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Old 29-04-2010, 13:49   #286
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If you get your own LFP cells like the large-format Thundersky, you might consider getting the BMS from Genasun. Their BMS is designed specifically for marine use, as opposed to an EV-based BMS. One example of their marine-based features is a built-in field current cutoff switch to protect the alternator(s) in the case of an HVC (charging relay cutoff). The balancing is full-time so the need for "manual" balancing is virtually eliminated.

The BMS can be programmed by Genasun for different LFP cells voltage, for instance either Sky Energy or Thundersky.

Of course the higher level of protection costs more $. For those sailors that can carefully monitor the pack and cell voltages and do the occasional balancing charge, then you could possibly get by with a less expensive BMS. One example is the shunting boards as on the RaceCell LFP batteries, that provide balancing (and some HV protection) at the top of the charge cycle. With this type of system one definitely has to be careful to protect your cells but you save a lot of $.

Different BMS's for different folks!

Previous poster ( Isara ) was talking about battery powered boat, which is actually an EV, not housebank for gas powered boat. Please get your facts straight. Genasun system is for house banks, not for propulsion. BMSs made for EVs will work just fine in both propulsion and house bank environments, although some engineering might be required to adapt particular BMS to particular marine application.

As for RaceCell, I looked at their stuff. You really can't call it a BMS, since it only does top balancing and no LVC. Without LVC its not a BMS, its a waste of money.

My MiniBMS will work great on solar powered boat, let me know if I can help. I can't post links here, just Google "MiniBMS".

I am also finishing up prototype of a new LFP product for house banks, I will start a new thread next week. It will be a drop in replacement for 12V Lead Acid batteries with smart BMS integrated inside the box. Will have pictures soon.
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Old 29-04-2010, 14:57   #287
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Electric1,

The info on Genasun & RaceCell is aimed at many of the general questions in this thread, not only propulsion. There are previous posts from other members getting their own cells, not just Isara. If it seemed my post was aimed specifically to that one poster then it's my mistake.

However, to say "Please get your facts straight" is a bit pompous...;-)

As far as the RaceCell "top balancing"-only system, I agree that is not for everyone and not having the LVC adds an element of risk. The fabricator calls it a BMS so I used that nomenclature although (like you) I also wished to point out the risks. I guess I don't like to call anyone's products "a waste of time" even while pointing out the differences, and expect readers/users to use such info to help in their assessments.

It will be nice to see your developing products, keep up the work and keep the info coming. The more smart folks there are in the world working on energy storage/control, the better the world will be.

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Old 29-04-2010, 16:23   #288
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Just reading an article in Fortune, that "lithium" batteries are now about to face a major problem. Air carriers, and the federal government here in the US, are considering whether to class them ALL as HazMat. Apparently a mysterious fire in a battery shipment in 2006 that burned up a commercial cargo plane is being considered expectable from lithium batteries, and the powers that be are looking toward lumping anything with "lithium" in the name into the same basket.

I guess we'll need to see how many electric cars work as barbeques before there's a better statistical base for that.
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Old 29-04-2010, 16:26   #289
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I guess I don't like to call anyone's products "a waste of time" even while pointing out the differences, and expect readers/users to use such info to help in their assessments.
I didn't say "waste of time", I said "waste of money"

I know from first hand experience that lack of LVC is the fastest way to destroy LFP cells, so any BMS lacking LVC is not a true BMS.

I have a question to boating community. Would it make sense to offer plug and play BMS as a separate product, allowing the customer to purchase their own LFP cells and attach BMS to them, or is it better to offer complete drop-in replacement with cells and BMS integrated in the box? Obviously both can be done, but I am in the business of making BMS and having to buy cells to integrate them in a box would cause me to spend more time, which will make the product more expensive. Local marine electricians or even boat owners who know the business end of the voltmeter can easily attach BMS to LFP cells and connect to the boat's systems. This would save the trouble of shipping large and heavy cells to my shop only to have to ship them back to the customer. West coast customers, for example can get cells locally from several EV dealers and they can just buy BMS in a box and put it together.

Working with LFP cells is no different than working with Lead Acid batteries and BMS will come with detailed instructions written for "dummies" with lots of pictures

Thanks in a advance for your feedback.
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Old 29-04-2010, 16:34   #290
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I guess we'll need to see how many electric cars work as barbeques before there's a better statistical base for that.
Are you working for Lead Acid industry or oil industry?

Electric cars existed for over 100 years. There are hundreds of gas related car fires around the world every day. Lithium batteries have been around for decades and only some particular lithium chemistries are prone to thermal runaways, while others like LFP are much safer. If shorted, any battery will release its energy, which will turn into heat, which can cause fire if all conditions for fire exist around the battery. Lead Acid batteries are much easier to explode or set on fire than LFP.

