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  #26   IP: 100.36.65.17
Old 01-08-2022, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndutton View Post
Edward, a thought:
If gasoline is difficult to source in the Bahamas, especially the Exumas (the reason for not relying on the engine for recharging), what about sourcing LiFePO4 batts or the associated management components in an exotic destination if (when?) a failure occurs?
Neil,

I must admit that this is one of the thoughts that weighs heavily on my mind during this planning process. As Joe pointed out, I'm trying to design as redundant a system as possible. The better option might be two independent, paralleled banks with two separate BMSs, but this would get more expensive. Re-configuring underway from a 2P4S configuration to a 1P4S configuration would suck but would be possible.

As for unavailability of stuff in the Exumas, I'm already in that "boat" Gel Cells are also impossible to source in the Bahamas. Hell, they're difficult to source in the US!

My ultimate fallback would be to temporarily replace them with a pair of cheap flooded Lead-Acid batteries. The highly programmable charge controllers would have no trouble accommodating that.

Before our first trip, I thought long and hard about what engine spares to bring. There isn't enough space to bring everything, so I tried to confine myself to critical things I couldn't repair. This included a spare alternator (with its own regulator), a spare starter, and a spare EI module.
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  #27   IP: 104.174.83.118
Old 01-08-2022, 10:00 AM
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Exactly Edward. If you can't get 'em, you'll have to carry spares. For a more accurate spelling, make that $pare$.

I've not cruised but I did build and outfit a boat for long distance cruising before the divorce from Hell quashed that dream so I've been through much of the analyses and planning. That was 35 years ago and things were comparatively primitive in terms of tech. Regarding this discussion, Faster charging has been of interest to cruising sailors for several decades. When I was building my Westsail the hot ticket was manually adjustable regulators with a giant panel knob (looked like a variac) that allowed the user to increase the charge voltage for faster charging regardless of their State of Charge. I recognized the liabilities immediately so it was never a consideration on my boat but the cruisers went ape[feces] over it. How well did it work? When was the last time you saw or even heard of one of those? I can't even find a picture of one on the internet to add to this post.
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  #28   IP: 138.207.177.95
Old 01-08-2022, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndutton View Post
Exactly Edward. If you can't get 'em, you'll have to carry spares. For a more accurate spelling, make that $pare$.

I've not cruised but I did build and outfit a boat for long distance cruising before the divorce from Hell quashed that dream so I've been through much of the analyses and planning. That was 35 years ago and things were comparatively primitive in terms of tech. Regarding this discussion, Faster charging has been of interest to cruising sailors for several decades. When I was building my Westsail the hot ticket was manually adjustable regulators with a giant panel knob (looked like a variac) that allowed the user to increase the charge voltage for faster charging regardless of their State of Charge. I recognized the liabilities immediately so it was never a consideration on my boat but the cruisers went ape[feces] over it. How well did it work? When was the last time you saw or even heard of one of those? I can't even find a picture of one on the internet to add to this post.
You are thinking of the Mac/Automac and variants of it. You can still find them used.
They were the first step from the old fixed-point regulators to modern multi-stage regulators. The first ones had a timer that would full-field the alternator for as long as the timer was set for and then revert to normal regulation. The timer was the old twist-knob type, so the actual device looked the same as the one shown below. They could hugely improve the time to charge a big battery bank, but they also could cause huge amounts of damage if not carefully watched. The ONLY safety mechanism involved was the human operator.
The next step was the Automac that had a rheostat to control the field instead of always full-fielding the alternator and a cutoff voltage. When the battery reached the cutoff setting, it would disengage the Automac and revert to internal regulation.
By the time I was doing this work for a living in the mid 90s these were already considered obsolete, the first generation of smart regulators were out. We never did install any of these and did remove a few. They were a good idea at the time if you were VERY careful.
Knowing HOW they work is important, you can make these from parts on your boat as an emergency get-home device. Full-fielding the alternator just needs a jumper wire and "regulating" the alternator just needs a couple jumpers and various light bulbs. I discovered a running light bulb gave me a decent voltage when my regulator crapped out, it held about 12.9 volts.
See this thread on the DIY emergency regulator: https://www.moyermarineforum.com/for...tor+light+bulb
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  #29   IP: 138.207.177.95
Old 01-08-2022, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardc View Post
Neil,

I must admit that this is one of the thoughts that weighs heavily on my mind during this planning process. As Joe pointed out, I'm trying to design as redundant a system as possible. The better option might be two independent, paralleled banks with two separate BMSs, but this would get more expensive. Re-configuring underway from a 2P4S configuration to a 1P4S configuration would suck but would be possible.

As for unavailability of stuff in the Exumas, I'm already in that "boat" Gel Cells are also impossible to source in the Bahamas. Hell, they're difficult to source in the US!

My ultimate fallback would be to temporarily replace them with a pair of cheap flooded Lead-Acid batteries. The highly programmable charge controllers would have no trouble accommodating that.

Before our first trip, I thought long and hard about what engine spares to bring. There isn't enough space to bring everything, so I tried to confine myself to critical things I couldn't repair. This included a spare alternator (with its own regulator), a spare starter, and a spare EI module.
Most commercially available lithium batteries can be connected in parallel, I don't see any reason you can't make two batteries with two BMSs. Speaking of, are you SURE you have a good source for cells? I looked into that and it seems a crapshoot at best, apparently almost all cells are rejects that Renogy and the rest of the battery companies didn't want.
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  #30   IP: 100.36.65.17
Old 01-08-2022, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_db View Post
Most commercially available lithium batteries can be connected in parallel, I don't see any reason you can't make two batteries with two BMSs. Speaking of, are you SURE you have a good source for cells? I looked into that and it seems a crapshoot at best, apparently almost all cells are rejects that Renogy and the rest of the battery companies didn't want.
SURE? No. Fairly confident, yes.

