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Old 11-12-2015, 17:23   #16
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Re: LiFePo or Carbon Foam AGM

I will be replacing my 450aH of gels soon enough. The carbon foam sounds perfect if I can truly drop them in in place of my gels and not need to change charging sources. I have a big Balmor alternator now - my gels accept 70A for a short while only then roll off rapidly to below 20, then slow still - impossible to reach even 85% capacity charge on my gels with the engine as the charging source.

but if the foam can take a big current conceivably my alternator could pump 70 or 80 amps for hours while motoring.

thanks for all this, I'll start looking around for sources in New England.
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Old 11-12-2015, 18:14   #17
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Re: LiFePo or Carbon Foam AGM

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Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
..... Just suggesting that if the cost of a drop in BMS was the major factor, there are some alternatives. Please read the Maine Sail article on his web as the way he and others have built the BMS starts with a vendor sourced BMS card. You need to add some solenoids, an alarm buzzer, and some sensors on each cell of the battery, but it looks to me around $200 would do it.
exMaggieDrum,
If my tone in the response to your post seemed harsh, please except my sincerest apologies. I, in no way meant for it to be.

I was just trying to say that the charging control system that I built for our smaller boat ended up being over a grand.

I used MaineSail's and Bob E. excellent articles as references during the planning and construction phase. IMHO these two are the pioneers and experts with LiFePo's.

Both men took different approaches to their systems, and mine is closer to Bob's. But both systems are excellent examples on how to do LiFePo properly.

But....
There are two major reason why I'm leaning towards the Carbon Foam AGM's on our "new to us" boat.
1) All of the current onboard charging systems can be used as currently set up.
2) LiFePo's don't like to be stored at full charge. And since I like to keep StoS power plugged in while away from the boat (for months at a time), this will kill LiFePo cells.
Although, it does seem that Lithionics has some how over come this issue with their Cell Tower UPS systems. How I don't know.
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Old 11-12-2015, 19:53   #18
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Re: LiFePo or Carbon Foam AGM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Symphony View Post
I will be replacing my 450aH of gels soon enough. The carbon foam sounds perfect if I can truly drop them in in place of my gels and not need to change charging sources. I have a big Balmor alternator now - my gels accept 70A for a short while only then roll off rapidly to below 20, then slow still - impossible to reach even 85% capacity charge on my gels with the engine as the charging source.

but if the foam can take a big current conceivably my alternator could pump 70 or 80 amps for hours while motoring.

thanks for all this, I'll start looking around for sources in New England.
I have spoke with Hybrid today.. 70A/batt would not be a problem. If you have more than 1 battery, then you can double that!

They truly are drop in replacements for AGM. I just have to come to terms with the price. $650/115AH (80 usable at %75). Still mulling!

6 6V costco batteries
$600
372lbs
270AH (using %40)

3 CF AGM
$1420 (ish)
210lbs (about 70lbs each)
240AH (using %75) (Would get a 4 year life if you did this every day)
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Old 11-12-2015, 22:22   #19
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Re: LiFePo or Carbon Foam AGM

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Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
I have spoke with Hybrid today.. 70A/batt would not be a problem. If you have more than 1 battery, then you can double that!

They truly are drop in replacements for AGM. I just have to come to terms with the price. $650/115AH (80 usable at %75). Still mulling!

6 6V costco batteries
$600
372lbs
270AH (using %40)

3 CF AGM
$1420 (ish)
210lbs (about 70lbs each)
240AH (using %75) (Would get a 4 year life if you did this every day)
The biggest reason that I went with the batteries is that they are not permanently damage by misuse .People who cant get a good recharge for what ever reason seem to go through batteries quite often. I know that there are also stories about getting lots of years out of regular AGMs as well <but try to find a battery in Grenada in January after everyone fires up there boats for the season
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Old 12-12-2015, 05:13   #20
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Re: LiFePo or Carbon Foam AGM

I just purchased two more BMS's and eight cell modules for under 600 Australian dollars

great kit and easy to configure and install. We are now running almost a yaer with my DIY LIFEPO4 system

