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Old 23-04-2014, 22:10   #3646
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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I have tried to wade through the threads. The thing that is hard for me to understand is why Lifeline or Duracell or Trojan is not offering a drop in 12V or 24V Lithium battery with 3 year warranty. If lead is dead, it would seem they better get on the ball.
Exactly.
They're going to wind up in the buggy whip business in a few years if they're not careful.
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Old 23-04-2014, 22:26   #3647

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

"The thing that is hard for me to understand is why "
Well, all of them are either looking at lithium or partners already to some extent with someone.

The problems include:
Some lithium chemistries are sometimes explosive.
No one has figured out which lithium chemistry will be "the right one".
Optimum charging protocols, voltages and current, are different for lithiums.
And then again there's that question of why most lithium makers recommend extra and often expensive battery management systems. Bear in mind that a mass-market battery is pretty much expected to be abused, with complete discharge and over-zealous charging at times. Thousands of them explode, in cars, from folks jumping them the wrong way every year. And when a lithium battery explodes, it apparently does that very well too.

Buggy whips? Sure, but most folks are still driving buggies.
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Old 23-04-2014, 23:07   #3648
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Hello Everyone,

"FYI" about some of the cells on "Electric Car Parts Company" website...

I have been informed by the China Bureau of Business and Commerce that the 400Ah cell pictured here in my post (from the Electric Car Parts Company) is a rejected cell from "China Airlines" (the Chinese characters on the cell say "China Airline Battery"). This cell should have never cleared USA customs, unless it was labeled for recycling or destruction in the USA. As the cell is outside China and can not be verified for me locally here in China. The China Bureau of Business and Commerce report this cell as a "Re-manufactured", or Low Grade cell outside China, that has not passed the "Certified European Standard" requirements to be sold in Europe or Asia. This confirms it slipped into the USA without proper or falsely labeled paperwork.

Alan
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Old 24-04-2014, 00:40   #3649
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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Originally Posted by Hkalan View Post
Hello Everyone,

"FYI" about some of the cells on "Electric Car Parts Company" website...

I have been informed by the China Bureau of Business and Commerce that the 400Ah cell pictured here in my post (from the Electric Car Parts Company) is a rejected cell from "China Airlines" (the Chinese characters on the cell say "China Airline Battery"). This cell should have never cleared USA customs, unless it was labeled for recycling or destruction in the USA. As the cell is outside China and can not be verified for me locally here in China. The China Bureau of Business and Commerce report this cell as a "Re-manufactured", or Low Grade cell outside China, that has not passed the "Certified European Standard" requirements to be sold in Europe or Asia. This confirms it slipped into the USA without proper or falsely labeled paperwork.

Alan
CALB is a brand. It stands for China Aviation Lithium Battery Co.. I suspect you've been fed some funny business as CALB is one of the most reputable vendors in the LFP game.
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Old 24-04-2014, 00:55   #3650
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

One of my biggest problems here in Asia...

Who to believe !!!

Alan
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Old 24-04-2014, 04:05   #3651
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Hello,

Off to Shenzhen in the morning to visit 2 LifePO4 factories. Then 3 factories on Saturday in DongGuan.

I will be at the CALB head office on Monday. Taking the train Saturday evening from GuangZhou. Got a nice sleeper cabin with private bath !!!

Should be a very educational trip.

My goal it to get back on the train Tuesday with 16 cells, or will pick up in ShenZhen on the way back !!

Maybe I can sell the 8 extra cells here in the marina to earn enough to cover some of my travel expense LOL

Wish me luck !!!

Alan
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Old 24-04-2014, 05:34   #3652
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LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"The thing that is hard for me to understand is why "
Well, all of them are either looking at lithium or partners already to some extent with someone.

The problems include:
Some lithium chemistries are sometimes explosive.
No one has figured out which lithium chemistry will be "the right one".
Optimum charging protocols, voltages and current, are different for lithiums.
And then again there's that question of why most lithium makers recommend extra and often expensive battery management systems. Bear in mind that a mass-market battery is pretty much expected to be abused, with complete discharge and over-zealous charging at times. Thousands of them explode, in cars, from folks jumping them the wrong way every year. And when a lithium battery explodes, it apparently does that very well too.

Buggy whips? Sure, but most folks are still driving buggies.

