Why not LiFePO4?

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Comments

  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Why not LiFePO4?
    "black boxing"... looking inside a machine, a system, to see how it works?
    Nope. "Black boxing" is treating something as an impenetrable black box with a number of inputs and outputs and trying to figure out just from the observed (or described in the manual) relations between the inputs and outputs what might actually be going on inside the box.
    It often is used when you are trying to predict what the results will be from a combination of inputs that are not described in the documentation, and where you don't necessarily want to "just see what happens."

    One interesting example was the CC which had two charge leads and two sense leads, but the voltage applied to the battery still changed with current, but only by the voltage drop in one of the wires.
    The likely "explanation" from a black box analysis was that one of the sense leads was connected inside the charger to the corresponding output lead. Opening the CC up confirmed that.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • Mountain DonMountain Don Solar Expert Posts: 494 ✭✭✭
    Re: Why not LiFePO4?

    Visualizing or theorizing the interior workings without opening the box. That's what my brain was figuring but that is not what came out of my mouth, my fingers. :(
    Northern NM, 624 watts PV, The Kid CC, GC-2 batteries @ 24 VDC, Outback VFX3524M
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: Why not LiFePO4?
    I meant to add I know someone with a cargo trailer that he converted to a travel trailer... 8 x 20 ft or so. It has more PV panels than our cabin. He switched to a LifePO4 battery a short time ago. He is running a small mini split on his solar power. He camps in hot CA a lot and wanted his A/C off grid. That will be a project I'll be watching closely.
    That will be a good one to watch. I have tried to visualize the best way to set one up with the correct voltage, size of cells ( amp hr ) and still get the most out of them. Buying 16, 400 amp hr cells is a heavy load @ $500.00 each for 48v configuration that seems best. Like I said, it takes 30 amp hrs @ 12v just make a pot of coffee and keep it warm for 2 hrs, a 100 amp hr LifePO4 is just a $600 coffee pot on a limited system.
  • PNjunctionPNjunction Solar Expert Posts: 762 ✭✭✭
    Re: Why not LiFePO4?
    Skyko wrote: »
    I think the Torqeedo may be Lithium Manganese

    That's the wrong ball you are keeping your eye on. That is a propulsion application, using many multiples of very high-rate little cylindrical cells. If they are LiNMC, then that is also not the chemistry we are using. LiNMC is higher up in the scale of energy-density, and uses higher voltages, like those in cellphones, recent power tools, and RC modeling gear.

    Do not base any experiences here with the relatively mild application for large prismatic lifepo4's, otherwise facts get skewed. This is a very common mistake - ours is relatively low voltage, low current usage, and lifepo4 is the safest, lowest energy-density version of li-ion. These you can sit on, as motorcycle and powersports batteries (like Shorai, Antigravity, EarthX are made of these - typically A123 high-rate cylindricals inside. BUT even then, the application they use these for is SLI, and not long term deep discharge like we do.

    So don't get distracted by the wrong application, or the wrong chemistry. The media does this all the time. Don't fall for it.
  • ReedReed Solar Expert Posts: 55 ✭✭
    Re: Why not LiFePO4?

    The most telling evidence of LFP efficacy is the work that Liberty Coaches did before they went entirely to LFP. They claim that they went through over 2000 cycles down to 80% DOD and "determined" that they were good for 10 years more usage.

    We have been solar autonomous for a year (15 months) with a 34' fifth-wheel. We do not plug into line power even when we stay at an RV park.

    Am most surprised that some nay sayers on this forum, as well as other fora, are not sticking with valve (vacuum tube) technology in their radios and televisions. It is a proven technology.

    The Aussies are way ahead of us in experimenting about with LFP and lower power usage air conditioners. The folks at the Grey Nomads Forum talk about mini-splits. I think this means an air conditioner that is also a heat pump that can heat or cool; however, I am not sure. This term was used by one of the posters earlier on this thread.

    Would never go to Las Vegas, NV with an RV. Went there this week for a reunion with 70 folks I knew from 47 years ago in the Army and it was hot.

    Reed
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Why not LiFePO4?

    There is extensive information about mini split A/C units on this forum. Look under energy use and conservation.

