Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 10-12-2015, 18:17   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 161
LiFePo or Carbon Foam AGM

Hi All,
Okay, please tell me why I should invest in another LiFePo battery system on our “new to us” sv (installed one on our small sv, several years ago), when it seems that Firefly’s, carbon foam AGM, can offer the same performance?

Firefly’s Cons:
I know that the Firefly’s will take up more room and will weigh more compared to the LiFePo’s but from what I can find out, those are the only disadvantages.

Firefly’s Pros:
Discharge to 80%.
Doesn’t mind only being partially charged . Only needs a full charge every few cycles.
Doesn’t mind sitting at full charge for extended periods.
Able to discharge and charge during a greater temperature range.
Can use the current AGM settings on all charging sources.
No BMS.
No Cell balancing.
Can use the Balmar Smartgauge for SoC.

For both types, the cells cost about the same, but the big savings come from no BMS or control circuits and the fact that I can use all of the current charging gear.

So help me decide, does the “new to us” boat get a LiFePo battery system - or - a group of Firefly’s?
__________________

__________________
missourisailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2015, 06:15   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 208
Re: LiFePo or Carbon Foam AGM

How well do they handle a large charging source? It's my understanding (and I could be wrong here) that one of the nice things about LiFePo tech is that it'll take a full charge almost all the way to 100%, so that charging is faster and more efficient.

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
__________________

__________________
monstads is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2015, 10:12   #3
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Anacortes
Boat: previous - Whitby 42 new - Goldenwave 44
Posts: 1,735
Re: LiFePo or Carbon Foam AGM

I'm just starting my research in to all this but I was gobsmacked by the very low cost of BMS systems if you put them together yourself. There are only limited choices in the complete BMS packages. And it really doesn't seem to difficult if you are handy and understand electrical circuits.

If you go with your Firefly's, we'd all be interested in how it works for you.
__________________
exMaggieDrum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2015, 10:33   #4
Registered User
 
travellerw's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Martinique
Boat: Fortuna Island Spirit 40
Posts: 1,718
Re: LiFePo or Carbon Foam AGM

Quote:
Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
I'm just starting my research in to all this but I was gobsmacked by the very low cost of BMS systems if you put them together yourself. There are only limited choices in the complete BMS packages. And it really doesn't seem to difficult if you are handy and understand electrical circuits.

If you go with your Firefly's, we'd all be interested in how it works for you.
While I agree a BMS is not a super difficult thing, it really comes down to time. I'm in the middle of a refit and have a million things I'm dealing with. Cobbling together a BMS just isn't in the cards for me.

I'm hoping the OP gets some input as I'm also looking at other options.

I have looked at Victron as they have a "drop-in" replacement, but just can't swallow the price.
__________________
travellerw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2015, 11:53   #5
Registered User

Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1
Re: LiFePo or Carbon Foam AGM

Was just at a meeting with Nigel Calder 2 Weeks ago. He is using the carbon foam battery now and is very iimpressed with their ability to accept a large/fast charge, discharge to well below 50% and back to 100. He highly reccomended them,,,,,BUT, he said that the factory has begun sorcing compoinents from India, and currently these batteries are inconsistant in quality. He suggested waiting awhile till they get their act together. He thinks they will be a real game changer. So we wait, how long, I don't know
__________________
MikeB. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2015, 12:26   #6
Registered User
 
admiralslater's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Toronto summer rest somewhere else
Boat: Outremer 45/pdq36
Posts: 678
Re: LiFePo or Carbon Foam AGM

I have just purchased 5 of the Carbon Batteries from Hybrid Power supply in Alberta . I did a lot of research first and and was sold on their ability to come back to full strength after being abused . From what I understand the only charging requirement is that the voltage does not go over 14.4
I asked Haig from Hybrid to do a rough costing on a lithium system with the same capacity and it started at 9000.

I do not have any useful information on how they work as they are en route to Grenada
__________________
admiralslater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2015, 13:06   #7
Registered User
 
travellerw's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Martinique
Boat: Fortuna Island Spirit 40
Posts: 1,718
Re: LiFePo or Carbon Foam AGM

Quote:
Originally Posted by admiralslater View Post
I have just purchased 5 of the Carbon Batteries from Hybrid Power supply in Alberta . I did a lot of research first and and was sold on their ability to come back to full strength after being abused . From what I understand the only charging requirement is that the voltage does not go over 14.4
I asked Haig from Hybrid to do a rough costing on a lithium system with the same capacity and it started at 9000.

I do not have any useful information on how they work as they are en route to Grenada
wow.. That is super interesting. I had no idea they were available in Alberta.

could you PM me some contact info as I would love to talk with them. I might be carting batteries with me back to Florida.
__________________
travellerw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2015, 13:28   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 161
Re: LiFePo or Carbon Foam AGM

Quote:
Originally Posted by monstads View Post
How well do they handle a large charging source?

See this is why I ask the question.
I had not thought about charging rates yet.

But from what limited info that I have found (also from the post by MikeB), Firefly's can take a rapid charge rate.
On Bruce Schwab's web page it states max charge current of 225Amp @ 12vdc and 75Amps @ 14.4vdc.

