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Old 29-11-2013, 19:06   #3136
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Maine Sail and others interested, now that I'm running the cycles for 67 minutes @ 94 amps, I was a bit blown away by the resting voltage after the load was removed.

Cell voltage of 100 a-hr cells after 67 minutes @ 94 amps
3.24
3.25
3.24
3.26

12.99 volts after pulling 106 a-hr from a 100 a-hr rating battery, no wonder the LiFePO4 poll A poll Happy with LiFe (PO4)? shows 100% satisfaction from early adopters, nothing to be unsatisfied about these cells.
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Old 01-12-2013, 20:40   #3137
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Found this


looks good.
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Old 01-12-2013, 21:05   #3138
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Quote:
Originally Posted by careka View Post
Good video, pretty much what we have been saying here. Went to youtube to see some of his other videos and watched the one that drives the point home that no matter how small your solar panel is, it needs a controller.
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:21   #3139
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelwrk1 View Post
Hello All,

Winterizing LiFePO4 Batteries.

We winterize our engines and gen sets to -45 degrees F. Boats gets hauled early Nov and back in the water April/May. It will rarely get this cold but it is possible.

What do you do with your House bank LiFePO4 Batteries. Like my previous gel cells I will remove the positive side going to the boat, so there is no loads , and I will take a look at them in January to see where they are, if I leave them on board.

I have read the following at different places;

-reduce the charge to 40 to 60 % capacity and leave them on board

-remove them and store in heated building at 40 to 60% capacity

-full charge 90 to 95% and leave them on board

-remove them and store in heated building at full charge 90 to 95%


Has any one have " been there done that" experience on this ?

Thanks for any comments,
Pete
Hello All,

Well I did not get any firm answers to my query above so I ran heaters in my boat till I had a chance and removed my batteries and hauled them out last Friday.

Handeling 6 sets of 14 only 60 amp LiFep04 @ only 70 # each are do-able alone .

Going down a lader when on the hard, through a zipper door as the boat is now shrinwraped.I would never have been able to that with my gel 6 gel cells that weighed 150# each !

They are in my heated garage as I type this and I reduced the battery capacity to store for 5 months @ 55% .I ran a few heators and some lights drawing a 170 amp load on them bringing them down from the 85% I had them at when I hauled out the boat in Nov.

BANK # 1 WIRED UP FROM 21 INDIVIDUAL CELLS WENT TO SLEEP AT 3.23 VOLTS
BANK # 2 WIRED UP FROM 21 INDIVIDUAL CELLS WENT TO SLEEP AT 3.25 VOLTS
BANK # 3 WIRED UP FROM 21 INDIVIDUAL CELLS WENT TO SLEEP AT 3.23 VOLTS
BANK # 4 WIRED UP FROM 21 INDIVIDUAL CELLS WENT TO SLEEP AT 3.23 VOLTS

( EACH BANK OF 21 WIRED IN PARELLE) THEN THE 4 CONNECTED IN SERIES AND THE SIMPLE BMS GAVE ME A READING OF 12.95VDC AT 57 DEGREES F.

It will be interesting to see how the voltage changes as each set has a number of 3.55v bleed off boards that also have a small green light on them always lit up when batteries are in normal condition.


Prior to shrink wrapping I made and temporarrily fastened in place the aluminum framing solar panel supports for a 7 pannel install.( all now removed for final assy over the winter)

Set # 1 ...3 X 215 watt ...aft (tiltable) lower
and
Set # 2 ...2 x 245 watt...radar arch level (fixed flat) forward
and
Set # 3 ...2 X 245 watt radar arch level ( fixed flat) aft .

Set # 1 will be tiltable if required for performance.

I upgraded to the 245 watt from the original plan of using 215 watt all around as I had more room on the upper section of the boat for longer pannels.

