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Old 04-02-2014, 16:44   #91
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Re: LiFePo4 for DUMMIES

Dwain,

You don't have to duck from me. . I wouldn't float my batteries like that but I'm very interested in your results. I understand yours is a standby bank and is not cycled regularly, is that correct ? If so you would do all of us a great service if you would do a careful capacity test every so often (say, 4 months?) and let us know if you see any change. If you have the equipment to track the actuall float voltage that would be very interesting also. It may very well be that at x voltage they get hurt but at some, possibly a small amount lower they won't bd damaged a noticeable amount.
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Old 04-02-2014, 18:32   #92
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LiFePo4 for DUMMIES

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Originally Posted by dlentz View Post
Dave
I don't see your argument here. I didn't tell anyone to float a bank, in fact I don't believe I'm even doing that. Your the one talking about dropping into a standard system and it'll be fine. As Stevesails pointed out in a previous post, dropping voltage below nominal cell voltage (which wouldn't be float charging) should have little effect. I believe this was from the same paper that you "cherry picked" the results that you liked from! Besides, I think I mentioned something about "best practices" and the research can guide us on that. The problem becomes, multiple charge sources, parasitic loads, continuous loads, charge sources that need to be used when available (solar, ect), it's not practical to shut a bank down to do complete cycles as it might be done in a lab, so we mere mortals must just muddle though as best as we can. In the post above you talk about simple systems and applying existing equipment to LI and then you jump me for saying only time will tell how all of the different treatment of these banks will shake out? I wasn't promoting any particular practices, I do what I need to do and don't suggest it's correct or Best Practice, just the Best I can do within my setup.
The difference from what you have experience with and that the research deals with is using LI in low to very low C rates and the very large capacity banks, and that is not the same. For the most part we are putting very little stress on these banks and most research is just the opposite. There just isn't much about house bank type use, other than what is going on here and the RV folks. (not necessarily research perhaps but some practical experience)
You should also try to open a Winston cell and see what's inside before you tell everyone what it is! It's not a bunch of A123 pouches in a PVC case. It's not even pouches. Not that it matters!
Thanks I'll go back to using my LI bank in a house application in a "real world" scenario.
Cheers,
Dwain
Duck quick here it comes!
The inside of a winston battery , it's not a cell, is a series of prismatic pouches without some of the protective outer skin. But they are built from a series of Li cells in parallel ,( with the tabs brought out at the top ) they are most certainly not one cell ( I have a winston cell ) see http://fluxpwr.com/products/3-2v-lifepo4-module/ for a typical explanation.

The research on Li contains both high and low C research. All I was saying is that whether you use 18650 cells or a winston battery , the results are broadly the same and comparable.

Quote:
As Stevesails pointed out in a previous post, dropping voltage below nominal cell voltage (which wouldn't be float charging) should have little effect
.
How do you know that. ?

Quote:
it's not practical to shut a bank down to do complete cycles as it might be done in a lab
I never suggested that ,I mentioned elsewhere I recharge after 20 % depletion

Quote:
Your the one talking about dropping into a standard system and it'll be fine
I was trying to outline the simplest system that would allow a Li battery to be used in an existing system , I never said it was optimum. My optimum system would both achieve safe usage and optimise cycle life.

I think you mixing up two usage approaches. One suggests using non optimised sources and trying to justify the outcome, with little factual data. The other is an optimum approach , with specific optimised charge sources which follow accepted research and best industry practices.

I think it's fair to claim the second is better even if the first is " good enough as far as we can tell and we can't tell very much "

Dave
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Old 04-02-2014, 19:31   #93
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Re: LiFePo4 for DUMMIES

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
The inside of a winston battery , it's not a cell, is a series of prismatic pouches without some of the protective outer skin. But they are built from a series of Li cells in parallel ,( with the tabs brought out at the top ) they are most certainly not one cell ( I have a winston cell ) Interesting, the open 700 amp cell/battery I have here is built very much like a LA Cell. Anode & Cathodes (much like the plates in an La Cell, but very thin and copper and what looks like Alum with graphite?) alternating with a Plastic(I use that term generically)separator folded between, no pouch. Define "cell for me". I suppose were arguing semantics again, Much like the Float Charging vs Drop voltage thing.

The research on Li contains both high and low C research. All I was saying is that whether you use 18650 cells or a winston battery , the results are broadly the same and comparable.

