Topics

Amel is going lithium

Scott SV Tengah
 

It appears the new Amel 60 is going with 720ah of lithium batteries and as a result getting an electric oven and induction cooking.

https://www.wilkinsonmarine.com/store/p115/AMEL_60.html

Thoughts?

As someone who has had 450ah of lithium for about a year now, I can say it has been transformative and I'm glad Amel finally moved in that direction. The ability to run all the 220v appliances (via our 5kw inverter) on battery has been life changing, to quote the admiral. We try not to use the Eno stove now and prefer to cook electrically.

It was not an easy process and I had to "guide" the marine electricians quite a bit as they are used to lead acid/agm thinking, which in many ways, doesn't apply to lithium. 

Some advantages we've noticed:

- 20% increase in solar panel / 220v charger efficiency. There's only about 3% loss charging lithium vs. 20%+ for lead acid/agm/gel
- we can run the aft cabin AC all night on battery
- we can run the windlass and bow thruster with the engine off
- with 200amps of 220v chargers, we run the Onan for maybe 30 minutes every few days
- we can make 900 liters of water (say overnight) on battery

If anyone is contemplating it, I can try to do a writeup on our setup (we changed 220v chargers, alternator charge controller, wiring) and what worked and what isn't perfect. 

Very glad to see Amel has incorporated it in their 60 and hopefully other boats going forward. 

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

Porter McRoberts
 

Really considering this Scott, I’d love to see a write up. Do you have the duo or the 230/50hz only dessalator?  Very tempting I must say. This and a little wind generator and I think with our 3 panels we might truly be off the grid. 
Thank you 

Porter

A54-152

Excuse the errors.  
Sent from my IPhone 

On Aug 4, 2019, at 4:32 PM, Scott SV Tengah <sv.tengah@...> wrote:

It appears the new Amel 60 is going with 720ah of lithium batteries and as a result getting an electric oven and induction cooking.

https://www.wilkinsonmarine.com/store/p115/AMEL_60.html

Thoughts?

As someone who has had 450ah of lithium for about a year now, I can say it has been transformative and I'm glad Amel finally moved in that direction. The ability to run all the 220v appliances (via our 5kw inverter) on battery has been life changing, to quote the admiral. We try not to use the Eno stove now and prefer to cook electrically.

It was not an easy process and I had to "guide" the marine electricians quite a bit as they are used to lead acid/agm thinking, which in many ways, doesn't apply to lithium. 

Some advantages we've noticed:

- 20% increase in solar panel / 220v charger efficiency. There's only about 3% loss charging lithium vs. 20%+ for lead acid/agm/gel
- we can run the aft cabin AC all night on battery
- we can run the windlass and bow thruster with the engine off
- with 200amps of 220v chargers, we run the Onan for maybe 30 minutes every few days
- we can make 900 liters of water (say overnight) on battery

If anyone is contemplating it, I can try to do a writeup on our setup (we changed 220v chargers, alternator charge controller, wiring) and what worked and what isn't perfect. 

Very glad to see Amel has incorporated it in their 60 and hopefully other boats going forward. 

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

Arno Luijten
 

Hi Scott,

Yes, I would be interested as well. I noticed in the very extensive description of the A60 that the now incorporate a fan inside the battery compartment. I wonder what led to this.
I’m considering to build my own bank using the Chinese Wilson cells. Fun fact; the (very expensive) Mastervolt Lithium batteries also use these cells but hide them in a Mastervolt box.

My biggest issue with the whole Lithium story is that Lithium batteries should ideally be disconnected from the charger once they are full. The concept of “float” does not apply to Lithium batteries. Now this becomes an issue if you are long term on shore power. I know not all Amels do this but for us this is reality. The way to solve this is to toggle the charger (using a breaker relay) and keep the loads on the battery side or disconnect the batteries and keep the loads on the charger side.
Both have drawbacks.
The first adds lots of small cycles to the batteries. Also you need to decide when to resume recharging (by programming the BMS, the Battery Management System)
The second assumes your charger can handle all the 24 volt power needs when connected to shore-power. Also you need to reconnect the batteries very fast if shore-power is interrupted (planned or unplanned) to prevent several of the 24 volt systems to suffer from power interruption (fridges don’t like that for example).
Most “drop in replacement” solutions are designed without a clear explanation how they handle this problem. When building your own battery pack you can buy many different BMS systems. Most of them are designed of off-grid living (on land) and do not address this issue as it not relevant for them.

