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Old 21-09-2013, 23:34   #16
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Re: Lithium or solar?

"Do an energy budget so you know how much solar or whatever else you need." All energy budgets are rough estimates and can easily be off be 50% to 100%.

I hope the OP has a battery monitor that tells him how much he has used since the last full charge. If you do not have one get one now! If you are not fully charging you current LA bank, just write down the Ah state each time after you shut down your engine and before you start it again. That will give you a much better number than doing an energy budget.

The OP wrote " It appears as if they will charge almost fully after an hour running the engine?"

Again, you would have to check how many Ah you consumed over night. Say it was 100Ah. You may have an 80A alternator. It will likely give you an average of 40A-50A (see the temperature derating in Alternator overheating ). That means 2 to 2.5 hours to charge to full. You would probably achieve pretty much the same with lead acid batteries, if:
- a - they are about 50% empty
- b - the capacity difference from 50% to 80% is 100Ahs. So you would need a 333Ah battery to have 100Ah usable for a quick recharge. Off course, this LA battery would only last at most a couple 100 cycles as continuously undercharging an LA battery will kill it very soon.

So, Lithium will be better for you, but your alternator has to be able t keep up with the demand. Maybe you have to put a second or larger alternator on.

I was able to recharge my 360Ah Lithium from 210Ah down (2-night stay) to full in under 4 hours (averaged about 60A from a 115A alternator).

For affordable flexible solar panels see page 6 of this thread Lagoon 450 Modifications.
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Old 22-09-2013, 05:09   #17
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Re: Lithium or solar?

My two bobs worth :lol: To start out with lithium batteries, buy a Junsi cell logger from the like of Hobby King etc, about $14, or a $28 one that does data logging so you can read more information about what's going on with the batteries as you learn more.... it's a long and steep learning curve but it doesn't have to be.
next, buy a smoke alarm and solder the 2 wires from the alarm port across the test button contacts on the smoke alarm, this will tell you when to stop charging the battery and when to recharge the battery or stop using it so you don't damage the battery. Every thing from there on is just to make it more automatic so you have to do less.
As far as solar and solar controllers, use a PWM controller that has all the voltage level adjustable so you can set it to suit any batteries and any temp they are living in, if it's hot, don't charge them so high. As the voltages between fully charged and discharged is much smaller with lithium batteries, the gains are not as much with an MPPT cotroler as they are with lead acid batteries, the smaller gain doesn't warrant the cost. cheap MPPT controllers are just a con, a complete waste of money and effort, gear like the OutBack MX80 does work, but it costs big $$ as well.

T1 Terry
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Old 22-09-2013, 05:53   #18
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Re: Lithium or solar?

Quote:
Originally Posted by T1 Terry View Post
My two bobs worth :lol: To start out with lithium batteries, buy a Junsi cell logger from the like of Hobby King etc, about $14, or a $28 one that does data logging so you can read more information about what's going on with the batteries as you learn more.... it's a long and steep learning curve but it doesn't have to be.
next, buy a smoke alarm and solder the 2 wires from the alarm port across the test button contacts on the smoke alarm, this will tell you when to stop charging the battery and when to recharge the battery or stop using it so you don't damage the battery. Every thing from there on is just to make it more automatic so you have to do less.
As far as solar and solar controllers, use a PWM controller that has all the voltage level adjustable so you can set it to suit any batteries and any temp they are living in, if it's hot, don't charge them so high. As the voltages between fully charged and discharged is much smaller with lithium batteries, the gains are not as much with an MPPT cotroler as they are with lead acid batteries, the smaller gain doesn't warrant the cost. cheap MPPT controllers are just a con, a complete waste of money and effort, gear like the OutBack MX80 does work, but it costs big $$ as well.

T1 Terry
Great advice as usual T1_Terry except for the PWM controller!
Just kidding, I already said in post #9 I think that if he doesn't want to pay for an MPPT a QUALITY PWM controller would do.
Hvala would have restricted panel space on his boat with intermittent partial shading, I prefer to spend an extra $200 for quality MPPT controller in that situation, not everyone does but if PWM was my only option, I could live with it.
Thanks for all you've contributed in the LiFe threads, I've learned a lot and enjoying it.
Cheers,
Mac
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Old 22-09-2013, 06:02   #19
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Re: Lithium or solar?

