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Old 09-06-2014, 02:08   #3721
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

We are putting together an order to import CALB LiFePO4 prismatic cells into New Zealand, direct from the factory, primarily for on-board house bank applications.
US$1.20/Ah FOB ex-China subject to FX fluctuations, final landed price will depend on quantity, but expected below NZ$1.85/Ah GST included and hopefully much better. The deal is all costs + zero and we are targeting lowest possible landed cost here, so may have to optimise quantity in the end. Drop me a private message over the next few days if you are seriously interested, any cells size should be ok.

We already have enough interest for an order.

The project should also produce a compact, economical, no-nonsense integrated BMS solution for protecting these cells on yachts, but some time later down the track. It will include alternator cut-out, low voltage load cut-out etc for complete protection of the lithium bank in a sensible 12VDC nominal configuration. This is down the track and a different matter. At the moment, we are getting organised for sourcing the cells.

This is limited to NZ, because they are costly and problematic to ship, being treated as dangerous goods.

Best regards, Eric.
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Old 09-06-2014, 21:01   #3722
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Incidently, someone here just had an alternator failure that sent 28V into a pack of 4 near-new 200Ah LiFePO4s. Within 30 minutes, the two middle cells got so hot and swollen that they leaked electrolyte and gased abundantly (the vapours are anything but pleasant I was told), but they didn't rupture. It is really important to have a protection that cuts the field circuit if something goes wrong.
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Old 10-06-2014, 04:47   #3723
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Hello,

I am am always conceded about that. I am using 400amp and 500amp contact relays on my house power BMS.

Even ordered dual pole contact relays to cut the negative and positive to completely isolate any charge input when the HVC would be reached !

There are times when redundancy is your best friend ! A few hundred in relays can save thousands worth the cells !

Alan
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Old 10-06-2014, 05:46   #3724
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Hkalan, I think a lot of people would be interested in a wiring diagram of your system. Thanks
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Old 10-06-2014, 06:05   #3725
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Quote:
Originally Posted by OceanSeaSpray View Post

PS: Incidently, someone here just had an alternator failure that sent 28V into a pack of 4 near-new 200Ah LiFePO4s. Within 30 minutes, the two middle cells got so hot and swollen that they leaked electrolyte and gased abundantly (the vapours are anything but pleasant I was told), but they didn't rupture. It is really important to have a protection that cuts the field circuit if something goes wrong.
This was simply an improperly installed and poorly engineered system.... The BMS should be able to take ANY and ALL charging sources off line and do it safely so damage does not occur to that equipment when doing so..

Li installs are a "system" sounds like this one was treated as "drop in". Far too many folks want all the benefits of Li without doing all the work necessary to create a safe system. System design, safe charging voltages, and carefully chosen ancillary equipment to keep those "benefits" going over the long haul are the keys to safe and long lasting LFP banks....

Sadly stories like this are what will get LFP a black eye... Not the fault of the LFP bank but rather the fault of the owner....
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Old 10-06-2014, 06:16   #3726
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hkalan View Post
Hello,

I am am always conceded about that. I am using 400amp and 500amp contact relays on my house power BMS.

Even ordered dual pole contact relays to cut the negative and positive to completely isolate any charge input when the HVC would be reached !

There are times when redundancy is your best friend ! A few hundred in relays can save thousands worth the cells !

Alan
Remember your HVC is at 14.2V this means you really want all charging sources at 14.0V or less because the voltage resolutiuon is pretty inaccurate so -0.2V is a safe bet to stay out of HVC trips.

The HVC is a very short term cut and rebounds and re-energizes when voltage falls back to safe levels.. Dimitri has put a little more hysteresis in there but still not much.

For an alt you only need a small normally closed relay to break the regulator power / B+ lead. You NEVER, EVER open B+/OUTPUT of the alternator. To safely stop an alternator you open field or power to the regulator. Opening the alt output circuit, while it is charging, will have a high likelihood of blowing the alternator. Alternatively keeping a LA battery in the circuit can prevent load dumps on the alt.. I am not a huge fan of this approach, but some find it less costly...

The most you will find on a regulator B+ wire is about 6-10A. A 70A headlight relay will work fine for this. Same for most smaller solar arrays and wind up to about 50A.

I use a a Cole Herse 70A NC relay for my solar and alternator HVC cuts. The battery charger uses a NC solid state relay and cuts 120V power to the charger.

