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Old 30-11-2014, 12:58   #46
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Re: Some more lithium thoughts and questions

It will be interesting to see how the new electric buses running in Winnipeg will fare(pun intended). The temp. is now -20c and has been below that for some number of hours. The buses will be running on the airport route and will recharge in 10 mins. after I think a 2 hr. run.
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Old 30-11-2014, 13:09   #47
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Re: Some more lithium thoughts and questions

Charging at ambient temperatures of whatever (freezing) is not necessarily the same as charging a battery which is at that temperature. Remember that batteries will have thermal mass, and retain some of the heat from their last charging cycle. So if the battery has been constantly hooked up to a maintenance charge source, it is possible that the battery is above ambient temperature, internally.

Without measurements and without cutting one apart to check for microscopic damage...who would know?
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Old 30-11-2014, 22:00   #48
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Re: Some more lithium thoughts and questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by offpist View Post
Hi.
I have installed an 30KWH battery using modules coming from Nissan Leaf wrecked cars.

My setup is 48V/640AH but it could also work on 12V or 24V.

As a 12V setup this would be 2560AH.

I have paid as low as 400 dollar for one complete battery pack.

So far i have picked up 4 battery packs from different wreck dealers and have a plan to do an similar setup in an 44`sailboat.

Are those cells installed in that direction in the cars?
Winston cells specify they should be installed vertically, either on the side or bottom edge, but not flat like that.
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:07   #49
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Re: Some more lithium thoughts and questions

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Are those cells installed in that direction in the cars?
Winston cells specify they should be installed vertically, either on the side or bottom edge, but not flat like that.
Yes, they are installed both vertical and horizontal actually.
These you can install any way you want.
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Old 03-12-2014, 13:39   #50
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Re: Some More Lithium Thoughts And Questions

I called Manzanita Micro, the fabricators of our LFP system, about charging at temperatures below 0 C. The technical representative said that they have charged at temperatures well below this with no problems as have the folks that utilize their products, mainly people in the electrical vehicle world. I should like to know what Chinese Aviation Lithium Battery (CALB) has to say on this subject since these are the cells used by Manzanita Micro

Reed and Elaine
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Old 04-12-2014, 11:10   #51
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Re: Some more lithium thoughts and questions

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Originally Posted by Jd1 View Post
The cells that Balqon delivered are Thundersky cells which may or may not be the same as Winston (lost track of who stole who's design).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Jd1,

Also your cells are old-stock, may have been used, and may need to be cycled a few times to come up to capacity. You bough used old stock cells, I did too, and I feel I got lucky with mine. You seem to be on the opposite end of where I ended up, but I would not consider it bad, especially for what you paid.......

Even if you are 60Ah's shy, which I would want to confirm more than once, you still have a 640Ah LFP bank for not a lot of dosh....

As I have said many times I would not again buy cells from Winston/Balquon. I think they are horrible to deal with and the variability of the Winston cells seems to be worse than with CALB. Lucky for me mine are doing fine. If I had to buy again, for my own boat, it would be CALB CA's.....

640 Ah's, for what you paid, seems pretty good... Run some more tests and see if it is repeatable or if it changes..

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Originally Posted by Jd1 View Post
Agreed, the price was right as long as the cells perform properly (although reduced) from here on in. BTW, the cells were represented as new and current (not old) stock.

I would not consider the capacity to be 640 Ah as I had to reduce current draw substantially - like I said, I would call it at most 600 Ah and even that was at less than spec'd current draw (not taking temperature into account as I do not know how much temperature affects things).

Anyway, time will tell all The next capacity test will happen next summer.
OK, this is my first posting here, and hopefully people will be understanding.

I also purchased the 700ah "Winston" batteries from Balqon. These batteries also are "Thundersky" cases, which apparently means they are AT LEAST two years old? I can't find a date code from the parts of the cells I can see, so if somebody knows where to look that would be a great help.

But the main question that I don't understand is that apparently both people here who purchased either used or new old stock batteries from Balqon, which were represented as new, are not unhappy?

I asked several times when these batteries that were shipped to me were manufactured, and never was told. I believe that I have been defrauded, although I don't know how much at the moment. Because even IF the batteries turn out to be 700ah batteries, they are two or three years old, and when I find out in 8 years that they are at the end of life I would have been expecting two more years, so that would be about a 20% price difference than agreed to. And it could be worse or better, as I don't know the time factor of these lithium batteries.

But I still believe I have been defrauded. And I'm wondering why I'm apparently the only one of that opinion here.

Thank you for your help.
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Old 04-12-2014, 11:35   #52
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Re: Some More Lithium Thoughts And Questions

ksquared-
As a consumer, and not an attorney, I would question some of Balqon's business practices as being "abnormal". Confusion over published warranty terms versus stated ones versus statutory ones, confusion over new goods versus old versus "lying around" or whatever...
If you feel defrauded, ask them to take the cells back, pick them up as non-conforming goods and make a complete refund. (Hopefully you used a credit card that can ensure this.) If they don't make a reasonable accommodation, there are both state and federal authorities who eventually enforce consumer protection laws and interstate commerce. If they determined that a company was shipping used goods as new, that company could wind up being banned from interstate commerce. Among other things.


