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Old 18-01-2015, 14:32   #4201
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Now you're rolling.

I haven't figured out how I'm going to deal with the inverter charger either other than just using separate inverter and charger.
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Old 19-01-2015, 00:03   #4202
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

I hooked up my Victron Multi Plus to the load bus. I am almost never use the charger - less than 3% of the days in a year. And then I just plug in when the batteries are low and unplug when towards full. With the amount of usable power the LiFePo provide I can go a few days even when solar is shaded in a marina.


Rolf
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Old 19-01-2015, 07:54   #4203
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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
Just got my system up and running this weekend. 8 Sinopoly 300 AH cells in a single 12v bank of 600 ah . Im using a Link 10 monitor with a Housepower BMS by Clean power Auto.

Going to run them steady and see how many Ahs I get out of them before I need to recharge .

What a difference! When anything switches on , nothing flashes from dropping voltage , I can't tell when my Furnace comes on anymore (Webasto 2010).

Getting the lead out

Regards
System is running flawlessly. Finally got my Cell Log 8 attached to the system and had a good look at the cell voltages . The voltage defference was fluctuating between 6mv to 3mv difference from the lowest to the highest cell levels.

I built this system using Maine Sail's template and balancing methods.

Looks like it works

Regards
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Old 19-01-2015, 08:29   #4204
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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System is running flawlessly. Finally got my Cell Log 8 attached to the system and had a good look at the cell voltages . The voltage defference was fluctuating between 6mv to 3mv difference from the lowest to the highest cell levels.

I built this system using Maine Sail's template and balancing methods.

Looks like it works

Regards
You might want to be sure you've calibrated your Cell Log 8S. The two I own were pretty bad right out of the box........
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Old 19-01-2015, 09:55   #4205
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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You might want to be sure you've calibrated your Cell Log 8S. The two I own were pretty bad right out of the box........
Hey Maine Sail.

I actually got two Cell-log 8 and plugged them both in to the bank, both showed the same values , so I figured they were pretty accurate.

But I will do the calibration as you noted , hopefully I don't have my bubble bursted

PS thanks for the Butyl tape tip , I will reorder from you. Spring is close. I keep saying that, just makes it feel closer

Regards
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Old 19-01-2015, 10:12   #4206
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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Hey Maine Sail.

I actually got two Cell-log 8 and plugged them both in to the bank, both showed the same values , so I figured they were pretty accurate.

But I will do the calibration as you noted , hopefully I don't have my bubble bursted

PS thanks for the Butyl tape tip , I will reorder from you. Spring is close. I keep saying that, just makes it feel closer

Regards
I suspect they are doing a better job at factory calibration than when I got mine, they are actually spelling it out now as a feature.. BTW did you find the 8S or the 8M? I am having a tough time getting my hands on another 8S, which is the one that can do data logging......
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Old 19-01-2015, 10:57   #4207
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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I suspect they are doing a better job at factory calibration than when I got mine, they are actually spelling it out now as a feature.. BTW did you find the 8S or the 8M? I am having a tough time getting my hands on another 8S, which is the one that can do data logging......

Had to get the M , I couldn't find the S either . Didn't. Want to wait so I just bought the M , if I see an S come up I will order one .
I really can't believe how close these cells are . I only have around 5 cycles on them , a long way your 550 , but you haven't found any drift , so I am very happy to say the least .

Regards
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Old 19-01-2015, 12:49   #4208
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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Had to get the M , I couldn't find the S either . Didn't. Want to wait so I just bought the M , if I see an S come up I will order one .
I really can't believe how close these cells are . I only have around 5 cycles on them , a long way your 550 , but you haven't found any drift , so I am very happy to say the least .

Regards
Right now mine are sitting at a 4mV spread at approx 50% SOC..
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Old 19-01-2015, 13:42   #4209
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Trying to understand the top balancing process as described in Maine Sail's article. Having a bit of an understanding problem. Maybe englisch language is a minor issue here :-)

First of all: my cells are Winston 400Ah each. I have four of them. So final system will be simple 4s.

