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Old 07-11-2011, 17:16   #61
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Re: New Lithium-Ion Batteries

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By the time my vessel is finished in late 2013
So you have started?
What is it?
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Old 07-11-2011, 17:33   #62
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Re: New Lithium-Ion Batteries

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So you have started?
What is it?
No. Won't be started until 2013. Most likely a FF46 not built in Australia.
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Old 07-11-2011, 17:49   #63
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Re: New Lithium-Ion Batteries

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When you look at the prices here looks to me that price has been sorted. By the time my vessel is finished in late 2013 there is no doubt they will be cost effective.

At a cost of around $600 for 600ah LiPo from this site doesn't that solve the cost issue now.

http://currentevtech.com/Lithium-Batteries/Thundersky-c11/
Trev from Basicly Natural would be far from you in Kuttabul Queensland, Australia. 4741. http://http://www.thebackshed.com/ba...al/default.asp He sells Winston Batteries, Winston Chung was the original Thundersky brains and left to form his own company taking the yttrium technolgy with him.
The price from Trev is AU $1.40Ah but keep in mind that is per 3.2v cell, you need 4 cells to make a 12v battery.

T1 Terry
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Old 07-11-2011, 17:57   #64
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Re: New Lithium-Ion Batteries

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Trev from Basicly Natural would be far from you in Kuttabul Queensland, Australia. 4741. http://http://www.thebackshed.com/ba...al/default.asp He sells Winston Batteries, Winston Chung was the original Thundersky brains and left to form his own company taking the yttrium technolgy with him.
The price from Trev is AU $1.40Ah but keep in mind that is per 3.2v cell, you need 4 cells to make a 12v battery.

T1 Terry

Thanks TerryT1 I looked up his website last week. My vessel when time comes will be built in the South Americas and batteries and fittings/motors/rig etc will be supplied from the States.

I will catch up with Trev some time. Kuttabul is yust a small distance up Bruce Highway from me. Thanks. Just researching and trying to understand at present.
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Old 07-11-2011, 18:30   #65
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Re: New Lithium-Ion Batteries

Is there any advantage to build a series of banks of cells (ie 2 x 200/cell for a 12v bank of 800 ah x2 vs 400/cell for 1600 ah in one battery)? It's cheaper to build 200 ah per cell for a total 1600 ah vs one bank of 400 ah cell for total 1600 ah. Just looking at cost per ah per cell. Not that I need such large bank, just looking at having a redundant backup (losing a cell).

Learning curve upwards.
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Old 07-11-2011, 18:36   #66
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Re: New Lithium-Ion Batteries

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T1,

That's good to know.

What is your motivation for being an Early Adopter DIY'r?

Based on the the bat's that you use, and the lack of the BMS, how does that reconcile with the bat manufactures recommendations?

IIRC you are at about 5 months with this system, and you appear to be well informed in re the issues, and EE. How can we translate that to a consumer friendly system. Especially for my customers that are technology challenged, not to mention a little challenged for proper maintenance?

I also want to say thanks, for your posting and sharing of knowledge.

lloyd
My interest first came with looking for better house batteries for my motorhome project. From there I saw the huge potential with sufficient solar I could take my house off the grid. I'm still working towards that point. The end plan is to transfer the whole lot to my converted bus and eventually hybrid assist electric propulsion, regen capable and solar charged with the capacity to recharge from an on board generator if needed, from the alt on the drive engine and plug into a caravan park if all else fails.
I'm limited to a barely living income as a result of an accident so I did a lot of research into these batteries before I spend my AU$10,000, it’s a big battery bank.

Not that different to a marine requirement although the insurance survey is an item I hadn't thought about. As these batteries are safer than lead acid batteries and require less maintenance I guess it's only a matter of educating the survey people..... if that's anything like dealing with motor registry engineers, easier said than done

What do I see as the essentials for a drop in system that requires little maintenance.
A high cell voltage charge cut out, it could be used to turn a cell balancer system on but it is essential that it also turns back off, cell balancers have a nasty habit of self latching and dragging a cell dead flat.

A charging system with voltage control to 0.1v accuracy, PWM control isn't essential but it's easy to get along with.

The charging voltage set to achieve a 99% charge if the owner/operator is very maintenance impaired, let the service man do the balancing.

