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Heads up - LiFePO4 and ABYC recommendations
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thataway



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
Posts: 19448
City/Region: Pensacola
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: thataway
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pat the charging from an outboard or car engine is the same. You connect the DC to DC charger (I have used both the Victron Smart Orion 30 amp and the Sterling 12 V DC to DC charger) directly to the engine start battery. These DC to DC chargers have the output profiled for the LiFePO4 battery. The Orion is specific but the Sterling has multiple outputs. In my case we used a recommended profile, which is easy to set on the Sterling.

If you want to use a VSR for either flooded or AGM batteries, then there is a second VSR for those.

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Thataway
Thataway (Ex Seaweed) 2007 25 C Dory May 2018 to Oct. 2021
Thisaway 2006 22' CDory November 2011 to May 2018
Caracal 18 140 Suzuki 2007 to present
Thataway TomCat 255 150 Suzukis June 2006 thru August 2011
C Pelican; 1992, 22 Cruiser, 2002 thru 2006
Frequent Sea; 2003 C D 25, 2007 thru 2009
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Home port: Pensacola FL
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gulfcoast john



Joined: 14 Dec 2012
Posts: 813
City/Region: PENSACOLA
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C-Dory Year: 2010
C-Dory Model: 255 Tomcat
Vessel Name: Cat O' Mine
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2021 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like Pat and others, I am in awe of you guys (esp Bob) who are willing and able to press the envelope re new technologies (whether lithium 12v power or Torqeedo 12v dinghy motors or AirHead toilets or ditching Big Name MFD’s for tablet apps etc etc etc).

However, if I owned an all-Li 12v vessel (after Li can replace deep cycle as well as engine start as a ‘drop-in’ safe replacement) I would not like this scene:

We are approaching the Chain of Locks canal leading to the canal, but we suddenly lose all 12v power because the BMS detected some under charging issue and TOTALLY SHUT DOWN THE VESSEL 12V SYSTEMS WITHOUT ANY WARNING OR NOTICE OF WHAT THE PROBLEM IS. We are now drifting downcurrent towards the Rocks and going over the 10 foot Dam.

My current three 31 group Norhtstar batteries would shrug and keep pumping out amps instead.

https://www.amazon.com/NorthStar-NSB-AGM31M-Battery-1370MCA-1150CCA/dp/B00QJ6RUYI/ref=asc_df_B00QJ6RUYI?tag=bingshoppinga-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=80539281984728&hvnetw=o&hvqmt=e&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=&hvtargid=pla-4584138858178865&psc=1

We’re not super cheap in our choice of 12v power, but we’re frugal.

We would suddenly, and with NO WARNING, have no engine power.

All VHF radios would shut down, so we have NO VHF COM.

With no MFD, we wouldn’t know our GPS position to transmit, if we had a working VHF 12V radio, which we don’t.

We would (or should) try to deploy our anchor...but the windlass runs on 12V, and there aren’t any volts.

The ONLY way to deploy your anchor if you have a disabled windlass is with a WINDLASS CLUTCH WRENCH, which will allow you to loosen the clutch to free-fall, or wind it down manually, depending on your windlass model (most are Lewmar on C-Dories).

DO YOU HAVE A WINDLASS CLUTCH WRENCH INSTANTLY AVAILABLE IN THE EVENT OF A 12V POWER FAILURE?

https://www.defender.com/product3.jsp?path=-1|2276108|2276149|2276152&id=3032935#


My friend Mike Rizzo ( a very knowledgeable cruiser, ‘knotflying’, on Tug Nuts.com, driving a R27) makes a very cogent argument that it makes a lot of sense to buy three cheap Walmart Group 31 flooded lead acid batteries for $109 each, and then replace them every 3 boating seasons regardless of how they test, as opposed to any other method. Other than Montebello, Quebec, on the St L, a WalMart has been within a $40 Lyft of all our cruising so far (over 5,000 miles). His argument makes a lot of sense to us.

Since mine are under the cockpit seat, off gassing and orientation is not an issue I should pay for. Flooded old fashion lead acid batteries could be fine, and way better return on investment than lithium as of now.

This issue is, of course, boat and crew dependent. The difference in battery weights is laughable compared to whether we have 50g of gas on board (100 mile range) vs 150g of gas (300 lbs vs 900 lbs of gas vs the miniscule difference in battery weights).

Again, I claim that your choice is and should be very boat and crew style dependent. I love state of the art tech, but I’m just not convinced that a 12v lithium ‘drop in’ replacement for boat battery tech is here yet.