EV Power - Australian Electric Vehicle Specialists — EV Power - Australian Electric Vehicles sells Electric Bikes and car conversions, Electric Bicycles, Electric Vehicles, Conversion Kits.
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Old 12-12-2015, 06:36   #21
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Re: LiFePo or Carbon Foam AGM

Quote:
Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
6 6V costco batteries
$600
372lbs
270AH (using %40)

3 CF AGM
$1420 (ish)
210lbs (about 70lbs each)
240AH (using %75) (Would get a 4 year life if you did this every day)

Another comparison is approx. 660 Ah total (6x6V) versus approx. 300 Ah total (3xG31).

In our boat, we have physical space for 4x6V or 3xG31 for one of our banks. Approx 440 total Ah versus approx. 300 Ah total.

Believe I'd rather wait until Firefly introduces a 6V version, so I could get more Ah into that roughly similar space. Last I heard, the Firefly guy who posted here suggested they'd take that 6V idea under advisement...

-Chris
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Old 12-12-2015, 10:46   #22
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Re: LiFePo or Carbon Foam AGM

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Originally Posted by missourisailor View Post
exMaggieDrum,
If my tone in the response to your post seemed harsh, please except my sincerest apologies. I, in no way meant for it to be.

I was just trying to say that the charging control system that I built for our smaller boat ended up being over a grand.

I used MaineSail's and Bob E. excellent articles as references during the planning and construction phase. IMHO these two are the pioneers and experts with LiFePo's.

Both men took different approaches to their systems, and mine is closer to Bob's. But both systems are excellent examples on how to do LiFePo properly.

But....
There are two major reason why I'm leaning towards the Carbon Foam AGM's on our "new to us" boat.
1) All of the current onboard charging systems can be used as currently set up.
2) LiFePo's don't like to be stored at full charge. And since I like to keep StoS power plugged in while away from the boat (for months at a time), this will kill LiFePo cells.
Although, it does seem that Lithionics has some how over come this issue with their Cell Tower UPS systems. How I don't know.

Forums like CF are great but so much easier to have a person-to-person chat. No worries on anything. I truly appreciate your comments, and the others from AdmiralSlater, Ranger42c, et al. I'm trying to soak it all up. First issue for me is whether the CF or LiFePO4 tech is real world ready (for me) and the next is how much battery capacity for either of these would replace 600Ah of AGM low tech, i.e. not the 600Ah but the equivalent usable day-to-day energy available while still getting longest cycle life possible.

If the CF technology really works and works over the long term as promised, it looks to be better than the lithium batteries and all the voltage management issues.

And it would be nice to have other form factors than just G31 for Fireflys. Not sure 6v golf carts Fireflys (if and when) would be better but they are for me with the older batteries. Based on what I am seeing and hearing right now, my sense is that Firefly will be going after as much "low hanging fruit" as they can with other markets than marine recreational. So I would not hold my breadth on seeing much new in the near term.

It would be fantastic if you all who are currently using Fireflys to put in an update every now and then.
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Old 13-12-2015, 02:36   #23
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Re: LiFePo or Carbon Foam AGM

Please, consider that i am no expert :-)

But I have my own opinions...and listened to a lot around...

1) we need Ampere juice on board, whatever the source, technology, chemistry behind it... thus please do not buy technology, do buy AMPERE JUICE,only that

2) when technologies are way too innovative, untested, and outrageously priced, I wait. Any "advantage" is factored in dearly, and life forecast is pretty much a lab-based (incomplete) test

3) do consider consumption, and the way you manage the boat, in order to choose best combination of sources

4) major consideration: to be able to fully charge the bank, rather regularly. Depending on use, chargers, etc. the choices vary accordingly

In another post, the LiFePo batteries seem to be prone to be dangerous, although some crusaders believe not.. the former IEEE President's voice, not mine.....

E.g. i buy into solar just now, with thin-film foldable panels, very happy to have no frames around

I prefer to invest in deep cycle Lead Acid banks, for more capacity at a lower cost, and have just a second AGM house bank for a quicker charge, and ability to top it up more easily...