Pretty much on par with LiFePo's.
__________________
missourisailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2015, 13:42   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 161
Re: LiFePo or Carbon Foam AGM

Quote:
Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
I'm just starting my research in to all this but I was gobsmacked by the very low cost of BMS systems if you put them together yourself. There are only limited choices in the complete BMS packages. And it really doesn't seem to difficult if you are handy and understand electrical circuits.

If you go with your Firefly's, we'd all be interested in how it works for you.
I don't know your back ground, but even with my HEAVY avionics' experience, I would not want to design, build then test a BMS.

That doesn't mean that I bought a prepackaged system for my smaller boat. But I did buy the BMS from ElitePower. All of the other components (power relays, control relays, temp sensors, fuses, buss bars...etc) came from other sources.

Even then, the approx. cost of just the control system was over a grand.
Then add a few more K's for the cells them self's.
Finally, you now have to mess with all of the charging system components that can't be made LiFePo friendly.

I think, for me at least, the Firefly option is pretty much set in stone.
__________________
missourisailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2015, 13:44   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 161
Re: LiFePo or Carbon Foam AGM

Quote:
Originally Posted by admiralslater View Post
I have just purchased 5 of the Carbon Batteries from Hybrid Power supply in Alberta .
If you don't mind me asking, what was the cost per battery?
__________________
missourisailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2015, 15:55   #11
Registered User
 
admiralslater's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Toronto summer rest somewhere else
Boat: Outremer 45/pdq36
Posts: 678
Re: LiFePo or Carbon Foam AGM

Quote:
Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
wow.. That is super interesting. I had no idea they were available in Alberta.

could you PM me some contact info as I would love to talk with them. I might be carting batteries with me back to Florida.
Hybridpower supply is a CF vendor and is listed in the CF vendor list
__________________
admiralslater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2015, 16:01   #12
Registered User
 
admiralslater's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Toronto summer rest somewhere else
Boat: Outremer 45/pdq36
Posts: 678
Re: LiFePo or Carbon Foam AGM

Quote:
Originally Posted by missourisailor View Post
If you don't mind me asking, what was the cost per battery?
It was more than 500 CDN dollars ,I have no idea how the exchange rate will affect the price .
__________________
admiralslater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2015, 16:20   #13
Registered User
 
NahanniV's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: On the Boat
Boat: Finnsailer 38
Posts: 1,143
Re: LiFePo or Carbon Foam AGM

Quote:
Originally Posted by missourisailor View Post
If you don't mind me asking, what was the cost per battery?
The price on their website is $729CDN delivered for the 116Ah Oasis battery.
$640CDN. FOB Alberta Canada.

Firefly Energy - Hybrid Power Supply
__________________
NahanniV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2015, 16:36   #14
Registered User
 
Highland Fling's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sunny Scotland but sail in the Caribbean
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 461
Posts: 374
Re: LiFePo or Carbon Foam AGM

LIFePO4
__________________
Now with 600AH of LIFEPO4
kindest regards
David
Highland Fling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2015, 17:21   #15
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Anacortes
Boat: previous - Whitby 42 new - Goldenwave 44
Posts: 1,735
Re: LiFePo or Carbon Foam AGM

Quote:
Originally Posted by missourisailor View Post
I don't know your back ground, but even with my HEAVY avionics' experience, I would not want to design, build then test a BMS.

That doesn't mean that I bought a prepackaged system for my smaller boat. But I did buy the BMS from ElitePower. All of the other components (power relays, control relays, temp sensors, fuses, buss bars...etc) came from other sources.

Even then, the approx. cost of just the control system was over a grand.
Then add a few more K's for the cells them self's.
Finally, you now have to mess with all of the charging system components that can't be made LiFePo friendly.

I think, for me at least, the Firefly option is pretty much set in stone.
Missouri, nothing wrong in going with Fireflys that I know of. 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. Of course, no warranty and the labor to do it would be yours. Just one option and only one I am passing on as a courtesy, not a recommendation, and certainly not telling anyone what to do.

I will continue to look at the Fireflys. I remember very well the first time I heard of the technology on a radio program and I got very excited. The only reason to be cautious is that there is even less experience with them in the recreational marine world than there is for LiFePO4. I haven't found a definitive list of charging parameters yet. It may actually be very easy to drop them in to a boat with a current lead acid tech charging system but I just don't know. The do seem to require a rigid high voltage cutoff but there could be other things to understand and implement the right controls for as well. Just don't know which is not the same and the tech is not good. The Fireflys could also benefit from some competition. Very, very promising though.
__________________

__________________
exMaggieDrum is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
agm

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Firefly Carbon Foam AGM batteries? hellosailor Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 1 29-08-2015 18:09
How does expanding foam in a can compare to 2 PAC low pressure foam? mischief Construction, Maintenance & Refit 16 29-09-2014 21:07
Help a Newbie With Some Battery Problems (+LiFePO) Toubab Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 30 26-08-2012 16:53
To Foam or Not To Foam OldRover Construction, Maintenance & Refit 17 05-04-2012 01:57
Foam or no Foam? Drexel Engineer Construction, Maintenance & Refit 8 25-05-2007 19:15



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 20:39.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.