Re: drop LiFePo4 batteries vs LiFePo4 cells in a bundled pack #solution

Bill Kinney

I had someone contact me with that exact problem.  They have 24V LiFoPO batteries, and managed to drain their 12V starter battery to the point it wouldn't actually start the engine or the genset.  And they were in a remote place, and had guests arriving, and... you all know how it goes!

Jumping from the 12V converter for the SSB to the starter battery for a few hours managed to put enough power back into the starter battery it was able to crank the engines, and then get back into its normal cycle. Probably not a "recommended" practice, but in an emergency it worked.  Worth adding to the problem solving tool box.

A better long term solution would probably be to add a fixed battery-to-battery charger that can take the 24V from the main bank and keep the engine start battery topped up.  This might be especially important on boats with a lot of alternative energy inputs who can go long periods without firing the genset.  Also, a good idea to add instrumentation that allows more careful monitoring of the health of the starter battery. Regular load testing is definitely something to consider.  NOT a good idea to just ignore it until it doesn't work anymore. It might not work in a place where you really, really need it...

The loss of the quick, simple and easy jump start is a frequently missed cost of a complete Li conversion.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Simpson Bay Lagoon, Sint Maarten.

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