Fuseable cell links, protects against the watch band/spanner across the terminals, it maybe only 3.2v between each cell but there is an enormous amount of short circuit current available.

A vented enclosure just in case a cell overheats so the flammable gases can be dispersed, helps with keeping the cells cool a well.

Every cable that in connected directly to the battery be fused to the cables short circuit fire rating.

A HRC fuse in the main supply cable capable of sustaining 50% greater than the max combined load but still much lower than the cables rated fire protection load.
The cells bundle packed to stop swelling and properly mounted to stop them becoming a missile.

A clear cover over the battery top so nothing can fall across the terminals but it can easily be seen through to visual check links and that the terminals are clean.

If the operator is very maintenance impaired, a service routine check list for the service person to go through including the usual high current warnings etc. check terminal bolt security to specific torque with a BIG print warning about what the required tension is so the threads aren't stripped out, after all, they are only copper/aluminium blocks with a thread cut in.
Checking cell voltages at fully charged and balancing to an even 3.45v per cell. A simple light bulb or resistance load across the high cell terminals pulls them back into line.
(My favourite is a 12v jug element, remove the cigarette lighter plug and fit alligator clips, drop it into a cup of water, works for 1 to 3 cells.)

T1 Terry
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Old 07-11-2011, 18:46   #67
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Re: New Lithium-Ion Batteries

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Is there any advantage to build a series of banks of cells (ie 2 x 200/cell for a 12v bank of 800 ah x2 vs 400/cell for 1600 ah in one battery)? It's cheaper to build 200 ah per cell for a total 1600 ah vs one bank of 400 ah cell for total 1600 ah. Just looking at cost per ah per cell. Not that I need such large bank, just looking at having a redundant backup (losing a cell).

Learning curve upwards.
My personal preference is for multiple cells in parallel to make up capacity and then 4 sets in series to make the 12v. The reason for this is the slight out of balance between cells that happens as a part of manufacturing tolerances is evened up across multiple cells in parallel. Also each individual cell is much cheaper, it one dies for what ever reason the replacement cost is low. the individual cell can be pulled out of the parallel pack section by removing it's link to the others, the capacity is only lowered by the capacity of that particular cell, to even it up one cell from the other 3 parallel packs can also be disconnected. spares are easy and cheap to carry, 4 spare cells makes a handy portable battery to power an electric outboard on the dingy, beats the hell out of rowing.

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Old 07-11-2011, 19:09   #68
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Re: New Lithium-Ion Batteries

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T1,
Yes, OFF should absolutely be the default mode for a safe BMS. That is the way Genasun is set up. Any cell module fails to report, you get a com alarm and the system will not drive the relays. Any cell goes overvoltage, the charge bus relay is turned off for that bank. Any cell goes undervoltage, then the load relay for that bank is turned off. Good old heavy-duty coil relays are used (non-latching type) since they cannot fail "on".

If after a long period of time after a LVC there is no charge source, and voltage continues to drop (as the BMS itself draws a little bit so it can kill the battery itself eventually), then the BMS cuts the charge relay also and turns itself (the BMS) off. This leaves no load on the bank at all.

There are BMS power switches (Off, Run, and Start) for each bank so you can restart an isolated bank when a charging source is available. Conversely if after a HVC, for any reason any cell continues up in voltage, then the load bus relay will be cut also. The default mode, unless everything is ok is that a bank (usually there are two) is completely isolated from charge and loads.

Genasun is pretty adamant about using dual parallel banks, with independent BMS and relays. Just in case you DO have the type of electrical mishap that you fear could happen.

This may all seem rather obsessive, however I've learned the hard way that if there is a way for the user (no matter how well-intentioned) to screw up the batteries, they will. So even though some may prefer to depend on themselves to monitor the cells, charging, balancing, etc. those are not the systems I sell (anymore).

I keep my ears & eyes open for any new brands/systems that could be better, but for now the Genasun is the system I provide to professional installers for house banks. The founder of Genasun started creating lithium systems for boats (and yes, the first systems were Li-Co) in 2006.

