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Old 27-12-2012, 11:13   #856
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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It will be interesting to see how long it takes them to ship, and how old the batteries they ship actually are.
I expect it to take a week or so to ship, then 7 days in ground transit. Still $1032.00 for 400Ah + $80.00 for the House BMS board and $12.00 each for the cell modules means a 400Ah bank for less than the price of Odyssey or Lifeline AGM's....

$1032.00 - Four 400Ah Winston Cells
$75.00 House Power BMS
$48.00 MiniBMS Cell Module
Total = $1155.00 / 400Ah LiFePO4
+ $300.00 - $400.00 in additional "tweaks" to the system. (my cost is considerably less than most but this is my best WAG at "retail" numbers.... $1455.00 - $1555.00...

or

$1509.72 Odyssey PC2150 AGM


The rest of the stuff I already likely have on-hand unless I want to get fancy with some latching relays but still, they are cheap.

BTW the quantities do update on the Balquon web site. When I bought my cells they showed 14 in stock, I bought four, they now show 6.....

It should be noted that I have ZERO need for these batteries I just want to see if they are all they are cracked up to be. Myself and many of my customers got burned on AGM early on so now days I question "wild claims"... I will NOT begin even considering customer level installations until this technology has fully proven itself to me as safe, not a bunch of BS, and easy to manage for the average boater once installed.

Still, I like some of the features of these batteries like the ability to recharge to full with an alternator and not have to deal with "acceptance" issues etc....


Should be fun to play with these on the bench over the winter..
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Old 27-12-2012, 11:23   #857
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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Maine, what if you either add one more cell (externally) to the reserve battery, or replace the reserve battery with a "drag racing" battery, which is a 14v car battery that already is made with an extra cell to run at higher voltage? Bring up the battery instead of bringing down the voltage?
The reserve battery is going to be a used AGM I equalized and reconditioned that I have kicking around... I have less than zero need for a LiFePO4 "reserve" bank. The LiFePO4 bank will serve as an "everything" bank and the second battery bank is only there in the event this bank fails. All it needs is occasional "topping up". I may just put a diversion switch after the charge controller for the solar panel or just do a Pro-Latch R with a custom "combine" voltage cut in. The other option is a Sterling B2B but I am not sure yet if I can change the "cut in" voltage and Charlie is looking into that for me. If I can change the cut in to 13.6V as opposed to 13.0V that would be a good option as it can "boost" the voltage to the start/reserve battery from 14.0V - 14.2V to 14.4V - 14.6V.... I have both the Pro-Latch R and the B2B in stock as well as the remote for the Pro-Latch R that allows programming.
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Old 27-12-2012, 11:35   #858

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

"I expect it to take a week or so to ship, then 7 days in ground transit."
So did Bob, I think, which is why I commented. Maybe they accidentally hired a wine steward, you know, wanders off and takes a while to find the right vintage.<G>

But I'm getting baffled by the numbers: That Odyssey is $378 for 400AH in a group31 size?! So you're looking at what, four of them, compared to a LiOn bank?
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Old 27-12-2012, 11:36   #859
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Do these cells come banded and connected ?
Or is that extra ? if so, how much for that ?
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Old 27-12-2012, 11:43   #860
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Maybe it is the cool temperature and the short solar day this time of year, but my 4.5 y/o, very lightly cycled Lifeline AGMs are simply not pulling their weight, dipping below 12.2V at night and under 12V under load. I expected them to last ten years, but it now appears they won't even see half that.

Now I'm hoping the "clearance" cells I bought from Balqon were not ridiculously abused and are reasonably matched. And that they ship no later than January 4.
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Old 27-12-2012, 11:51   #861
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"I expect it to take a week or so to ship, then 7 days in ground transit."
So did Bob, I think, which is why I commented. Maybe they accidentally hired a wine steward, you know, wanders off and takes a while to find the right vintage.<G>

But I'm getting baffled by the numbers: That Odyssey is $378 for 400AH in a group31 size?! So you're looking at what, four of them, compared to a LiOn bank?
It's 100AH @ 20hours
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Old 27-12-2012, 11:57   #862
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"I expect it to take a week or so to ship, then 7 days in ground transit."
So did Bob, I think, which is why I commented. Maybe they accidentally hired a wine steward, you know, wanders off and takes a while to find the right vintage.<G>

But I'm getting baffled by the numbers: That Odyssey is $378 for 400AH in a group31 size?! So you're looking at what, four of them, compared to a LiOn bank?
$378.00 gets you ONE 100Ah battery. You need four of them to get 400Ah's..

I spoke with the CEO of Balquon America and have his cell phone number. I trust he will get them out as soon as he has man power, after the holiday week.