.
How do you know that. ? From Post #3543 Re: LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks


"DEGRADATION ANALYSIS AND HEALTH MONITERING OF LITHIUM ION
BATTERIES By Nicholas Dane Williard "

Various charge/discharge methods were tested and their affects on life capacity were determined. Continuous charging (float voltage) and shallow cycle degredation would be of the most interest to us. While these tests were performed on LiCoO2 the paper does mention LiFePO4 and implies results should be similar.

Pg. 77,78
"Continuous Charging
The continuous charging test was performed on an “A” battery to examine the effects of float charging on battery reliability. The cell subjected to this test was given a float charge at 4V for an extended period of time and was periodically discharged to measure capacity. A float charge refers to a low current charge which counteracts the battery’s self discharge effects.
The float charge allows the voltage to remain constant over the duration of the rest time. Figure 34 shows voltage vs. time plots collected during various discharge times throughout the continuous charging test. There was no significant change in capacity during the continuous charging times. In a previous study [14], extended periods of float charging at voltages above 4.2V resulted in accelerated capacity fade. This is likely cause by the
instability of the cathode material at higher voltages.
Because the float charge in this test allowed the battery to remain within the battery’s stable operating region below 4.2V, no significant degradation was observed. This would be an important consideration for BMSs that wish to keep a battery maintained during down time. By applying a float charge in the battery’s stable operating voltage, the battery can remain fully charged and ready for immediate use without undergoing significant degradation during storage."

The paper cited [14] is the one by Choi & Lim that Dave mentioned where the float voltage was 4.2V and caused damage to the cell. So it would seem that a float voltage in the stable voltage region which for LiFePO4 a bank voltage of 13.1V or 3.275V/cell would be safe.

Shallow cycle capacity degradation (pg.79) is also of interest in a house bank. Shallow cycles did cause some capacity degradation but that can be recovered after a rest period or by a full 80%DOD and 100% charge. I believe that was exactly what was seen by those of you that performed bench tests.



I never suggested that ,I mentioned elsewhere I recharge after 20 % depletion



I was trying to outline the simplest system that would allow a Li battery to be used in an existing system , I never said it was optimum. My optimum system would both achieve safe usage and optimise cycle life. Yea, I realize that, it's just that you seem to go both ways in different posts.

I think you mixing up two usage approaches. One suggests using non optimised sources and trying to justify the outcome, with little factual data. The other is an optimum approach , with specific optimised charge sources which follow accepted research and best industry practices.

I think it's fair to claim the second is better even if the first is " good enough as far as we can tell and we can't tell very much " Agreed, just pointing out that each and every installation is going to be used in a different manner and very few will achieve optimum cycle life or performance no matter the research. However, I think we're all mostly starting to believe the cycle life in house bank service is; 1) going to be very difficult to detect any degradation (mainly because of size) and 2) the number of cycles will be very high, barring any catastrophic abuse.
It's a matter of real world use, and how close can you keep actual use to the optimum. If people followed all "best practices" we'd all have AGMs and they'd be lasting 2000 cycles.

Have a nice evening,
Dwain

Maybe due to thread drift here, we should drag this over to the other thread. My fault!
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Old 04-02-2014, 19:56   #94
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Re: LiFePo4 for DUMMIES

I read that whole paper , all 110 pages very interesting work on a masters thesis.

Accepting his results it would suggest that maintaining a float voltage at below a higher stress voltage would seem to have no deleterious effects. ( in that case 4v)

I'd recommend that paper to all those interested in Li . Very accessible content and lots of useful facts and analysis on all types of failure modes

Great stuff

Dave
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Old 04-02-2014, 20:16   #95
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I'm really trying to follow everything and not ask too many stupid questions. I will be using mostly solar to charge my batteries and I want them to be a hundred percent at the end of the day. I read this study before and I'm very confused. The Gurus say not to float the batteries. This study says maintaining at 4 volts causes no harm. Am I misinterpreting the info? that equates to 16 volts for a nominal 12 volt system!!!!
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Old 04-02-2014, 20:23   #96
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LiFePo4 for DUMMIES

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Originally Posted by sparrowhawk1 View Post
I'm really trying to follow everything and not ask too many stupid questions. I will be using mostly solar to charge my batteries and I want them to be a hundred percent at the end of the day. I read this study before and I'm very confused. The Gurus say not to float the batteries. This study says maintaining at 4 volts causes no harm. Am I misinterpreting the info? that equates to 16 volts for a nominal 12 volt system!!!!
The accepted industry practice has been to not float charge. If you look at integrated circuit Li chip sets few allow floating.

