Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 24-09-2013, 06:39   #61
Registered User

Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 22
Re: Lithium or Solar?

Flexible solar on the Canopy is my only option I'm afraid.
__________________

__________________
gypsyvagabond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-09-2013, 07:14   #62
Don't ask if you can't handle it
 
sailorboy1's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: On the boat somewhere
Boat: Hunter 410
Posts: 12,305
Re: Lithium or Solar?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsyvagabond View Post
Flexible solar on the Canopy is my only option I'm afraid.
why?
__________________

__________________
jobless, houseless, clueless, living on a boat and cruising around somewhere
sailorboy1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-09-2013, 07:18   #63
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Australia NSW south coast
Posts: 633
Re: Lithium or Solar?

The flexible solar has a few issues, the cheaper panels suffer from degradation of the coating causing them to become opaque and loose a lot of efficiency, one supplier on Alibaba is quoting 7 yrs life, many are saying 3 yrs and the cells are so bad they must be replaced. There are very expensive panels that apparently don't suffer this problem but at around $1,000 for a 125w panel they really aren't an option, so the lithium might be your only hope.
Next, in your opening post you say that 260Ah of lead acid don’t go even close to powering everything so the fridge is off over night. Considering 260Ah of lead acid gives a useable 50% or 130Ah, as long as the load is less than C20 or the capacity divided by 20, 13 amps, if any load is greater than this at any 1 time you wouldn’t get the whole 130Ah either. Then there is every chance the batteries aren’t getting fully charged so ….probably 100Ah is all you have useable. Do you think if you had double that amount you would have enough to keep everything going till the next recharge?

T1 Terry
__________________
T1 Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-09-2013, 07:45   #64
Moderator
 
noelex 77's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Living on dirt waiting for our new yacht to be built.
Boat: Half built Bestevaer.
Posts: 10,618
Re: Lithium or Solar?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsyvagabond View Post

Once someone can say (extremely roughly) what I would be using in ah per day then can we use this hypothetical number to discuss if it would be cheaper or better (in Montenegro) to have Lithium batteries installed or Flexi solar on the canopy?
It is very difficult to estimate someone else's amp hour usage. There are large variations in equipment usage, but if I had to take a guess I would suggest somewhere around 120 AHrs at anchor and a bit more when sailing.

You don't list the size of the boat, but it probably has an alternator of around 80A. Unfortunatly this is a nominal rating and you can expect about 55A continuous at reasonable engine revs.

Lithium will accept all this input but at 55A it will take 2-2.5 hours of engine runtime per day to replace your power with lithium.
To take advantage of lithiums high charge acceptance you would be better to fit a large frame alternator of around 200A. With this modification you have the possibility of getting your engine run time down to around an hour a day.

To entirely replace 120AHrs with solar will depend where you are crusing and what season, but even in an area of good insolation you will need around 300w
You can of course run the engine for an hour with your lead acid batteries and then use solar. In this case you will need 150w

Please bear in mind that without measuring or estimating your usage accurately these rough estimations may be out substantially.
__________________
noelex 77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2013, 07:05   #65
Registered User

Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 22
Re: Lithium or Solar?

Thanks again guys
The only spot that I can put solar without having expensive stainless work done is flexible on the canopy. I have looked into this on a few other threads also, flexible can be removed and stored under a mattress in high winds and ends up cheaper with not having to install the stainless.

T1 that might be the case, I'm not sure. I could just throw in two more batteries and see what happened but I am keen to have this completely sorted for next season.

For good quality 200 W of flexible solar I am looking at about $2200 - $2500 installed. I saw this also on another thread. I am getting a quote from the guys in Montenegro which I will inform everyone of.

Thankyou noelex for the estimation, this will serve me perfectly until next season when I am back onboard and can figure it out exactly. The boat is a 43.4 Beneteau Cyclades.

How much is a 200A alternator installed? I assume if we are using 120 AHrs as our figure I would need 300Ahrs of Lithium?

Once again does anyone know a lithium install place in Europe?

You guys are legends.
__________________
gypsyvagabond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2013, 07:09   #66
cruiser

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: medusa NY
Boat: Tayana Surprise 45 schooner "Union Pacific"
Posts: 2,098
Re: Lithium or Solar?

please dont pay $10 a watt for solar that will be worse then you can imagine.
flexible solar is the worst type of solar.
you can also install hard solar on your lifelines and stanchions.

