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Old 18-05-2021, 11:14   #1
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Just completed upgrade from AGM to Lithium

We just completed an upgrade from a 1200ah Mastervolt AGM house battery bank to 1200ah Mastervolt Lithium.

While still at the service dock I shut off shore power and allowed the new house battery bank to discharge to 50% SOC over 3 days, then turned on shore power and it took 3 hours to charge to 100%. I was ecstatic.

We have 200 amps of charging capacity and charging amperage was 196 for the first hour to 70%, then 168 for the second hour to 90%, and in the final hour dropped from 145 to float.

After cruising for 3 years living on the hook full time with AGMs that took forever to charge and required running the generator 2-3 times longer than I think is necessary, this was astounding and worth the investment for me.

It took 7-8 hours to charge my AGMs to 100% and routinely it took 2-3 hours in float to go from 97% to 100%. Charging amperage in bulk mode always started at 190 then quickly dropped to 145 and rarely stayed there for more then 30 minutes before dropping to 90 and below. Awful and frustrating.

In normal use I would run the generator for 3 hours or so to get the AGMs to 95% or so then shut off, but they need to be topped off to 100% at least once a week or their performance will degrade. We lost 2 of the original 6 batteries because I was reluctant to do so.

We are excited about our new lithium batteries which will serve our cruising lifestyle far more effectively than our previous AGMs

Our house battery bank of six 6v Mastervolt AGMs provided 1200ah at 12v, which is 600 usable ah (50%). Current cost of this battery bank is @$4,300.00

Our new lithium battery bank of three Mastervolt 12v 400ah batteries also provide 1200ah, of which 960 is usable (80%). Current cost of this battery bank is $18,000.00. We could have used just two of these batteries instead of three, but I wanted the higher capacity to go longer between charges.

We originally wanted lithium when refitting Grace for cruising 3 years ago but the cost was prohibitive. Since then the cost has come down, the tech is better, and our frustrating experiences cruising with AGMs has motivated us to upgrade. The actual cost over time for lithium is lower for cruisers like us who live on the hook.

Factors include:

- Usable ah- can go longer between charges.

- DoD cycles- Mastervolt AGMs are rated for minimum 2000 charging cycles, lithiums for minimum 3000 charging cycles, 33% longer life.

- Charging time- As described above, it took 3 hours to charge the new lithiums from 50% to 100%, which would be 6-8 hours for the AGMs.

- Charging SOC- Lithiums are fine, even prefer, not being charged to 100% so I can use the peak charge curve for 1-2 hours and stop wherever that is as often as I like. AGMs MUST be charged to 100% at least once a week or so to keep them functional. Not doing so for the first year of cruising lost me 2 of the six batteries I started with.

- Solar/Wind generation- AGMs HATE the variable charge levels of solar and wind generation and require charging to 100% once a week or their ability to accept a charge greatly degrades/diminishes. Lithiums are able to maximize the energy generated from our solar and wind generation.


This past winter I had to change generator oil once per month or so (every 100 hours), a ridiculous amount of generator use. With the lithiums I should be able to get by with wind and solar most of the time and use the generator once or twice a week during the winter for a couple of hours- 12 hours per month vs. 100 hours per month is a BIG difference that figures into the cost and quality of life on the hook.

As a side benefit, lithiums are significantly lighter, so Grace's weight distribution problem from replacing a 110 gallon fuel tank with a 90 gallon fuel tank is fixed, no more 2 degree list when the tanks are full!

In case you worry about safety and fires with lithium batteries, that is an issue with going cheap and not having the proper setup, which can be expensive. Most of what I needed was already in place from Grace's electrical refit of an integrated Mastervolt system, and the battery monitoring and management systems have double and triple redundancies. Lithium is a waste for dock queens, but we are on our boat 100% of the time and pay close attention to all of Grace's systems, so if there's a problem we will know it almost immediately.

