Hylas Yacht Owners Association Forum

Open Discussion => Hylas Discussion => Topic started by: Ambition on January 27, 2022, 06:52:52 PM

Title: Conversion from AGM to LiFePo4 Batteries
Post by: Ambition on January 27, 2022, 06:52:52 PM
I am sure that this topic has to potential to cause as much varying opinions as to which is the best anchor. On board Ambition, a 2002 46, our house bank is made up of 3 each AGM 8D and 1 each AGM 4D for all loads except the engine and generator start which is a AGM 4D.
After reading and asking lots of questions I discovered that there are many different solutions that are available. In our case, I was looking for a LiFePO4 solution that was as close to "plug and play" for our boat that we use in the Caribbean 6 months per year. After verification of all our charging systems - solar, wind, Balmar 150A and a Xantrex charger  / inverter and a ProTech 40 seem to meet the charging requirements for the few battery manufacturers that I have found.
Are there any other folks that have successfully made this conversion? I would like to hear what your experience was. At this point I am looking for 3 each 300Ah for the house and 1 each 100Ah for the engine start.

Thanks in advance
S/V Ambition H46 #40
Title: Re: Conversion from AGM to LiFePo4 Batteries
Post by: joel on January 28, 2022, 06:53:28 PM
Hopefully Jeff and Julie on Renegade will chime in.  They are also on the FB group.
Title: Re: Conversion from AGM to LiFePo4 Batteries
Post by: Che Figata on January 29, 2022, 05:19:33 PM
We converted from a 4 8D AGM house bank to a 1120 amp hour Lithionics house bank.  Could not be happier.  We have different charging equipment than you (Mastervolt) but all could accommodate the Lithium charging profile.  We are set up to feed the house bank 300 amps when running the genset.  Solar and hydrogen supplement.  240 amp alternator charges when motoring.  Very happy with the batteries.  We live on board and our system has worked very well for us. 

We are in Antigua now and head for Guadalupe shortly.  Happy to discuss our experience.

Zack and Jill Hummel
SV Che Figata H56 #18
Title: Re: Conversion from AGM to LiFePo4 Batteries
Post by: jt11791 on January 29, 2022, 05:53:51 PM
Renegade made the switch from six 8D AGMs to four 8D LiFePOs.  We bought "RELiON" brand 300AH 8Ds that are as close to drop in as possible.  All your charging sources will need to be reprogrammed with the LiFePO parameters, but that isnt hard to do.  The new batteries will stress your systems when charging, so be conservative with your settings and monitor everything closely.  Remember, the new batteries do not need to be charged to 100%, like your old AGMs, so having the charger drop to float early is better than late.  We live aboard and are very happy with our setup, some of the best money I have spent on the boat!
Title: Re: Conversion from AGM to LiFePo4 Batteries
Post by: DCampbell on January 31, 2022, 09:22:52 PM
We don't have a Hylas currently, but are looking which is why I'm here.  Just wanted to mention that it's often considered helpful to keep AGM or lead acid of some type for starting batteries.  We put Victron lithium batteries in our current boat, but had that in mind far prior so have all Victron items attached which works amazingly well.  I would agree that a proper lithium battery bank is likely the best money one could spend on a cruising boat.  I'd also note that I have personally seen what happens when too many corners are cut.  Equal length cables from each battery to bus bar is a big deal, and I'd certainly stick to a manufactured battery instead of the cheap cells which can be combined to create boat batteries.  A friend bought those for his cat and was told "drop in replacement", but one was DOA and one which I saw had two cells bulging 20% or so which may or may not be related to not using equal length cables for each battery to bus bar.  I'm not a professional electrician...or even close, but did a-lot of obsessing over Lithium info prior to doling out big bucks for the upgrade.  I'm sure you'll be very happy with your upgrade.

Title: Re: Conversion from AGM to LiFePo4 Batteries
Post by: Ambition on February 06, 2022, 12:32:02 PM
Thank you all for the feedback and input. Decision has been reached and we will go with Relion for the LiFePO4 upgrade for our failing AGM's. Spent a lot of time with their VERY cooperative and attention technical team along with my electrician in Antigua. We assessed all the various loads ie bow thruster, windlass, electric winches etc, and due to the high demand on the batteries they recommended a set of RB100HP as a means to better support heavy demand. Relion retail prices have dropped since last year for it made the decision even easier when compared to an AGM replacement.  ow we are just counting the days until they arrive.
A big shout out to Wayne Bell at Coast to Coast Marine in Jolly Harbour for my crash course in lithium battery technologies!
Thanks again for the valued input.
S/V Ambition H46 #40
Title: Re: Conversion from AGM to LiFePo4 Batteries
Post by: Ambition on April 11, 2022, 03:19:07 PM
Just a follow-up comment now that the installation of the ReLion LiFePO4 has been completed with 9 100 amp Hi Perf and one AGM start battery. POSITIVES- A) The boat no longer has a list to port caused by the weight of the AGM *d's and 4D's. The new lithiums weigh in at 26 Lbs each!. B) There are no issues with the bow thruster and windlass being combined with the house bank as far as performance is concerned. C) With the smaller footprint, we have gained additional storage space on board. D) With the high capacity available we recharge less often and much faster. E) Our 12VDC water maker output is measurably more effective with the higher constant voltage to the Spectra system. NEGATIVES yes there are a few - nothing in life is free! A) discovered post install that the 20 year old Xantrex 2.5K watt Charger/Inverter can not be programmed to manage the charging of the lithiums - A new Victron unit is on the books for installation this summer. B) The old Somewhat Smart Balmar MC 412 regulator needed changing out for a MC618 Much Smarter regulator designed for lithium batteries.

