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Old 17-03-2016, 17:14   #5056
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Re: Interesting Observations

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
We do exactly the same and its why our bank is so big. We can go many days without so much as thinking about even turning on the solar or engine. As I did to about 35% SOC I may flip on the array just to buy a bit more time or another day or more..
The strategy I am using on installations here is just "holding" charge and not actively recharging until it becomes warranted.
Once a charging cycle has completed, including a short absorption phase at 14.0V, the voltage is held at 13.35V by the solar system. This means discharge may only happen at night or if a high load is turned on. When the bank has discharged sufficiently (which can take quite a long time), then a new charge cycle is allowed to kick in. When the bank gets a bit low, 13.35V can provide marginal charging, further preventing discharge. The goal is living with a battery that spends most of its life at partial SOC for a very long life, but that also gets recharged properly at intervals.
In winter, the panels tend to be on continuously, because a charge cycle kicks in and then can take almost forever to complete (not enough power to ever fully recharge with daily consumption).
It is the software in BMS module that is calling the shots there. I have no solar charge controller any more.

If the engine is started, then the controller I showed earlier always performs a solid charge cycle at the moment. This is no issue because I rarely start it, so I can take maximum benefit from it.

The advantage is that it minimises the size of the bank required. The biggest installation I built so far is 400Ah and it should really have been 200Ah, but the owner keeps promising me to use more energy "soon". 200Ah and fair solar capacity seem to be able to accommodate all needs for our "standard reasonable boats" here.

I see these strategies as true battery management. Trying to do things with smart electronics has brought the cost of lithium down for us because of the smaller banks.

The next project around the corner will see 600Ah of stuffed SLAs replaced by 200Ah of LFPs only. That boat uses both wind and solar and finding some power is no issue, even at night a lot of the time. I am going to use it to further develop the battery management strategy by integrating the wind generator into it.
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Old 17-03-2016, 17:36   #5057
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Re: Interesting Observations

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I really don't know. There isn't much (any?) published lab data available for LiYFePO4 chemistry and I never came across these cells so far.
Cold temperature performance is supposed to be better with yttrium and I would expect a number of these graphs to look a bit different.

I believe the yttrium further facilitates lithium intercalation... but there is no current when OCV is measured, it is a measure of the distribution of the lithium. The curve could be very similar. I would try adopting it and comparing with Coulomb counting at the "turning points".
When I did that with straight LiFePO4, the correlation was excellent and if it wasn't, then it was because the counter was out of sync.
As I have found - The 700 AH Winston that I have run 60mV to 80 mV lower per cell that the published graphs for LiFePO4 cells. Looking at the curves Winston published in their WB-LYP700AHA data sheet gives close correlation to what I have observed (even with the low resolution of the datasheet).

However, I was quite startled the first time I fully charged the bank then discharged it to 50% only to have it read 12.85 V the next day (3.21 vpc) which indicates 15% SOC on a LiFePO4 bank.

Perhaps it is time to fully charge the bank and let it rest for 24 hours then measure OCV, discharge 10% (70 AH) and let rest till the next day. For 10 days. (using a 24 hour resting period allows me to get to the boat at the same time each day)....

The fluke is recently calibrated and the Victron BMV-602s will have to do.
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Old 17-03-2016, 18:36   #5058
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Re: Interesting Observations

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As I have found - The 700 AH Winston that I have run 60mV to 80 mV lower per cell that the published graphs for LiFePO4 cells. Looking at the curves Winston published in their WB-LYP700AHA data sheet gives close correlation to what I have observed (even with the low resolution of the datasheet).

However, I was quite startled the first time I fully charged the bank then discharged it to 50% only to have it read 12.85 V the next day (3.21 vpc) which indicates 15% SOC on a LiFePO4 bank.

Perhaps it is time to fully charge the bank and let it rest for 24 hours then measure OCV, discharge 10% (70 AH) and let rest till the next day. For 10 days. (using a 24 hour resting period allows me to get to the boat at the same time each day)....

