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Old 01-03-2021, 01:36   #1
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Lithium Upgrade Design - Input Required

I have just started the process of getting my head and very limited knowledge of marine electrical systems around a Lithium upgrade to my dying battery bank. Don't worry I have a very good marine electrician who will install it all for me when I am ready, but I want to get a better understanding of the system myself in advance of this - I have read marine how to and Nordykn Design pages, but I am still hazy about the overall setup.


Following is a rough layout of my initial idea - All input is welcome.
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Old 01-03-2021, 01:52   #2
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Re: Lithium Upgrade Design - Input Required

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Originally Posted by UFO View Post
I have just started the process of getting my head and very limited knowledge of marine electrical systems around a Lithium upgrade to my dying battery bank. Don't worry I have a very good marine electrician who will install it all for me when I am ready, but I want to get a better understanding of the system myself in advance of this - I have read marine how to and Nordykn Design pages, but I am still hazy about the overall setup.


Following is a rough layout of my initial idea - All input is welcome.

Lithium-ion batteries commonly used in consumer electronics are notorious for bursting into flame when damaged or improperly packaged. ... "If the battery is damaged and the plastic layer fails, the electrodes can come into contact and cause the battery's liquid electrolyte to catch fire
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Old 01-03-2021, 02:49   #3
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Re: Lithium Upgrade Design - Input Required

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Originally Posted by parachute View Post
Lithium-ion batteries commonly used in consumer electronics are notorious for bursting into flame when damaged or improperly packaged. ... "If the battery is damaged and the plastic layer fails, the electrodes can come into contact and cause the battery's liquid electrolyte to catch fire

Can we keep it about the design layout please.
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Old 01-03-2021, 18:21   #4
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Re: Lithium Upgrade Design - Input Required

Following with interest (bump).
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Old 02-03-2021, 10:36   #5
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Re: Lithium Upgrade Design - Input Required

I'm having trouble interpreting your diagram. For example what is "200AH AGM" vs "Start Batt Eng 1" and "Start Batt Eng 2"? What represents alternators? starters?
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Old 02-03-2021, 10:47   #6
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Re: Lithium Upgrade Design - Input Required

I'm also following this with interest, as this is something my local sparky is pitching for my boat. Would nice to be more or less fully off the grid, especially since my boat has 230v AC and I want to spend some time in the US where plugging into 110v AC shore power would be iffy. Re your diagram, I've been told that it is not possible (desirable?) to combine AGMs and Lithium into one bank, e.g. the house bank, but it looks as if you would be keeping them separate, except in the case of emergencies?
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Old 02-03-2021, 10:55   #7
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Re: Lithium Upgrade Design - Input Required

There are many types of lithium batteries. I would use LiFePo4 in my boat (I plan to when next replacing batts) as they are relatively stable. Here's an article on the type.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithiu...sphate_battery

Lead acid batts are dangerous too when shorted or damaged, and can even spontaneously explode. Proper installation and maintenance will greatly reduce any hazard with any type battery.
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Old 02-03-2021, 11:47   #8
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Re: Lithium Upgrade Design - Input Required

Quote:
Originally Posted by parachute View Post
Lithium-ion batteries commonly used in consumer electronics are notorious for bursting into flame when damaged or improperly packaged. ... "If the battery is damaged and the plastic layer fails, the electrodes can come into contact and cause the battery's liquid electrolyte to catch fire
I assume the OP is talking about LiFePO4 which unlike consumer electronics do not burst into flames.

Layout looks OK to me but what do I know? How you plan on wiring the 4P4S might elicit heated debate and is critical to a successful install if what I've read is right. Will you have 4 BMS?

Are you charging from the engines at all or just through the generator or shore in addition to the solar?
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Old 02-03-2021, 11:54   #9
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Re: Lithium Upgrade Design - Input Required

I wonder too about the apparent paralleling of the AGM and LiFePO4 banks.

I would shy away from the apparent paralleling of the start batteries, and instead keep the engines completely separate, But with manual bus ties between the engine start batteries and the generator battery as well. Something like the attached image.




Allan.
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Old 02-03-2021, 13:04   #10
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Re: Lithium Upgrade Design - Input Required

Re: paralleling AGMs and LiFePO4:

This should only be done in the case of an emergency disconnect event and only if your system is set up in such a way that you cannot safely disconnect charging sources. Better yet, avoid this altogether with a properly designed system.

Re: Lithium system design:

Attached is the wiring diagram of my LiFePO4 system. It utilizes a dual DC bus topology to isolate charging and loads. Either can be disconnected in the case of a high-voltage disconnect or a low-voltage disconnect. This is basically the bare minimum. Your system needs a way to disconnect the chargers without disconnecting the loads and vice-versa. The danger derives from some types of chargers not being able to tolerate a battery falling out of the system (again, see Nordkyn Design). My system will communicate with all the chargers and loads and dial back the chargers or set them to float voltages as the lithium comes up to full charge.