Equally many acknowledged experts and research maintain ( for various reasons) that some , sometimes unquantifiable effects can occur. , some research claims loss of capacity , some claim loss of cycle life.

Then we have the aforementioned paper , that claims that maintaining a float voltage lower then the upper knee , ie within the " safe" area causes no degradation in capacity ( SOC )

One thing that has been over looked is claims in other research that float voltages produce dentritic Li plating that can causing separator puncture, most ( all?) of which which is reversed during discharge , hence no effect on capacity, but the risk remains in relation to separator puncture.

Personally in an optimum system , I like, MaineSail, prefer to disconnect rather then float, this is easily done and lithium really has no need to float charge as self discharge is very low .

It's all grist to the mill.

Davec
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Old 04-02-2014, 20:50   #97
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Re: LiFePo4 for DUMMIES

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Originally Posted by sparrowhawk1 View Post
I'm really trying to follow everything and not ask too many stupid questions. I will be using mostly solar to charge my batteries and I want them to be a hundred percent at the end of the day. I read this study before and I'm very confused. The Gurus say not to float the batteries. This study says maintaining at 4 volts causes no harm. Am I misinterpreting the info? that equates to 16 volts for a nominal 12 volt system!!!!
I think this 4 volt reference is for LiPO, not LiFePO4. Nominal voltage for LiPO is 3.7 volts per cell, ours are 3.25 volts.
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Old 05-02-2014, 01:38   #98
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I think this 4 volt reference is for LiPO, not LiFePO4. Nominal voltage for LiPO is 3.7 volts per cell, ours are 3.25 volts.
That would explain it. Thanks.
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:56   #99
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Re: LiFePo4 for DUMMIES

All very interesting and I still think LA thinking is holding us back, it is for me at least. Maybe we should ask why an LA battery is float charged. Due to the relatively high self discharge (compared to Li) it's necessary to float charge to maintain a high state of charge and for longer life an LA battery should be kept at 100% SOC.

The high self discharge and 100% SOC requirement doesn't apply to Li Batteries, so no need to float charge. What we do want is to keep the SOC up especially when solar and wind are available and a charge scheme where charging sources are connected at a 'drop in' voltage level and disconnected at a 'charge complete' level does this. This accomplishes the same thing as floating an LA battery without the potentially harmful affects of a float voltage.

So does a float voltage below the cells nominal voltage harm an LiFePO4 cell? I don't know, the paper by Willard that I originally quoted would indicate not, but that was for LiPo cells. Even if there is a safe voltage for 18650 cells is it safe for Winston cells? CALB cells? Hipower cells? We don't know and I'm not willing to finance an experiment to find out.

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Old 05-02-2014, 10:09   #100
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Re: LiFePo4 for DUMMIES

[QUOTE=SteveSails;
The high self discharge and 100% SOC requirement doesn't apply to Li Batteries, so no need to float charge. What we do want is to keep the SOC up especially when solar and wind are available and a charge scheme where charging sources are connected at a 'drop in' voltage level and disconnected at a 'charge complete' level does this. This accomplishes the same thing as floating an LA battery without the potentially harmful affects of a float voltage.

So does a float voltage below the cells nominal voltage harm an LiFePO4 cell? I don't know, the paper by Willard that I originally quoted would indicate not, but that was for LiPo cells. Even if there is a safe voltage for 18650 cells is it safe for Winston cells? CALB cells? Hipower cells? We don't know and I'm not willing to finance an experiment to find out.

Steve[/QUOTE]


I agree. So it seems that if enough capacity is available to provide all the energy required in a worst case scenario using 60 percent of the battery we could charge to full, use down to 75 percent SOC then charge back up. Poor memory here but I recall some question about a short cycle being the same as a full cycle from a cycle life stand point. That is not the way some of the other Li batteries figure it but is that a issue with these? (Apple looks at four 25 percent discharges as one cycle.)
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:27   #101
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Re: LiFePo4 for DUMMIES

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Highland Fling-
I hope that you understand that Maine Sail owns and operates a company in the marine electrical repair business, has gone through the time and expense of becoming certified as a Marine Electrician by the American Boat and Yacht Council and produces extraordinary "How To" articles that he posts on his website. (Note: It is my opinion that if he lived somewhere other than above the Artic Circle, he wouldn't have so much time on his hands and that would be our loss.)

