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Old 20-12-2016, 13:02   #1
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Firefly vs Lithium ?

I'm trying to figure out the best battery setup for my next boat. The contenders Firefly vs Lithium. I'm wanting about 900Ah useable. It looks like Lithium is the go but I'm concerned that they are complex and need someone with skills to keep them alive. Fireflys on the other hand look pretty easy to manage. Data, assumptions, etc below.

Questions
1. Have I left anything significant out?
2. Would I need additional gear to use Li?
3. Has anyone used a Balmar 612 or 614 regulator for Li and was it easy to setup?
4. Does Li need special expertise to install and maintain?

Thanks!


GWL/Power WB-LYP400AHA LiFeYPO4 3.2V/400Ah

Weight (kg) 13.5
Height (mm) 285
Length (mm) 461
Width (mm) 65
Footprint (sqm) 0.03
Price $520

Discharge / Life expectancy in cycles
50% / ?
80% / ?

1200Ah 12v bank - 12 batteries
Footprint (sqm) 0.36
Weight (kg) 162
Useable 960Ah based on 80% (that's what I read on the Victron site)
Price $6,240


Firefly G31 12V/110Ah

Weight (kg) 33.5
Height (mm) 238
Length width (mm) 340
Width (mm) 172
Footprint (sqm) 0.059
Price $480

Discharge / Life expectancy in cycles
50% / 3,600
80% / 1,000

1210Ah 12v bank - 11 batteries
Footprint (sqm) 0.65
Weight (kg) 368
Useable Ah say 850Ah based on a combo of the following.
1. 938Ah = 100% down to 20% if charged via solar
2. 726Ah = 80% (because charging to 100% takes to long) down to 20% if charged by alternators when boat is anchored.
3. 938Ah = 100% down to 20% if charged via alternators when motoring.
Price $5,280

So if his correct Li vs Fireflys

1. 200kg lighter
2. Half the footprint
3. 100Ah more usable capacity
4. Cost $1000 more

Assumptions

1. Victron 3000w 12v inverter / charger that has the correct sensors etc for both Li and Firefly.
2. 2 x 200amp 12v alternators with Balmar MC-612 Regulator (same features as a 614 but handles two alternators).
3. Circa 1500w of solar with appropriate controllers.
4. Both the Firefly and Li banks can accept all the charging power from the above sources.
5. Cost of terminal connectors for both types of batteries are similar so I have not included them in the costs.
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Old 20-12-2016, 13:15   #2
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Re: Firefly vs Lithium ?

GWL/Power WB-LYP400AHA lifespan:
80% DOD 5000 cycles.
70% DOD 7000 cycles.


We have the WB-LYP1000AHC, and we love them.
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Old 21-12-2016, 06:17   #3
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Re: Firefly vs Lithium ?

Offpist,
Have you previously posted a schematic/documentation of your system you could direct me too?
Thanks!
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Old 21-12-2016, 06:29   #4
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Re: Firefly vs Lithium ?

I find my Lifpo4 system a no brainer, When I think back to all the things I had to do to make my lead systems last a few years I am so gratfull for the simplicity of my Lifepo4 . They are not complicated at all just different , in a better way !!



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Old 21-12-2016, 11:32   #5
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Re: Firefly vs Lithium ?

The cost on all of these seams crazy. Is your boat really so small that you need to spend 20-30 times more on a battery just to save a few Kg in weight? I pay about $1.25 per a/hr for batteries that last 10-15 years.
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Old 21-12-2016, 12:38   #6
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Re: Firefly vs Lithium ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by roland stockham View Post
The cost on all of these seams crazy. Is your boat really so small that you need to spend 20-30 times more on a battery just to save a few Kg in weight? I pay about $1.25 per a/hr for batteries that last 10-15 years.
Is yours a marina based boat that allows you to keep the batteries fully charged and therefore has very few cycles?
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:21   #7
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Re: Firefly vs Lithium ?

Since they are a lead based battery is there any data showing degdration on the Firefly batteries while sitting on the shelf as there is with conventional lead acid batteries?
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Old 07-01-2017, 06:47   #8
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Re: Firefly vs Lithium ?

The Firefly is one of the batteries that I am considering as my house bank. They are reported to be the closest thing to lithium batteries out there in the AGM batteries. Right now, they are about $486 ea and at right around 100 amp hours, getting to 900 amp hours will require quite few boat units!

