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Old 03-02-2014, 15:25   #76
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Re: LiFePo4 for DUMMIES

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
David,

You might want to simply quit. Stop. Desist.

If you're so smart, why can't YOU figure it out.

Look, I "met" Maine Sail via the internet maybe 15 years ago. He and I (independently on different coasts of the country) developed the concept of basic electrical systems for boats. He's developed many, many wiring diagrams for basic boat electrical systems, as well as developing his highly thought of own website. He and I have helped individual boaters who've sent us their (strange) wiring diagrams (even after seeing what we've already published) and we've both help hundreds of sailors. As mentioned, he does this for a living.

Point being, you're really picking on the wrong guy to complain about him not giving you enough information.

Not only has he given you his "take" and all of his recommended equipment, he's supported your "complaints" by explaining, clearly, factually and reasonably, just why he won't go any further.

Perhaps you shouldn't also.

Good luck on your design and installation.
Stu,

I think David understands where I am coming from, even if he disagrees with it. Not a big deal in the whole scheme.

I will continue to help but I have my limitations. This is not a huge deal IMHO and I suspect from the silence others may feel the same even if not saying it....
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Old 03-02-2014, 16:51   #77
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Re: LiFePo4 for DUMMIES

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
David,

You might want to simply quit. Stop. Desist.

If you're so smart, why can't YOU figure it out.

Look, I "met" Maine Sail via the internet maybe 15 years ago. He and I (independently on different coasts of the country) developed the concept of basic electrical systems for boats. He's developed many, many wiring diagrams for basic boat electrical systems, as well as developing his highly thought of own website. He and I have helped individual boaters who've sent us their (strange) wiring diagrams (even after seeing what we've already published) and we've both help hundreds of sailors. As mentioned, he does this for a living.

Point being, you're really picking on the wrong guy to complain about him not giving you enough information.

Not only has he given you his "take" and all of his recommended equipment, he's supported your "complaints" by explaining, clearly, factually and reasonably, just why he won't go any further.

Perhaps you shouldn't also.

Good luck on your design and installation.

Are you having difficulty reading and understanding what i wrote to Mainsail?

While it may appear i was having a go at yourself as an individual that was not the case you just provided me with the impetus to ask MORE INFO PLEASE. One thing i am not is offended, confused i was but less confused now after reading that post, not that i can now agree with you but there is room here for both our positions.
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:02   #78
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Re: LiFePo4 for DUMMIES

Highland Fling-
I hope that you understand that Maine Sail owns and operates a company in the marine electrical repair business, has gone through the time and expense of becoming certified as a Marine Electrician by the American Boat and Yacht Council and produces extraordinary "How To" articles that he posts on his website. (Note: It is my opinion that if he lived somewhere other than above the Artic Circle, he wouldn't have so much time on his hands and that would be our loss.)

I view the CF as a meeting place to ask "What to do?" not "How to do it?" If you read, absorb, and think about what Maine Sail, Stu Jackson (another prolific contributor of fact based articles primarily on other forums), Flying Cloud, T1 Terry, Ebaugh, Deck Officer and others are writing, you will have the working level of knowledge to deploy a LFP house bank.

If you need wire by wire instruction/direction then there is no shame in hiring a professional to do the design and system integration. No shame at all.

This is an emerging technology that is coming to fruition at a time when the boating public is losing its technical competence and desires systems that are immensely complex but "plug and play". "System integration" to them is ensuring that all the electronics are NMEA 2000 certified but then some equipment is "compliant" and isn't that good enough? (It isn't.)

Deploying LFP systems as house banks is not rocket science but it is not akin to following IKEA instructions to put together a book case.
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:51   #79
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Re: LiFePo4 for DUMMIES

The big thing with roll you ownLifePo4, is that not all the systems are conveniently off the shelf or perhaps require a bit of modification.

But its not that complex , you need to set the upper and lower charge and discharge point, rig up a cell level monitor to open relays at those points, for the lower level, it is a load relay for the upper level its a charge relay ( with a corresponding dump really to switch in a power resistor to stop the alternator frying, make before break etc ).

Now you have the battery pack protected. After that you can really throw any charge source you like, it may work, it may not, but the battery systems will prevent it doing any real damage

Add a fuse or two to protect against nasties

Bells and whistles like battery SOC meters, balancing etc can all be added later or ignored. Will you battery be optimised for everything, No. But who cares

What isn't available is a "gadget" that can be taken out of a box and installed to fix all the issues, You have to understand the basic circuits and science.

If your not interested in a "bit of geekery" why bother with a roll your own in the first place. Give Mastervolt a stack of money and they'll solve it all for you

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Old 04-02-2014, 06:57   #80
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Re: LiFePo4 for DUMMIES

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But its not that complex , you need to set the upper and lower charge and discharge point, rig up a cell level monitor to open relays at those points, for the lower level, it is a load relay for the upper level its a charge relay ( with a corresponding dump really to switch in a power resistor to stop the alternator frying, make before break etc ).
Why not just open the field wire??? Is there enough residual to cause any problem for the LI?
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Old 04-02-2014, 07:02   #81
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Re: LiFePo4 for DUMMIES

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Why not just open the field wire??? Is there enough residual to cause any problem for the LI?