I intend to buy the Voltcraft power supply DPSS 1630, 1-16V and 0-30A. (the unit proposed by Maine Sail is not available in Europe. At least I didn't find it). My understandig is that I adjust the voltage to 3.75V and the Ampere to max (minus 20%), put it on Constant Voltage mode and hook up the battery. Wait until current flow drops below 20 A and do the same with the other three cell. Here is where my understanding problem sits: once I see the 3.75 V at the Terminals, at what current flow does it make sense to stop the charging?

Thereafter I put all cells in parallel, wait a day or so and top up to 3,8V again in CV mode max output Ampere. Wait until current is below 20A disconnect the power supply and let them sit around for at least a week.

Measurement of voltage at the the cell terminals with my beloved Multimeter.

Is this understandig correct?
BR
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Old 19-01-2015, 18:04   #4210
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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Originally Posted by klaus53123 View Post
Trying to understand the top balancing process as described in Maine Sail's article. Having a bit of an understanding problem. Maybe englisch language is a minor issue here :-)

First of all: my cells are Winston 400Ah each. I have four of them. So final system will be simple 4s.

I intend to buy the Voltcraft power supply DPSS 1630, 1-16V and 0-30A. (the unit proposed by Maine Sail is not available in Europe. At least I didn't find it). My understandig is that I adjust the voltage to 3.75V and the Ampere to max (minus 20%), put it on Constant Voltage mode and hook up the battery. Wait until current flow drops below 20 A and do the same with the other three cell. Here is where my understanding problem sits: once I see the 3.75 V at the Terminals, at what current flow does it make sense to stop the charging?

Thereafter I put all cells in parallel, wait a day or so and top up to 3,8V again in CV mode max output Ampere. Wait until current is below 20A disconnect the power supply and let them sit around for at least a week.

Measurement of voltage at the the cell terminals with my beloved Multimeter.

Is this understandig correct?
BR
Klaus
Klaus,

If you are going to push as high as 3.75-3.80V, then you can just as well stop there. The current will be very low already.
Since you can in fact fully absorb them without going to high voltages, your other option is just charging to say 3.55V and let the current go down to near-zero. I would much prefer that now.

Note that if you are going to use some kind of voltage-based switching like Rolf implemented, you can also use that gear to charge and balance your pack in parallel rather than buying a regulated power supply for a one-off job. Hook up your solar panels to your cells in parallel and get the relay to cut out at a preset voltage. Make it cut at 3.35V first while you are watching just to prove that everything works as it should and then go to whatever target you want to use. The lower the charging rate, the lower that voltage should be. Keep an eye on things regardless, it all happens very fast at the end, say from 3.50V up.
Solar panels are current sources, they don't care about the voltage they deliver, this is why you can use them that way for CC charging.

Letting cells sit connected in parallel is a good intention, but it is near-completely useless. They nowhere near equalise accurately. You need to be charging them together. If you don't want/can't let them absorb at lower voltage, do what Terry recommends and charge repeatedly until you see them holding above 3.55V. Then they are ready to go in series.

You need good cabling/busbars and connections between the cells while charging in parallel, otherwise you can drop millivolts between cells and compromise the result, especially if you are not absorbing them at CV at the end!

I have done several parallel balancing tests for my own interest and this is what came out.

Eric
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Old 20-01-2015, 12:03   #4211
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Hello.
I just ordered 4 Winston WB-LYP1000AHC for my Jeanneau 42DS.
It will be replacing 3 AGM 150AH (Total 450AH).
As weight, it will be almost the same. But 5 X the available capacity.

And it will take all the charge i can throw at it, meaning a lot less time running the generator.

For BMS I will use this active BMS from Slovenia.
REC d.o.o.

I have used their BMS before, and i have good experience with the company and their products.

As many others here, I will also have two contactors. One for load and one for Charging units.

As for Charging i have:
-Mastervolt 12V/100A charger.
-3,2V Diesel generator
-2 X 80A Alternators. (no external regulator yet)
-654W solar (2X327W Sunpower) on Morningstar MPPT60,
-D400 wind generator, with Morningstar PWM45.

Adjusting the Mastervolt charger, and Morningstar chargers is easy. Will probably have to do something about the alternators, but will test it like it is first. Since the PWM45 is acting as an dump load, it will also take care of the excess power from the alternators.

I will share my experience and some pictures when its all installed.
Already have the BMS, just waiting for the batteries.

