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Old 20-05-2009, 11:05   #31
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Lithium bank sizing; battery management system

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I have read that the Perkert effect is much less of an issue with these cells, so the calculations on battery size would be smaller than when using the currently used battery cells such as wet or AGM.
Valence has a Battery sizing calculator that will graph the battery capacity vs. runtime required for a given continuous current load. It graphs both their Lithium Iron Magnesium Phosphate battery capacity and a standard lead-acid battery. I don't know how the Peurkert constant compares between their batteries and Thundersky's, but it may be close enough.

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They do not tolorate full discharge however, so a system that provides cuttoff voltage, I have seen a figure of 2.0v per cell, is needed,
and monitored at the cell level.
A friend of mine has a Thundersky LIFEPO4 powered moped with no battery management system (BMS). He depleted his batteries on a long trip, and had to replace two of the twenty cells because they "took the hit" and dropped below the minimum voltage. I recommended the EV Power BMS because it "prevents any cell from going over/under voltage." His other option was a charger that simply charges all the batteries in parallel through a connector that connects the charger to each battery. The EV Power is a clever solution that daisy-chains the cell management electronics via the 1-wire protocol.

BTW, the Valence battery systems are designed to be compatible with lead-acid battery chargers (because they have a built-in BMS).

Chris, which Torqueedo motor did you get? What did it cost? What are you powering?
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Old 19-11-2009, 11:33   #32
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I'm looking at the Paktrakr and PowerCheq systems to monitor the 12 AGM's I have on board. Paktrkr monitors each battery separately and the PowerCheq is an equalizing device that balances the batteries. I checked with both manufacturers and they will work together.

Steve in Solomons
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Old 03-12-2009, 11:21   #33
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I've used the Paktrakr on a couple of system installations...the dispaly is tiny and calibration mediocre, but they fine if you don't have another option.

Re Lithium Phosphate for marine use (LiFePO4), there are several brands now available to consumers and installers. Genasun (using Sky Energy cells) RaceCell (using Thundersky cells), Mastervolt, and the aforementioned Valence are examples.

At the boat show">Annapolis boat show I did a low-key interview with Alan Block of Sailing Anarchy about the Genasun's:


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Old 03-12-2009, 11:39   #34
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I'd love to talk to you more about the PakTrakr system if you wouldn't mind contacting me at sdolan@scannersllc.com They do have a larger monitor out through a secondary company and I'm looking at this system to monitor my AGM's.

Thanks,
Steve in Solomons
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:58   #35
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Just an update to see if anyone out there is actually using these batteries and if so would care to share with the rest of us about them.

Thanks,

Thomas
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Old 03-09-2010, 19:41   #36
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Still hoping to hear from someone using these alternative batteries! Anybody out there?

Regards,

Thomas
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Old 03-09-2010, 20:19   #37
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A123Systems :: Home

They are gearing up a major production facility in Michigan to supply battery technology for cars & trucks
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Old 03-09-2010, 21:35   #38
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Well, let's hope that means the price will fall out of the stratosphere!

Regards,

Thomas
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Old 04-09-2010, 02:56   #39
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You are correct; I called them in Texas yesterday, and they told me that they only sell business-to-business: "That is our current business model." They will also contemplate very large orders to end users, from which I inferred that you would have to be powering a fleet.
I am just wondering why you would want to use Valance batteries when LiFeTech batteries are superior in manufacturing quality/design and less expensive?
Have you checked the prices of Valence batteries?
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:24   #40
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So LifeTech, what do you guys have suitable for the main power bank on a sailboat? Care to share? What does it cost?

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Thomas
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:53   #41
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Still hoping to hear from someone using these alternative batteries! Anybody out there?

Regards,

Thomas
Thomas, feel free to ask anything you like!
I am probably one of the world leaders in LiFePO4 battery technology having been doing this for more than 3 years already.
I have several happy customers (boat owners as well as boat builders) who are using LiFeTech LiFePO4 batteries as either a superior/more efficient replacement for lead acid batteries for house power or as an electric motor propulsion battery (or both of the above).

Just a couple of projects ether completed or close to completion powered by LiFeTech LiFePO4 batteries include-

"Natural High Adventures"- Natural High Adventures - Warren's Blog
This boat is powered by twin Torqeedo Cruise 4 electric boat motors and a LiFeTech LiFePO4 battery bank.

"Xhale" was launched about 2 months ago and is also powered by twin Torqeedo motors and LiFeTech batteries.

"Room With A View" is a very well known 55ft Australian racing catamaran and is based in the Whitsunday Islands in the Great Batteries Reef. After more than 18 months out of the water its electric conversion is almost complete. RWAV is the only electric boat project I have been involved with to date which will have triple electric propulsion motors (3x Torqeedo Cruise 4 motors). Custom mounts have been made to fit these motors on each hull and the centre pod motor will drop down on rails.
The 48V 240Ah HPS series LiFeTech battery bank (as pictured) will provide power for the propulsion motors, house power via DC/DC converters and mains power via an inverter. The LiFeTech batteries have amongst the fastest charge capability of any of the LiFePO4 battery manufacturers and the batteries when 100% discharged can be brought back to greater than 90% capacity in less than 15 minutes. Of course the power required to charge the batteries at such as fast rate is generally not available.