Again our main driver was that our FP generator (it goes by other names on board our boats!) is close to its end of life and will not be replaced. Hence the decision to install the battery capacity that we chose. We are looking at a potential upgrade to the alternator to increase charge performance from the engine.

Overall, we are very happy with the conversion and a major upgrade all in one. Thanks to all who provided input, comments and suggestions.

Merrill and Maryse
S/V Ambition H46 #40
Title: Re: Conversion from AGM to LiFePo4 Batteries
Post by: Aurora Borealis on April 13, 2022, 05:05:58 PM
I have a complete Victron system on a non-boat (RV), and am happy to relate the following story.  Through a series of unfortunate events, including it being sequestered in the Yukon for the winter (!) without being plugged in, I finally was able to find a hauler and when I got it, its 160Ah 12.8V batteries were at 1.7V. Death to any traditional battery.

Yet with a smart charger (also Victron),  I am delighted to report they both without incident went past full charge, past absorb, and on into float at 13.5V. Yesterday I re-installed them and the entire system immediately went into nominal. I couldn't be happier and am in awe of today's technology.

I am not plugging Victron over others - just would like to share how well LiFePO4 batteries can endure ridiculous abuse.
Title: Re: Conversion from AGM to LiFePo4 Batteries
Post by: joel on May 09, 2022, 04:48:33 PM
I'm in the middle of a conversion.  We removed 2 8Ds and 6 6 volt golf cart batteries that made up the house bank and replaced them with 2 200 amp hour LifePo batteries.  Some of the batteries were either 10 or 20 years old (could not make out the date, except it ended in 2).  Changing to a Balmar alternator a new charger and separate inverter.  Also replaced the start battery with another AGM.  Windlass batteries are newer 6 volt AGMs, so I was able to salvage something!

We used a block and tackle attached to the boom to haul the 8Ds out of the bilge and eventually onto the dock.

Also put 4x100 solar panels on the hard bimini.  Should be good to go next week!
Title: Re: Conversion from AGM to LiFePo4 Batteries
Post by: Aria56 on May 10, 2022, 11:51:11 AM
We completed the conversion last month. We only changed the house bank so ours was a hybrid install.(We left the starting battery and 2 bow thruster batteries AGM) We replaced the 4 8D 255 Ahr ea house batteries with 300 Ahr LiFePo with internal 150 amp BMS.  We started by making and laying out the 2/0 cables, all the positives being the same length, all of the negatives being the same length.  We used 2 big bus bars to accomplish this.  The new batteries are wonderfully light, so getting them in was easy.  We used the boom and sheet blocks to get the old ones out through the aft cabin hatch. I reprogrammed the master volt charger and installed a Balmar regulator on the house 150 Amp alternator. Also reprogrammed the 1200 watts of solar and the wind generator to LiFePo. One surprise is that the house bank was connected to the thrusters bank. When I tested this I had 200 amps drawing from the house lithiums! I separated the connection from the house bank to the AGM bow thrusters and installed a Victron battery to battery charger with a on/off switch at the Nav station. Also use the engine alternator to charge the thruster bank with a Victron Cirux charging relay.  I changed the tie switch to connect the thruster bank with the starting battery for back up starting.
We live aboard and I have been running between 30% and 70% with just renewable. We only use the genset when we want to spoil ourselves with AC. I am not stern heavy anymore, lost 400 lbs back there.  The DC water maker kicks but now with a steady 13 volts.
We couldn
Title: Re: Conversion from AGM to LiFePo4 Batteries
Post by: Hobiehobie on June 13, 2022, 07:50:00 PM
If anyone is willing,  could you disclose the approximate cost of the conversion from AGM to Lithium Ion.

We are thinking of a change when our current AGMs are nearing demise.  We have 6 House batteries, A bow thruster/windlass battery, an engine start, a generator start.  I think our current Mastervolt will be reprogrammable.

Genevieve. H54 #50

Title: Re: Conversion from AGM to LiFePo4 Batteries
Post by: Che Figata on June 15, 2022, 11:56:09 AM
We would be happy to tell you about our experience. From the responses we have seen to the original question posed here and our discussion with other Hylas owners there seems to be a range based on the number you buy and the brand. Our contact info is in the member directory of this forum. Send us a note and we can arrange a time to chat. Looking forward to connecting.

Zack & Jill Hummel
SV Che Figata
Hylas 56-18
Title: Re: Conversion from AGM to LiFePo4 Batteries
Post by: rascally on July 27, 2022, 05:52:49 PM
Hello Zack & Jill
Title: Re: Conversion from AGM to LiFePo4 Batteries
Post by: joel on August 03, 2022, 06:49:10 PM
The cost will vary widely depending on what other components need to be changed.  I had to change alternator/regulator, inverter and charger.  I went with 2 200 aH batteries and had everything professionally installed along with 4x100 solar panels and controllers. 
I'd be happy to discuss costs off-line.
Rule One