As many boat owners know, lithium batteries on sailboats have become increasingly popular in recent years. A big reason for this is their higher energy capacity, lighter weight, and longer lifespan compared to other traditional batteries, such as lead acid.
Although the switch can be simple (and certainly powerful), there are discussions around whether the upgrade to lithium is worth it, cost and safety considerations, installation, and more. We want to discuss those points, as transitioning to lithium can be the ultimate game-changer for powering life on the water!
Battle Born Lithium-Ion Batteries have been aboard marine systems of all kinds; sailboats, power boats, yachts, houseboats, trolling motors, bass boats, and kayaks. There’s nothing we love more than seeing marine enthusiasts make the switch to lithium and see for themselves all the power it can bring! In this Marine 101 Training, ABYC Certified Technician and Sailing Professional, Connor Smith of Warrior Sailing hosts and gives his perspective as a marine expert. In this training, you’ll learn the basics of lithium-ion battery power for sailboats, power boats, and other marine applications.
01:37 Different Types Batteries for Sailboats
02:31 Lead Acid vs. Lithium-Ion Batteries
05:27 Important Considerations When Upgrading to Lithium on a Sailboat
11:44 LiFePO4 Battery Chemistry | Why It’s Important for a Sailboat Application
12:09 Which Battle Born Lithium Battery models Are Right for a Sailboat?
14:08 Can and Should You Use Lithium Batteries to Start Your Boat Engine?
15:30 How Does a Battery Management System (BMS) Protect a Boat’s Power System?
17:05 How Do You Charge Lithium-Ion Batteries on a Sailboat?
19:04 Alternator Charging 101
22:25 Converting Ah to kWh
25:19 The Power Equation
27:15 The Importance of Battery Monitoring on a Sailboat
30:10 Performing an Energy Audit and Sizing a Lithium Battery Bank on a Sailboat
42:16 DIY vs. Professional Lithium-Ion Battery Installation
43:30 Series Connections vs. Parallel Connections
46:26 Cable Sizing for Lithium Power Systems on a Sailboat
50:34 What Components Are Needed in a Lithium Battery Bank?
53:52 Proper Fusing for a Lithium Power System
56:17 The Importance of Grounding an Inverter/Charger
57:55 Programming an Inverter/Charger to Lithium
01:08:26 How to Use a Multimeter
01:12:29 Staying Safe Around Electricity on Sailboats
01:15:53 Sailboat Electrical Maintenance Tips
01:19:00 How to Increase the Lifespan of Lithium Batteries
01:21:12 Solar on a Sailboat | What Are the Options?
01:23:15 What is ABYC E-13 Compliance?
Getting Your Marine Application Lithium-Ready
One of the main topics covered in the video is the comparison between lead acid and lithium batteries. We discuss the pros and cons of each type and the benefits of using LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate) chemistry for sailboat applications. LiFePO4 batteries are known for their high energy density, long cycle life, and high discharge rates, making them an ideal choice for sailboats.
We also want to emphasize the importance of proper battery management systems and charging methods for lithium batteries. This includes using a battery monitoring system to prevent overcharging and ensuring that the battery charging system is programmed correctly for lithium batteries. in this Marine 101 Training, we also cover the importance of proper cable sizing and fusing to prevent electrical fires.
Installing a Lithium Battery System on a Boat
DIY versus a professional installation is another topic we dive into! While DIY installations may save money, it is important to understand electrical systems and safety procedures. Battle Born Batteries’ Technical Specialists are a solid resource for DIY installers. And if you’re not fully confident in a DIY install, professional installations can provide peace of mind and simplicity.
As electrical maintenance is incredibly important for longevity, we go over some key points, such as how to increase battery lifespan and properly use solar panels. Proper grounding of the inverter/charger and programming it to work with lithium batteries are also discussed. The video concludes with ABYC E-13 standards, a set of safety standards that apply to electrical systems on boats. Following these standards can help ensure the safety and reliability of a sailboat’s electrical system.
Get Ready to Install Lithium on Your Marine Vessel!
This Marine 101 Training | The Basics of Lithium Battery Power for Sailboats and Other Marine Applications provides a comprehensive overview of the considerations and best practices for using lithium batteries on sailboats and other marine vessels. We hope you gain valuable insights and tips as a sailboat owner as you consider upgrading their battery system to lithium!
For any questions about your own power system and application, please don’t hesitate to call one of our Technical Specialists today: 855-292-2831