Engineering and Systems Articles

Some of our technical solutions may be interesting for other cruisers as well.

We have done considerable design and engineering on the energy management side and we try to document it in a way that makes it understandable for others.


Please note that our solutions are specifically crafted to our particular needs and expected use cases, they may not fit for everyone!

Energy Management Basics

The following posts contain general information about the energy management solution on our boat, taking into account our own needs and requirements, leading to engineering decisions:


Energy Management Part 1 - Consumption and "Use Cases" (our motivation to address the energy management problem and contains an update on actual energy budget during the 2016/2017 cruise including real-world numbers)

Energy Management Part 2 - Batteries (why not lead acid...?)

Energy Management Part 3 - Charging Sources Overview (selecting the right charging sources for our purpose)


Design and Implementation

The posts below contain detailed descriptions about our engineering solution, containing full schematics and designs. We also describe how we actually implemented the plan. 


Designing a LiFePO4 Battery System Part 1 - LiFePO4 Cells (from choosing the cells to preparing them for installation)

Designing a LiFePO4 Battery System Part 2 - Battery Management System Module (the BMS in a box)

Designing a LiFePO4 Battery System Part 3 - System design (schematics and detailed explanation)

Designing a LiFePO4 Battery System Part 4 - Real world implementation (physical installation in the battery compartment)


High Performance Alternator Installation (installing a Balmar high performance alternator)


Building a Portable Battery Pack (for powering an electric dinghy outboard)


Saving Energy: Discrete edge detector for driving latching relays (circuit for replacing level driven relays with latching relays)


Cool Hacks