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Old 24-03-2013, 11:00   #2446
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

I for one, find the "doomsday predictions" about bankruptcy perfectly on topic.
If we're going to send hundreds if not thousands of hard earned dollars any one of several far away companies on faith the product will arrive intact and within a reasonable time frame and not disappear down a financial rathole, I'm comfortable seeing this forum discuss exactly that.

To quote yourself, "If you don't want to tread here..."

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Old 24-03-2013, 11:05   #2447
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Originally Posted by dlentz View Post
The marvels of finance. Even without shell companies, subsidiaries, foreign masters and Chinese national intrigue, it can be a fascinating game. Betting on whether it is Winston or Sinopoly that is either a bad guy or in trouble? Well that should be a safe bet either way, since we all know these batteries will all last forever and only the purchase price counts. Right?

Not me, thanks. I have had orphaned products before, I try to avoid that.
Great maybe this thread can get back on topic, and stop the doomsday predictions. I don't see/hear anyone twisting anyone's arm to dive into this. If you don't want to tread here, fine, but please move on.
I know nothing of all of this, oh yea my 700 ah hour cells arrived a couple of weeks ago (on time and as advertised from that Bankrupted Co.) and so far all I know is you don't want to experience a complete internal short, however, compared to the equivalent LA event, quite tame and safe, really! (PS: My fault not the batteries)[/QUOTE]

How did the shipping go? I am looking at the 700Ah ones for two boats. I need them to go to Florida.
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Old 24-03-2013, 11:22   #2448

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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

"cells arrived a couple of weeks ago (on time and as advertised from that Bankrupted Co.) "
Really interested. He must have ordered directly from Winston/China, since there has been no bankruptcy involving Balqon (Winston/US). And the bankruptcy must have gone though quietly in the night, since he refers to a bankrupted (past tense) company.

Little mistakes like that, confusing the simple bits and getting them swapped, could lead to a major battery explosion in a DIY installation.

dl, if you think something is offtopic, the forum rules suggest that you contact the moderators and don't even think about doing their job yourself.

My understanding is that the LiFePO4 batteries under discussion here, are available from a limited number of specific sources, and that at least one source has discontinued them in favor of Yttrium-doped LiFePO4 chemistry. Which may require different charging characteristics, so if the original batteries cannot be replaced when or if necessary, the entire bank may need to be discarded (ka-ching!) if any one cell or battery fails. And then there's the question of why the manufacturer of the "perfect" battery went out and changed the product chemistry. To address a problem? Or simply because it is better? Or, sidesteps a patent issue?
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Old 24-03-2013, 14:14   #2449
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

"Little mistakes like that, confusing the simple bits and getting them swapped, could lead to a major battery explosion in a DIY installation."

And what is you basis for declaring that a "major battery explosion" is even possible. Have you seen theses batteries with a dead short internally? And just what do think the result of a "major battery explosion" in a LA senerio would result in?
I'm not going to debate the relevance of your post to the thread topic, however, I don't find it useful to the topic of using these batteries, maybe others do. Perhaps you could start a thread on why nobody should use these batteries; dangerous, bankruptcies, false claims, bad chemistry, changes in formulas, lack of knowledge, fires, explosions, blindness, and infertility!

Too bad you don't want to talk about, charge rates, parameters, system protection, balancing, fusing, capacity, sizing, and all of the other items that go "into using these Li batteries for a house bank."
I'm out of here, too many naysayers have taken over a Very Good Thread.
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Old 24-03-2013, 14:21   #2450
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Hang in there dlentz. More and more folks are receiving their cells and posting their experiences with them, stay tuned.
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Old 24-03-2013, 18:13   #2451
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Ok, I made the plunge. 12x260 amp Balqon LifePo4, 3P4S for a total of 780amp. Added Mini BMS from Cleanpower and everything else that goes with it (relays and alarm).

Went for PowerMaax alternator (165 amp) with a Balmar regulator MC-614 fully programmable. PowerMaax factory is a few kilometers from my residence so that was/is convenient. They gave me excellent service.

I am therefore left with programming the Balmar, not a trivial matter. My understanding of LiefePo is that they prefer being charged at constant voltage. So I am thinking of setting the Balmar as follow:

a) 14.25 volt for the Bulk
b) 13.90 volt for absorbtion although I think I still could set it at 14.25
c) 13.80 volt for float but again I think it could be set for 14.25 as well

As for the time limit

a) Bulk 6 hours
b) Absorbtion 1 hour
c) Float 18 min

Of course time is irrelevant if all at 14.25

Since I am a bit fuzzy on the why lifepo requires 3 stages Bulk, absorbtion and float, I am looking for input from the group.



Thank a million.
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Old 24-03-2013, 18:59   #2452
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rimica View Post
Ok, I made the plunge. 12x260 amp Balqon LifePo4, 3P4S for a total of 780amp. Added Mini BMS from Cleanpower and everything else that goes with it (relays and alarm).

Went for PowerMaax alternator (165 amp) with a Balmar regulator MC-614 fully programmable. PowerMaax factory is a few kilometers from my residence so that was/is convenient. They gave me excellent service.

I am therefore left with programming the Balmar, not a trivial matter. My understanding of LiefePo is that they prefer being charged at constant voltage. So I am thinking of setting the Balmar as follow:

a) 14.25 volt for the Bulk
b) 13.90 volt for absorbtion although I think I still could set it at 14.25
c) 13.80 volt for float but again I think it could be set for 14.25 as well

As for the time limit

a) Bulk 6 hours
b) Absorbtion 1 hour
c) Float 18 min

Of course time is irrelevant if all at 14.25

Since I am a bit fuzzy on the why lifepo requires 3 stages Bulk, absorbtion and float, I am looking for input from the group.

