Hello T1 Terry and Ebaugh,
Seems quiet enough for me to say a first " Hello "
and a Big Thank You
both for all your interesting educational and informative posts.
I will not post often as typing and spelling are not skills I have , it is sad to say this post took me hours to do.
I appriciate your efforts most
,and those of others, but yours were the ones I followed closest
as I tried to learn about lithium ion batteries, specifically LiFePO4
batteries. I needed to read "been there done that "info
I also followed the lithiam ion articles from "Technomadia" who have the same Victron charger
as mine and the same manufacturer of batteries as Ebauch and myself.
I read every post from the beginning to the end and then again many times, as well as everything I could find on the net.
My skills are from a steel
fabrication background and I apply that to projects on my boat . I am not electronically smart and employed a smart , intelligent Electical engineer
who used his expertise and your parameters for seting up the charging
voltages from the equipment
I have on board. This is his first LiFeP04 project
he has worked on, there are none here on boats for house banks ....YET.
My boat is a 47' 2001,Baylinner 4788 pilot house motoryacht
with twin 370 hp cummings diesels and an 8kw westerbeke
gen set that I have owned for the last 7 years. I travel in protected waterways and am slowly upgrading her to become a year round liveaboard
going south in the winter months and back north in the summer, following the intercoastal waterways, lakes n cannals. I am not an open water
boater. Home port, Montreal, Quebec
To cut to the chase I installed 84 only second hand 60 amp GBS batteries
in July and had a trouble free month August traveling away from my home marina where I live 5 -6 months of the year on my boat. I average 200 hrs per year on my engines and am away from 8 to 10 weeks of the season/year.
I am an energy hog with the original 2001 Norcold fridge freezer
, the original U-Line ice maker, a new cheap
120 volt Danby 3.? cu foot fridge on the aft deck
and a new 3.? cu foot Danby 120 volt freezer
on the top deck
Typically during a warm day I see 28 to 30 amps being drawn from the equipment
and that soars when cooking
on the electric
stove ,or making coffee ,or toast ,all on 120 volt appliances
, via the inverter
Due to the limited space I had ,the cells are configured as follows ;
84 batteries physically divided into 6 assemblies or sets.
Each set consisting of 14 only 3.2 volt cells.
Each set of 14 is securely bolted and pressed together with 4 only 3/8'' threaded rods and 5/16'' aluminum end plates with 4 holes in each ,weighing just over 74 # per assembly.
Easy to handle versus the previous 150#
Different but it works. My battery
bank has never never gone over 98 Deg F.and that temperature is recorded during top off charging
To try to explain the physical layout my 6 assemblies of 14 are installed in my bilge
where the aft water
tank used to be under the floor of my main bedroom.
If you picture 3 rows wide and two long you get the picture. These groups are then individually wired, forming 4 banks of 21 batteries in Parallel ....then these banks are hooked in series to give me my 12 volt house battery of 1260 amps.
We haul out
each year as everything freezes, my boat is shrink wraped and I winterize every system. The boat is on the hard
each winter since early Nov to some time in April or May depending on weather
On my first cruise
this past May 18, 2013 my 3 season old, 900 #, 1100 amp hour, sealed gel cell house bank giving me 550 usable amps died.
Three years ago I installed the 6 only 4 d batteries made by Power Battery Company at 150# each. It was nessary for me to get a sealed type AGM
or GEL cell battery as the place I have them is under my bed
.The company went bankrupt and I had no recource on my batteries.
At the time I put in my Gel cells I also had installed a Victron Multiplus 12 volt, 3000 watt 120 amp charger
, coupled with the remote
Victron Digital Multi Control and a Victron BMV 600battery monitor
Last year I also upgraded my Stbd side main engine
with a 12volt Ample Alternator
model # 4059 with a rating of 160 / 147 AMPS SAE/200 deg. F.
With the install of my Lithium Batteries this year I added a Victron Centar battery charger .12volt 80 amps at a cost of $589.99 (all costs are in US funds), to aid in faster charging when running the gen. set.
For some reason , my Victron Multiplus 12/3000 /120 amp inverter
would never give my battery bank more than 95 or so amps and even though I added an 80 amp charger this year I cannot read more than 130 - 140 amps into my bank and that is when they are at 55% capacity. All this when plugged into shore power
, simmular when running genny.
I am not electrical
by nature and it took me a while to understand the features of my Victron and big house bank but you would think 200 amps of charging would give me more than the maximum 130 - 140 amps it is giving me. At any rate I am happy with the charge rate I have
Victron Battery monitor
read outs differs a little from Elite Power Systems CPU Display, in all things, but are close enough most time for good comparision. Except when the Victron looses the State of charge after a period of not top balencing and I rely on the Elite. On 3 occasions in the month of August the Elite read out went stupid and read ''OFF SCALE LOW VOLTAGE" on one page with a good individual bank reading on the second page??? All was/is good and I think the Elite CPU has intermitant problems when the battery bank goes over 13.55 volts. Another boat project
to be studied and played with.....
I have used , as Ebaugh and Technomadia, Elite Power Solutions for the supplier of my Technical Battery Monitoring ( BMS) stuff;
1 x EMS-LCD $50.00...( have since replaced this with an old 15'' monitor with remote
control so I could turn on and off from my bed
the charging cycles)
1 x EMS-CPU (no CAN) $155.00
40 x BL40 $358.00
1 x EMS-4SB-V6 $106.00
As I had purchased used batteries from a prototype water ski electric
boat with a claimed only approx 50 cycles on them I added the 40 only BL40 at $8.95 each you see above.
The Elite Power Solution in house engineer
suggested them to aid in my top balancing and they work for me.
( I was going crazy during the initial garage bench charging of the 84 individual cells ....adding lamps and loads to each Individual 60 amp cell that charged faster than others to allow them to achieve the max charge ).
Initially I placed 10 of the Elite Power Solutions recomende BL40 in each bank and then added another 3 so I have 13 of them in each bank of 21 cells in paralelle.
It is nice to see the green lights on and then the reds come on as the little independant boards begin to bleed off charging at 3.55 volts allowing the slower ones to catch up. I will eventually have them on each battery. They do cause heat but I do not often top up my batteries. And again I never went over 98 deg. F.
I used Sonic Electronix for the fuses
and bought them in packs of 25, it was the cheapest way, This was a challenge as each fuse connection had to be trimed with metal shears and assembled with a 4 hole washer, that also had to be cut from the surplus factory issued thin metal eight hole battery connectors ,as seen in Ebauch's photos, that I could not use.
Scosche P80WFI-25: 2 @ $29.95,
I ended up with 100.so 4 x the 29.95
It took me a couple of hundred hours
and delayed my cruise
by a month to learn about, obtain, dissemble, clean, reassemble in a format to test, charge, test, dissemble, design a format to fit my space,reassemble, ALL THOSE SCREWS AND YES.... WIRES ...to make and connect on my knees.....at times it felt like piece work and production line assembly work.
BUT was it worth it ????............YES !
I now have a battery bank weighing less than half ( 445 # verses 900#)and giving me almost double the usable capacity ( 1000 amps verses 550)
As we all understand ...no-one truely knowes how long they will last, and each boat/application is a little different. Time will tell ,and parameters of preservation are being established. Thanks to you Technical type individuals and the tests you do in real life situations. As you continue to share with us your data and your expanding knowledge base with no commercial
incentives, benchmarks will become common knowledge.
You are donating your time to these posts and YOU ARE APPRECIATED
Thank You Both.
Very Best Regards,