The fluke is recently calibrated and the Victron BMV-602s will have to do.
That would be a very valuable and interesting experiment and it is a great observation.

I believe (can't remember where I read it) that if you wait long enough, the difference in OCV between prior charge and prior discharge gradually goes away. It would be useful to take readings at 1, 2 and 4 hours later and then 24 hours just once to see if the next day readings are still the same.

Then do it all again with charging 10% at a time, one data point for each cell, each time, all the way. Also note that typically only healthy cells hold that higher OCV after charging.
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Old 28-03-2016, 20:13   #5059
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

I noticed this on the UPS site today:

April 1, 2016
Service Update

Posted March 4, 2016


The international regulations applicable to air shipments of lithium batteries have changed. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has approved amendments to the lithium battery provisions in the ICAO Technical Instructions. Compliance with the new regulations is mandatory effective April 1, 2016. These amendments include:

  • Passenger Aircraft Ban for Lithium Ion Batteries: All shipments of lithium batteries without equipment are prohibited as cargo on passenger aircraft. As a result, all lithium ion battery shipments must display the Cargo Aircraft Only label. Due to UPS's reliance on passenger aircraft to transport packages in some parts of its network, this change will restrict the origins and destinations available for lithium ion batteries. This limitation does not affect lithium ion batteries packed with or contained in equipment.
  • State of Charge Limits: A 30 percent state of charge (SOC) limit on lithium-ion cells and batteries, including Section II cells and batteries, will now apply. This does not apply to batteries packed with or contained in equipment.
  • Restrictions on Package Quantity: A shipper is not allowed to offer more than one Section II package (batteries only) per consignment.
  • Restrictions on Overpacks: Overpacks may contain no more than one Section II package - 8 cells or 2 batteries - (batteries only).
  • Battery Package Separation: A shipper must offer lithium battery shipments (batteries only) separately from other cargo.

These amendments are detailed in a lithium battery update document found on the International Air Transport Association (IATA) website:http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/d...ery-update.pdf.

For additional information regarding the shipment of lithium batteries, please contact the UPS Hazardous Materials Support Center at 1-800-554-9964 or select the following link:
Shipping Batteries or Devices with Batteries




https://www.ups.com/content/us/en/ab...attery_US.html
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Old 06-04-2016, 18:36   #5060
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Hello,

I am currently using a CALB 400Ah 25.6v bank on the Bertram 46.6 Motor Yacht. We are thinking about selling, and getting a Beneteau 58 and begin to explore the world. I would need to replace the AGM bank with a LiFePO4 bank.

I see a LiFePO4 brand on the market for several years called "Sinopoly". Has anyone seen any reviews of their cells ?

http://www.sinopolybattery.com/en/default.aspx

Now that there is CALB, Winston, and Sinopoly out there. I hope to find a competitive price. A am lucky to be in Hong Kong to eliminate the shipping costs, but still don't want to step down in quality of the CALB bank I currently know and use.

Oh... What is an updated view from fellow cruisers of the 700Ah and 1,000Ah cells. I get many mixed opinions for any cell over 400Ah. I would like to up to a 700Ah bank, and the temptation of the larger cells is irresistible (but my wallet cringes at the sight of the price).

Alan
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Old 06-04-2016, 18:51   #5061
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Quote:
Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
I noticed this on the UPS site today:

April 1, 2016
Service Update

Posted March 4, 2016


The international regulations applicable to air shipments of lithium batteries have changed. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has approved amendments to the lithium battery provisions in the ICAO Technical Instructions. Compliance with the new regulations is mandatory effective April 1, 2016. These amendments include:

Etc.
I was lucky to fly out to America on the 30th March, and just missed this.


I do know how hazardous these batteries are, because I use explosion and fire proof charge bags for the LiPo cells I use with R/C aircraft.

The biggest Li batteries I will allow on my boat, are the small ones I use in cameras, torches, and laptops.

They will be having safety containment bags too.
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Old 07-04-2016, 04:35   #5062
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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Originally Posted by Ribbit View Post
I was lucky to fly out to America on the 30th March, and just missed this.


