Should I bet on the near future of battery technology?

openplanetopenplanet Registered Users Posts: 34 ✭✭
I need to purchase a new 48 volt battery bank.  Intend to buy 8, 6-volt batteries in the 350ah range.  If quality and longevity were my highest priority (which they might be) I'd buy Rolls.  But my question is this: Given the blazing pace of change in battery technology, would it be smarter to go with the cheapest possible solution that'll get me through a couple years, on the assumption that at that point there will almost certainly be more cost-effective options.

Just interested to know people's thoughts.

Comments

  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 4,873 ✭✭✭✭
    There are a bunch of Lithium Iron Phosphate LiFePO4 types coming on to compete with Tela's Power wall
     
    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
  • jonrjonr Solar Expert Posts: 876 ✭✭✭✭
    I see places that claim to have the LG Resu LV in stock.  18 years worth of cycles....
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 4,873 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 10 #4
    Jonr, I found lots of search hits in Europe, are there any in N.A. yet?  PS lots of fine print to the warranty.... :o
     
    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
  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Solar Expert Posts: 411 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 10 #5
    I need to purchase a new 48 volt battery bank.  Intend to buy 8, 6-volt batteries in the 350ah range.  If quality and longevity were my highest priority (which they might be) I'd buy Rolls.  But my question is this: Given the blazing pace of change in battery technology, would it be smarter to go with the cheapest possible solution that'll get me through a couple years, on the assumption that at that point there will almost certainly be more cost-effective options.

    Just interested to know people's thoughts.
    It is a matter of degree. Acceptance of a new technology isn't an event, it is a process.

    Lithium batteries are gaining momentum as you read this and they are being applied to RV/marine/solar systems daily. The existing sales are largely driven by the promise of more deep cycles and less weight in the case of mobile applications. Some sales literature will quote superior charge/discharge rates and wider temperature tolerance, but that is already available with some lead-acid designs.

    Once we see field verified applications prove that they really will perform long term...... per the marketing projections/estimates, the world will come running.

    In the mean time, biting the bullet to invest 3-5 times the capital outlay to reap the rewards later - requires a certain leap of faith. Feel free to climb out on the "bleeding edge of technology" and let us know how you are doing in a few years!

    Don't forget to include the cost of that invested capital.........

    Marc


    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 4,873 ✭✭✭✭
    Marc, I just thought of another issue and that is B. Bank expansion, ie adding more capacity after say 4 years due to increased/ing loads.  I have not seen this issue addressed in the ,to date, literature...  As these systems have essentially a separate additional bank to add with its own BMS etc there, theoretically, should not be any imbalance between banks... thus that problem may be solved....????
    thoughts?
     
    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
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 1,616 ✭✭✭✭
    The inability to charge at freezing temps so far makes all these shiny new lithium banks a non-starter for me. Reading through some of the warranties also makes me wonder how they will last in real-world use. Personally, I would go with replacing the bank with whatever reasonably priced L16s are available locally.

    The expansion angle is interesting, but I guess if we separated charge control down to the cell level we could add to lead banks as well.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,329 ✭✭✭✭
    Marc, I just thought of another issue and that is B. Bank expansion, ie adding more capacity after say 4 years due to increased/ing loads.  I have not seen this issue addressed in the ,to date, literature...  As these systems have essentially a separate additional bank to add with its own BMS etc there, theoretically, should not be any imbalance between banks... thus that problem may be solved....????
    thoughts?
    The LG can add a second bank at any time. If you guys are looking for answers, look at Australia. Two years of LG history and I can't find anything bad. Because each bank is a completely separate system (they can't run at the same time) each will have its own spec.
    The RESU 10 will support 5kw continuous and 7 kw peak but if the second bank is less KWH, it will have less continuous and peak output.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • PNjunctionPNjunction Solar Expert Posts: 762 ✭✭✭
    Don't get hung up on the "pace of change" and just changing for change sake.  I Love LFP, but consider this:

    You were thinking of buying a Rolls bank.  That means you aren't going to get generic golf-cart cells from them.  With LFP, you don't know, unless you do your homework and DEMAND that your supplier reveal that along with the cell-specs to you.  Some assume you are too dumb as a consumer to know the difference between crap LFP cells and good ones anyway, so there is no point telling you or peeling back the re-wrapping of cells.

    With large-capacity prismatics, you know what you are getting, just like with lead-acid for the most part.  With full specs.  Hey, just like lead acid.  But in today's world, unless you DIY it yourself, you are at the whim of the purchasing department.

    The reality for the future is everyone is looking to make a way to hide the technology inside from the consumer, and eventually proprietize the connectors, internals and charging systems and play the patent-troll sue-ball game.

    Lead-acid is basically an "open system", with a century or more of basic tech behind.  Not too much is proprietary.  You can still slap some clamps on a lead-acid and charge.  With lithium magic-boxes, (unless you know what you are doing) heh, no chance.


  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,558 ✭✭✭✭
    I may consider buying a used lithium electric car battery. Apparently, according to Horsefly, there are ~2 million used lithium car batteries that will soon be available. Down to ~ 50% capacity now....that is still a lot of power. 