For high-voltage propulsion applications there are other options; and some new ones for that coming down the pipe.
Good to know they fail safe and have an over ride system, many don't. I guess if each battery bank has it's own charge control system then load sharing shouldn't be too much of an issue, parallel Li batteries have major problems with this as the voltage curve is so flat one battery tends do do all the work while the other tags along for the ride.
The new carbon lead batteries look interesting but it's a long way between the lab and the market place. Li batteres go back well over 10 yrs but are considered the new kid on the block.

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Old 08-11-2011, 02:57   #69
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I would say that for boat systems. Cycle based cell balancing isn't required. Nothing I see in my tests suggests that after the initial installation cell balance, balancing isn't needed again. In fact over time the cells start to converge rather then diverge. Cell balancing could be a annual service type event.

HV events and the required control and cutoff is only required if you have charging system capable of HV events. As I and T1 mentioned, voltage limited charging at max 3.45 ( depending on which Li cell) avoids HV events, but still more then adequately charges the battery.

LV events are less damaging ( in the main) but LV detection ( ie voltage alarms) and optional cutoffs are trivial to rig up. I would suggest in a boat that an alarm is all that's needed as you don't really want sudden cutoffs. Maybe it's needed for long term unattended boats but I doubt it.

Hence in reality no sophisticated BMS is needed in the first place, hence you don't have to worry about it's failure modes. ( nor the extra complexity,cost and wiring) BMS for Li technology really came out of high C charging and discharging environments and also for other LI technology that exhibits dangerous thermal runaway.

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Old 08-11-2011, 06:42   #70
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Re: New Lithium-Ion Batteries

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I liked this bit I bet they don't sing that tune about their Trojans much longer, since the company was taken over a while back the quality has dropped alarmingly, the lead acid EV boys are screaming.


T1 Terry
I stopped buying/selling Trojan's back in about 2003/2004, unless a customer insists, I no longer install them as my first choice, T105's that is. I don't find the price premium is any longer in balance with the cycle life vs. other GC2 batts.

Of course I define dead batteries differently than many who claim 9, 10, 11 years of service from their banks and use test equipment and actual load tests to determine useful end of life.

I have one customer who determines "end of life" when his 225 Ah bank will no longer power the VHF radio when he key's the mike, but he got "9 years" out of his T105's. The reality is they were likely well beyond useful safe life at 5-6 years for his application..

The life expectancy is just not what I used to see with Trojan and the GC2 market has become very, very competitive. I find it very hard to see any separation in terms of longevity between most good quality GC2 batts these days, and I do look.

I try to keep close tabs on GC2 performance though a friends who runs a golf course and keeps detailed spread sheets on battery costs to the course.

They switched to US Battery in 2004 from Trojan and their overall costs went way down, over 30% savings, and "box replacement" actually went down by about 8% suggesting the US Battery product is at least as good if not slightly better than the Trojan yet the price per box is significantly less. Of course you have to figure in the +5Ah difference per battery too between the US and T105. They are not the only course who has done this switch. Quality between GC battery brands is quite close these days but I think the GC batts from US Battery are one of the best and most underrated values going, I just wish I had a closer distributor...

I install Deka/East Penn, US Battery, Crown and Superior Battery 6V batteries these days. At my cost the T105's are $127.00 each and the Deka's are about $79.00 and the US Battery US 2200 about $84.00...

I am very excited about the Li technology but not yet ready to jump in as I got burned pretty badly by jumping on AGM technology early on and the promises did not turn out to be based on the reality of a cruising boat or mooring sailed boat.. The Thundersky pricing seems very intriguing!!
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Old 08-11-2011, 13:27   #71
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Re: New Lithium-Ion Batteries

I believe Balgon was appointed as the US distributor of Winston Li batteries. It would be interesting to know the difference in cost of safe useable Ah of the Winston Li battery set up as 12v V the prefered lead acid battery set up as 12v. I believe the accepted 50% SOC for lead acid and 80% for Li would be generally accepted as the safe discharge limits to get a decent cycle life.
In Aust lead acid deep cycle recognised as top of the line such as Rolls, Lifeline, Ritar, are all dearer per useable Ah without considering cycle life difference but we have always known we get ripped off bad down this way. It would be interesting to see the price difference in the land of the big discount and realistic pricing.

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Old 09-11-2011, 13:17   #72
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Re: New Lithium-Ion Batteries

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I would say that for boat systems. Cycle based cell balancing isn't required. Nothing I see in my tests suggests that after the initial installation cell balance, balancing isn't needed again. In fact over time the cells start to converge rather then diverge. Cell balancing could be a annual service type event.

