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Old 28-01-2013, 13:26   #1606
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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Originally Posted by typhoon View Post
Nobody touched on this as yet , or maybe I missed it . But if these batterries are good for 2000 cycles at 80% discharge , would you get more cycles from them if you only used them to 50% discharge ? Hmmmmm

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One other thing , somebody should make a 8 cell logger/monitor/alam that is bigger, and could be mounted at a chart table on a boat .
At 50% DOD they advertise >5000 cycles. Great battery, huh?
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Old 28-01-2013, 13:45   #1607
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I see the advantages of the Lithium batteries, and have set up my system in my catamaran so that I can re-program my mains/generator invertor/charger, and my solar controller to the appropriate bulk and float charge.

However, I am confused by a few of the posts

1. It appears that people are using normal engine alternator regulation - or is there a smart voltage regulator that will drive two alternators and allow the correct charge rate for lithium - like a variation of amplepower's Smart regulator and dual alternator controller?

2. With an invertor/charger (victron) able to draw up to 200amps, the need for an ability to shut of the charge and the discharge with a decent relay seems like a given??

3. with all the equipment (alternator/generator/mains/solar) set up for lithium, it makes sense to convert to lithium for engine start as well. However, my single engine start battery is 1000 cca. I have looked and cannot find any lithium cells that seem be be suitable as engine start???

4. BMS and data logging seems like an essential for a bumbling idiot like me, and also some form of power available from battery display, yet I dont see any real discussion on the optimum equipment.

Help please.
1) I use 2 standard single stage taper alternators with a max voltage adjustment set not too exceed Li float. Does not charge much until the batteries are below 50%, but maintains current charge. I just looked at one of Balmars single alternator controllers and it allowed custom charge profiles. The Centerfielder probably does too.

2) Probably a solenoid like the Tyco EV200. Blue Seas sells this under their name with a different number.

3) Most 4 cell 12V 40 Ah assemblies would start your engines. But I'd probably go with at least 100 Ah. But it may not be necessary, or even desirable to switch chemistries for your starting battery.

4) There isn't a one size fits all solution right now. The most economical and most used right now is probably using a CellLog 8. But there is only one made for marine standalone solution now called HousePower BMS. But it has no display.

There is a PDF file on our blog site www.ebaugh.net that covers some of the options with some embedded links.
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Old 28-01-2013, 13:54   #1608
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Bob's blog www.ebaugh.net is an excellent learning point, iv'e read it three times now getting bits out...

Now i have a question on high the batteries going into high voltage, correct me if i'm wrong:-
1). Are we are more concerned with a cell or cells going into a higher voltage causing an imbalance causing damage to the cell?

OR

2). Are we concerned that a higher output will cause damage to sensitive equipment?

Cheers.
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Old 28-01-2013, 14:00   #1609
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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At 50% DOD they advertise >5000 cycles. Great battery, huh?
Actually, for their LiYFePO4 chemistry, they seem to have upgraded their specs to even more promising numbers. See pic.
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Old 28-01-2013, 14:02   #1610
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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Try something like this. If you feel opto-isolation is required just throw it in, between VCC(+12V) and +ON.

Parts are not critical. You can find very nice N-FETs on old PC motherboards (next to CPU) and opto-isolator is in most all PC power supplies.
EXCELLENT thanks for that, apologies for late reply the internet is extremely unreliable right now!!!!
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Old 28-01-2013, 14:05   #1611
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Pack #1 that was pretty good in balance from Balqon just went through a deep discharge, giving 162.8 a-hr at a 3.7 amp load from 100 a-hr rated cells. Cell voltages were 3.14, 3.02, 3.12, 3.16 and pack voltage was 13.48 which proves my DVOM hasn't the accuracy of the Flukes. Now wired in parallel, charging at 3.9 volts, pushing 4.8 amps.
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Old 28-01-2013, 14:13   #1612
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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Originally Posted by mrm View Post
Actually, for their LiYFePO4 chemistry, they seem to have upgraded their specs to even more promising numbers. See pic.
As conservative as all their claims of cell performance has turned out, I wondered when they were going to up the ante.
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Old 28-01-2013, 14:18   #1613
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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Originally Posted by typhoon View Post
Nobody touched on this as yet , or maybe I missed it . But if these batterries are good for 2000 cycles at 80% discharge , would you get more cycles from them if you only used them to 50% discharge ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by deckofficer View Post
At 50% DOD they advertise >5000 cycles. Great battery, huh?
I've seen claims ranging from 5000 to 10,000 cycles for 50% discharge, but the rate of discharge seems to be as big or a bigger factor than depth of discharge. For example, a 0.5C discharge rate will result in longer life than a 2C discharge rate.

That's one of the reasons why I'm wary of small battery banks relative to the size of solar arrays and loads. It might work fine for several years and the cost and weight savings are appreciated, but I would rather have a margin of reserve capacity and longer battery life.
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Old 28-01-2013, 14:23   #1614
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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At 50% DOD they advertise >5000 cycles. Great battery, huh?
However, you must calculate the total cost of the amp hours.
A battery that gives you half the ah twice as long is really no better,
and in fact, is worse because it weighs more (when that matters).