200amp alternator of marine verity is about $1500-2000. plus install.

why can you not install hard solar on your cabin top?
__________________
scoobert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2013, 07:35   #67
Moderator
 
noelex 77's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Living on dirt waiting for our new yacht to be built.
Boat: Half built Bestevaer.
Posts: 10,618
Re: Lithium or Solar?

300Ahrs of lithium is about right.

Large frame alternators are not expensive if you can get hold of non marine alternatives (such as alternators designed for a bus). The problem is that above about 100A you need dual alternator belts (or serpentine belts). A slightly less good alternative is to use your existing alternator and add another 100A alternator, but you still need to fabricate parts for this.

There are companies that sell ready made solutions for some engines with pulleys belt, alternator but they are expensive (in the order of $1500 then you will have import duties etc). A much cheaper option is to find an engineering shop that can fabricate pulleys etc for you, but you need to trust their work.

Batteries are difficult in many countries. They are classified as hazardous goods.
I tried to get some lithium batteries in Greece and gave up because of the difficulties finding a courier that would ship them. These problems are surmountable, but not easy to organise especially when you have no stable address and are at a new island every couple of weeks.

If you go down the solar panel route look at the Solbian panels they are expensive, but have a very high output for their size, enabling you to fit more watts. I think they are an Italian company.
__________________
noelex 77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2013, 08:00   #68
Registered User
 
Wraith_Mac's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Central Coast, NSW, Australia
Boat: Avon Rib, 65hp
Posts: 304
Re: Lithium or Solar?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsyvagabond View Post
Thanks again guys
The only spot that I can put solar without having expensive stainless work done is flexible on the canopy. I have looked into this on a few other threads also, flexible can be removed and stored under a mattress in high winds and ends up cheaper with not having to install the stainless.

T1 that might be the case, I'm not sure. I could just throw in two more batteries and see what happened but I am keen to have this completely sorted for next season.

For good quality 200 W of flexible solar I am looking at about $2200 - $2500 installed. I saw this also on another thread. I am getting a quote from the guys in Montenegro which I will inform everyone of.

Thankyou noelex for the estimation, this will serve me perfectly until next season when I am back onboard and can figure it out exactly. The boat is a 43.4 Beneteau Cyclades.

How much is a 200A alternator installed? I assume if we are using 120 AHrs as our figure I would need 300Ahrs of Lithium?

Once again does anyone know a lithium install place in Europe?

You guys are legends.
You could look here for a start, very close to your boat actually, they will arrange delivery I believe.
Use the address where your boat is if they''ll cooperate and hold them for you.

Winston Thunder SKY Lithium Battery LIFEPO4 300AH | eBay

$1220 + postage from Poland for 4 cells

$1620 already assembled as a 300AH pack. [Might be much easier for you]

Just instal as you would do any battery. Preferably with a good battery monitor. It really is not rocket science, it is very straight forward at a house bank level.

Read what has been said about low and high voltage cut offs, there are a number of ways to do this, not all of them expensive.

Cheers,
Mac
__________________
NEW SCIENCE: You fund the research and we provide the desired facts.
NEW ECONOMICS:See Above, obfuscation extra.
Wraith_Mac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2013, 08:31   #69
Registered User
 
Wraith_Mac's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Central Coast, NSW, Australia
Boat: Avon Rib, 65hp
Posts: 304
Re: Lithium or Solar?

Riley,
Here are a couple of regulators [links below] that should allow you to use any alternator, even the one you've got now until you understand your needs better.
Prestolite, for example, make a range of highpower alternators for much less than certain "marine" brands, any autolec can make sure they're "ignition protect", a much bandied phrase. Actually Prestolite can tell you themselves.
I'm not that sure about the Ample power V3 being suitable to add on leaving your internal regulator in situ [in your alt] but Sterling does this.

Both are very programmable, I like the Sterling's features but that's just a personal opinion. Both can handle larger or extra alternators should you ever add to your OEM.

Do not ever enable battery temperature sensing with Lithium, it's for LA ONLY, disable it if your current setup has it, ie remove the temp probe/cable to the battery.

Alternator temp sensing is a good thing to have though.