Had a solar professional visit the boat morning before shrink wrap and am waiting for wire sizing recomendations as well as MPPT controllers recomendation and I will post these here( 3 recomended due to different shading and locations). When measured my runs are 57 feet from the 3 tiltable Set # 1 ,215 watt set and 52 feet from the two sets , # 3 & 4, of 245 watt pannels to the Mppt controllers ....then a max of 13 feet with a heavy wire from the MPPT controllers to the 84 only 60 amp 12 volt LiFePO4 battery bank .

Thanks for all the positive informative research being posted here. The comments of the pros and the DIY and everyone in between ( leaving out the nitpicking and negative s#it) is very much appriciated as I get my mind wrapped arround the total install.

Next season will be a new style of boating and the Gen set will be saved for aircon and heating .......and non sunny days.

Thanks again to those of you, Maine Sail, deckofficer, Wraith_Mac, senormechanico, T1 Terry, Ebaugh,and others who take your time to post your knowledge and experiences here ....for all of us to benifit from.

Best Regards,
Pete
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:59   #3140
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Quote:
Originally Posted by deckofficer View Post
Good video, pretty much what we have been saying here. Went to youtube to see some of his other videos and watched the one that drives the point home that no matter how small your solar panel is, it needs a controller.
Those are my videos.... LiFePO4 community still a small world...
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:07   #3141
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Those are my videos.... LiFePO4 community still a small world...
I had a hunch it was you. The high end test equipment and 400 a-hr cells were a good clue.

From the poll response it appears we have at least 27 in the LiFePO4 community here on CF. A poll Happy with LiFe (PO4)?

I'm on cycle 27, even at 3 to 4 cycles per day it will be close to 2 years to reach 2000.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:42   #3142
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelwrk1 View Post
Hello All,

Well I did not get any firm answers to my query above so I ran heaters in my boat till I had a chance and removed my batteries and hauled them out last Friday.

Handeling 6 sets of 14 only 60 amp LiFep04 @ only 70 # each are do-able alone .

Going down a lader when on the hard, through a zipper door as the boat is now shrinwraped.I would never have been able to that with my gel 6 gel cells that weighed 150# each !

They are in my heated garage as I type this and I reduced the battery capacity to store for 5 months @ 55% .I ran a few heators and some lights drawing a 170 amp load on them bringing them down from the 85% I had them at when I hauled out the boat in Nov.

BANK # 1 WIRED UP FROM 21 INDIVIDUAL CELLS WENT TO SLEEP AT 3.23 VOLTS
BANK # 2 WIRED UP FROM 21 INDIVIDUAL CELLS WENT TO SLEEP AT 3.25 VOLTS
BANK # 3 WIRED UP FROM 21 INDIVIDUAL CELLS WENT TO SLEEP AT 3.23 VOLTS
BANK # 4 WIRED UP FROM 21 INDIVIDUAL CELLS WENT TO SLEEP AT 3.23 VOLTS

( EACH BANK OF 21 WIRED IN PARELLE) THEN THE 4 CONNECTED IN SERIES AND THE SIMPLE BMS GAVE ME A READING OF 12.95VDC AT 57 DEGREES F.

It will be interesting to see how the voltage changes as each set has a number of 3.55v bleed off boards that also have a small green light on them always lit up when batteries are in normal condition.


Prior to shrink wrapping I made and temporarrily fastened in place the aluminum framing solar panel supports for a 7 pannel install.( all now removed for final assy over the winter)

Set # 1 ...3 X 215 watt ...aft (tiltable) lower
and
Set # 2 ...2 x 245 watt...radar arch level (fixed flat) forward
and
Set # 3 ...2 X 245 watt radar arch level ( fixed flat) aft .

Set # 1 will be tiltable if required for performance.

I upgraded to the 245 watt from the original plan of using 215 watt all around as I had more room on the upper section of the boat for longer pannels.

