lithium battery warning


Eric Meury
 

take this for what it is worth.  

This may be a new reality.  but it is information you can decide what is best for you.  I posted this on the Amel FB group

LIthium battery warning!!!!
background : We are considering selling our santorin and looking at French Alum. Centerboard Sloops. In my research, i decided to call our insurance "the jackline" THE FIRST QUESTIONS SHE ASKED ME was "what type of batteries does the boat have" The very first! .... this prompted a discussion and these are what she said for the boats to be underwirtten. This is a big deal for even those Amels that have converted already. When you want to sell others may not be able to bind coverage. This changes my thoughts regarding intalling lithium in our current boat or any possible boat we purchase.
These are the rules.
lithium batteries have to bms. can't be self installed, and have to be installed by US person that has experience, and the value of the boat has to be under 150k.


Michael Markstaller
 

Sorry, this is IMHO just GOSSIP for making poeple crazy/scary!
LiFeYPO4 batteries are even safer than GEL/AGM, muuch more powerful and
resistant against cycles/deep discharge.
Yes, one needs a BMS for every cell, like it (should!) be for every
other battery.

But I'm looking forward for my 800Ah @ 12V to arrive soon and install
with > 1kWp PV :-)


greets, Michael


Am 03.08.21 um 17:58 schrieb Eric Meury:

take this for what it is worth.  

This may be a new reality.  but it is information you can decide what is
best for you.  I posted this on the Amel FB group

LIthium battery warning!!!!
background : We are considering selling our santorin and looking at
French Alum. Centerboard Sloops. In my research, i decided to call our
insurance "the jackline" THE FIRST QUESTIONS SHE ASKED ME was "what type
of batteries does the boat have" The very first! .... this prompted a
discussion and these are what she said for the boats to be underwirtten.
This is a big deal for even those Amels that have converted already.
When you want to sell others may not be able to bind coverage. This
changes my thoughts regarding intalling lithium in our current boat or
any possible boat we purchase.
These are the rules.
lithium batteries have to bms. can't be self installed, and have to be
installed by US person that has experience, and the value of the boat
has to be under 150k.
--
Für Rückfragen stehe ich jederzeit gerne zur Verfügung.

Mit freundlichen Grüssen

Michael Markstaller
Softwareentwicklung & IT-Dienstleistungen

Am Birkengarten 19b
82024 Taufkirchen
Tel: +49-89-21553825, Mobile: +49-179-2080789
USt-ID: DE293191950
--
Daniela & Michael
Blue Horizon - EUROS #215


Mark Erdos
 

This is going to continue to grow as an issue for people with lithium battery installations (especially those who self installed). The ABYC now has TE-13 which specifies notifications (visual and/or audible) prior to BMS disconnect. Only a few high end UL listed LiFePo4 batteries have this feature.

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Tahiti, French Polynesia

www.creampuff.us

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io [mailto:main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io] On Behalf Of Eric Meury
Sent: Tuesday, August 3, 2021 5:58 AM
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: [AmelYachtOwners] lithium battery warning

 

take this for what it is worth.  

This may be a new reality.  but it is information you can decide what is best for you.  I posted this on the Amel FB group

LIthium battery warning!!!!

background : We are considering selling our santorin and looking at French Alum. Centerboard Sloops. In my research, i decided to call our insurance "the jackline" THE FIRST QUESTIONS SHE ASKED ME was "what type of batteries does the boat have" The very first! .... this prompted a discussion and these are what she said for the boats to be underwirtten. This is a big deal for even those Amels that have converted already. When you want to sell others may not be able to bind coverage. This changes my thoughts regarding intalling lithium in our current boat or any possible boat we purchase.

These are the rules.

lithium batteries have to bms. can't be self installed, and have to be installed by US person that has experience, and the value of the boat has to be under 150k.


Eric Meury
 
Edited



Michael.     look i'm not trying to gossip or stur up anything..  I"m part of this group, i'm an amel owner, and i have insurance via the jackline.  You can believe what you want AND I AGREE 100% with  i'm just tellign the group what was just told me.  I didn't ask about lithium   It should be telling that this was the companies first question.  Not the age of the bolt, not the condition, not the model, not the hull material.  She didn't seem to happy about it.


Ruslan Osmonov
 

@Michael, insurance has a different point of view on lithium 🙂 it is about stats and making money.


here is a quote from AAC website on tips about insurance. One of them about Lithium. 


https://www.morganscloud.com/2021/07/05/27-tips-to-get-insurance-for-offshore-voyaging-part-1-us-and-our-boat/

And while we are thinking about excuses underwriters can use to say no, think very carefully before adding new technology to your boat. For example, two AAC members were turned down by a major American underwriter because their boats have lithium batteries.


