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Old 07-07-2011, 16:37   #61
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Re: LiFePo4 House Bank Using SmartHousePower BMS

"Did you go to these lengths before getting LA?"
Right question, wrong assumptions you keep making.
The "facts" on wet lead were long established and long agreed upon by the entire industry, and independent sources, before I was born. Including charge management. Those same "facts" are still hotly contested by the LiFePo makers, and that's the crux of the issue. If maker #1 says "n fancy cell-by-cell management needed" and maker #2 says "unless you use a thousand dollar controller, we can't warranty the product at all" then one of those makers, with identical reputations and corporate histories, appears to be lying.

There's a reason for shooting down new tech CLAIMS. That's because so many of them turn out to be bogus. There's a long list of products and claims and investment scams in technology areas.

"So In my position, I guess most people would have taken the lifepo route."
All you've said, is that you believe the marketing claims. MOST people would spend 10% of what you've spent on batteries, and in four years they'll re-evaluate the situation. You've proved that you're willing to spend money on what you believe in, and aspirations are often a good thing.

Personally? I'd buy stock in a unicorn ranch before I'd spend it on a LiFePo manufacturer, because all I see from either one are unsubstantiated claims.

Ask you favorite vendor to submit a dozen batteries to the university or testing lab of their choice, for rigorous controlled study by an independent body. Funny how no one has done that, or if they have done it, not so funny that they haven't publicized any test results. That's a cheap and very effective way to prove technology works--and to market a product. But if the proiduct can't meet the claims...it doesn't go that route.

Ten year outstanding performanace? Maybe. I'd rather pet the unicorns, I don't have to wait ten years to see how THEY fly.
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Old 07-07-2011, 16:52   #62
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Re: LiFePo4 House Bank Using SmartHousePower BMS

Hey Hellosailor just for you

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." -- Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943."

"But what...is it good for?" -- Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.

"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us." -- Western Union internal memo, 1876.

"We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out." -- Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

"Radio has no future. Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible. X-rays will prove to be a hoax." -- William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, British scientist, 1899

"There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will." -- Albert Einstein, 1932.

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Old 07-07-2011, 19:16   #63
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Re: LiFePo4 House Bank Using SmartHousePower BMS

Dave, you seem confused. Your quotes have to do with whether tested, proven, and known technology has any market.

My remarks about LifePo are the exact opposite. I know there's a market, but no one has yet bothered proving there's a product. Let alone a product that really will continue to work, safely and economically, as promised by the marketers.

Other technologies, including LiOn and at least one car maker (Honda IIRC) have only in the past five years come around to say "do not cycle the batteries all the way, cycle them from 40 to 90% for the best life." 40 and 90 being ballpark numbers are argued differently by different vendors and technologies as well.

Got any independent lab tests for long-term cycling of LiFePo? Or, are you willing to post bond warranty for those who purchase them? What? No? gee....
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Old 07-07-2011, 19:40   #64
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Re: LiFePo4 House Bank Using SmartHousePower BMS

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Dave, you seem confused. Your quotes have to do with whether tested, proven, and known technology has any market.
No, his quotes have to do with new unproven technology and the (initial) reluctance to adopt it by end users.
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Old 08-07-2011, 07:05   #65
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Re: LiFePo4 House Bank Using SmartHousePower BMS

[QUOTE]Got any independent lab tests for long-term cycling of LiFePo? Or, are you willing to post bond warranty for those who purchase them? What? No? gee..../QUOTE]

The fact is hellosailor that there is quite a bit of research and development on LFPs, and its true the exact charging characteristics are being still worked on as subtle changes are made to the chemistry makeup and experience builds. But that does not undermine the basic advantages.

As to warranty, as the supply chain builds, and the patent position improves, multiple sources will appear, early manufacturers will disappear etc. Distribution will improve as will warranties.

I cannot undertsand your point of view. You can say "ill sit on the fence until I see more" and thats fine ( The camp that says never buy anything v1.0), early adopters by their nature do go ahead and this technology shows great promise, but why just knock it.