Had a solar professional visit the boat morning before shrink wrap and am waiting for wire sizing recomendations as well as MPPT controllers recomendation and I will post these here( 3 recomended due to different shading and locations). When measured my runs are 57 feet from the 3 tiltable Set # 1 ,215 watt set and 52 feet from the two sets , # 3 & 4, of 245 watt pannels to the Mppt controllers ....then a max of 13 feet with a heavy wire from the MPPT controllers to the 84 only 60 amp 12 volt LiFePO4 battery bank .

Thanks for all the positive informative research being posted here. The comments of the pros and the DIY and everyone in between ( leaving out the nitpicking and negative s#it) is very much appriciated as I get my mind wrapped arround the total install.

Next season will be a new style of boating and the Gen set will be saved for aircon and heating .......and non sunny days.

Thanks again to those of you, Maine Sail, deckofficer, Wraith_Mac, senormechanico, T1 Terry, Ebaugh,and others who take your time to post your knowledge and experiences here ....for all of us to benifit from.

Best Regards,
Pete
If I read this correctly, you have 1260 a-hr @ 13 volts all made up of (84) 60 a-hr cells? Was this done to fit into small spaces?

1625 watts of solar is impressive. Electric galley?
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:47   #3143
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Those are my videos.... LiFePO4 community still a small world...
Nice work Main Sail !!

I wish I would have seen that when I first got my batteries.

Early this season I had no faith in what people said about used batteries as my 6 only 4D 150# gel cell batteries died, after only 3 seasons...the company went bankrupt as well.

A neighbor at our Yacht club said why not go with Lithium Ion and I said too costly......he told me where I could possibly get some slightly used ones for 25% of the new cost.

Did a lot of internet reading and called an electrical engineer who works on our boats to see if he wanted in on this potential project. I requested and recieved free to me his hours for his time researching this new to him technology....full pay for his time when on my boat...and I would do all the manual work ,mechanical work, wire making and installing and all the testing as per his verbal instructions and report to him all results

I bought the batteries with the understanding they would pass a test to ensure capacity and health...went through some 200 batteries to get my solid 100 batteries...lots of hours.
... now I believe many of the low voltage ones I initially rejected to test can probably be brought back...another project

I set up a few trial sets of 4 batteries in series ...tightly strapped together with the original binding in sets on my salon table and with a controled load of minature 12 volt lights adjustable to draw steady current...approx 10 amps...I observed and recorded each hour as the batteries drew down to full empty according to the battery monitor I used ...Simular to your Victron....and then continued to draw them down till the weakest one in the group of 4 hit the 2.7 volts each.

I have since set up groups to precharge and did not have them tied together as I could not put much current into them and they never got even warm.
I believe this tight binding is unnessary for our house banks as well as for our thruster batteries.
I took an empty plastic milk crate and jammed 8 batteries into it using empty water bottles with some air let out , enabeling me to lock them in place. I screwed the milk crate to the floor. I did this as a last moment thing and they worked just fine over the summer months and I went through some 80 locks without a problem.....i can not monitor them as I do my house bank but if they do not work they are not so important...so far so good and they will sleep on the boat unheated this winter

As your video showes my used batteries also went beyond the supposed 60 amps each and gave me confidence to complete the purchase of the used batteries.

I did notice once they get to the high end or low end of charging/discharging , they either drop off quickly or top off quickly....hence the reason why everyone cautions about overcharging or depleating.

The BMS I installed never had an event and never did the buzzer go off untill I dissambled them a few days ago...nice to know it works.

The upper charge limits on my victron charger/inverter, my main engine alternator, and both combined when traveling and the genny is running ....all did as my profesional engineer programed them to do, not overcharge.....Not rocket science ....and he did not spend more than 4 hours on that .... he had to re wire and add something to protect my alternator which made up for a good portion of that time.

I do not understand the details as an engineer,or a professional as yourself , but having had the Victron charger with a batterie monitor such as shown on your video, as well as a newer alternator installed 3 years previous I know how to use them for my purposes, on my boat.

