In my view, there is always a tendency to over complicate things. We fight it with our water
makers and refrigeration
products. When a client calls and offers us a lot of money
to design and build him a custom automated App for his Ipad/Iphone to measure fresh water
production on the water maker or compressor
speed and refrigerant loop superheat on the refrigeration
units there is a pressure to say,
“Sure you are paying for it, we will do it”.
But in the end we TRY and say no. Not because I’m smarter than the client, heck I’m just a self-professed Cruising bozo running a business aboard a boat from Mexico
- wherever we happen to be floating at the moment. We say no because I know I will have to service
and stand behind anything I put our company logo on. Sure I’m just a not all that impressive nerd science guy/inventor turned cruiser, but my biz partner Charlie has over 30yrs at Solar
Turbines, a division of Caterpillar, where he designed, installed and started-up turbine facilities around the world (power generation, gas compression
, cryogenic plants, anywhere a turbine burned fuel). So adding wipe-your-rear-end automation and controls is what he knows how to do and wakes up dreaming about. I’m always telling him NO because if I let him he would over engineer
and automate my damn cast iron fish
fry pan! It’s what engineers do, God love them, they can’t help it, it’s in there DNA and pocket protector decoder badge.
“Rich, what in the world does that have to do with anything about LiFePO4 battery
Well I’m trying to address what I think a big problem is with internet
chat room type advice, which is, you don’t have a context or world view of the person giving the advice or making the comment. Sure you still may think I’m crazy but you will at least understand from where I am standing viewing the problem and how I like to approach things. Sum me up as an Anti-Conventional-Wisdom-Smart-Ass-KISS-Man, who hates dark chocolate and attempts to keep boat systems as simple and “bozo boater proof” as possible.
Because I’m a Bozo Cruiser myself and understand the language
Because I speak to Bozo clients all the time to provide them with customer service
. (No offence to my Bozo clients…I love you all…even the ones on the east coast
that can’t figure out why my voice sounds scratchy when they call me at 4AM my time and ask me if I’m awake yet. If you had to ask, then NO I wasn't awake yet!)
I’m also doing something here that every public relations company on the planet and common sense says not to do. I’m sharing my honest thoughts on a public forum for all the world to see the fillers, salts and nitrates being added to the sausage. Rule
187 in the PR books
says that all communications
with the outside world must be sanitized, run through Legal
tested, and made damn sure not to offend. Well I guess there is just too much “Don’t Give A **** What the World Thinks Cruiser” in me to play that role and my partner hasn’t banned me from internet
chat rooms yet, so here I am.
So here is my ideal LiFePO4 KISS System and How I'm rolling on our boat with a 400AH bank. I would love some feedback on what I’m missing or how I’m screwing up from those far smarter and with more experience than I have.
Set all your ships Charging Devices to 13.4v (ok we can debate 13.4v 13.?)
High Voltage Bank Alarm
Low Voltage Bank Alarm
Individual Cell Monitoring, so you can see the individual cell voltages on a screen
along with the bank voltage.
Now for the safety
for when one of your charging devices fails, because remember folks we are on a boat and **** happens all the time.
High Voltage Charge Cut-off (14.5v...still not sure about)
Low Voltage Load Cut-off (11.5v....still not sure about)
Done…now go enjoy your boat.
What about Auto-Balancing of cells? Well I figure that if a Joe Average Cruiser can’t do that manually once every few years then he doesn’t have a chance of lasting as a cruiser anyway quite frankly and will sell the boat to someone that will long before the cells need balancing. Come on…even if you think I’m crazy…you know I’m partially right on that one!