Yttrium lithium ion Battery using Yttrium

andyrudandyrud Solar Expert Posts: 60 ✭✭
Hi, I am interested in using a lithium ion battery in stead of lead acid when I change out my battery pack. I was at the Balqon Corp. website looking at their Lithium batteries and it said this: "Balqon products exclusively use Yttriun Iron Phosphate batteries, one of the safest lithium battery in the industry. Anyone have any idea if using Yttrium is ok technology? I never heard of it before. Any information would be great as their batteries are in my money ballpark. Thanks in advance, Andy R

Comments

  • sub3marathonmansub3marathonman Solar Expert Posts: 300 ✭✭✭
    andyrud wrote: »
    I was at the Balqon Corp. website looking at their Lithium batteries: "Balqon products exclusively use Yttriun Iron Phosphate batteries. ... Any information would be great as their batteries are in my money ballpark. Thanks in advance, Andy R

    I would be EXTREMELY (and I mean EXTREMELY) careful about ordering from Balqon.

    My experience:
    http://forum.solar-electric.com/forum/solar-electric-power-wind-power-balance-of-system/off-grid-solar-battery-systems/25051-battery-cost-compare/page2
    and
    http://forum.solar-electric.com/forum/solar-electric-power-wind-power-balance-of-system/off-grid-solar-battery-systems/25051-battery-cost-compare/page3

    I got Thundersky batteries of unknown age and was assured by Mr. Samra that they were fine. He said, "Besides, you've got a five year warranty." Well, I've had them five months now and it sure seems they aren't performing to specifications. I'll have to at some point do a capacity test to be absolutely sure.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,768 admin
    I moved to the "new tech" battery thread...

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • john pjohn p Solar Expert Posts: 814 ✭✭
    Sub3marathonman Ithink you will find Thundersky is not selling lithium batteries anymore..The sizes above 20ahr were not good ..had many problems.. gross under capacity being one of them..
  • JohannJohann Solar Expert Posts: 239 ✭✭✭
    The question is. Is your charge controller capable of charging lithium ion batteries. Not all charge controllers can do that properly.
  • sub3marathonmansub3marathonman Solar Expert Posts: 300 ✭✭✭
    john p wrote: »
    Sub3marathonman Ithink you will find Thundersky is not selling lithium batteries anymore..The sizes above 20ahr were not good ..had many problems.. gross under capacity being one of them..

    That would be an LOL, because while true that "Thundersky" is not selling the batteries anymore, Balqon is indeed, at least in my case, selling who knows how old Thundersky batteries. And I haven't been even smiling since I've gotten 8 of them here if anybody wants a photo.

    If somebody has any documentation of the "gross under capacity" of the Thundersky batteries I'd be interested in seeing that. I'd just be interested in finding out the true capacity of the ones I've had now for five months. It sure seems to me that they aren't even close to 700ah.


  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 4,827 ✭✭✭✭
    Did you buy just cells or a complete bank with BMS etc...?
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge, Hughes1100 Sat Modem
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • karrakkarrak Solar Expert Posts: 195 ✭✭✭
    That would be an LOL, because while true that "Thundersky" is not selling the batteries anymore, Balqon is indeed, at least in my case, selling who knows how old Thundersky batteries. And I haven't been even smiling since I've gotten 8 of them here if anybody wants a photo.

    Are you sure they are Thundersky batteries? I bought my Winston batteries in April 2013 from a local Australian supplier who look like they got them from Balqon. If I have read the date stamps on the batteries correctly they were made in the last half of 2012.
    If somebody has any documentation of the "gross under capacity" of the Thundersky batteries I'd be interested in seeing that. I'd just be interested in finding out the true capacity of the ones I've had now for five months. It sure seems to me that they aren't even close to 700ah.

    The 64 90Ah Winston batteries I purchased haven't had any problems, the capacity seems to be as stated. Do you have an Ah 'fuel' gauge on your system, this will give you a good idea of your battery capacity. I use a JLD404 meter, you can get cheap units on ebay.

    Simon
    Off-Grid with LFP (LiFePO4) battery, battery Installed April 2013
    32x90Ah Winston cells 4p8s (24V), 4kW Latronics Inverter, 1160W of Solar Panels, homemade MPPT controller
    Homemade BMS https://github.com/simat/BatteryMonitor
     

  • sub3marathonmansub3marathonman Solar Expert Posts: 300 ✭✭✭
    karrak wrote: »

    Are you sure they are Thundersky batteries? I bought my Winston batteries in April 2013 from a local Australian supplier who look like they got them from Balqon. If I have read the date stamps on the batteries correctly they were made in the last half of 2012.


