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Old 04-02-2021, 09:53 AM   #1
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relion or battle born lithium?

hi all, any feedback on the above? Looking to replace a single group 31 deep cycle house battery, with a plug and play lithium replacement.
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Old 04-02-2021, 10:06 AM   #2
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relion or battle born lithium?

Complex subject. If you were running LA or AGM, you will need a voltage regulator capable of LifePo batteries. It seems they can draw so much from your alternator it can overheat. So plug and play is relative. Group 31 is a case size not a power measure. Amp hours measure power and should match the boats requirements. Boat specific.

Battle Born seems to get the best reviews. Here is a link to a knowledgeable u tuber who actually takes apart the batteries and analysis the components.

https://youtube.com/c/WillProwse
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Old 04-02-2021, 10:53 AM   #3
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I have lead acid golf carts in the boat but I'm going to put lithium batteries in the RV. This video clip is informative, basically saying that Battle Born is the standard that others are measured against, especially with its 10 year warranty.

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Old 04-02-2021, 12:03 PM   #4
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Seems like Will was drinking too much fermented koolaid in that test. He tested all three batteries, the two LiFePO4 batteries and the VMax AGM at 80 amps or 0.8C. No boat I have ever been on has pulled 0.8C long term from their house batteries. Yes maybe to run a micorwave for a few minutes or a toaster, but most marine loads are much lighter. When I anchored out, I routinely kept my amp draw at well below the rating standard of 0.05C or a 20 hour rating. My long term power needs were for LED lights in the evening, device recharging and cyclical refrigeration which averaged about 4 amps from a 440 Ah bank or 0.01C.

AGM or good flooded cell batteries like golf carts do much better at these low discharge rates that are typical of marine use. And contrary to what we all learned as a never do, you can discharge an AGM or flooded cell below 50%, even to 80% DoD when necessary. At 50% you get 1,000 cycles and at 80% you get 500 cycles. Compare that to Lithiums at maybe 2,000 cycles at 80% and the prices match up pretty well: $200 for a WindyNation AGM vs $950 for a Battleborn. And it gets even better if you only discharge to 30% DoD, maybe 1,500 cycles for the AGM.

I do like LiFePO4 batteries, particularly where weight is important. But in a boat where weight is not so important a good AGM has similar performance for how we use house batteries but lower cycle life at a lot less money.

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Old 04-02-2021, 12:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanbermudablu View Post
hi all, any feedback on the above? Looking to replace a single group 31 deep cycle house battery, with a plug and play lithium replacement.
In consideration of my post above, I would use the existing battery until it fails, even if you have to routinely discharge to 80% DOD. Then consider replacing it with a good but inexpensive G31, 100 Ah AGM battery such as WindyNation's for about $200. No charger replacement required and no undue load on your alternator.

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Old 04-02-2021, 04:24 PM   #6
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hi all, any feedback on the above? Looking to replace a single group 31 deep cycle house battery, with a plug and play lithium replacement.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatlaker221 View Post
Complex subject. If you were running LA or AGM, you will need a voltage regulator capable of LifePo batteries. It seems they can draw so much from your alternator it can overheat. So plug and play is relative. Group 31 is a case size not a power measure. Amp hours measure power and should match the boats requirements. Boat specific.

Battle Born seems to get the best reviews.
Absolutely correct.

You can drop in a lithium battery and it will work- but it's like putting regular in a vehicle designed for premium.

It works, but not to optimal efficiency.

You need to think of the system as a whole:
  • Ensure the current 120v charging system can support lithium technology.
  • Ensure the alternator(s) can support the lithium technology.
  • Ensure you understand the lithium technology.
  • Correct anything above that is deficient.
  • ....
  • THEN, install the lithium batteries.

I recently completed our install, and did several months of research before selecting components, removing old hardware, and wiring in the new batteries. Not hard, but at the same time, not as easy as replacing a battery.

