Integrel completely eliminates the need for a separate generator, using spare capacity from your existing inboard engine to generate electrical energy, while ensuring your engine is always running as its most fuel efficient. The Integrel system requires a bank of batteries that are charged as it generates energy, which are then used as an electrical ‘fuel tank’ for your onboard devices and systems.
We have pulled together a handy guide to explain the batteries used as part of the Integrel technology, to help answer any questions you may have.
What type of batteries can you use with Integrel?
Integrel supports both advanced lead acid and some brands of lithium ion batteries. The team can advise on battery type when helping you specify your system. The key factor in selecting batteries is that they must be capable of high charge rates. This is to minimise the amount of time taken to recharge and to make the most of the high power output available. The Integrel generator is software limited to 170A and 9kW, allowing you to charge a typical 48v bank at the 1C rate, which is the amp hour rating normally quoted by the battery manufacturer.
Can I mix and match different batteries with Integrel?
No. Mixing battery types will result in incorrect charging and potential battery damage. Ideally, all batteries should be installed at the same time, be from the same manufacturer and be of exactly the same type. They will then charge and discharge consistently, balance correctly and achieve the longest possible life.
How big a battery bank do I need for Integrel?
There are two core parameters, with the tougher one in any application being the determining factor:
- The maximum DC load between Integrel run periods. Typically, you want to calculate the worst-case overnight loads, which in many applications is air conditioning loads, and then, if using advanced AGM lead-acid batteries, double that for the battery capacity. If using lithium-ion, multiply by 1.2, to establish a minimum battery capacity.
- The charge acceptance rate of the batteries. If the batteries cannot soak up the output of the Integrel system you lose a lot of the benefits of the system. You need at least 10 kWh of lead-acid batteries to optimize the system, and even then the charge acceptance rate will taper off once the batteries are much above 50 percent charged. With lithium-ion, you should keep the charge rate no higher than the 1C rate, which is a charge rate equal to the rated capacity of the batteries, so a ~7.5 kWh battery capacity rating fits nicely with the 7-8 kW output of the Integrel system.
How much does the Integrel battery system weigh?
The Integrel generator itself is fitted directly to the propulsion engine and occupies very little space, weighing only 15kg. The storage batteries that it uses are normally fitted into the same space as the standalone generator it replaces; a 10kWh lead acid battery pack for example measures 600 x 600 x 350mm and weighs 260kg. Lithium ion batteries have about the same volume depending on the supplier and are less than half the weight.
To find out more about battery configurations with Integrel, watch Nigel Calder’s video explanation of how to set up and make the most of the system.