I view the CF as a meeting place to ask "What to do?" not "How to do it?" If you read, absorb, and think about what Maine Sail, Stu Jackson (another prolific contributor of fact based articles primarily on other forums), Flying Cloud, T1 Terry, Ebaugh, Deck Officer and others are writing, you will have the working level of knowledge to deploy a LFP house bank.

If you need wire by wire instruction/direction then there is no shame in hiring a professional to do the design and system integration. No shame at all.

This is an emerging technology that is coming to fruition at a time when the boating public is losing its technical competence and desires systems that are immensely complex but "plug and play". "System integration" to them is ensuring that all the electronics are NMEA 2000 certified but then some equipment is "compliant" and isn't that good enough? (It isn't.)

Deploying LFP systems as house banks is not rocket science but it is not akin to following IKEA instructions to put together a book case.
A few points there, One I am on my boat and i don't have 24/7 WiFi access, so i was trying to 'reduce' the amount of time i needed to sort all of this out, have a sensible, how to do it thread and maybe myself start gathering the bits together here in St Martin to build the system and perhaps install it next year. Were i home in Bonnie Scotland with 24/7 access to the WWW things would be easier for so many reasons that i wont bother explaining fully here, one being face to face access to many electrical engineers that are involved in developing and constructing hybrid vehicles on a commercial scale.

IF you are a commercial organisation there must be a reason for being here, hopefully a positive one.....generating more business for yourself or even just improving your profile, maybe even learning yourself AND educating others, maybe even for altruistic reasons, now would that not be nice helping /educating others just because you can AND want to. And of course this being the WWW you leave something behind forever even if it is only words of wisdom.

I am somewhat amazed with Mainsail who says he does not like how this site/forum operates, yet still posts here. If i walked into any organisation and felt this is not for me i would do an immediate 180 and be out the door quickly, that to me holds good here too.

For sure i don't need hand holding BUT i was trying to pick a few brains at a macro level, It seems obvious to me 'now' that it is going to take some considerable time for me to sort all of this out, I was trying to cut that time down to the very minimum. No matter what anyone recommends i am my own man and will make my choices after listening to peoples input, obviously i will make value judgements on these people.....I know for a fact where real and available to me expertise lies, that i can have instant and open access to, BUT that is thousands of miles away and for sure i don't want to impose on these people when i am 'enjoying myself' in the Caribbean. I mistakenly thought i could get all I NEED here easily, seems i got that wrong big time, a lesson learned BUT in the scheme of things it matters little. I will get what i want and need from people who are interested in helping me achieve my aims, it is just going to take considerably longer than i first thought. The impetus for posting here was me having to overhaul my alternator when one of the nuts on the full wave rectifier (FWR) and the Diode Trio (DT) came loose and fell off leaving a very bad/no connection and the charge voltage went over 15.5V killing the engine start battery. That battery dying and me noticing that my house bank was not really man enough after 13 years to take on the new very high loads that i was asking of it without some solar or generator support made the jump to LiFep04 seem logical and sensible. I am a multidisciplined engineer, know a little about rockets, jet engines flying at supersonic speeds with their need to ingest air at sub sonic speeds and super cavitating propellers (now there is an interesting topic) nothing here with LiFeP04 scares or concerns me. As you can read above an Over Voltage Condition (OVC) is just as fatal for a traditional boat battery as it would be for a LiFeP04 one. Last year in our boatyard on the boat next to us a simple charger was 'left charging' sixteen 8G FLA batteries. When the owner came back all the linings in the engine compartment were stripped bare and the batteries were totally fried. No matter what bateries you have you need to care for them properly.....our GEL cells are 13 years old and still pass a load test BUT are slowly dying as they struggle (voltage sag) with running all our A/C needs when we are cooking

Since with LiFeP04 batteries we are going to be working at a cell level building these battery banks it seems sensible to put in some cell protection...............yet for years we have 'managed without that' and ninety nine times out a hundred it will be one duff cell that kills a FLA/GEL or AGM battery.

I came here to shorten my research time and to repeat myself again

I HATE REINVENTING THE WHEEL,

it has become obvious to me that any more time spent here is not going to be highly productive in achieving that aim.

Another thing that i want to comment on is that assuming the silent majority are on your side of the argument is IMHO extreme arrogance.