Thank a million.
LFP does not require 3 stages. The early consensus on this thread, and my estimation is charge to 3.45 Vpc then stop, if you can. That's 13.8V on a balanced pack. Measured at the battery, not the source. After the charge, float at 3.35 Vpc, 13.4V, the max I would use for float after the completion of the charge.

You must also have a temp sensor on the alternator to reduce charge if it overheats.

I'm not a Balmar programming expert. But for times, Bulk should be a max time until 13.8, absorption, maybe 30 minutes at 13.8 or less, and then Float time indefinite at 13.4V. I have no idea where your 18 minute number represents?

YMMV, but these are the settings I would use. The lower the settings the longer the cycle life. 3.45Vpc on bulk will get you to 90% SOC or thereabouts, 3.35 held for some time will get you close to 95% SOC.

My observations are based on my 1200Ah GBS pack, a slightly different cell, but nothing Ive seen would lead me to believe its different than than the Winston cells you bought.

Best Bob
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Old 24-03-2013, 19:24   #2453
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Rimica,

Congrats on your purchase.
I'm curious why you chose 3P4S instead of (4) 700 a-hr cells. Physical size restrictions?
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Old 24-03-2013, 20:00   #2454
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlentz View Post
I'm out of here, too many naysayers have taken over a Very Good Thread.
hey DLentz; Hang out with us. I find lots of good information from posters with real hands-on experience on this thread. We have to edit to our own needs. It seems to me a lot of the turmoil is reading comprehension and misunderstanding, hopefully not purposeful misleading.
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Old 24-03-2013, 20:11   #2455
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

The choice of 3P4S as opposed 4S @700AH was due to height restriction of the space available. In other words I played with blocks until I found the max AH for the space available given the cell dimensions available.

and thanx ebaugh, the 18 minutes is the minimum setting the Balmar program allows for the float time
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Old 24-03-2013, 23:16   #2456
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

The choice of bulk charge voltage setting requires 2 bits of information, well 3 really. What is the charge rate in amps compared to the battery capacity?
Is fast charging the aim?
Is the control voltage measured at the battery terminals or the source?

If the charge rate in amps is less than half the capacity in Ah (0.5CA) then 14v is the max boost charge rate, if:
The aim is fast charging
The voltage is measured at the battery terminals
If you aren't after fast charging, drop the boost or bulk charge rate to 13.9v, if the control voltage is measured anywhere other than the battery terminals, you will need to read the terminal voltage and adjust the control voltage till either 13.9v or 14v is reached at the battery terminals before the regulator drops out of boost or bulk voltage. Don't hold bulk or boost charging voltage, as soon as it reaches that voltage, move on to the absorption stage.
Hold absorption at 13.9v for 30 mins if you want fast charging to 100%, if you aren't chasing fast charging, absorption for 1 hr at 13.8v
Float isn't needed, but if it's a function because the motor is still running for other reasons, 13.8v will be ok. the important thing is a warning system that a cell has reached 3.6v, stop charging till it drops below that voltage, any higher on a regular basis will cost you cycle life and speed of recharging.

As for those making up stories for what ever jollies it gives you, look for another bridge, this is an anti troll zone. Unless you can come up with genuine evidence to support these stories, they will remain troll stories.

T1 Terry
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Old 24-03-2013, 23:35   #2457
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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Originally Posted by deckofficer View Post
Rimica,

Congrats on your purchase.
I'm curious why you chose 3P4S instead of (4) 700 a-hr cells. Physical size restrictions?
There is also reasonable advice (other internet forums) that some parallelism can benefit reliability. The failure of a single unit will not disable the entire bank as it can be removed from service, the capacity being reduced by a corresponding amount. Something to consider for cruisers.
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Old 25-03-2013, 04:29   #2458
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My understanding is that the LiFePO4 batteries under discussion here, are available from a limited number of specific sources, and that at least one source has discontinued them in favor of Yttrium-doped LiFePO4 chemistry. Which may require different charging characteristics, so if the original batteries cannot be replaced when or if necessary, the entire bank may need to be discarded (ka-ching!) if any one cell or battery fails. And then there's the question of why the manufacturer of the "perfect" battery went out and changed the product chemistry. To address a problem? Or simply because it is better? Or, sidesteps a patent issue?
This is full of generalisations, we are trying to run a technical thread here , not " opinion", the use of Yttrium or whatever in the positive electrode can be debated and there is some research material online. But to simply make overarching comments without providing any back up is not adding to the debate. You don't seem to interested in this technology, why keep running it down.

I don't see the point of this type of contribution, I mean to what purpose is it for. Why sow doubt for the sake of it.

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Old 25-03-2013, 04:33   #2459
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There is also reasonable advice (other internet forums) that some parallelism can benefit reliability. The failure of a single unit will not disable the entire bank as it can be removed from service, the capacity being reduced by a corresponding amount. Something to consider for cruisers.
I'm not sure this stands up to technical scrutiny. The failure modes for Li , are mostly reduction in capacity type issues. ( leaving aside the catastrophic failure debate ) hence its unlikely your scenario would benefit. I'd suggest either an A/B bank approach , which is very inefficient, or just using the largest single cell in series.

But there some advantages to using smaller cells , sometimes the price point and availability are better.


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Old 25-03-2013, 05:19   #2460
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I'm not sure this stands up to technical scrutiny. The failure modes for Li , are mostly reduction in capacity type issues.
We do not yet know the failure modes for LFP in a cruising boat. And your "mostly" word is worrisome: 51% or 99.999%?. I would think the typical cruiser would use some parallelism to avoid total electrical failure offshore or in remote locations ... LFP cells are not readily available even here in the PI. Most cruisers have some form of parallelism with their LA batteries.

Note that prismatic "cells" are actually a battery of several parallel cells. But very difficult to disable one problematic cell.
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