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Old 06-12-2014, 09:01 PM   #1
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Lithium Batteries By Smart

I am considering the new generation Lithium Batteries for my powercat. It seems the safety issues with these have been dealt with properly. Now, the upside is substantial. Any opinions on the new Lithium batteries by Smart?
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Old 06-12-2014, 10:50 PM   #2
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Some day Lithium will be the way to go. . . . But today is not the day!!

It has amazing potential for solving some of the problems with battery capacity , charge and discharge rates. That said, it is still very new technology in the high capacity large battery field, as well as being prohibitively expensive. Safety issues with the larger lithium batteries have still not been thoroughly explored and eliminated. The result of battery or charger failure can still result in thermal runaway which would be catastrophic in a boat. Most likely resulting in the total loss of your boat. I would stick with conventional batteries for a while yet.

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Old 06-12-2014, 11:41 PM   #3
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I am considering the new generation Lithium Batteries for my powercat. It seems the safety issues with these have been dealt with properly. Now, the upside is substantial. Any opinions on the new Lithium batteries by Smart?
Even though safety measures are improving: Fire / explosion during charging and too deep dis-charge are still my concern at this point of the game. I currently remain very cautious!
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Old 06-12-2014, 11:54 PM   #4
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If I lived in a highly populated area the temptation would be great. The thought of getting replacement parts flown in by sea plane to some remote camp made me go old school.
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Old 06-13-2014, 08:33 AM   #5
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A Brooklin Boat Yard built boat was lost to a fire the other day caused by Lithium batteries. The crew said once they found the source (the battery), nothing they tried to put it out with, including fire extinguishers, worked. Luckily the boat was sailing in company with another boat so the crew were picked up.
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Old 06-13-2014, 08:57 AM   #6
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A Brooklin Boat Yard built boat was lost to a fire the other day caused by Lithium batteries. The crew said once they found the source (the battery), nothing they tried to put it out with, including fire extinguishers, worked. Luckily the boat was sailing in company with another boat so the crew were picked up.
David - You have story link on that fire? I can't locate report and am interested. TY, Art
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Old 06-13-2014, 09:42 AM   #7
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David - You have story link on that fire? I can't locate report and am interested. TY, Art
No, I don't Art. I saw the pics on an iPhone of the son of a friend of mine who is VP of the yard and heard the story from them. I emailed the son a week or so ago for a link and/or to send me the pics. Will try again but he is just out of college and chasing a young lady out to the West coast so his mind may be on other things.
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Old 06-13-2014, 09:52 AM   #8
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No, I don't Art. I saw the pics on an iPhone of the son of a friend of mine who is VP of the yard and heard the story from them. I emailed the son a week or so ago for a link and/or to send me the pics. Will try again but he is just out of college and chasing a young lady out to the West coast so his mind may be on other things.


Was it a sail boat? - I did see couple word blurb and a pict; no mention of fire cause.
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:05 AM   #9
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I know the underwriter for US Boats asked me if my vessel had or was going to get Lithium batteries. Right now I'm not convinced they are safe enough. I still think they cost to much. Before changing to LIPO's or Lithium batteries better check with your insurance underwriter, I would love to have them because they offer the best AH's per pound of any modern battery but I'll stick with AGM's for now.
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:14 AM   #10
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Here's the only article that I found online. No mention of cause of fire.
Equus catches fire, sinks 053014

But just found thread this on Cruisers Forum. The discussion about this particular boat fire starts at post #3695. And particularly see post #3717.

LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks - Page 247 - Cruisers & Sailing Forums

And I was in error as to the builder. It was Rockport Marine. Rockport Marine is owned by Taylor and Martha Allen (the brother-in-law and sister of Steve White who own Brooklin Boat Yard). The two yards have traded off building W Class boats for many years so I sometimes get confused about which yard built which boat.
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Old 06-13-2014, 12:40 PM   #11
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Art:

Here' one more link just sent to me by my friend's son. Same lack of details, but a couple of pics.