    We don't use vacuum tube technology much anymore because transistors and IC's have been around a long, long time and have proven to be superior (they don't fail as often as valves nor consume as much power) so that argument is wholly facetious.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,650 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Why not LiFePO4?
    creeky wrote: »
    Cariboocoot. Can I ask if you live off grid and need this power to keep your fridge running? And plan to continue to do so for some time to come?
    Cause if you stick to LFA or lead acid you're spending more money to do more maintenance for a system component with a shorter lifespan and troubled capacity. As for gambling. These are risks for sure.

    Okay Creeky, your late to the party, but if you can save me money, I'm all for it...

    I have a 804 Ah 24V battery with a life expectancy of 15 years(in my book, others say 20+), cost was $2525 delivered. It can be discharged down to 20% SOC and in fact is warrantied for 1500 cycles or 5 years...

    While I rarely NEED the capacity, I do need it. I have no desire to run a generator.

    Save me money, and I'm with you!

    I believe LFP may well have a place were there is a trade off in weight/energy density, RVs, autos, boats. I just haven't had anyone make a solid argument that they are cheaper where weight is no problem. Will it in time? Likely. Is it there now? I haven't been shown that it is.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • ReedReed Solar Expert Posts: 55 ✭✭
    Re: Why not LiFePO4?

    Will look under energy conservation sub-forum for mini-splits. One would be all we need for solar/battery cooling on beach in Yucatan/Belize. Anything that provided cooling under 750 W would work from 10 am till 4 pm since solar insolation at 20 north would keep the battery bank charged in winter time. The 12 V mini-fans doing a great job as it is.

    There were large advertisements in Scientific American in the early 1960's arguing against solid state usage since valve technology was a proven one. I believe General Electric paid for these.
    Reed
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Why not LiFePO4?
    Reed wrote: »
    There were large advertisements in Scientific American in the early 1960's arguing against solid state usage since valve technology was a proven one. I believe General Electric paid for these.
    Reed

    I shouldn't think they did since GE developed the transistor along with Bell Labs.
    For a time the three technologies co-existed, sometimes within the same device. Transistors & IC's became cheaper, more reliable, and over-all better. I expect the same thing will happen with LiFePo4, but it has not happened yet. Therefor the average Joe should not jump at the chance to spend 3X as much money expecting 5X as much life, especially when Mr. Average is so amazingly adept at destroying batteries first time out. Lead-acid has been around for over a century and we pretty much know how to handle it, but people still manage to fry them or dry them! This is why AGM's and more expensive FLA's aren't recommended for beginners; mistakes made can be expensive. LiFePo is like this only more so. For now. The practiced hand who takes the time to do it right and watch the result will be generating data for all of us and seeing if those lifespan predictions hold true in RE applications.
  • PNjunctionPNjunction Solar Expert Posts: 762 ✭✭✭
    Re: Why not LiFePO4?
    This is why AGM's and more expensive FLA's aren't recommended for beginners; mistakes made can be expensive. LiFePo is like this only more so. For now.

    Actually lifepo4 is much simpler to maintain to get the cycles out of them, simply because you don't have to deal with the effects of sulfation.

    The rules are simple - don't overcharge. Don't over-discharge. Just like that for lead. However, with lead we have to deal with sulfation due to chronic under-charging which frequently happens with solar. With lifepo4, that worry has been eliminated. All that will happen, provided you have reasonable charging techniques consisting of a conservative HVD and LVD, is that you run out of capacity sooner than expected.

    If you ignore the affects of sulfation either due to poor initial engineering, or weather conditions beyond your control, your lead bank will NOT get the rated lifecycles out of them. Lifepo4 under these conditions will not be harmed - you just run out, but it doesn't take a toll on cycle life.

    All the cycle life comparisons here are based upon PERFECT care of lead. The lifecycles of lifepo4 are actually increased with less than perfect care - meaning undercharging - but not abusive discharge or overcharging, which an HVD (charger set up properly) or LVD can take care of. In other words, if a newcomer is just winging it, he'll just hit his lvd often, and that will be the big clue that he either has too small a battery, or too small of a solar array to support what he has. With lead, you are either frying the battery, or sulfating it unless you get the engineering just right.

    Note that I'm not advocating just winging it - far from it. My experience that I've tried to share here is to adopt a *conservative* approach to our application needs, emulating those who have been doing that for 5 or 6 years now. We've still got a way to go obviously. Had I applied this same environmental simplicity to my beloved Odyssey and Optimas, they wouldn't have lasted 3 months.