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Old 08-07-2011, 10:51   #66
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Re: LiFePo4 House Bank Using SmartHousePower BMS

Dave, the important thing is to put those quotes in perspective. When Thomas Watson spoke in 1943, a "computer" was a very large room full of very tempermental equipment, and it cost so much to build, operate, and maintain that only a government could do so. So yes, he had a valid question, since no persons could afford to buy one, and few governments could, just how many could the world use?
Today, my cell phone has more power than all of NASA had during Apollo. That kinda changes the perspective, doesn't it?
And the Beatles music? Really now, that's a matter of fashion and taste, that's again not nothing to do with the question of "does this technology work, or is it an expensive hype?"
Lots of folks bought--and continue to buy--magnetic fuel savers, even though they have been consistently proven to do nothing, by indpendent labs and government agencies. Hype sells.
The contradictory claims I see for LiFePo batteries (needs BMS, doesn't need BMS, will last, won't last) don't impress me. If the technology WORKS then it can be demonstrated and proven, in the scientific manner. And if you can do that, you can get performance bonds, or issue warranties, to match the claims. Which no one has or does. That's the key point: Lots of claims. Great claims. Interesting claims.
But when you say "put your money where your mouth is" all the vendors pucker up and go silent.

Yeah, a lot of folks laughed at them Wright Brothers. Bicycle in the sky, sure.

The difference is, the Wright Brothers actually flew one--they deomonstrated their claims worked. They didn't claim "more altititude" or "greater speed" they just said "It CAN FLY". And then they proved it could. Repeatedly.

LiFePo? OK, demostrate it will do a thousand cycles at 50%. Or two thousand at 90%. Whatever it is that whichever contradictory vendor is claiming--give a set to Consumer Reports, or Sandia Labs, or UL, and have someone document the claims.

Now, what's this business about Winston Thundersky having problems with the Chinese government last year, about his batteries being unacceptable to their EV business? I could only find badly broken translations, couldn't figure out if they failed a test, had counterfeited a certification, or simply were the wrong type or color.
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:17   #67
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Re: LiFePo4 House Bank Using SmartHousePower BMS

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Today, my cell phone has more power than all of NASA had during Apollo.
And yet, that cell phone is powered by the same lithium-ion technology that you so dislike and claim isn't worth considering as it is today.

LiFePo4 is lithium-ion... which comes in many kinds/combinations of positive and negative electrode materials. But they all work and the technology is far superior to any LA cells and the world has moved on and will not stop no matter how loud you scream

Everything we create and use becomes more complex technology and same is true for batteries. We also demand higher performance and fool-proof operation. "We" is mostly the new generations that adapt the new technology without any nostalgic protests and laugh and make jokes when they hear how things used to be done. We can decide to join them for the ride or stick with old ways and old kit and become subjects for future documentaries on the Discovery Channel

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Old 08-07-2011, 12:22   #68
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Re: LiFePo4 House Bank Using SmartHousePower BMS

So--in my experience that is the same technology which makes me by a $100+ replacement battery for my laptop every year or two.

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
And yet, that cell phone is powered by the same lithium-ion technology that you so dislike and claim isn't worth considering as it is today.

LiFePo4 is lithium-ion... which comes in many kinds/combinations of positive and negative electrode materials. But they all work and the technology is far superior to any LA cells and the world has moved on and will not stop no matter how loud you scream

Everything we create and use becomes more complex technology and same is true for batteries. We also demand higher performance and fool-proof operation. "We" is mostly the new generations that adapt the new technology without any nostalgic protests and laugh and make jokes when they hear how things used to be done. We can decide to join them for the ride or stick with old ways and old kit and become subjects for future documentaries on the Discovery Channel

ciao!
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:43   #69
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Re: LiFePo4 House Bank Using SmartHousePower BMS

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So--in my experience that is the same technology which makes me by a $100+ replacement battery for my laptop every year or two.
Exactly, 100% correct. Try to estimate how many cycles you did in those 2 years. Also, do you think lead acid would have worked better?