The system on my boat was already improved 3 years ago, I paid for the newer programable inverter/charger and the newer adjustable Alternator already back then.I did this to protect and use to the max my new to me at the time gel cells.

So unlike others with an older system on board with no current technology the total cost , expecially the way I got the batteries, was much less . The first 1/2 season using them was a real reward, If I get 2 more seasons out of them and only have to switch out batteries then it has all been worth it.

Your video is so clean and professional looking, hats off to you !

It showes to all there is a profesional way to test used or possibly abused batteries, and it can be done quickly with a heater and a simple system as you have shown.

Thanks Again,
Pete

A side note , after posting my last post I went to my garage and disconnected all my little individual boards so all the batteries will have the same no load as they sleep waiting for spring.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:56   #3144
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Pete,

I noticed you haven't voted yet. A poll Happy with LiFe (PO4)?
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:12   #3145
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Hello Bob ( deckofficer)

Yes correct house bank size , Thanks to Ebaugh, and the bus site of Technomadia who said go as big as you can.

All electric galley...original 2001 norcold...original 2001 uline icemaker...new this season 120 volt Small danby fridge and 120 volt small danby freezer...see past posts for details.

Got the batteries as per above post and maxed out the place I had my gel cells installed...less than half the weight and almost twice the amps available
900# vs 420.....550 amps usable vs 1000....waiting for someone to pinch me, unless I had done it myself I would not have believed it.


All I read here, and Thank Wraith_Mac, who says go with the most solar your real estate and budget can afford...and I am.

Thanks for your tests, I am following as I am sure many are.


Best Regards,
Pete
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:22   #3146
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

As soon as I looked at that video I noticed the Compass name.
Looking at another video with that blue frame around the cells confirmed it !

Great videos and workmanship.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:24   #3147
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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Pete,

I noticed you haven't voted yet. A poll Happy with LiFe (PO4)?
tks I just voted

Yes ......

Pete
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:28   #3148
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Pete, with that much solar and a-hr storage, what a dream set up. Do guests aboard your powerboat ever ask how your able to cook in the galley without the constant drone of a gen set?

As to the price of those 60 a-hr cells, when you say about 1/4 for used cells, does that mean about $17 each? If so, is any more available at that price? I have a lot of uses for 60 a-hr cells.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:43   #3149
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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Pete, with that much solar and a-hr storage, what a dream set up. Do guests aboard your powerboat ever ask how your able to cook in the galley without the constant drone of a gen set?

As to the price of those 60 a-hr cells, when you say about 1/4 for used cells, does that mean about $17 each? If so, is any more available at that price? I have a lot of uses for 60 a-hr cells.
Hello Bob,

I just hate the gen set noise and quiet mornings when the world is just waking up are a favorite for me.

As for the batteries I bought all they had for 2k$ canadian. It was a mistake they will not make again and they now use 100 amp cells not 60.

They all came assembled in two aluminum cases and were wired up for 400+ volts ?, but don't quote me on that.

One aluminum set was almost completely scrap .So the extra ones I have ,a lot will be pure scrap as the caps came off when they were cooked running the prototype water ski boat...the other ones that had less than 2 volts will find a way into my life and are not enough in qty. to part with.

Best Regards,
Pete
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:06   #3150
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

There are a couple of electric water ski boats I have been following and they all use around 300 VDC battery banks. Also a couple of electric airplanes but they are 48 VDC. I have used batteries for many years in EVs and off grid homes, ranging from 6 volt golf cart batteries, L16, NiMH, and large single 2 volt lead cells both liquid and AGM. None of these batteries even come close to what LiFePO4 can do and behave. It is a whole new world with these cells.

I expect someone in the not too distant future to remove the lithium pouches from the heavy restraining cases and install them in a purpose designed inverter/charger shaped like a small briefcase. Portable 120 VAC power, 1 KW-hr at maybe 30 lbs. Sure would beat wondering if old gasoline has gone gummy on you and your unable to start your portable generator.
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