I am not convinced of their technology yet but they are definitely smaller and lighter to install and move around. One can purchased fewer 6 volt AGMs from US Batteries or Rolls Surrette and get exceptional quality and a much lower price to get to 900 amp hours.

Steve
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Old 07-01-2017, 07:54   #9
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Re: Firefly vs Lithium ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowpoke View Post
Since they are a lead based battery is there any data showing degdration on the Firefly batteries while sitting on the shelf as there is with conventional lead acid batteries?
Some links to Firefly PSOC data have been published either here or on trawlerforum.... or both.

You can search for those, and you can also ask Bruce Schwab, since he's a member here and on TF. He may well have been one who posted those links anyway...

-Chris
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Old 07-01-2017, 12:16   #10
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Re: Firefly vs Lithium ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bedford View Post
The Firefly is one of the batteries that I am considering as my house bank. They are reported to be the closest thing to lithium batteries out there in the AGM batteries. Right now, they are about $486 ea and at right around 100 amp hours, getting to 900 amp hours will require quite few boat units!

I am not convinced of their technology yet but they are definitely smaller and lighter to install and move around. One can purchased fewer 6 volt AGMs from US Batteries or Rolls Surrette and get exceptional quality and a much lower price to get to 900 amp hours.

Steve
Steve,
Do you know the rates of charge for each. Say 50% SOC, how long to charge to 90% off a 120Amp alternator?
Nick
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Old 07-01-2017, 12:39   #11
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Re: Firefly vs Lithium ?

Cowpoke hope this helps

Quote = Nigel Calder
"After discharging the 24v series/parallel Firefly pack to 38% SoC last August I left the batteries disconnected all winter over (over 8 months). When I got here I did a normal recharge with the 4 batteries in 24v series/parallel mode. I held the absorption voltage overnight (i.e. no specialized voltage/current; just an extended timer on the absorption for a mild overcharge without equalization voltages), ran the batteries in boat use for several hours with a float charge, then did a C20 capacity test. I got right at 110 Ah per block at the C20 rate, so this looks really good. I recharged with a voltage limit of 28.8v (14.4v/block) and a current limit of 0.25C. The 4 batteries maintained an amazingly consistent voltage on discharge and recharge. All-in-all, this is very positive.

Nigel"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowpoke View Post
Since they are a lead based battery is there any data showing degdration on the Firefly batteries while sitting on the shelf as there is with conventional lead acid batteries?
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Old 07-01-2017, 12:46   #12
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Re: Firefly vs Lithium ?

I don't know 50-90% but would consider that firefly say there is a sweet spot for their batteries of SOC 20-80%. Per the firefly data dropping to 20% you still get 1,800 cycles and by only charging up to 80% you are in th fast bulk charge all the way. Fireflys don't need to be charged to 100% all the time but occasionally is a plus.


Quote:
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Steve,
Do you know the rates of charge for each. Say 50% SOC, how long to charge to 90% off a 120Amp alternator?
Nick
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Old 07-01-2017, 13:20   #13
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Re: Firefly vs Lithium ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Holbrook View Post
I don't know 50-90% but would consider that firefly say there is a sweet spot for their batteries of SOC 20-80%. Per the firefly data dropping to 20% you still get 1,800 cycles and by only charging up to 80% you are in th fast bulk charge all the way. Fireflys don't need to be charged to 100% all the time but occasionally is a plus.
Thanks John - that makes it pretty competitive with LiFePO4 for speed of charging.
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Old 07-01-2017, 14:21   #14
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Re: Firefly vs Lithium ?

All I have is the online literature on the batteries and what I am being told by their rep dealer. I did not see what you are asking but will go back and check. From what I am being told, the Firefly and the Northstar have greater service with a Partial State of Charge (PSOC) than other AGMs, have greater resistance to sulfation, and have high life cycles at a greater degree of discharge.
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Old 07-01-2017, 15:42   #15
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Re: Firefly vs Lithium ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bedford View Post
All I have is the online literature on the batteries and what I am being told by their rep dealer. I did not see what you are asking but will go back and check. From what I am being told, the Firefly and the Northstar have greater service with a Partial State of Charge (PSOC) than other AGMs, have greater resistance to sulfation, and have high life cycles at a greater degree of discharge.
Steve ,are Fireflys considered AGM ,just wondering .
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