Living off the grid with SuperB Lithium Batteries
We received quite some questions about our Lithium Battery (LiFePO4) setup from SuperB - so we decided to share our details in this blog post. We are using SuperB Lithium batteries now for a year.
Upfront we wanted to be clear that we are no experts, we share our own opinion and experiences, and if you have anything to add please let us on firstname.lastname@example.org or in the comments of the video that is coming soon!
To be crystal clear, we have a sponsor agreement with SuperB - the supplier of our Lithium batteries. With all our sponsor agreements we have the freedom to make our content in the way we want it - so also if this means we are negative about a product or certain aspects of a product. And as with every sponsor deal, we only work with brands and products we truly believe in and that we selected ourselves.
And the must in every deal we make, we want to be able to give you our loyal followers full transparency. We hate so called product placement like with Corona Beer we have seen in so many YouTube channels during the pandemic or vague product reviews without being clear about how they got the product or are being rewarded.
Below the most asked questions from you and hereby our answers. In the upcoming video Gerben will show more details. Why lithium batteries onboard?
Fast charging (1 hour charge)
No more two layers of batteries you can’t check in our case
Bad experience with Lead Acid, running the generator a lot, bad performance
Why SuperB Lithium Batteries?
High discharge, 100% vs 50%, result is a higher usable capacity
Made in the Netherlands, actually in Gerben's hometown
Qualifications like CE, FCC, UN 38.3, DNV, UL 1642 (Cells), UN ECE R10.06, EN/IEC 62620 (ESTRIN)
Origin from race cars and now two several target groups, RV and Marine Tech. They provided the sightseeing boats in Amsterdam with their Lithium batteries as well. So they provide Lithium Batteries for Marine, Automotive, Motorcycle, UPS, Recreational and Industrial applications.
They are the official supplier of Zero Jet electric jet propulsion, Aston Martin racing team and many more.
Old situation Perfect Sense?
6 times 140Ah Lead Acid batteries, 2 for 12V system and 4 for 24V system, always empty, no 220V via inverter, high maintenance, dangerous situation with two layers of batteries.
6 x 140 Ah is 840 Ah but only 50% capacity so in total 420 Ah
New Situation Perfect Sense?
6 Nomada 12V 105Ah, 2 for the 12V system and 4 for the 24V and 220V system
6 x 105 Ah, 630Ah
2 separate BMS systems
5000 charging cycles, more than 10 years life span instead of 2/3 years of Lead Acid (max 500 charging cycles)
2 x Mason 12V 25Ah , starter batteries for race cars, that’s original DNA of SuperB
How about the installation?
Chargers, we used the "old" chargers of Cristec we already had onboard and it's performing well
alternators 2x, we used the existing alternators and they are performing well
Wiring/Cables, we just changed the cables between the batteries and used the existing wiring and cables onboard
Fuses, we increased some fuses
Installation of a 2000W Victron Inverter in combination with the Lithium Batteries is a life changer for us.
What are the benefits of Lithium Batteries instead of Lead Acid?
weight is just 30% of the old Lead Acid ones
100% discharging instead of 50% so double the power
Seize 30% of the lead acid batteries, no more two layers of lead acid batteries
Enormous power output we feel in the winches, bow truster and windlass
Fast charging, 3 hours instead of 6 (this could be 1 hour if we upgrade our chargers)
Constant 220V onboard is a game changer for us so we can use the:
Charging all the camera gear
Are there any downsides?
In our case, because we have a system battery (Nomada series) we needed to do a software Installation as well and this only runs with Windows and we are Apple users ;) So we had to borrow a Windows laptop.
The quality of the screens of the battery monitors isn't that good, it also doesn't have the look and feel that corresponds with the quality of the batteries and the brand. It turned out SuperB is not producing these items themselves and are looking for another supplier to guarantee the same level of quality and probably they already fixed this.
Are you happy with the result of the Lithium Batteries?
Absolutely and proud to be a Brand Ambassador of SuperB.
The amount of power and the performance are superb. It changed our lives completely as live-aboard.
Customer service is one of the things that is extremely important to us, and we have to be honest, we have had amazing support from SuperB throughout the whole process and especially Dayana the Technical engineer. She helped us with the complete setup, gave us advise regarding the installation and even troubleshooted problems with supplier of the battery chargers for us.
Our next step is create a solar power setup in combination with the SuperB lithium batteries so we don't have to use the generator anymore. With no experience with lithium batteries before, not being DIY guys we can highly recommend SuperB, Their quality is outstanding and performance is above and beyond our expectations. We heard some horror stories about Lithium Batteries and now understand why, there are a lot of DIY setups with low quality batteries from China causing all kinds of problems. Since we only want the best quality possible, don't want to face any problem in the middle of the ocean we feel very comfortable and safe with our setup with SuperB.
Yes, it is an investment but in the long run it will be much cheaper. Relevant links: https://www.super-b.com