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Old 02-09-2018, 23:54   #1
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Firefly not alone?

Dear all,
I am a part time live aboard Sailor from Sweden. I also have a RV for going snowboarding in in the winter. I have done two LiFeYPo4 installations in my RV's very much inspired by Malin Sails test of Winston 90Ah 12v block and they have worked very well with a Honda 2000w petrol charger and 70A A7C chargers in bulk mode (going to 95% SOC/13,8V)

Now I am upgrading my boat set up. I have avoided LFP so far and tried to buy Fireflys shipped to Sweden but freight, VAT and customs makes it too expensive. I thoughts Firefly had a patent and where the only alternative so I was kind of surprised to see both press releases in Yachting World for these:
http://https://batterystore.co.uk/pl...s-battery.html

And also to learn that both Leoch and others have been selling (solar) batteries with carbon för many years especially in Australia.

The are looking pretty similar to Firefly and prices is much lower. Any thoughts?
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Old 03-09-2018, 23:54   #2
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Re: Firefly not alone?

I am interested in this topic but your link is broken. To comment accurately I need to know exactly which battery store in the UK you are referring to. And what are the other brands being sold in Australia?
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Old 04-09-2018, 00:32   #3
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Re: Firefly not alone?

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Originally Posted by Ostinato View Post
I am interested in this topic but your link is broken. To comment accurately I need to know exactly which battery store in the UK you are referring to. And what are the other brands being sold in Australia?

https://batterystore.co.uk/batteries...ad-carbon.html


Is that the correct link?
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Old 04-09-2018, 01:02   #4
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Re: Firefly not alone?

From what i had seen/heard carbon foam batteries have been around for long time. Availability for general public hasn’t been great nor has awareness.
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Old 04-09-2018, 01:07   #5
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Re: Firefly not alone?

The Firefly technology involves more than the mere presence of carbon in the battery.


Don't assume that performance is equivalent without reading some well done independent testing.


But question -- if you already have experience with LiFePo4 and were happy with it, why don't you want to use that?
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Old 04-09-2018, 02:05   #6
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Re: Firefly not alone?

Here’s more info on them, although manufacturer claims and no test results:

http://www.boatingbusiness.com/news1...eries/_nocache
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Old 04-09-2018, 02:16   #7
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Re: Firefly not alone?

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Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
Here’s more info on them, although manufacturer claims and no test results:

Boating Business | New long-life lead carbon batteries

That's typical marketing propaganda. It would be great if there were a cheap alternative to Firefly, but I suspect the Firefly technology is complex and probably patented. Let's see if there is some independent testing. MaineSail?



I bet that the manufacturing costs of Firefly are not all that high, so perhaps this technology, in any case, will become more widespread and cheaper. It seems very promising to me. When I was doing research for my "Depth of Discharge Myth?" thread, I ran across some scientific papers on the Firefly technology which seemed to say that it could be applicable to nearly all lead acid battery uses -- possibly breathing new life into lead as a battery chemistry. Would be great!
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Old 04-09-2018, 04:07   #8
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Re: Firefly not alone?

Not the same technology at all.



Carbon foam is thin sheets of carbon foam bonded to the plate. The others are mixing carbon particles into the lead paste. There are lots of batteries now using "carbon", including the Northstar Blue+, that was tested in Practical Sailor, but none are using carbon foam as Firefly does or they are violating a patent..
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Old 04-09-2018, 04:14   #9
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Re: Firefly not alone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UFO View Post
Yes it is.
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Old 04-09-2018, 04:29   #10
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Re: Firefly not alone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
The Firefly technology involves more than the mere presence of carbon in the battery.


Don't assume that performance is equivalent without reading some well done independent testing.


But question -- if you already have experience with LiFePo4 and were happy with it, why don't you want to use that?
Because charge profiles are different. In winter A/C through 2000W petrol charger. In summer a mix between (not enough due to space restriction) solar and connected to shore power for longer periods in our own harbour. We also have a lot of possibilities to go into marinas to charge if we wish.

I had decided to go for LiFePoy4 again untill I found these cheaper carbon batteries. Since we have a lot of psoc and I do want to be able to use all solar power available and also beeing able to have longer connection to marina power and also somethimes charging needs in colder climate I was hesitant to set up a similar set up as in my RV, with Victron BMW-7xx and relays cutting off at 95%SOC and 13,8v. And psoc not good for FLA. I was even sketching at a LFP-FLA setup using some of my RV batteries and having them top up Trojan T105's

If marketing hype is through I get almost all of the advantages of LFP from the carbon leads without the drawbacks of a more complicated LFP setup. And at a lower price. Shure, less cycles, not constand current and more weight but all these I can live with.

