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LifePO4 batteries, anyone make the move yet?

mesquito_creek

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I am thinking about finally stopping to throw away money on lead acid and AGM. These are getting to my price point at $539. I would just isolate my load from stereo power amps and my fridge and charge off of shore power. I would leave a leadacid/agm on the starting circuit. They are not battleborn or other known brands for twice the price, but I think I am willing to gamble at this point. Twice the power, 1/3 of the weight and 10x the life...

 

HitIt

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I was just considering it for my fifth wheel but ended up going with 4x 6V batteries instead. I figure the LiFePo4 will be much more prolific in 2-3 years when the lead-acid die and I will have quite a few more options.

One thing to watch is operating/charging temperature, particularly the charging temperature range. The battery management circuit monitors the temp and wont allow the battery to be charged or discharged outside of the acceptable range. This is for battleborn batteries but pretty much applies to all properly managed LiFePo4 batteries. I could easily see the batteries getting above 135F on a hot summer day in a storage compartment in Havasu. And dont forget to factor in a lithium specific charger for your setup.

Operating Temperature​
-4 to 160°F (-20 to 71°C)​
Charge Temperature​
25 to 135°F (4 to 57°C)​
 

mesquito_creek

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I was just considering it for my fifth wheel but ended up going with 4x 6V batteries instead. I figure the LiFePo4 will be much more prolific in 2-3 years when the lead-acid die and I will have quite a few more options.

One thing to watch is operating/charging temperature, particularly the charging temperature range. The battery management circuit monitors the temp and wont allow the battery to be charged or discharged outside of the acceptable range. This is for battleborn batteries but pretty much applies to all properly managed LiFePo4 batteries. I could easily see the batteries getting above 135F on a hot summer day in a storage compartment in Havasu. And dont forget to factor in a lithium specific charger for your setup.

Operating Temperature​
-4 to 160°F (-20 to 71°C)​
Charge Temperature​
25 to 135°F (4 to 57°C)​
Valid concern about the charging temps, but even the lower priced model I am looking at has high temp charging cutoff built into the BMS, so I think that would cover your Havasu storage senario and charge properly overnight when the temps drop below 135 hopefully.

I destroy a pair of Intestate Deep cycle lead acid about every two years because I over draw them down... Thats about 300 bucks. A single 100Ah lifepo4 should out perform it and last 10 years or more... Just thinking out loud, I can't get to 900 for a battleborn, but I can get to 539 for one of these.
 

Waterjunky

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Watch your cold weather with these.... They don't like charging in the cold. Also what is your plan for charging them. Some Li batteries are preferential to chargers.
 

Waterjunky

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I am watching this battery style for now. I just put new deep cycles in the RV. When they die, I will probably cross over. With some luck that will be 3-5 years. I am fairly careful with my RV batteries and generally get that range. New rig though so all bets are off.
 

mesquito_creek

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Watch your cold weather with these.... They don't like charging in the cold. Also what is your plan for charging them. Some Li batteries are preferential to chargers.
Solar charging preferably, I currently tender my lead acid with a Morningstar 20 amp controller with 2 - 120 watt panels, but otherwise a quality shore power charger and top off overnight since solar won't be practical on the weekends etc when drawing down on the lake during the day...
 

mesquito_creek

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I run a permanently parked RV fully off grid with 48V 21600 watt battery bank of LifePO4 and 4000 watts solar array. But I am super new to this set up and not fully up to speed. I haven't run my off grid solar through a full summer yet.
 

HitIt

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I think that would cover your Havasu storage senario and charge properly overnight when the temps drop below 135 hopefully.