    But slick marketing knows this, and tries to pawn off JUNK quality on the unwary - like batteries wrapped with duct tape from manufacturing reject cells knowing that people will likely be drawn to the lowest price. It is those who give lifepo4 a bad name.
  • SkykoSkyko Solar Expert Posts: 121 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Why not LiFePO4?

    I wonder how many newbies who just wanted a simple 12V battery would be attracted to lead acid if they had to buy 2V cells, connecting bars, and materials to band the cells together. After that they still had to wire in a BMS. Most of us could do this with no problem but there are lot more out there who just want a drop in solution.
  • gww1gww1 Solar Expert Posts: 963 ✭✭
    Re: Why not LiFePO4?

    Off subject a bit, I once used smashed copper pipe to connect 6 volt golf cart batteries together. The pipe (still connected) is corroding pretty bad.

    I have a fork truck battery and have not inclosed and vented it and it has an acid coat on top and after a couple of years I am sure my mx 60 cc is drawing some fumes due to the fan that pulls air through it to cool the cc.

    Do lipo batteries vent acid or corrosive fumes?
    gww
  • PNjunctionPNjunction Solar Expert Posts: 762 ✭✭✭
    Re: Why not LiFePO4?
    Skyko wrote: »
    I wonder how many newbies who just wanted a simple 12V battery would be attracted to lead acid if they had to buy 2V cells, connecting bars, and materials to band the cells together. After that they still had to wire in a BMS. Most of us could do this with no problem but there are lot more out there who just want a drop in solution.

    Batterspace offers these prebuilt with nothing more than a simple 4S connection and banding. Or you can tack on all the balancers, bms etc if you felt you need it. Elitepowersolutions also offers pre-built / banded units in various voltages, just plain or as complicated as you want to make it.

    Many so-called "drop-ins" are actually built out of many small high-rate cylindrical cells, which the unwary user pays through the nose for, with a high-rate capability he'll never use, or the quality of the cells is unknown and usually from the lowest manufacturer bidder. They also come with internal bms systems which you are putting your faith in.

    I think it would actually be great to have a dedicated "pioneer lifepo4" subforum to actually help those who wanted to get to the technical facts, without pricing, politics, different applications, etc drowning it all out. Most of us just go underground and not share any technical details or experiences at all since we are always on the defensive, which is just a burn out in the long run.
  • karrakkarrak Solar Expert Posts: 326 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Why not LiFePO4?
    gww1 wrote: »

    Do lipo batteries vent acid or corrosive fumes?

    No, they do not vent corrosive fumes, shouldn't have any problems with corroding battery terminals. This is certainly what I have found in the seventeen months I have had them.
    Off-Grid with LFP (LiFePO4) battery, battery Installed April 2013
    32x90Ah Winston cells 2p16s (48V), MPP Solar PIP5048MS 5kW Inverter/80A MPPT controller/60A charger, 1900W of Solar Panels
    modified BMS based on TI bq769x0 cell monitors.
    Homemade overall system monitoring and power management  https://github.com/simat/BatteryMonitor
     

  • gww1gww1 Solar Expert Posts: 963 ✭✭
    Re: Why not LiFePO4?

    karrak
    Thank you for the responce.
    gww
  • karrakkarrak Solar Expert Posts: 326 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Why not LiFePO4?
    gww1 wrote: »
    Do lipo batteries vent acid or corrosive fumes?

    Did you mean lipo or LiFePO4 batteries? These are quite different, I wouldn't use lipo batteries as a house bank as they don't last as long and are not as safe as LiFePO4 batteries.
    Off-Grid with LFP (LiFePO4) battery, battery Installed April 2013
    32x90Ah Winston cells 2p16s (48V), MPP Solar PIP5048MS 5kW Inverter/80A MPPT controller/60A charger, 1900W of Solar Panels
    modified BMS based on TI bq769x0 cell monitors.
    Homemade overall system monitoring and power management  https://github.com/simat/BatteryMonitor
     

  • gww1gww1 Solar Expert Posts: 963 ✭✭
    Re: Why not LiFePO4?

    I was talking about the safe ones but wouldn't know the differance except for the tag on them. I am just trying to pay attention so that someday I might know more.
    gww
  • ReedReed Solar Expert Posts: 55 ✭✭
    Re: Why not LiFePO4?