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Originally Posted by gypsyvagabond View Post
I currently have my Beneteau Cyclades on the hard in Montenegro and am looking to increase the power I can use. I have 2 x lead acid 130 ah, so 260 ah. This is not even close to keeping up with pumps, lights, music, auto pilot, so I've had the fridge off = warm beers = problemo.

Initially thinking flexi solar on the canopy but...

My question is predominantly regarding the charging of the new lithium ion batteries. It appears as if they will charge almost fully after an hour running the engine? I would do this going in and out of anchorage and scouting around anyway so no problems if this is actually the case. I can then run them down to 50% and do the same the next day? I know that the batterie monitoring system will have this all sorted but would I be incorrect in thinking that if I had 400 odd amps of lithium in there then I wouldn't need to worry about solar at all?

(anyone know where I could get this installed in or near Montenegro?)

Hvala.

Welcome to CF!
get two more normal batts, Trojan 105's fit the bill.
then add a small panel or two. leave the mppt charger at the store that stocks them, and get a normal charger as well.
2 batts 105's, 2 pannels 158 watts, charger 60 amp, and you will have spent $900 and be a happy person.
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Old 22-09-2013, 06:33   #20
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Re: Lithium or solar?

Scoobert isn't this your thread where you are asking advice on what batteries you should get?
Best Battery?
Could you give Hvala some specifics as to why he should deviate from his stated plan to not install more LA batteries but install Li?
Cheers,
Mac
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Old 22-09-2013, 06:38   #21
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Re: Lithium or solar?

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Originally Posted by Wraith_Mac View Post
Scoobert isn't this your thread where you are asking advice on what batteries you should get?
Best Battery?
Could you give Hvala some specifics as to why he should deviate from his stated plan to not install more LA batteries but install Li?
Cheers,
Mac
at this point in time lithium is not worth the extra expense short of a racing application.
he would need a new charger most likely, and the cost per AH is prohibitively high. just no point in a small bank, unless you have money burning a hole in your pocket.
a fool and his money are soon parted.

when LI drops to $50 a KWH then have at it.
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Old 22-09-2013, 06:42   #22
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Re: Lithium or solar?

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Originally Posted by T1 Terry View Post
As the voltages between fully charged and discharged is much smaller with lithium batteries, the gains are not as much with an MPPT cotroler as they are with lead acid batteries, the smaller gain doesn't warrant the cost.
Terry I disagree with this.
Typical charging voltages with lithium are lower than with lead acid and therefore the gain will be greater for MPPT.
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Old 22-09-2013, 06:43   #23
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Re: Lithium or solar?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scoobert View Post
at this point in time lithium is not worth the extra expense short of a racing application.
he would need a new charger most likely, and the cost per AH is prohibitively high. just no point in a small bank, unless you have money burning a hole in your pocket.
a fool and his money are soon parted.

when LI drops to $50 a KWH then have at it.
Here Scoobert have a look at these costings:-

Lithium Batteries

Cheers,
Mac
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Old 22-09-2013, 06:56   #24
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Re: Lithium or solar?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wraith_Mac View Post
Here Scoobert have a look at these costings:-

Lithium Batteries

Cheers,
Mac
Quote:
Battery
Capacity ah
Usable range
Usable ah
Weight kg
Lifeline 12v AGM
630
40%
252
186
$3600
Lifeline 2v AGM
630
40%
252
180
$3390
Fullriver AGM
600
20%
120
196
$2835
EV Lithium 12v
380
70%
266
45
$2790
Winston Lithium
400
70%
280
64
$2365
not sure where you got those prices from but..
225AH cost $300 for a pair of Trojan....

so for your 280 useable amps, it would cost 600-900, not 3600


i also notice your claiming a 40% dod, typically 50% is used, but best to keep any battery above 80%. did you write that? if not, ignore the "you" and supplement "they"
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Old 22-09-2013, 07:09   #25
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Re: Lithium or solar?

