The battery is one of the key components for any electrical vehicle, and that is also true for electrical boats. There is a wide variety of battery types to choose from and it can be complicated to understand the difference between these different types, without going into the chemistry behind, but here is a summary of the different types available and an explanation to why Finer is NOT using Lithium batteries.
Potential batteries for an electrical boat can usually be divided into two main groups, lead acid batteries and lithium batteries. The lead Acid group can then be divided into Flooded lead acid batteries, AGM batteries and Gel batteries. The Lithium batteries can again be divided into Lithium-Polymer and Lithium-Ion batteries. In the LIthium Ion family you can find the battery types that are getting more and more common for use in boats and other vehicles, due to their low weight and high power density.
The downside of the Lithium-Ion battery, besides the cost, is that Lithium-Ion batteries are flammable! They can quite easily self ignite, and once they are burning there is very little you can do about it. For this reason, Finer doesn’t use Lithium batteries, we value our own and our customers’ safety too much. If the battery in a car starts burning, you can just step outside and save yourself and everything else in the car, but what would you do in a boat if it self ignites out at sea?
Finer has chosen to use GEL-batteries in all their solutions. These batteries can withstand very deep cycle use, which is needed in an electrical boat, without shortening their lifetime. They cannot be compared to the “normal” flooded lead acid batteries that are normally used to start combustion engines, the properties of the batteries are completely different. The flooded lead acid battery is designed to give a high power output, for a short time and deep-cycle use will destroy them. The Gel battery is designed for giving lower power for a long time, without being damaged by deep cycles. The extra weight the Gel battery brings, compared to a Lithium-ion battery can be put to good use. For example in Finers’ electrical boat, Greta, the battery is used as ballast, to stabilize the boat and this gives you a boat that is extremely stable for her size, without compromising the performance. The lower price for the Gel battery compared to Lithium is also a nice feature.
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