So I’m curious what you all did to be “Living on Lithium”.

Regards,

Arno Luijten,
SV Luna,
A54-121

SY STELLA
 

Hi Scott,
There is no doubt that Lithium is the future direction, so it’s great to see Amel moving that way. 
I would personally love to see a write up on your installation for the 54. It’s great to see those little (and not so little!) practical improvements that you mention. 

As someone who gets concerned when my (AGM) bank drops under 85%, I can only imagine a world where I could (in theory) get 4 or 5 times the power from a full charge.

i wonder if Tuen Baas (Amelit) would also care to chime in here? I know that the previous owner of the 54 Amelit installed Lithium batteries, and I understand it did not work out, but I don’t know the exact reason. 

All great and interesting stuff!

Dean
SY Stella A54-154

Scott SV Tengah
 
Edited

Porter,

I have the Duo and generally make water using the batteries. Something about running the genset, putting all that soot in the water and then sucking it up to make water makes me nervous! I run the water maker as 220v now and then to keep things from corroding from non-use.

How many Ah do you get a day from your wind generator on average? We get about 200-250AH a day from our solar panels and it's nearly enough. I'm at the point now where I worry that we're not using the genset enough and it'll develop problems from non-use.

But as they say, energy is like money. You think you'll be happy with X but then you get to X and you think, but if I only I had Y more, I would have enough. :)
--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
www.svtengah.com

Scott SV Tengah
 

Arno,

The small cycles don't really bother lithium. Granted this is only one biased source but I've seen plenty of other non-biased sources stating the same. 

https://gwl-power.tumblr.com/post/130701906811/faq-lifepo4-cycle-life-based-on-dod-the-graph

We typically try to go no lower than 70% DOD and that should get us thousands and thousands of cycles. That is over 10 years even as full time liveaboards.

One solution, which requires some experimentation, is to set lower absorption voltages. It's not super easy as lithium doesn't drop in voltage much as you draw them down or even when you have high current draws, for that matter. So it's hard to pick a voltage to get your target state of charge level. But based on my observations, if you set around 27.2V absorption on my Victron lifepo4 batteries, that should get you around 50-60% state of charge, near ideal for long term storage and hence the ideal "full" level when you're on shore power.



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

Scott SV Tengah
 

Dean,

I'll try to write something up over the next week or so. Honestly, I'm very particular about my battery bank since it wasn't cheap and I only get nervous when it goes below 25% state of charge. All the literature tells me that even at 20% SOC, you're going to get 2000 cycles out of your batteries, but my concern is that the reported SOC is a bit of an average. Each battery has 4 cells and I have 6 batteries, so if one of those 24 cells drops below 2.5v or so, it could damage that cell and hence the 4-cell battery irreversibly. The SOC number doesn't reflect individual cell voltages, only the bank as a whole.

Of course I have a BMS that monitors individual cells, but given the way an Amel is wired, even that solution isn't perfect. I will expand on that in my longer post explaining my system and the challenges I faced. But for me, to be safe, I start up the genset if the bank drops below 25%. 

I am considering adding an automatic trigger to start the genset at 25% state of charge and stop the genset at 75% SOC. But that presents other problems, so I'm hesitating. 

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

Paul Brown
 

Hi,

As comment,

I am not so technically minded and have always been under knowledgeable when it comes to boat batterie systems and the carful management required in my 15 years of ownership with power boats and yachts.

