We’re getting to grips with lithium
The boating public is slowly getting to grips with the advantages of lithium batteries, with more being sold, despite what might be initially perceived as a hefty price tag, writes Katina Read.
With more or less the full battery capacity able to be used - around 90 to 95% can be used safely, says Brett McLellan, Kuranda MD – and a much longer lifespan guaranteed, boaters are slowly being converted.
“We’re starting to a lot more with lithium,” said Mr McLellan. “The batteries can be less than half the size and weight and the major advantage is the consequent fuel saving.”
And he pointed out that a 100A hour battery can take 100A of charge, also charging a lot faster than a lead acid battery.
“An engine has to be run for hours to get a lead acid battery to charge,” he explained. “Lithium can be charged a lot quicker and when the sun comes out, solar power can be harnessed more efficiently with the full charge accepted up to the moment the battery is fully charged.
“In the long run the batteries can pay for themselves and it’s because of this that they are starting to sell themselves. More people are understanding the benefits of lithium.”
Another advantage of lithium, he explained is the fact that the heating effect is not as great as with lead acid making the batteries safer.
“Charge control is also developing. It’s very important that the charge control is safe without and over heating,” said Mr McLellan. "Under voltage charge and over voltage charge control is built in to our chargers, which turn on and off to protect the battery.”
Kuranda supplies two Victron Energy systems, 12V and 24V with the 24V system having active cell balancing and the 12V having passive cell balancing.
Victron Energy is adding to its range of Orion DC-DC converters with a new Orion-Tr product range.
The first is the new Orion-Tr 24/12-10 (120W) DC-DC converter with several new features.
These include screw type terminals instead of ‘Faston’ meaning no special tools are needed for installation.
Also, the converter is smaller and more efficient – full load efficiency is said to exceed 95% - as it uses synchronous rectification.
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