Already have an huge 48V/640AH lithium battery in my house harvesting excess solar energy during the day, and running the whole house at night.
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Old 20-01-2015, 21:58   #4212
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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I got a call today from the freight company. My Winston cells are being delivered Friday to the freight facility. It was $256.00 to ship four 400Ah cells from CA to Maine. It would have been a lot more money had I wanted residential delivery due to the fee and lift gate fee.

IMHO Balquon desperately needs to figure out how to ship these battery cells at more reasonable rates. If they are in the business of selling them retail then they are in dire need of getting shipping costs under control. This should be a top priority. At what I paid in shipping I certainly would not order from them again unless they make some serious changes in shipping.

I order Odyssey batteries from CA and pay no shipping. The price I pay from CA for the Odyssey's are better than my local distributor here...

At a cost of $64.00 each to ship a 30 pound cell it is a bit outrageous. In stark contrast, everything we ordered off Amazon this year cost us a grand total of $79.00! We order daily... My even wife buys grocery items off Amazon like snack bars for my daughter. Our Amazon purchases included a queen bed, a kayak, a TV and many other items significantly heavier than 30 pounds. $79.00 for all of it, oh and it is here in two days.....

To give this a little more perspective the 375Ah wet cell bank on our boat that is still going very strong, heading into what would be its seventh season, cost us just $210.00 or over $40.00 less than just the shipping costs on these four cells.....

Unfortunately I am not in CA and they claim they won't ship well in anything but a wood crate. This means freight vs. UPS or FedEx... Arghhh....

Rant over....
If I can give you some insight on shipping. All lifep04 cells are classified as Cat 9 haz mat and regular folks cannot even ship them. At min you need a company account & then you need a person certified as a lifep04 hazmat packer. All that's really required is to follow a few rules and put on 3-4 stickers, also the packet must be below 30kg , finally a $29 hazmat fee is required on top of regular shipping fees. In your case the best possible rate was $249. Illegal shipping carries a $55,000 per day fine.

Now I have bought flooded bats five states over & picked them up from a dealer 1 mile from my house who was selling them for more $$$. These guys must have some kind of exchange deal they have to go with, sorta like car dealers network.

None of the 3 chinese Lithium dealers in the usa have such an exchange system. In fact I'm almost positive no matter who you get your cells from - they are all drop shipped from the wholesalers
I'm sure the flooded battery companies are very happy about that as it gives them a cost advantage.

While I'm not a fan of Balqon , there are limited shipping options.

Cheers jerry
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Old 20-01-2015, 22:37   #4213
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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Quite the contrary. They appreciate the sailor's business, and other than my 3 1/2 month wait, everyone else has gotten their cells in a timely fashion. Here is what they did extra for me, shipping-no charge, banding-no charge, jumper buss bars-no charge, and then they refunded me $280 on the order via PayPal. Upon trying to convert the PayPal money into a credit to my VISA card, I somehow sent it back to Balqon. I emailed them to my mistake but the funds haven't been re-submitted. I'm not a fan of PayPal, and would be fine with a store credit.

I don't agree, I spent 15 minutes on the phone with Samra to buy a 1250 ah 12v battery, july 2014 drove down to meet the man in person, talked to him about the RV market which he saw as dead for his business - he is not interested in stocking cells under 700 ah. My impression was that he really doesn't get his grove on if the sale is under $50,000.

With my battery I had a hard time getting instructions on how to remove & reinstall the BMS, then one of the 64+ 8M bolts was stripped and I asked him 3 times per E mail for a work around, he never bothered to reply - so far no I'll effects have appeared. He also made some other statements where he failed to follow through.

while my system works great, I have never checked the manufacture date of what he sold me, don't even wanna think about that. Right now he does not carry my 1250 cells -??? the warranty while 5 years prorated - i would bet the shirt off my back would be hard to impossible to collect on from any of the 3 Chinese companies -

Has anyone here ever sent a Winston, CALB or GBS battery back for replacement ?
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Old 21-01-2015, 06:05   #4214
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LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Can I ask why people are overly focused on balancing. . Unless you have significant differences in voltages it's not that relevant, that's my experience

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Old 21-01-2015, 06:27   #4215
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

My main reason for having an BMS is not only for the balancing part.
An BMS programmed for your battery can give you an ok estimate of the SOC%.
And it has the possibility to disconnect load or charging if something fails.
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