But here at CF, us sailors don't have that kind of great and magical power. Usually.(G)
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Old 04-12-2014, 11:53   #53
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Re: Some more lithium thoughts and questions

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I can't find a date code from the parts of the cells I can see, so if somebody knows where to look that would be a great help.
None on mine either
Quote:
But the main question that I don't understand is that apparently both people here who purchased either used or new old stock batteries from Balqon, which were represented as new, are not unhappy?
I paid $600 per cell which is WELL below what anybody else was offering.
You pay $500 minimum for 400 AH cells from other vendors so an extra $100 per cell gave me 700 's.
The issue with age is a bit of an unknown like everything else with Lithiums. There is good reason to suspect they are old but nobody knows for sure. I am pretty sure that I was told they were recent stock (because I asked) but what is 'recent' ? Also age related loss of capacity is an unknown with some estimates going as high as 10% per year but nobody has definitively tested this that I am aware of. I don't believe it is anywhere near that high. I may accept a figure of as high as 5% but I have plenty of extra capacity.
Quote:
I asked several times when these batteries that were shipped to me were manufactured, and never was told. I believe that I have been defrauded, although I don't know how much at the moment. Because even IF the batteries turn out to be 700ah batteries, they are two or three years old, and when I find out in 8 years that they are at the end of life I would have been expecting two more years, so that would be about a 20% price difference than agreed to. And it could be worse or better, as I don't know the time factor of these lithium batteries.
If I had paid full price I might feel the same way but even at full price nobody else comes close to the Balqon price.
I knew from the beginning (based on feedback here) that I was taking a risk but I accepted that risk.
You could try and talk to Balqon - complain about old stock when new stock was implied and see if they are willing to do something about it ... such as an adjustment in price. Alternatively it's a question of returning them and asking for a refund but I wouldn't hold my breath to be compensated for the freight costs.
Let us know what you decide in the end and what Balqon was willing to do for you.
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Old 04-12-2014, 12:38   #54
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Re: Some More Lithium Thoughts And Questions

Tesla warms up the batteries before charging at low temperature. They use small cylindrical cells for faster temperature change and run a liquid past them to heat or cool them.


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Old 04-12-2014, 13:15   #55
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Re: Some More Lithium Thoughts And Questions

Tesla uses either lithium cobalt oxide (LiCo),[111] while researchers at DTU/INESC Porto believe that they are lithium manganese oxide (LMO).
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Old 04-12-2014, 13:36   #56
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Re: Some more lithium thoughts and questions

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Let us know what you decide in the end and what Balqon was willing to do for you.
Thank you Jd1 and hellosailor also, I'm still trying to figure this out.

I spoke to Balqon, and was told the batteries were manufactured in 2013, but I couldn't understand which month. So, believing Balqon, two years old. But a previous reference here was that they were no longer "Thundersky" batteries in 2012, which puts it another year older. Balqon stated that even 5 years of storage would not be a problem or impact the 7 to 10 year lifespan. Hmmm. I haven't been able to find any documentation really about the topic either.

I was also under the impression that I was purchasing Winston batteries, which I would think after two or three more years of research would be improved over the Thundersky batteries, even brand new ones if they were manufactured today. I haven't researched the Thundersky lifecycle claims, I thought I was getting Winston batteries.

I understand that the price is a major part of the equation, but I keep thinking, why then doesn't Balqon just advertise them as Thundersky batteries that are two or three years old? And I keep coming to the same conclusion, that it is to deceive people.

So this is a situation I never expected, obviously due to the fact that there are laws to prevent such deceptions, and now wondering since some have in fact accepted this because it is still the least expensive way to purchase high-capacity lithium batteries.
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Old 04-12-2014, 13:46   #57
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Re: Some More Lithium Thoughts And Questions

I'm happy with the actual cells (700 ah) I have but would have liked to be sure that they were current production. Balqon did state that they were new but clearly they had use marks. False advertizing at the least.

The price was right and they do work. I do need an intend to do a capacity test at a 20 amp discharge rate. That will be some long work. Also, I do intend to do a full charge test after the capacity test using a 60 amp charge rate.

60 amp charge rate comes from the capacity of a Dell Computer power supply that I set to 13.8 v and am toying with as a "bang bang" charger for my LiFePO4 bank.

My older inverter/charger does not have the ability to set the charging voltage to 13.8/13.9 but is usable if you de-rate the output current.

The Dell supplies are very high quality and are commonly hacked to get lithium charging voltages out of them. Plus I bought mine for $12 at the local computer surplus place.

Regards
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Old 04-12-2014, 15:29   #58
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Re: Some More Lithium Thoughts And Questions

IIRC Tesla had a number of reasons for using small cells. Among them, being able to pull and replace bad ones (cheaper with small cells) and any catastrophic cell failure [read: explosion or fire] would be much more easily contained. Having more surface area for the heating/cooling medium is almost icing on the cake.
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Old 05-12-2014, 05:56   #59
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Re: Some More Lithium Thoughts And Questions

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Originally Posted by Reed and Elaine View Post
Tesla uses either lithium cobalt oxide (LiCo),[111] while researchers at DTU/INESC Porto believe that they are lithium manganese oxide (LMO).
Reed and Elaine
They contain 10% Cobalt, which is mined in Canada. Source: Elon Musk interview "Der Speigel"

But, the temperature limitations are very similar.
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Old 05-12-2014, 06:06   #60
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Re: Some More Lithium Thoughts And Questions

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IIRC Tesla had a number of reasons for using small cells. Among them, being able to pull and replace bad ones (cheaper with small cells) and any catastrophic cell failure [read: explosion or fire] would be much more easily contained. Having more surface area for the heating/cooling medium is almost icing on the cake.
The information I saw was that the surface area to thermal-mass ratio - i.e. speed of heat transfer - was a major design factor. By the way, every Tesla service center has three batteries on hand for fast exchange. Can be done in about 1 hour.

They are working hard on using the same technolgy for stationary storage.

One implementation is for the super chargers to reduce the spike load on the power lines and with that reduce the huge costs associated with being guaranteed to be able to draw 1+MW from the net.

The other is for City Solar installation of solar homes. Apparently, they plan to make it a no-direct-cost plan to the home owner again, as with their solar systems.
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