Last year in April 2018 I purchased my first Amel, an A55#17 launched 2013 and in 2015 the owner upgraded the entire system to a lithium 720ah Mastervolt. With the purchase I gained a life changing experience, in the respect we constantly run the house down close to 20% before recharging by genset or underway and now I have upgraded the solar to Mastervolt management and Panasonic 550W panels, generally we can live on anchor 12+ days before recharge or making water or running Airconditioning or washing machine or sail for 4+ days using electric winches and navigation equipment constantly, which is very satisfactory I feel. I figure if I could double my solar I may not require additional generation of electricity and perhaps not require a genset at all, with some further modifications to the 220v appliances 

I look forward to what’s after lithium and would recommend mastervolt and their lithium and management systems

Of course this is only my experience and opinion 

Regards Paul - Fortuna II A55#17




On 5 Aug 2019, at 11:20 pm, Scott SV Tengah <sv.tengah@...> wrote:

Dean,

I'll try to write something up over the next week or so. Honestly, I'm very particular about my battery bank since it wasn't cheap and I only get nervous when it goes below 25% state of charge. All the literature tells me that even at 20% SOC, you're going to get 2000 cycles out of your batteries, but my concern is that the reported SOC is a bit of an average. Each battery has 4 cells and I have 6 batteries, so if one of those 24 cells drops below 2.5v or so, it could damage that cell and hence the 4-cell battery irreversibly. The SOC number doesn't reflect individual cell voltages, only the bank as a whole.

Of course I have a BMS that monitors individual cells, but given the way an Amel is wired, even that solution isn't perfect. I will expand on that in my longer post explaining my system and the challenges I faced. But for me, to be safe, I start up the genset if the bank drops below 25%. 

I am considering adding an automatic trigger to start the genset at 25% state of charge and stop the genset at 75% SOC. But that presents other problems, so I'm hesitating. 

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

Scott SV Tengah
 

Paul, 

You're running all of those appliances during your 12+ day intervals between running genset? 

I have 960w and can put in 200-250ah a day. I may upgrade and add another 400w on the bimini but I fear I'll just upgrade my usage too! 
--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com

Paul Brown
 

Scott,  

No I don’t run any appliances that require the genset usually until the batteries require charging then I make water etc, of course if I require the aircon I need to run the genset


Regards Paul 


On 6 Aug 2019, at 2:50 am, Scott SV Tengah <sv.tengah@...> wrote:

Paul, 

You're running all of those appliances during your 12+ day intervals between running genset? 

I have 960w and can put in 200-250ah a day. I may upgrade and add another 400w on the bimini but I fear I'll just upgrade my usage too! 
--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com

hanspeter baettig
 

Hi Scott
amazing
so on your electric solar system you produce an average of 8.3 A on 24 v
! even by night!
Tell us what special kind of solar panal you use !
And btw you use the Duo watermaker (60 or 100 l/h ? )only via the batteries?
No engine or genset on ?
The watermaker use about 25 a at 24 volt. Really I‘m interested to know more
about your new tecnical installation
again amazing ?!?
regards Hanspeter
SM 16, Tamango 2
Trinidad by Peake
PS
Dear Bill R.
please comment

------ Original Nachricht ------
Am Montag, 5. Aug, 2019 um 23:04, Scott SV Tengah schrieb:

[Edited Message Follows]

Porter,

I have the Duo and generally make water using the batteries. Something about running the genset, putting all that soot in the water and then sucking it up to make water makes me nervous! I run the water maker as 220v now and then to keep things from corroding from non-use.

How many Ah do you get a day from your wind generator on average? We get about 200-250AH a day from our solar panels and it's nearly enough. I'm at the point now where I worry that we're not using the genset enough and it'll develop problems from non-use.

But as they say, energy is like money. You think you'll be happy with X but then you get to X and you think, but if I only I had Y more, I would have enough. :)
--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
www.svtengah.com

Scott SV Tengah
 

Hanspeter,

Given the tone of your message, I get the impression that you're quite argumentative. I'm not interested in getting into an internet urination contest, so I'll just provide data and verifiable facts for you.

