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Old 13-03-2014, 02:51   #1
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Lithium Charging

How do I charge a lithium with my boats alternator and solar regulator that are designed for Lead acid batteries? Just wondering because one day i will upgrade. Let me guess. [ an expensive solar regulator designed for lithium batteries will be required for solar input, And an external regulator will need to be fitted to my alternator with the voltage set to 13.4v (LiFe) ?]

Sorry for dumb question.

And no im not going to read through that entire stupid long thread about lithium batteries just to find the info im asking here.
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Old 13-03-2014, 10:19   #2
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Re: lithium charging

How nice of you not to waste your time on that "stupid" thread.



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Old 13-03-2014, 13:57   #3
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I said stupid long not stupid thread. Are you trying to offend me?
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Old 13-03-2014, 13:57   #4
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Re: lithium charging

"one day " there will be new equipment to do the job. Why worry your head with choosing the equipment that is available now, when it should be obsoleted by next year anyhow?

Shop when you are ready to buy.
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Old 14-03-2014, 13:20   #5
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Re: lithium charging

I wasn't aware lithium was a viable technology for boats yet and given it's fire risk I'm not sure it should be. When I was into r/c airplanes we would charge our lithium batteries in a metal box as a precaution just in case they caught on fire and we were using smart chargers designed for lithium batteries.

But if lithium does catch on I agree with hellosailor that any electronics you buy is usually obsolete between the time you buy it and the time you receive it. Unless you're just bored I wouldn't worry about the technology until you're in the market.

I'd also be more concerned about the bad advice you sometimes get in these forums and not about being offended. I personally thought senormechanico was pretty funny. :-)
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Old 14-03-2014, 13:31   #6
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Re: lithium charging

And post #5 is exactly why someone should at least skim through that "stupid long thread".
That thread has tons of valuable information (read free info that is very hard to dig up anywhere else) and helped me tremendously in setting up my LiFePO4 system in my motorhome.
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Old 14-03-2014, 14:03   #7
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Re: lithium charging

I'm in the beginning process of installing a 400AH LiOn bank aboard our boat...the benefits for me outweight the costs.

Once I get the system I'm installing sorted out I'll follow-up with some posts and photos until then I'll just spend my time reading through the dumb posts.

Just a comment here...take it for what it is worth.
If you are not willing to read through a dumb long post about LiOn batteries and learn about them...then I'm not sure you are a good candidate to install them quite frankly. Being a early adapter of a new tecnology (LiOn on cruising boat anyway), takes time, research and patience.

But what do I know...I'm just a self confessed Cruising Bozo.
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Old 14-03-2014, 16:38   #8
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Re: Lithium Charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by d design View Post
How do I charge a lithium with my boats alternator and solar regulator that are designed for Lead acid batteries? Just wondering because one day i will upgrade. Let me guess. [ an expensive solar regulator designed for lithium batteries will be required for solar input, And an external regulator will need to be fitted to my alternator with the voltage set to 13.4v (LiFe) ?]

Sorry for dumb question.

And no im not going to read through that entire stupid long thread about lithium batteries just to find the info im asking here.
Far from dumb. Smart to learn by others dumb actions. Here is one. My engines are massive 7.5 hp diesel with a 35 A standard alternator. Normal starting is with the power lever well up ie above 1800 RPM. Alternator will try to supply power at the same time resulting in heavy load due to the alternators trying to charge. This heavy load does fall off quickly as the power taken for a start is very small but my small engines do get loaded. Could modify the alternators to switch out field but prefer standard for easy replacement if needed. Had to makeup a 3 min timer to allow the engine to get going before the alternator came on load. Personally I won't leave a lifepo4 on any float charge so a timer had to be made to cut off the alternator after a suitable time period. Then had to add a circuit to sense the high & low points for the battery to come on & off as needed. Then when the alternator is disconnected from the battery a small external voltage regulator had to be made to run some of the 12 volt circuits in the absence of a battery to regulate the alternator output. Was it worth all the trouble only time will tell. Time in service 2 years nil battery problems ( One engine start battery is 28 a/h the other 40 a/h & when remembered both are in parallel for starts) Battery suppliers are putting out 12 v lifepo4 for replacement of lead in cars & just dropping them in without any control or modifications.

