LiFePo4 batteries: STERLING (with B2B charger) -vs- VITRON


Scott SV Tengah
 

Olivier - yes, you're right, the Victron system, as designed, doesn't just disconnect the faulty battery. The "load disconnect" signal from the Ve-BUS BMS triggers the BatteryProtect to disconnect all the loads that have been fed through the BP.

I agree that the safest approach is to run the genset when entering a marina. In my case, I rarely take by batteries below 40% SOC despite Victron telling me that I can take them down to 20% or even 0% with no damage. I guess I still have some lead in my head. :) One unintended side effect of being above 40% SOC is that the likelihood of the bow thruster causing a cell to drop below the low-voltage cutoff is very low. 

Dominique - I didn't have any challenges on the over voltage protection side.

Since I went full Victron, my Quattro and Skylla chargers are directly controlled by the Victron BMS, as is the Victron MPPT. At a cell over voltage/overheat event, the chargers are automatically turned off. As I wrote in an earlier post a few years back, I used a few relays to allow the BMS to control the "reg-on" wire of the Mastervolt Alpha Pro II alternator regulator, which safely turns off the alternator when cell voltage gets too high. Sounds like you solved the alternator problem using another BatteryProtect? Are you controlling the reg-on wire too?

As an aside, my Quattro will stop inverting in the event of a low cell voltage event. This could happen, for example, at a low SOC on unbalanced batteries if I'm running the scuba compressor and the washing machine is heating water and the admiral is busy listening to a podcast and turns on the boiler to make a cup of coffee.

My system is setup to protect its owners from their own mistakes, as I think all lithium systems should. 

--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com


Dominique Sery
 

Olivier,

Thank you for your answer i appreciate.
 
  With the Victron system I use, before the VE-BMS shuts down i had installed a very loud alarm activated by the Ve-bms, so you have time to start the generator or the Volvo to charge the batteries.
  And before that there is also another alarm with BMV 712 to inform you about low battery voltage or low charge percentage.
  I chose 20% as recommended by Victron.
  but I never use the battery bank below 30%, usually 50%.
 
  As my battery bank is 24v 600Ah, the risk is very low, I always have 200 or 300Ah minimum.
 
   The electronics are not yet protected, I hesitate to put another BP at the bus bar under the radar.

For me the biggest problem is not the low voltage but the over voltage with the alternator or the chargers, i changed the Dolphin chargers for Victron special lithium and compatible with the Ve-BMS or the chargers  which requires a special installation which I made (with smart BP to control the alphapro regulator with my smartphone) and to use with the Masterajust software.


Best wishes
Dominique


Olivier Beaute
 

Hello Dominique,

I understand what you mean.
This also means that if one battery is out of order (or too hot) , the whole 24V panel in galley is disabled (losing nav lights and auto-pilot).
Fortunately the electric bilge pump and VHF circuits don't belong to this panel. 
But the navigation lights do. You should probably wire them separately to the 24V positive bus (nav lights, mooring light and steaming light). The autopilot shutting off may also start an alarm on your navigation systems (Chart-plotter), which will add to the confusion when it happens.

The better would be that your system shuts down only the faulty battery (but I'm not sure this is possible, according to what Scott said).
As Scott said also, the situation where one battery is close to low voltage and you're manoeuvering in a harbor with a lot of wind, using a lot the bowthruster, your system may suddenly shut off all the systems you need (including the bow-thruster and an emergency drop of the anchor with the windlass). My advice then is to always start the generator with one or two battery chargers ON, when enetring a marina, so that the voltage drop (because of the bow-thruster) is not too high.

I think the first time I will check a "home made" Lithium battery conversion, I will have to scratch my head a lot!!!

Cheers.

Olivier.

On Monday, August 15, 2022 at 10:55:36 AM GMT+2, Dominique Sery via groups.io <dominiquesery@...> wrote:


Hello Olivier,

yes, it works fine on my boat. The « cockpit controls » shut down if the Ve bms voltage is disconnected. I tried it. With the Ve-bms on, every thing works. If i disconnect the signal from the Ve-bms all the big loads are off (bow thruster , windlasses , electric winches , all the motors that needs the « command cockpit » on at the 24v panel).
i use also a battery protect 65 to drive my alternator (24 v Mastervolt)
best regards
Dominique