Jose Venegas
 


karkauai
 

Here's the latest from Jackline policy representative on Lithium.

"Markel's underwriters are not currently receptive to insuring boats with Lithium batteries.  If we learn of lithium installations on boats they already insure, we must bring that to their attention for review which could result in a cancellation.  They are very sensitive to the exposures they have of both physical damage losses and the even larger potential for resulting liabilities should a failure occur to a lithium set up.  They recently started to consider coverage for some lower valued vessels using LifePO4 batteries with a BMS by a US manufacturer, if professionally installed in the states.  However, Kristy’s hull value is higher than that current threshold.  Unfortunately, Markel is not going to consider any changes to their position until 2022 at the earliest.  It is my hope that they will become more flexible on the matter since many cruisers are looking to make the upgrade.

 

If you wish to move forward with the upgrade, we will need to seek quotes from an alternate carriers."

I've asked her to look for another carrier, will report what she finds.

--
Kent & Iris
KRISTY
SM243


Billy Newport
 

I have a similar question in to the under writers for Markle right now. They are my insurers, I'm still using mastervolt gels on Coder. I'm asking them about upgrading to mastervolt lithiums.


Mark McGovern
 

Gowrie Group told us the same thing earlier this year when we tried to get a quote from them.  If you have Lithium batteries installed on you boat and your boat value is greater than US$150,000, Markel will not underwrite an insurance policy.  The brand did not matter.  Self-installed or "professionally" installed did not matter.

I was very happy with the service that I received from Gary Golden at Manifest Marine:  Gary@... 

I guess you never really know how happy you are with your insurance policy until you have to use it.  Thankfully, I have not!

--
Mark McGovern
SM #440 Cara
Belfast, ME USA


Justin Maguire
 

Wow…

But they’re somehow ok with new boats with factory installed lithium? 

What’s the rationale?


On Sep 3, 2021, at 09:39, Mark McGovern <mfmcgovern@...> wrote:

Gowrie Group told us the same thing earlier this year when we tried to get a quote from them.  If you have Lithium batteries installed on you boat and your boat value is greater than US$150,000, Markel will not underwrite an insurance policy.  The brand did not matter.  Self-installed or "professionally" installed did not matter.

I was very happy with the service that I received from Gary Golden at Manifest Marine:  Gary@... 

I guess you never really know how happy you are with your insurance policy until you have to use it.  Thankfully, I have not!

--
Mark McGovern
SM #440 Cara
Belfast, ME USA


Mark McGovern
 

Justin,

They didn't give a rationale.  My guess is because there is no justifiable rationale just a knee-jerk reaction not a very well thought out policy to reduce their exposure.  Especially given that I can have all the lithium ion batteries that I want on my boat in my phones, tablets, electric bikes, electric scooters, power tools, etc. and they will happily insure me.  While I will stipulate that these are all much smaller batteries than a house bank, they are also made from much more flammable chemistries than LiFePO4 batteries.  Given how flammable fiberglass is, I'm pretty sure any one of those devices could set your boat on fire and sink it.  Certainly the batteries used in some of the cheap e-bikes you find on eBay and Amazon could do it.  They didn't ask me if I had any of those aboard.

Here's an interesting thread on just such an incident from earlier this year on Crusier's Forum.  Interestingly, the underwriter was, you guessed it, Markel.  And the insurance was the Jackline Policy from the Gowrie Group:  https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f166/explosions-fires-rescue-at-sea-229844.html


--
Mark McGovern
SM #440 Cara
Belfast, ME USA


Bill Kinney
 

People frequently describe insurance companies as "risk adverse," and while that's kind of true, what they really are is adverse to unknown or uncertain risks that they can't plug into their financial models.

In the absence of guidance (so far) from the ABYC on marine installations of lithium systems the underwriters do not know what a safe lithium system looks like.  Certainly if you go to any of the cruiser's forums you can read about people buying the cheapest possible, unbranded, Chinese made, lithium cells and pairing them with a home brew BMS. Given the amount of energy involved, I KNOW some of these system are very dangerous, but like the insurance underwriters, I don't know which ones.

It's not even a comment on the relative risk of Lithium vs Lead Acid.  Certainly there are loss risk associated with a standard FLA battery installation.  The difference is the marine industry KNOWS what a dangerous FLA battery install looks like, and every good surveyor can spot one.  The inherent risks of a lead-acid battery system are also well know from many decades of experience and are baked into the cost calculation for an insurance policy.  Right now, the lithium world is very much the wild west, and there is no way for the insurance underwriter to sort out the good, from the bad and the ugly.  At least for the foreseeable future, they can just say "No, Thank you."