HVC in the HPBMS is WARNING LEVEL and auto resets so use a piezo buzzer in that circuit as well. The main bank relay is EMERGENCY level and is manual reset only. With the design of the HPBMS you should NEVER get to the emergency level main bank contactor....

Be aware that you have warning (HVC & LVC) and emergency level breaks (higher voltage HVE and LVE) manually reset disconnects. The system should ideally be broken into a charge and loads bus.
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:08   #3727
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

hkalan-
I have found that the contactors made by Gigavac GIGAVAC: ADVANCED SWITCHING SOLUTIONS - Contactors, High Voltage Relays, Switches, Power Products are a much more robust contactor than the ubiquitous Tyco EVO 200 shown in the left picture of post #3727. And the pricing is comparable.
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Old 10-06-2014, 13:09   #3728

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

hk-
Speaking of redundancy, using a dual-arm relay to cut both pos and neg at the same time, still allows the single failure point if the one relay does not open. i.e. if one arm arcs closed, both will stay closed.
Better to use two separate relays then, no?
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Old 10-06-2014, 21:01   #3729
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Hello,

I will make a drawing of my LFP BMS system.

As I installed the House Power BMS with all the relays and safety features (redundancy). I was able to have the local Marine electrician (certified with the Hong Kong marine department and Electrical Mechanical Department of Hong Kong). Come aboard with the Marine Surveyor. The surveyor and electrician provided me with documents, for my comprehensive boat owners insurance policy to cover a "full replacement" clause for the CALB battery bank and BMS. The additional coverage with this clause is a small $30 USD extra per year.

I realise that a relay can fail, and having a second inline is over-kill. My surveyor is impressed, Insurance man is confident, and I have piece of mind with backup safety hardware, as well as a full replacement insurance policy !

That makes for one happy cruiser in this part of the world... LOL

I am happy and willing to replace all the relays every 2 years if need to assure their continious function. I do that for the bilge pumps and floats every 36 months. If they need it or not ! Just good procedures for a safe and happy boat !

I named the vessel "Er LaoPo" meaning "Second Wife" in Chinese, but in reality she gets all the attention ! HaHaHaHa

Alan
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Old 10-06-2014, 21:34   #3730
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Has anyone used or heard anything about FBC Lithium cells ?

Lithium Prismatic EV Car Battery 200Ah, 3C, 3.2V, FBC Model: BP-HZPP-200 LiFePO4

These are priced pretty good but I am not clear if that is FOB the USA or China.
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Old 10-06-2014, 23:02   #3731
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hkalan View Post
Hello,

I will make a drawing of my LFP BMS system.

As I installed the House Power BMS with all the relays and safety features (redundancy). I was able to have the local Marine electrician (certified with the Hong Kong marine department and Electrical Mechanical Department of Hong Kong). Come aboard with the Marine Surveyor. The surveyor and electrician provided me with documents, for my comprehensive boat owners insurance policy to cover a "full replacement" clause for the CALB battery bank and BMS. The additional coverage with this clause is a small $30 USD extra per year.

I realise that a relay can fail, and having a second inline is over-kill. My surveyor is impressed, Insurance man is confident, and I have piece of mind with backup safety hardware, as well as a full replacement insurance policy !

That makes for one happy cruiser in this part of the world... LOL

I am happy and willing to replace all the relays every 2 years if need to assure their continious function. I do that for the bilge pumps and floats every 36 months. If they need it or not ! Just good procedures for a safe and happy boat !

I named the vessel "Er LaoPo" meaning "Second Wife" in Chinese, but in reality she gets all the attention ! HaHaHaHa

Alan
Pictures please.
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Old 11-06-2014, 00:57   #3732
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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Has anyone used or heard anything about FBC Lithium cells ?

Lithium Prismatic EV Car Battery 200Ah, 3C, 3.2V, FBC Model: BP-HZPP-200 LiFePO4

These are priced pretty good but I am not clear if that is FOB the USA or China.
I think the shine will wear off before it ever really gets off the ground because of promise of the Vanadium Phosphate batteries which have greater storage capacity, quicker recharge, and deeper discharge capability. With the amount of money being invested in both the standalone, as well as Vanadium Flow Systems, I think a lot of the Lithium primary technologies will ultimately be short lived (especially since they can get the vanadium pretty cheaply). And with 6 times the capacity of the Lithium Maganese Oxide batteries used in the current EV's like the Volt & Tesla, the value of Vanadium to the automotive market means that it's VERY likey to continue to get the lions share of new investment thrown at it. I suspect that as early as 2016, Lithium based batteries will be relegated to about where Nickel Metal Hydrides are today. The Vanadiums are cheaper to produce, so it'll be easy for them to overtake marketshare. Panasonic is already selling Vanadium Pentoxides batteries at the retail level in under a year since their market introduction.