Take what the marketing literature says regarding life cycles with an ocean of salt.
As I brought up this subject in some product comparisons in the past, some mfg magically increased their published lifecycles overnight so they were then best.

A NiMH Prius battery can get many many cycles EVERY DAY, and often last 10 years. They do it by keeping the SOC in the middle.
Heat is what wears out batteries, that comes from high C rates and overcharging and just ambient temperature.

I designed and sold battery chargers in a previous business.

BTW, I have a LiFe starter battery in my little car, no bms, nuthing.
It only weighs 2lbs vs 25-40lbs.
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Old 28-01-2013, 14:24   #1615
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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I've seen claims ranging from 5000 to 10,000 cycles for 50% discharge, but the rate of discharge seems to be as big or a bigger factor than depth of discharge. For example, a 0.5C discharge rate will result in longer life than a 2C discharge rate.

That's one of the reasons why I'm wary of small battery banks relative to the size of solar arrays and loads. It might work fine for several years and the cost and weight savings are appreciated, but I would rather have a margin of reserve capacity and longer battery life.
One reason why I opted for a 400Ah bank as opposed to a 260Ah bank.........

Personally I don't believe any of the claims of cycle life and use them as a baseline only. I got my ass handed to me with the completely BOGUS claims made by companies like Lifeline and East Penn when AGM batteries first hit the marine market. They were said to be longer lasting than both GEL and Flooded batteries, this was pure bunk. they told us to cycle to 80% DOD, that was pure bunk. They told us they don't sulfate, that was pure bunk. The pure BS sold to us early on by AGM makers has left me VERY, VERY skeptical, and rightly so, as we were flat out lied to and sold a bill of goods. I ahd numerous customers who got stuck holding the bag on $2000.00 banks at year three after not only spending 2k on batteries but also the charging systems, temp compensation and all the other add on's to treat AGM with the "respect" they deserved for the price. Still they crapped out on cruising or mooring sailed boats at 2-3 years when the same size bank in flooded batteries, with no gourmet charge system, lasted 5-7 years....

Heck Trojan claims 1200 cycles on a T105 to 50% DOD and I have never once seen any T105 do 1200 cycles in the marine environment. For that matter I've never seen one get even close to 600 cycles and still be at 80% of new capacity.

Labs are much different than the real world and the LiFePO4 makers are in Chinese labs which probably have much less stringent rules around "claims". Personally I am subtracting 2/3 of the "claims" based on past experience... If they prove better than that I am happy.... I do suspect no one will ever see 2000 or 3000 cycles from these batteries in the marine environment, I hope to be proven wrong though..

The other benefits are big enough that it still makes sense to me to try it, even if I don't believe the Chinese on what I suspect to be rather exaggerated claims.....

Heck even if I get a third of what they claim, at 70% DOD or 50% DOD, I still kick the A$$ of any AGM battery on the market, for about the same price. I also never have to deal with acceptance limiting and the constant fight to get back beyond 85% SOC when off cruising, because of acceptance issues. With these batteries I gain an extra 35% of my bank as real & useable capacity, the top unattainable 15% with LA and the extra 20% to 80% DOD, that I lose with any lead acid battery.......
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Old 28-01-2013, 14:28   #1616
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

nimblemotors,

You won't be seeing me complain after the results of these tests. At a low amp draw, when I can see 65% more a-hr than the cell's rating, I'm a happy camper. If I see 2000 cycles @ 80% DOD before the battery only holds 80% charge, again happy camper.
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Old 28-01-2013, 14:30   #1617
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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One reason why I opted for a 400Ah bank as opposed to a 260Ah bank.........
And you want to pass on this battery bank to your grand children. lol
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Old 28-01-2013, 14:32   #1618
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

" C " I take it, means the total capacity of the house bank , so if I had a 400 ah bank 0.5C would be a discharge rate of 200 amps and visa versa.

So basically you want to size your total AH house bank twice what your highest load in amps would be and also your daily requirement in Amp hours .

Correct me if I'm wrong

These batteries really are a godsend for us sailors. WOW the last house set I would ever need to buy !!!

Now for a mountable cell logger . Im sure it will come

Regards
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Old 28-01-2013, 14:50   #1619
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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" C " I take it, means the total capacity of the house bank , so if I had a 400 ah bank 0.5C would be a discharge rate of 200 amps and visa versa.

So basically you want to size your total AH house bank twice what your highest load in amps would be and also your daily requirement in Amp hours .

Correct me if I'm wrong

These batteries really are a godsend for us sailors. WOW the last house set I would ever need to buy !!!

Now for a mountable cell logger . Im sure it will come

Regards
I believe the cell logger's readings are able to be viewed on a PC so i guess the smallest Laptop or what ever would give the readout, this could be a dedicated item also reading from your Battery Monitor etal!!!
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Old 28-01-2013, 14:53   #1620
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Hmmm now that makes me think ,...... I wonder if you could interface it with a modern MFD , something like the Simrad NSS7

Regards
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