Winston 90Ah 12v blocks are €530 in EU. Trojan T105 6v €220. Pure Lead carbon 100A 12v €310. Lfp demands more extra systems with associated costs though.

Marketing hype so far I guess but same technology and specs in a solar oriented package marketed by Leoch and others have good revies from land bases off grid solar setups in Australia so I guess I will give it a try. Also no waiting time for delivery.

https://www.aussiebatteries.com.au/b...lead-batteries
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Old 04-09-2018, 04:51   #11
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Re: Firefly not alone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JAndersB View Post
Because charge profiles are different. In winter A/C through 2000W petrol charger. In summer a mix between (not enough due to space restriction) solar and connected to shore power for longer periods in our own harbour. We also have a lot of possibilities to go into marinas to charge if we wish.

I had decided to go for LiFePoy4 again untill I found these cheaper carbon batteries. Since we have a lot of psoc and I do want to be able to use all solar power available and also beeing able to have longer connection to marina power and also somethimes charging needs in colder climate I was hesitant to set up a similar set up as in my RV, with Victron BMW-7xx and relays cutting off at 95%SOC and 13,8v. And psoc not good for FLA. I was even sketching at a LFP-FLA setup using some of my RV batteries and having them top up Trojan T105's

If marketing hype is through I get almost all of the advantages of LFP from the carbon leads without the drawbacks of a more complicated LFP setup. And at a lower price. Shure, less cycles, not constand current and more weight but all these I can live with.

Winston 90Ah 12v blocks are €530 in EU. Trojan T105 6v €220. Pure Lead carbon 100A 12v €310. Lfp demands more extra systems with associated costs though.

Marketing hype so far I guess but same technology and specs in a solar oriented package marketed by Leoch and others have good revies from land bases off grid solar setups in Australia so I guess I will give it a try. Also no waiting time for delivery.

https://www.aussiebatteries.com.au/b...lead-batteries

I would not count on similar performance to Firefly, unless you see some independent testing to verify the claims. The technology is not the same as Firefly -- see MaineSail's post above. But if you do end up trying them, do let us know how they work out -- we'll all be very happy to hear if there are other viable options.
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Old 04-09-2018, 05:29   #12
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Re: Firefly not alone?

As Mainsail said.. Firefly's are protected by a patent. A quick search of the patent office shows a priority date of 2002, meaning coverage to 2022 (in the USA). There are some revisions and extra applications that could extend out that date (its actually a family of patents). I'm not a patent lawyer, but its clearly covered till 2022.

However with that said. Patents are intended to cause innovation. Its common that competitors will come up with novel ways to get around a patent while still providing a competative product. In some of those cases, they actually make a better product. Of course that needs to be verified by independant testing. Any company can and will make unverified marketing claims. In this case the manufacturer claimed 4000 cycles @ %60 DOD in the press release, yet the sticker on the front of the battery claims 2500.
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Old 04-09-2018, 06:17   #13
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Re: Firefly not alone?

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Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
As Mainsail said.. Firefly's are protected by a patent. A quick search of the patent office shows a priority date of 2002, meaning coverage to 2022 (in the USA). There are some revisions and extra applications that could extend out that date (its actually a family of patents). I'm not a patent lawyer, but its clearly covered till 2022.

However with that said. Patents are intended to cause innovation. Its common that competitors will come up with novel ways to get around a patent while still providing a competative product. In some of those cases, they actually make a better product. Of course that needs to be verified by independant testing. Any company can and will make unverified marketing claims. In this case the manufacturer claimed 4000 cycles @ %60 DOD in the press release, yet the sticker on the front of the battery claims 2500.
They have two different new lines. One called LRC with 4000 cycles to 60% DOD and the one for sale now, PLC+-C100, with less cycles buth faster charge to 90%. SOC
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Old 04-09-2018, 15:16   #14
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Re: Firefly not alone?

Yes Firefly's formulation and performance wrt PSOC resistance are unique.

Pretty close to unique tolerating discharging below 60-70% DoD as well.

Carbon is added to many batts, may well be great but. . .
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Old 13-09-2018, 00:23   #15
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Re: Firefly not alone?

Pretty interesting reading (from Asian Battery Conference 2017):

https://www.google.se/url?sa=t&sourc...IucWDpih9X9e6c
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