I’ve spent the last year reading all the reviews (and I mean real technical reviews, not “fanboy” stuff) particularly those who have bought large quantities of cells from multiple vendors. With enough time and data points, some trends started to appear. I did this because about a year ago, I tried to order some cheap cells for testing, direct from China. After waiting for them for 8 weeks, I had the vendor put a trace on them, and the shipping company reported them as “lost”. (But I did get a quick full refund).

At the present time, the Chinese company “Doucan”, while not the cheapest, seems to have a reputation for delivering quality product. Their sales rep Jenny Wu in particular, has a rep for never lying and delivering what was promised. And best of all, they can deliver LiFePO4 cells out of their warehouse in Houston!

So, on Jan 2 I took the plunge and ordered eight 280ah cells from them.
FIVE DAYS LATER, they were sitting on my living room floor!! They arrived well packaged in thick foam liners, two to a box, sealed up watertight.

Initial inspection all looked good, every cell showing no signs of terminal scratching or bulging, both of which are signs of previous use. Every cell had the OEM QR code laser etched on it. I decoded a mfg date of Jun 2021. A more detailed evaluation and measurement is in progress. Wish me luck!
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  #31   IP: 138.207.177.95
Old 01-08-2022, 09:18 PM
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Do you need to clamp these together to keep them from bulging and getting ruined?
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Old 01-08-2022, 09:49 PM
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Hi all.

Just this year I put together an e-bike with lithium-ion battery and also got a camper with AGM house battery,
What an education!

Everything said here was discovered by myself as I got up to speed on these technologies.
upshot for me is:
  • Hi-tech lightweight batteries for fun on the bike,
  • Heavy tolerant systems for the camper and boat.
A telling consideration is found in this ironic question:
Why would one care about weight savings in a boat with 5,000 lbs of lead in the keel?

I agree with Neil; gotta keep these systems from running our lives, but we do need to keep the beer cold.

Cheers,

Russ
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  #33   IP: 100.36.65.17
Old 01-09-2022, 12:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_db View Post
Most commercially available lithium batteries can be connected in parallel, I don't see any reason you can't make two batteries with two BMSs. Speaking of, are you SURE you have a good source for cells? I looked into that and it seems a crapshoot at best, apparently almost all cells are rejects that Renogy and the rest of the battery companies didn't want.

SURE? No. Fairly confident, yes.

I’ve spent the last year reading all the reviews (and I mean real technical reviews, not “fanboy” stuff) particularly those who have bought large quantities of cells from multiple vendors. With enough time and data points, some trends started to appear. I did this because about a year ago, I tried to order some cheap cells for testing, direct from China. After waiting for them for 8 weeks, I had the vendor put a trace on them, and the shipping company reported them as “lost”. (But I did get a quick full refund).

At the present time, the Chinese company “Doucan”, while not the cheapest, seems to have a reputation for delivering quality product. Their sales rep Jenny Wu in particular, has a rep for never lying and delivering what was promised. And best of all, they can deliver LiFePO4 cells out of their warehouse in Houston!

So, on Jan 2 I took the plunge and ordered eight 280ah cells from them.
FIVE DAYS LATER, they were sitting on my living room floor!! They arrived well packaged in thick foam liners, two to a box, sealed up watertight.

Initial inspection all looked good, every cell showing no signs of terminal scratching or bulging, both of which are signs of previous use. Every cell had the OEM QR code laser etched on it. I decoded a mfg date of Jun 2021. A more detailed evaluation and measurement is in progress. Wish me luck!
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  #34   IP: 138.207.177.95
Old 01-09-2022, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lat 64 View Post
Hi all.

Just this year I put together an e-bike with lithium-ion battery and also got a camper with AGM house battery,
What an education!

Everything said here was discovered by myself as I got up to speed on these technologies.
upshot for me is:
  • Hi-tech lightweight batteries for fun on the bike,
  • Heavy tolerant systems for the camper and boat.
A telling consideration is found in this ironic question:
Why would one care about weight savings in a boat with 5,000 lbs of lead in the keel?

I agree with Neil; gotta keep these systems from running our lives, but we do need to keep the beer cold.

Cheers,

Russ
Weight savings is not why I would get lithium batteries, the vastly longer lifespan would be.
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  #35   IP: 100.36.65.17
Old 01-09-2022, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_db View Post
Weight savings is not why I would get lithium batteries, the vastly longer lifespan would be.
That, and greater total energy storage in the same volume.
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  #36   IP: 138.207.177.95
Old 01-11-2022, 12:34 PM
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Ed - are you using contactors or the BMS itself for switching?
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Old 01-12-2022, 09:42 AM
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I had been leaning towards the REC Active BMS, which is set up for driving contactors, but nothing is cast in stone yet.

Other contenders were the Orion, and Stuart Pittaway's DIY BMS project.

The thing that gives me pause with the REC Active is that it wants to be both the BMS and the central charge controller. Seems like too many eggs in one basket. I like the redundancy of a federated architecture, where each charge source is responsible for its own regulation.
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