Boating NZ : FREE TO READ March 2014
cycles. The point, though, is that you won’t need to replace lithium-iron batteries nearly as often. Enthusiasts like to suggest they’ll outlast your boat. For sailors, the fast-recharge ability holds great appeal. Conventional batteries need three stages of charging: flooding the battery with current, absorption and, finally, trickle charging. Collectively, it can take several hours – and consume lots of fuel if the charge source is your diesel’s alternator – to keep the batteries healthy. Lithium batteries have only two charging stages – flood and trickle – and they accept around 90% of the charge, the flood part, in a little over an hour. Furthermore, conventional batteries can be discharged only to around 50% of their capacity before they need recharging. Lithium-iron batteries are good for as low as 85% discharge. And the voltage during that discharge stays constant in a lithium-iron battery – around 12.6 volts, compared to the steady voltage fall-off that marks a conventional battery’s discharge. In real terms, this equates to far more usable amp-hours. Feasibly, you could swap your existing heavyweights for a smaller capacity bank of lithium- iron batteries because of the wider usability range. Also, they can be used as start and house batteries; there is no deep-cycle distinction. Appealing as these advantages may be, there is, as always, a debit side. PRICEY AND COMPLICATED Lithium-iron batteries are expensive – at least two, three and even four times the price of standard batteries depending on where you shop. Proponents of the lithium-iron Lithium-iron batteries are built from individual 3.2V cells. E-Gen has a battery bank mounted under each of the front seats. The 18kW Lynch motor is particularly light and compact. 0314-42 subscribe online at www.mags4gifts.co.nz/boating-nz 59 subscribe online at www.mags4gifts.co.nz/boating-nz 59 PBoating_Batteries_March14.indd 59 19/02/2014 10:06:39 a.m.
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