Anyone that has. bumped into me lately, has probably been bored sh*tless by me going on about these “bloody Lithiums”, so I thought I’d better do an update a year later and probably shut up about it.
So if you haven’t read it already, click here (Battery Replacement) if you have, then surprisingly it’s nearly a year since we made the decision to do it.
Have they worked? Was it the right choice? god yes! I cannot extol the benefits enough, now we’ve had them for nearly a year.
So how have we benefited?
- We lost weight – 50-60% lighter than our old Lead-acid, to have a lighter boat always better, the 4 wet cells weighed as much as having 2 extra people on board.
- We gained power – Typically you can use only 50% of your lead-acid battery, we regularly use ours down to 30% but could go even lower to 10% or 20% meaning a lot more power at your disposal.
- Faster Charging – we can recharge even faster and often reach 100% charge on good days with plenty of sun.
- Drop-in and forget – Completely maintenance-free.
So a statement I always get is either they’re dangerous and can catch fire, not true! Relion™ Lithiums (Lifepo4) is a completely different technology from your phone batteries and do not catch fire, beside the fact each battery has its on BMS that switches off the battery If they get too hot, overcharge or over-discharge. another common statement is “but it’s not just the batteries, it’s the cost of all the other changes I have to make to my charging kit!” this statement isn’t completely true.
- More often or not most boats are fitted with a mains charger capable of charging lithiums, if not you can often use the AGM or Gel settings, if your charger hasn’t got those settings then your charger is seriously old and you should seriously consider changing it out anyway.
- If you have solar then your MPPT should have Lithium settings
- If you want to charge your newly installed Lithiums with your engine alternator, then true enough an alternator without a means of controlling its output via an external regulator might be the extra bit of kit you would need to purchase if not certainly a voltage regulator.
To be truthful we are a very power-hungry boat, we are definitely a “luxuries of the land” afloat, we have TVs , PCs, phones to charge and other associated tech, we have induction hobs, microwave etc, we consume an average of 15 amps 24hrs a day, we have 1200ah of Lithiums, we have 1400w of solar, 500w of wind, a 160amp alternator and a 5kw generator, to keep us charged up so having a decent battery bank is paramount, If you are a long term cruiser and haven’t considered upgrading to Lithiums yet, give it some serious consideration, it will “change your cruising life”
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