Battery Cost Compare

reefbumreefbum Solar Expert Posts: 41 ✭✭
While looking for a new batter bank I took a few min to make an excel sheet to use in comparing the cost of different batteries.
I've attached the excel sheet here to see if I've missed anything.
I did protect the worksheet against accidental changes but there is no password needed to remove protection.



Regards

Comments

  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Cost Compare

    Thanks for posting. Is that a Balquon LiFePo4?
     
    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,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • reefbumreefbum Solar Expert Posts: 41 ✭✭
    Re: Battery Cost Compare

    Yes the price is from Balquon
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Cost Compare

    OK I thought that cost looked familiar....I did the same calculation.

    Did you know that that is only the cost of the cells and you need to add on the BMS batt. management system ?
    Also if you get cells in a prebuilt battery the cycles go up to 3000?

    http://www.balqon.com/online-store/#!/Lithium-Battery-Storage-18-kwhr-1-week-Lead-Time/p/34642671/category=2860254
     
    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,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • reefbumreefbum Solar Expert Posts: 41 ✭✭
    Re: Battery Cost Compare

    I did know about the BMS but did not calculate my cost based on it as I did not add cost for lead acid monitor.
    I did see their specs on the prebuilt modules giving 3000 cycles however when I did my compare I was looking at batteries/cells only and the specs on their individual cells were 2000 cycles.

    When I was looking for batteries no mater how I sliced it, the T-105 was always the very clear winner by a considerable margin.
    I ended up with forklift battery from BBI which came out a bit higher than the T-105 with the hopes of a longer life.

    I was seriously considering the Lifepo4 but in the end with no real issues of size/weight I decided my time in monthly maintenance could not offset the upfront cost.
    I also did quite a bit of reading up on the Lifepo4 and in the other forums most were reporting an average annual non-recoverable capacity loss of about 8%.
    While these were mostly in the marine/boating world which may/may not have significance in a PV solar setup, I could find no other long term usage reports to help base my opinion on.

    Regards
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Cost Compare

    If your dealing with Balqon you best figure 15-20% shipping costs. They have no problem charging $500 shipping on $2,000 worth of batteries. I can get Rolls for half that much from the factory in Canada delivered to the midwest.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Cost Compare
    reading up on the Lifepo4 and in the other forums most were reporting an average annual non-recoverable capacity loss of about 8%.

    I have been reading a fair bit on them lately, though most is Lab type testing and modelling and there have been reports of issues with capacity loss due to a 'memory effect' and another re 'energy rich and energy poor' Li ions in the cathode

    The memory effect therefore has two negative consequences: firstly, the usable capacity of the battery is reduced, and secondly the correlation between the voltage and the charge status is shifted, so the latter cannot be determined reliably on the basis of voltage

    Read more at: [url]http:///C:/Documents and Settings/Eric/My Documents/LiFePo4 batteries/Memory effect now also found in lithium-ion batteries.htm#jCp[/url]

    and
    Mesoscopic modeling of Li insertion in phase separating electrode materials: application to lithium iron phosphate
     
    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,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • reefbumreefbum Solar Expert Posts: 41 ✭✭
    Re: Battery Cost Compare

    I had also seen the report from PSI/Toyota on Lifepo4 memory effect.

    When I did all the calculations, I made the decision to go with forklift/traction type based on the numbers.
  • 706jim706jim Solar Expert Posts: 437 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Cost Compare

    Thanks for posting your spreadsheet. I was not as scientific as you when choosing replacement batteries but settled on Trojan L16's instead of GC's.

    I was able to purchase them locally for a better price with no core or shipping charges.

    Afterwards, I checked prices on a couple of "wholesale solar" sites and found that none of the listings were particularly cheap.

    I'll agree with you however, that there is a lot of good to be said about GC's when you consider cost, portability and availability.
    Island cottage solar system with 2400 watts of panels, 1kw facing southeast 1kw facing southwest 400watt ancient Arco's facing south.Trace DR1524 MSW inverter, Outback Flexmax 80 MPPT charge controller 8 Trojan L16's. Insignia 11.5 cubic foot electric fridge. My 28th year.
  • northernernortherner Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Cost Compare
    If your dealing with Balqon you best figure 15-20% shipping costs. They have no problem charging $500 shipping on $2,000 worth of batteries. I can get Rolls for half that much from the factory in Canada delivered to the midwest.

