New Battery question

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Re: New Battery question

Unread post by SeaDawg »

LiIon batt technology is awesome and will probably be the future...... but for now it is not yet perfected and can result in catastrophic failure. An onboard fire offshore can be catastrophic.

Why not stick with the proven safety and existing old school technology that has served a multitude of commercial and sport fishing boats for many, many, years... Just say'n.
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Re: New Battery question

Unread post by aMonster »

As with all things technical it's best to get expert advice directly from the source.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_i ... ery#Safety

https://www.batterystuff.com/kb/article ... rview.html
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Re: New Battery question

Unread post by Nate »

“LiFePO4 life expectancy is approximately 5-7 years.”

I wonder how they figure life expectancy? Continuous use?

“ Compared to Lead-Acid batteries the only disadvantage of the LiFePO4 batteries is that they really do not perform well below about 0 degrees Celsius.”

I wonder if the cold affects longevity?
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Re: New Battery question

Unread post by aMonster »

LiFePO4 batteries perform very well in the cold, it's just that they can't be charged at below 0C with out damaging them, but all good quality LiFePO4 batteries have internal battery management systems (BMS) built into them with temperature sensors to shut down charging if they drop below 0C.

Some LiFePO4 batteries are specifically built for cold weather charging ability and those ones have internal heaters that will use the charging current to heat the batteries above 0C before charging begins.

I found the 5-7 years comment interesting too because most of expert advice I read talks about LiFePO4 battery life expectancy in terms of "charge cycles" rather than years. I think because that site is catering mostly to RV and caravan house battery use they are referring to 5-7 years as constant use.

The life expectancy of LiFePO4 batteries is usually listed within the range of 3-5000 charge cycles.
Last edited by aMonster on Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Battery question

Unread post by DennyK1954 »

aMonster, awesome review and tech info on lithium batteries! I already use them for my trolling motor after a lot of research due to people's misunderstandings between the types of lithium chemistries as it relates to safe use. IMO the LiFePhos are safer than lead acid by far. Another consideration with the LiFePhos is you likely can drop down a battery size and save some money and still get the same or better performance than a larger lead acid battery due to the ability of the LiFePhos to deeply discharge without damage or loss of performance.
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Re: New Battery question

Unread post by SilverFox »

This is what I have - Northstar 31M AGM, 1150CCA, 3yr full replacement warranty (not 4 as previously posted), no BMS required, no worries about compatibility with outboard charging system, over 900 cycles to 50% depth of discharge, ~ $400 +/- shipped.

Odyssey, Northstar, Batteries+ X2, & Cabelas/Bass Pro X-900 are all manufactured by EnerSys.

Pay attention to battery ratings, Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) and Marine Cranking Amps (MCA) are regularly confused but they are not the same specification. CCA is rated cranking capacity at 0°while MCA is rated cranking capacity at 32°. Cranking amps (CA) is identical to MCA.

Please keep in mind, gross alternator output may not be the total amount available for charging, some may very well be reserved for your engine's electronics, so output available for charging batteries is very likely to be some value less than gross.

I'm not ready to make the jump to lithium variants for a start battery. My opinion for what it's worth, if your boat has room for a 31-series battery tray, get one, mine did, so I replaced it when the undersized dealer installed battery crapped out the second year we had our ProV. When choosing a marine start battery, the very first thing you need to know is what your engine's no accessories, cranking capacity requirements are (my engine only requirements are 800CCA). Armed with that information choose the battery with the highest CCA and most full replacement warranty your wallet is comfortable with. Bada Boom.

Good read in post #1, doesn't matter it's in the Mercury section of a bass boating forum. 8-)

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Re: New Battery question

Unread post by aMonster »

That's a good quality battery Phil, and on a tried and tested platform. You also didn't have to do a ton of research because AGM lead acid's are familiar tech. As for charging systems, I am of the opinion that DC to DC chargers are going to become mandatory for all boat and RV manufacturers, or at least a standard option. This is because no matter the battery chemistry you are using, most alternators only ever bring your house battery back up to 70% of capacity anyway, even after running your engine all day.

You are getting 900 cycles to 50% depth of discharge for $400, and while that is a big improvement over the typical 400 charge cycles of standard lead acid batteries, that does not mean that you will get to use 50Ah out of a 100Ah battery 900 times, that usable charge will continually decrease throughout its 900 charge cycles and to a point where you will probably want to replace it after 600-800 cycles anyway.



At the end of the day the AGM is still going to be a 75lb battery that gives you 50Ah of use with a (usable) life of 750 charge cycles for $400 Vs a 35lb battery that gives you 100Ah of use with a life of 3000 to 5000 charge cycles for $850. There is no right or wrong choice and regardless of the advantages, it is still a lot easier to drop $250 on standard lead acid replacement than it is $850 that comes with a learning curve.

Two last points, when you buy a LifePo4 battery to replace your lead acid house battery, the BMS is built into it, it is not a separate piece of equipment you have to buy. Also with regards to engine cranking, LifePo4 batteries are more efficient at this than lead acids are as well, you just need to size it's maximum discharge rate properly for whatever size engine you're turning over (same as a lead acid starting battery).
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Re: New Battery question

Unread post by MacGyver »

aMonster wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:11 pm
Two last points, when you buy a LifePo4 battery to replace your lead acid house battery, the BMS is built into it, it is not a separate piece of equipment you have to buy. Also with regards to engine cranking, LifePo4 batteries are more efficient at this than lead acids are as well, you just need to size it's maximum discharge rate properly for whatever size engine you're turning over (same as a lead acid starting battery).
It sound like the only thing left for you to do is order the Lithium battery and DC to DC charger unless you have already done that. Looking forward to reading about the installation and what Lithium you will be using.
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Re: New Battery question

Unread post by aMonster »

My two favourite candidates at this point in time are...

For those in the US, the Battleborn 100Ah
https://battlebornbatteries.com/product ... e-battery/

For those in Canada, and because of the dollar dif and shipping costs... CanBat 100Ah
https://www.canbat.com/downloads/CLI100-12.pdf

Hopefully by the time my current house battery is done LiFePO4 pricing will have dropped even further.
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