Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 36 votes, 4.83 average. Display Modes
Old 21-10-2017, 01:40   #5926
Sponsoring Vendor
 
OceanPlanet's Avatar

Community Sponsor

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Woolwich, Maine
Boat: Sold it!
Posts: 396
Send a message via Skype™ to OceanPlanet
Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

We typically run two or more independent banks, but in parallel. They essentially run as one bank and are monitored as one, however there is the added redundancy of separate banks.

The need for the redundancy is actually quite rare, however we know of at least one client that was hit by lightning which took out all of the instrumentation, and one of the battery banks BMS. However the 2nd BMS/bank was ok, so that most of the systems could still operate.
__________________
Twice around was enough for me...
Now I just help others prep for ocean trips...
www.bruceschwab.com
OceanPlanet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-10-2017, 23:09   #5927
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 37
Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Thanks Bruce. Yeah I was hoping there might be a silver bullet towards not paralleling and using on a Bank/BMS by Bank/BMS basis. But for the reasons I outlined that probably doesn't exist save for one ever going offline. Lightening and BMS's like all instrumentation aren't great buddies. Your client was lucky to be left with one operable Bank/BMS.
__________________

__________________
Hoopla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-10-2017, 23:27   #5928
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 19
Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

So, a quick update (promise) on my Lithium battery conversion massively long post recently.

Took yacht out for 4 days away from shore power. No engine alternator power was diverted to house battery in this period away from dock, nor was the Honda 2.0 generator used. Charged batteries fully before leaving dock and then off we went. Sailed for 3 hours to destination and moored it. Left it and went ashore pretty much all day for the first two days. Solar and occassional wind charge only. (250W Solar and 350W Superwind). Only house loads were one fridge (freezers off) plus some lights and a bit of TV at night.

Battery was nearly full so tried an experiment to use the inverter to heat up hot water for evening shower on 2nd night. This worked but the 750W heating element takes about 1.25 hours to get 40L of water from 20 deg to 40 or so degrees for a shower. So that drew about 60A out of the battery for 1.25 hours. Proved to myself it could be done, but no way could you do it often.

Next two days involved some sailing and exploring. 2 - 4 hours sailing each day, some autopilot use included.

Made it back to dock late afternoon on 4th day and still had around 50 - 55% of battery capacity left (about 13.0V under normal 10A or so house loads). Hooked up charger and let it bulk then absorb charge battery until full (full being <10A input current at 13.8V). Battery monitor appears to have remained reasonably accurate over the 4 days between full charges as the reported state of charge as battery was being charged seemed to be quite representative.

So, all in all, very happy with performance of the new battery. No fuels burnt at all to keep it happy over typical use (for us at least), including an abnormal hot water heating test.
__________________
200MPH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-10-2017, 16:20   #5929
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Victoria BC
Boat: 1980 Hunter 36
Posts: 669
Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

So I've got a question - well really looking to sanity check this.

I am looking at the ProNautic 1250P as it's extremely customisable. You can set the various voltages manually, but it also has a Lithium Setting, which is

Charge - 13.8 VDC
Auto Maintain - 13.2-13.8 VDC

To me, this suggests it charges to 13.8, and then switches to standby, until it reaches 13.2 and then charges back up to 13.8 - which for me would be ideal. Is anyone able to confirm this? Or am I better off using the custom settings?

On the plus side it can also be used as a power supply which I'll probably do at dock, storing the batts at 50% charge.
__________________
S/V Gudgeon
www.gudgeonblog.ca
alctel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-10-2017, 17:46   #5930
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 112
Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Balmar just released a new version of their MC614 and MC624 - they now have a program for Lithium.

Has anyone checked them out yet?

http://www.balmar.net/wp-content/upl...For-Review.pdf
__________________
Singleprop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-10-2017, 09:53   #5931
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Anacortes
Boat: previous - Whitby 42 new - Goldenwave 44
Posts: 1,735
Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Of course they come out with the new regulators after I buy two new ones. Oh well. It is good they are addressing this. Thanks for the info Singleprop.

I found this in the manual - "The preferred method of turning off the regulator is disconnecting the regulator’s ignition (brown) wire, but if used as an EMERGENCY ONLY shutdown, disconnecting the regulator’s power input (red) wire in addition to the ignition wire has a very low chance of damaging the regulator."

The manual also states: "Running an alternator without a battery will damage the alternator and may damage any attached system. This is doubly true if the battery can be disconnected during high current charging, causing a load dump."


Whether or not it is better to shut an alternator down with the regulator ignition contact or the regulator power contact has been discussed often on here, with some of the gurus suggesting the best way is via turning off the regulator power and not the ignition circuit. The way they worded this is awkward.

It is easy to do either but it would be helpful to know why one over the other.

The second item brings up a question I have not seen discussed and that is whether running an alternator without being connected to a battery can harm the alternator. I have always assumed that running it without a load would not harm it. The damage from disconnecting a running/charging alternator from a load is well known but not the other (to my knowledge).