The best from lithium technology is in accepting almost total discharge in 1h time.

A 100Ah lead battery delivers nominal capacity over 20h discharge (till 60% soc) which is 5A juice, and much less if discharge rate is higher..
For electric winches, bow-thrust, windlass.... Lithium can give you hundreds of A.... this is good, light, handy..... but I see it good only in medium sized boats having all that machinery..
My opinion :-)
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Old 13-12-2015, 05:46   #24
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Re: LiFePo or Carbon Foam AGM

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Originally Posted by TheThunderbird View Post
do buy AMPERE JUICE,only


E.g. i buy into solar just now, with thin-film foldable panels, very happy to have no frames around
This recommendation and this practice are at odds with each other.

Following your recommendation to follow the juice, one would buy less expensive rigid panels that provide much more power per area.

Mark
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Old 13-12-2015, 07:05   #25
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Re: LiFePo or Carbon Foam AGM

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Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
Forums like CF are great but so much easier to have a person-to-person chat. No worries on anything. I truly appreciate your comments, and the others from AdmiralSlater, Ranger42c, et al. I'm trying to soak it all up. First issue for me is whether the CF or LiFePO4 tech is real world ready (for me) and the next is how much battery capacity for either of these would replace 600Ah of AGM low tech, i.e. not the 600Ah but the equivalent usable day-to-day energy available while still getting longest cycle life possible.

If the CF technology really works and works over the long term as promised, it looks to be better than the lithium batteries and all the voltage management issues.

And it would be nice to have other form factors than just G31 for Fireflys. Not sure 6v golf carts Fireflys (if and when) would be better but they are for me with the older batteries. Based on what I am seeing and hearing right now, my sense is that Firefly will be going after as much "low hanging fruit" as they can with other markets than marine recreational. So I would not hold my breadth on seeing much new in the near term.

It would be fantastic if you all who are currently using Fireflys to put in an update every now and then.
No worries here either.
I agree the person to person is always better than electronic exchanges. But most times, PtoP is not practical due to the great distances that this forum spans.

Because I too think that the CF-AGM's has so much to offer over LiFePo, I want to get all the info that I can about them before dropping a couple of grand on a technology that I have only read about.

The Oasis plant is only a hop, skip and a jump from my home. Wife's ex lives a mile away from the plant. Because of this, I'm giving them a call Monday morning to asks questions and to see about buying them directly from and picking them up, at the factory.

I'll let the forum know what I find out.
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Old 13-12-2015, 07:18   #26
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Re: LiFePo or Carbon Foam AGM

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Originally Posted by TheThunderbird View Post
Please, consider that i am no expert :-)


In another post, the LiFePo batteries seem to be prone to be dangerous, although some crusaders believe not.. the former IEEE President's voice, not mine.....


My opinion :-)
I don't know about LiFePo's being more dangerous. Harder and more complicated to install over LA's, yes.

True, most Li batteries do have their issues with heat during most stages of charging and discharging due to their abilities to produce and except large amounts of current . But beings that the LiFePo have, by design, less storage capacity, they are much safer then other Li batt's.

And lets remember that as LA's charge, they off gas, hydrogen. Which must be vented overboard. Which sadly, most marine crafts don't do.

So IMHO, LiFePo's are safer than LA's, as far as explosions are concerned.
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Old 13-12-2015, 11:31   #27
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Re: LiFePo or Carbon Foam AGM

Good comments above. This is just off the top of my head after having read many of the threads here and my own experiences. I am still digesting, or trying to digest, the benefits and disadvantages of the different battery techs. As far as decision criteria, some thoughts:

- have amps when you need them - primary consideration

- initial cost of the whole battery system - batteries, charging, monitoring, battery management, installation

- recurring cost - replacement batteries (expected cycle life), worn out alternators, labor, etc.

