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It seems that our friends at Yanmar may have been having some issues with some customers swapping out the batteries on their boats for lithium ion units. It is imperative to note that there is a LOT more to do with your boat when switching to lithium technology than merely swapping out the batteries. A proper BMS (battery management system) is an absolute must. Other issues include dealing with the extreme re-charge acceptance rate of these batteries. This is both a blessing and a curse. High acceptance rate means that batteries can be recharged more quickly, reducing engine run time or time it takes a shore power charger to get the job done. The importance of this BMS system cannot be over-emphasized. The LION battery you see above went into what is known as thermal run-away and ultimately caused the boat it was installed in to burn to the waterline. I believe the root cause of this incident was a failure of the BMS system in that system. In Yanmar’s case, they are concerned specifically with the extreme load a lithium battery can put on their engine alternators. So, the bulletin addresses that issue quite specifically. But beyond that, their bulletin also brings to light a few additional potential issues worth sharing because due to the characteristics of lithium batteries in general, things like voltage spikes may be additional worries. I share with you the entire bulletin from Yanmar which I believe you can’t find anywhere else on the web just yet. Its worth a read for those contemplating a major jump into lithium tech. Sorry about the lightness on the third page. That’s how it came to me and I haven’t been able to do much to make it look better. Still readable though. 

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