    I just got a quote of $640 from Balqon for shipping to my location in Canada for quantity 8, 700 ah cells. Works out to just under 10% of the battery price ($840 US) times 8. Total price including shipping would be $7360 US for an 18 kwh bank. If I do go the LiFePo4 route, I would consider the Winston cells due to the addition of Yttrium, which is claimed to give better chemical stability and thus longer cycle life, than using Iron.

    Of course I would still need a BMS and LVD and HVD. I wouldn't use the cell shunts, but just monitor individual cells and balance manually if needed.
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Cost Compare
    northerner wrote: »
    I just got a quote of $640 from Balqon for shipping to my location in Canada for quantity 8, 700 ah cells. Works out to just under 10% of the battery price ($840 US) times 8. Total price including shipping would be $7360 US for an 18 kwh bank. If I do go the LiFePo4 route, I would consider the Winston cells due to the addition of Yttrium, which is claimed to give better chemical stability and thus longer cycle life, than using Iron.

    Of course I would still need a BMS and LVD and HVD. I wouldn't use the cell shunts, but just monitor individual cells and balance manually if needed.
    Go for it, please put up some pictures when you get them and get your bank set up, we're all waiting.

    Here is a quote I got, shipping is about 18% plus $50 for tailgate service. I guess you got it in writing.


    Attachment not found.
  • northernernortherner Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Cost Compare
    Go for it, please put up some pictures when you get them and get your bank set up, we're all waiting.

    Here is a quote I got, shipping is about 18% plus $50 for tailgate service. I guess you got it in writing.


    Attachment not found.

    Yours is likely a higher percentage of the cost due to a smaller size battery? Fortunately, I don't need batteries right away, and haven't decided which way to go at this stage. Just doing some research ahead of time, just in case. If the Aquion AHI batteries drop in price significantly by years end, as predicted, I may consider them?
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Cost Compare
    northerner wrote: »
    I just got a quote of $640 from Balqon for shipping to my location in Canada for quantity 8, 700 ah cells. Works out to just under 10% of the battery price ($840 US) times 8. Total price including shipping would be $7360 US for an 18 kwh bank. If I do go the LiFePo4 route, I would consider the Winston cells due to the addition of Yttrium, which is claimed to give better chemical stability and thus longer cycle life, than using Iron.

    Of course I would still need a BMS and LVD and HVD. I wouldn't use the cell shunts, but just monitor individual cells and balance manually if needed.


    For $7560 + $640 shipping you get the whole shebang of, a case to hold the cells and:
    Cycle life 3000 Cycles; Five year prorated warranty. Includes Battery Management system, cell monitoring of temperature and voltage control. Includes fuse and contactor [ battery disconnect]. Works seamlessly with most leading solar charge controllers and inverters. Max Charge voltage not to exceed 28.8 VDC. Cell balancing at .75 amps.

    Note the 3000 Cycles for the whole unit http://www.balqon.com/online-store/#!/Lithium-Battery-Storage-18-kwhr-1-week-Lead-Time/p/34642671/category=2860254 vs 2000 cycles for individual cells
    ( http://www.balqon.com/store-2/#!/700-Ahr-Lithium-Iron-Phosphate-Battery-In-Stock/p/11906026/category=2736691 )

    they must have a lot of faith in the BMS ...
     
    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,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Cost Compare

    I don't think that 700 amp hrs @ 24V for $ 7,360 is a very good deal, kind of pricy in my book. $10.51 per amp hr, they better be good. The Trojans HC-16's are about $4.00 in change for shipping @ 24V per amp hr. Not sure I'd want to get roped into a 700 amp hr bank when I have a 1,300 amp hr bank now, on faith. If using 80% dod doesn't work out you'd have to spend a whole bunch of money to increase it's size.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,655 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Cost Compare
    northerner wrote: »
    I just got a quote of $640 from Balqon for shipping to my location in Canada for quantity 8, 700 ah cells. Works out to just under 10% of the battery price ($840 US) times 8. Total price including shipping would be $7360 US for an 18 kwh bank. If I do go the LiFePo4 route, I would consider the Winston cells due to the addition of Yttrium, which is claimed to give better chemical stability and thus longer cycle life, than using Iron.