Comments welcome!

Your Luddite,
John

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2010 Tom Cat 255, Cat O' Mine
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hardee



Joined: 30 Oct 2006
Posts: 12169
City/Region: Sequim
State or Province: WA
C-Dory Year: 2005
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Sleepy-C
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2021 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John, I think you have a very valid point. And being without any 12VDC would be a serious bad situation.

Quote:
"All VHF radios would shut down, so we have NO VHF COM."


Just guessing here, but I am betting you do have a hand held VHF on board. Whether it is out and turned on, I don't know, but your situation would be only slightly less better if it was Shocked Rolling Eyes Cool

Harvey
SleepyC Moon


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san juanderer



Joined: 12 Aug 2014
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City/Region: Anacortes
State or Province: WA
C-Dory Year: 1990
C-Dory Model: 22 Angler
PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2021 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very few would advise a lithium battery in the start engine place, and there is a reason.
In the house location, that is a different matter. But now you need to discuss charging parameter and more importantly the max current draw.
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T.R. Bauer



Joined: 17 Nov 2007
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City/Region: Wasilla
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C-Dory Year: 1993
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: C-Whisperer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2021 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pat Anderson wrote:
This is all way beyond my comprehension. All the batteries we have right now are NAPA flooded cell deep cycle batteries. I would like to get lithium ion batteries for both the boat house batteries and the Northern Lite camper, but I have read quite a few articles on charging them and am more confused than before. On my chargers I do not have the option to set different voltages for different charging stages, and I don't understand what you do when you have lithium house batteries and a flooded cell or AGM starting battery. It does not seem that they can both be connected to the same charger (?) - and can they both connect to the outboard's alternator with the VSR, or would I need a ton of other stuff to regulate the lithium ion battery's charging? So I guess for now I will stick with flooded cell and replace with AGM when needed.

I applaud Dr. Bob for going down this path - I'll be he buys green bananas too!


I have an lifep04 for a house battery and it is fine. I'm not convinced it's a great choice for everyone. You literally can't charge them (without wrecking them) if it's colder than about 30 degree out. So, if you boat or RV when it's potentially cold, you'll need a warm place to charge it. I have found charging them when it warmer than 32 degrees is easy enough, but my 1 stage car charger give too much voltage.....so that didn't work. I bought a lifep04 charger....I'm not sure it was worth all this in all honesty to save a few pounds.
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thataway



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
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City/Region: Pensacola
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: thataway
Photos: Thataway
PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2021 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As san juanderer noted, few of the LiFePO4 batteries are rated for engine start--and thus the engine, and other accessories can easily continue working. The other issue is that it is very rare for a BMS (external or internal) to shut down a battery. One could use the same argument for a fuse or battery switch failing with traditional FL:A batteries. In fact that is far more likely to happen in John's scenario than a BMS shutting down the Li bank.

Also we carry a jump start kit (greater use was for powering the inflatable dinghy pump, or charging I pads etc.).

I would agree that for the average boater I would not recommend the LiFePO4 batteries. If you are planning on keeping and using the boat for more than 5 years, is the point where the Li become justified.

There are many boats where the weight can be an issue and greater power density is necessary. For example bass boats and the trolling motors.

Certainly if one is contemplating use of the LiFePO4, read as much as possible. We followed one of the early RV adaptors who had 10 years of experience, mostly off grid, as an all electric coach using the LiFePO4 batteries for house.

Also the cost of higher quality LiFe batteries has been falling, and now is only 2x that of a quality AGM battery. Be careful about what brand you choose.

Will Prowse on teardown of several batteries.. This and a google search will find many articles by Will Prowse. They are somewhat RV and solar power oriented, but those applications are also very appropriate for our boats.
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pcg



Joined: 31 Aug 2018
Posts: 244
City/Region: Sherwood
State or Province: OR
C-Dory Year: 1999
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2021 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’ll second what Bob says. Also my design includes a battery switch to my DC loads, located at the helm, so in the event of an imminent house battery shutdown I can switch the DC loads over to the start battery before it happens. Extremely unlikely though, as Bob stated, but the switch gives me a Plan B and some peace of mind.
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T.R. Bauer



