A traction battery is a source of energy that provides autonomous operation of a motor boat, boat, yacht or other object. The operation of on-board equipment, motor and other electrical components directly depends on its serviceability and reliability. Lithium-iron-phosphate models are appropriately considered the best traction-type batteries. It is a sub-type of Li-ion batteries, the most adapted for use in harsh conditions.
These lithium-iron-phosphate batteries can be bought from any LiFePo4 battery manufacturer in different capacities including 48, 60, 100, 120 Ah and more.
Advantages Of LiFePO4 Batteries
Lithium iron phosphate batteries for boat motors have the following advantages:
- Not afraid of deep discharge;
- Fast charging;
- Have a range of operating temperatures from -30 to +55 ° C;
- Suitable for intensive use in cyclic mode;
- Provide a stable discharge voltage;
- Designed for at least 3000 charge-discharge cycles;
- Have a nominal voltage of 3.2 V per cell (for comparison, for lead-acid – 2 V per cell);
- Thermally and chemically stable;
- Safe in operation – including not prone to fire;
- Have a high capacity with a relatively low weight – about 70% lighter than lead-acid counterparts;
- Tight, do not need topping up with water or other maintenance, except for recharging;
- Resistant to shaking, vibration and shock;
- Have low self-discharge.
Features Of LFP Batteries For Boat Motors
LiFePO4 batteries are made from ABS plastic cases which make them durable. The rubber gasket helps to airtight the battery inside and make it waterproof. The protective boxes have a handle for convenient carrying of the battery, and a valve for pressure equalization. To monitor the performance on the case, an additional display with a charge indicator can be located.
For safe use, LiFePO4 traction batteries are equipped with an electronic control system – BMS board. It maintains the operating parameters of the battery within acceptable limits, preventing overcharging, deep discharge, current overloads and other dangerous situations. In emergency situations, the BMS board disconnects from the external source – disconnects the batteries from the power supply or load, preventing them from working beyond the permissible values.
Recommendations For Using LiFePO4 Batteries
To prolong the life of LiFePO4 batteries for boat motors, you need to follow the recommendations for their use:
- Do not discharge “to zero” and do not leave for a long time (more than 48 hours) in a discharged state. It is advisable to charge the batteries without delay.
- Store at temperatures from 0 to +25 °C in a dry, cool place, away from heat sources and out of direct sunlight. The optimal charge level for long-term (seasonal) storage is 40–50%.
- Use a charger recommended by the manufacturer or identical. Charge batteries strictly at positive temperatures. After finding the battery in the cold, keep it indoors for at least an hour, and then charge it.
- Regularly clean the battery from contamination, check the reliability of its installation and the condition of the contacts of the wire lugs on the terminals.
- Monitor the charge level and prevent its critical decrease. When the BMS battery is deeply discharged, the board goes into protection, and the power supply stops. To remove the protection, just connect the discharged battery to the charger.
To charge the battery, the charger plug is connected to the socket or to the bolt terminals, observing the polarity. When one of the cells in the battery reaches a voltage of 3.65 V, the BMS board automatically disconnects the battery from the current source. Then the balancing system equalizes the charge, and the recharging process continues until the voltage on all cells reaches 3.65 V. After that, the charging process automatically stops.
When using LiFePO4 batteries for a boat electric motor and other technical means, take security measure seriously:
- Close the battery terminals.
- Use a battery with poor contacts between the wire terminals and the battery terminals.
- Connect or disconnect the battery from the load when power is on.
- Install and use the battery in an unstable position.
- Allow direct immersion of the battery in water – although it is made in a dust-waterproof case, you need to protect the battery from direct exposure to water.
- Use a charger that is defective or incompatible with the battery.
- Connect another type of model to the battery in parallel.
- Use a LiFePO4 traction battery as a starter battery – as starting currents are several times higher than the permissible current loads for traction batteries.
- Allow mechanical damage to the case, batteries, BMS board or other components of the battery.
- Use the battery in a circuit with a voltage higher than the allowable value.