I do know how hazardous these batteries are, because I use explosion and fire proof charge bags for the LiPo cells I use with R/C aircraft.

The biggest Li batteries I will allow on my boat, are the small ones I use in cameras, torches, and laptops.

They will be having safety containment bags too.
"LiPo" or Li-Poly RC batteries are a totally different chemistry, and yes the LiCoO2 chemistry, which is what most of those "LiPoly" batteries actually are, is a very energy dense but also very volatile Li chemistry.

LiFePO4 is not even in the same league. When I charge the LiPoly RC batteries for my kids stuff they get very, very, very hot even though I have reduced the peak charge voltage to stay out of knee ranges.. They also get very, very, very hot while discharging. I would not even consider LiPoly as a suitable Li chemistry for a boat.

When charging LiFePO4 on the boat I can not even measure a 1F rise in battery temp...
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Old 07-04-2016, 04:46   #5063
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Well said Main Sail !!!

What is the current price for LiFePO4 cells in your area ??? I am pricing a 24 cell bank (3P8S) of 200Ah 3.2v CALB cell. I was quoted $240 USD each 200Ah cell when ordering 24 cells.

CALB informed me that they discontinued the 300Ah cell today, so I should go with the 200Ah cell to make my 600Ah 25.6v bank on a Benetau 58 I am looking to buy.

Alan
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Old 07-04-2016, 14:15   #5064
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

I am looking to get Sinopolys in the US and am having a very difficult time finding a source. I have seen a price of US$1.25/Ah but that is no good without the vendor having stock on hand. One vendor (Lithium Storage) has been having difficulty getting good info from the factory and is not sure when he will be able to get new stock of any size. He does have some 400Ah cells on hand IIRC. CALB cells are supposed to be readily available.

In any case I have been told that buying cells in anything less than a full container (explosion proof, etc.) is very expensive and will add a great deal to your cost.
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Old 07-04-2016, 15:45   #5065
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

I really like my sinopoly GBS cells. They tested out at 110 % capacity and a think their case designed and connection terminals are superior. Remember cells over 200 Ah are not internally supported well enough for marine applications.
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Old 07-04-2016, 17:55   #5066
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Hello,

I spoke with the Sinopoly rep at the Hong Kong office yesterday. I was quoted $1.20 USD per amp hour as well. They are focused on selling orders of 5,000 amp hours.

I also exchanged some emails with the CALB factory. They have 200Ah cells in stock at the factory for basically the same price.

Alan
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Old 08-04-2016, 08:49   #5067
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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I really like my sinopoly GBS cells. They tested out at 110 % capacity and a think their case designed and connection terminals are superior. Remember cells over 200 Ah are not internally supported well enough for marine applications.
Sinopoly and GBS are separate companies with different chemistries in their cells. GBS uses LiMnPO4, not LiFePO4 that is used in Sinopoly cells.

I had to work at finding this link: Zhejiang GBS Energy Co., Ltd

The reason I decided not to consider GBS was the non-standard connections on the tops of the batteries. I have read (don't have the link right now) that the 4-screw top is of a very poor design and quality. The screws are small and it was reported that they can strip the battery case holes easily. The terminals required are certainly non-standard, i.e. the battery crimp terminals most used will not work so you would have to used GBS proprietary battery cable crimps: http://easlithium.com/sites/default/...nnectors_0.pdf They don't look as robust as the closed end connectors most used on 2/0 and larger cables. The largest connector on this site does not look like it would work with 2/0 cable but the size of cable it is for is not specified.

Could you share how you installed the GBS cells in your boat? I would love to be able to reconsider the GBS cells as they otherwise have good reports from what I have been able to find.
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Old 08-04-2016, 16:37   #5068
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

You are correct exMaggieDrum, my GBS batteries say Sinobatt on them not Sinopolly.

