Re: Converting my Amel 54 to lithium batteries: what I did, what I like and what I don't like (after one year of full time live aboard use)

Brent Cameron
 

Dan, there are lots of people on the internet who make it seem easy and claim a high degree of success with various implementations of LiFePO4 but I urge a high degree of caution.  There is a very good article by Compass Marine on the pitfalls of a build it yourself system (and things to look out for if you proceed)  https://marinehowto.com/lifepo4-batteries-on-boats/If you fully understand all of this, then have at it… but I’d be very cautious. 

Brent Cameron, Future Amel owner & Amel Owner's Registry Moderator

On Sep 6, 2019, 9:27 AM -0400, Dan Carlson <carlsdan61@...>, wrote:
Hi all,  I've been following the Lithium topic closely now and want to make the conversion this November when I return to BeBe.    As I have followed this thread and also talked with other cruisers that have converted in the past here are a couple questions that I would like to see some experience opinions on:
1)  Smart Batteries vs Smart BMS:  It seems most of the focus has been on the Smart Batteries from BattleBorn, Dragonfly or VE.  However, I have also come across some cruisers that have installed Winston or other LI batteries that are then controlled by a central BMS.  (this BMS will monitor each battery individually and can adjust the charge to the individual batteries to keep them in balance.  And then it also has over all cut in/cut out relays to protect the entire battery bank from over or under charge.   Has anyone had experience with this type of set up?
2) Big Box Charger vs Charger/Inverter:  So far the discussion has been dominated by the Victron Charger/Inverter set up.   One of my cruiser friends (non-Amel) has switched his boat over to keeping the chargers and inverters separate, with good logic.  He has redundant charging capabilities and then supplies all of his on-board 230 volt requirements from the inverter.  (He may have a jaded view as he lost his Big box charger/inverter a year or so ago and this convinced him that it was better not to have everything in one box).  Thoughts?  What would Henri Amel do?
3) Daily Life with LI:  At Anchor, Marina life, Passages, Storage?   I think battery management when I am active on the boat will be pretty straight-forward, but what I am less sure of is how to best manage the battery maintenance when I need to leave the boat for a period of time during the season, or when I put it up for and extended period (ie hurricane season), or  how to be confident that the batteries are not being over-charged in an extended motoring situation? 

Already the recent 'threads' are getting hard to navigate.   Would it make sense to divide some of these topics in separate threads?   i.e  batteries, charger/inverters, alternator controls, Life w/ LI?   

I really appreciate all the information that is available on this forum.  

Dan & Lori Carlson on SM#387, sv BeBe  - we have 405w of Solar and use about 4000 watts/day at anchor. 

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Brent Cameron

Future Amel Owner & Amel Owner Registry Moderator

Oro-Medonte, Ontario, Canada

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