He understands well that his Sanfu with Bob was BAD for business. I specifically dropped Bob's name to make sure it would not take 3 months.. If it does I suspect the final nail in the coffin will be hammered in by me and a few others and he knows it...

After dropping Bob's name he threw in all the jumpers, nuts bolts and washers at N/C and not just the three I need for series but the six jumpers I need to balance them..... We'll see what happens...
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Old 27-12-2012, 11:57   #863
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

It's also unclear whether Balqon is charging for shipping. Bob wasn't charged, but JackB said he paid $80 to ship 160Ah's just to California. I would imagine it would cost a bit more to ship double the weight, ten times the distance...
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Old 27-12-2012, 12:04   #864
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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Maybe it is the cool temperature and the short solar day this time of year, but my 4.5 y/o, very lightly cycled Lifeline AGMs are simply not pulling their weight, dipping below 12.2V at night and under 12V under load. I expected them to last ten years, but it now appears they won't even see half that.

Now I'm hoping the "clearance" cells I bought from Balqon were not ridiculously abused and are reasonably matched. And that they ship no later than January 4.
10 years? Never seen it happen in a deep cycling application. Not saying it can't as an outlier but as a "norm", no way.. In my experience AGM's are one of the shortest lived batteries out there... They have great benefits but longevity is not one of them. This is another one of those cases where "lab" data did not translate to real world use.

AGM's hate sitting at anything less than 100% SOC and will suffer badly if not topped up to full asap after each use..

On mooring sailed or "cruised" boats I see average life expectancies for AGM's of about 2-4 years which is roughly where you are.
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Old 27-12-2012, 12:21   #865
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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10 years? Never seen it happen in a deep cycling application. Not saying it can't as an outlier but as a "norm", no way.. In my experience AGM's are one of the shortest lived batteries out there... They have great benefits but longevity is not one of them. AGM's hate sitting at anything less than 100% SOC and will suffer badly if not topped up to full asap after each use..
They were very lightly cycled---seldom more than 15% DoD. Yet, the absorption finishing current just kept inching up and inching up until the solar day just wasn't long enough to reach the full 100%. And as you said, 95% isn't good enough for AGMs.

My $700 "cheaper" Lifelines have 2.5psi release valves. This might be fine for structures and boats which never experience changes in elevation. But my RV and I typically climb 12,000 feet a year, and I strongly suspect the changes in atmospheric pressure caused a lot more venting than was originally intended---killing my AGMs through dehydration.
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Old 27-12-2012, 13:42   #866

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

Maine-
Secret Coupon Code: "BOB" ? <VBG>

Maybe the mst elegant solution for your reserve battery would be to stick a smallish solar panel on it to keep it topped up, and then just do a manual recharge when and if you ever have to use it to any depth?
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Old 27-12-2012, 14:12   #867
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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Do these cells come banded and connected ? Or is that extra ? if so, how much for that ?
Banding is not included. We don't know how much it costs, because Bob was the only one who asked for it---and then he got it for free on account of his shipping snafu. That said, I may bind mine with multiple 48in cable ties, ten for $9 at Home Depot.

Regarding connectors, that's unclear too, as the Balqon website doesn't offer them for sale. However they might come free if you call the CEO and use Coupon Code BOB

Personally, I plan to properly size my straps based on a possible 2C charge or discharge current, and it's frankly unknown whether the Winston straps can handle 520 amps. The same goes with the bolts. I'm not even sure what diameter or length my clearance cells would require, so I'll wait til they arrive. Finally, I want Nord-Lock washers, and I doubt Winston supplies those.
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Old 27-12-2012, 14:15   #868

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

Banding:
Perhaps 2" strapping tape would do?
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Old 30-12-2012, 10:05   #869
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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All circuit breakers have a high interrupt capability already built in, to handle a direct short circuit situation. To be specific, the 100A shunt trip breaker I'm looking at is rated at something like 10,000 amps. Now, that may seem adequate---except that 10kA is only 14C to a 700Ah bank, and LFPs have been known to produce 20C or even more, when shorted. Therefore a "catastrophe fuse"---one with an interrupt rating much higher than 10kA---would also be prudent. The nominal fuse rating should be based on the ampacity of the interconnects and main lines (300A in my case).
Can you point me to the Shunt Trip Circuit breaker you are considering ?
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Old 30-12-2012, 10:08   #870
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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Banding:
Perhaps 2" strapping tape would do?
If your objective is just to hold them together, cable ties would be easier and cleaner. I've seen them up to 1.5 meters (about 60 inches) in length. If you're concerned about the possibility of bulging, then neither strapping tape nor cable ties will help.
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