Fun fact- we like to use an AC popcorn air popper every evening while watching TV and with the AGMs we would run the generator for 5 minutes to do so (if not charging). With our new lithiums we can do so from battery power without the generator. That one little change is a great metaphor for the difference these batteries will make for us.

We are happy and excited about our new lithium batteries! Our first week was nirvana and we have high hopes that their initial performance will continue.
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Old 18-05-2021, 11:48   #2
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Re: Just completed upgrade from AGM to Lithium

Congratulations and Fabulous charge rate! Massive bank! Just awesome! post a video if you are able to!
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Old 18-05-2021, 12:03   #3
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Re: Just completed upgrade from AGM to Lithium

Congratulations and thanks for your report.


What it confirms to me are:


1. Lith can work and do.


2. AGMs as a choice for cruising boats and their inherent PSOC have been, as Maine Sail and many of us have been pointing out for a decade or more, a poor choice, unless charging sources can and do bring them to fully charged regularly, not necessarily daily. While initially they may have been chosen over regular wet cells because of their higher acceptance, their downside has always been PSOC. Thanks for proving that, too.
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Old 18-05-2021, 12:54   #4
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Re: Just completed upgrade from AGM to Lithium

Another big advantage of Lithium is their charge cycle efficiency. Not only will they accept higher amperage, close to 100% of those amphours are being converted into reusable storage capacity. Lead acid may be 85% or less.
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Old 18-05-2021, 13:59   #5
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Re: Just completed upgrade from AGM to Lithium

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneDiving View Post
Another big advantage of Lithium is their charge cycle efficiency. Not only will they accept higher amperage, close to 100% of those amphours are being converted into reusable storage capacity. Lead acid may be 85% or less.
Is that related to better charging with wind and solar?

I know the lithiums handle variable charging rates better, but I donít yet understand the reason folks say that it performs better with wind and solar.
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Old 18-05-2021, 14:08   #6
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Re: Just completed upgrade from AGM to Lithium

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV__Grace View Post
Is that related to better charging with wind and solar?

I know the lithiums handle variable charging rates better, but I donít yet understand the reason folks say that it performs better with wind and solar.
With Lifepo4, lower amperage charge sources don't have most of their current lost due to the chemistry's inefficiencies. It accepts and stores ~100% of the charge regardless if it's 1A or 100A

Many equate the move Pb to Li to adding a solar panel or two.

Cheers
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Old 18-05-2021, 14:30   #7
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Just completed upgrade from AGM to Lithium

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneDiving View Post
With Lifepo4, lower amperage charge sources don't have most of their current lost due to the chemistry's inefficiencies. It accepts and stores ~100% of the charge regardless if it's 1A or 100A



Many equate the move Pb to Li to adding a solar panel or two.



Cheers


I mentioned this in another thread a while ago. My experience of my lifepo4 is that they act (as you point out) as a power bank. If your solar charges 23.5AH in a day then you can use 23,5 AH during the night and be back on even. My experience with lead acid is that they accept less than they are given and give less than they have stored. This is my no1 USP for going to lithium
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Old 18-05-2021, 14:48   #8
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Re: Just completed upgrade from AGM to Lithium

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneDiving View Post
With Lifepo4, lower amperage charge sources don't have most of their current lost due to the chemistry's inefficiencies. It accepts and stores ~100% of the charge regardless if it's 1A or 100A

Many equate the move Pb to Li to adding a solar panel or two. Cheers
WOW, I had no idea about this, if true for us that is fantastic! We have two 400w residential solar panels (same that I had on my house before selling it to go cruising) and a 400w wind generator. That should make a big difference!
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Old 18-05-2021, 16:35   #9
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Re: Just completed upgrade from AGM to Lithium

"We are happy and excited about our new lithium batteries! Our first week was nirvana and we have high hopes that their initial performance will continue."

