January 28, 2022
By George LaBonte
Boater’s lives today have become so much easier through the use of an array of electronic tools yet simultaneously much more complicated because of them. One of the biggest stressors we deal with is the maintenance of and the charged state of our DC electrical system. If you operate lots of electronics and pumps with your main engine shut down or operate a trolling motor all day you know exactly what I’m talking about.
There was a time in my life when all we had were lead acid batteries and it seemed like all I did was fill and charge, then test and replace batteries. They never seem to be installed in an easy location for access either. I hated working on them and I definitely hated worrying about them all day. My own life was drastically improved once I added lithium batteries for both my house battery and my trolling motor last year. Not only are they one third the weight of lead acid which pays dividends on weight sensitive shallow water skiffs like mine- they recharge five times faster, have five times the cycle life, retain higher terminal voltage as they discharge throughout the day and are fully sealed, never requiring maintenance.
I’ll admit the initial investment was tough to swallow at first but after I ran some numbers it actually ends up costing less over the lifetime of your batteries to opt for lithium and you don’t have to work on them at all for several years when it becomes necessary to replace them.
Just when I thought life couldn’t get any easier even greater technology comes along to improve upon a system that I’m sure once I put my hands on it I’ll never be able to live without. Lithium Pros recently announced a new line of batteries that offer all of the benefits of the existing lithium models along with a new embedded battery monitor built into the actual battery itself.
The new BM 21 series features an integrated management system that sends useful data to your network via a NMEA 2000 micro port and cable directly from the battery to your MFD electronics unit while also displaying the data to a separate display on the battery itself. A sample of the info you can monitor includes voltage and amperage, your battery state of charge, time remaining in use, and battery temperature. The battery also sends and records warnings and alarms.
When you start to unpack all of the possibilities with this technology and how much more efficiently your day could run with this information always at your fingertips, if you’re anything at all like me it won’t be long before you’re trying to put your hands on a set of them. www.lithiumpros.com