You've debated this before, but I think these conclusions are inaccurate.

Li has now been in common use for over 10 years. Huge amounts of research have been done on the chemistries and at this point, all the basic physics are understood

The issue of which Li chemistry as being the best, is a mis direction. Li chemistries suit different applications, balancing power density with discharge capability versus thermal sensitivity

Li technology is significantly more robust then LA, processes and procedures that would destroy LA , can be handled in Li. Equally LA technology has plenty of examples of explosions, fire , leakage. Etc.

The explosion issues is also a misnomer. We are seeing two things happening. Firstly because of the extraordinary capability of Li, they have been designed into bleeding edge electric activity. In those situations NO comparable LA technology is present and it's enviable that design mistakes are made and hence some resulting errors. But such publicity hides the fact that everyday millions of Li energy solutions are in use, Secondly the knowledge bank has to be promulgated to design engineers, and silicon providers so that reliable implementations are possible specific for the chemistry. This has taken time and with it the " drop-in" attitude has been replaced by " replacement system" design approach, this can clearly be seen in the evolution of charger ICa, now these deal with pre-qualification charging, under over situations, temp profiles, where in the past these were overlooked or poorly understood or implemented by product engineers.

The issues for us as boaters, is that we are applying technology into a small niche market with little engineering expertise. Hence it's s " feel around in the dark " approach. Large prismatics is a relatively new field.

To address the " drop in " and related " charging is different ". Issues. Li is not a one to one substitute for LA. It's somewhat an accident of physics that in particular Li ferrous has a cell voltage that happens to approach the terminal voltage of LA. But designing in Li is the same as designing in any alternative battery chemistry, the system must respect the underlying chemistry.

Expecting a drop in solution is somewhat misplaced. A bit like suggesting a Diesel engine should be a " drop in" for a steam engine. Yes both provide notice power, but the resulting engineered system is very different.

Battery management is really a function, of knowledge of the requirement of the consumption and charging systems. Hence applying BMS " logic" from say high C applications or extreme environments like electric car R & D is misplaced. You have to understand the applications and the role the Li battery is playing.

This is not because Li is complex, it's primarily that Li is so capable and we are upping power and capacity , we now need to protect the system from these high C failure modes. If LA was capable of such applications, we'd be discussing BMS and safety systems for these also.

Li is mainstream, but it's not idiot proof and is unlikely ever to be , nor will any high or very high C energy storage system.

Imagine in the morning you have has a megawatt/kg density. You think that should be a " drop-in" for LA ???

Dave


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Old 24-04-2014, 07:12   #3653
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Li isn't idiot proof but neither is a internal combustion engine. They can still blow up if you forget to put oil in them. They can catch fire if you have a leak in the gas tank.

Even with all of this, there are plenty of stores selling internal combustion engines to the average joe.

Why are there so few (barely any) stores selling 900WH (about the size of a group 31 LA Lithium batteries? It has now been over a decade that we have had LiFePO4 technology, but in order to use it we still have to wade through 240 pages then make rather complicated decisions on how to hobby level assembly a battery from components. It just feels like we are in the 1700s playing with Leyden jars.
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Old 24-04-2014, 07:44   #3654
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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Li isn't idiot proof but neither is a internal combustion engine. They can still blow up if you forget to put oil in them. They can catch fire if you have a leak in the gas tank.

Even with all of this, there are plenty of stores selling internal combustion engines to the average joe.

Why are there so few (barely any) stores selling 900WH (about the size of a group 31 LA Lithium batteries? It has now been over a decade that we have had LiFePO4 technology, but in order to use it we still have to wade through 240 pages then make rather complicated decisions on how to hobby level assembly a battery from components. It just feels like we are in the 1700s playing with Leyden jars.
firstly there isn't a demand, LA batteries do most people.

I suspect very few average Joes buy IC engines. In fact Ive not seen many "stores" selling engines. ( I know they exist)

Its certainly much easier to integrate Li then an IC engine !!

I don't see why you think we at the Leyden jars. The parameters are well understood, even of the equipment in the marine market isn't being provided ( yet).

Im currently designing LIFepo4 into GSM modems, its not difficult to do or to understand, its just different.