When you buy a more expensive Macbook, it has an internal battery that users aren't supposed to replace themselves and it lasts 4-5 years before needing replacement.... meaning that there are quality differences among brands of lithium-ion batteries.

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Old 08-07-2011, 13:35   #70
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Re: LiFePo4 House Bank Using SmartHousePower BMS

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Exactly, 100% correct. Try to estimate how many cycles you did in those 2 years. Also, do you think lead acid would have worked better?

When you buy a more expensive Macbook, it has an internal battery that users aren't supposed to replace themselves and it lasts 4-5 years before needing replacement.... meaning that there are quality differences among brands of lithium-ion batteries.

ciao!
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My laptops spend most of their time plugged in, so I would say less than 50 cycles to failure for the Li-ion batteries. The power-to-weight ratio leaves out lead acid for laptops, but not for boats, so I don't have to spend 5 times as much for a dodgy battery technology. I'll buy the new technology when Nigel Calder says his have been trouble-free for 10 years, and I'm still waiting.
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Old 08-07-2011, 13:53   #71
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Re: LiFePo4 House Bank Using SmartHousePower BMS

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My laptops spend most of their time plugged in[...]
Ah, you're abusing technology

Laptops are not designed to do that. By leaving them plugged in, you operate them outside their design criteria and thus should really be punished besides having to buy so many new batteries

You would do better with a system without batteries lol.

If you take an example of where batteries are actually cycled/used, like cell phones, you will find that they perform well and that the way you try to talk yourself out of defeat, definitely puts you in the old fart curiosity group I mentioned before. They will come and look at you with eyes amazed before walking away while shaking their heads haha. May be you can negotiate a contract with history channel and use the money for a nice lithium bank of batteries

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Old 08-07-2011, 15:10   #72
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Re: LiFePo4 House Bank Using SmartHousePower BMS

"And yet, that cell phone is powered by the same lithium-ion technology that you so dislike and claim isn't worth considering as it is today"
You've proven my point, Nick! Cell ;phone batteries today are almost all LiOn (lithium ion) type, which the LiFePo manufacturers will tell you is a TOTALLY DIFFERENT ANIMAL.
Among other things, LiOn has a nasty history of explosions and fires, enough so that air carriers and shippers argue over whether they must be considered exclusively as hazmat. And LiOn is well documented to have a 500-1000 charge cycle limit, with a general maximum of four years before it goes dead, sometimes spontaneously after testing perfectly good the week before.
LiOn isn't LiFePo!

The fact that so many of you think it is the same technology, only proves you don't know what LiFePo is. Or isn't. Foist by your own petard, methinks.

Further, laptops and cell phones (at least, the better ones) have rather sophisticated charge control systems. The typical laptop "battery" contains two or three strings of three cells, in a series-parallel array. There is a strip of circuitry alongside which monitors cell voltage on each cell and charges each cell (or parallel set) within a tight specific band. You can't pull the voltage down too far, because the computer will shut off. And the battery charge controller also usually monitors the number of charge cycles, the charge depth, and the remaining power versus original capacity. Quite a sophisticated little management system. Then the computer usually is running software that allows you a choice of charging routines, i.e. when the AC is plugged in maintain a 100% charge, or allow the battery to discharge to, say, 85% and cycle it from 85 to 95% while the AC is plugged in, because that will give the battery a longer life than cycling it to maintain 100%. The options vary with the maker--but it ain't just "charging" like a car charger.
It really doesn't matter if a Mac or other brand name laptop is left plugged into AC all the time, because the charge control computer in the battery pack and the power control routine both know about the AC, and use it as appropriate.

Cell phones also vary in their charging routines, but generally even the cheapest now monitor battery temoerature as well as charge state, and many do not trickle charge when the battery is full, they simply shut down until replugged.

In the words of a company that doesn't make batteries at all "It ain't just paint!"