    Technology early birds always seem to pay a large premium while often playing the guinea pig role. These claims of 15-20 year lifespans have no real world examples that I know of. 

    I would currently buy more lead unless weight and charge efficiency was an issue. Lithium should be well "tried and proven" by the time some good deep cycles are ready for recycling.

    Now my "Post Comment" box is not working for at least a long minute. Just became useable.....  Someone is controlling this board.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 150 watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • XSiveXSive Registered Users Posts: 12 ✭✭
    New to the forum, thought I would jump in as I purchased 48 used Winston LiFePO4 (out of car) originally they were 180AH but averaging about 135AH now.  I am just building the house so I will keep everyone posted as to success with the batts or not.  I have 46 320W mission Solar panels to use in the project and am looking for a CC or 2 now.  I have room for up to 32 of the 72 cell modules on my garage roof.  We are off grid in Southern Oregon.
  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 704 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 23 #12
     XSive   Welcome to the forum. Sounds like a sizable project you have going there. It would be nice to see the progress as you go. You need to start your own titled thread which you can update as you build.

     BTW you have come to the right place if you need technical questions on your build. There are a number of very knowledgeable members here

     From the size of your proposed system you definitely will be in the market some of the larger controllers. There are some pretty sophisticated offerings out there these days. A few of the Mfg. that come to mind would be Midnite Solar, Outback, Schnider/Xantrex and Magnum.

    2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric, 700 ah @24 volt AGM battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

  • Raj174Raj174 Solar Expert Posts: 477 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 23 #13
    Hi XSive and welcome to the forum,
    Sounds like a good opportunity to learn balancing, charging and other characteristics of LFP batteries.
    Might not be a good idea to buy any more solar equipment before you have a plan for a balanced system designed to meet your specific power requirements, designed for the in the area you live in. For example, your choice of 24 cell 320 watt panels will not allow the use of flooded lead acid batteries without the use of a special high VOC CC, as two panels in series will not produce enough voltage and 3 in series will produce a high VOC.
    Many people make the mistake of buying the wrong equipment before they have a final design.

    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.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,558 ✭✭✭✭
    Raj174 said:
    Hi XSive and welcome to the forum,
    Sounds like a good opportunity to learn balancing, charging and other characteristics of LFP batteries.
    Might not be a good idea to buy any more solar equipment before you have a plan for a balanced system designed to meet your specific power requirements, designed for the in the area you live in. For example, your choice of 24 cell 320 watt panels will not allow the use of flooded lead acid batteries without the use of a special high VOC CC, as two panels in series will not produce enough voltage and 3 in series will produce a high VOC.
    Many people make the mistake of buying the wrong equipment before they have a final design.

    Rick   

    XSive said this: 
    " I have room for up to 32 of the 72 cell modules on my garage roof"
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 150 watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • mcgivormcgivor Registered Users Posts: 1,304 ✭✭✭✭
    Probably an auto mistake "correction" issue, best to start a new thread is good advice, to actually deal with specific problems related to a particular installation, or proposed installation.
      1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider 150 60 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 8×T105 GC 24V nominal 

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,558 ✭✭✭✭
    mcgivor said:
    Probably an auto mistake "correction" issue, best to start a new thread is good advice, to actually deal with specific problems related to a particular installation, or proposed installation.
    Yes....it is an off grid question with lithium batteries. I suspect we were all a tad overwhelmed with our first real solar system. Unless we upgraded on a linear scale.....or had a background in similar areas. I jumped from a very simple 12 volt to a good 48 volt system. Felt like giving birth....I guess.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 150 watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • XSiveXSive Registered Users Posts: 12 ✭✭
    Raj174 said:
    Hi XSive and welcome to the forum,
    Sounds like a good opportunity to learn balancing, charging and other characteristics of LFP batteries.
    Might not be a good idea to buy any more solar equipment before you have a plan for a balanced system designed to meet your specific power requirements, designed for the in the area you live in. For example, your choice of 24 cell 320 watt panels will not allow the use of flooded lead acid batteries without the use of a special high VOC CC, as two panels in series will not produce enough voltage and 3 in series will produce a high VOC.
    Many people make the mistake of buying the wrong equipment before they have a final design.

    Rick   

    Thanks for the welcome Rick,
    Just posted here as the discussion was about battery tech, used car batts, and which direction to go. I decided not to go FLA as it is old tech and there are many alternatives at good pricing.  With the advent of the number of EV's out there now, there are plenty of opportunities for salvage batteries that will serve our home storage needs quite well. People run into things with their cars just as often in EVs.   For example, my 420AH LiFePO4 set cost me $2200.  Used, but they will have a gentle remaining life in my garage.  I will start a new posting about my project.  Thanks

  • Raj174Raj174 Solar Expert Posts: 477 ✭✭✭✭
    softdown said:
    Raj174 said:
    Hi XSive and welcome to the forum,
    Sounds like a good opportunity to learn balancing, charging and other characteristics of LFP batteries.
    Might not be a good idea to buy any more solar equipment before you have a plan for a balanced system designed to meet your specific power requirements, designed for the in the area you live in. For example, your choice of 24 cell 320 watt panels will not allow the use of flooded lead acid batteries without the use of a special high VOC CC, as two panels in series will not produce enough voltage and 3 in series will produce a high VOC.
    Many people make the mistake of buying the wrong equipment before they have a final design.

