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Old 29-04-2017, 11:59   #1
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Lithium for the love of God

Hello All,

I have been reading and reading and reading all of these Lithium threads. Awesome stuff. But so much.

There really needs to be some sort of sticky thread with bullet points by this time.

I have 2000 watts of solar, and I have 3 outback controllers 80/80/60.

From what I have read, these Outback controllers can be programmed suitably for Lithium.

FAQ for Lithium:
1) Which companies sell Lithium batteries that have a good reputation? Relative price?

2) What are recommended controller / BMS setups? Do I need a BMS if I have for example an Outback 80 controller?

3) What is the simple rule-of-thumb, if I want the same performance as my lead/AGMs I should size my Lithium at 1/3rd? The size of my lead batteries?

I will buy many, many beers for the folk(s) who can make a clean post on this.

Thank you,
-Erik
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Old 29-04-2017, 14:02   #2
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Re: Lithium for the love of God

I think you need at least 50%, and better 60% of your lead acid battery bank size.

Where to buy will depend on where you are. I have Winston lithiums.

Your Outback controllers can be set up to suit lithiums.

I have mine set to 13.8 v bulk, zero minutes absorb, 13.5 v float.

I don't have a BMS, but have a programmable voltage sensing relay set to disconnect the loads (but not the solar) at 12.4 volts for 10 seconds.
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Old 29-04-2017, 15:45   #3
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Re: Lithium for the love of God

Problem is there is a lot of disagreement, certainly between mfg vs sellers vs users, and between user-experts

Even on correct charging voltages, definitely about whether BMS is required.

Buying cells direct from China vs finding one local, finding a trusted vendor either way.

Taking their advice vs what you learn here in the forums.

Warranty is problematic with a product so difficult and expensive to ship.

Best to ask specific questions after a few dozen hours reading, taking notes, and making your own judgment calls on who to believe when opinions conflict.
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Old 29-04-2017, 15:53   #4
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Re: Lithium for the love of God

Quote:
Originally Posted by exitstrategy View Post
these Outback controllers can be programmed suitably for Lithium.
So you can set Vabs and Vfloat.

Can you define "full" as a custom EndCurrent instead of a voltage level?

Can you simply turn off charging or is floating required?

If you're not actively discharging the bank, can you set it to just maintain say 30% SoC?

I would love to find out what controllers do either of these last two.


Quote:
Originally Posted by exitstrategy View Post
What is the simple rule-of-thumb, if I want the same performance as my lead/AGMs I should size my Lithium at 1/3rd? The size of my lead batteries?
Since all lead banks offer 50% of their AH capacity, and LFP has no problem delivering 80%, a 400AH lead bank and 250AH LFP bank offer the same 200AH usable.
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Old 29-04-2017, 16:01   #5
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Re: Lithium for the love of God

Quote:
Originally Posted by exitstrategy View Post
Which companies sell Lithium batteries that have a good reputation?
Raw cells from CALB, Sinopoly, Winston/Thundersky and A123 seem to have a decent reputation. But beware of getting factory seconds!

Ballpark $130 per 100AH, that's per 3.xV cell, so $520 for 12V.

Buying an "integrated solution" setup with proprietary BMS included will be at least double raw cell pricing, likely 3-4x.

Shipping is often a few hundred dollars for a decent sized bank, discounted if you have a commercial loading dock available.
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Old 30-04-2017, 09:31   #6
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Re: Lithium for the love of God

Skip lithium, go carbon foam made by firefly . The Oasis is safer and out performs . 100% discharge won't hurt the battery. Carbon foam batteries are a game changer !
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Old 30-04-2017, 10:38   #7
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Re: Lithium for the love of God

I have installed a lithium battery in a trolley that was using an AGM before. Based on input from a top pro Swedish battery technician we went with 50% of the original Ah rating.

The battery came not much smaller BUT much lighter.

Once in use, there was no noticeable difference in any other respect than the charging time - the old battery charged overnight the new one in less than 3 hours. The driving time was about the same - close to 3 hours (ultra efficient hub engines).

It was a LFP battery. Purchased in Sweden, made in China. About 6x the price of a regular AGM battery (back in 2012).

Cheers,
b.
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Old 30-04-2017, 10:50   #8
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Re: Lithium for the love of God

Quote:
Originally Posted by navy davy View Post
Skip lithium, go carbon foam made by firefly . The Oasis is safer and out performs . 100% discharge won't hurt the battery. Carbon foam batteries are a game changer !
Yes Firefly Oasis is excellent, only $500 / 100AH (G31 size only) and usually existing lead charging infrastructure needs little modification.

Really the only lead-based chemistry to support a chronic PSOC abuse situation, and also supports discharging below 50%.

But does NOT outperform properly supported LFP, a good less expensive compromise between lithium and other lead banks.



Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Based on input from a top pro Swedish battery technician we went with 50% of the original Ah rating.
No harm, but wasting at least 30% capacity with little if any lifespan benefit.

Yes it's hard to get away from lead thinking.
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Old 30-04-2017, 11:07   #9
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Re: Lithium for the love of God

If you are willing and able to buy tested, quality products, I suggest looking at the Lithium Ion batteries from Mastervolt, a company that specializes in marine and mobile applications.

All the best

John Mardall
Vetus Maxwell Group
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Old 30-04-2017, 18:11   #10
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Re: Lithium for the love of God

Just a feeling
It seems to me that having LiFePo vs lead/agm is just a tech fad, with some questionable pros/cons we all know...

Different is IF lithium strategy is deployed for a hybrid or fully El motion. That may change the rule of the game. But investing 000s$ for the fridge.... no, please
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Old 30-04-2017, 18:50   #11
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Re: Lithium for the love of God

Weighs about 1/4, takes up less than. 1/2 the space, no self discharge...... seem like pretty real benefits even if they didn't last much longer. Which they should.
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Old 01-05-2017, 10:57   #12
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Re: Lithium for the love of God

Quote:
Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
Weighs about 1/4, takes up less than. 1/2 the space, no self discharge...... seem like pretty real benefits even if they didn't last much longer. Which they should.
Don't forget, no acid to eat holes in terminal wiring and your pants, no hydrogen gas to worry about, much better Peukert factor, greater percentage of usable charge.

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Old 01-05-2017, 11:19   #13
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Re: Lithium for the love of God

Quote:
Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
Weighs about 1/4, takes up less than. 1/2 the space, no self discharge...... seem like pretty real benefits even if they didn't last much longer. Which they should.
And perhaps the two biggest benefits for a cruising boat: No absorption phase (give it full charge power up to near full and then cut it off), and the ability to repeatedly discharge to 30% SOC without damage.
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Old 01-05-2017, 13:09   #14
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Re: Lithium for the love of God

My understanding is 20% is no problem, even lower as long as you keep voltage from getting near that bottom shoulder..

And the low resistance, very high Amps charge acceptance rate allows for vety short engine runtimes.

Not to mention the very long lifespan does not require getting up to Full. Ever.

Anyone thinks this is just hype is sticking their head in sand, likely uncomfortable with progress in general.
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Old 01-05-2017, 14:56   #15
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Re: Lithium for the love of God

Another big one is much less voltage drop when loads get large (> .7C)

Especially critical for driving big inverters
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