Regards Bill ps the 24 a/h has bms the 40 a/h car replace type has none at this stage
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Old 15-03-2014, 23:33   #9
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Its very hard to find a simple answer on this forum. All replies so far are off topic.
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Old 16-03-2014, 03:24   #10
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Re: Lithium Charging

I think the problem is, you want free information handed on a platter exactly in the formate you required. It appears you take offence when told it's not about to happen any time soon so I'm guessing you are getting right pissed off about now.
As has already been said, if you can't be bothered to read the imformation already freely provided then it would probably be in everyone's best interest if you either bought a ready made system or stayed with lead acid.

It's about this stage in the adoption cycle where a new technology is being readily accepted so this is the stage where those that sat back and waited for everyone else to do the work get the shits when it's ot just handed to them om a plate.

Now the question arises, which is the stupid thread, the long one with a lot of valuable information, or this one?
One of lifes simple lessons, you will get a better result if you don't insult the people you are asking for help

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Old 16-03-2014, 11:56   #11
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Re: Lithium Charging

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Its very hard to find a simple answer on this forum. All replies so far are off topic.

Maybe you would find what you are looking for elsewhere?

It reminds me of a request made on the VHF cruiser's net one morning from a newb in Mexico.
The guy was demanding someone supply him with a part for his old Jabsco pressure water pump.
When asked why he hadn't brought spare parts with him, he replied "I didn't want to weigh down my boat". ( a Hunter 40)
You could hear the laughter all over the anchorage.
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Old 16-03-2014, 13:42   #12
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Suppose I was to install lifeypo4 into my boat this week. What technology currently exist to support charging these batteries. If there is none as it seems to you guys, well I will design my own but I doubt I will need to. I dont want to reinvent the wheel. Cheers
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Old 16-03-2014, 13:56   #13
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Re: Lithium Charging

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Suppose I was to install lifeypo4 into my boat this week. What technology currently exist to support charging these batteries. If there is none as it seems to you guys, well I will design my own but I doubt I will need to. I dont want to reinvent the wheel. Cheers

The technology exists to charge these devices. No problem, what's your problem

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Old 16-03-2014, 14:01   #14
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Re: Lithium Charging

Steve-
When I hear that we're all OT it makes me think of Groucho Marx's line:

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas I'll never know."

Well, d, did it ever occur to you, oh, wait, surely you already looked online, maybe at West Marine, and before you even asked the question, you already KNEW that the right kind of charger didn't exist on the commercial market?

Or maybe, you don't know there are different "lithium" technologies, and each maker "requires" different charging protocols and procedures?

But hey, we're all ignoring the elephant in your pajamas.
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Old 16-03-2014, 14:14   #15
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Re: Lithium Charging

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Originally Posted by d design View Post
How do I charge a lithium with my boats alternator and solar regulator that are designed for Lead acid batteries? Just wondering because one day i will upgrade. Let me guess. [ an expensive solar regulator designed for lithium batteries will be required for solar input, And an external regulator will need to be fitted to my alternator with the voltage set to 13.4v (LiFe) ?]

Sorry for dumb question.

And no im not going to read through that entire stupid long thread about lithium batteries just to find the info im asking here.
T1 Terry will correct me if I'm making a wrong assumption, so here is my .02 worth. The nominal voltage of (4) LiFePO4 cells in series for a 12 volt battery are so close to a lead acid 12 volt battery, that isn't a issue. The issue comes from the fact that a lead acid battery during charging will display an artificially high surface voltage so throughout the charge cycle from your alternator, the voltage differential is less, hence the charge rate is tapered. Most alternator's ratings are based on what they can put out max, but not continuously. When charging our large prismatic cells, because their voltage holds tight during charging, the alternator will be putting out max output until the lithium cells hit about 90% full. This will cause a typical alternator to run hot until the over temp circuit cuts its output in half. MaineSail has mentioned that his alternator's programmable regulator allows for him to cut back max output as a belt saving feature, thus being able to charge at say 80% of max output.
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