There is also rational thinking behind making exceptions for systems installed by boat manufacturers, or professional installers using USA built parts.  If there is a latent defect in the product or installation that causes a loss, there is somebody else to share the financial pain with.  If that Chinese BMS installed by the boat owner causes a boat fire because of a basic design flaw nobody will never collect anything from them.

It sounds like at least some of these underwriters are waiting for a standard to issue from the ABYC so they can have a way of selecting safer installations, and avoiding those that none of us would want on our boat!

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Annapolis, MD, USA


Lior Keydar
 

Hi

Here is a youtube video that tests the risk of Lithium batteries and fire: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qzt9RZ0FQyM&ab_channel=GWL

Does anyone know of a specific case of fire on a boat because of LiFePO4 batteries?

Best, 
Lior
SHARONA, A54 #18


Scott SV Tengah
 

Thanks for the video - too bad the less informed still don't understand that lithium-cobalt and lifepo4 are not the same thing. Let's hope for the sake of currently produced and future Amels that insurance companies get some objective data soon, otherwise the Amel 50 and 60 with factory installed lithium won't be insurable. Obviously that's not a situation that will persist.

The closest I have heard is Ken Powers had a small fire aboard his SM, but I believe that was due to poor wiring during the lifepo4 install? He can elaborate if he's still posting here as that's as much as I know.

I think the bigger concern (advantage) of lifepo4 is that it can deliver so much current compared to lead-acid/agm/gel that your wiring and connections better be up to snuff. When the lithium-ignorant marine electrician tried to connect my Victron 12.8v pairs using short jumper wires, the wires nearly melted from the high sustained currents that you don't have to consider when you're using lead. I forced him to use copper bars and there have been no issues in the 3 years since.

Following up on that video, I will preface by saying that I don't think Victron is better than all the rest, but my Victron batteries appear to have internal short circuit protection that is not advertised. Another electrician was working on my bow thruster and didn't check to make sure the main switches were off and accidentally touched the red/black 95mm2 cables together. The lugs melted and the Victron Smart Lithium internal short circuit protection kicked in prior to blowing the 450amp x 3 Mega fuses, implying that the Victron batteries protected against the short circuit faster than the fuses did.

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


Bruno COTTE
 

More than ten cases this is why some insurance companies refuse to ensure boats with lithium batteries if they are not mounted by Mastervolt or Victron . 
The reasons are different but in many cases the main engine alternator burnt as it was not adapted for Lithium charges 

Envoyé de mon iPhone

Le 4 oct. 2021 à 09:58, Scott SV Tengah <Scott.nguyen@...> a écrit :

Thanks for the video - too bad the less informed still don't understand that lithium-cobalt and lifepo4 are not the same thing. Let's hope for the sake of currently produced and future Amels that insurance companies get some objective data soon, otherwise the Amel 50 and 60 with factory installed lithium won't be insurable. Obviously that's not a situation that will persist.

The closest I have heard is Ken Powers had a small fire aboard his SM, but I believe that was due to poor wiring during the lifepo4 install? He can elaborate if he's still posting here as that's as much as I know.

I think the bigger concern (advantage) of lifepo4 is that it can deliver so much current compared to lead-acid/agm/gel that your wiring and connections better be up to snuff. When the lithium-ignorant marine electrician tried to connect my Victron 12.8v pairs using short jumper wires, the wires nearly melted from the high sustained currents that you don't have to consider when you're using lead. I forced him to use copper bars and there have been no issues in the 3 years since.

Following up on that video, I will preface by saying that I don't think Victron is better than all the rest, but my Victron batteries appear to have internal short circuit protection that is not advertised. Another electrician was working on my bow thruster and didn't check to make sure the main switches were off and accidentally touched the red/black 95mm2 cables together. The lugs melted and the Victron Smart Lithium internal short circuit protection kicked in prior to blowing the 450amp x 3 Mega fuses, implying that the Victron batteries protected against the short circuit faster than the fuses did.

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


Scott SV Tengah
 

Good to know. 

For those with the Mastervolt 24v-110amp alternator and Alpha Pro II or newer, you can sleep reasonably well knowing that it can handle outputting high current for an extended time.

When I first switched to lifepo4, I called Mastervolt and grilled them about their alternator’s ability to handle max output for hours. I wanted to add a temperature sensor to taper output in case the alternator started overheating. They insisted that it was unnecessary as their alternator could easily handle lithium.

I don’t take manufacturers at their word, so I installed the temperature sensor anyways. 

Three years of lithium, 20k miles and close to 1000 hours on the motor and it seems Mastervolt was right. The alternator has never tapered output due to overheating.

