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Old 07-01-2013, 10:01   #931
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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Originally Posted by daddle View Post
What worries me is the use in this discussion of the words "might" and "probably" regarding cells needing balancing. I never accepted those words in my engineering career they would certainly get one fired.
Hehe, I always enjoyed firing those engineers who were so certain they were right all the time and could never admit that they might be wrong---until they were

Good engineers collaborate in teams, where all "mights" and "probablies" are welcomed and evaluated. That's why I'm here.
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Old 07-01-2013, 13:54   #932
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Biting the bullet and have ordered 4 of these to start our project off as the rest of our upgrades components are arriving, solar etc. EV-Power | WB-LYP400AHA LiFeYPO4 (3.2V/400Ah)

They maintain all their batteries to be totally new these ones are guaranteed 2012 build so we shall see.

Should it all go well we will add another 4 at a later date 400 amps LiFePO4 probably comes close to our original bank of 5 Varta's LA at 150 amps each....

See how the delivery goes!!!!
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Old 07-01-2013, 14:09   #933
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Lagoon4us,

Welcome to the 21st century. I have learned a lot from this thread to combine with my past battery experience, and what stands out is how rock steady the cell voltages are during discharge. They just don't lose voltage under loads or 90% of the discharge cycle. Nothing like the voltage sag of lead acids or the dropping voltage range of 12.85 volts to 11.75 volts. That is what makes my Winston (TS) cells hard to balance. If you do your balance at any point above 95% DOD, your just chasing your tail. After my bottom balance yesterday, a full charge, then 14 hours resting, my cell voltages are 3.35, 3.36, 3.33, 3.34, which you would think is pretty close, but after just 5 minutes of a topping charge, 3.57, 3.98, 3.42, 3.43. I'm glad Maine Sail talked me into the variable power supply, as that will be the easiest way to get them all balanced perfectly.
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Old 07-01-2013, 14:15   #934
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Thank you i've asked for a run down on their methods and advice so we'll see how that compares?

The questions will start in February that's for sure.

They were quite emphatic that all their batteries are brand new so maybe Balquon were clearing out all stock as someone suggested?

Cheers i watch your work with interest. Frank
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Old 07-01-2013, 14:24   #935
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Frank,
With you getting new cells vs the 2 1/2 year old ones I got, my guess is you may not have to balance at all. With you in Croatia, do you know of the SMG 50, A-frame masted catamaran for sale in Zadar?

To others, have you had to do balancing of your cells?
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Old 07-01-2013, 16:03   #936
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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Originally Posted by Lagoon4us View Post
Biting the bullet and have ordered 4 of these to start our project off as the rest of our upgrades components are arriving, solar etc. EV-Power | WB-LYP400AHA LiFeYPO4 (3.2V/400Ah)

They maintain all their batteries to be totally new these ones are guaranteed 2012 build so we shall see.

Should it all go well we will add another 4 at a later date 400 amps LiFePO4 probably comes close to our original bank of 5 Varta's LA at 150 amps each....

See how the delivery goes!!!!

Will be very interested to follow your progress on its own thread.

I note their Solar panels are also well priced at around $1/ watt.

Cheers
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Old 07-01-2013, 16:45   #937
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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....
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Old 07-01-2013, 16:52   #938
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Lithium batteries are considered hazardous, which changes the shipping equation. You can't ship even small ones via the US Postal Service.
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Old 07-01-2013, 17:01   #939
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Lagoon4us,

Welcome to the 21st century. I have learned a lot from this thread to combine with my past battery experience, and what stands out is how rock steady the cell voltages are during discharge. They just don't lose voltage under loads or 90% of the discharge cycle. Nothing like the voltage sag of lead acids or the dropping voltage range of 12.85 volts to 11.75 volts. That is what makes my Winston (TS) cells hard to balance. If you do your balance at any point above 95% DOD, your just chasing your tail. After my bottom balance yesterday, a full charge, then 14 hours resting, my cell voltages are 3.35, 3.36, 3.33, 3.34, which you would think is pretty close, but after just 5 minutes of a topping charge, 3.57, 3.98, 3.42, 3.43. I'm glad Maine Sail talked me into the variable power supply, as that will be the easiest way to get them all balanced perfectly.
Why are you taking a cell to 3.98 ?

