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Old 17-02-2010, 12:41   #16
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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"Now, with a 12 Volt system build of 2 Volt batteries, if one of them fails, how do you substitute it? "
With one new cell. This is in fact common and routine on electric fork lifts and other factory equipment that uses HUGE banks of 2v cells. If one cell goes bad, that cell alone is replaced. That's not ideal, compared to matched cells from the same assembly lot, but it is perfectly functional and adequate when the cells are of the same chemistry. (Different manufacturers use different chemistry.)

Mind you, that's one cell in one huge battery, and it is not the same thing as changing one of several batteries that typically have to "share" charging sources as in a boat. The one battery in a fork life is charged with one regulator, one voltage sensor, one battery at a time. Not at all the same as boats.
Pretty much what sold me on 2 alts./2 banks. No sharing except in emergency.
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Old 17-02-2010, 13:59   #17
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6x2cells

OK,

I see the point for fork lifts and such likes. If we can buy 2V cells as easily as 12V batteries, then it might make much sense. I wonder then why so few boaters go this way.

Who knows, perhaps the future is in multiple 1 Volt, lithium-polymer cells? Imagine you have 13 of them, you lose one, you do not even care! (;-)

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Old 17-02-2010, 14:05   #18
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You can. Rolls makes 2v cells (Rolls Battery). They even sell packs that are composed of individually replaceable 2v cells. If lead-acid is your thing, their stuff is pretty swank.
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Old 17-02-2010, 20:17   #19
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We had Trojan 2V cells, 900Ah each. These were the type used in diesel-electric submarines. Glad I got rid of them... needed to rent a crane to get them out: 2 x 1,000 pounds!!

The best 2V cells I've seen are gel cells from Sonnenschein (the guys that invented gel batteries). The Oysters have them, they are on their side under the salon floor... something that can't be done with lead-acid. I see other brands have similar offerings at the same high prices. But they will last 15 years or more.

BTW, if you have two 12V batteries in parallel and one dies after a couple of years, you need to replace both too. If you have cells in series and one shorts, nothing bad happens to the other cells (it's just one cell less in the string) while it hurts for parallel switched batteries. In other words: there's always trouble somewhere but the neatest way to create a large capacity bank is by using one string of cells in series, just like it's done internally in 6V or 12V batteries.

When you buy 2V cells you also get them from the same production run, i.e. they are all equal.

cheers,
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Old 27-02-2010, 14:29   #20
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Regarding 12V LiFePO4 systems vs. the Mastervolt 24V, both Genasun and RaceCell have 12V standard packages available now. The Genasun BMS is comparable to the Mastervolt; the RaceCell is a simpler BMS that requires more attention but represents a lower price point.
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Old 06-03-2010, 17:13   #21
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I think from a review of LiFePO systems that I have seen, we will for now concentrate on the other needed energy upgrades to "Namo" such as the installation of our four Kyocera solar panels and our 160w Balmar alternator. I suspect that in a year or two that lithium (battery not the antidepressant) will be the most cost effective and practical way to go. In our case we can double our usable battery storage and avoid the boat surgery required to find a home for an additional battery bank.

Perhaps besides the intial purchase price and life span that has been discussed when comparing lithium batteries to AGMs, one should include the cost of the diesel burned to charge lead acid batteries with their much lower charge acceptance rate. I think if I understood Nigel Calder correctly, he suggested that the total cost of boat power could be as much as $5/kwhr and with this is mind, lithium is already cheaper than lead-acid because they recharge so easily to 100%.

I look forward to reading more from those pioneers fitting Mastervolt, RaceCell, Genasun etc.

Ian
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Old 06-03-2010, 20:17   #22
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lifepo4

I had a long hard look & gave up because a 600amp 12v setup was very expensive. Also do you really know what you are getting? The last expert was trying to give a pack with 1080 cells with the advise if one failed then I would not know!! There appears to be the round cell type & then the prismatic (box shaped) design. I would need a lot of proof of reliability before I would buy them & would not be happy with the latter. I doubt they will see 7yrs in production before the "next best thing" comes along. So that is why I have gel for the house batteries & AGM for starting. I see the USA trucking sector shifting to diesel APU systems which looks good & priced better.

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Old 27-03-2010, 21:02   #23
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I had a long hard look & gave up because a 600amp 12v setup was very expensive. Also do you really know what you are getting? The last expert was trying to give a pack with 1080 cells with the advise if one failed then I would not know!! There appears to be the round cell type & then the prismatic (box shaped) design. I would need a lot of proof of reliability before I would buy them & would not be happy with the latter. I doubt they will see 7yrs in production before the "next best thing" comes along. So that is why I have gel for the house batteries & AGM for starting. I see the USA trucking sector shifting to diesel APU systems which looks good & priced better.

Regards Bill Goodwrd
Sounds like you are very skeptical about the lithium battery technology. There are several guys who already have lithium or will soon be changing over to lithium for their boats in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast so you might want to visit some of these guys to see what they are doing and what they think of the lithium batteries.
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Old 28-03-2010, 00:10   #24
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Lifetech, a lot of us are skeptical about lithium. A rash of fires and explosions gave us good reason for skepticism.