A proper system like this isn't cheap and a cheap system isn't safe. If you're going to buy Alibaba cells and try to put a lithium bank together on the cheap, invest in the absolute best *$$$* BMS you can find (none of that Daly BMS junk) and make sure it is capable of handling your cell configuration and is able to separately control charger and load disconnect relays. After fully diving into this project I came to the hard conclusion that in the long term you are much better off spending the extra money on a reliable system. If you can't count on your system 100% then it wasn't worth one penny.
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Old 02-03-2021, 13:32   #11
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Re: Lithium Upgrade Design - Input Required

Suggestions please from long time lifepo4 users.....

Looking at lower cost solar controler and B to B charger that last and do the job well. . I know outback and victron are good equipment but they are expensivefor a large system.
The solar controler needs to easily handle 6×135 wt panels (45amps at 12v) and a 560 amp lifepo4 battery bank.
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Old 02-03-2021, 14:34   #12
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Re: Lithium Upgrade Design - Input Required

Quote:
Originally Posted by UFO View Post
I have just started the process of getting my head and very limited knowledge of marine electrical systems around a Lithium upgrade to my dying battery bank. Don't worry I have a very good marine electrician who will install it all for me when I am ready, but I want to get a better understanding of the system myself in advance of this - I have read marine how to and Nordykn Design pages, but I am still hazy about the overall setup.


Following is a rough layout of my initial idea - All input is welcome.
I’ve been following this topic on this forum, MTOA, AGLCA and Trawler Forum for the past year or so. There are some very knowledgeable individuals, including some involved with ABYC, who offer perspectives on evolving technologies within the marine environment in all of these Forums.
In general, LiFePo4 is not quite ready for prime time, at least in the eyes of ABYC, for many reasons. ABYC did publish a “Technical Report” Lithium Ion Batteries (TE-13, July of 2020). This is not an ABYC Standard.
I have reached out to one of the individuals involved in a recent thread in MTOA seeking permission to paste his remarks into this thread. Stay tuned as I believe you will garner additional information.
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Old 02-03-2021, 15:06   #13
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Re: Lithium Upgrade Design - Input Required

I am confused by the "Fruit is bad, but apples are good" going on here.....
lifepo4 is a type of lithium ion, but lithium ion does not mean lifepo4(lithium iron phosphate)

It is my understanding that lifepo4 is (relatively) safer than the lithium ion people fear from stories of phones exploding etc....

Isn't this more of a case of apricots are bad and apples are good?
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Old 02-03-2021, 15:39   #14
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Re: Lithium Upgrade Design - Input Required

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendan View Post
I'm also following this with interest, as this is something my local sparky is pitching for my boat. Would nice to be more or less fully off the grid, especially since my boat has 230v AC and I want to spend some time in the US where plugging into 110v AC shore power would be iffy. Re your diagram, I've been told that it is not possible (desirable?) to combine AGMs and Lithium into one bank, e.g. the house bank, but it looks as if you would be keeping them separate, except in the case of emergencies?
For that scenario I would simply get myself a step-up transformer. 230/240V Pommy is single phase, similar to the 110V US, so a straight forward 30A 110V shore connector lead can be connected direct to the step-up transformer. Ensure you have the ELCB installed and the entire conversion is just a plug-in to replace your current lead. The issues come with a three phase supply (230V US / 415V British) where phase rotation is involved.
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Old 02-03-2021, 17:19   #15
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Re: Lithium Upgrade Design - Input Required

I recommend that you call Eric Bretscher from Nordyky Design, directly, I found him very able and helpful. He does not sell Lithium batteries. His advice is independent. Unlike most sales hype lithium battery, telling you how easy to install Just drop them in (not so) as you have gathered it requires a real knowable expert in this field. Double check every advice to avoid very costly misinformation.

Last year, I spend months on lithium battery installation. One thing I learned from Eric was that SV Delos battery suppler made an incorrect lithium battery installation. After I did my research I found every boat is different and needs a custom BMS setup for the boats systems. For this reason it was far easier for me to reinstall 860 Ah of AGM batteries than find who is a real expert (they are rare breed) and who are the pretenders in designing a custom BMS battery setup to protect my boats charging assets from destruction.

Good luck with It,







Quote:
Originally Posted by UFO View Post
I have just started the process of getting my head and very limited knowledge of marine electrical systems around a Lithium upgrade to my dying battery bank. Don't worry I have a very good marine electrician who will install it all for me when I am ready, but I want to get a better understanding of the system myself in advance of this - I have read marine how to and Nordykn Design pages, but I am still hazy about the overall setup.


Following is a rough layout of my initial idea - All input is welcome.
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