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Originally Posted by scoobert View Post
not sure where you got those prices from but..
225AH cost $300 for a pair of Trojan....

so for your 280 useable amps, it would cost 600-900, not 3600
The costings were for AGMs, I presume to give a comparable charge rate because that's what that owner wanted.
The point was the actual cost to a real person of his Lithium install.
Whatever the case the cost of Lithiums doesn't come anywhere near your fictional figure of $50 per Kw/h does it?
Did you read the entire post?
If you want golf cart batteries use golf cart batteries, I have for a long time, I still have six.
I even made my own decisions on which ones to purchase, it's not rocket science is it?
Knock Lithium as much as you want, no skin of my my nose, just try and advise people with facts not fiction.
Cheers,
Mac
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Old 22-09-2013, 07:12   #26
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Re: Lithium or solar?

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Originally Posted by Wraith_Mac View Post
Whatever the case the cost of Lithiums doesn't come anywhere near your fictional figure of $50 per Kw/h does it?
no, its at $300 last time i checked, and that was the industrial cost of just the batterys, not the end user cost.
until they cost me that much, they are not worth it.

i was kind of reading the post, it was a lot of bad math, and bad advice.
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Old 22-09-2013, 07:16   #27
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Re: Lithium or solar?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scoobert View Post
not sure where you got those prices from but..
225AH cost $300 for a pair of Trojan....

so for your 280 useable amps, it would cost 600-900, not 3600


i also notice your claiming a 40% dod, typically 50% is used, but best to keep any battery above 80%. did you write that? if not, ignore the "you" and supplement "they"

They were comparing AGM to LiFePO4 not to standard FLA's to LiFePO4.. I built my bank for about the same as Lifeline or Odyssey AGM's... If you wait for a good deal on cells it does not need to be expensive..

FLA is dirt cheap, and still the best "value", but the OP won't be recharging in an hour or even two or thee or four to 100% with FLA..
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Old 22-09-2013, 07:22   #28
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Re: Lithium or solar?

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
They were comparing AGM to LiFePO4 not to standard FLA's to LiFePO4.. I built my bank for about the same as Lifeline or Odyssey AGM's... If you wait for a good deal on cells it does not need to be expensive.. FLA is dirt cheap but the OP won't be recharging in an hour or even two or thee or four to 100%.

200AH @ 12v in AGM costs $380.
https://www.batteriesexpressinc.com/...b-4d-45965.htm

then i am going for lowest cost, weight matters not to me, the batteries are below the water line, and act as additional ballast.
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Old 22-09-2013, 07:45   #29
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Re: Lithium or solar?

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200AH @ 12v in AGM costs $380.
https://www.batteriesexpressinc.com/...b-4d-45965.htm

then i am going for lowest cost, weight matters not to me, the batteries are below the water line, and act as additional ballast.
And you may only get a few hundred cycles out of those AGM's when compared to a premium AGM like a Lifeline or Odyssey.... Not all AGM batteries are created equal and much of the junk that calls themselves AGM are very short lived in a true deep cycling or off grid application... A true caveat emptor situation... I have seen two batts that look identical to those fail in less that 13 months... Warranty was non- existent, owner had mail ordered them...

There is a reason folks compare to Lifeline or Odyssey or been the Sonnenschein GEL technology and that is because they are specifically designed for cycling applications, not just "labeled" as such... If you want Chinese AGM technology Full River is pretty proven..
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Old 22-09-2013, 07:53   #30
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Re: Lithium or solar?

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
And you may only get a few hundred cycles out of those AGM's when compared to a premium AGM like a Lifeline or Odyssey.... Not all AGM batteries are created equal and much of the junk that calls themselves AGM are very short lived in a true deep cycling or off grid application... A true caveat emptor situation... I have seen two batts that look identical to those fail in less that 13 months... Warranty was non- existent..

There is a reason folks compare to Lifeline or Odyssey or been the Sonnenschein GEL technology and that is because they are specifically designed for cycling applications, not just "labeled" as such...

ok so now we are up to $530 each. for 210 AH.
Lifeline GPL-4DL $ 527.00

still not close to the quote on that persons website.
and i did a quick google on trying to find universal battery early failures, with no luck.
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