Posted by: Mar Azul Adventures | January 18, 2013

LiFePO4 Lithium Battery Installation and Research

We are pretty heavy power users on the Mar Azul and wore out our golf cart battery based house bank about 1/2 the way around on our Caribbean loop.  I had always been interested in lithium batteries, so we did some research and decided to be an early adopter of the technology.

This page has a link to the PDF that describes the decision making process, the research and the installation.    It’s intended to provide a place to start for someone considering LiFePO4.    It’s not completely cookbook technology yet, but not beyond the capability of someone who can safely install an inverter/charger.

There are quite a few external links to Internet sites with additional information.

The installation was completed in Grenada a few months ago and so far we are satisfied.   We won’t know until summer if it outlasts our golf cart batteries, and even longer to make a determination on if it was a good investment, since cycle life was the key criteria for our choice.

We have observed more flexibility with generator recharging since the usable capacity is greater and shorter generator run times since we never have to charge to 100% and wait out the tapering current of a full charge on Lead Acid.   It’s not a huge difference, maybe 2-3 less generator hours a week.   The DC watermaker is much happier with the 13V supply and produces 15% more water per hour.

DIY Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries8

– Bob


Responses

  1. Great information! Thanks.

  2. Bob – this is a great writeup.

    If you haven’t already stumbled across it, you might enjoy reading about the very similar LiFePO4 setup we’ve installed into our vintage 1961 GM bus.

    Our blog posts on the topic are here:
    http://www.technomadia.com/lithium

    I’ll be linking to your article as another great resource.

    Cheers!

    – Chris // http://www.technomadia.com

  3. Chris,

    Believe it or not, it was your blog posts that started us down the path last spring that led to our installation! Your blog was the first example laying out the full installation process with parts and pictures.

    Glad you found us!

    Best, Bob Ebaugh

    • Hi Bob,

      I’m glad to have played a small role in helping electrify Ma Azul!

      Though I am a bit disappointed that none of our blog posts on the topic made it into your fabulous lists of links and resources.

      Anyway – it is great to (virtually) run across another pioneer in this regard, and hopefully someday we will cross paths on land or water.

      Cheers!

      – Chris // http://www.technomadia.com

  4. […] is Bob's lithium battery blog entry, but you really should download the 14-page PDF mentioned there. Even if you're not ready to build […]


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