Sailboat catches fire, sinks off Little Compton - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England
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Old 06-13-2014, 01:00 PM   #12
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I'll admit to being tempted to purchase the LIPO4 battery system. When they were first released I was contacted about becoming a dealer in my local area of NJ. However it required me purchasing (2) 360 AH GenaSun systems. It was too much money and too little warranty at the time the warranty was 2 years. For a battery system that costs as much as they do I felt the warranty was lacking. Then there's the entire BMS and charging systems required it got real expensive because these batteries are a system not just cells.
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Old 06-13-2014, 01:58 PM   #13
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Art:

Here' one more link just sent to me by my friend's son. Same lack of details, but a couple of pics.

Sailboat catches fire, sinks off Little Compton - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

TY, David - Yup, that's the one I found. Surprised not more coverage??
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Old 06-13-2014, 02:24 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the great feedback. I will go with AGM's.
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:51 PM   #15
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I looked into LIfP04 batteries pretty hot and heavy last year for either my boat or NEV. I decided not to be the beta tester for the technology in my NEV(most attractive option for me) and insurance issues nixed my boat plans.

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Old 06-13-2014, 11:53 PM   #16
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One anecdotal fire will put you all off? How many fires happened last winter that had nothing whatsoever to do with lithium batteries? They "claim" the runaway thing has been solved. Remember nickel-cadmium when they came out? Charger technology solved that.

I would have gotten lithiums in a shot if they weren't still so expensive, or, more accurately, if I wasn't so cheap!
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Old 06-14-2014, 12:52 AM   #17
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One anecdotal fire will put you all off? How many fires happened last winter that had nothing whatsoever to do with lithium batteries? They "claim" the runaway thing has been solved. Remember nickel-cadmium when they came out? Charger technology solved that.

I would have gotten lithiums in a shot if they weren't still so expensive, or, more accurately, if I wasn't so cheap!
IMHO - Better to error on side of caution...

Especially with an EXPLOSIVE FIRE STARTING product known to have problems and still be undergoing safety-refinements-developments.

Especially when its capabilities already have pretty darn good alternatives affordably available with proven track and safety records.

Too much $$$$$$$$$$ - is the other GOOD reason... in this case... for not now!

I believe in not too distant years the safety will be guaranteed and price in line with reality.
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Old 06-16-2014, 03:01 PM   #18
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And remember the issues Boeing has had with them as well.

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Old 06-18-2014, 01:49 PM   #19
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Boeing's Stretched 787 Certified

Boeing's stretched version of the 787 Dreamliner is now certified by the FAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency, Boeing announced this week. The 787-9 adds an extra 20 feet to the fuselage length and has proved popular with customers, Boeing said. Twenty-six operators have ordered 413 of the airplanes, accounting for 40 percent of all 787 orders. The comprehensive type-certification test program required five airplanes and more than 1,500 hours of flight testing, plus ground and laboratory testing, Boeing said. The first copy of the new airplane will be delivered to Air New Zealand later this month.

The extra length enables the 787-9 to carry an additional 40 passengers and adds 300 nm to the range. Boeing has an even longer version, the 787-10, already in the planning stages. An FAA/Boeing team recently completed a design review of the 787, concluding that the aircraft was soundly designed and met its intended safety level. The review was prompted by a lithium battery fire on board a parked 787 in Boston in January 2013.
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Old 06-19-2014, 02:06 AM   #20
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I developed a philosophy many years ago, primarily related to technology. Unlike many I do not want to ever be on the leading edge of technology. I want to be in the next group. I'm more than willing to let others be the guinea pigs and work out all the bugs. When dealing with IBM years ago, even though we had a tremendous relationship with them, I would never upgrade our mainframe or midframes in their first six months of release of new hardware. Now because the hardware was generally shipped far later than promised, this six months was often 18 months to 2 years after the date for which they were first taking orders.

New engine, new model, new car, new anything. I'll follow and read the initial reports first. Lithium for recreational boat use is not ready for prime time, in my opinion.
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