Joined: 17 Nov 2007
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City/Region: Wasilla
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C-Dory Year: 1993
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2021 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't get me wrong - I like my 100 amp lifep04. I can run 4 days with the diesel furnace (on low) running almost non-stop, my LED anchor light, power every single piece of electronics on my boat, and pull lots and lots of shrimp pots for 4 days straight with it without ever giving it a charge. I could never do that with my FLA group 27. By then, I am out of water, gas, beer, stove oil, and about everything else. I just switch over to one of the AGMs for the last day. If I end up staying longer and restocking, the AGM and the lifep04 seem to charge ok with the outboards - mine rarely run over 13.5 volts so the BMS doesn't shut off.....not ideal, but works pretty well so far. I'm pretty sure the AGM drains into the lifep04, but with the really long multiple hour trips I take, they both eventually do get charged.....mostly.....no expert - just data from one guy.
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thataway



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
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City/Region: Pensacola
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: thataway
Photos: Thataway
PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2021 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm pretty sure the AGM drains into the lifep04,


Probably the opposite: The resting voltage of a LiFePO4 battery is about 13.4 Volts Vs the AGM of 12.7V. The Li battery is 85% discharged when it reaches 12.7 volts. There in lies the danger of direct connection of a charged LiFe battery to any lead acid-the Li can sustain a. huge outrush of current, especially when connected to a lower voltage battery. That is what would cause the BMS to shut the battery down.

I suspect you connect the LiFe battery to the AGM as you have already have the engine running and at least 13.3 volts. You don't get a lot of charging of the Li battery at 13.5 volts.

In some RV's they LiFe battery is charged directly without a battery to battery charger, but the current flow has the danger of damage to even a Leece Neville 200 amp high output alternator. Thus there is a timer which allows charger only XX minutes out of an hour to avoid overheating the alternator. Almost all of the applications use a conventional FLA battery for the engine start.
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T.R. Bauer



Joined: 17 Nov 2007
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C-Dory Year: 1993
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2021 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am absolutely a newb when it comes to these batteries. But I do like mine so far.
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journey on



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
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City/Region: Valley Centre
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C-Dory Year: 2005
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: journey on
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2021 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alright, I surrender. I'll comment on using a Li battery on a C-Dory.

First of all, the idea of installing 3 ea group 31 batteries in/on/around a C-Dory 25 is interesting to say the least. One can't fit 2 ea 31's in an aft compartment. Fitting them inside the cabin is a non-starter because of the wiring AND loss of space. I don't know if it's possible in a 22.

We all know that c-Dory 25 loses a lot of speed/performance when it gains weight. Journey on has 2 golph cart batteries in the starboard lazerrete, used for house batteries (and starting the boat, incidentally.) They're Trojan T-105's with 200 ah capacity, allowing 100 ah of use. Journey On also has a starting battery in the port lazerete, which has served as a backup battery. The Trojans each weigh 70 lbs (totaling 140 lbs) and fill the lazeret. I can't imagine getting anything else in there and I had to remove the door to get them in (and out.)

So I bought a Chins Li battery, 100 ah. Got a good review on Utube. Size 31, weight 40 lbs, including the Regony 20 amp charger. Good for 80 ah and I got rid of 100 lbs. Better that even golph cart batteries, 2000 cycles @ 80% discharge. It's easy to fit a single 31 battery in the lazeret and the amount of wiring stays the same. No need to check the water level which is a pain in the rear.

Did mention I got rid of 100 lbs? Judy is getting even better at packing the boat for a cruise, so the only weight savings come from my side. I don't argue with anybody who wants to have 2 engines, crab pots, etc because that's what makes their boat work for them. For me getting rid of 100 lbs is a definite plus and I assume it would be for everyone. Also (we hope) longer battery life and no service.

Boris
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thataway



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
Posts: 19448
City/Region: Pensacola
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: thataway
Photos: Thataway
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2021 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Chin's battery (and apparently identical Ampere Time) are as low as $369 on Amazon (plus freight ? and Tax). That brings the cost per usable amp/ hour to less than most AGM batteries. There are also a 200 amp hour and 300 amp hour at even slightly less per amp hour.

Good find Boris!
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croakz



Joined: 21 Sep 2020
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City/Region: Seattle
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2021 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't forget the Zooms battery is identical to the Ampere and Chinns. I think Will Prowse said they are the same company? A 200ah Zooms is ~$680!

https://www.amazon.com/Zooms-LiFePO4-Phosphate-Rechargeable-Off-grid/dp/B094NLKWHP
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T.R. Bauer



Joined: 17 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2021 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I paid a ton more for my relion Sad
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croakz



Joined: 21 Sep 2020
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City/Region: Seattle
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2021 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just remember those Chinns, Ampere, and Zooms don't have low temp charging protection. So a good deal, for the right use cases.
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