    FWIW - I paid $2525 for 800ah 24v lead acid battery with a better warranty....
    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.
  • northernernortherner Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Cost Compare
    westbranch wrote: »
    For $7560 + $640 shipping you get the whole shebang of, a case to hold the cells and:


    Note the 3000 Cycles for the whole unit http://www.balqon.com/online-store/#!/Lithium-Battery-Storage-18-kwhr-1-week-Lead-Time/p/34642671/category=2860254 vs 2000 cycles for individual cells
    ( http://www.balqon.com/store-2/#!/700-Ahr-Lithium-Iron-Phosphate-Battery-In-Stock/p/11906026/category=2736691 )

    they must have a lot of faith in the BMS ...

    I believe that all the larger lyp cells that Balqon has are rated for 3000 cycles. I think the 2000 cycles they have on the page is an error, as I had viewed the cycle rating somewhere else, and it's their smaller cells that are rated for 2000 cycles. Looks like they use the same cells for making up the battery bank (ie 700 ah in this case)

    I don't need a case for the batteries as I already have a battery box that will work. Also, their BMS has shunts, which you could disable, but I don't need them. I just want to monitor cell voltages and do the appropriate disconnect if need be. Also ordering the cells separately will be easier to handle, than a 450 lb behemoth, which you likely will have to disassemble, in order to move it around.
  • northernernortherner Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Cost Compare
    I don't think that 700 amp hrs @ 24V for $ 7,360 is a very good deal, kind of pricy in my book. $10.51 per amp hr, they better be good. The Trojans HC-16's are about $4.00 in change for shipping @ 24V per amp hr. Not sure I'd want to get roped into a 700 amp hr bank when I have a 1,300 amp hr bank now, on faith. If using 80% dod doesn't work out you'd have to spend a whole bunch of money to increase it's size.

    Well, I'm counting on cycle life to make it worthwhile. I still might go the Aquion route. Also, I have my old batteries to temporarily tide me over, in case things don't work out.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Cost Compare
    I don't think that 700 amp hrs @ 24V for $ 7,360 is a very good deal, kind of pricy in my book.

    BC I wasn't saying they are a good price I was just pointing out that there is a fair bit more you get by buying the assembled battery... mainly cycle life
     
    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,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • sub3marathonmansub3marathonman Solar Expert Posts: 300 ✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Cost Compare
    northerner wrote: »
    Yours is likely a higher percentage of the cost due to a smaller size battery? Fortunately, I don't need batteries right away, and haven't decided which way to go at this stage. Just doing some research ahead of time, just in case.

    I would be HIGHLY cautious if ordering from Balqon.

    If you research, you can find many people saying it was an absolute nightmare ordering. You can search Google for Balqon site:cruisersforum.com for more research.

    My experience was exactly that. There was no problem ordering the batteries, or paying for them, there was just a problem in getting them. After they missed two promised shipping dates, I informed them that if I didn't hear from them I would open a dispute with the credit card company. So of course, I didn't hear from them, and I opened a dispute. Well, I heard from them quickly after that!!! Then they promised that this time they really really would ship the batteries. I said OK (I was really wanting the batteries), and tried to notify the credit card company that things were looking better. The credit card company said all that Balqon would have to do would be send them proof of shipping, and the charges would be reinstated on my credit card. That wasn't good enough for Balqon, who for almost two months sat around back and forth with me, the credit card company, and their bank (so they said). It was taking so long that I started asking them how old were the cells they were shipping to me? I never heard back on that, I wonder why. Well, one day they say they're shipping them!!! That should be great, they've even upgraded my order from loose cells to their enclosed battery system with BMS. (The BMS is supposed to be good, made by Dimitri, who is highly respected in the lithium battery world, at Clean Power Auto.) And yes, they do show up here, just a week or so before I'd lose out on the tax deduction for 2015. Well, I open the system up, expecting to find Winston batteries, as they claimed on their website they were selling. Ummm, no they are Thundersky batteries. So how old are they??? I have no idea, there's no date code on them. There apparently never was a date code on them? So how old are they? I don't really know that either. Mr. Samra, the CEO, said they were a couple of years old, but I'm still thinking they're a lot older than that. He says don't worry, they can be stored for five years without a problem, and there's the five year warranty from Balqon anyway. OK, I asked for a copy of the warranty, but never got it. Some have said I got a fantastic price on the system, but did I really? I'm highly skeptical, especially since they never said how old the batteries they were planning to ship were. Now, Mr. Samra did offer to take the batteries back, including paying return shipping, but I would then be back where I was many months ago, and no tax deduction for 2015 either, so I kept them. But until I can either do a legitimate capacity test myself on them, or have somebody who is an expert not affiliated with Balqon check them, I don't really know what I got. And where were these years old batteries in the meantime, and why did it take Balqon two months to find them and ship them to me?