    I definitely second PNJunction's suggestion

    "...I think it would actually be great to have a dedicated "pioneer lifepo4" subforum to actually help those who wanted to get to the technical facts, without pricing, politics, different applications, etc drowning it all out. Most of us just go underground and not share any technical details or experiences at all since we are always on the defensive, which is just a burn out in the long run.."

    The Aussies do seem ahead of us in acceptance of new technologies.

    Reed and Elaine
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,358 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Why not LiFePO4?

    note: just lurking and learning here
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • PNjunctionPNjunction Solar Expert Posts: 762 ✭✭✭
    Re: Why not LiFePO4?

    "LIPO" is a misnomer carried over from the RC-modeling battery industry, where one is dealing with some form of lithium battery encased in a polymer bag. But some rc modelers do not care to know the chemistry, and a generic lipo designation suffices. For rc-modelers, they tend not to use lifepo4, but chemistries higher up in the energy density scale, such as LiNMC, or LiCo02 or various blends. In most cases, they use higher voltages than lifepo4, and need MUCH more stringent care to avoid catastrophes.

    This polymer bag that surrounds the cells during manufacturing is not to be confused with fire-safe bag that rc-modelers use. Or should. At the very least in the fireplace.

    A rouch scale from lowest-energy dense, to highest energy-dense goes something like this:

    Lifepo4 at the bottom end. Largest. Safest. You can put them under your motorcycle seat. Uses the lowest charge voltages. What we want.
    LiNMC - middle ground. A bit smaller, but higher energy density. Uses higher voltages than lifepo4. Modern powertools, rc modeling, etc.
    LiCo02 - highest energy density. Smallest. Uses higher voltages than lifepo4. But EXTREMELY sensitive to overcharge.

    The average consumer and media has no idea. Many are still struggling to understand the difference between a lead acid SLI and Deep Cycle, so all we can do is hope they get educated before purchase.

    You may see linmc and lico02 in polymer bags, hence the lipo designation. Lifepo4 on the other hand is usually always in either a small cylindrical format, or large plastic prismatic case, although there are exceptions.

    Safety in lifepo4 comes primarily from the fact that oxygen molecules are greedily held onto and not released when overcharged leading to fire. What you will see is boiling of the electrolyte, and eventual venting. Catastrophic case explosions come from applying 30v or more to them, which is some pretty big headroom of a normal charge of 3.6v. You have to exceed that by 10 times to go catastrophic. Still, that's not fire, but massive case rupture and clouds of boiling electrolyte. Not fun, but at least it isn't acid being sprayed around.

    What CAN catch on fire are the thing not related to the cells themselves, such as poor wiring infrastructure. High resistance terminals due to sloppy installations can also lead to so much heat that the plastic casing around the terminals melt. This is like any battery of any chemistry however.

    At the other end of the scale is LiCo02. You can go catastrophic failure mode by merely surpassing the normal 4.2v maximum, to only 4.3v or more. LiCo02 releases its hold on oxygen, and you have a fire hazard as well to deal with from the cells themselves.

    Since lifepo4's capabilities exceed our needs for a typical solar house storage bank, there is no need to use chemistries that are more energy dense. In fact, I have been saying all along that even within the lifepo4 battery choices, the high-rate lifepo4 cylindrical cells have capabilities we will never use, and would be paying an unecessary expense for - thus large prismatics are the easiest to implement and the least costly usually.

    But back to safety with lifepo4. You will degrade the cells if you go beyond the specs, but you have about 10X the room until you go catastrophic, than you would with higher energy dense (and oxygen releasing chemistries) coming from the rc-modeling crowd.
  • creekycreeky Banned Posts: 31
    Re: Why not LiFePO4?
    Photowhit wrote: »
    Okay Creeky, your late to the party, but if you can save me money, I'm all for it...

    I have a 804 Ah 24V battery with a life expectancy of 15 years(in my book, others say 20+), cost was $2525 delivered. It can be discharged down to 20% SOC and in fact is warrantied for 1500 cycles or 5 years...

    Hey Photowhit.

    Wow. Those are some batteries. I've read some of your posts. Nice stuff. So you want to save some money. Easy.