Timely post as I'm planning to do this once my other upgrades are done. But, the weather/sun recently has been great. Can you update this thread once the Seattle "sunshine" returns?lol
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Old 18-05-2021, 16:56   #10
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Re: Just completed upgrade from AGM to Lithium

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV__Grace View Post
Is that related to better charging with wind and solar?

I know the lithiums handle variable charging rates better, but I don’t yet understand the reason folks say that it performs better with wind and solar.
batteries have charge efficiency. if you hook up a 100a charger to a flooded battery bank and leave it on for 1 hour. you have not added 100ah to that bank. maybe only 85ah. because 15% of the engery going into the battery becomes heat and waste etc and is not converted to stored charge. AGM is better. and lithuim better yet.

so with the exact same charger. the differnt batteries will charge faster simply because it turns a higher % of incoming power to stored battery energy and produces less waste.

at low solar amps likly batteries do not get as hot and maybe makes less diff between types then when using a big charger. I'm not sure.


the mastervolt is a good setup. I have done a couple. I have also seen a few of their batteries fail though. do you have them set up through a single external bms switch or with 3 separate switches? the later is better if a battery or bms fails you can still keep the other 2 online and only the one will shut off
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Old 19-05-2021, 08:33   #11
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Re: Just completed upgrade from AGM to Lithium

[please images, or videos will be nice for us to Dream.. how many batteries?on my boat, I have only 500ah and I want to upgrade to 1000ah, my salon air conditioning will run all day 16 hours without charging, but I want to be able to run a second unit with out charging in rainy days.

QUOTE=SV__Grace;3409599]We just completed an upgrade from a 1200ah Mastervolt AGM house battery bank to 1200ah Mastervolt Lithium.

While still at the service dock I shut off shore power and allowed the new house battery bank to discharge to 50% SOC over 3 days, then turned on shore power and it took 3 hours to charge to 100%. I was ecstatic.

We have 200 amps of charging capacity and charging amperage was 196 for the first hour to 70%, then 168 for the second hour to 90%, and in the final hour dropped from 145 to float.

After cruising for 3 years living on the hook full time with AGMs that took forever to charge and required running the generator 2-3 times longer than I think is necessary, this was astounding and worth the investment for me.

It took 7-8 hours to charge my AGMs to 100% and routinely it took 2-3 hours in float to go from 97% to 100%. Charging amperage in bulk mode always started at 190 then quickly dropped to 145 and rarely stayed there for more then 30 minutes before dropping to 90 and below. Awful and frustrating.

In normal use I would run the generator for 3 hours or so to get the AGMs to 95% or so then shut off, but they need to be topped off to 100% at least once a week or their performance will degrade. We lost 2 of the original 6 batteries because I was reluctant to do so.

We are excited about our new lithium batteries which will serve our cruising lifestyle far more effectively than our previous AGMs

Our house battery bank of six 6v Mastervolt AGMs provided 1200ah at 12v, which is 600 usable ah (50%). Current cost of this battery bank is @$4,300.00

Our new lithium battery bank of three Mastervolt 12v 400ah batteries also provide 1200ah, of which 960 is usable (80%). Current cost of this battery bank is $18,000.00. We could have used just two of these batteries instead of three, but I wanted the higher capacity to go longer between charges.

We originally wanted lithium when refitting Grace for cruising 3 years ago but the cost was prohibitive. Since then the cost has come down, the tech is better, and our frustrating experiences cruising with AGMs has motivated us to upgrade. The actual cost over time for lithium is lower for cruisers like us who live on the hook.

Factors include:

- Usable ah- can go longer between charges.

- DoD cycles- Mastervolt AGMs are rated for minimum 2000 charging cycles, lithiums for minimum 3000 charging cycles, 33% longer life.

- Charging time- As described above, it took 3 hours to charge the new lithiums from 50% to 100%, which would be 6-8 hours for the AGMs.