On staying in business: Sometimes, that's just not under a businesses control, no matter how good their intent. I know one that was forced to close after the tech stock bust simply because their bank wasn't willing to take any chances--even though the company was doing solid growth. Another where money problems happened because a founder was doing drugs. (Ooops). In the case of a battery business...what happens to your exclusive on LiFePO4 if the new "tinned" electrode design turns out to be practical and provides 4x the discharge cycle of LiFePO4, at the same price or less?

Little uncontrollable factors like that make "new" technologies and vendors still somewhat risky. Now, if you shipped a couple of dozen large batteries (with controllers) to some arguably objective sources, i.e. Practical Sailor, Sandia or some university labs...at least we'd have a wider base of comparison for just how these critters were found to perform.
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Old 28-03-2010, 01:18   #25
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I'm an early adopter of technology (see iPhone nav postings). I'm hoping the Lithium battery for marine use technology gets sorted out by the time I need new batteries, in a couple of years. Then I'm in! Lower weight and better efficiency is what I'm willing to pay for. Plus the cost is not much of a factor because in very frugal with the Coulombs (amp-hours) and I know how to use a small battery bank.
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Old 28-03-2010, 04:17   #26
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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Lifetech, a lot of us are skeptical about lithium. A rash of fires and explosions gave us good reason for skepticism.

On staying in business: Sometimes, that's just not under a businesses control, no matter how good their intent. I know one that was forced to close after the tech stock bust simply because their bank wasn't willing to take any chances--even though the company was doing solid growth. Another where money problems happened because a founder was doing drugs. (Ooops). In the case of a battery business...what happens to your exclusive on LiFePO4 if the new "tinned" electrode design turns out to be practical and provides 4x the discharge cycle of LiFePO4, at the same price or less?

Little uncontrollable factors like that make "new" technologies and vendors still somewhat risky. Now, if you shipped a couple of dozen large batteries (with controllers) to some arguably objective sources, i.e. Practical Sailor, Sandia or some university labs...at least we'd have a wider base of comparison for just how these critters were found to perform.
You have to be clear about which lithium chemistry you are talking about.
Sure, there is no way I would use a lithium polymer or lithium cobalt battery because there is a strong chance of a fire if they are not used correctly or if a component in a BMS became faulty allowing overcharge etc.
This discussion is only talking about LiFePO4 batteries since they are the safest lithium chemistry without a doubt and in fact LiFePO4 batteries are safer than lead acid. LiFePO4 batteries don't/can't produce any explosive hydrogen gas, they don't contain lead or any other toxic heavy metals and don't contain corrosive acids like sulphuric acid. LiFePO4 batteries don't suffer from thermal runaway like lead acid batteries do.
They are the safest and most environmentally battery option available.

The technology is not that "new" considering the LiFePO4 battery was discovered nearly 20 years ago at the University of Texas.

Several universities and government labs have already tested and use the batteries. For example I have supplied LiFePO4 batteries to Utah Valley University which are used for teaching lithium battery technology to automotive students.
Sandia Laboratories tested our first cell two years ago. I believe they ended up testing the original cell to around 8000 cycles. Feel free to PM me your email address as I would be pleased to send you the Sandia report.
Of course this is old news now since this cell was replaced by our current XPS cells in around September 2009 and we have our latest cell which is due to be released around the beginning of April.
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Old 28-03-2010, 06:00   #27
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I'm waiting for the Li-6-D fusion cells. Then I can dump the diesel, lift the anchor with tractor beams, go warp factor if I'm late...
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Old 28-03-2010, 06:05   #28
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LiFeTech isn't just blowing smoke. I've used both LiPoly and LiFePO4 batteries for RC airplanes for a couple years now, and unlike LiPoly, the LiFePO4 cells are very durable and tolerate overcharging and overdischarging with aplomb. They are a very different animal.

I'm just hoping costs will come down fairly rapidly, but not counting on it!
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Old 28-03-2010, 16:42   #29
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The critics of early adoptors and the " I never buy version 1 of anything " miss the point. You need to study and understand the tech. Then make a decision otherwise you are just Unthinkingly fllowing the herd. A more correct way of saying would be " I don't understand the new technology and will wait until lots of people use it and it can be explained to me in laymans terms. that's a more honest viewpoint.

The fact is the electrical system on boats costing 100ks is in the dark ages And not particulary reliable. Even automotive has moved way beyond boats. The standard boat might have high tech sails Kevlar this that and the other. But the electrical system us out of the 50's , the 1850's that is. In fact most don't really work at all as they can't power the boats system for note then a few hours and the standard recharging system ie a small car alternator are a technical joke.

It's high time manufacturers paid attention to DC system onboard and stopped building boats with noddy electrics

lifepo4 is not new techology it's certainly leading technology you certainly have to understand it to use it. But please don't put "wise opinions" forward as a cover for ignorance.
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