    Rick   

    XSive said this: 
    " I have room for up to 32 of the 72 cell modules on my garage roof"
    Thanks softdown,
    I intended to type 24 volt. To bad they don't make an auto correct for that.

    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.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,558 ✭✭✭✭
    XSive said:
    Raj174 said:
    Hi XSive and welcome to the forum,
    Sounds like a good opportunity to learn balancing, charging and other characteristics of LFP batteries.
    Might not be a good idea to buy any more solar equipment before you have a plan for a balanced system designed to meet your specific power requirements, designed for the in the area you live in. For example, your choice of 24 cell 320 watt panels will not allow the use of flooded lead acid batteries without the use of a special high VOC CC, as two panels in series will not produce enough voltage and 3 in series will produce a high VOC.
    Many people make the mistake of buying the wrong equipment before they have a final design.

    Rick   

    Thanks for the welcome Rick,
    Just posted here as the discussion was about battery tech, used car batts, and which direction to go. I decided not to go FLA as it is old tech and there are many alternatives at good pricing.  With the advent of the number of EV's out there now, there are plenty of opportunities for salvage batteries that will serve our home storage needs quite well. People run into things with their cars just as often in EVs.   For example, my 420AH LiFePO4 set cost me $2200.  Used, but they will have a gentle remaining life in my garage.  I will start a new posting about my project.  Thanks

    Being unfamiliar with EV technology, I don't know if the 420Ah is referencing 12, 24, 36, or 48 volts. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 150 watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • Raj174Raj174 Solar Expert Posts: 477 ✭✭✭✭
    softdown said:
    XSive said:
    Raj174 said:
    Hi XSive and welcome to the forum,
    Sounds like a good opportunity to learn balancing, charging and other characteristics of LFP batteries.
    Might not be a good idea to buy any more solar equipment before you have a plan for a balanced system designed to meet your specific power requirements, designed for the in the area you live in. For example, your choice of 24 cell 320 watt panels will not allow the use of flooded lead acid batteries without the use of a special high VOC CC, as two panels in series will not produce enough voltage and 3 in series will produce a high VOC.
    Many people make the mistake of buying the wrong equipment before they have a final design.

    Rick   

    Thanks for the welcome Rick,
    Just posted here as the discussion was about battery tech, used car batts, and which direction to go. I decided not to go FLA as it is old tech and there are many alternatives at good pricing.  With the advent of the number of EV's out there now, there are plenty of opportunities for salvage batteries that will serve our home storage needs quite well. People run into things with their cars just as often in EVs.   For example, my 420AH LiFePO4 set cost me $2200.  Used, but they will have a gentle remaining life in my garage.  I will start a new posting about my project.  Thanks

    Being unfamiliar with EV technology, I don't know if the 420Ah is referencing 12, 24, 36, or 48 volts. 
    Likely 48 volts if he is considering using them as a house battery. And on a 48 volt inverter they can be configured for a single or parallel strings at 48, 51.2 or 54.4 volts. My LFP bank is 51.2V or 16 3.2V cells at 195AH in series. 
    The OP may have 2 or 3 strings. Winston cells come in sizes of 90, 100, 160, 200, 260, 300, 400 and up to 1000 amp hours.

    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.
  • XSiveXSive Registered Users Posts: 12 ✭✭
    edited August 24 #21
    I plan on 3 strings 16S3P,  each string is coming in at 130AH so 390AH in parallel. (48V)  The batts originated @ EV West from a 1977 Ferrari GT 308

    Bob
  • karrakkarrak Solar Expert Posts: 214 ✭✭✭
    @XSive, welcome to the group of people with LFP DIY batteries. Nice to be able to get the second hand batteries at a good price.

    I would be interested to know how old the batteries are and what their internal resistance is now that they have lost around 25% of their capacity, also what the variation in capacity between the the cells is.

    You mention 3 strings in your last post. Did you mean wiring 3 cells in parallel and then wiring the 3 cell blocks in series or wiring the 16 cells in series and then wiring the 3 strings in parallel?

    Thanks
    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
     

  • XSiveXSive Registered Users Posts: 12 ✭✭
    Posted a new discussion about my project not wanting to hijack Openplanet's thread.  I am still accessing all of the batts, takes time to do all of that.  I found one out of 25 that won't make the cut so far.  The cells are 3.2V so 16 in series would get 48v nominal like Rick was suggesting.  I am hoping that we can get 130-140AH out of each bank for 390-420AH in parallel.  

    Bob
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,558 ✭✭✭✭
    XSive said:
    I plan on 3 strings 16S3P,  each string is coming in at 130AH so 390AH in parallel. (48V)  The batts originated @ EV West from a 1977 Ferrari GT 308

    Bob
    Now I am a bit more confused though I tend to wake up that way with regularity. '77 Ferrari? Converted to electric? People do interesting stuff for sure.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 150 watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
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