- reliability - works when you need it without huge stress from worrying that it won't - the unknowns of new tech - cycle life "surprises"

- availability - special order from Timbuktu or wherever to wherever the boat is

- suitability of a specific boat for the equipment - space, weight, engine, genset, wiring, alternators, AC battery chargers, how much solar can be fitted, etc. One consideration here is the form factor of the currently available batteries - sizes, voltages, weights that can be purchased now (or soon "may be")

- expected boat usage, or energy usage and replacement availability - light usage, kept on a mooring, full-time liveaboard, cruising, etc.

- timing - go with mature tech with stable costs and well-known issues or emerging tech with potential improvements and lower prices

- safety of the tech - not really worried as far as I know about LiFePo4 or carbon but other lithium definitely

You need to consider all of these things and make the usual trade-off analysis in an imperfect world. These are the things I go through in my head every time I read these threads. It is not simple and straightforward, at all, even for the proponents of wet/flooded tech to AGM tech, else there wouldn't be all the endless discussions about the pros and cons.

My developing sense is that carbon may be the "killer" tech but it is way too new for me to sink a ton of money in to. Only one vendor, who may or may not be in existence in two years (even if the tech is a guaranteed solution - people who run businesses are not), high price, only one form factor available (G31 and not even a promise that others are coming soon), very little experience in the real world (but some trickling in from early adopters - good on ya to those). In a year this some of this will be different so I will monitor closely. From what I see, I wish carbon was farther along as it has huge potential.

Not presenting this as the only way to view this all, nor as a complete list, nor as the right order. Just some considerations.
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Old 14-12-2015, 03:56   #28
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Re: LiFePo or Carbon Foam AGM

Missourisailor,

Drop me a PM when you are planning to visit Peoria. I'll do an introduction with the folks there and set up a time so you can talk to the right people.

Note that the original inventor of the Firefly technology now lives here in Maine. We get together now & then...in fact Maine Sail and I are having lunch with him today...

Bruce


Quote:
Originally Posted by missourisailor View Post
No worries here either.
I agree the person to person is always better than electronic exchanges. But most times, PtoP is not practical due to the great distances that this forum spans.

Because I too think that the CF-AGM's has so much to offer over LiFePo, I want to get all the info that I can about them before dropping a couple of grand on a technology that I have only read about.

The Oasis plant is only a hop, skip and a jump from my home. Wife's ex lives a mile away from the plant. Because of this, I'm giving them a call Monday morning to asks questions and to see about buying them directly from and picking them up, at the factory.

I'll let the forum know what I find out.
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Old 14-12-2015, 04:11   #29
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Re: LiFePo or Carbon Foam AGM

You aren't the only one who thinks this way...I actually say this fairly often; that I think a proper LiFePO4 SYSTEM is indeed more safe than Pb. However there are not that many systems that I feel that way about (certainly not most DIY projects), and of course the "good" systems are expensive. So as much as I like the Li packages that we sell, I know that they are not for everyone.

That is why when we discovered the Firefly CF AGM we were so interested, and got them into the hands of Nigel and Maine Sail to be vetted.

We have invested a lot to get the tech known in the marine market. The shop in Peoria is small and has a complicated history of investors (and disagreements) however we are confident they will eventually expand. Hopefully the tech can be bought/licensed soon by new investors and get the support it deserves.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by missourisailor View Post
I don't know about LiFePo's being more dangerous. Harder and more complicated to install over LA's, yes.

True, most Li batteries do have their issues with heat during most stages of charging and discharging due to their abilities to produce and except large amounts of current . But beings that the LiFePo have, by design, less storage capacity, they are much safer then other Li batt's.

And lets remember that as LA's charge, they off gas, hydrogen. Which must be vented overboard. Which sadly, most marine crafts don't do.

So IMHO, LiFePo's are safer than LA's, as far as explosions are concerned.
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Old 14-12-2015, 05:48   #30
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Re: LiFePo or Carbon Foam AGM

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Hopefully the tech can be bought/licensed soon by new investors and get the support it deserves.

And remember that 6V golf cart version, please. (Perhaps ideally, equalizable, like Lifelines.)




I'd be an early adopter, but for that G31-only thing... and I might be due to replace our oldest bank of Odyssey G31s next season.

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