Smart Alternator Regulator, V3

Sterling Power Products: Alternator Regulators
Cheers,
Mac
__________________
NEW SCIENCE: You fund the research and we provide the desired facts.
NEW ECONOMICS:See Above, obfuscation extra.
Wraith_Mac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2013, 08:57   #70
Moderator
 
noelex 77's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Living on dirt waiting for our new yacht to be built.
Boat: Half built Bestevaer.
Posts: 10,618
Re: Lithium or Solar?

Be aware that the charging algorithms for lithium are different to lead acid. Don't upgrade the regulator with for a regulator designed lead acid if you are planning to use lithium batteries.

The standard alternator regulator is often reasonably close for lithium, but charging voltages do need to checked.

Sterling are planning on releasing (maybe they already have) a lithium regulator, but many knowledgeable people feel the voltages they have chosen are too high.
__________________
noelex 77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2013, 10:25   #71
Registered User
 
Wraith_Mac's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Central Coast, NSW, Australia
Boat: Avon Rib, 65hp
Posts: 304
Re: Lithium or Solar?

Noelex 77,
The Sterling ProRegS and ProRegU have a LiFePo4 specific charging regime @ 13.8v-14.4v for a 12v nominal system and can work in conjunction with Hitachi alt which is on the Yanmar listed for his boat.
They seem to be very programmable but I do see what you mean about taking care.
That installed Li regime is what I'm not sure about on the V3, it would have to be entered by the user. I think.
The Sterling Pro kits also come with a remote control and alternator temp sensor, the battery temp sensor is not needed and must be discarded.
Click on this link and then the ProReg link to view their latest PDF.
Sterling Power Products: Datasheets
Cheers,
Mac
__________________
NEW SCIENCE: You fund the research and we provide the desired facts.
NEW ECONOMICS:See Above, obfuscation extra.
Wraith_Mac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2013, 11:01   #72
Moderator
 
noelex 77's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Living on dirt waiting for our new yacht to be built.
Boat: Half built Bestevaer.
Posts: 10,618
Re: Lithium or Solar?

Lithium charging voltages are a debated topic, but most agree they should be substantially lower than lead acid.

Most knowledgable people are suggesting charging voltages at, or even below standard alternator settings. So there is no need for "boosting" the voltage as there is with lead acid. In addition lithium does not benefit from the multiple charging voltages that are beneficial for lead acid. A single charging voltage which is what the standard regulator does is preferable.


In short there is little benefit for alternator boosters with lithium. Many feel the Sterling settings will do some harm. I would not spend money on one until consensus is reached on the correct charge profile.

An off switch (which does not blow the diodes) is a good simple addition.

External alternator regulators are difficult to fit to the Hitachi alternator. An alternator to battery charger is a better option with this alternator.
__________________
noelex 77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2013, 12:54   #73
Registered User
 
Wraith_Mac's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Central Coast, NSW, Australia
Boat: Avon Rib, 65hp
Posts: 304
Re: Lithium or Solar?

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
Lithium charging voltages are a debated topic, but most agree they should be substantially lower than lead acid.

I'm trying to clarify what Sterling mean, they seem to be saying 14.4v initially then 13.8v. I'm waiting on their manual for the latest regulator to see what that says. When I enquired some months ago I was told they were adjustable and would suit Winstons.

Most knowledgable people are suggesting charging voltages at, or even below standard alternator settings. So there is no need for "boosting" the voltage as there is with lead acid. In addition lithium does not benefit from the multiple charging voltages that are beneficial for lead acid. A single charging voltage which is what the standard regulator does is preferable.

You're right and I'm aware of this, which is why I advised Riley [OP] that his Hitachi alternator would do no harm and if his shore charger did not have a customizable setting to use AGM [no equalizing] until he gets one.


In short there is little benefit for alternator boosters with lithium. Many feel the Sterling settings will do some harm. I would not spend money on one until consensus is reached on the correct charge profile.

The latest Sterling [and the V3] aren't simple alternator boosters, according to them but adjustable regulators. If 'many feel' there's a cloud over the Sterling then it would be better to wait until the ability to charge at the desired rate is clarified.
Forgive me but I will not be waiting for any consensus, though it's a noble idea, just clarification from Sterling will do
.

An off switch (which does not blow the diodes) is a good simple addition.

There is a provision for an on/of switch in their wiring diagram for the first Pro model, Why would it not be in the latest ones?