I'll have a writeup done shortly.
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Old 04-02-2021, 08:17 PM   #7
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Do lithium batteries still have issues with over heating, thus catching fire?
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Old 04-02-2021, 08:24 PM   #8
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Do lithium batteries still have issues with over heating, thus catching fire?
Lithium Iron Phosphate (LifePO4) chemistry is stable. The older lithium batteries were the fire hazard.
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Old 04-02-2021, 09:20 PM   #9
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If this is the same video of his “testing” both brands, it wasn’t much of a test. He tapped on the case and decided one sounded better... I have the Lion Energy batteries and have had no issues with them. I actually like the way that the terminals unscrew off the built in posts. It allowed me to use a bus bar to join the 3 batteries instead of cables. So the install was much cleaner than with cables. Lion Energy also has a lifetime warranty.
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Old 04-03-2021, 06:20 AM   #10
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In a displacement cruiser weight is seldom a problem.

Perhaps 2x the number of AGM or even wet batts with a SOC meter would solve most hassles?

The first short lived battery solution for many is a modern well insulated super efficient reefer.
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Old 04-03-2021, 06:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
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In a displacement cruiser weight is seldom a problem.

Perhaps 2x the number of AGM or even wet batts with a SOC meter would solve most hassles?

The first short lived battery solution for many is a modern well insulated super efficient reefer.


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Old 04-03-2021, 10:36 AM   #12
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And contrary to what we all learned as a never do, you can discharge an AGM or flooded cell below 50%, even to 80% DoD when necessary.
This caught my attention. Around 8 years ago, I was deciding on a house bank for an RV. As I studied the various tables in the LIfeline Battery Manual (why can't every battery mfgr have a manual like theirs!), I started to develop a possible alternative strategy.

It was this: If you only discharge to 50% DOD in order to make the batteries' life as long as possible, why not get fewer batteries? You only have to buy (about) half as many to begin with, they weigh half as much, and you can put the other "half" of the money in the (financial) bank to replace them with. (This presumes it's convenient to source new batteries down the track; but with an RV it usually is.)

I didn't end up doing that, and instead went middle of the road and put in 375ah of Lifelines. So it stayed mostly theoretical as I usually stay above 60% SOC or so.

But now that I've used them for nearly ten years, what I've found is that once they get much below 50% SOC (maybe to 40% or so? I have not been that low very often so can't say exactly), the voltage is really getting down there.

My question: Is this particular to my bank or to Lifeline batteries? Can others - or you - with either "regular" AGM's (not Firefly), or flooded cells get to 20% SOC (80% DOD) and still have enough voltage to work with? I'd been thinking that my theoretical strategy above would probably not have worked due to the voltage getting so low once you get down there in SOC.

(I'm wired up for low voltage drop, but the bank itself starts to get kinda low in voltage below around 40% SOC - haven't ever seen 20% but....?)

That's something I'm looking forward to with LFP - voltage that stays up right to the last drop.
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Old 04-03-2021, 11:30 AM   #13
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It all depends on how much current is being pulled from the battery at 80% DOD. At that level the resting voltage is about 12.0 volts but if you are pulling 0.05C then it can drop about a half a volt. 11.5 volts is enough to handle most DC devices. But pull double that current and it will probably drop too low to be useful

Yes that is one of the big advantages of lithium, a flat voltage curve.

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Old 04-04-2021, 08:17 AM   #14
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Battleborn graphs

Here are a couple graphs from Battleborn that may help you.
Attached Thumbnails
BB SOC graph.jpg  
Attached Files
File Type: pdf BB State of Charge table Discharging & Charging.pdf (94.0 KB, 7 views)
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Old 04-04-2021, 11:32 AM   #15
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Here are a couple graphs from Battleborn that may help you.
I'm not sure if I'm "you," but my post was simply noting that I have not found it practical to take AGM's much below 40% SOC (60% DOD) due to voltage sag. That has been fine as I sized the bank for 50% DOD. It's 8 years old in full time use and still kicking along so has worked out.

However, when I was planning this (back in ye olde pre-LFP days), I only saw "Don't Take Them Below 50% for Longest Life!" Based simply on that I could have sized my bank at about 60% of what I got, carried less weight, and replaced them in half the time.