As for the GBS non standard connectors being poorly designed I totally disagree. These battery cells are perfectly designed for combining in series and parallel configurations. In my mind four screws is better than one. Think about it, if one screw on a single screw mount loosens it will tend to keep on loosening, and then their will be trouble. There is a published torque spec for the terminal screws (they are a metric star drive cap screw) but I just tightened by hand with a screwdriver. Any idiot using some leverage could strip out screw if they tried. I took my cells apart, hooked them all together for balancing and reassembled in my boat with zero problems. That's 16 cells with 8 screws each for a total of 128 screws.

I especially like the plates that connect the cells together. They are tinned copper and I put three on top of each other at every connection. As for the GBS proprietary cable connectors, they cost 8 dollars and are the one place in my boat that has a soldered connection. They have a 12.7mm ID and are rated for 300 amps. If you check your wire cross size dimension I think you will find it's not a problem. I used #1 cable application. I dipped the wire end in some Liquid flux, put the terminal end in a vice, dropped in a solder pellet, heated it up with a blow torch, stuck the wire in, and wallah it was easy. Liquid flux and solder pellets came from Genuinedealz.com. GBS cells and connectors were all in stock at Batteryspace.com

I purchased my cells in a four cell 12 configuration that provided them strapped together with aluminum end plates. The end plates have a channel in them where I was able to mount a chunk of 1/2" aluminum bar stock that screws nicely to an aluminum bar mounted on each side of my battery box. I don't have a picture handy that I can post right now, but if you find yourself seeing the GBS light you can PM me and I can send you a picture and answer more questions about my build.
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Old 09-04-2016, 08:39   #5069
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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Originally Posted by toddedger View Post
You are correct exMaggieDrum, my GBS batteries say Sinobatt on them not Sinopolly.

As for the GBS non standard connectors being poorly designed I totally disagree. These battery cells are perfectly designed for combining in series and parallel configurations. In my mind four screws is better than one. Think about it, if one screw on a single screw mount loosens it will tend to keep on loosening, and then their will be trouble. There is a published torque spec for the terminal screws (they are a metric star drive cap screw) but I just tightened by hand with a screwdriver. Any idiot using some leverage could strip out screw if they tried. I took my cells apart, hooked them all together for balancing and reassembled in my boat with zero problems. That's 16 cells with 8 screws each for a total of 128 screws.

I especially like the plates that connect the cells together. They are tinned copper and I put three on top of each other at every connection. As for the GBS proprietary cable connectors, they cost 8 dollars and are the one place in my boat that has a soldered connection. They have a 12.7mm ID and are rated for 300 amps. If you check your wire cross size dimension I think you will find it's not a problem. I used #1 cable application. I dipped the wire end in some Liquid flux, put the terminal end in a vice, dropped in a solder pellet, heated it up with a blow torch, stuck the wire in, and wallah it was easy. Liquid flux and solder pellets came from Genuinedealz.com. GBS cells and connectors were all in stock at Batteryspace.com

I purchased my cells in a four cell 12 configuration that provided them strapped together with aluminum end plates. The end plates have a channel in them where I was able to mount a chunk of 1/2" aluminum bar stock that screws nicely to an aluminum bar mounted on each side of my battery box. I don't have a picture handy that I can post right now, but if you find yourself seeing the GBS light you can PM me and I can send you a picture and answer more questions about my build.
Todd, very happy to hear about your positive experiences with your GBS cells. The info is useful. I'll take a closer look.
Thanks, Joe
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Old 12-04-2016, 01:52   #5070
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

hello, new to forum,

sailor in malaysia looking to order some cells, shipped to labuan.

i am about to order a set of 8 160amp lifepo4 cells from benergy (benergy tech out of hong kong). i am looking to order them directly from benergy. dealing with benergy so far on line has been great compared to many other manufacures i have been trying to deal with.
i am not finding a great deal of online information about this company and want to check and see if anyone has heard anything about them, cell quality and if i can generaly take this company at its word...

anyone with a heads up on this would be great... if i end up making the order i will inform this forum about what happends...

btw, pretty great forum on lifepo4

thanks
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