    I did get them installed just in time, and they are working now, but for how long? Is Mr. Samra a great guy, or an unscrupulous businessman? Ask me in five years and I'll know a bit more.
  • northernernortherner Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Cost Compare
    I would be HIGHLY cautious if ordering from Balqon.

    If you research, you can find many people saying it was an absolute nightmare ordering. You can search Google for Balqon site:cruisersforum.com for more research.

    My experience was exactly that. There was no problem ordering the batteries, or paying for them, there was just a problem in getting them. After they missed two promised shipping dates, I informed them that if I didn't hear from them I would open a dispute with the credit card company. So of course, I didn't hear from them, and I opened a dispute. Well, I heard from them quickly after that!!! Then they promised that this time they really really would ship the batteries. I said OK (I was really wanting the batteries), and tried to notify the credit card company that things were looking better. The credit card company said all that Balqon would have to do would be send them proof of shipping, and the charges would be reinstated on my credit card. That wasn't good enough for Balqon, who for almost two months sat around back and forth with me, the credit card company, and their bank (so they said). It was taking so long that I started asking them how old were the cells they were shipping to me? I never heard back on that, I wonder why. Well, one day they say they're shipping them!!! That should be great, they've even upgraded my order from loose cells to their enclosed battery system with BMS. (The BMS is supposed to be good, made by Dimitri, who is highly respected in the lithium battery world, at Clean Power Auto.) And yes, they do show up here, just a week or so before I'd lose out on the tax deduction for 2015. Well, I open the system up, expecting to find Winston batteries, as they claimed on their website they were selling. Ummm, no they are Thundersky batteries. So how old are they??? I have no idea, there's no date code on them. There apparently never was a date code on them? So how old are they? I don't really know that either. Mr. Samra, the CEO, said they were a couple of years old, but I'm still thinking they're a lot older than that. He says don't worry, they can be stored for five years without a problem, and there's the five year warranty from Balqon anyway. OK, I asked for a copy of the warranty, but never got it. Some have said I got a fantastic price on the system, but did I really? I'm highly skeptical, especially since they never said how old the batteries they were planning to ship were. Now, Mr. Samra did offer to take the batteries back, including paying return shipping, but I would then be back where I was many months ago, and no tax deduction for 2015 either, so I kept them. But until I can either do a legitimate capacity test myself on them, or have somebody who is an expert not affiliated with Balqon check them, I don't really know what I got. And where were these years old batteries in the meantime, and why did it take Balqon two months to find them and ship them to me?

    I did get them installed just in time, and they are working now, but for how long? Is Mr. Samra a great guy, or an unscrupulous businessman? Ask me in five years and I'll know a bit more.

    Just curious what size the batteries were? I have also read that if batteries are noted as not being in stock with Balqon, they say that it could take a considerable length of time for them to arrive from a boat from China. If the batteries are in stock, I have heard that they ship within a few days. I see that they currently have 160 ah, 700 ah, and 1000 ah cells in stock. The cells I'm interested in are 700 ah, so you would think the shipping wouldn't be a problem. They stated in an email that they could be shipped in 5 working days.

