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Old 14-02-2020, 11:45   #1
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lifep04 batteries componets and lightning

With all the components and controls involved with a lifepo4 system has any one taken a lightning hit? I assume lightning strike will do just as much damage to lifep04 as it would to any other system. Given the huge investment in the multiple controls associated (b.m.s. battery protect,DC to DC charger, inverter charger, relays etc) I can only assume it would all be a total loss. If a conventional system were to be struck it would most likely be the same loss, however way less componets to replace. Considering I'm about to fork over a huge investment for a lifep04 system this is something that had been on my mind. It sounds kind of rediculious but cant stop wondering. Had and one considered this?
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Old 14-02-2020, 12:07   #2
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Re: lifep04 batteries componets and lightning

I was involved in installing multiple LIFEPO4 Battery systems in a boat a few years ago. About a year after the boat was finished it was hit by Lightning which destroyed everything electronic on the boat including the LIFEPO4 BMS systems and damaged some cells and destroyed others. On one of the battery systems because the BMS was damaged the battery stayed connected and and discharged to 0% state of charge and those cells were unrecoverable.

So Yes unfortunately they are susceptible to lightning.
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Old 14-02-2020, 13:52   #3
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Re: lifep04 batteries componets and lightning

It's got me a little nervous I got that black cloud figure the price of all the components that's a huge loss for me.. Am I out of my mind for letting this factor into getting the lifepo4?
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Old 14-02-2020, 14:05   #4
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Re: lifep04 batteries componets and lightning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastward ho 24 View Post
With all the components and controls involved with a lifepo4 system has any one taken a lightning hit? I assume lightning strike will do just as much damage to lifep04 as it would to any other system. Given the huge investment in the multiple controls associated (b.m.s. battery protect,DC to DC charger, inverter charger, relays etc) I can only assume it would all be a total loss. If a conventional system were to be struck it would most likely be the same loss, however way less componets to replace. Considering I'm about to fork over a huge investment for a lifep04 system this is something that had been on my mind. It sounds kind of rediculious but cant stop wondering. Had and one considered this?
http://https://www.boatus.com/seawor...-batteries.asp


"Unfortunately, these management systems are vulnerable to lightning strikes or power surges"
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Old 15-02-2020, 10:43   #5
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Re: lifep04 batteries componets and lightning

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Originally Posted by Montanan View Post
http://https://www.boatus.com/seawor...-batteries.asp


"Unfortunately, these management systems are vulnerable to lightning strikes or power surges"
In general, will hull insurance cover lightning damage? Guess I should google it...
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Old 15-02-2020, 10:50   #6
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Re: lifep04 batteries componets and lightning

On the boat I was involved with the insurance company replaced all three complete Battery systems.
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Old 15-02-2020, 10:53   #7
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Re: lifep04 batteries componets and lightning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastward ho 24 View Post
With all the components and controls involved with a lifepo4 system has any one taken a lightning hit? I assume lightning strike will do just as much damage to lifep04 as it would to any other system. Given the huge investment in the multiple controls associated (b.m.s. battery protect,DC to DC charger, inverter charger, relays etc) I can only assume it would all be a total loss. If a conventional system were to be struck it would most likely be the same loss, however way less componets to replace. Considering I'm about to fork over a huge investment for a lifep04 system this is something that had been on my mind. It sounds kind of rediculious but cant stop wondering. Had and one considered this?
The only real additional component for LFPs are a a simple BMS to avoid overcharge and deep discharge. Some have that already built in.


Or don't you want some "inverter charger" for LAs?



The difference for LFPs from a charging perspective is something that's in the profile of your charger and you need to adjust it to the type of LA as well, whether it's flooded, gel or AGM.