Thank goodness I missed all the nasty stuff but i can see that even now once all of that was removed by the mods this thread is not going in the direction i hoped when i wrote the title, what a surprise not. For the people who have helped i thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I have more critical important and fun things to do with my time like go sailing.

Take care all of you and see if you can stay on topic and make this thread into what i hoped for - something very very useful for people who want to change to LiFeP04 batteries. Go on surprise me

TTFN
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:55   #102
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There is so much knowledge on this forum. But when it comes to lifepo4 batteries I'm about to give up too. The threads are all over the place. My attempts to categorize and simplify have met with little success.
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:56   #103
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Re: LiFePo4 for DUMMIES

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I am somewhat amazed with Mainsail who says he does not like how this site/forum operates, yet still posts here. If i walked into any organisation and felt this is not for me i would do an immediate 180 and be out the door quickly, that to me holds good here too.
David,

Please read what I wrote carefully.

I do like this site, I do post here but I will not take the time/waste my time to post highly detailed multi-thousand word, image filled posts on-how to this or how to that here because I have no control over that post once I hit send.

I have no issue posting short posts where specs, product changes etc. won't impact the nature of the information as much.

As I said I would love to do a lengthy detailed post with all of my information but this takes me considerable time, for which I do not get paid, and then to lose 100% of the control over it simply is not going to happen, at least here.... Does not mean I don't like the site just means that for me to spend 15-30 hours compiling all my data, images etc. that I am not willing to give up control over it.

The difference is between response type posts and EXTREMELY DETAILED thread starters. The last place I will post one of those is a place where I lose control over it. Sorry.....

I have plenty of other boating sites where I can post that information and keep it current, up to date etc..

I do contribute because I like to help others. I do this in my spare time for the community at large because I like to support my fellow boaters.

This morning I spent 1.5 hours of my un-paid time contributing some findings to an ABYC committee which no one ever sees. I do this to help the boating community. These are things I do voluntarily because I feel the need to help support the community I enjoy immensely..

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Another thing that i want to comment on is that assuming the silent majority are on your side of the argument is IMHO extreme arrogance.
From where I sit, having taken my time, not being paid for it, contributed piles of information on this subject to help share my findings, at length, and including minutia level details, like glow plugs or Balmar reg settings, shared my research etc. all I can saw is WOW.....

The information myself and others have shared gets you to 98% of where you need to be. We are then being asked, no make that demanded, of more. This demand for more "free" information, along with the name calling, of I and others who have contributed, being "arrogant" is completely and utterly ...........

I will simply keep my thoughts to myself on that one.....

I am beginning to feel as if some here were given a million dollars by another forum member they would then complain that the giver did not also pay the taxes on it....

Sheesh how much free information is not enough....

I find it amusing the same folks complaining that the 3500 post long LiFePO4 thread, drifts too much or is into too much "geekery", have done exactly the same thing with this thread. of course it is our fault for not making things "cookie cutter" enough for you.. Unbelievable...

Oh and BTW my daughter has a snow day today and I have been able to begin working on a Cell Log 8S article for you guys, FOR FREE, still I suppose it will NEVER BE ENOUGH ..........
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:12   #104
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Re: LiFePo4 for DUMMIES

David,

Maybe a good solution would be to take single steps one at a time and post for comments from the knowledgeable folks here.

On your choice to run smaller cells for better space usage would be the first step to figure out the best way to do it. This link explains that rather well.....
https://store-0862a.mybigcommerce.co...ower%20BMS.pdf

Next step would be the easy monitoring of each cell using Junsi cell loggers....
http://pacificev.com/cell_log_8s_manual.pdf

Now you know how to series/parallel your bank and can monitor and set audible alarms for high and low voltages at the cell level.

Next step would be high and low voltage pack disconnects, which I need to research a bit more, but you get the idea, just take it in steps and I'm sure folks here will help. That way the helpers aren't responsible for designing your system and you understand all of your system components.
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:15   #105
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Maine sail. I would never have even known about lifepo4 batteries if it weren't for your YouTube videos. I was researching MPPT controllers when I came across your awesome video showing 1 putting out 25 percent more amperage on a discharged LA battery than a PWM . Which led me to your videos on the lifepo4 batteries. I respect your knowledge and that you're a professional making your living with your knowledge that you're sharing. My goal is to take that knowledge and the knowledge of others and somehow put it in a way that is accessible to the people that are trying to learn.
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