External alternator regulators are difficult to fit to the Hitachi alternator. An alternator to battery charger is a better option with this alternator.

I don't think it's a difficult fit and their instructions are easy to follow but others may not think the same. A larger capacity alternator is easy to fit to a Yanmar or go as you suggest. I have never had to use an alternator to battery charger, so don't know what works involved.
Noelex,
I hope it's OK to respond to each point as I did, it was simpler for me that is all.

There are certainly more options out there for Riley to add to a basic setup, I am simply trying to give him some options to start reading about.

It's like rabbits on hill, hard to see the first one, then, when you know what you're looking for you see dozens.
Cheers,
Mac
__________________
NEW SCIENCE: You fund the research and we provide the desired facts.
NEW ECONOMICS:See Above, obfuscation extra.
Wraith_Mac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2013, 13:26   #74
Marine Service Provider
 
Maine Sail's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Maine
Boat: CS-36T - Cupecoy
Posts: 3,060
Re: Lithium or Solar?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wraith_Mac View Post
Noelex 77,
The Sterling ProRegS and ProRegU have a LiFePo4 specific charging regime @ 13.8v-14.4v for a 12v nominal system and can work in conjunction with Hitachi alt which is on the Yanmar listed for his boat.
They seem to be very programmable but I do see what you mean about taking care.
That installed Li regime is what I'm not sure about on the V3, it would have to be entered by the user. I think.
The Sterling Pro kits also come with a remote control and alternator temp sensor, the battery temp sensor is not needed and must be discarded.
Click on this link and then the ProReg link to view their latest PDF.
Sterling Power Products: Datasheets
Cheers,
Mac
14.4V then 13.8V is nothing more than an LA charge profile with a Li label.. In other words hog wash marketing.... Everyone wants in on Li, as the new latest and greatest, so they are willing to simply take a non-customizable LA product and slap a Li label on it.

If any charging product you are thinking of using for charging Li does not allow you to fully customize nearly ever charge setting then do yourself a favor and walk away.

If you want a Sterling ProReg you'd be wise to contact Mark Grasser Power Solutions. He can re-program the Sterling ProReg software to work well with Li and also offers his own per-programmed regs..

IMHO, for an off the shelf regulator, the Balmar MC-614 is the hands down winner.

You will want to dial back the output of your alt when charging Li so as not to keep bouncing in and out of temp limiting which can drastically SLOW charging. No other regulator on the market allows for this. None of the other regs have anywhere near the customizable programming the MC-614 does and this is why it is one of the only regs currently suitable for Li.

I have three Sterling Pro-Regs in-stock but keep ordering the Balmar's while the Sterling's collect dust. Why? The ability to customize nearly every setting in the regulator which I do on nearly every install whether flooded, AGM, GEL or Li.....

You need to be very careful of companies who "claim" to have a Li charging profile. Most often it is in name only and not well tailored to Li at all...
__________________
Marine How To Articles
Maine Sail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2013, 13:27   #75
Moderator
 
noelex 77's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Living on dirt waiting for our new yacht to be built.
Boat: Half built Bestevaer.
Posts: 10,618
Re: Lithium or Solar?

Let is know what sterling say.

If you have not already done so look at the lithium threads on CF. There is a lot of great discussion on suitable charging voltages. Comments like this might put you off some of the products you are recommending for lithium:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Personally I cringe every time I hear of people pushing these cells to typical LA voltages but they seem to be comfortable with it. I just hope the cells survive it over the long haul. I also cringe when I see and hear of charger and controller manufacturers slapping a Li label on a piece of gear. Trust me the Sterling ProCharge Ultra/ProMariner ProNautic P LiDePO4 setting is NOT one would want to use, but it is still labeled as such.... Arghh...
The sterling alternator regulators are easy to fit most alternators, but for the Hitachi alternators it is much more difficult.

This incidentally is why there are generally quite a few 60 and 80A Hitachi available cheap on ebay. Many Yanmar owners replace the alternator with another brand rather than attempt the modification to make an external regulator work (although the alternator to battery chargers work differently and provide an alternative that does not require modification to the Hitachi alternator)
__________________

__________________
noelex 77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
solar

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
Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners Maren Multihull Sailboats 4076 02-12-2017 09:55
Solar Panel GRID Connection Help cat man do Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 11 28-11-2011 15:32



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:07.


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.