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How Do You Charge Lithium-Ion Batteries on a Marine Vessel?

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After you’ve determined which batteries you would like to install in your marine electrical system, the next step is to decide how you would like to recharge them. This depends on the frequency that you use your boat and how long you spend on the water. You can use shore power, solar panels, or your engine alternator. No matter what you decide, it’s essential to have the proper components to accommodate your chosen charging method.  

Common Ways to Recharge a Lithium Battery Bank on a Sailboat 

Shore Power or Generator  

The most popular option is through an AC to DC Charger. This allows you to charge through shore power when you’re docked or to utilize a portable generator. The AC to DC charger takes the source’s alternating current and converts it into DC power to charge your batteries. If you will be on the water for shorter periods of time, this method of charging is quick and convenient. 

Solar Power 

Adding solar panels to your marine electrical system allows you to collect power from the sun and turn it into DC power through an MPPT Solar Charge Controller. Utilizing solar power can allow you to harness renewable energy and save on fuel while recharging your batteries.  

Boat with Solar Panels

Engine Charging via an Alternator 

Finally, you can recharge your batteries through the engine alternator on your boat. This can either be done by using the alternator to recharge your starting battery and then charging your house bank through a DC-to-DC charger or by charging directly to your house bank through an advanced alternator regulator. Alternator charging allows you to charge your batteries anytime you run your engine, giving you peace of mind and flexibility no matter how long you’re on the water. 

Want to Learn More? 

Check out the full Marine 101 series on our YouTube channel or through the Academy page on our website. If you have further questions or need help designing the perfect marine power system, our technical sales team would love to help! You can reach them by calling (855) 292-2831 or emailing [email protected]. 

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