Lithium Ion trolling motor batteries

Rocky TopRocky Top Knoxville TN/Boca Grande FL.Posts: 17 Greenhorn
Has anyone tried the newer lithium ion deep cycle trolling motor batteries? I realize they are much more expensive to buy, but they allegedly last up to 10 years and weigh SO much less than other deep cycle options.

Replies

  • rehartlinerehartline Posts: 736 Officer
    The most stable platform for these batteries is lithium iron phosphate. They give a constant voltage and current output. Do not consider lithium polymer or lithium cobalt. They have a higher power density but are less stable. It is very important that you understand the operational and maintenance requirements for these batteries, including the chargers. The particular battery management system that you use is critical to safety.

    These batteries do not like high temperatures, shock or getting wet. Beware anyone that sells them as a drop in replacement. There are some pretty unscrupulous people selling them. The technology is better than any other battery but it should not be thought of as just like any other battery that you have owned. Any lithium battery can go into thermal run away. Some are less likely than others, but they all can under the right conditions and once lithium catches fire there is not much you can do about it.

    The pro Bass guys use them where they are boat and horsepower limited and they want to drop weight at nearly any cost. The average angler likely can’t cost justify the setup. Good AGM batteries can last a long time too and have high recharge cycle capacity.

    Good luck with your decision. Great technology when managed correctly. PM me if you have any questions about brands.
  • Capt George GozdzCapt George Gozdz Posts: 630 Officer
    I have run the Lithium Pros 36V battery on my past 3 Tritons. I have their complete charging system and battery monitoring display. I've never had one issue with the batteries. They hold a charge incredibly well and are a big weight saver.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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  • Nick NikonNick Nikon Posts: 1,912 Captain
    rehartline wrote: »
    The most stable platform for these batteries is lithium iron phosphate. ... Do not consider lithium polymer or lithium cobalt. They have a higher power density but are less stable. It is very important that you understand the operational and maintenance requirements for these batteries, including the chargers. The particular battery management system that you use is critical to safety.

    These batteries do not like high temperatures, shock or getting wet.

    Are Lithium Cobalt or Lithium Polymer a better choice where shock and/or temperature and moisture could be an issue?

    Pulling a 75 lb. deep-cycle lead battery out of our pop-up is a hassle.

    The darn thing weighs as much as the 4 hp outboard motor.

    ( Lugging both to the water, and back again, is no longer feasible. )

    Don't need "cranking power" ... just light weight juice for the trolling motor.
  • JIMinPBJIMinPB Posts: 1,875 Captain
    LIpho batteries are great if you have the right charging system & the right monitoring system. If they are not treated correctly, they can catch fire & can be very hard if not impossible to put out with conventional fire fighting gear.

    Quality varies. Some are MUCH better made than others. The ones that were built for the Chinese Air force are actually some of the better ones out there. Most of the other offshore stuff is risky at best & seldom balances well after several charging cycles.

    If you are not willing to pay attention to your battery bank's condition, then these are probably not the best choice for you. If you are willing to spend some time paying attention to the bank & you want excellent performance & are willing to invest in all the proper gear, then they can be a very good choice.
  • rehartlinerehartline Posts: 736 Officer
    Cobalt and polymer have a higher power density and cell voltage but are more volatile. The issue with shock is if the membrane or separator in the battery is damaged there will be a thermal runaway with a fire that feeds itself oxygen and you can’t put out. If you decide to make the investment, make sure that you purchase it and have your system designed by a reputable manufacturer. The quality of the battery mamagement system is as or maybe more important than that of the battery. There are a lot of fly by night guys selling cheap Chinese batteries to make a quick buck at the users expense. You may very well loose your boat if there is a failure in the system. U.L. has standards for these batteries and systems now. Sellers are touting safety ratings that mean nothing and they are selling from LLC companies that fold and reopen under a new name when something goes wrong. A company in Sarasota was just fined over one million dollars by the FAA. Wait and see if they’re still around in a few months. Another was advertising on Facebook recently touting years of experience and an impressive customer list but they have only had a business license for three months.

    A lithium battery for your boat is made of a group of cells and likely has an internal battery managment system in each battery. If you can’t find a battery that is UL listed make sure the cells are. The highest quality cells are made by Samsung and LG right now. Also look for a battery that uses Stoba or Cell Guard technology. Both are a coating on the membrane that can drastically reduce the possibility of a thermal runaway through the membrane.

