I know, I know, this Episode is a bit dry.
It´s about boat works again.
But we got many requests for more detailed description about the setup of our Lithium batteries. That power Vela Nautica and provide electric comfort even when we anchor.
So its more interesting for boaters who like to improve their boats.
Paul from S/Y Ya Fohi even traveled down to our anchorage at the Algarve to look at the installation in person.
One important aspect to many request was also the price tag.
Most sailors are not rich, so to invest in an expensive standard batterie system,
as offered by some companies, is out of question.
We found a way to get a maybe even better performing batterie and BMS for our boat, for a fraction of the price, like usualy offered.
We got offers, asking 12.000,- €, only for the batteries half the size of ours, plus nessesary electronics.
If you pull these offeres you might well come up with a fianal price of 15k to 20k.
We considered of course also the safty aspect and implemented all kind of fall backs to prevent casualties.
The chemistry of our batterie is Litium Ferro Polymer 4, wich is different from the batteries used in Laptops or mobiles.
A LiFePo4 batterie, when damaged, shortcut, thrown in fires, or similar accidents, does not explode.
They get up to 180 dregree Celsius warm and smoke but no flames.
Under the bottom line we are very happy about our decision to change from lead acid to Lithium.
Our old lead acid batteries needed a permanent eye on them that they are not low discharged under 60 % and get damaged.
To recharge the was an endless story running the generator and try to get somehow the last 10% in by wind and solar.
The point was that lead acid does not acept the charging current freely and the more full they become the less current they accept.
An other bad habit of lead acid is, that you need to pump 30% more energy into the batterie then you will get out afterwards.
Our Lithium batteries give us, more or less, all the energy back that was used to charge them.
We charge now with 120 A current continously until the end of charge.
They accept the complete charging power until SOC (State of Charge) 100%.
In the end all the solar and windpower produced by Vela Nautica is used, without 30% loss, to charge the batteries.
If that is not enough, because we use a lot of power, we top up with the generator for max. 30 min a day if we did not use our water maker.
If we did use the watermaker we need to run the genset for about an hour, what eaquals of 2 hours watermaker or 180 liters of drinking water.
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