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Old 24-04-2014, 09:28   #3655

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

Alan-
AFAIK in every US state it is some type of violation or crime to sell remanufactured goods as "new", and a "used goods" license is sometimes needed separately from the one to sell new goods. So if what you were told is correct, there could be major problems.
But what's to "remanufacture" in a battery? Open the case, swap out a bad cell? It might be enlightening to ask CALB themselves what the deal is. As well as the US vendor.

Dave-
"Li ...all the basic physics are understood "
Basic physics, yes. But the finer points, like how far to cycle the discharge, are still up for debate. Or at least, still being frequently and extensively debated. As are the number of charge cycles. But then again, the same questions were asked about LiOn batteries in laptops and Ni-whatever in hybrid cars, a decade after the basic physics were known. The difference with lead acid is that there's an additional hundred years of physics being documented, not "just" a decade.
Not a stopper, certainly, but an issue, which may be keeping some of the major vendors from risking a premature entry. Especially if that means committing big bucks to any product that won't be the one right product, however they define right.

"The issue of which Li chemistry as being the best, is a mis direction."
So who is misdirecting? Not me. "Best" is always a relative term that cannot be taken outside of a specific context. Here, it was used for a specific context, that of drop-in replacement for car batteries. You think LiFePO4 is best for that? Maybe it is, but others would say a higher energy density is really best, because that literally "gets the lead out" and if it makes fifty million cars each five pounds lighter, that's a lot of fleet fuel savings when the day is done. Lighter batteries mean lighter springs, lighter chassis...a whole larger deal. And of course, tweaking different charging systems and whole new inventories of parts. "Best" will mean doing that once, not changing it every couple of years. With perhaps zero tolerance for accidents, failures, or explosions.

"Li technology is significantly more robust then LA,...Equally LA technology has plenty of examples of explosions, fire , leakage. Etc. "
I said that. I said that thousands of lead acid batteries explode in "normal" car charging every year.

"The explosion issues is also a misnomer. "
As Boeing and Japan Air will tell you, that's correct. Stubborn fires yes, explosions no. (VBG)
All(?) the lithium technologies use flammable petrochemicals for the electrolyte, which adds an extra Class-D metals fire risk if the battery is broached during an accident. Right now there's a lot of attention being paid to exotic fires and hybrid power packs in the emergency responder community in the US. If you call 911 to report a car fire, they'll specifically ask you if it is a hybrid so they can warn the responders. There's also been a lot of effort to require AGM batteries instead of conventional wet lead, because so many responders have gotten acid burns from broached wet lead batteries.
If you smash a lithium-anything battery in a crash, will it be as polite as an AGM? If not...it may never see that market.

"We are seeing two things happening. ...where in the past these were overlooked or poorly understood or implemented by product engineers. "
The Lockheed Electra was originally seen as a flying death trap after a couple of incidents where the wings broke off. Yeah, "oops" doesn't quite cover that. As the engineering caught up and they were revised, they became "the" classic aircraft for decades, I think seeing 50 years of service in the US before being shuffled off to South America.
You miss the point here. It is not whether Li technology will mature or will take over, but rather, the question and response, was why major battery makers may not be committing to this technology right now. Elon Musk may be willing to commit a couple of billion bucks in a joint project, but he's a maverick. One would hardly expect industry stalwarts to do what he does.

"The issues for us as boaters, is that we are applying technology into a small niche market with little engineering expertise."
Wait a minute, I thought there was a decade of experience? Boats aren't all that unique.

"Li is not ... the system must respect the underlying chemistry. "
Charging systems for boats, where an external regulator for deep cycling is really the way to go, should be a simple black-box job. remove Pb regulator, drop in Li regulator, job done. Today they could even be the same regulator, microprocessor controlled, with just a different flash to a control table. Except...well...what vendors are willing to commit to marketing ANY product when there's still no consensus about what a BMS needs to do, how it needs to be done, or even if it is needed?
This is one reason why I say the "lithium companies" are their own worst enemy. Till they line up and start chanting the same song, no one will give much credibility to any of them. They can't all be wrong, and every one of them says that they are the only one who knows what they are doing.

