LIFePO4 charging, confused

simonfraser

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some threads say its an equivalent of a lead acid battery, so charge them up the same way
others suggest a special charger

the battery i have a is a Tracer BP2568 12V 24Ah
features: protected against overcharge

at the mo my lead acid battery is being charged by a solar panel with a charge controller, max 14.4V, max output 1.5A

so can i just pull out my old lead acid from the boat and put this in instead ?
 
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Boo2

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some threads say its an equivalent of a lead acid battery, so charge them up the same way
others suggest a special charger
Special charger is correct. LiFePO4 batteries have a similar charging regime to LiPos but the cutoff voltage is different, 3.6V instead of 4.2V IIRC. You charge Lithium based batteries by charging at a fixed current until the cell voltage is reached then at constant voltage until the charge current drops to a specific fraction of the nominal capacity.

But, as I say, you should not charge any Li based battery with a Lead-acid battery charger or bad things might happen.

Boo2
 

RobbieW

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Complex area, fraught with misunderstanding. The way I see it is that *IF* the LiFePO4 battery has a Battery Management System (BMS) that sits between the charge source and the battery your half way to stopping it going nasty. I think you also need to be able to tweak your existing charger so that its parameters fairly closely match the needs of the Lithium batt - the best write up I've found so far is here -> http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/lifepo4_on_boats
 

simonfraser

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ha, got a reply from the manufacturer:

'I can confirm that it will be ok to use your solar panel to charge the Tracer 12v 24Ah LiFePO4 battery'
 
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