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Old 16-07-2020, 11:07   #1
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Best batteries for $2k budget

We are refitting our 45 foot cutter and have recently removed 8 x old Trojan t105 225 AH 6v batteries from the boat so that we can replace them with brand new batteries before we set off on an indefinite ocean voyage (Pacific crossing etc).

With a budget of around $2k for the batteries i am trying to decide what the best bang for my buck would be.

we use about 250 amps/day, will have a solar array of 800 watts and a honda generator running an 80 amp charger as backup. smaller 65 amp alternator on the engine. may add a wind generator.

We are considering an induction cooktop but not sure if it is possible within our battery budget, but if it isn't, we will scrap that idea.

We will be living on anchor ALL the time and therefore will be trying to make the system as independent from the generator as possible.

Options i am considering right now are:

8 x trojan t105 for a 900AH bank @ $1500 (can it handle the high loads of induction cooktop without damage??)

6 x Northstar blue+ (carbon enhanced) 100Ah for a 600AH bank @ $1680

4 x firefly (carbonfoam) G31 for a 460AH bank @ $2280
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Old 16-07-2020, 12:14   #2
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Re: Best batteries for $2k budget

Take a look at the LiIon batteries for sale here: https://bigbattery.com/shop/
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Old 16-07-2020, 12:20   #3
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Re: Best batteries for $2k budget

Chris from Balmar here. With the 2k budget as your total, I would take a hard look at the Firefly Carbon Foam batteries. While I am user and a big fan of Lithium, I think you will exceed that greatly in the end. Avoid the temptation of low or no-name lithium, especially going far afield.

Forget about induction cooking unless you use it here and there - not as your daily cooking source. There could be weeks when the sun gives you enough for it, but without a robust secondary way to charge I would not count on it. Just bring a 120v single burner with you and use when you have the excess power.

I don't know your engine, but most can take a 100a alternator such as our Six-Series 100a, and with external regulation you have a great opportunistic charging source. Don't count on much with a 65a internally regulated alternator. Cruising is motoring way more than most will admit!!!

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Old 16-07-2020, 12:31   #4
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Re: Best batteries for $2k budget

My understanding is that Bigbattery.com is making their batteries from established EV and hybrid vehicle battery modules. They are used but fully tested to comply with the specification for the pack. These are much higher quality battery packs than true "no name brand" stuff. I will never waste my money on a lead acid battery again....
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Old 16-07-2020, 12:47   #5
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Re: Best batteries for $2k budget

I vote for the Firefly. You are going to experience lots of days that will not be able to get 100% charged unless you want to run that Honda a long time.

Because of the ability to be partially charged without damage is why i plan to go Firefly this year.

But, the FLA route is always a worthwhile choice in my book.
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Old 16-07-2020, 12:56   #6
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Re: Best batteries for $2k budget

The only two lithium chemistries that are safe for boating are LiFePo4 or LTO. Most of the automotive applications are using OTHER than these two.

It is not to say that these chemistries cannot be built into an application to make them safe, but just building them into a package does not make it so.

Chris


Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcliffe01 View Post
My understanding is that Bigbattery.com is making their batteries from established EV and hybrid vehicle battery modules. They are used but fully tested to comply with the specification for the pack. These are much higher quality battery packs than true "no name brand" stuff. I will never waste my money on a lead acid battery again....
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Old 16-07-2020, 13:38   #7
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Re: Best batteries for $2k budget

Thank you for the responses everyone.

Sailorboy1, yes FLA continues to be an attractive option from an upfront cost POV and We are a heavy full keel boat. The batteries are located central and low so the weight is not an issue at all.

Chris, I really appreciate your input. We're trying hard to keep things simple and cost effective but we could certainly fit a larger alternator on our 80hp ford lehman. I could keep the 65 for keeping the cranking battery charged like its supposed to do and add a 100amp externally regulated alternator to charge our house bank.

My concern with lithium is upgrading chargers etc drive up cost. Although i do have a friend who asked if i wanted to share the costs of his DIY build with these cells:

https://www.electriccarpartscompany....gAybQ1AKyavX9M

the 12v 100AH battery cost would be about $550 per 100 AH battery - similar to the firefly with even more useable capacity and even better PSOC.

Firefly's have the advantage of fitting exactly in our battery boxes where the T105's were.

