Looking for Lithium Battery Volunteer

Topics about Class Rules and the RRS.

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Dan Corcoran
Posts: 280
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:32 pm

Looking for Lithium Battery Volunteer

Post by Dan Corcoran »

Looking for a volunteer.

I am a proponent of bringing lithium batteries into the class, especially as I cruise, and the costs have come down to the point that a lithium battery is cheaper (per "usable" Ahr).

See my past post on this forum, the safety issues are significant when just dropping in a lithium battery, the class technical committee had asked me to post that.

I have copied and modified a proposed design from the LiFePO4 Facebook, moderated by Rod Collins who is/was one of the top installers of LiFePO4 batteries and a member of the ABYC forum that created the E-13 Lithiu standards. This is a design that mitigates the safety issues which I shared, and a proposed class measurement approach to keep it fair so nobody feels they need to upgrade.

What the technical committee would like to see is if someone tests this in real-world conditions on their J/109. Is anyone out there willing to invest in not just a lithium battery but the totality of needed upgrades for safety? If so, I would be happy to be a technical resource and go shoulder to shoulder seeking approval for 2025.

Until this is done, no lithium batteries are permitted in 109-class racing, e.g. owners need to swap out their lithium battery for lead acid and reprogram their shore chargers and balmar smart regulator.

The ideal volunteer races their boat 8 times and cruises their boat twice for 3 days or more in 2024, is willing to log their battery monitoring especially while cruising, has paid careful attention to their battery monitoring in the past, has the US version of the boat (batteries next to the nav table) and has the stock alternator and balmar regulator still installed on their boat. They must also have access to someone who can competently do the upgrade work, ultimately take full responsibility for the safety of the work, speak with me through the season, and share their results on a call with the class technical committee.

If you have already purchased a lithium battery, that can work too if you are willing to do the work to make the installation conform to something we can use for class rules.

We are thinking of approving two configurations. The one I most desire to get approved with the technical committee is where the alternator output goes directly to the lithium battery with the balmar regulator, and a DC-DC charger manages a separate lead acid start battery. The other configuration, less interesting to test, is to connect the alternator to the lead acid start battery, and put the lithium behind a DC-DC converter that manages the charging of the lithium.

All future owners, when they go to purchase their next house battery, will be grateful when we are done.

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