Re: Amel is going lithium

ngtnewington Newington

I have two Rutland 1200’s on Amelia mounted on the Solar Arch/Dingy davits.
They have been good and are near silent. My complaint is that they produce a resonance that is heard in the aft cabin. Near silent in the cockpit even is strong winds.
The original idea was to have each Rutland and one solar panel connected to the Rutland controller, but I was not happy with that set up as the controller got hot, so I ended up buying a Blue Sky controller for the solar  and 
sticking with a controller for each Rutland.
I think that they are pretty good value for money, but budget to buy separate a solar controller.
Amelia anchored Fiskardo 

On 13 Aug 2019, at 11:17, islandpearl2_sm2k332 <colin.d.streeter@...> wrote:

Hi Eric

I am very happy with the Rutland 1200 wind gens, and had researched these quite fully when we purchased back in April 2017. At that time all the reviews put them as one of the top three (Super Wind, D90, & Rutland 1200) but I would do the research again now, just to check if technology had advanced since, and if there are any better ones available in 2019? Obviously look at weight, output (at both low and high wind speeds), and particularly if it is still guaranteed at 45kts+ high wind speeds. Certainly, when I purchased, some were not covered for this and the Rutland 1200 was. The last thing you want when things are wild out there it to have to go out and tie-down the blades, especially if you put it on your mizzen mast!

Rutland had a two year warranty period when we purchased, and have now earned my respect since our two units have been faultless, other than the bearing in one unit (starboard side) did become noisy in a 50+ kts mid-Indian Ocean storm. I was not surprised (actually amazed the other one did not go too in those conditions!) but Rutland was excellent and fixed it, no questions asked, even though it was a year later and I informed them of the storm conditions. I had to ship it back to the UK, and they returned it to me with a new bearing installed when we reached South Africa. 

The one issue we had with Rutland was that the controller unit which comes with these is supposed to also be a solar controller. That feature could have been handy for us as we added more solar in Thailand and then again in the Caribbean, but when we tried to connect the new panels through the Rutland solar side of the controller we could not get it to work. I have since heard of another Amel having the same issue, possibly that was SV Perigree?

Best of luck with it Eric. If you install wind gens, you will no doubt also learn to love windy anchorages at night!  Finally I would certainly say do not bother to put just one unit one on your boat. To make it worthwhile two is far better, in fact, although it would look ridiculous, I would be sorely tempted to add a third unit if we do not sell and decide to do another lap of the world!

Colin Streeter
SV Island Pearl II

On Tue, Aug 13, 2019 at 8:15 PM eric freedman <kimberlite@...> wrote:

Hi Colin,

What model wind generator do you like?

Fair Winds


Kimberlite Amel Super Maramu #376



From: [] On Behalf Of islandpearl2_sm2k332
Sent: Thursday, August 08, 2019 10:10 PM
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Amel is going lithium


Hi Scott


Really interesting thread, thank you. We are following with interest.


After we met you at the Caribbean Amel Rally 2019 we took a late decision to do the Pacific this year, and end our circumnavigation in Nov 2019 instead of 2010. After this, we will probably sell Island Pearl II, but if we do not sell and decide to go around again instead, then adding Lithium batteries will certainly be the last of many upgrade steps to Island Pearl II. Based on this I would also be most interested in getting a copy of your upcoming Lithium report.


On Island Pearl II we have 1040w of solar, run through three separate solar controllers, plus two Rutland 1200 wind gens, and we now seldom use the genset. We have the same 100 Duo watermaker as you, plus do all cooking on our induction stove which is so much nicer than gas cooking. Gas is only for oven baking which we seldom do. To improve washing efficiency we recently upgraded the Amel supplied "Thompson" washing machine to a new "Bosch" as that comes with better cleaning and efficiency, and particularly has a dedicated special "cold water" washing cycle for doing our washing from batteries only.


As we near the end of our circumnavigation, we are now pretty close to running the boat "off the grid", but I have always thought that the final piece to the puzzle would be Lithium batteries, so look forward to reading your article and learning from your experiences.


By the way, in addition, I remain a total convert to the need for at least two good wind generators on any boat in order to reach a total off the grid experience. Litium could become the trup card that proves me wrong on this but I doubt it. These units are so now so quiet, that (other than visually) they go almost unnoticed. When one considers 50% of time is in darkness, and at least another 5% each per early morning and late afternoon low sun angle, leaves only 40% max (and that is on a sunny day!) with good solar production. Yes solar output completely outstrips that of wind power ten times over, but we would never again be without at least two latest models, high-efficiency good quality wind gen units aswell, which, for example, on night crossings on a beam reach, I often watch putting out 6amp each constantly, and then at anchor on cloudy/windy days (27 - 33kts) push out over 10amps each (x24v of course).


Watching with interest


Colin Streeter

SV Island Pearl II, sm #332

Niue, Pacific





On Fri, Aug 9, 2019 at 9:34 AM Scott SV Tengah <sv.tengah@...> wrote:


I can't really predict for you, but I would guess as long as you spend most of your time around 50% and don't let it drop below 30% very often, the 15-20 year lifetime sounds very realistic.

Keep in mind that ONE over voltage or ONE under voltage condition can irreversibly damage the cell and likely the battery. That's why the BMS is there but all the charging sources need to be able to cut off charging once the BMS tells them to do so. And if any of the cell voltages drop below the safe level per the BMS, there should be an automatic disconnect of all the loads. Given the way Amels are wired, this last part has been a struggle for me.

You ideally should keep it at 40-50% while its wintered. Whatever you do, don't keep it at 100%. The Victron chargers don't have a direct way to specify target SOC, so I had to find a workaround.

2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah



Colin Streeter

0411 016 445

Colin Streeter
0411 016 445

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