    Simon

    Well, yes, I THOUGHT I was buying my Winston batteries in September through December of 2015, which was a complete nightmare dealing with Balqon. What I got was two sets of eight "700ah" batteries, with the metal case and the BMS "added at no extra charge," as I had only ordered the bare batteries from their website (which said "In Stock" for the four months I was waiting). Yellow, no date code anywhere as they incredibly are supposed to have been manufactured without one. Mr. Samra of Balqon said, AFTER they were shipped here, (nobody said anything before even though I had asked after waiting months how old these batteries they were sending would be) that they were several years old but that was supposed to be OK because they could be stored as long as 5 years.
  • karrakkarrak Solar Expert Posts: 195 ✭✭✭

    Well, yes, I THOUGHT I was buying my Winston batteries in September through December of 2015, which was a complete nightmare dealing with Balqon. What I got was two sets of eight "700ah" batteries, with the metal case and the BMS "added at no extra charge," as I had only ordered the bare batteries from their website (which said "In Stock" for the four months I was waiting). Yellow, no date code anywhere as they incredibly are supposed to have been manufactured without one. Mr. Samra of Balqon said, AFTER they were shipped here, (nobody said anything before even though I had asked after waiting months how old these batteries they were sending would be) that they were several years old but that was supposed to be OK because they could be stored as long as 5 years.

    Sounds dodgy to me, the batteries will have a finite lifespan, even if they are just stored. If they were bought as new I would be pushing for a refund or a replacement. My batteries have a bar code on the top and the following readable code "WB-LYP90AHA 120920 Y43061". The fist part I assume is the model, the middle digits are the date code and the last part is a serial number.

    Simon
    Off-Grid with LFP (LiFePO4) battery, battery Installed April 2013
    32x90Ah Winston cells 4p8s (24V), 4kW Latronics Inverter, 1160W of Solar Panels, homemade MPPT controller
    Homemade BMS https://github.com/simat/BatteryMonitor
     

  • PNjunctionPNjunction Solar Expert Posts: 762 ✭✭✭
    andyrud wrote: »
    Hi, I am interested in using a lithium ion battery in stead of lead acid when I change out my battery pack.

    While you are researching, just know up front that the lithium-ion you are talking about is known as LiFePo4, or lithium-iRon-phosphate. They are related, but a different chemistry that comes in your laptop. Hence, charging voltages are different or damage will occur.

    The "Y" in Winston cells, known as LiFeYpo4, is of course the addition of a small amount of yttrium to improve charge / discharge characteristics - aiming for better cold-weather performance.

    There are other major players too. For instance, GBS adds a touch of manganese to the product, making it actually a LiFeMnPo4.

    CALB on the other hand, highly refines the phosphate to very very small particles (hence the "nano-particle") that you will see referred to them also for tweaking the standard lifepo4 conditions.

    Common convention is to just call all these batteries "LFP". Balqon is not the only place to get cells. There are many places to get them, and most are Electric-Vehicle outlets. There are others like Elitepowersolutions for GBS cells too.

    Suggestion is to close wallet, and do a lot of reading before making any sort of knee-jerk jump into them.
  • brulazbrulaz Solar Expert Posts: 31 ✭✭
    Can the Winston Yttrium batteries really be charged at below freezing temps?
    They claim they are good down to -45C.
  • brulazbrulaz Solar Expert Posts: 31 ✭✭
    ...
    The "Y" in Winston cells, known as LiFeYpo4, is of course the addition of a small amount of yttrium to improve charge / discharge characteristics - aiming for better cold-weather performance.
    ...

    These new WInston cells claim an operating range down to -45C.
    They provide a discharge V vs temp and the V drops to ~2.5V per cell at -25C.
    http://en.winston-battery.com/index.php/products/power-battery/item/wb-lyp200ahab?category_id=176
     
    But they don't provide any ood info about charging at temps less than 0C.

    Can they really be charged at -25C ? or lower?
    Most others cannot.

     
  • PNjunctionPNjunction Solar Expert Posts: 762 ✭✭✭
    I don't think I've heard of anyone charging them at well below freezing.

    The best info you'll find is hands-on testing from the EV guys who put them into dry-ice and tested that way.  Essentially 32F is ok, and perhaps even a max of 15F, but lower than that and you are headed for trouble.

    If one is that cold, then perhaps this chemistry is not right for you.  Either that, or find some way to warm them, like installing them inside perhaps.

  • PNjunctionPNjunction Solar Expert Posts: 762 ✭✭✭
    sub3marathonman said:I'd just be interested in finding out the true capacity of the ones I've had now for five months. It sure seems to me that they aren't even close to 700ah.

