Bye bye batteries

We carefully hoisted our lead-acid batteries into the dinghy of a fellow-sailor. He is happy to re-use them, and we are happy that they don’t have to be recycled yet. So, we are both happy. The alternative would have been to sell them as old lead, but we prefer re-use to recycle.

Why did we decide to replace the batteries? Well, we noticed our lead-acid batteries got more difficulties in loading and unloading. They also needed more energy for themselves, so they were less efficient. Also, because we could not travel during COVID, we decided to use our time on Guadiana river to replace the batteries. After giving it some thought we knew we wanted to change to lithium-ferro-phoshae. Lighter and much more efficient. So, in January we ordered batteries and…  lead.

Work in progress: taking the old batteries out and replacing them with the new ones.

The 24 lead-acid batteries that have served ‘Ya’ faithfully for the past 7 years not only served for energy storage, but also for ballast.

To prepare the battery-banks for the new batteries, we had to take the old ones out, They weigh 60 kilogrammes each so we were very glad Hadrien helped us.
Afterwards, we have been living with 1400 kilogrammes of batteries on our side decks for a few weeks. 
We connected them and used them for cooking etcetera.
Because the new batteries weigh only 300 kilogrammes instead of 1400, we had to put in extra lead to keep Ya’s stability. 


To be exact, we have put in 24 pieces, in total 991 kilogrammes of lead. We were allowed to use a little less than we removed because the weight could be put lower in the boat.
The new batteries arrived in time.
We prepared for the structures to keep the new batteries in place.
Peter carefully put together lots of connecting pieces for the new batteries.
Above the lead, a construction to keep the new batteries stable and dry.
And, in the spot where we had 1 lead-acid batteries, we can now fit in 4 lithium-ferro-phosfate batteries.
Slowly but surely the new batteries find their way to the battery-bank.
Peter makes sure the batteries will keep in place also when sailing.
A demo-construction of 2 sets of 3 LFP-batteries.

The next phase is the that we have to connect the battery-banks to all our energy-input systems (solar, hydro, wind). We hope to be able to tell you how we did this in one of our next blogs.