- Charging SOC- Lithiums are fine, even prefer, not being charged to 100% so I can use the peak charge curve for 1-2 hours and stop wherever that is as often as I like. AGMs MUST be charged to 100% at least once a week or so to keep them functional. Not doing so for the first year of cruising lost me 2 of the six batteries I started with.

- Solar/Wind generation- AGMs HATE the variable charge levels of solar and wind generation and require charging to 100% once a week or their ability to accept a charge greatly degrades/diminishes. Lithiums are able to maximize the energy generated from our solar and wind generation.


This past winter I had to change generator oil once per month or so (every 100 hours), a ridiculous amount of generator use. With the lithiums I should be able to get by with wind and solar most of the time and use the generator once or twice a week during the winter for a couple of hours- 12 hours per month vs. 100 hours per month is a BIG difference that figures into the cost and quality of life on the hook.

As a side benefit, lithiums are significantly lighter, so Grace's weight distribution problem from replacing a 110 gallon fuel tank with a 90 gallon fuel tank is fixed, no more 2 degree list when the tanks are full!

In case you worry about safety and fires with lithium batteries, that is an issue with going cheap and not having the proper setup, which can be expensive. Most of what I needed was already in place from Grace's electrical refit of an integrated Mastervolt system, and the battery monitoring and management systems have double and triple redundancies. Lithium is a waste for dock queens, but we are on our boat 100% of the time and pay close attention to all of Grace's systems, so if there's a problem we will know it almost immediately.

Fun fact- we like to use an AC popcorn air popper every evening while watching TV and with the AGMs we would run the generator for 5 minutes to do so (if not charging). With our new lithiums we can do so from battery power without the generator. That one little change is a great metaphor for the difference these batteries will make for us.

We are happy and excited about our new lithium batteries! Our first week was nirvana and we have high hopes that their initial performance will continue.[/QUOTE]
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Old 19-05-2021, 10:28   #12
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Re: Just completed upgrade from AGM to Lithium

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV__Grace View Post
We just completed an upgrade from a 1200ah Mastervolt AGM house battery bank to 1200ah Mastervolt Lithium.

While still at the service dock I shut off shore power and allowed the new house battery bank to discharge to 50% SOC over 3 days, then turned on shore power and it took 3 hours to charge to 100%. I was ecstatic.

We have 200 amps of charging capacity and charging amperage was 196 for the first hour to 70%, then 168 for the second hour to 90%, and in the final hour dropped from 145 to float.

After cruising for 3 years living on the hook full time with AGMs that took forever to charge and required running the generator 2-3 times longer than I think is necessary, this was astounding and worth the investment for me.

It took 7-8 hours to charge my AGMs to 100% and routinely it took 2-3 hours in float to go from 97% to 100%. Charging amperage in bulk mode always started at 190 then quickly dropped to 145 and rarely stayed there for more then 30 minutes before dropping to 90 and below. Awful and frustrating.

In normal use I would run the generator for 3 hours or so to get the AGMs to 95% or so then shut off, but they need to be topped off to 100% at least once a week or their performance will degrade. We lost 2 of the original 6 batteries because I was reluctant to do so.

We are excited about our new lithium batteries which will serve our cruising lifestyle far more effectively than our previous AGMs

Our house battery bank of six 6v Mastervolt AGMs provided 1200ah at 12v, which is 600 usable ah (50%). Current cost of this battery bank is @$4,300.00

Our new lithium battery bank of three Mastervolt 12v 400ah batteries also provide 1200ah, of which 960 is usable (80%). Current cost of this battery bank is $18,000.00. We could have used just two of these batteries instead of three, but I wanted the higher capacity to go longer between charges.

We originally wanted lithium when refitting Grace for cruising 3 years ago but the cost was prohibitive. Since then the cost has come down, the tech is better, and our frustrating experiences cruising with AGMs has motivated us to upgrade. The actual cost over time for lithium is lower for cruisers like us who live on the hook.

Factors include:

- Usable ah- can go longer between charges.