At least I saw no mention of voltage sag as being equally important. Maybe I was just slow on the uptake.

It all worked out as I went in with a buddy for a discount by buying more batteries so sized the bank amply for 50% DOD.

Now with LFP that's hardly worth mentioning. Nice high voltage right to the end. Happy days.
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Old 04-04-2021, 11:38 AM   #16
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Absolutely correct.

You can drop in a lithium battery and it will work- but it's like putting regular in a vehicle designed for premium.

It works, but not to optimal efficiency.

You need to think of the system as a whole:
  • Ensure the current 120v charging system can support lithium technology.
  • Ensure the alternator(s) can support the lithium technology.
  • Ensure you understand the lithium technology.
  • Correct anything above that is deficient.
  • ....
  • THEN, install the lithium batteries.

I recently completed our install, and did several months of research before selecting components, removing old hardware, and wiring in the new batteries. Not hard, but at the same time, not as easy as replacing a battery.

I'll have a writeup done shortly.
That's the crux of the issue Pete, Good post!

You need all of your components not only Lithium capable in terms of charge parameters, they need to be sized to take advantage of the charge capabilities of lithium batteries to see any real advantage.
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Old 04-09-2021, 06:19 PM   #17
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see Panbo Blog

I'm reading everything I can on the subject, the Panbo Blog has a two part post on his install and covers a whole shopping list of support components ($$$) needed for a safe and reliant system. You really can't drop a LiFePo battery into lead acid battery's place.

https://panbo.com/
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Old 04-11-2021, 12:12 PM   #18
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relion or battle born lithium?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kabyak View Post
I'm reading everything I can on the subject, the Panbo Blog has a two part post on his install and covers a whole shopping list of support components ($$$) needed for a safe and reliant system. You really can't drop a LiFePo battery into lead acid battery's place.



https://panbo.com/

While you are at it, itís worth checking out CMSís site:

https://marinehowto.com/lifepo4-batteries-on-boats/

He provides some cautionary words, most notably on the need to ensure your alternator regular is properly programmed and up to the task. Otherwise itís easy to fry your alternator. Also on battery selection.

CMS edits this article regularly. I was surprised by his comments about Battleborn. Definitely worth searching out what he says. I was going to go down this road, but my marine electrician urged caution. And heís young so I was surprised that he hadnít jumped onto the latest technology. He had just seen too many failures at this point.

Jim
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Old 04-11-2021, 10:40 PM   #19
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While you are at it, itís worth checking out CMSís site:

https://marinehowto.com/lifepo4-batteries-on-boats/

He provides some cautionary words, most notably on the need to ensure your alternator regular is properly programmed and up to the task. Otherwise itís easy to fry your alternator. Also on battery selection.

CMS edits this article regularly. I was surprised by his comments about Battleborn. Definitely worth searching out what he says. I was going to go down this road, but my marine electrician urged caution. And heís young so I was surprised that he hadnít jumped onto the latest technology. He had just seen too many failures at this point.

Jim
We installed the Battleborn batteries after much research, and as part of an overall system (Victron inverter and control system/alternators with Wakespeed regulators/APDs/properly sized wiring) and feel secure in the final product.

The ABYC section referenced is a recommendation (BMS external communication) and not a hard requirement. As for insurability- I have been insuring boats for 2 decades, and haven't had any pushback from insurers regarding LifePO4 installs.
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Old 04-12-2021, 12:21 AM   #20
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We installed the Battleborn batteries after much research, and as part of an overall system (Victron inverter and control system/alternators with Wakespeed regulators/APDs/properly sized wiring) and feel secure in the final product.



The ABYC section referenced is a recommendation (BMS external communication) and not a hard requirement. As for insurability- I have been insuring boats for 2 decades, and haven't had any pushback from insurers regarding LifePO4 installs.

Thatís good to hear. I had been impressed with what I had heard about Battleborn to this point.

Jim
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