RWAV will have three charging methods available.
1) A high power 2kW dedicated LiFePO4 charger for shore power charging where available. This is the most powerful charger which can be used from shore power.
2) A Yanmar diesel motor driving a custom designed triple 48V 90Ah alternator set up. The alternators have been specifically provided with regulators for optimal charging of the LiFeTech batteries.
3) Solar panel charging

The battery bank is monitored and any errors or faults can be diagnosed by laptop computer from inside the boat. The batteries have intelligent control and can stop and start the genset directly via the data signals provided at the battery (signals are generated at the battery for complete state of discharge and complete state of full charge. These signals can drive a relay or contactor for external automatic control). Each battery is pre-programmed in the factory with a unique ID number. The owner of the boat can communicate via his laptop to any battery individually and can see a log of total accumulated battery charge cycles, the actual internal voltage of each cell in each battery pack to 0.01 of a volt and any errors for over charge, over discharge and over temperature. The data cables joining each battery in the photo are for the battery communications so with these batteries you have cables connecting each battery for both power as well as data.

Feel free to ask my professional advise. Asking questions costs nothing!
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:57   #42
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My interest would be in a 12V bank, perhaps a 24V bank. Not for powering the motors, but for lights, electronics, water maker, etc. So, I'm thinking in terms of a 800 to 1,000 AH bank. Talk to me in those terms, I'll be interested.

Thanks,

Thomas
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Old 04-09-2010, 04:03   #43
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You can read lots more about electric propulsion and LiFePO4 batteries for use in boats from the "featured articles" on the EBAA website. It is a useful resource for all people interested in learning more about electric boats.
There is also a performance comparison between lead acid batteries and LiFePO4 batteries for this who are new to the lithium battery technology and would like a performance comparison.
Feature Articles (NEW!) | Electric Boat Association of Australia
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Old 04-09-2010, 04:33   #44
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My interest would be in a 12V bank, perhaps a 24V bank. Not for powering the motors, but for lights, electronics, water maker, etc. So, I'm thinking in terms of a 800 to 1,000 AH bank. Talk to me in those terms, I'll be interested.

Thanks,

Thomas
Thomas, rules of the forum do not permit me to list any pricing information so I will only provide technical information and info about real world examples of boats using these batteries. Feel free to PM me for information I cannot provide here.
Our prices are similar to Valence and A123 but there are many distinct features which separate our batteries from others on the market.

I would suggest you contact some of the boat owners who are already using LiFeTech batteries so you can gain an unbiased view (since I am the manufacturer's representative). After all it is best to hear the opinions directly from "the horses mouth" ie, from the guys who have the actual experience using the product.

Warren Mathews can be contacted from his blog (above).

Neil Bochow is a professional boat builder and the owner of Xhale. Neil can be contacted at neil_carol@hotmail.com
I am sure Neil would be pleased to tell you the story he recently related to me when he first launched his boat about two months ago regarding the first trip away from the mooring with the generator supplier. Apparently the generator supplier couldn't believe his eyes when he saw the ammeter reading 146 amps of charging current being pumped into the two little 30Ah batteries and the batteries were fully charged by the time the boat returned to the mooring only 22 minutes later.

The owner of RWAV is Juris Rubenis. Mr Rubenis can be contacted at
jrubenis@bigpond.net.au

I would also be pleased to provide email and phone contact details for boat owners who have upgraded their AGM batteries to LiFeTech LiFePO4 (primarily so as to have a much more efficient battery/electrical system aboard their boats).

We currently have a project in the final stages of design to build 2 purely electric patrol boats and powered by LiFeTech lithium batteries. The company who is building the patrol boats is replacing their diesel engine powered boats since they calculate they will save several thousand dollars per year by going electric ie, zero fuel costs and nil diesel engine maintenance costs.
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Old 04-09-2010, 04:54   #45
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Quote:
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My interest would be in a 12V bank, perhaps a 24V bank. Not for powering the motors, but for lights, electronics, water maker, etc. So, I'm thinking in terms of a 800 to 1,000 AH bank. Talk to me in those terms, I'll be interested.

Thanks,

Thomas
Thomas do you really need 800 to 1000Ah of LiFePO4? Comparing AGM/lead acid and LiFePO4 batteries is not like comparing "apples with apples". LiFePO4 has double the useable energy density of lead acid. Also with lead acid you usually use the "never discharge below 50% DOD for long battery life" rule. This doesn't apply to LiFePO4 batteries which can be discharged 100% without suffering damage. In reality most people set up their battery control systems with LiFePO4 batteries for between 70-90% DOD.

Generally I recommend if you require 1000Ah of lead acid batteries you can replace this with around 600Ah of LiFePO4 batteries for the same run time per charge. Of course the performance of the lithium batteries is far better than lead acid batteries due to the much higher charging efficiency and flat discharge curve.

The initial purchase cost for the high performance LiFePO4 brands ie, LiFeTech Energy, A123 and Valance is far higher than equivalent lead acid batteries. The long term/overall cost of ownership is much cheaper when all considerations have been factored in. In fact Valence found that the actual cost of ownership for the highest priced LiFePO4 batteries (their own brand) is about 70% of the cost of using lead acid. This test was performed using a motor as a load running 24/7.
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