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Old 04-06-2018, 05:49   #16
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Re: US source for CALB CA180 LFP batteries?

I was responding to the general statement.

Victron's very responsive to enquiries, in US

Justin Larrabee +1 207 3540493 ∑ jlarrabee@*victronenergy

Bruce Schwab at Ocean Planet is who I'd deal with, or Maine Sail.
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Old 04-06-2018, 05:52   #17
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Re: US source for CALB CA180 LFP batteries?

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Keep in mind that this is a distance cruising vessel with no consistent home port, so reliability, repairability, access to replacement parts, and being able to work around problems until repairs/parts can be obtained is a critical requirement in a power system.
Then stick to quality FLA GC batts.

Use a small LFP system as a reserve / science project.
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Old 04-06-2018, 06:02   #18
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Re: US source for CALB CA180 LFP batteries?

or get to know your LFP well enough to be able to create workarounds or solve the problem underway.
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Old 04-06-2018, 07:32   #19
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Re: US source for CALB CA180 LFP batteries?

Thatís certainly the plan, but ultimately one needs to either carry spares or be able to get them. The earlier example of a guy still waiting for a new battery after 3 months is a non-starter for me.
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Old 04-06-2018, 08:03   #20
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Re: US source for CALB CA180 LFP batteries?

I've had my CALBs in the Caribbean for almost 3 years. I don't carry a spare cell, and have no concerns about needing one. I designed my system with two redundant packs (catamaran). Normally, they are paralleled, but I can take one offline and run on half capacity if needed. Recently I needed to rebalance one of the packs. It was a simple matter to run on the other one for a day while I did that.

Have you considered building your system with 100's instead of 180's? It looks like those might be easier to get.
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Old 04-06-2018, 12:52   #21
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Re: US source for CALB CA180 LFP batteries?

you can always drop the bms and then it is a simple battery. You can manually monitor her until you can fix the BMS or other non-vital components.
Cells dont die instantly except they are abused heavily. So if one gets weak (more balancing than usual) you can look for a replacement.

If the cell really dies, you can always drop in temporarily a lead battery, or use your start battery for a while.
It is more likely a lead battery dies than a LFP, she has a 10 times higher life expectance and is better monitored.
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Old 04-06-2018, 13:16   #22
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Re: US source for CALB CA180 LFP batteries?

Unless something causes them to accidentally discharge to dead flat, no coming back from that, instant pile of scrap.

The 10+ years' ROI payback time over lead makes it a pretty risky investment.

Not saying not worth it, but many more risk averse than I am.
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Old 04-06-2018, 13:29   #23
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Re: US source for CALB CA180 LFP batteries?

Alibaba and the forty, AHEM.

Funny how none of the battery companies has managed to set up US distributorships and stock batteries here. Well, except for that one on the west coast that went down in figurative flames.

Make real damned sure you pay by credit card, and if the batteries don't show up (you shouldn't be charged until they actually ship) you file a charge-back protest with the time limit, usually 90 days.

A most unprofessional business, all of them.
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Old 04-06-2018, 17:08   #24
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Re: US source for CALB CA180 LFP batteries?

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I've had my CALBs in the Caribbean for almost 3 years. I don't carry a spare cell, and have no concerns about needing one. I designed my system with two redundant packs (catamaran). Normally, they are paralleled, but I can take one offline and run on half capacity if needed. Recently I needed to rebalance one of the packs. It was a simple matter to run on the other one for a day while I did that.

Have you considered building your system with 100's instead of 180's? It looks like those might be easier to get.

I'm planning on doing the same thing with dual switched banks. It adds a lot of diagnostic and fault workaround capability, but at the expense of more exposure to cell imbalance. But I think a good trade-off for a mission critical application.



100s are certainly an option, but leads to more paralleled batteries which is undesirable. So a trade-off I'm hoping to avoid.
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