    I hope that helps. The technology is great, it just has to done correctly. Hopefully it becomes a little more friendly as technology improves.
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 18,986 AG
    rehartline wrote: »
    Cobalt and polymer have a higher power density and cell voltage but are more volatile. The issue with shock is if the membrane or separator in the battery is damaged there will be a thermal runaway with a fire that feeds itself oxygen and you can’t put out. If you decide to make the investment, make sure that you purchase it and have your system designed by a reputable manufacturer. The quality of the battery mamagement system is as or maybe more important than that of the battery. There are a lot of fly by night guys selling cheap Chinese batteries to make a quick buck at the users expense. You may very well loose your boat if there is a failure in the system. U.L. has standards for these batteries and systems now. Sellers are touting safety ratings that mean nothing and they are selling from LLC companies that fold and reopen under a new name when something goes wrong. A company in Sarasota was just fined over one million dollars by the FAA. Wait and see if they’re still around in a few months. Another was advertising on Facebook recently touting years of experience and an impressive customer list but they have only had a business license for three months.

    A lithium battery for your boat is made of a group of cells and likely has an internal battery managment system in each battery. If you can’t find a battery that is UL listed make sure the cells are. The highest quality cells are made by Samsung and LG right now. Also look for a battery that uses Stoba or Cell Guard technology. Both are a coating on the membrane that can drastically reduce the possibility of a thermal runaway through the membrane.

    I hope that helps. The technology is great, it just has to done correctly. Hopefully it becomes a little more friendly as technology improves.

    If you only needed a single battery (12V)...and were willing to put in some shock damping...are they still dangerous?
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 5,726 Admiral
    Good question there duckman.
    How will it work with 1 battery in the bow and a 12V trolling motor. What would be the costs difference between that and a 750 CCA Deep Cycle.
    Weight savings ?
    Expected Life compared ?
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • rehartlinerehartline Posts: 736 Officer
    You can do a single battery and you may or may not have to dampen it. I’m an Electrical Engineer and study and apply the technology for my company. We use a lot of very large lithium batteries. I would guess that a battery that size and the charger will likely set you back about $2000.00 for a decent quality setup. Other than the weight benefit it might be hard to justify against a good AGM.

    Life expectancy and charge cycles depends on the battery technology. AGM batteries can go 400+ discharge/recharge cycles before they loose capacity. Lithium Iron Phosphate is somewhere around 2000 cycles. Cool thing about them is that output full voltage and current until they turn off at their discharge point. They are certainly viable as long as you apply them correctly, don’t buy junk and charge and maintain them like you should. Generally the highest risk period is when they are being charged. Think hover boards and Samsung phones.
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 18,986 AG
    rehartline wrote: »
    You can do a single battery and you may or may not have to dampen it. I’m an Electrical Engineer and study and apply the technology for my company. We use a lot of very large lithium batteries. I would guess that a battery that size and the charger will likely set you back about $2000.00 for a decent quality setup. Other than the weight benefit it might be hard to justify against a good AGM.

    Life expectancy and charge cycles depends on the battery technology. AGM batteries can go 400+ discharge/recharge cycles before they loose capacity. Lithium Iron Phosphate is somewhere around 2000 cycles. Cool thing about them is that output full voltage and current until they turn off at their discharge point. They are certainly viable as long as you apply them correctly, don’t buy junk and charge and maintain them like you should. Generally the highest risk period is when they are being charged. Think hover boards and Samsung phones.

    Thanks...you lost me at 2K ... :grin
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • rehartlinerehartline Posts: 736 Officer
    I do this for a living and I run AGMs :)
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 18,986 AG
    rehartline wrote: »
    I do this for a living and I run AGMs :)

    That's good enough for me....
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • rehartlinerehartline Posts: 736 Officer
    duckmanJR wrote: »
    That's good enough for me....

    Just like anything else, you get what you pay for. Decent AGMs and a good charger will do the trick.
  • JIMinPBJIMinPB Posts: 1,875 Captain
    AGMs are nice because they bulk charge faster than traditional flooded lead acid batteries & they don't spill acid. If you get AGMs, be sure to get the right charger. If the charger doesn't have enough current capacity, then you can't take advantage of the fast charge properties of the AGM. If the charger does not have the correct finishing voltage, then the AGM will turn to junk at a young age.
  • finbullyfinbully Posts: 470 Deckhand
    I just ordered a new bass boat and considered a 36 volt for my bow motor. I ended up going with AGM batteries for two reasons:

    The weight reduction was not a concern
    I got 12 years out of my AGM’s on my previous bass boat
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