Also, news stories are often twisted, so we don't really know what started that fire and if it was in fact battery related.

However, knowing our no good politicians, I won't be surprised if Lithium is labeled as Hazmat, it will help to line pockets of shipping industry if nothing else.

There is a handful of videos on YouTube of people intentionally trying to destroy LFP cells and set them on fire. Some of them succeed, but almost any product can be set on fire if one really tried to do it
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Old 29-04-2010, 16:39   #291
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, but almost any product can be set on fire if one really tried to do it
Yea.

Like that Pinto!
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Old 29-04-2010, 20:16   #292
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Quote:
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I didn't say "waste of time", I said "waste of money"

I know from first hand experience that lack of LVC is the fastest way to destroy LFP cells, so any BMS lacking LVC is not a true BMS.

I have a question to boating community. Would it make sense to offer plug and play BMS as a separate product, allowing the customer to purchase their own LFP cells and attach BMS to them, or is it better to offer complete drop-in replacement with cells and BMS integrated in the box? Obviously both can be done, but I am in the business of making BMS and having to buy cells to integrate them in a box would cause me to spend more time, which will make the product more expensive. Local marine electricians or even boat owners who know the business end of the voltmeter can easily attach BMS to LFP cells and connect to the boat's systems. This would save the trouble of shipping large and heavy cells to my shop only to have to ship them back to the customer. West coast customers, for example can get cells locally from several EV dealers and they can just buy BMS in a box and put it together.

Working with LFP cells is no different than working with Lead Acid batteries and BMS will come with detailed instructions written for "dummies" with lots of pictures

Thanks in a advance for your feedback.
My opinion is (FWIW) is that you could be on a promising track with the add-on BMS approach. LFP cells are becoming sort of a commodity, driven largely by the volume/size of the EV market. As pointed out in the post about hazmat packing shipping (and in our mutual experience) it is expensive to pack and ship piles of LFP cells back and forth.

I know that Genasun has been selling BMS packages to both EV's and boats (including at least one system to someone on this forum), so it looks like a market is there. The more good suppliers in this developing field, the better!

Any yes, not having a LVC is asking for trouble. I also know from experience that clients who are confident that "we'll closely monitor the pack and never run them down, so we don't need that fancy cutoff." can destroy their cells. Expensive mistake to make.
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Old 30-04-2010, 04:26   #293
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Just reading an article in Fortune, that "lithium" batteries are now about to face a major problem. Air carriers, and the federal government here in the US, are considering whether to class them ALL as HazMat. Apparently a mysterious fire in a battery shipment in 2006 that burned up a commercial cargo plane is being considered expectable from lithium batteries, and the powers that be are looking toward lumping anything with "lithium" in the name into the same basket.
It is due to irresponsible companies and individuals shipping hazardous or non approved lithium batteries which have caused all the problems. Due to several battery fires which have started aboard aircraft in recent years has resulted in several changes to the shipping regulations for lithium batteries.
The reputable companies who test their batteries under the provisions of the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, Part III, Sub-section 38.3 and pass all the tests have nothing to worry when it comes to shipping by air.
All LiFePO4 batteries manufactured by LiFeTech Energy pass the tests and are approved safe for transport by air. We ship lithium batteries by air all around the world every day and have never had a problem because we do the right thing.
It is the irresponsible and counterfeit battery manufacturers who pose the greatest risk and give the entire industry a bad name.

The fire referred to above aboard a UPS freight aircraft was caused not by approved LiFePO4 batteries but by one of the more hazardous chemistries. Fortunately the fire started as the plane was coming in to land so luckily a major catastrophe was averted. It burned the plane up pretty bad though as you can see from the remains.
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File Type: bmp UPS lithium battery fire - 2008 Dec 12.bmp (60.2 KB, 86 views)
File Type: bmp UPS- lithium battery fire - 2008 Dec 12.bmp (148.5 KB, 70 views)
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Old 30-04-2010, 12:54   #294
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Electric, I'd quickly also point out that the Stanley Steamer was killed by intentional false rumors of steam boiler explosions--circulated by competing "gas car" companies that just recently received a lot of press.

And that electric trolleys were killed, and steam locomotives killed, also by competitors giving out false information.

So I wouldn't put it past anyone to be rumoring about lithium batteries. But in this day and age, if the rumoring is all false, the folks who might actually know better, really need to quash the rumors and get some objectivity out there.

On the one hand, some folks say no BMS is needed in certain applications. OTOH, other companies like Genasun are selling 200AH systems for $6000--in large part because they are saying the included cell-by-cell BMS is *necessary* for proper operation.