First, you are close to correct in the water maker calc. Yes, I make water on battery alone, generally with a fully charged battery. I am not on the boat now - damn hurricane season, but the manual tells me the 24v duo 100 motor draws 600watts. Lithium fully charged is 3.6 volts per cell and has a very small voltage drop on such a small load given my 450ah/24 bank. Even the windlass doesn't result in a huge voltage drop. People who have not used lithium are amazed when they see that. So we'll be conservative and use your 25 amps per hour. I average about 80l/hr from my Duo100. That's 11.25 hours to fill up an empty water tank. The Peukert effect is negligible on a lifepo4 battery, another surprise for many so 25*11.25 = 281.25AH.  Given my battery bank is 450AH, the battery bank still has 60% left after making water for almost half a day.

For the solar panels, I'll just attach the latest data output from my Victron solar charge controller. I use LG Neon2 320w panels x 3. 

Fair winds,

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

Scott SV Tengah
 

Paul,

You should try to run one of the AC units on battery for a few hours one night. Once the room is cooled (aft cabin in our case), the compressor duty cycle is 25-35% in my experience. Of course, we don't set it to upper-Siberia temperatures. :)
--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com

Paul Brown
 

Scott, unfortunately my aircon and washing machine and water maker does not work of my inverter otherwise I’d love to, maybe I can upgrade my inverter and wire them in to the 720ah lithium 24v system 

Regards Paul 



On 6 Aug 2019, at 6:21 pm, Scott SV Tengah <sv.tengah@...> wrote:

Paul,

You should try to run one of the AC units on battery for a few hours one night. Once the room is cooled (aft cabin in our case), the compressor duty cycle is 25-35% in my experience. Of course, we don't set it to upper-Siberia temperatures. :)
--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com

Scott SV Tengah
 

Paul,

At the risk of costing you some money on upgrades, I will say that being able to run all the 220v appliances without the genset is one of the biggest advantages of having lithium. Especially the washing machine as it takes such a long time and has such variable draw but a low average draw, so you're unnecessarily adding runtime to the genset unless you batch it with a lot of other uses.

We have the Victron Quattro 24v/5000va/120amp. At 5000watts, more or less, the only 220v appliance that won't run is the Bauer Junior II scuba compressor. And that's only due to the startup current required. I can probably start the scuba compressor with the genset and continue with the inverter. With your mostly Mastervolt setup, I'd suggest sticking to Mastervolt so the batteries can talk to the inverter. But I'm sure Mastervolt has a similar product.

The danger of having that much inverter capacity is that people sometimes think it's really like being at home. The admiral has been known to run the electric boiler, induction stovetop and microwave at the same time on battery/inverter. With respect to the batteries, it's only around half the recommended continuous draw, but it still makes me cringe!

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

Porter McRoberts
 

Here’s the lithium difference: we also have about the same solar 3x LG315s. We’re in FP. Nice sunny days. 
Attached is our last month. We just can’t absorb the energy like a lithium, we go between 100 and 80% and run the generator about a half hour a day in average. 

See attachment

image1.png



Porter A54-152

Excuse the errors.  
Sent from my IPhone 

On Aug 6, 2019, at 6:31 AM, Paul Brown <feeder.brown@...> wrote:

Scott, unfortunately my aircon and washing machine and water maker does not work of my inverter otherwise I’d love to, maybe I can upgrade my inverter and wire them in to the 720ah lithium 24v system 

Regards Paul 



On 6 Aug 2019, at 6:21 pm, Scott SV Tengah <sv.tengah@...> wrote:

Paul,

You should try to run one of the AC units on battery for a few hours one night. Once the room is cooled (aft cabin in our case), the compressor duty cycle is 25-35% in my experience. Of course, we don't set it to upper-Siberia temperatures. :)
--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com

hanspeter baettig
 

Scott
sorry You completely misunderstand me
and
I do not like your message towards me!Thats not the way we comunicate within this forum !

