Living in the (sort of) Future - Li-Ion Batteries

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timmartin
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My RE system: ...
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CALB CA400 LiFePO4 3.2V batteries
(32 cells paired together, 1 string = 51.2V 800Ah)

Living in the (sort of) Future - Li-Ion Batteries

Post by timmartin » Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:38 am

We just installed a new Lithium Ion battery bank. Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) to be precise. So far so good ÔÇö it rendered the FNDC's SOC readout entirely useless, and setting battery/charge parameters was a bit fuzzy (not hard, just a lot of estimates and guesswork). The batteries themselves are monitored and protected with their own BMS (battery management system) which I'm also getting used to.

But so far so good. Thought I might share the process here, let people know what's up. I'm not the first of course, but I'm only the third client my installer has done this for and nobody else who lives up on my mountain has done this yet. Likely because it was crazy expensive. But if it lasts even 10 years my yearly cost will be the same as lead-acids were.

Let the fun begin!
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sodamo
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Re: Living in the (sort of) Future - Li-Ion Batteries

Post by sodamo » Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:30 pm

Tim

Would love to see more details, either here or PM.
I see your previous battery bank was similar size to mind 1110 vs 1350 ah @48v.

I know I'll be replacing mine sooner rather than later. I hope I can take advantage of newer product, perhaps LiFePO4 and have started researching.

Thanks for sharing.
David
Please visit http://vacation.ninolehawaii.com

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Re: Living in the (sort of) Future - Li-Ion Batteries

Post by SandyP » Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:39 pm

timmartin wrote:....setting battery/charge parameters was a bit fuzzy (not hard, just a lot of estimates and guesswork). The batteries themselves are monitored and protected with their own BMS (battery management system) which I'm also getting used to.
You may be interested in reading what some users of LiFePo on the Energy Matters forum have discussed about their experiences with using/charging/BMS of LiFePo :

http://forums.energymatters.com.au/sear ... 92ae5daf05

timmartin
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Posts: 278
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:31 am
My RE system: ...
Sharp 120W Panels (12)
SunPerfect 230W Panels (9)
Whisper 100 Wind Turbine
Outback FM60 charge controller
Outback FM80 charge controller
Outback VFX3648 inverter/chargers (2)
Outback FlexNet DC
CALB CA400 LiFePO4 3.2V batteries
(32 cells paired together, 1 string = 51.2V 800Ah)

Re: Living in the (sort of) Future - Li-Ion Batteries

Post by timmartin » Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:10 pm

Heh, I just updated my profile. I have 32 CALB CA400 batteries. I'm using a BMS made by a local guy, so we're kind of guinea pigs. It's two strings, so the bank is 800Ah total. These batteries can live comfortably anywhere between 10% and 90%, but I have been even trying to keep them above 20%. So given that, I can actively use 70% of their total capacity. That's about the same as the 50% of the lead acid bank I was using before.

The cool part has been that there's no need to regularly "charge them all the way." You can just float around in the middle indefinitely which is nice. So when there are rainy days I just run the generator for an hour or two at a time, instead of waiting as long as possible and running it for a long time.

We'll see how things work when the summer months hit though. I am very curious how my solar array and chargers will deal with the differences.

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Re: Living in the (sort of) Future - Li-Ion Batteries

Post by offgridtod@gmail.com » Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:50 am

Tim,

Please elaborate on the "But if it lasts even 10 years my yearly cost will be the same as lead-acids were."

So I'll guestimate the numbers: 32 batteries at $500 each plus or minus = $16,000 for the batteries plus delivery and install. So roughly speaking the set was $18,000 or closer to $20,000?

Warranty period?

This whole Li-on future is exciting but also we must keep in mind Thomas Edison's famous words. Sure hope you keep us posted on the long term story, I'm excited and scared for you at the same time.
Tod duBois - Sangha Energy.org

offgridtod@gmail.com
Forum Whiz
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:00 am
My RE system: Failed Founder of Sangha Energy - the first off grid utility company and B-Corp. Off gridders are worse than utility customers when it comes to paying for services, so we shut it down. Plus, how do you shut them off when they don't pay - it's an issue for scaling the off grid tech.

Re: Living in the (sort of) Future - Li-Ion Batteries

Post by offgridtod@gmail.com » Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:38 pm

Bueller....Bueller.....Bueller... - of that is a funny movie line if it does not ring a bell.

Just wondering why this thread has gone quiet - answers anyone?
Tod duBois - Sangha Energy.org

timmartin
Forum Guru
Posts: 278
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:31 am
My RE system: ...
Sharp 120W Panels (12)
SunPerfect 230W Panels (9)
Whisper 100 Wind Turbine
Outback FM60 charge controller
Outback FM80 charge controller
Outback VFX3648 inverter/chargers (2)
Outback FlexNet DC
CALB CA400 LiFePO4 3.2V batteries
(32 cells paired together, 1 string = 51.2V 800Ah)

Re: Living in the (sort of) Future - Li-Ion Batteries

Post by timmartin » Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:16 pm

offgridtod@gmail.com wrote: Please elaborate on the "But if it lasts even 10 years my yearly cost will be the same as lead-acids were."
The lead acid bank cost me about $5,800. Although prices have gone up and it looks like they'd be more like $8,000 now. They lasted 4 years last time, although I was a bit rough on them. So the per annum cost was around $1500, but I also bought a watering deionizing system and spent a lot of time checking them, measuring SG, equalizing, etc. A replacement bank at the higher costs of today could cost me $2k a year.

The new batteries were around $20,000, so if they last me 10 years I've matched that price. They say they will last longer, but we'll see.

The warranty is 3 years or 2,000 cycles. I do wish that was longer... but I realize i'm the guinea pig.

offgridtod@gmail.com
Forum Whiz
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:00 am
My RE system: Failed Founder of Sangha Energy - the first off grid utility company and B-Corp. Off gridders are worse than utility customers when it comes to paying for services, so we shut it down. Plus, how do you shut them off when they don't pay - it's an issue for scaling the off grid tech.

Re: Living in the (sort of) Future - Li-Ion Batteries

Post by offgridtod@gmail.com » Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:08 pm

Tim, we love you for making the leap. Seriously, I hope it goes well.

We are now selling the Juicebox by Adara Power and that looks like great tech.

I always worry for my offgrid community. So much hype and BS and these warranties suck.

Your FLA batts that lasted 4 years should of had a 5 year warranty but even then you only get 20% of the warranty assuming you can collect.

We'll be all ears and will support you if it goes bad or jump on board if they deliver - just let us know. We'll go after the manufacturers and seller rather than you if these don't deliver. Let's make the net-work for us.
Tod duBois - Sangha Energy.org

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