Within 2 years Vanadium will be the household word that Lithium is today.

Lithium Vanadium Battery | 600km On 1 Battery Charge
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Old 11-06-2014, 02:39   #3733
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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I think the shine will wear off before it ever really gets off the ground because of promise of the Vanadium Phosphate batteries which have greater storage capacity, quicker recharge, and deeper discharge capability. With the amount of money being invested in both the standalone, as well as Vanadium Flow Systems, I think a lot of the Lithium primary technologies will ultimately be short lived (especially since they can get the vanadium pretty cheaply). And with 6 times the capacity of the Lithium Maganese Oxide batteries used in the current EV's like the Volt & Tesla, the value of Vanadium to the automotive market means that it's VERY likey to continue to get the lions share of new investment thrown at it. I suspect that as early as 2016, Lithium based batteries will be relegated to about where Nickel Metal Hydrides are today. The Vanadiums are cheaper to produce, so it'll be easy for them to overtake marketshare. Panasonic is already selling Vanadium Pentoxides batteries at the retail level in under a year since their market introduction.

Within 2 years Vanadium will be the household word that Lithium is today.

Lithium Vanadium Battery | 600km On 1 Battery Charge
If the world waited till promises were fulfilled, nothing would ever happen :lol:
you are welcome to wait, might be still room on the bench with the ones waiting for the price to drop or the latest technology to be released. Let's face it, if you waited for the latest and greatest computer to be released before you jumped in and bought one, would wouldn't be reading this would you
It's as silly as buying the latest CALB cells at a premium price because they are the best around..... but for EV's not house batteries

T1 Terry
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Old 11-06-2014, 02:53   #3734
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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I think the shine will wear off before it ever really gets off the ground because of promise of the Vanadium Phosphate batteries which have greater storage capacity, quicker recharge, and deeper discharge capability. With the amount of money being invested in both the standalone, as well as Vanadium Flow Systems, I think a lot of the Lithium primary technologies will ultimately be short lived (especially since they can get the vanadium pretty cheaply). And with 6 times the capacity of the Lithium Maganese Oxide batteries used in the current EV's like the Volt & Tesla, the value of Vanadium to the automotive market means that it's VERY likey to continue to get the lions share of new investment thrown at it.
You read it wrong. They are not promising six times greater storage capacity (either by weight or volume) for Vanadium Phosphate. They are promising six times higher discharge rate. That would be great for an electric dragster, but useless on a sailing vessel -- even one with electric propulsion.

It seems likely that the next technology after LiFePO4 that will see significant use in sailboats will probably be Lithium-Sulfur (probably at least five years away). Lithium-Sulfur will probably eventually be superseded by Lithium-Air (probably at least ten years away).
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Old 11-06-2014, 03:18   #3735
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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If the world waited till promises were fulfilled, nothing would ever happen :lol:
you are welcome to wait, might be still room on the bench with the ones waiting for the price to drop or the latest technology to be released. Let's face it, if you waited for the latest and greatest computer to be released before you jumped in and bought one, would wouldn't be reading this would you
It's as silly as buying the latest CALB cells at a premium price because they are the best around..... but for EV's not house batteries

T1 Terry

That's just it. Vanadium is not new technology. It was identified as a battery storage source prior to Lithium. The reason it never took off commercially until 2012 has to do with costs. Now researchers have perfected a method of extracting battery grade Vanadium from the spent Vanadium used in steel production and it's cost is now $15/lb and falling. This compares to the current cost of battery grade Lithium which is $28/lb and rising. The production costs of manufacturing battery grade Vanadium is about 2/3rds that of Lithium, and this accounts for the $5billion rapid increase in investment in just the 1st half of 2014. The State of New York just dropped their order for Lithium storage batteries for their solar addition to the power grid in favor of Valadeum Redux Flow batteries from American Vanadeum. The economics are now too enticing to ignore, and the commercial manufacturers are rushing in. Economics are making this 60's technology much more viable than when Vanadium was selling @ $90/lb vs Lithiums $48/lb cost. That's the reason Lithium was instead brought to market instead of Vanadium in the first place.
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