Discussion?
__________________
exMaggieDrum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-10-2017, 10:41   #5932
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 261
Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Singleprop View Post
Balmar just released a new version of their MC614 and MC624 - they now have a program for Lithium.

Has anyone checked them out yet?

http://www.balmar.net/wp-content/upl...For-Review.pdf
I see the MC-624 still doesn't get a separate voltage sense wire.
__________________
JayH is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 24-10-2017, 10:43   #5933
Sponsoring Vendor
 
OceanPlanet's Avatar

Community Sponsor

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Woolwich, Maine
Boat: Sold it!
Posts: 396
Send a message via Skype™ to OceanPlanet
Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Quote:
Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
Of course they come out with the new regulators after I buy two new ones. Oh well. It is good they are addressing this. Thanks for the info Singleprop.

I found this in the manual - "The preferred method of turning off the regulator is disconnecting the regulatorís ignition (brown) wire, but if used as an EMERGENCY ONLY shutdown, disconnecting the regulatorís power input (red) wire in addition to the ignition wire has a very low chance of damaging the regulator."

The manual also states: "Running an alternator without a battery will damage the alternator and may damage any attached system. This is doubly true if the battery can be disconnected during high current charging, causing a load dump."


Whether or not it is better to shut an alternator down with the regulator ignition contact or the regulator power contact has been discussed often on here, with some of the gurus suggesting the best way is via turning off the regulator power and not the ignition circuit. The way they worded this is awkward.

It is easy to do either but it would be helpful to know why one over the other.

The second item brings up a question I have not seen discussed and that is whether running an alternator without being connected to a battery can harm the alternator. I have always assumed that running it without a load would not harm it. The damage from disconnecting a running/charging alternator from a load is well known but not the other (to my knowledge).


Discussion?
The "new" Balmar MC's with the added Li recipe is just that, simply another added set of pre-programmed settings. Which does not mean that they are correct for whatever Li batteries you're charging...they are just the settings that Balmar decided to load in.

For our OPE-Li3 batteries we still have to program them to our desired settings, as what Balmar chose isn't what we want. So, depending on what batteries you use you may still have to become adept with the magnet screwdriver...;-)
__________________
Twice around was enough for me...
Now I just help others prep for ocean trips...
www.bruceschwab.com
OceanPlanet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-10-2017, 10:53   #5934
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 261
Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Quote:
Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
I found this in the manual - "The preferred method of turning off the regulator is disconnecting the regulatorís ignition (brown) wire, but if used as an EMERGENCY ONLY shutdown, disconnecting the regulatorís power input (red) wire in addition to the ignition wire has a very low chance of damaging the regulator."

Whether or not it is better to shut an alternator down with the regulator ignition contact or the regulator power contact has been discussed often on here, with some of the gurus suggesting the best way is via turning off the regulator power and not the ignition circuit. The way they worded this is awkward.

It is easy to do either but it would be helpful to know why one over the other.
I've never heard an explanation for cutting the red wire. My manual says brown, I cut brown. Also, I use a Centerfielder and it uses brown to detect what engines are running. Cutting red on one regulator doesn't stop the Centerfielder from supplying field current from the other regulator.
__________________
JayH is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 24-10-2017, 11:48   #5935
Marine Service Provider
 
Maine Sail's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Maine
Boat: CS-36T - Cupecoy
Posts: 3,048
Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayH View Post
I've never heard an explanation for cutting the red wire. My manual says brown, I cut brown. Also, I use a Centerfielder and it uses brown to detect what engines are running. Cutting red on one regulator doesn't stop the Centerfielder from supplying field current from the other regulator.
The explanation from the regulators actual designer, unfortunately now deceased, was that you do not want to cut the blue "field" wire, as many seem to want to do, as it could potentially cause a damaging transient and possibly damage the regulator.

On the red vs. brown the issue is emergency vs. non-emergency shut down. Cutting the red wire kills the regulator instantly and brown shuts it down while taking some extra time to save data etc.. Michael preferred the red wire for an emergency HVC cut over the brown wire and most definitely not the blue wire. While red or brown will work, as Balmar states, for an emergency red is preferred. Red/brown at the same time achieves the same as red only...

If both regs/alts are feeding the same Li bank then both regs need to be shut down at the same time...
__________________
Marine How To Articles
Maine Sail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-10-2017, 02:43   #5936
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Derrylin, N. Ireland
Boat: 1964 Classic Irish BIM Trawler, 14.8m
Posts: 3
Send a message via Skype™ to Radmacdaddy
Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Iím doing research in preparation to setting up a Lifepo4 house bank in my classic Irish trawler Iím refitting into a motor sailer. There are almost 300 posts here, and great practical information for sure. But way too much to read to get the latest info. Should I start a new thread for latest recommendations? Or voice them here? Or perhaps some users here can point me in the right direction to continue researching best practice. I understand the requirements of a home made system, the matching needs, etc. And I have begun trying to source parts...but perhaps someone knows of a list of parts recommended, after many years of use (since this was set up in 2011 there is a lot of experience out there over 6 years!).