I only ask you how you can handel your battery capacity. I‘m an owner of a SM Nr.16 since 25 Years and I never heard from other Amel Owners, even not from Amel , what you ! can do with your Lithium Power Bank
anyway fair winds and good luck
Hanspeter
SM16
Tamango 2
Trinidad

------ Original Nachricht ------
Am Dienstag, 6. Aug, 2019 um 18:20, Scott SV Tengah schrieb:

Hanspeter,

Given the tone of your message, I get the impression that you're quite argumentative. I'm not interested in getting into an internet urination contest, so I'll just provide data and verifiable facts for you.

First, you are close to correct in the water maker calc. Yes, I make water on battery alone, generally with a fully charged battery. I am not on the boat now - damn hurricane season, but the manual tells me the 24v duo 100 motor draws 600watts. Lithium fully charged is 3.6 volts per cell and has a very small voltage drop on such a small load given my 450ah/24 bank. Even the windlass doesn't result in a huge voltage drop. People who have not used lithium are amazed when they see that. So we'll be conservative and use your 25 amps per hour. I average about 80l/hr from my Duo100. That's 11.25 hours to fill up an empty water tank. The Peukert effect is negligible on a lifepo4 battery, another surprise for many so 25*11.25 = 281.25AH.  Given my battery bank is 450AH, the battery bank still has 60% left after making water for almost half a day.

For the solar panels, I'll just attach the latest data output from my Victron solar charge controller. I use LG Neon2 320w panels x 3. 

Fair winds,

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

Paul Brown
 

Hey Scott, thank you and I was figuring a 5000w inverter upgrade (Maybe a 7500w when available)to run all from 24v when possible, I too have a Bauer junior. I guess then genset is still a great reliable generation item and needed for those jobs, but’s it is great to live off batteries most of the time and look forward to the day when it’s easy.

Nice sharing with you and thanks for the advice 

Regards Paul Fortuna II A55#17


On 6 Aug 2019, at 8:36 pm, Scott SV Tengah <sv.tengah@...> wrote:

Paul,

At the risk of costing you some money on upgrades, I will say that being able to run all the 220v appliances without the genset is one of the biggest advantages of having lithium. Especially the washing machine as it takes such a long time and has such variable draw but a low average draw, so you're unnecessarily adding runtime to the genset unless you batch it with a lot of other uses.

We have the Victron Quattro 24v/5000va/120amp. At 5000watts, more or less, the only 220v appliance that won't run is the Bauer Junior II scuba compressor. And that's only due to the startup current required. I can probably start the scuba compressor with the genset and continue with the inverter. With your mostly Mastervolt setup, I'd suggest sticking to Mastervolt so the batteries can talk to the inverter. But I'm sure Mastervolt has a similar product.

The danger of having that much inverter capacity is that people sometimes think it's really like being at home. The admiral has been known to run the electric boiler, induction stovetop and microwave at the same time on battery/inverter. With respect to the batteries, it's only around half the recommended continuous draw, but it still makes me cringe!

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

Scott SV Tengah
 

Porter,

You've astutely pointed out one of the major advantages of Lifepo4. 

Charging your lead (?) batteries between 80-100% maximizes their longevity but results in them having trouble accepting even mid-day full current from your panels. With lifepo4, it can accept full current until high 90s state of charge. 

As a corollary, we have 220v chargers that total 200amps. The batteries accept the full current up until 95-98% and that's why our genset runtime is so short. Add in the charging efficiency with only 3% lost through heat vs. 20%+ on lead and it makes a huge difference on both genset usage and solar charging efficiency. 

PS - are you running the 3 panels serial or parallel? If you aren't sure, you can check the voltages on the numerical data. 





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

Scott SV Tengah
 

I am not familiar with the sizing on the Mastervolt inverter/chargers, but for Victron their 8000va model was too heavy for my piece of mind. 

Agree with you on keeping the genset. I rarely run it but I'm happy we have it. It's not always sunny. :)
--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com