiFe (PO4)?

While I personally love our LiFePO4 bank, and likely won't ever go back to lead as a house bank, I don't feel it is a perfect match for everyone or the panacea many make it out to be. The technology definitely has many, many, many pluses but also some minuses that have to be kept in mind..

Even some very smart guys have toasted some cells T1 Terry and Chris Witzgall being two of them. Imagine how many would get toasted in the hands of a lowish competence DIY with an $20.00 automotive battery charger, some Vise Grips and the proverbial "belt & suspenders" approach...??

Some of the folks I see asking questions on the net about purchasing and building a DIY bank of LiFePO4 scare the heck out of me. They want it now, they want the recipe laid out for them and they don't want to do ANY home work of their own. Oh and by god if the manufacture says 3.8V -4.0 VPC then I will hit them with that and not look back.. It also scares me because these are the folks who WILL give Li a black eye. Sorry but this is going to happen and the rest of us will be left holding the bag to defend this great technology. We will do this because a few bad apples did not want to take the time to do their homework and cherry picked only what they wanted to hear or read... "You can charge them to 4.0 VPC.", "You don't need a BMS or BMS.", "You don't need to top balance.", "You can get away with no HVC or LVC with audible alarms." "You can float them." "All you need is a solar controller labeled "lithium"."etc. etc. etc...

You read my prediction here on 11/14/2013...

Read one just yesterday by a guy hating on Li but who had NO CLUE about it. Apparently he had a failure of some sort and had to fly people in to address it. IMHO that is NOT the kind of person who needs Li on their boat. None the less he is out there bashing something he had no clue how to use or deal with on a voyaging boat.

IMHO LiFePO4 banks are not the plug and play, out of sight out of mind, people want them to be.

For a competent boat owner with a very good understanding of electrics, good battery management practices and a good feel for their on-board electrical system, then it can or could be a great fit.

For the everyday Joe, with little clue about electrical systems, I think it could dent a lot of wallets.....

I voted "lead is dead" but that is only for me because I don't yet feel LiFePO4 is prime time ready. Do I feel it can get there? Yes, eventually it will.

Also for me the jury is still out on my bank and I am not passing full judgement until I have exceeded at least 500 cycles. I am in the process of accelerating my cycle testing and am currently at 202 cycles. The bank will be coming off the boat and back into the shop for more cycles in another week or so... In the shop I can do a cycle per day....

I got burned HARD by the misinformation fed to us early on by AGM makers. "They don't sulfate.", "They can be cycled to 80% DOD.", "You will get 1000+ cycles out of them." etc. etc. and all of it was pure rubbish. They have now recanted on every one of those points except some still claim 1000 cycles except not at 80% DOD.. Course they still NEVER hit 1000 cycles in the real world, only in white coat, pencil protector, geek lab....

I think there is a lot of poor & misleading information out there in regards to LiFePO4 and I think a lot of it is coming directly from the manufacturers. Only time & cycles will prove me wrong.

I can only HOPE the manufacturers are close to accurate but I strongly doubt anyone will see 2000 - 3000 cycles in a marine application. I would be ecstatic with 500-750 cycles as that would eclipse any LA battery I have ever seen in a marine application...

Lots of positives but we simply can't forget about the negative aspects. I have tried to plan for every possible scenario in my system, and build in safe guards for that, but still forgot about the fact that these banks have higher voltages and less sag than LA batteries. Even with all that careful planning and execution I still fried 4 glow plugs...... Chis W. forgot to turn of temp compensation and cooked some cells. IIRC T1 forgot and left the cells charging and unattended, with no HV protection in-place, and also ruined some cells.

We still have a lot to learn, even those of use who seem out ahead of it.. Only time and real world results will tell us all we really need to know because the manufacturers certainly are not being forthright with good data in regards to use as house/off grid cycling banks..

Sorry to be a downer but I always work with a very realistic approach to everything I do. Having been burned by battery makers marketing teams in the past I am approaching this with a full head of skepticism...

Rant over, now tear me a new one.....
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Old 14-11-2013, 10:32   #12
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Re: A poll Happy with LiFe (PO4)?

Bye Bye lead. It's been good for so many years, but now it's time to move on.

And thanks to the CF contributors for all the info on this great new tech.
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Old 14-11-2013, 12:16   #13
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Re: A poll Happy with LiFe (PO4)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
While I personally love our LiFePO4 bank, and likely won't ever go back to lead as a house bank, I don't feel it is a perfect match for everyone or the panacea many make it out to be. The technology definitely has many, many, many pluses but also some minuses that have to be kept in mind..

Even some very smart guys have toasted some cells T1 Terry and Chris Witzgall being two of them. Imagine how many would get toasted in the hands of a lowish competence DIY with an $20.00 automotive battery charger, some Vise Grips and the proverbial "belt & suspenders" approach...??