So yes, a lightning strike can definitely kill one or more batts no matter what technology you're using. This might be reason enough for you to go "old school", your boat, your decision. I know I wouldn't schlepp more generations of LA batts onto my boat and off again when it's time to replace them.
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Old 15-02-2020, 11:02   #8
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Re: lifep04 batteries componets and lightning

I have at least one AGM battery in the engine room so plan to disconnect my lithium house banks during lightning storms. Iím more worried about the autopilot because I donít want to be out in the cockpit hand steering when the storm hits us...
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Old 15-02-2020, 11:40   #9
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Re: lifep04 batteries componets and lightning

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In general, will hull insurance cover lightning damage? Guess I should google it...
There is only one place to determine the scope of the underwriting within an insurance policy and that is to read it in detail and to have any and all parts of it interpreted by a legal expert, your legal expert may have a differing opinion than that of the underwriter.

In practice, the devil is in the details of the specifically issued policy covering your boat. There being no relevance as to the coverage of policies issued to other boats.
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Old 15-02-2020, 16:33   #10
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Re: lifep04 batteries componets and lightning

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In general, will hull insurance cover lightning damage? Guess I should google it...
Donít Google it. Read the policy document. Then seek professional advice if you have any doubts about what the policy says. Talk to an insurance broker.
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Old 15-02-2020, 17:15   #11
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Re: lifep04 batteries componets and lightning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastward ho 24 View Post
With all the components and controls involved with a lifepo4 system has any one taken a lightning hit? I assume lightning strike will do just as much damage to lifep04 as it would to any other system. Given the huge investment in the multiple controls associated (b.m.s. battery protect,DC to DC charger, inverter charger, relays etc) I can only assume it would all be a total loss. If a conventional system were to be struck it would most likely be the same loss, however way less componets to replace. Considering I'm about to fork over a huge investment for a lifep04 system this is something that had been on my mind. It sounds kind of rediculious but cant stop wondering. Had and one considered this?
Buy the “Drop in” replacement type LiFePO4 batteries without all the extras. Cost about twice the old technology but we’ll worth it.
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Old 15-02-2020, 17:51   #12
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Re: lifep04 batteries componets and lightning

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Originally Posted by Brewgyver View Post
In general, will hull insurance cover lightning damage? Guess I should google it...
In general if you have a typical offshore policy you will be covered for a lightning hit. I have recently seen policies that cover lightning in lightning prone cruising areas that double the hull deductible for lightning strikes. For a typical hit this might mean you are paying most or all of the damage.

Should you worry about it? Depends where you cruise. If you cruise US west coast, probably not. Cruise central America, Panama, Florida, parts of the US east coast, SE Asia, then yes.
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Old 15-02-2020, 23:22   #13
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Re: lifep04 batteries componets and lightning

Shipmates,
I know less about Lightning than anyone, however, will not a proper Lightning Rod affixed to the Top of the Main Mast with a heavy duty Wire attached then it led down The Inside Of The Mast then on to the bottom of the keel or other in water point, Would Not This solve the Lightning Strike Devil?

Buddy Freeman, Retired Navy Senior Chief
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Old 16-02-2020, 01:11   #14
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Re: lifep04 batteries componets and lightning

Well, as a careful sailor, don't put the LFP batteries, bms and chargers on the mast top, even they may be lighter than lead acid batteries. ;-)

Disconnect the VHF, VHF antenna on the mast, and use some surge protection gear.

Unfortunately Radar and AIS are needed for navigation, so you may have to weigh a decission of using electronic aids or sailing by hand steering, compas and eyeball navigation trough the storm.

Btw, radar, chartplotter, vhf, ais, autopilot, windvane, transducers and sensors are by far more expensive than the lithium battery any way.

How many lightnig strikes did you experience yourself during your whole sailing life, that caused actually serious damage with a total loss of all electronics?
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Old 16-02-2020, 02:37   #15
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Re: lifep04 batteries componets and lightning

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Shipmates,
I know less about Lightning than anyone, however, will not a proper Lightning Rod affixed to the Top of the Main Mast with a heavy duty Wire attached then it led down The Inside Of The Mast then on to the bottom of the keel or other in water point, Would Not This solve the Lightning Strike Devil?

Buddy Freeman, Retired Navy Senior Chief
A lightning grounding system that offers a dirrct path to the seawater will significantly reduce the physical damage to the boat. It will not unfortunately protect the electronics onboard.

Putting electronics in Faraday cages like a microwave or oven does help.
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