Because many alternators have no easy access to the field wire., its easier to wire up a simple load dump power resistor ( like those used on wind generators), use a crossover contactor/relay , make before break and switching in the resistor

Thats works regards of charge source, with alternators , solar, wind, shore chargers, and can be rigged at the battery bank. Wire a little buzzer and light to alert you to the upper voltage trip. ( these are not HVC and LVC points specifically).

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Old 04-02-2014, 07:09   #82
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Re: LiFePo4 for DUMMIES

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
But its not that complex , you need to set the upper and lower charge and discharge point, rig up a cell level monitor to open relays at those points, for the lower level, it is a load relay for the upper level its a charge relay ( with a corresponding dump really to switch in a power resistor to stop the alternator frying, make before break etc ).
Significantly easier to cut the B+ to the regulator when using a regualtor like the Balmar MC-614.

This reg will also protect your alternator from cooking with alt temp sensing and nearly every possible parameter programmable including current limiting of the field to keep the alt at a safe operating temp for the long haul...

IMHO a regulator like the Balmar MC-614 is a bare minimum requirement for LiFePO4 and some of the best money you will spend. It also makes cutting HVC simple and CHEAP with a simple Cole-Herse 70A DPDT relay that costs about $6.00...
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Old 04-02-2014, 07:13   #83
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Re: LiFePo4 for DUMMIES

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Significantly easier to cut the B+ to the regulator when using a regualtor like the Balmar MC-614.

This reg will also protect your alternator from cooking with alt temp sensing and nearly every possible parameter programmable including current limiting of the field to keep the alt at a safe operating temp for the long haul...

IMHO a regulator like the Balmar MC-614 is a bare minimum requirement for LiFePO4 and some of the best money you will spend. It also makes cutting HVC simple and CHEAP with a simple Cole-Herse 70A DPDT relay that costs about $6.00...
Absolutly, but I was trying to suggest a bare minimum system that can be safety added to an existing system. My suggestion assumes no modification to the charge systems and most current internal regulators will throttle the alternator quite adequately, in fact they usually overdo it.

I think whats important for simple systems is too avoid a design creep approach.

dave
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Old 04-02-2014, 07:29   #84
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Re: LiFePo4 for DUMMIES

The questions of float and how to cycle have yet to be answered also. If I need 300 amps a day and gain 100amps from solar a day would it be best to charge with my genset in the morning and hope the solar will keep up with the use durning daylight as I would with LA? Would it be better for the batteries to let the solar work in the middle range of capacity and top them off with the genset in the evening? Most likely but we don't have practical experience yet. When at a dock is there a voltage that we can float the batteries without major effect on longevity ? MainSail has eliminated the float variable in his experiment so it will likely be some time and maybe some costly experience before we know for sure or even get a good idea. We leave the boat about one week out of the month and don't live to unload the refrigerator / freezer every time we leave. I have fairly high refrigeration loads so if I can't keep my bank fairly close to full when solar is available I will need a much larger bank or larger solar array.
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:44   #85
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Re: LiFePo4 for DUMMIES

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The questions of float and how to cycle have yet to be answered also. If I need 300 amps a day and gain 100amps from solar a day would it be best to charge with my genset in the morning and hope the solar will keep up with the use durning daylight as I would with LA? Would it be better for the batteries to let the solar work in the middle range of capacity and top them off with the genset in the evening? Most likely but we don't have practical experience yet. When at a dock is there a voltage that we can float the batteries without major effect on longevity ? MainSail has eliminated the float variable in his experiment so it will likely be some time and maybe some costly experience before we know for sure or even get a good idea. We leave the boat about one week out of the month and don't live to unload the refrigerator / freezer every time we leave. I have fairly high refrigeration loads so if I can't keep my bank fairly close to full when solar is available I will need a much larger bank or larger solar array.
Yes! That's the $64k question/conundrum. I don't see anyone, at this time, able to answer it, other than those here (or other similar apps)that are using LARGE prismatic Li in house service. Plus it's going to take time to see the results. All of the white papers and research into other chemistries and other applications might provide some direction, but they can't answer it. Bottom line is we can surmise "best practices" but at this point it looks like only time will tell what effect different use/charging regimes will have.

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Old 04-02-2014, 09:02   #86
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Re: LiFePo4 for DUMMIES

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Absolutly, but I was trying to suggest a bare minimum system that can be safety added to an existing system. My suggestion assumes no modification to the charge systems and most current internal regulators will throttle the alternator quite adequately, in fact they usually overdo it.

I think whats important for simple systems is too avoid a design creep approach.

dave
Got it! I was over thinking your suggestion. I would certainly look to do something a little more graceful than dumping the load, but that would certainly work and as you suggest, it's more universal.
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:13   #87
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Re: LiFePo4 for DUMMIES

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Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
Why not just open the field wire??? Is there enough residual to cause any problem for the LI?
I've done a bit of sleuthing with my 24 volt 700 aH bank in my home's backup system and was amazed at how little current it takes to keep the bank at an elevated voltage.

