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LTO for SailBoat
#31
So a bit of journey but last night was the first night with the cells in the boat and running the a/c. Amazingly better than lead acid. We're at 7deg North .. so not as hot as normal but still good to have air conditioning overnight.. .. ran a 5000BTU unit off the batteries and only used 30% of their capacity! Very big smile!

Still have lots of wiring etc to put away.. but first test excellent. Again my thanks to all the help on this board.

The only complicating factor of the instal has been the engine alternator. I've replaced the house bank batteries with LTO but as mentioned wanted to keep the start as lead acid as they are more likely to be locally procurable in event of issues. There is a small echo charger off the main charger that takes care of charging this start battery when connected to shore power. The alternator (which charges when underway with the main engine) has an external regulator and is Balmar brand. It is a slightly older ARS-5 model with no lithium settings. The problem with LTO is that they have a much lower internal impedance and appear a much bigger load to the alternator forcing it straight to continuous fully charging mode. The alternator can quickly overheat. A quick email with Balmar and their suggestion was to either upgrade to latest regulator .. or a) Set the belt derating to -15% (this restricts the field winding current and hence output by the same amount) and b) add the alternator temp sensor to restrict it even further if it still overheats. This has all been done and appears to work well.

Next week, finally, some sailing.
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