I destroy a pair of Intestate Deep cycle lead acid about every two years because I over draw them down... Thats about 300 bucks. A single 100Ah lifepo4 should out perform it and last 10 years or more... Just thinking out loud, I can't get to 900 for a battleborn, but I can get to 539 for one of these.
Your charging scenario makes sense if a single charge would get you through the day. Seems like a reasonable experiment and agree that the prices have come down to make them attractive. I was really having a hard time figuring which direction to go in my camper. The cold side limitation held me back though. Some new packs have built in heaters but, as you can imagine, turning your precious stored energy into heat so that you can use your batteries isn't awesome from an efficiency perspective.
 

mesquito_creek

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Your charging scenario makes sense if a single charge would get you through the day. Seems like a reasonable experiment and agree that the prices have come down to make them attractive. I was really having a hard time figuring which direction to go in my camper. The cold side limitation held me back though. Some new packs have built in heaters but, as you can imagine, turning your precious stored energy into heat so that you can use your batteries isn't awesome from an efficiency perspective.
They won't take a charge below 30 degrees F, but they will provide power down to -30C. Where I am in southern Utah Jan - Feb can get into the high teens over night but always gets into the 40s for the most part. In the winter my energy demand is super low since refrigeration etc is minimal and the heater is propane.

But if you are trying to charge during the day in an RV where you are not getting above 30 F you are going to be S.O.L. I am fair weather, I stay away from my RV until the lows are in the 40s....
 

RiverDave

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I am thinking about finally stopping to throw away money on lead acid and AGM. These are getting to my price point at $539. I would just isolate my load from stereo power amps and my fridge and charge off of shore power. I would leave a leadacid/agm on the starting circuit. They are not battleborn or other known brands for twice the price, but I think I am willing to gamble at this point. Twice the power, 1/3 of the weight and 10x the life...

I have 4 battle born batteries in my motorhome. In the boat I always use the full river AGM batteries..
 

Bpracing1127

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For the cold temps you can run a heater on the battery for charging purposes. We do in all of our cold operation uses (we build lithium battery packs for forklifts.)
 

Bpracing1127

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I am designing a 2 lithium battery setup for use in the boat to replace group 24 and group 27 in my boat. This will save over 80 lbs on a 2 system battery. Plus add over 100 amp hours. This will cost under 300 bucks too
 

mesquito_creek

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I am designing a 2 lithium battery setup for use in the boat to replace group 24 and group 27 in my boat. This will save over 80 lbs on a 2 system battery. Plus add over 100 amp hours. This will cost under 300 bucks too
Are you going to share? or sell? under 300 is cheaper than lead. I am guessing you are building your own Lithium battery bank... Do you have any concerns about cranking amps for starting off of Lithium. I assume you said only lithium because you are not using LifePO4 chemistry.
 

Bpracing1127

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Are you going to share? or sell? under 300 is cheaper than lead. I am guessing you are building your own Lithium battery bank... Do you have any concerns about cranking amps for starting off of Lithium. I assume you said only lithium because you are not using LifePO4 chemistry.
Yes I plan to sell to the market as an affordable lithium option. With a warranty

Right now I am configuring my battery management system and then I need to waterproof the electronics for boat safety.

I want to get a summer of testing under my belt before I sell to the public. I would be interested in demo a unit at cost. For those who want to test.

Down the road I need new battery boxes too (custom made) debating aluminum or plastic?
 

mesquito_creek

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Yes I plan to sell to the market as an affordable lithium option. With a warranty

Right now I am configuring my battery management system and then I need to waterproof the electronics for boat safety.

I want to get a summer of testing under my belt before I sell to the public. I would be interested in demo a unit at cost. For those who want to test.

Down the road I need new battery boxes too (custom made) debating aluminum or plastic?
I have a Searay Sundancer 290 with 3 group 27 batteries. 1 battery is dedicated starting on the starboard motor and generator. The other 2 batteries make up the house battery bank and I think they run the starter motor on the port motor.

I could make it more simple to test. I have an onboard generator, so I don't need alternator charging and i could run ac to dc lithium charger right off the generator and a 120AC plug. I also have a PWM 20amp morningstar solar charger, but I currently only run 120watt panel but I could add a second 120w panel.