OK, so which side is right? One says black, the other says white. That usually means one side is wrong--unless you're looking at a coin standing on edge.
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Old 30-04-2010, 13:07   #295
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The other day, I noticed that ThunderSky has a 12 volt battery. This may land credence that the cells do not need balancing.

Although it was only the 40 and 80 AH batteries.
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Old 30-04-2010, 13:13   #296
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I took my boat out last weekend, and it sure is a pleasure to have enough juice. We sailed most of the day, used the SSB briefly, and when it was time to start the motor, it fired up easily. There was very little drop in voltage, and in fact the charging was so efficient that I ended up with higher voltage at the end of the day after all the motoring we did.

We started the day at 13.1 v and ended at 13.25 V.

I will measure the individual cells this weekend to see if they are drifting in voltage. I don't think the mini BMS will provide the top balancing as my charging system does not put out more than 14.4 V. (Maybe electric1 will comment).
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Old 30-04-2010, 13:22   #297
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Electric Trolleys weren’t killed by missinformation; but by a Deliberate Conspiracy to Destroy Public Transit.

General Motors, Firestone Tire, Standard Oil of California, Phillips Petroleum, Mack, and the Federal Engineering Corporation made investments in the City Lines companies (National City Lines, Pacific City Lines, and American City Lines) in return for exclusive supply contracts, and between 1936 and 1950, National City Lines bought out more than 100 electric surface-traction systems in 45 cities, including Detroit, Cleveland, New York City, Oakland, Philadelphia, Phoenix, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, Tulsa, Baltimore, and Los Angeles, and replaced them with GM (gas) buses.

Scandal

The StreetCar Conspiracy
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Old 30-04-2010, 18:32   #298
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The other day, I noticed that ThunderSky has a 12 volt battery. This may land credence that the cells do not need balancing.

Although it was only the 40 and 80 AH batteries.
Those 12V batteries are meant to replace car starting batteries, where brief high current surges are accompanied by long charging sessions via alternator. That is why individual cells are not exposed just like in Lead Acid batteries. If you use these for propulsion or house power, you will quickly kill them since you have no way of monitoring individual cells. Most Lead Acid batteries die prematurely because you can't cater to individual cells, but no one cares since they are cheap to replace. In LFP we care for each cell because the batteries cost $$$$.
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Old 30-04-2010, 18:38   #299
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I don't think the mini BMS will provide the top balancing as my charging system does not put out more than 14.4 V. (Maybe electric1 will comment).
Yes, mini BMS will provide balancing if/when its needed. If total of 14.4V is evenly distributed acros 4 cells ( 3.6V per cell ) , then no balancing is needed. But if one cell gets off balance, that means this cell will reach 3.7V sooner, while others are still at 3.5V-3.55V ( total is still 14.4V ), at which point BMS will pull it down while others catch up. So, yes, MiniBMS will keep your cells balanced even at 14.4V.

I am so glad to hear that you don't regret going with LFP and simple , but effective BMS. I am considering to package my upcoming new version of MiniBMS specifically for house power. Its the same system that I sold you, but head end control board will be microprocessor based and have more intelligent controls. If you want, I can just get you the new control board and you will attach it to your existing cell modules, since those did not change in the new version. Contact me offline if interested. I will post a new thread next week to describe the new BMS and show pictures.
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Old 30-04-2010, 18:50   #300
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OK, so which side is right? One says black, the other says white. That usually means one side is wrong--unless you're looking at a coin standing on edge.
I totally understand your point. 2 years ago when I started to learn about LFP batteries, I was very confused as well and didn't know who to believe. SInce then I learned a lot and now have a comfort level with LFP cells and what BMS functions are really needed and how much they should cost. There was a big gap in DIY EV market when cells became available, but no one knew what BMS to get and how much to pay for it. Since I have 20 years of experience in building electronics, and I needed BMS for my own EV conversion, naturally I designed and build my own BMS. Since then I learned even more and designed much improved and marketable MiniBMS. I have 10000 electric miles on my EV with LFP pack and MiniBMS. MiniBMS turned out very popular in DIY EV world, I can hardly keep up with orders.

That is why I joined this forum, to bring truth and first hand experience to boating community and offer affordable DIY solutions. Having LFP battery after using Lead Acid is like night and day, its truly an incredible breakthru in power storage technology. And now these cells become more commonly available and prices are competitive with Lead Acid ( considering all benefits ) , so IMHO its a crime to buy new Lead Acid battery these days.

Wait till you see how simple and user friendly my next BMS will be, anyone who is capable of putting new Lead Acid battery in would be capable of putting LFP cells with BMS on top. And it won't break the bank either.
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