Against some recommendations from the group here on CF, I've decided to float the bank with a 500 ma wall wart and an adjustable PWM voltage regulator as there are a few small 24/7 loads on the bank as previously described.
Once fully charged, the 700 aH Winston bank will easily stay at whatever voltage you ask of it when fed with less than ten milliamps!

Balqon recommended 26.8 volts for float, but will easily go over 28 if pushed with the above current.
I didn't even try to adjust it over that, although I'm sure it would have.

That said, cutting the power to your alt voltage regulator as previously mentioned would work but if there are no other loads, you might still be in dangerous territory.
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:28   #88
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Re: LiFePo4 for DUMMIES

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Yes! That's the $64k question/conundrum. I don't see anyone, at this time, able to answer it, other than those here (or other similar apps)that are using LARGE prismatic Li in house service. Plus it's going to take time to see the results. All of the white papers and research into other chemistries and other applications might provide some direction, but they can't answer it. Bottom line is we can surmise "best practices" but at this point it looks like only time will tell what effect different
The is sometimes a kind of denial that Lifepo4 "large" prismatics are somehow "different" for Li technology. Nothing could be further from the truth. What is evident in various LI technologies, and also different form factors like 18650 and Li pouches is directly attributable to so called " large prismatics"

The other things is that technology like Winstons is not actually "large prismatics". I mean its not even a single cell Its a series of parallel Li prismatic ( meaning flat) Li pouches. Thats all it is, i.e. battery of such cells. Not some minor miracle variant of the technology.

Thers nothing going on on these batteries is different to anything else in LiFePO4

That said, the reasonable debate is you do not float LI. Mainesail doesn't, I don't, argue amongst yourself the rest of the time. There's a degree of wishful thinking here, don't you think , in that "I can't actually not float charge them, so I argue it isn't necessary" type of thing. or even the " I can drop my Li into a standard system and sure it will be fine"


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Old 04-02-2014, 11:36   #89
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Re: LiFePo4 for DUMMIES

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
The is sometimes a kind of denial that Lifepo4 "large" prismatics are somehow "different" for Li technology. Nothing could be further from the truth. What is evident in various LI technologies, and also different form factors like 18650 and Li pouches is directly attributable to so called " large prismatics"

The other things is that technology like Winstons is not actually "large prismatics". I mean its not even a single cell Its a series of parallel Li prismatic ( meaning flat) Li pouches. Thats all it is, i.e. battery of such cells. Not some minor miracle variant of the technology.

Thers nothing going on on these batteries is different to anything else in LiFePO4

That said, the reasonable debate is you do not float LI. Mainesail doesn't, I don't, argue amongst yourself the rest of the time. There's a degree of wishful thinking here, don't you think , in that "I can't actually not float charge them, so I argue it isn't necessary" type of thing. or even the " I can drop my Li into a standard system and sure it will be fine"


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I don't see your argument here. I didn't tell anyone to float a bank, in fact I don't believe I'm even doing that. Your the one talking about dropping into a standard system and it'll be fine. As Stevesails pointed out in a previous post, dropping voltage below nominal cell voltage (which wouldn't be float charging) should have little effect. I believe this was from the same paper that you "cherry picked" the results that you liked from! Besides, I think I mentioned something about "best practices" and the research can guide us on that. The problem becomes, multiple charge sources, parasitic loads, continuous loads, charge sources that need to be used when available (solar, ect), it's not practical to shut a bank down to do complete cycles as it might be done in a lab, so we mere mortals must just muddle though as best as we can. In the post above you talk about simple systems and applying existing equipment to LI and then you jump me for saying only time will tell how all of the different treatment of these banks will shake out? I wasn't promoting any particular practices, I do what I need to do and don't suggest it's correct or Best Practice, just the Best I can do within my setup.
The difference from what you have experience with and that the research deals with is using LI in low to very low C rates and the very large capacity banks, and that is not the same. For the most part we are putting very little stress on these banks and most research is just the opposite. There just isn't much about house bank type use, other than what is going on here and the RV folks. (not necessarily research perhaps but some practical experience)
You should also try to open a Winston cell and see what's inside before you tell everyone what it is! It's not a bunch of A123 pouches in a PVC case. It's not even pouches. Not that it matters!
Thanks I'll go back to using my LI bank in a house application in a "real world" scenario.
Cheers,
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Old 04-02-2014, 16:29   #90
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Re: LiFePo4 for DUMMIES

So I'm open for suggestions. I can't afford to try a large bank without a reasonable chance of success . So just floating the bank does not make sense to me. For the sake of discussion let's assume 2 different scenarios:

1. On a bouy,
200 amps consumed a day when unattended
250 amps average a day available from solar

2. At a dock
200 amps a day consumed when unattended u
30 amp shore power

When attended we use more power on a daily basis but I can manually cut off charge sources and start the genset as required.

My first thought for on the bouy is an 800 amp bank with a charge controller that cuts all charging when the bank is a about 90 percent full and reconnects when the battery moniter shows 50percent SOC. This should have enough head room for several overcast days in a row.
For that matter this should work on the dock also but would only need perhaps 400 amp bank.

Any other ideas?
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