HV events and the required control and cutoff is only required if you have charging system capable of HV events. As I and T1 mentioned, voltage limited charging at max 3.45 ( depending on which Li cell) avoids HV events, but still more then adequately charges the battery.

LV events are less damaging ( in the main) but LV detection ( ie voltage alarms) and optional cutoffs are trivial to rig up. I would suggest in a boat that an alarm is all that's needed as you don't really want sudden cutoffs. Maybe it's needed for long term unattended boats but I doubt it.

Hence in reality no sophisticated BMS is needed in the first place, hence you don't have to worry about it's failure modes. ( nor the extra complexity,cost and wiring) BMS for Li technology really came out of high C charging and discharging environments and also for other LI technology that exhibits dangerous thermal runaway.

Dave
You don't need a high-current charging system to go overvoltage. If any of a typical boat's charging sources have an issue and overshoot your desired voltage, you could damage cells with only a few amps of current. What could go wrong, you ask? Alternator regulators, solar charge controllers, windgens, AC/DC chargers (from shore or AC genset), etc., etc. Do you turn off your solar charging when you aren't there to watch it? Are you sure you will never leave the boat with a load turned on that you forgot about?

After a life of cruising and two solo circumnavigations, you could say that I'm the "experienced" type who won't make a mistake. However, all that I have learned over all these years is that to expect myself to never make a mistake (especially with powerful energy systems) is pure folly.

Ok, maybe I've just become paranoid in my old age. I wasn't always this way....
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Old 09-11-2011, 18:17   #73
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Re: New Lithium-Ion Batteries

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You don't need a high-current charging system to go overvoltage. If any of a typical boat's charging sources have an issue and overshoot your desired voltage, you could damage cells with only a few amps of current. What could go wrong, you ask? Alternator regulators, solar charge controllers, windgens, AC/DC chargers (from shore or AC genset), etc., etc. Do you turn off your solar charging when you aren't there to watch it? Are you sure you will never leave the boat with a load turned on that you forgot about?

After a life of cruising and two solo circumnavigations, you could say that I'm the "experienced" type who won't make a mistake. However, all that I have learned over all these years is that to expect myself to never make a mistake (especially with powerful energy systems) is pure folly.

Ok, maybe I've just become paranoid in my old age. I wasn't always this way....
Amen..

"It is normal for human to error, the biggest human error is to chose the wrong tool/ machine for the job."


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Old 09-11-2011, 20:02   #74
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Re: New Lithium-Ion Batteries

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You don't need a high-current charging system to go overvoltage. If any of a typical boat's charging sources have an issue and overshoot your desired voltage, you could damage cells with only a few amps of current. What could go wrong, you ask? Alternator regulators, solar charge controllers, windgens, AC/DC chargers (from shore or AC genset), etc., etc. Do you turn off your solar charging when you aren't there to watch it? Are you sure you will never leave the boat with a load turned on that you forgot about?

After a life of cruising and two solo circumnavigations, you could say that I'm the "experienced" type who won't make a mistake. However, all that I have learned over all these years is that to expect myself to never make a mistake (especially with powerful energy systems) is pure folly.

Ok, maybe I've just become paranoid in my old age. I wasn't always this way....

Sure sure belt and braces, but as in all failure mode analysis, you have to look at the probability of that fault happening. IN reality its a rare occurance.

The reason HVCs system were included was mainly in High C charging of LiCo and other runaway sensitive cells.

But its a moot point both HVC or LVC is easy technically to implement, individual cell charging and balancing is more complex.

Dave
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Old 31-07-2012, 12:46   #75
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Re: New Lithium-Ion Batteries

We are building a new catamaran as a “smart boat” in France this year (greenboats.com), and we are fitting a set of L-I batteries from a vendor in Belgium. We are happy with all the figures we’ve seen so far, but I have one question that has been weighing on my mind. Does anyone know what happens to L-I batteries in a lightning strike? I was hit twice on the first boat I lived on (Florida thunderstorms) and the old lead/acid batts were fine. I know in some cases L-I batts have been known to catch fire or explode when overcharged or shorted – Anyone have any experience with this?
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