Originally Posted by MrMagoo2
Why did you chose the batteries you have? Two things I seek if you wish to share your experiences?
I know their is many thread on this topic. I just seek the reasons why cruisers have choose the type of battery they have and the decision considerations?
How the specific battery bank has preformed with the use of an inverter higher than 3kw and the size and type of battery bank you use this with.
I am at this stage of doing and am lost with choice as in my head I personally have;
1 - lead crystal batteries,
Great capacity and depth of discharge but very difficult to charge correctly with set particular needs of high amps to maintain capacity otherwise the battery is damaged, can swell or generally die.
2 - Agm - Gel, the tried and tested but with a high power inverter running my hot water (this is an experiment) they wont put out enough initial sustaining amps without the system being huge and limited in its capacity to use a good dod.
3 - Lithium - I have seen the video of what happens to these when lithium contacts salt water, not pleasant at all and most likely to happen in a time of distress when other things should be dealt with if salt water is that high inside the boat....
4 - lead carbon - sounds super great but can't find specific charge requirements and first hand feed back about these batteries
You personal experiences would be appreciated so one can learn from those who have gone before.
Thanking you in advance
1. Lead Crystal looks way too new to me. Not a mature technology for offshore marine
applications. Ask again in 5yr or so. Also I can't find pricing. https://greenrhino-energy.com/crystal-batteries/
Unless you meant Flooded Lead Acid in which case see #5. below.
2. AGM and Gel are not the same.
-AGMs are great for highload uses, sealed battery so no maintenance and is fine in high vibration environments. The flip side of sealed is that you CAN't maintain them. They are moderately expensive. Cruising boats are generally not high vibration environments unless you mount the batteries right on the engine
or right next to them, both of which are bad ideas just anyway so let's say this isn't really. AGMs don't do well if they aren't regularly brought to full, like 5 of 7d per week, that means you need plenty of solar panels
to make sure you get there regularly. AGMs need to be charged at high amps (0.2-0.4C) when in bulk charging
, so that means you need to run a generator
or the main engine
with a high output alternator
almost daily for an hour or so. That means an alternator
upgrade from whatever is stock for your boat, plus you will need to install a serpentine belt to drive the alternator. even if you don't upgrade the alternator and belts you need to upgrade the regulator
so it's current
limited and the battery doesn't try to pull so much load the alternator is fried.
-Gels are Sealed and are relatively long lived compared to other lead acid batteries. Again the flip side of sealed is that you CAN't maintain them. They are moderately expensive. They don't like heavy discharge loads, they prefer slower energy withdrawal. They are touchy about their recharging voltage and are slightly slower to recharge.
3. Lithium is super light for it's capacity, it has a lot of cycle life, can generate HUGE current
, is very efficient in terms of energy out vs energy in, can accept lots of current when charging
and a very large percent of capacity is available for use (80ish%) and prefers not being fully charged regularly. They are still a maturing technology for marine
applications. Generally the batteries are not plug
and play, so if you go this route
you need to become a lot better educated on their use. VERY expensive.
4. By lead carbon I assume you mean Carbon Foam (CF). Carbon foam is great for high current draws, a larger percentage of capacity is usable, it has a lot of cycle life in it, it is fairly tolerant of Partial State of Charge use. They are pretty expensive.
5. Flooded lead acid (FLA) batteries, are relatively cheap, require occasional watering, can have relatively long lives if taken care of and true deep-cycle batteries are sourced to begin with. They can be found around the world. The technology is very mature, and generally charging sources default to FLA settings. They don't like being charged very hard (typical is 0.10-0.15C)
I have 2 12v FLA golfcart batteries in my boat. I chose 12v because I only have room for 2 batteries in my boat and if one fails I still have some capacity whereas with 6v batteries if one fails I got nothing. I chose FLA for price and ability to tolerate a slow charge. I run electric propulsion
daysailing on my boat unless I need to go long distances then I swap in a gas outboard
. I toss a 30w panel on deck
and the batteries are fully charged by the next weekend.
When I get a larger boat, and believe me I really want a larger boat, the type of batteries I get will depend on particulars of that boat. Here are my observations about where I would use each type of battery.
Lithium would be considered if I had a LOT of money
available and the boat was very weight sensitive like a trimaran
or a sled such as an Olson or Santa Cruz racing
boat pressed into service
as a cruising boat or it I was going to go with electric propulsion
where a LOT of capacity needs to be installed and that kind of weight may become an issue for even for a less weight sensitive boat.
I would use AGMs for electric propulsion on a dinghy
, but wouldn't use them in any other capacity.
If I had a normal boat with an inboard and money
was an issue, I would go with either golfcart FLAs or golfcart Gels. If the battery location was hard to access and therefore water and I wasn't going off to exotic lands, I would go with the Gels. If the access was reasonable or I was going to exotic lands, I would go with the FLAs.
If I was going to install electric propulsion and money was an issue I would go with Carbon Foam for PSoC operation, deep discharge ability, and long term cost. While they cost more up front per available W-hr than FLA the much longer cycle life makes them cheaper over the long-term and gives better range for weight.
If I was going to install an electric galley
my first inclination is to install a larger FLA or CF battery bank; electric cooking
(and water heating) needs relatively short periods of very high current use. Total energy draw is moderate, but the short term loads are very large so with any lead acid battery a large bank is an plus. For a boat with an inboard and an FLA bank I would up the bank to 600-800Ahr at 12v. For an electric drive boat I would up the CF bank to 200Ahr at 48v (or 200-300Ahr at 36v, but that voltage is not terribly common for propulsion).
If you have Lithium, as long as the bank isn't miniscule, it should handle an electric galley just fine.
The thing with batteries is that you can't just look at the chemistries, you also need to look at charging resources on boards, where you are going to be sailing and what kind of sailing you intend to do.
If you are on a power boat
, there is a whole different set of issues.