Some of the folks I see asking questions on the net about purchasing and building a DIY bank of LiFePO4 scare the heck out of me. They want it now, they want the recipe laid out for them and they don't want to do ANY home work of their own. Oh and by god if the manufacture says 3.8V -4.0 VPC then I will hit them with that and not look back.. It also scares me because these are the folks who WILL give Li a black eye. Sorry but this is going to happen and the rest of us will be left holding the bag to defend this great technology. We will do this because a few bad apples did not want to take the time to do their homework and cherry picked only what they wanted to hear or read... "You can charge them to 4.0 VPC.", "You don't need a BMS or BMS.", "You don't need to top balance.", "You can get away with no HVC or LVC with audible alarms." "You can float them." "All you need is a solar controller labeled "lithium"."etc. etc. etc...

You read my prediction here on 11/14/2013...

Read one just yesterday by a guy hating on Li but who had NO CLUE about it. Apparently he had a failure of some sort and had to fly people in to address it. IMHO that is NOT the kind of person who needs Li on their boat. None the less he is out there bashing something he had no clue how to use or deal with on a voyaging boat.

IMHO LiFePO4 banks are not the plug and play, out of sight out of mind, people want them to be.

For a competent boat owner with a very good understanding of electrics, good battery management practices and a good feel for their on-board electrical system, then it can or could be a great fit.

For the everyday Joe, with little clue about electrical systems, I think it could dent a lot of wallets.....

I voted "lead is dead" but that is only for me because I don't yet feel LiFePO4 is prime time ready. Do I feel it can get there? Yes, eventually it will.

Also for me the jury is still out on my bank and I am not passing full judgement until I have exceeded at least 500 cycles. I am in the process of accelerating my cycle testing and am currently at 202 cycles. The bank will be coming off the boat and back into the shop for more cycles in another week or so... In the shop I can do a cycle per day....

I got burned HARD by the misinformation fed to us early on by AGM makers. "They don't sulfate.", "They can be cycled to 80% DOD.", "You will get 1000+ cycles out of them." etc. etc. and all of it was pure rubbish. They have now recanted on every one of those points except some still claim 1000 cycles except not at 80% DOD.. Course they still NEVER hit 1000 cycles in the real world, only in white coat, pencil protector, geek lab....

I think there is a lot of poor & misleading information out there in regards to LiFePO4 and I think a lot of it is coming directly from the manufacturers. Only time & cycles will prove me wrong.

I can only HOPE the manufacturers are close to accurate but I strongly doubt anyone will see 2000 - 3000 cycles in a marine application. I would be ecstatic with 500-750 cycles as that would eclipse any LA battery I have ever seen in a marine application...

Lots of positives but we simply can't forget about the negative aspects. I have tried to plan for every possible scenario in my system, and build in safe guards for that, but still forgot about the fact that these banks have higher voltages and less sag than LA batteries. Even with all that careful planning and execution I still fried 4 glow plugs...... Chis W. forgot to turn of temp compensation and cooked some cells. IIRC T1 forgot and left the cells charging and unattended, with no HV protection in-place, and also ruined some cells.

We still have a lot to learn, even those of use who seem out ahead of it.. Only time and real world results will tell us all we really need to know because the manufacturers certainly are not being forthright with good data in regards to use as house/off grid cycling banks..

Sorry to be a downer but I always work with a very realistic approach to everything I do. Having been burned by battery makers marketing teams in the past I am approaching this with a full head of skepticism...

Rant over, now tear me a new one.....

Main,

Again, excellent logic, and well stated.

Plug and Play and Ready for Prime Time are and will be forever linked. As demand increases, manufactures will create better products.

I am seeing new LI products entering the market that are getting close, but they lack numbers to develop failure analysis.

My guess is it's still an early adopter/DYI technology. Or one for large Yachts that have a true on-board engineer.

I support it's growth.

I think 5 years from now it will begin to ramp up to everyday technology.

Lloyd
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Old 14-11-2013, 12:36   #14
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Re: A poll Happy with LiFe (PO4)?

Maine,

I think you will see cycle life as advertised. I base this on how conservative they rated these cells in a-hr. After 2 years of exchanging experiences with these cells, most all are in agreement that for usable a-hr, whatever size your lead bank was, your LiFePO4 bank can be 1/2 that. It is hard for me to imagine that the manufacturers would be so conservative in capacity rating and then optimistic in cycle life rating.

So my prediction as of 11-14-2013, if in the hands of a competent user, actual cycle life will also surpass advertised claims.
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Old 14-11-2013, 12:39   #15
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Re: A poll Happy with LiFe (PO4)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
While I personally love our LiFePO4 bank
<snipped>
Rant over, now tear me a new one.....
Thanks for this post
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