July 2021

It’s been a great summer for boating with seemingly endless sunshine.  I have been wrapping up some major rewire projects and taken care of smaller additions to electrical systems. Also still taking calls to help boaters meet the new 30 milliamp ELCI standard for shore power.  And now I am available to take on winter projects in Bellingham. 

My wife and I recently became residents of Sudden Valley and love it.  This means that the Port of Bellingham is now my preferred place to work. If it’s time to upgrade the electrical, charging, and distribution system on your boat give me a call.

My First Lithium Battery Installation

I have been waiting to install lithium batteries until I was sure that it was going to be safe, and that I really understood what I was doing.   I would rather be a little late to the game than risk doing anything less than a safe and effective installation.  And of course the cost must be justified for the application, I still feel most boats will be just fine with standard batteries.


Along came one of my customers who has a trawler that needed it’s 12 12v AGM batteries changed out.  It was the perfect candidate for a new Lithium battery bank, that would be lighter, smaller and more useful.
At first the Customer was trying to buy Lithionics batteries, but due to availability issues, he ended up going with MG Energy Systems batteries instead.  https://www.mgenergysystems.eu/


So far we are very pleased with the batteries and controllers, and the way it all integrates with the Victron inverter chargers, and the new Victron Cerbo GX. The MG batteries also gave us the advantage of allowing the flexibility to make our own battery cables connecting the batteries and controllers.


Because we switched over to a completely new battery type we need to address all the sources of charging on the boat.  After a few software updates, the Victron chargers were able to communicate directly with the new battery controllers through the GX (very cool).  For the Alternator I wired in a Wakespeed regulator that is able to charge lithium batteries and communicate with the rest of the system through the CAN network.  The point is there is a lot involved in making the switch, but the technology seems to the task.


I still have more t do now that the old battery bank is gone. I need to arrange the DC wiring to work better in our new found space.  Also we still have a battery to battery charger to install to deal with the charging needs of Start and Thruster batteries. And even a Panda DC generator that we will bring into the new system.