Mon anglais n’étant pas fameux, je vous réponds également en français pour éviter toute confusion.
Bonjour Olivier, je vous assure que ça fonctionne bien. Le Battery protect est activé par un courant 24v qui vient du Ve-bms Victron. Tous les disjoncteurs du tableau 24 v sont opérationnels. Si le Ve-bms se met en alerte de tension d’une cellule de batterie basse (ou de température) il désactive le courant qui active le BP 220, immédiatement tout le tableau 24 volts est éteint, y compris le disjoncteur « commandes cockpit » alors les gros consommateurs voient leur alimentation éteinte et ne fonctionnent plus. Je viens de refaire un essai à l’instant, le propulseur et les winchs en cours de fonctionnement s’arrêtent immédiatement dès que le BP 220 ne reçoit plus la commande du Ve-bms,
J’utilise le même système pour contrôler mon alternateur Mastervolt 24 avec un smart BP 65 qui me permet en plus d’arrêter mon alternateur avec mon téléphone (une alarme sonore sur le BMV 712 à 27,6 v 95% de charge) lors des navigations au moteur prolongées.
Amicalement à vous
Dominique


Dominique Sery
 

Hello Olivier,

yes, it works fine on my boat. The « cockpit controls » shut down if the Ve bms voltage is disconnected. I tried it. With the Ve-bms on, every thing works. If i disconnect the signal from the Ve-bms all the big loads are off (bow thruster , windlasses , electric winches , all the motors that needs the « command cockpit » on at the 24v panel).
i use also a battery protect 65 to drive my alternator (24 v Mastervolt)
best regards
Dominique

Mon anglais n’étant pas fameux, je vous réponds également en français pour éviter toute confusion.
Bonjour Olivier, je vous assure que ça fonctionne bien. Le Battery protect est activé par un courant 24v qui vient du Ve-bms Victron. Tous les disjoncteurs du tableau 24 v sont opérationnels. Si le Ve-bms se met en alerte de tension d’une cellule de batterie basse (ou de température) il désactive le courant qui active le BP 220, immédiatement tout le tableau 24 volts est éteint, y compris le disjoncteur « commandes cockpit » alors les gros consommateurs voient leur alimentation éteinte et ne fonctionnent plus. Je viens de refaire un essai à l’instant, le propulseur et les winchs en cours de fonctionnement s’arrêtent immédiatement dès que le BP 220 ne reçoit plus la commande du Ve-bms,
J’utilise le même système pour contrôler mon alternateur Mastervolt 24 avec un smart BP 65 qui me permet en plus d’arrêter mon alternateur avec mon téléphone (une alarme sonore sur le BMV 712 à 27,6 v 95% de charge) lors des navigations au moteur prolongées.
Amicalement à vous
Dominique


Olivier Beaute
 

Hello Dominique,

Your Victron BP220, as it is connected on your pictures, does not protect the batteries against the big loads/amperage. The bus where it is connected feeds only small loads (lights, fridges, solenoids for big loads, autopilot and all the items connected to the galley 24V panel).
If you want to protect your batteries from the big loads (bow-thruster, winches, furlers, windlass, etc...), you need to install a battery protector at the source, which means close to the battery bank and using the big 24V positive cable. 
And if you do that with your BP 220,  you will see that it will blow because of the 500amps of the bow-thruster...

Olivier



On Monday, August 15, 2022 at 07:32:33 AM GMT+2, Dominique Sery via groups.io <dominiquesery@...> wrote:


Hello Scott, 

I confirm that there is no problem with the battery protect 220. I use it as a protection for the whole 24 volts circuit, including the bowthruster (480 A), the windlasses, the electric winches...
I installed it in the cabinet above the sink. I put the 24 volt inlet on the Battery Protect inlet and the outlet on the 24 v panel inlet. The BP is controlled by the Ve-BMS. 
It works perfectly in my boat, it's the relays of the controls of the big consumers that are activated/deactivated so low consumption.
I think that the BP 220 is overdimensioned.
I had bought it thinking to install it near the batteries but it is not possible, too low power.
I hope this will help you.

Dominique
Some pictures


Dominique Sery
 

Hello Scott, 

I confirm that there is no problem with the battery protect 220. I use it as a protection for the whole 24 volts circuit, including the bowthruster (480 A), the windlasses, the electric winches...
I installed it in the cabinet above the sink. I put the 24 volt inlet on the Battery Protect inlet and the outlet on the 24 v panel inlet. The BP is controlled by the Ve-BMS. 
It works perfectly in my boat, it's the relays of the controls of the big consumers that are activated/deactivated so low consumption.
I think that the BP 220 is overdimensioned.
I had bought it thinking to install it near the batteries but it is not possible, too low power.
I hope this will help you.

Dominique
Some pictures


Scott SV Tengah
 

Lifepo4 has been around since 1996, so I am not sure why people consider it "new technology that needs to mature", but that's besides the point.