Some of these charging routines for LiOn have only been developed or deployed in the last 5-10 years, they're still news to a lot of people. And the "dirt cheap" sources don't bother with them. Nor do the counterfeit cheap phone chargers--which is another reason they may be setting fires, by ignoring hot batteries.

LiOn has a track record. LiFePo? Ask nay two vendors, then compare the answers to a magic8Ball.
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Old 08-07-2011, 15:30   #73
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Re: LiFePo4 House Bank Using SmartHousePower BMS

Lithium batteries have a lot of advantages, but I do not think they are going to achieve the extravagant cycle life that is often claimed.I have used some small LiFePo4 batteries over the last few years, they have a lot of great qualities. I think these will be the boat batteries of the future, but my advice would be not to buy them (or cost them) believing the cycle life claims.
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Old 08-07-2011, 15:32   #74
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Re: LiFePo4 House Bank Using SmartHousePower BMS

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You've proven my point, Nick! Cell ;phone batteries today are almost all LiOn (lithium ion) type, which the LiFePo manufacturers will tell you is a TOTALLY DIFFERENT ANIMAL.
Among other things, LiOn has a nasty history of explosions and fires, enough so that air carriers and shippers argue over whether they must be considered exclusively as hazmat. And LiOn is well documented to have a 500-1000 charge cycle limit, with a general maximum of four years before it goes dead, sometimes spontaneously after testing perfectly good the week before.
LiOn isn't LiFePo!

The fact [...]


Reading your posts, I sense that you expect me to now reply that the difference is related to exploding batteries etc... but if you would've profiled me better you would know I don't take that bait

The reason I get involved in these threads is that I think readers who do not know the specifics get informed on CF. When we joke around it should be obvious that we are doing that instead of supplying info that we think is correct.

So, I'll become serious you know that LiFePo4 is a form of Lithium-ion and that's what readers should understand. Also, my remarks about the Mac were related to the quality of the battery itself. Just like a Rolls LA battery will outperform a Napa LA battery, you get different qualities in Li-ion technology too. Where one cell phone battery dies after months, iPhones go on for 4-5 years. Sometimes more money means better quality.

With the direction I see sailboat cruising heading, they will need sophisticated battery management systems. Where my generation not only monitors house banks themselves but also find it normal to do so, new generations accept nothing less than systems that can be totally abused without negative consequences. They would need BMS with disconnects and shunts on LA banks too or they will kill themselves. To be honest, I wouldn't mind an absolutely fool proof and maintenance free battery system aboard either. LA will never give us that but Li-ion might.

When Nigel Calder has had his batteries for 10 years you will buy into it? Others will call the tech obsolete by then and move on again

ciao!
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Old 08-07-2011, 17:05   #75
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Re: LiFePo4 House Bank Using SmartHousePower BMS

Quote:
My laptops spend most of their time plugged in, so I would say less than 50 cycles to failure for the Li-ion batteries.
Li-ion batteries start to degrade if you use them or you don't from date of manufacture. So for laptops the batteries are always toast in 2 years no matter what you do. The sad truth is there are multiple issues competing with multiple demands.

What we all want is a battery that can be abused beyond your imagination and have an acceptance so high you can charge it on a single bolt of lightning and cost less than nothing. With the issues of cost vs. performance both being argued there is still the final issue of the supply of the worlds Lithium. If Li based technology is the the key then the price will surely drive up the cost to very high levels. The known supply isn't all that great.

As long as electric cars are still a fad the price for Li based batteries is assured to skyrocket. This alone will spawn even more unfounded claims. There is no way to supply the charging required to fuel electric cars. Boats have no status in the overall issue of power in a world perspective. Cell phones use almost no power and in the areas of technology where minimal power use is key, Li technology has already been eclipsed yet still cost effective. The key is using less power to find better sources to supply more power. RV's using LiFePo batteries is the ultimate oxymoron. Boats are not far behind. It only really works if most users don't use them because there isn't enough to supply most applications. Even if some miracle should happen there is no way to charge them all. At best they offer the folks that can afford them the ability to be a lazy. Money can always buy that much.
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