Lithium Battery Installation

I have been waiting to install lithium batteries until I was sure that it was going to be safe, and that I really understood what I was doing.   I would rather be a little late to the game than risk doing anything less than a safe and effective installation.  And of course the cost must be justified for the application, I still feel most boats will be just fine with standard batteries.

Along came one of my customers who has a trawler that needed it’s 12 12v AGM batteries changed out.  It was the perfect candidate for a new Lithium battery bank, that would be lighter, smaller and more useful.
At first the Customer was trying to buy Lithionics batteries, but due to availability issues, he ended up going with MG Energy Systems batteries instead.

So far we are very pleased with the batteries and controllers, and the way it all integrates with the Victron inverter chargers, and the new Victron Cerbo GX. The MG batteries also gave us the advantage of allowing the flexibility to make our own battery cables connecting the batteries and controllers.

Because we switched over to a completely new battery type we need to address all the sources of charging on the boat.  After a few software updates, the Victron chargers were able to communicate directly with the new battery controllers through the GX (very cool).  For the Alternator I wired in a Wakespeed regulator that is able to charge lithium batteries and communicate with the rest of the system through the CAN network.  The point is there is a lot involved in making the switch, but the technology seems to the task.

I still have more t do now that the old battery bank is gone. I need to arrange the DC wiring to work better in our new found space.  Also we still have a battery to battery charger to install to deal with the charging needs of Start and Thruster batteries. And even a Panda DC generator that we will bring into the new system.

Looking Forward

Finishing out the year working on a major rewire.  The Sport Fish boat SUE is in great shape, and has been repowered with Cummings Diesels, but as is often the case, the wiring has been neglected over the years.

The boat also had a large 32 volt battery bank taking up a lot of space in the lazaret.  Most of the systems have been converted to 12 volt but now it was time to finish the job and get rid of the 32 volt system altogether.
A special thanks to my friends at Emerald Marine Carpentry in Anacortes for allowing me to work in their shop.

I have another busy month of work in Anacortes coming up. And then in February I will start my first project working in Bellingham.  I am very excited about moving my work up to the Port of Bellingham.  It’s been over a year now since Niccole and I moved to Sudden Valley, and we absolutely love it.  So if you have a boat in Bellingham and are looking for professional electrical work on your yacht, give me a call. I will be available this winter and spring.