I looked at these Sterling batteries and talked to the distributor back when I was selecting my Lifepo4 batteries in 2018. I opted for Victron for various reasons. I loathe so-called drop in solutions once I did a bit of research on these batteries. Victron is not perfect, but I like the more comprehensive thinking put into their systems. Insurance will likely be happier with a CE certified, comprehensive system designed to work together, for those of you hesitating due to that.

As to Dean's comment about the BP220 not being stout enough, I can attest to that. I didn't even need to try using the BT - the hydraulic passerrelle, which I believe is around 2000w, was enough to melt the BP220. The startup surge probably did it. We have not satisfactorily solved the hypothetical cell low voltage issue but I believe the brute force "load disconnect" option is not ideal. 

Dominique, I believe, found a solution whereby he fed the low current 24v control wires at the 24v panel through the BP220. I think that's a better solution as long as you are selective. In other words, don't load disconnect everything as many systems do. 

The nightmare scenario is that you're sailing along at night in a gale and due to the admiral (or yourself) running 5kw worth of appliances intermittently, over the last few weeks and not bothering to top balance the batteries, your batteries become unbalanced. You're at 25% SOC but one of the 24 cells in your bank has hit the low voltage cutoff limit. Your BMS cuts all power and you lose nav/lighting/autopilot. Oh and you have a leak in your engine room and your bilge pump just lost all power, too. Not ideal, imo.

An ideal solution, which is on my task list, is to use the pre-alarm output of the Victron BMS to either (1) sound an alarm and/or (2) start the generator and charge the batteries to say 80%SOC. That solves your low voltage problem vs. just cutting your loads. You can program the CELL voltage level to trigger this alarm, which will obviously be higher than the level that triggers a full disconnect.

In terms of segregating uses that may be safely disconnected, I believe I would limit it to fridges/freezers and freshwater pump. With a pre-alarm, you should know not to run your bow thruster until you charge the batteries. If you are away from the boat when the low voltage disconnect trips, I would rather not disconnect the bilge pump. Cheaper to replace some batteries than deal with the ramifications of a bilge pump that was needed, but not working.

Hope this helps.


On Fri, Aug 12, 2022 at 07:13 PM, David Vogel wrote:
https://sterling-power.com/products/lithium-batteries

 
--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com


Dean Gillies
 

David,
Can you expand on why the Sterling LFP "Drop in" is a better drop in solution than other drop ins?
I can't see any particular capability gap on my brief look.

The DC-DC converter looks like a powerful beast, although I suspect you would need to limit its output when charging LFP continuously for long periods.

Incidentally, I'm sure you know, but the BP220 will smoke itself if you connect your bowthruster through it. Scott from SV Tengah may have a solution to that issue, not sure how he solved it.

Cheers

--
Dean Gillies
SV Stella *****,  Amel 54-154


David Vogel
 

Hi all,

The Lithium thread seems to have gone quiet for a few days, so I restart with an inquiry.

Background: I am presently happy with my 10x Firefly (carbon-foam), whilst awaiting until the Lithium technology and experience matures a little more (and, until I need to change). But incrementally upgrading systems and equipment in anticipation (e.g., 2x induction cook-tops, now installing electric oven, increasing solar capacity and increasing inverting capacity). I recently became away of the Sterling (AMPS) AL24150, nominal capacity 150Ah @ 24v [https://sterling-power.com/products/lithium-batteries]. Which, according to some, can be an “almost” drop-in replacement without the additional 'system' BMS and switch gear on the charge and supply sides, as might be warranted for a VITRON setup (see below). Or, used in parallel with a conventional lead-acid batty bank (with a battery-to-battery charger, such as the Sterling BB242435), with little or no other alternations tot the main DC bus and distribution cabling. Ref: https://marinehowto.com/understanding-the-sterling-power-pro-batt-ultra-battery-to-battery-charger/

Q: Does anyone have experience with such a system on their AMEL?

Thanks, in anticipation,

David
SM#396, Perigee
NZ


Equipment List - Victron Lithium Upgrade
•      2x LiFePO4 Battery 25.6V/200Ah - Smart
•      Li-Distribution Positive Busbar, & Fuses
•      Main DC Distribution Positive Busbar, & Fuses
•      Central Negative Busbar
•      BMS: VE.Bus BMS (BMS300200000)
•      Load side protection: Victron Smart Battery Protector 12/24V 220A (BPR122022000)
o   Note: NonSMART: BatteryProtect 12/24V-220A BPR000220400, cannot be programmed by BT
•      Charge side protection: Cyrix Li Charge 230 (CYR010230430; or a further Smart Battery Protect 220)
•      Protection of Alternator against load-dump