If you were to begin again, now, what would you do?
__________________
Radmacdaddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-10-2017, 03:04   #5937
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 19
Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Radmacdaddy - nice user name BTW! Your vessel and conversion sounds like a worthy project.

You could do what I did. Not as in what I did with my conversion to Li (I know nothing!), but regarding searching information. Just go back in this thread, say, 10 pages at a time and read through. Then go back further each time. Sooner or later your brain will be full! Then make your move.

Also, the relevant article by Maine Sail on Li batteries is well worth a read (several times in fact). I found another good article online about charging voltages vs. achieved capacity for LiFePO4 batteries. Actual charge and discharge curves and capacity achieved vs voltage charge settings were presented. Hard information is hard to come by!

In any case, I'm going to do a data logged charge/discharge test on my new battery in the next week or three, so I have a capacity and voltage plot baseline that I can repeat in the future to make sure everything is behaving as it should. Time to man up, make the effort and get my own hard data.
__________________
200MPH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-10-2017, 10:00   #5938
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Anacortes
Boat: previous - Whitby 42 new - Goldenwave 44
Posts: 1,735
Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
The explanation from the regulators actual designer, unfortunately now deceased, was that you do not want to cut the blue "field" wire, as many seem to want to do, as it could potentially cause a damaging transient and possibly damage the regulator.

On the red vs. brown the issue is emergency vs. non-emergency shut down. Cutting the red wire kills the regulator instantly and brown shuts it down while taking some extra time to save data etc.. Michael preferred the red wire for an emergency HVC cut over the brown wire and most definitely not the blue wire. While red or brown will work, as Balmar states, for an emergency red is preferred. Red/brown at the same time achieves the same as red only...

If both regs/alts are feeding the same Li bank then both regs need to be shut down at the same time...
Thanks for the info Mainesail. Just curious - how much time difference is there between shutting down the alternator between cutting the ignition versus the power feeds to the regulator? A few seconds, minutes?

Right now I have two regulators, one for the main engine alternator and one for the DC Genset alternator. The way I wired it is to shut off the power (red) to both regulators using the same HV solenoid, which I can also turn off manually. Since the regulators don't turn on until the ignition contact is hot, the one I'm not using is not on.
__________________
exMaggieDrum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2017, 05:43   #5939
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 19
Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

So, I did a full discharge test on the new battery pack last night so I would have a baseline test I can consistently repeat every year to see how much the battery is degrading.

Battery: 300Ah Winston 4 cells to make 12.8V.

Charged to 13.8V setting on Victron charger, using dedicated voltage sensing function it has. Bulk charge 90A, then absorbtion for 1 hr (it can't terminate on trailing amps), let battery settle for a few minutes while I fooled around getting the wind controller set correctly, then start a constant discharge overnight. Load was a radiant heater run through the Victron AC inverter. 465W or thereabouts (35A at 13.2 V). No other loads during discharge test.
Victron low voltage inverter cut set to 12.0V. Capacity during discharge monitored using the yacht BEP battery monitor, Pukerts set to 1.03 as an estimate.
Battery voltage logged from the pack terminals (pack level, not individual cells) using a DataTaker DT85, logged every 15 seconds. Before you ask, it is a professional quality precision logger, that is way, way overkill for this application. So I'd trust the results of it pretty much over every other reading. We calibrate our fleet of these instruments regularly against national standards.

The short version of the results are:

Volts (mV) SoC % Capacity (Ah)
13473 100 300
13197 90 270
13159 80 240
13078 70 210
13029 60 180
13000 50 150
12958 40 120
12874 30 90
12774 20 60
12640 10 30
12131 0 0

Interestingly the Victron cut the AC inverter a bit above 12V (12.131V) within a minute of the BEP SoC reading reaching 0 Ah. Coincidence of course, couldn't have planned it that way.

I don't know how to post a picture of the graph otherwise I would.

The above values are very, very similar to those published by MaineSail from a test done last year on a 400Ah Winston battery discharged at 30A, although that test went down to 11.6V and hence showed more than 100% nominal capacity.

What does all this prove? Not much, but a good baseline for me and just thought I'd share it. It also verifies the 12.8V low voltage buzzer alarm I've setup so that everyone who uses the yacht gets a notification at around 80% discharged. The actual DC and AC voltage cut levels are set lower than this of course, but I figure we don't need to discharge it to less than 20% SoC in normal use.
__________________
200MPH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2017, 10:57   #5940
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Santa Cruz
Boat: Boatless Again
Posts: 4,268
Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

200mph, how did you get the capacity Ah numbers in the results? Were they readings from a battery monitor, or calculated based on time and assumed or measured amps?
__________________

__________________
donradcliffe is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
battery, lifepo4, LiFePO4 Batteries, sailing

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
LiFePO4 Batteries - Okay Tear Me Apart ;-) jallum Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 395 03-12-2015 13:19
Voltage drop under load, amps read 99% ?? VVD Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 25 28-06-2011 16:25



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:54.


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.