    1. Did your 2525 include battery connectors. A fuse? Because the Balqon is in a nice frame and ready to plug and play. BMS etc. attached. Sadly they don't have an exact match to your system. You'd need a 12kw system to be more equivalent, but they have a 9kw system which is equivalent to a 15kw FLA in terms of capacity, but with triple the lifespan. At 3340 delivered. So let's add 30% and say it's 1,100 more:

    So you're up 1,900 and change, now let's start saving:

    2. No cold temperature derating: Where I live it's cold. I pay money in the winter time to keep my batteries warm. Let's say I spend $50/yr on propane x 20 years (my figures are higher, plus the cost of the furnace), call it $1,400 (1000 propane, heater 400). Or, your system is a bit bigger than mine, are you accepting the derating as part of the process?

    3. How often do you maintain your batteries? I imagine with a system that big you're running some reasonable loads. This isn't a "vanity" system. Of course if you were discharging to 80% and recharging frequently you're going to be boiling some water. So factor in your time (free). Water. Say 5 bucks a year x 20 years. I saved you another 100 bucks. And what, a day, day and half to spend with the family, every year, heck at 80% dod that would be every month. Multiply that times 20 years. Your wife loves me already.

    4. What did your house cost to build? Probably around a 150 bucks a square foot. Okay, I've just saved you, what, at least 1,500 dollars, (and I'll bet your battery system takes up more than 12 sq ft) because you don't need an enormous dedicated space for your battery system. Maybe you have yours in the garage and your sq ft cost is lower, but you're saving some serious coin here. Plus no venting. There's more money. No racking. That's another chunk.

    So now you're saving money. I've got it around 1,000 bucks. I'm not going to quibble. Plus time. And if the battery pack does last longer? Half again as long. Twice as long.... you're into more coin.

    From what I read here, folks are dismissing the tech without debating or indeed researching the advantages. Lifespan, utility, ease of maintenance, improved performance.

    Instead I hear folks say that LFP is some kind of new tech. The battery formula was discovered in 1996. Mass production began in 2006. There are over 20 firms in China manufacturing now. Every major solar installing country has large firms that have released or are about to release a home use LFP battery pack. Germany and Australia are aggressively pursuing this tech. I like the Balqon 'cause it's a stripper model. I mean a frame, a bms, a fuse and some cells. Pretty bare bones. And you know the European one will be amazing. And the aussi's are no slouches when it comes to industrial design.

    So, while I am the prototypical "early adopter" LFP is kind of a no-brainer. Just the utility is enough. Lifespan is the bonus. And the money you save...

    But then, there is that human characteristic that wants to believe that the solution we came up with yesterday is still the right one today.
  • creekycreeky Banned Posts: 31
    Re: Why not LiFePO4?

    actually his point is we change technologies when better tech comes along. So he's right.
    LFP is the new tech. It's better. and while this post came up while I was writing a post to Photowhit. I have shown it is cheaper. right now.
  • ReedReed Solar Expert Posts: 55 ✭✭
    Re: Why not LiFePO4?

