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New ABYC E-13 Standards For Lithium Power Systems on Marine Vessels

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Safety in boating is a top priority for marine enthusiasts. To ensure that boats are constructed and equipped in accordance with high safety standards, the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) has established a set of guidelines for safety. The ABYC is a non-profit organization that sets standards for designing, constructing, and maintaining boats and their systems. 

As lithium batteries become increasingly popular in the marine world and in many applications with deep cycle energy storage needs, ABYC has created a set of safety standards specific to lithium batteries. ABYC E-13 is now the industry standard for lithium batteries on marine vessels. The ABYC E-13 standard covers battery charging, system ground, over-current protection, and thermal runaway protection; all focused on the utmost safety for sailboats, power boats, and the entirety of the marine industry.

Sail to the beautiful clear waters in the Bahamas; new ABYC E-13 standards are for lithium batteries on sailboats

New Recommendations From ABYC E-13

As of July 2023, new recommendations for E-13 went into effect for marine electrical systems; for either systems coming from the manufacturer or those installed at a later date. The scope of standards specifies the application to systems with 600 watt-hours or greater capacity. For a 12-volt system, this is 50 amp-hours or more. 

ABYC E-13 encompasses various lithium-ion chemistries such as lithium cobalt oxide, lithium manganese oxide, and lithium iron phosphate, among others. Given that lithium-ion batteries are an optimal choice for boating, this discussion focuses solely on their application for the E-13 protocol. 

Battery Management System Requirements

Many lithium-ion batteries either have an internal BMS, like Battle Born Batteries, while some an external BMS. Battle Born Batteries, specifically, are equipped with a reliable battery management system (BMS), which enables lithium-ion batteries to operate under specific safety standards and disconnect the battery in an emergency. Section E-13.7 requires all lithium batteries installed on boats to include a BMS. 

Based on Section E-13.7’s requirements, an alternative power source can be as simple as an additional lithium-ion battery. It is recommended that the BMS provide an audible or visual warning signal before disconnection occurs. However, an audible signal emanating from deep in a bilge is unlikely to be heard by the boat operator. Having a system that connects system alerts to your phone is your safest option. 

A sailboat sails through turquoise waters with red sails, powered by lithium batteries

Many of the new requirements for ABYC E-13 fall in the hands of battery manufacturers. Section E-13.8 has strict requirements for a battery’s cell chemistry and design, including the battery’s unique safety risks, features, and requirements for safe operation. 13.8 also lists prerequisites for external equipment and charging and discharging parameters. Manufacturers must also detail information about the battery’s recycling process in the manual. Battle Born Batteries provides a comprehensive manual with each battery purchased and USA-based technical sales assistance. 

Dragonfly IntelLigence™ And Battle Born Batteries

Battle Born Batteries with Dragonfly IntelLigence and accompanying accessories can easily be configured for a power system compliant with ABYC E-13 standards for lithium batteries. 

With Dragonfly IntelLigence, you can remotely monitor your entire power system from anywhere via your smartphone and the Dragonfly IntelLigence™ Mobile App. When linked to the system, you can receive push notifications for all critical errors or warnings, allowing you to shut down the system remotely. Dragonfly IntelLigence allows you to use common protocols to connect to various physical components and hardware. 

Battle Born Batteries with Dragonfly IntelLigence batteries on a doc

Smart Lithium Battery Technology for an ABYC-Compliant Lithium Power System

With the exponential growth of lithium batteries in marine boat applications, the standards set forth by ABYC cover various aspects of lithium battery systems. The new recommendations come into effect on July 13, 2023. Boat manufacturers and owners must ensure their systems are up to the new standards. With Dragonfly Intelligence, you can configure Battle Born Batteries for a power system that meets ABYC E-13 standards. Battle Born Batteries will help simplify your system setup.

Unsure what your system needs are for the new ABYC E-13 standards?  Contact our Technical Sales Specialists to discuss your personal system desires and electric needs. A team member is standing by for your personalized assistance.

Dragonfly IntelLigence is coming 2023! To learn more, contact us at 855-292-2831 or shoot us an email at [email protected]

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