Here’s an alternative to the weight and dangers of lead acid batteries.  Check out Lithium Iron Magnesium Phosphate (LiFeMgPO4) battery modules from Valence which will do more than test your knowledge of the periodic table of elements. 

Valence has been working on energy storage solutions in a variety of markets including automotive, industrial and military for nearly 20 years.  Now that they’ve outfitted a 190 foot sailing megayacht, The Ethereal, they’re officially in the big boat market. 

Lithium iron magnesium phosphate modules are a part of the lithium-ion battery category. Valence’s U-Charge® Power System family of products has been installed in more than one hundred applications since it was launched in 2006 including cars, trucks, vans, buses, and boats.  The magic combination of this system is the power of lithium and safety of phosphate combined with a little intelligent packaging. 

These batteries surpass traditional power storage options in several ways.  They offer a cycle life 3-4 times that of lithium cobalt and are 35% lighter than lead acid.  Valence’s U-Charge system comes in 12V and 18V modules and offers twice the run time of lead acid batteries and very deep cycling.  You get a longer shelf life and faster recharge times and these batteries can be charged with most standard lead acid chargers (set for AGM/gel cells).  These modules are maintenance free and you can expect an overall lower cost of ownership. 

The U-Charge system is scalable and can be built up to 1,000 Ah in custom solutions.  They are packaged in standard lead acid sizes so they might fit your old battery compartment - and there are no acid leaks.  

High energy efficiency with no memory effect and two thirds the weight?  Take it from someone who’s lugged 8Ds onto and then into a 50’ sailboat - I’m all for better, lighter energy storage.  Check out Valence for more information. 

Written by: Zuzana Prochazka
Zuzana Prochazka is a writer and photographer who freelances for a dozen boating magazines and websites. A USCG 100 Ton Master, Zuzana has cruised, chartered and skippered flotillas in many parts of the world and serves as a presenter on charter destinations and topics. She is the Chair of the New Product Awards committee, judging innovative boats and gear at NMMA and NMEA shows, and currently serves as immediate past president of Boating Writers International. She contributes to and, and also blogs regularly on her boat review site,