My main problem is the fridgerator and stereo amps. I could run a fridge directy off a single lithium battery with a dedicated charge controller to isolate the battery test. I have room for that battery without touching the current battery set up. That was my fall back plan to get a 100 amp lith battery and a charger that would honor my Kohler generator signal and just run the fridge off of that. The fridge is picky about having full voltage and my currenly 12v system is not regulated at 12v so the fridge is the first thing to turn off as the house battery bank loses voltage.

Lake Powell is the location all summer.
 

Cibolasam

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I am designing a 2 lithium battery setup for use in the boat to replace group 24 and group 27 in my boat. This will save over 80 lbs on a 2 system battery. Plus add over 100 amp hours. This will cost under 300 bucks too
I am interested in this, any specs yet?


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coolchange

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I am designing a 2 lithium battery setup for use in the boat to replace group 24 and group 27 in my boat. This will save over 80 lbs on a 2 system battery. Plus add over 100 amp hours. This will cost under 300 bucks too
Seems this could really play for the Glitter boat crowd.
 

Bpracing1127

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The way I am designing and marketing them is a direct replacement for lead acid at an affordable price. I’m not going to get Jeff bezos money but maybe be able to go to the river more lol.
 

mesquito_creek

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The way I am designing and marketing them is a direct replacement for lead acid at an affordable price. I’m not going to get Jeff bezos money but maybe be able to go to the river more lol.
Same Charge profile as a lead/agm, so I can use my Charles marine battery charger (C-Charger 20 amp)? Or will you need a lithium battery charger?
 

Bpracing1127

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Same Charge profile as a lead/agm, so I can use my Charles marine battery charger (C-Charger 20 amp)? Or will you need a lithium battery charger?
More than likely you will need a lithium charger so it will balance the cells when charged. But still working on those details
 

GOTTBoat

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I bought two of the Dakota batteries for my toy hauler, re-cabling and installing next week. From what I have seen in documentation they are not supposed used for engine starting but who knows. Each battery shipped with a charger and the solar on my trailer has a setting for lithium.
 

mesquito_creek

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I bought two of the Dakota batteries for my toy hauler, re-cabling and installing next week. From what I have seen in documentation they are not supposed used for engine starting but who knows. Each battery shipped with a charger and the solar on my trailer has a setting for lithium.
The Dakota website says:
NOT FOR STARTING ENGINES
This is a deep cycle 12v battery. Not designed for starting gasoline engines.

If you wire two batteries in parallel you maintain the voltage but double the amperage, but does anyone know if doubling the amperage has any effect on the cranking amps?
 

GOTTBoat

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The Dakota website says:
NOT FOR STARTING ENGINES
This is a deep cycle 12v battery. Not designed for starting gasoline engines.

If you wire two batteries in parallel you maintain the voltage but double the amperage, but does anyone know if doubling the amperage has any effect on the cranking amps?
So are all Lithium the same as far a starting? I have plenty of room in the front of the trailer and plan on using my Optima yellow that gets moved around trailers just for starting the generator.
 

stingray11

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I have a Dakota 24 volt LI battery that weighs 31 lbs,it is 50 AH and I replaced 2 Interstates SRM 29 that are 83 AH. I saved almost 90 lbs in the boat. Use it on a 24 v trolling motor. Battery came with charger and I am sure it will out last the 2 batteries I replaced with it judging by how long it takes to recharge it after a day of fishing.

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Waterjunky

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So are all Lithium the same as far a starting? I have plenty of room in the front of the trailer and plan on using my Optima yellow that gets moved around trailers just for starting the generator.
Starting a generator is not the same as starting a high compression BBC or primary diesel. if you had several in a bank you should have no issues firing your generator.
 

mesquito_creek

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So are all Lithium the same as far a starting? I have plenty of room in the front of the trailer and plan on using my Optima yellow that gets moved around trailers just for starting the generator.
I can't answer that intelligently because I don't understand enough about lifepo4, but I do know that RELion lithium batteries have and HD model that advertises it as dual purpose for starting. So I think it depends on the manufacture.