    One thing that benefits these cells is to ensure that you have performed an initialization charge.  Normally one would charge each to say 3.6v max, and let absorb tail down to about .05C.  Or perhaps 3.5v to .005C.  Or 3.45v to almost zero absorb.  Normal cycling if one really wants to reach 100% SOC.  BUT ....

    For an initialization, that would mean taking them up to 4.0v for Winston (Thundersky used to call for 4.2v!) to do this initialization charge that helped ensure proper charge / discharge diffusion.  GWL power and others also mention using this initilization charge after long periods of storage before placing cells into their more normal lower voltage cycling.

    Some may consider doing an initializaton in steps - that is up to say 3.8v / 0.05C absorb, and then running the voltage up just a bit higher to 4.0v, say with an adjustable bench supply one each cell individually!  I did mine individually to make it easy and safe.

    I can say that after a year or more of pampering my GBS cells, and never having run an initialization on them, when I did so as a PM measure, my resting ocv's are higher than before - even though I did not gain a lot of additional capacity.

    Ie, the "cell health" or state-of-health seemed to improve.

    Not sure how often I'll want to do this initialization - but at least I've done it once, and it has shown some benefit.



  • dcx3000dcx3000 Registered Users Posts: 15
    Some may consider doing an initializaton in steps - that is up to say 3.8v / 0.05C absorb, and then running the voltage up just a bit higher to 4.0v, say with an adjustable bench supply one each cell individually!  I did mine individually to make it easy and safe.

    I'll bet you did for whatever reason and you baked your cells absent the bms up to 4.0v per cell.  You voided any warranty you might have had.  Considering how you write about the supplier of your nice cells you don't leave a good working relationship with the only people that can help you if you were to encounter problems with any particular cell.

    Your cells were shipped with a BMS installed and top balanced.  The cells were personally guaranteed by Samra.  Then you cancelled the credit card order during which time your cells were getting assembled, located etc...  You seem to like drama and or create it on the fly.

    The BMS was installed by Dmitri from Clean Power Auto - incredible and you have any doubt about your cells? 

    What is it about your cells that leads you to believe you can't power a 30amp draw with them for over 20 hours? 

    You also fail to tell us how your counting the amp hours from your cells, how your charging etc.  Instead you complain about time to prep your order and shipping hassles and bad mouth the company that just hooked you up with a virtually indestructible bank of batteries except you apparently disassembled the bank and charged each cell to 4.0v.  Good on you. 


  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 4,827 ✭✭✭✭
    FYI:.... 

    contract

    1) n. an agreement with specific terms between two or more persons or entities in which there is a promise to do something in return for a valuable benefit known as consideration. Since the law of contracts is at the heart of most business dealings, it is one of the three or four most significant areas of legal concern and can involve variations on circumstances and complexities. The existence of a contract requires finding the following factual elements: a) an offer; b) an acceptance of that offer which results in a meeting of the minds; c) a promise to perform; d) a valuable consideration (which can be a promise or payment in some form); e) a time or event when performance must be made (meet commitments); f) terms and conditions for performance, including fulfilling promises; g) performance. A unilateral contract is one in which there is a promise to pay or give other consideration in return for actual performance. (I will pay you $500 to fix my car by Thursday; the performance is fixing the car by that date). A bilateral contract is one in which a promise is exchanged for a promise. (I promise to fix your car by Thursday and you promise to pay $500 on Thursday). Contracts can be either written or oral, but oral contracts are more difficult to prove and in most jurisdictions the time to sue on the contract is shorter (such as two years for oral compared to four years for written). In some cases a contract can consist of several documents, such as a series of letters, orders, offers and counteroffers. There are a variety of types of contracts: "conditional" on an event occurring; "joint and several," in which several parties make a joint promise to perform, but each is responsible; "implied," in which the courts will determine there is a contract based on the circumstances. Parties can contract to supply all another's requirements, buy all the products made, or enter into an option to renew a contract. The variations are almost limitless.


    I think the time period was well beyond what most of us would consider as REASONABLE....
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge, Hughes1100 Sat Modem
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • dcx3000dcx3000 Registered Users Posts: 15
    Well top balancing a 700ah bank and sorting out any inconsistencies in voltage levels on these cells was likely a very time consuming process.  Regardless batteries were sourced and implemented into the new bank (i.e.:  No bad cells went in the bank fore sure.)  Parts and hardware were sourced etc.  Each cell would have been brought to top balance voltage 3.625 individually.  So doing that for all eight cells might very well take a week or more.  Once that is done then they all get hooked up to parallel to sit probably for as long as they can.