"Expecting a drop in solution is somewhat misplaced. ...Li is mainstream, but it's not idiot proof and is unlikely ever to be ..."
Heheh. Maybe that's what the domestic industry has simply been diplomatic enough not to say.(VBG)


"Imagine in the morning you have has a megawatt/kg density. You think that should be a " drop-in" for LA ??? "
Oh hell, Dave. In grade school Reddy Kilowatt promised us all that we'd have home nuclear piles the size of home hot water heaters, that would provide all the electricity we could ever need. I'm still waiting.
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Old 30-04-2014, 04:15   #3656
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Hello,

Had a great little get-a-way exploring China LifePO4 battery factories.

Spent 2 days at the CALB factory headquarters. Buying 8 of their 3.2v 400ah cells is $3,800 USD including Shipping to Hong Kong. It also includes all the bolts and serial connecting plates. The BMS is rather impressive but Not sure if I will use it. I will receive delivery in Hong Kong on May 9.

Several other smaller factories were actually a sales agency that does not actually manufacture anything... I found the "middle man", and we always want to cut out the middle man HaHaHaHa

The last factory was in Zhuhai (north of Macau). They had very good looking cells and the cell connecting plates were really thick for the 500ah cell. They can accept 1C charge and 2C discharge. The 8 cell 3.2v 500ah bank would cost $4,500 USD. I will receive delivery of the cells between the 12th and 14th of May.

I am quite excited to bench test each bank.

There are so many of us in the 8 marina's in Hong Kong that want LifePO4 on our vessels.

Hope I can share my experience.

NOTE: Both factories should have volume prices to me once they verify my China and Hong Kong Business licenses and tax exempt certificates next week.

Alan
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Old 30-04-2014, 05:53   #3657
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hkalan View Post
Hello,

Had a great little get-a-way exploring China LifePO4 battery factories.

Spent 2 days at the CALB factory headquarters. Buying 8 of their 3.2v 400ah cells is $3,800 USD including Shipping to Hong Kong. It also includes all the bolts and serial connecting plates. The BMS is rather impressive but Not sure if I will use it. I will receive delivery in Hong Kong on May 9.

Several other smaller factories were actually a sales agency that does not actually manufacture anything... I found the "middle man", and we always want to cut out the middle man HaHaHaHa

The last factory was in Zhuhai (north of Macau). They had very good looking cells and the cell connecting plates were really thick for the 500ah cell. They can accept 1C charge and 2C discharge. The 8 cell 3.2v 500ah bank would cost $4,500 USD. I will receive delivery of the cells between the 12th and 14th of May.

I am quite excited to bench test each bank.

There are so many of us in the 8 marina's in Hong Kong that want LifePO4 on our vessels.

Hope I can share my experience.

NOTE: Both factories should have volume prices to me once they verify my China and Hong Kong Business licenses and tax exempt certificates next week.

Alan
Alan,

Can you tell us more about CALB. They seem to have been a player for a long time and are well respected. They supply stock to the US with shorter lead times than many others too. Were you looking at the CA cells (gray in color) or the SE cells (blue in color)..
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Old 30-04-2014, 06:53   #3658
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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The last factory was in Zhuhai (north of Macau). They had very good looking cells and the cell connecting plates were really thick for the 500ah cell. They can accept 1C charge and 2C discharge. The 8 cell 3.2v 500ah bank would cost $4,500 USD. I will receive delivery of the cells between the 12th and 14th of May.
Tell us more about the second factory as well, post pictures of the cells here when you receive them please.
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Old 30-04-2014, 06:58   #3659
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Hello,

The CALB headquarters is in a nice industrial park. There are a lot of pictures with American and European corporate professionals. Offices are very clean and tidy.

The factory is amazingly sterile and organized. A large work force. A French gentlemen was there. We had a quick introduction, and he went back to his tasks with a large group of workers. We spent the majority of the time in the R&D section of the factory.

They do not have 700Ah or 1,000Ah cells because that is not a required size for the aviation industry.

Having cells on my vessel that have passed AirBus and Boring tests, is a very assuring feature.

I am pleased I purchased a 25.6v set.

I would not know about this company if not for this forum... Quite lucky to have the best of both worlds here !!

Alan
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Old 30-04-2014, 07:25   #3660
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Allen, Regarding CALB.Their information about the BMS being offered is a bit light on info. What did you find out about the BMS & prices? Sounds like they can't make them fast enough to supply demand if you could not pick up the cells you wanted during your visit from the factory door!!

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