    Chinese Aviation Lithium Batteries (CALB) has energy storage modules of 2.5 kW-hr. 10 kW-hr, 50 kW-hr, 100 kW-hr, and 200 kW-hr modules. These may be a bit steep for home owners. We have 9.5 kW-hr of CALB (Manzanita packaging) for RV work. This may be comparing apples and oranges.
    Reed
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,650 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Why not LiFePO4?
    creeky wrote: »
    1. Did your 2525 include battery connectors. A fuse? Because the Balqon is in a nice frame and ready to plug and play. BMS etc. attached. Sadly they don't have an exact match to your system. You'd need a 12kw system to be more equivalent, but they have a 9kw system which is equivalent to a 15kw FLA in terms of capacity,
    ?How is a 9kw battery equal to a 19kw battery when both can be drawn down to 20% SOC? Have you been reading their literature and not following the thread? You would have had me buying and using a generator with in the last 2 weeks!
    creeky wrote: »
    .... but with triple the lifespan.
    so your claiming 45 year life span now? that's the most ambitious life span I've heard for LiFePo
    creeky wrote: »
    At 3340 delivered. So let's add 30% and say it's 1,100 more:
    not following you, guessing your saying extra for delivery?
    creeky wrote: »
    So you're up 1,900 and change, now let's start saving:
    Now really not following you!
    creeky wrote: »
    2. No cold temperature derating: Where I live it's cold. I pay money in the winter time to keep my batteries warm. Let's say I spend $50/yr on propane x 20 years (my figures are higher, plus the cost of the furnace), call it $1,400 (1000 propane, heater 400). Or, your system is a bit bigger than mine, are you accepting the derating as part of the process?
    Actually my heavy loads are in the summer time when I run an A/C Winter time loads are minimal, I have in the past run it down 2x in the winter but mostly leaving my water heater running, which can't happen now.
    creeky wrote: »
    3. How often do you maintain your batteries? I imagine with a system that big you're running some reasonable loads. This isn't a "vanity" system. Of course if you were discharging to 80% and recharging frequently you're going to be boiling some water. So factor in your time (free). Water. Say 5 bucks a year x 20 years. I saved you another 100 bucks. And what, a day, day and half to spend with the family, every year, heck at 80% dod that would be every month. Multiply that times 20 years. Your wife loves me already.
    No wife, doubt I've spent more than 12 hours since sweating my first set of batteries. I added water miser battery caps, likely will be able to get by with a gallon maybe 2 a year now, so you can add $70(as I recall) to my total cost. As I said before I don't need the capacity often, but I do need the capacity.
    creeky wrote: »
    4. What did your house cost to build? Probably around a 150 bucks a square foot. Okay, I've just saved you, what, at least 1,500 dollars, (and I'll bet your battery system takes up more than 12 sq ft) because you don't need an enormous dedicated space for your battery system. Maybe you have yours in the garage and your sq ft cost is lower, but you're saving some serious coin here. Plus no venting. There's more money. No racking. That's another chunk.
    Battery lives happily outside under my array, that's where those big wires are going out of my power center; Attachment not found.
    creeky wrote: »
    So now you're saving money. I've got it around 1,000 bucks. I'm not going to quibble. Plus time. And if the battery pack does last longer? Half again as long. Twice as long.... you're into more coin.
    Even if I look at a 700Ah LiFePo which is close to my needs, figure $700 x 8 = $5600 or this lift replacement, closer to my current at 18kwh http://www.balqon.com/store-2/#!/Lithium-Battery-Storage-18-kwhr-(-1-week-Lead-Time)/p/34642671/category=2860254 at $6650, I don't see where delivery if free(it's not I checked adds $350), but lets say it is, figure 2 times the cost, better than I would figure. The nice guy at Balqon(Steve) said a life expectancy of 12-15 years with 'many discharges to 50% in the summer and a few in the winter. Their warranty is 5 years prorated, mine is 5years full + 2 years prorated...
    creeky wrote: »
    From what I read here, folks are dismissing the tech without debating or indeed researching the advantages. Lifespan, utility, ease of maintenance, improved performance.

    Instead I hear folks say that LFP is some kind of new tech. The battery formula was discovered in 1996. Mass production began in 2006. There are over 20 firms in China manufacturing now. Every major solar installing country has large firms that have released or are about to release a home use LFP battery pack. Germany and Australia are aggressively pursuing this tech. I like the Balqon 'cause it's a stripper model. I mean a frame, a bms, a fuse and some cells. Pretty bare bones. And you know the European one will be amazing. And the aussi's are no slouches when it comes to industrial design.
    I actually like the interaction with Balqon, they didn't try to over sell their battery, and from my reading I actuall would expect a longer life from LiFePo batteries.
    creeky wrote: »
    So, while I am the prototypical "early adopter" LFP is kind of a no-brainer. Just the utility is enough. Lifespan is the bonus. And the money you save...

    But then, there is that human characteristic that wants to believe that the solution we came up with yesterday is still the right one today.

    There is NO added utility for me. Added life span would be a must to make it cost effective in my and most off grid systems...

    If you see where I have gone astray let me know.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,650 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Why not LiFePO4?
    creeky wrote: »
    actually his point is we change technologies when better tech comes along. So he's right.
    LFP is the new tech. It's better. and while this post came up while I was writing a post to Photowhit. I have shown it is cheaper. right now.

    Not even close, unless your 45 year life span comes true!
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Why not LiFePO4?

    I think that's about enough of this pointless arguing.

    What we know about LiFePo so far is that the capital expense is much higher, but it does offer advantages in energy density (which isn't really an issue for stationary applications) and SOC tolerance. Some of the "pro" claims are exaggerated, as-yet unproven, or a violation of physics and/or economics.

    Anyone who wishes to factually document their experiences with this battery chemistry the way PNJunction has is free to do so.

    Anyone who wishes to zealously promote it as the solution for everyone can do so elsewhere; we are not in the habit of prescribing "one size fits all" solutions as they are bunk.
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