Upgrading our house battery system, part 2; life is better with lithium

Ben Stein

Ben Stein

Publisher of Panbo.com, passionate marine electronics enthusiast, 100-ton USCG master.

8 Responses

  1. Wolfgang says:

    Thank you for this follow up of the Lithium installation. Very educative.

    I have LI on my list to replace an older 24V/900Ah traction battery, like you stated, I cannot do this before I upgrade everything elso, to protect the LI battery.
    Same like you, I made the decision for Mastervolt, because they supply the whole chain (generator/alternator, charger, inverter, and so on).

  2. Cam Stevens says:

    Thanks for sharing your experiences Ben! It’s really interesting to read about the process of the upgrade as there are not that many organizations that you can consult with in the upgrade. Often we have found ourselves to be on our own to figure things out. A friend of mine and myself are upgrading my wife’s and my boat, and it’s been challenging at times. We’ve not actually started the build yet, but we hope to begin this Thursday if all the components we’ve ordered arrive. Our system will have a 6 kw system with an integrated BMS. Much thought has to be given to protections, charging parametres, and the various protections for the various systems on board. Love to chat about your install or share our plans with you if you are interested!

    • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:


      I’d be happy to talk about your install. I suspect others would be interested in hearing what you’re thinking as well. So, if you’re willing, I think it would be great for you to share your plans in the Panbo forum.

      -Ben S.

  3. Rob S says:

    Ben, really enjoying this mini-series, as always, thanks for taking the time to learn “real world” technology and then sharing your experiences/results.. I believe LiFePO4 will be/is becoming the goto battery technology for the marine industry and that perhaps the largest initial market for manufacturers will be retrofits on older boats. Very nice to see the technology is starting to be in place to support this for DYI’ers, albeit still at an “introductory” price level..

  4. Tom Reed says:

    Hi Ben

    I’d love to hear how these batteries can output information directly to NMEA2000. I recently installed 6 of the MLI 24/5500 batteries on my boat and they work great, but it would definitely be useful to be able to check on everything from standard NMEA 2000 displays.


  5. Richard R says:

    A very timely article, since I also recently installed lithium batteries in our boat. I took as slightly different route with Battleborn/Victron Multiplus, but my experience has been the same. I especially like that voltage doesn’t drop very much as the batteries discharge, and that they recharge at or near the capacity of the charging device,

    Two things to be emphasized when planning a lithium installation.. These batteries don’t like heat, so don’t install them in the engine room, and because regulators will cut charging abruptly when the batteries reach 100%, alternators need to be protected from voltage spikes.

  6. Marcus says:

    I have 4 MLI 24 180AH batteries, and am trying to setup the right stop charge events to my charger. Do you configure the events only from the master battery, or from both?

    My 24/100-3 charger went through full absorption up to 29.3 volts, and one battery had a reduce charge alarm set, but the stop charge does not seem to kick in until higher I guess. The charger finished, but I am puzzled because the bulk and absorb settings are at 28.5, not 29.3.

    I then attempted to trigger a reduce charge event to a relay module and it did not seem to work. I configured this live, after the event occurred, so maybe I should test again.

    I want to optimize for longevity, so I actually want to stop charging when 28.5 is achieved, then float at 26.8. This is more conservative than stated in the manual. Any advice on the event config?

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