- DoD cycles- Mastervolt AGMs are rated for minimum 2000 charging cycles, lithiums for minimum 3000 charging cycles, 33% longer life.

- Charging time- As described above, it took 3 hours to charge the new lithiums from 50% to 100%, which would be 6-8 hours for the AGMs.

- Charging SOC- Lithiums are fine, even prefer, not being charged to 100% so I can use the peak charge curve for 1-2 hours and stop wherever that is as often as I like. AGMs MUST be charged to 100% at least once a week or so to keep them functional. Not doing so for the first year of cruising lost me 2 of the six batteries I started with.

- Solar/Wind generation- AGMs HATE the variable charge levels of solar and wind generation and require charging to 100% once a week or their ability to accept a charge greatly degrades/diminishes. Lithiums are able to maximize the energy generated from our solar and wind generation.


This past winter I had to change generator oil once per month or so (every 100 hours), a ridiculous amount of generator use. With the lithiums I should be able to get by with wind and solar most of the time and use the generator once or twice a week during the winter for a couple of hours- 12 hours per month vs. 100 hours per month is a BIG difference that figures into the cost and quality of life on the hook.

As a side benefit, lithiums are significantly lighter, so Grace's weight distribution problem from replacing a 110 gallon fuel tank with a 90 gallon fuel tank is fixed, no more 2 degree list when the tanks are full!

In case you worry about safety and fires with lithium batteries, that is an issue with going cheap and not having the proper setup, which can be expensive. Most of what I needed was already in place from Grace's electrical refit of an integrated Mastervolt system, and the battery monitoring and management systems have double and triple redundancies. Lithium is a waste for dock queens, but we are on our boat 100% of the time and pay close attention to all of Grace's systems, so if there's a problem we will know it almost immediately.

Fun fact- we like to use an AC popcorn air popper every evening while watching TV and with the AGMs we would run the generator for 5 minutes to do so (if not charging). With our new lithiums we can do so from battery power without the generator. That one little change is a great metaphor for the difference these batteries will make for us.

We are happy and excited about our new lithium batteries! Our first week was nirvana and we have high hopes that their initial performance will continue.
I could not, would not spend $18,000 to upgrade my battery bank. There are other options. Enjoy your popcorn.

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH
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Old 19-05-2021, 11:07   #13
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Re: Just completed upgrade from AGM to Lithium

We have a 800ah bank of Lifepo4 and another bank of 625ah Lifepo4. Love those batteries. They take so much abuse and keep going.

Before Lifepo4=worry about lights being left on, radio use, anchor light, refrigeration.
Life after Lifepo4=I don't care. If solar doesn't keep up, just motor to next anchorage and they charge so fast!

Lifepo4 is a gamechanger. I purchased mine from China and a solar farm. Have less than $2300. Best money I have ever spent.
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Old 19-05-2021, 11:09   #14
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Re: Just completed upgrade from AGM to Lithium

$18000 for 1200ah is a lot, but mastervolt is like a Mercedes, but some of us will settle for Toyota.
I love to be in my cabin on a hot day with a comfortable quiet air conditioning unit running on solar/batteries,.. most new cars manufacturers in 2022 are pushing electric cars, why?

QUOTE=MJH;3410243]I could not, would not spend $18,000 to upgrade my battery bank. There are other options. Enjoy your popcorn.

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH[/QUOTE]
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Old 19-05-2021, 12:44   #15
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Re: Just completed upgrade from AGM to Lithium

$4300 seems a little high for 1200ah in AGM batteries, but still almost $14000 less than the lithium! I get that you see improvement - but was it really worth that cost?

It's also strange to me that one benefit for you has been the lithium charging faster - in my experience, my AGMs charge much faster, especially when running the engine instead of using shore power (I use both - AGMs for my boat batteries, but have a couple lithium-ion power stations I use for running the TV, laptop and other frivolous things)
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