If i am taking 4 firefly's regularly to 60% DOD their cycle chart tells me i will get 2000 cycles. If i take the 8 Trojans regularly to 30% DOD i will get 2000 cycles but i suppose the ability to restore the Firefly's after extended cycling in PSOC puts them ahead.

Decisions, Decisions....
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Old 16-07-2020, 13:39   #8
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Re: Best batteries for $2k budget

ask and ye shall receive...
3kwh, 24V 130A charge/discharge $700 each





Quote:
Originally Posted by witzgall View Post
The only two lithium chemistries that are safe for boating are LiFePo4 or LTO. Most of the automotive applications are using OTHER than these two.

It is not to say that these chemistries cannot be built into an application to make them safe, but just building them into a package does not make it so.

Chris
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Old 16-07-2020, 14:23   #9
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Re: Best batteries for $2k budget

I would be highly concerned that there are non-ABYC compliant
components or methods used in such a product. Something good for the home is not always good for the boat.

Chirs

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ask and ye shall receive...
3kwh, 24V 130A charge/discharge $700 each
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Old 16-07-2020, 14:28   #10
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Re: Best batteries for $2k budget

The second alternator is a good approach the way you described.

Building your own pack is a valid approach, as long as you install a good quality BMS as well. You will need to make sure all of your charging sources play nicely too. REC BMS, Orion or ZEVA come to mind. The cost of this will add to the total system cost - which is why i suggested the Carbon foam batts. Just start a spreadsheet and you can play with all of it - make sure to consider shipping costs.

Chris

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adventuresail View Post
Thank you for the responses everyone.

Sailorboy1, yes FLA continues to be an attractive option from an upfront cost POV and We are a heavy full keel boat. The batteries are located central and low so the weight is not an issue at all.

Chris, I really appreciate your input. We're trying hard to keep things simple and cost effective but we could certainly fit a larger alternator on our 80hp ford lehman. I could keep the 65 for keeping the cranking battery charged like its supposed to do and add a 100amp externally regulated alternator to charge our house bank.

My concern with lithium is upgrading chargers etc drive up cost. Although i do have a friend who asked if i wanted to share the costs of his DIY build with these cells:

https://www.electriccarpartscompany....gAybQ1AKyavX9M

the 12v 100AH battery cost would be about $550 per 100 AH battery - similar to the firefly with even more useable capacity and even better PSOC.

Firefly's have the advantage of fitting exactly in our battery boxes where the T105's were.

If i am taking 4 firefly's regularly to 60% DOD their cycle chart tells me i will get 2000 cycles. If i take the 8 Trojans regularly to 30% DOD i will get 2000 cycles but i suppose the ability to restore the Firefly's after extended cycling in PSOC puts them ahead.

Decisions, Decisions....
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Old 16-07-2020, 14:58   #11
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Re: Best batteries for $2k budget

The price includes a BMS, but obviously not a charger. Any good recent charger could be reprogrammed to charge these batteries and the BMS will prevent charging if the temperature is too low. So that would be 9kWh with a deeper discharge than permissible with lead acid and about half the weight, $100 over budget and there is a 1x $300 shipping fee (not each), so a little over budget.


No maintenance ! and should be good for lots of cycles if not discharged too deep or charged to 100%.
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Old 16-07-2020, 15:13   #12
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Re: Best batteries for $2k budget

I went with firefly batteries for the great depth of safe discharge, fast charging, and psoc resting ability. So far I am happy with these. But I did add a Balmar external regulator with temp probes so I don’t cook my alternator. Mostly charged daily with solar. When I do use the engine or generator it does help but that’s not often.
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Old 16-07-2020, 16:14   #13
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Re: Best batteries for $2k budget

The electric car parts company has a packaged 400ah LFP setup with a bms/bps all installed in an alum box for less than $2k
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Old 16-07-2020, 17:07   #14
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Re: Best batteries for $2k budget

We can endorse the Balmar 100A alternator which we've had in use for about a year now. Also, you might want to check out the AGM8D battery for the house bank and AGM4D battery for the engine from O'Reilly Auto Parts (oreillyauto.com). Those are priced much lower than from a chandlery. We got 3 years out of these batteries in the heat of Texas, and we've gotten one year already on the same replacement batteries.
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Old 16-07-2020, 20:41   #15
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Re: Best batteries for $2k budget

8 fireflys. it will give you the AH you are taking out.

460ah is not going to cut it with 250ah a day of use unless you have sun every day.

800+ ah alows you to have a rainy day or 2.
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