HP Series batteries offer the capability to deliver a burst of high current for a short period of time. These current requirements are typically necessary to start a boat, generator motor, or an air conditioning compressor. Depending on the application, a single RELiON HP battery can be used for starting then double as a house needs power source. These batteries provide the high power needed to start your motor or generator, even after hours of powering your electronics. RELiON’s HP Series batteries are a perfect compromise between the unique demands of starting service and deep cycling, low amp draw service.
 

mesquito_creek

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The other problem I think using Lithium for starting is that the low resistance is bad for the alternator in that it draws excessive current from the alternator and burns it up. So I have read there are modifications of some sort needed to fix that.. I am not the expert so I don't know if that explanation is even close....
 

Bpracing1127

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The other problem I think using Lithium for starting is that the low resistance is bad for the alternator in that it draws excessive current from the alternator and burns it up. So I have read there are modifications of some sort needed to fix that.. I am not the expert so I don't know if that explanation is even close....
This is true. They make alternators for this application. None are “marine”
 

spark2678

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I have 4 battle born batteries in my motorhome. In the boat I always use the full river AGM batteries..
How are you charging your batteries? I don't think the standard RV charger will suffice, it may work short term. Pretty sure it will deplete the longevity of the battery immensely.
 

spark2678

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Looking into 2-3 100AH LifePO4 batteries to install in my 39' Fleetwood Discovery in the offseason. I am so tired of the Trojans or other similar 6V golf cart batteries, they just don't last more than a few years. At year 2 or 3 you end up putting more hours on the genny to keep them charged sufficiently.

I will also be putting around 1000W of solar on the roof.

From what I've read I don't want to use the inverter/charger to charge these new batteries unless they are rated to charge LI (I doubt mine is beign an '04). What sucks about that is I won't be able to use the built in charge status in my moho to see the charge state of the batteries, it will only be able to work the chassis batteries which will remain lead acid. I guess I would have to get (2) 15A chargers rated for LI that include bluetooth so I can see status at all times through my phone. Also, all my receptacles in the moho are on the inverter so I will need to remove the receptacles from inverter power closest to the batteries that will be used for the (2) chargers.
 

mesquito_creek

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How are you charging your batteries? I don't think the standard RV charger will suffice, it may work short term. Pretty sure it will deplete the longevity of the battery immensely.
I think that is a valid question and something you would want to know for sure, but the LifePO4 chemistry of Battleborn is right in line with the AGM charging profile. As long as you float them at 13.6 or less (like AGM) I think you are ok. So you want to set you RV charger to AGM and check the charge profile. You are very correct that you don't want the higher float chargers of a battery charger designed for lead only. Those do 13.8 or move around that area and are to high for LifePO4.
 

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here’s an interesting article, it covers everything from drop ins to building
 

stingray11

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I am by means no expert but I would think any lithium battery will start your boat motor but I think the problem arises of the charging system for the battery.

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HitIt

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I am by means no expert but I would think any lithium battery will start your boat motor
Negative. The BMS in the battery will trip on overcurrent conditions. If you wire enough of them in parallel so that you stay under the current rating for each battery then it would work.\

From Battleborn:
The BMS will not allow a current that exceeds 100 (+/- 5%) Amps for 30s, or 200 (+/- 10%) Amps for 0.5s. Although these thresholds have been verified with a DC load bank, the 30 second high current threshold may be reduced from 200A to around 150A for certain highly variable loads through an inverter – like a microwave or space heater. After a high current disconnection, the battery will automatically reconnect after 5 seconds.
 

mesquito_creek

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I am by means no expert but I would think any lithium battery will start your boat motor but I think the problem arises of the charging system for the battery.
I think you are pretty dead on... I am leaning toward a separate Lithium battery bank isolated from the motor batteries to run the house loads I.E. Stereo amps and refrigerators in my case. Size the lithium battery for a day of boating and charge with shore power or generator overnight.
 

outboard_256

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I am by means no expert but I would think any lithium battery will start your boat motor but I think the problem arises of the charging system for the battery.

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Not if it trips the BMS, then your dead in the water.
 
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