Dave
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Old 07-01-2013, 17:09   #940
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

Maine Sail,

It might come out as a wash for you. (4) 400 amp cells from GWL Power is $2298 and I think they have shipping costs. The same purchase from Balqon on their clearance sale is $1032, and at their regular price (and probably newer cells) $1520, so either way, that more than absorbs a high shipping cost. You will be pleased at how well they package your cells for shipping, no worries about damage.

BTW, thanks again for the advise and link to the variable power supply.



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Old 07-01-2013, 17:13   #941
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

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Why are you taking a cell to 3.98 ?

Dave
Because I still don't have a good balance. The charger only sees pack voltage. That is why I'm following Maine Sail's advice and getting the variable power supply to finally get them in balance. Check my resting voltages vs topping voltages.
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Old 07-01-2013, 17:14   #942

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

Maine, there is no economical way to ship Damned Heavy Objects.

The most economical way is via private motor freight carrier, with a commercial account (which you may have) and having them shipped to a depot, not street delivery. Street delivery and no commercial account can add 50-100% to a price.

Now just figure, no matter how much someone needed ballast on a slow boat, what the cost of shipping those batteries halfway around the world from China to the US added to the costs. Ouch.

Of course the solution is to get a US distribution network and have them delivered locally to depots or stores along with truckloads of other goods, but none of the existing battery companies is going to get in bed with a Chinese competitor very quickly. Winston could probably cut a deal with WalMart or an auto chain--if they don't have an exclusive guaranteed with their current suppliers, which would effectively lock them out of the market. Or if Balqon has their US exclusive rights, in which case, I wouldn't expect greatness.

Of course if electric cars ever take off, you'll be able to stop down to the local car dealer and get SOMETHING big, already on the shelf, perhaps more competitively priced. There's talk of pulling EV batteries when they still have 75% life/range left in them because the range becomes unacceptable, so maybe there's the source for boaters who can still compromise a little.

Or would it be politically incorrect to suggest Winston needs to get H1B visas for rickshaw drivers, to solve that "last mile" problem in the US? <VBG>

Bob-
"The same purchase from Balqon on their clearance sale is $1032, and at their regular price (and probably newer cells) $1520,"
Batteries aren't like day-old bread or last week's sushi, batteries have a radically longer shelf life. And business inventory (etc) taxes are usually assessed on the first of the year, or the first of a fiscal period of some kind. Battery clearance, 1/3 off?? I never heard anyone in the battery business saying there was that much margin between retail and net net in the first place. What, you can't hear Robbie saying DANGER WILL ROBINSON! right about now? There's a significant part of this picture missing. Maybe Balqon was severly mismanaged and needs to hold the fire sale to pay off loan sharks. Maybe not. But I'm betting there's a huge backstory we're not hearing.
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Old 07-01-2013, 17:30   #943
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Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks

hellosailor,

Couldn't agree more. Lets face it, we are early adopters. 10 years from now so many cars will be fully electric and large format lithium cells will be a mass merchandise item.
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Old 07-01-2013, 17:36   #944
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So you guys would buy your halyards with the requirement that they "might function" vs. "rated for the load"?

So when used at currents less than C the cells will not need [B]regular[\B] balancing. What is regular? Seconds, days, years, N cycles? Greatly less than C or arithmetically?

It appears that getting the system wrong could be expensive and dangerous.
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Old 07-01-2013, 17:39   #945

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

Many cars, fully electric? Better odds for electric boats, because docks usually have power posts these days.

Cars? Nuh-uh. Cities are not going to put power posts on street parking, too expensive, can't exclude the gassers either. Condos and coops with parling lots and assigned parking aren't going to install them, can't afford to break up the concrete and invest themajor money. Homeowners? OK, some will spend a couple of grand to do it in their garage, if they have one. Apartment dwellers? Can't do it.

Sure, it is nice to see a burger or coffee chain install a couple of charging posts but a couple of posts won't do it. I don't see how "pure" EVs are going to get past the infrastructure problem.

OTOH most boats are docked more than eight hours at a clip, making them a way better market for EVs. Just pull out the stinking diesel, drop in the...oh, wait, we're still waiting on electric propulsion motors with warranties, aren't we?
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