On Oct 4, 2021, at 10:28 AM, Bruno COTTE <cotte.bruno@...> wrote:

More than ten cases this is why some insurance companies refuse to ensure boats with lithium batteries if they are not mounted by Mastervolt or Victron . 
The reasons are different but in many cases the main engine alternator burnt as it was not adapted for Lithium charges 

Envoyé de mon iPhone

Le 4 oct. 2021 à 09:58, Scott SV Tengah <Scott.nguyen@...> a écrit :

Thanks for the video - too bad the less informed still don't understand that lithium-cobalt and lifepo4 are not the same thing. Let's hope for the sake of currently produced and future Amels that insurance companies get some objective data soon, otherwise the Amel 50 and 60 with factory installed lithium won't be insurable. Obviously that's not a situation that will persist.

The closest I have heard is Ken Powers had a small fire aboard his SM, but I believe that was due to poor wiring during the lifepo4 install? He can elaborate if he's still posting here as that's as much as I know.

I think the bigger concern (advantage) of lifepo4 is that it can deliver so much current compared to lead-acid/agm/gel that your wiring and connections better be up to snuff. When the lithium-ignorant marine electrician tried to connect my Victron 12.8v pairs using short jumper wires, the wires nearly melted from the high sustained currents that you don't have to consider when you're using lead. I forced him to use copper bars and there have been no issues in the 3 years since.

Following up on that video, I will preface by saying that I don't think Victron is better than all the rest, but my Victron batteries appear to have internal short circuit protection that is not advertised. Another electrician was working on my bow thruster and didn't check to make sure the main switches were off and accidentally touched the red/black 95mm2 cables together. The lugs melted and the Victron Smart Lithium internal short circuit protection kicked in prior to blowing the 450amp x 3 Mega fuses, implying that the Victron batteries protected against the short circuit faster than the fuses did.

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


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


Lior Keydar
 

Scott,

On this homepage, there is a good comparison of the different Lithium batteries: https://www.roypowusa.com/?page_id=37164

I have also the Mastervolt 110A alternator and the Alpha Pro III. I configured it with the lithium profile and float voltage of 26.7V. Its charges permanently at around 80A.
I will also connect it permanently with the master bus to the laptop to monitor the charging and also be able to change fast the configuration in case that something goes wrong (for example reduce the charge voltage or turn it off). I think that the main risk is in case that the regulator being defective. 

Best,
Lior, SHARONA, A54 #18



Brent Cameron
 

As Scott has said the Lithium nickel cobalt batteries used in cars are NOT the same thing as the Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries that are primarily being installed in boats (I am aware of a few DYI’ers that have tried to install used Tesla batteries in boats - thankfully nobody has tried this iban Amel to my knowledge). 

The batteries used in cars (and laptops) need to be charged (and discharged) at more than 1C (i.e. more than the rates Capacity of the battery) to ensure a quick charge so they have a more aggressive chemistry that can result in fires when internally short circuited. The Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries can’t charge at that rate (typically up to 0.5C) but then when connected to solar panels and generators they can’t be anyway so no need for better performance. Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries were primarily used in street lamps before people started using them in RV’s, Solar farms and boats. None of these applications need high charge or discharge rates and the bow thruster is probably the only thing on our boats that could cause them to get close to 1C but according to Amel we should be running the generator when running the bow thruster anyway. 

There are videos of some crazy Chinese battery assemblers shooting Lithium Iron phosphate batteries to try to get them to catch fire and they can’t do it (they do get hot). I say assemblers as many of these cheap Chinese batteries use used street lamp cells and put them in cases with cheap BMS systems so caveat emptor. 

It is certainly possible to put together your own cells and BMS and create a battery system as good as Victron or Mastervolt (or BattleBorn) but it isn’t just a matter of finding the cheapest cells and BMS units and self assembling so is probably best left to those who love to spend days reading spec sheets and really understand electricity. Ken Powers is an electrical engineer as I recall and as Scott said had challenges when supervising the installation by a Thai electrician. These things can discharge a huge amount of current (even at 0.5C that’s 225Amps of a typical 450Amp battery bank). You can certainly weld plate at those amperages!   

Those of us with a bit more grey hair that have been sailing for a while will remember the teething problems with AGM batteries as well. You can’t treat these like drop in replacements (no matter what the marketing materials say) for AGM or Lead Acid batteries. Yes they can be dangerous but then so can 600Amps of Lead Acid or AGM and you shouldn’t change the wiring with those if you don’t know what you are doing there either. 

Fortunately the biggest danger we face from poor Lithium iron phosphate battery installations that isn’t also there with Lead Acid and AGM is to your wallet from wrecking them. As always if you change the wiring on your boat, please make sure that you know what you are doing. 

Brent

On Oct 4, 2021, 6:42 AM -0400, main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io, wrote:


--
Brent Cameron

Future Amel Owner & Amel Owner Registry Moderator

Oro-Medonte, Ontario, Canada