    If I were making a 700ah pack of cells I would let them sit for months before the final connection and hook up to the contactor and the bms.  Some seem to think an assembled lithium battery pack can be ordered like a hamburger at a restaurant.  In fact with my experience it is anything but a fast process and in fact extremely tedious and exacting work - especially if you don't have the right equipment to charge and discharge batteries of this size.




  • MGarMGar Registered Users Posts: 12 ✭✭
    The main problem is LiFeYpo4 MUST be charged @ 1/4 C minimum for a 700 ah cell that's 175 amps.
    The ESR is very low <0.45 mohm making it hard to match cells. Unless you got a $1000. ESR meter.

    You can "trickle charge" and have nothing but problems..Unless you have a good cell balancer.
    But I got some Winston and they are working good the BMS cell management could have been better.
    and they do have the rated C or more. evassemble,  expect a month wait time..



  • PNjunctionPNjunction Solar Expert Posts: 762 ✭✭✭
    dcx3000 said:
    Some may consider doing an initializaton in steps - that is up to say 3.8v / 0.05C absorb, and then running the voltage up just a bit higher to 4.0v, say with an adjustable bench supply one each cell individually!  I did mine individually to make it easy and safe.

    > I'll bet you did for whatever reason and you baked your cells absent the bms up to 4.0v per cell.  You voided any warranty you >might have had.  Considering how you write about the supplier of your nice cells you don't leave a good working relationship with >the only people that can help you if you were to encounter problems with any particular cell.

    Think you are quoting the wrong guy.  This worked for me with GBS cells, but under VERY tightly controlled conditions.  Not recommended if you don't have the gear or patience to totally babysit the process like an eagle.



  • PNjunctionPNjunction Solar Expert Posts: 762 ✭✭✭
    >MGar said:
    >The main problem is LiFeYpo4 MUST be charged @ 1/4 C minimum for a 700 ah cell that's 175 amps.
    >The ESR is very low <0.45 mohm making it hard to match cells. Unless you got a $1000. ESR meter.

    Not really.  .05C minimum is fine.  But at that rate, just lower your CV to something like 3.4v per cell for less than 100% SOC, or 3.45v, perhaps 3.5v at this low rate to *eventually* get a multi-day absorb in.  Yeah, .3C charge current is the manufacturer preference from an *EV application performance standpoint* with very high currents.  Solar housebank performance is totally different story.

    >You can "trickle charge" and have nothing but problems..Unless you have a good cell balancer.
    >But I got some Winston and they are working good the BMS cell management could have been better.
    >and they do have the rated C or more. evassemble,  expect a month wait time..

    Keep it simple.  Run no more than 3.4v per cell, and you won't need a balancer since you'll never reach the upper knees of 100% SOC ever.  Staying away from full charge increases cycle life.  Use a conservative LVD such as 3.2 or 3.19v per cell.  At our rates of discharge, you won't be running the risk of sending a cell screaming into reversal like you would with an EV.

    Look ma, no balancer wires!  Just a conservative upper CV setting of 13.6v, and a conservative LVD at 12.8v (for a 4S bank)

    For 700ah cells the simplest way to just get them relatively top-balanced is to use a "single cell charger" of about 3.6 to 3.7v at .05C to .3C.  I'd suggest a 40A single-cell charger for this task.  Use yearly for preventative maintenance and sanity check.



  • sanitariusanitariu Solar Expert Posts: 33 ✭✭
    Hi,
    I have WB-LYP160AHA. Maximum charging i am doing at 3.41 V. I think charging over that is killing their life. Also you need battery monitoring system so it can make balance. 
    For example now i am at 98% full.
    Delta10 mV between all 8 batteries combined in 24 volt system.
    I am using for 1 year and so far no problems at all.
    4 X 240watt Luxor, Victron Energy Multiplus Compact 24 volt 1200VA, electrodacus solar controller, 8 x WB-LYP160AHA LiFeYPO4 3.2volt
  • Raj174Raj174 Solar Expert Posts: 418 ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 26 #23
    That's great, not many of us using LFP battery banks. I have 16 195AH Hi Power cells installed for almost a year and have the same Delta at 10 mV. Absorb set same as yours. Float set at 3.34 per cell. I tried a lower absorb setting recently but it was talking too long to reach float. I also have had no problems of any kind.
    Glad to hear of others pioneering LFP also.
    Good luck,
    Rick
    12 x 300W Renogy PV, MNE175DR-TR epanel modified, MN Classic 150, Outback Radian GS4048A, Mate3, 51.2V 195AH HI Power LiFePO4 no BMS, 4000W gen.
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