    But thanks for the heads up marathonman. And that's pretty bad that they didn't send you the cells you ordered. I have read about others that have had issues with waiting for cells to arrive. I think this is a case where you are getting the service you're paying for. You could pay plenty more for the cells and get good shipping service. I got a quote from The Electric Car Parts Co. for qty (16) 400 ah CALB cells for $8758 plus freight. I had actually asked for a freight quote which I did not get. It sounds like they are trying to push their 20 ah New Energy cells, which they assemble into large banks. Sounds like going that route could be a nightmare with balancing all those cells.:cry:

    I think I will try to be sure that I'm not destitute when it comes to needing new batteries.:D
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Cost Compare
    westbranch wrote: »
    BC I wasn't saying they are a good price I was just pointing out that there is a fair bit more you get by buying the assembled battery... mainly cycle life
    West, I wasn't really slanting that towards you, it was a general statement without a quote.

    When someone pays 2 1/2 times as much for one battery over another and depends on cycle life of a unproven battery then it becomes questionable wisdom to think you'd ever break even. Even the warranty on these is shaky, 5 years prorated, if you can find it in writing anywhere.
  • northernernortherner Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Cost Compare
    West, I wasn't really slanting that towards you, it was a general statement without a quote.

    When someone pays 2 1/2 times as much for one battery over another and depends on cycle life of a unproven battery then it becomes questionable wisdom to think you'd ever break even. Even the warranty on these is shaky, 5 years prorated, if you can find it in writing anywhere.

    I think that even if you break even or even a little worse makes it worth the effort. You're getting a very efficient battery with really next to no maintenance. I see plenty of others who have made the switch away from lead acid, really content with their decision, and vow never to go back to lead acid again. I'm currently about 3 years in on my lead acid bank, and I am already beginning to look for a replacement. Capacity loss has been an issue with my bank as well. And cost for me was over $5000 (Can $), the best price I could get for my region.

    Aquion's AHI may pan out to be even better in the long run, but way too early to judge that.
  • Alaska ManAlaska Man Solar Expert Posts: 252 ✭✭
    Re: Battery Cost Compare

    I got these local, but they do not ship Hazmat so way cheaper to ship than other batteries. At $260each my 8 battery bank was a little over two thousand dollars and there is no maintenance to do. : http://fullriverdcbattery.com/battery/DC220-6


    Canadian dealer: http://www.magnacharge.com/ No screwing around with Chinese production and shipping.
  • sub3marathonmansub3marathonman Solar Expert Posts: 300 ✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Cost Compare
    northerner wrote: »
    Just curious what size the batteries were? I have also read that if batteries are noted as not being in stock with Balqon, they say that it could take a considerable length of time for them to arrive from a boat from China. If the batteries are in stock, I have heard that they ship within a few days. I see that they currently have 160 ah, 700 ah, and 1000 ah cells in stock. The cells I'm interested in are 700 ah, so you would think the shipping wouldn't be a problem. They stated in an email that they could be shipped in 5 working days.

    That's an LOL about the shipping promise.

    I too read the exact same words, saw that the 700ah batteries were "In Stock" (YES!!!), they could ship them in three days (YES AGAIN!!!). I had to pay for the entire order, they were going to get them out so fast. ;)

    And then the reality / nightmare of dealing with Balqon began.

    Since they are the only distributors of Winston batteries for North America, I would definitely, if I had it to do over, buy CALB batteries. Although CALB doesn't have a large format 500ah + battery, from my further research it is not a huge problem to parallel lithium batteries, it is just more complex and a bit more costly due to connections and the BMS (optional).

    As I communicated with the Winston battery people in China, as long as Balqon is their sole distributer here, their sales will continue to be held back. Research Balqon's reputation, as I did, and believe it, as I tried to overlook it and paid the price. Add to that the months of worry as Balqon's financial situation is apparently still (although this is only my opinion, but it is documented that it has been in the past), on thin ice. They used to list their share price on the website, I watched it go from $0.09 to $0.05 (IIRC, and in the past it has been up at $0.23 or so), now it isn't listed on their website but is listed on Google as $0.04. (And of course, I do at this point want to see them stay in business so I can possibly make a warranty claim, although that is also apparently highly questionable from my research, but I think others should know of my experience.)

    As a tangential thought, I just hope those here are a bit more civilized than over on the Nissan LEAF forum, where I tried, when the LEAF was first going on sale, to warn them about the federal tax credit for the EV and to thoroughly research it, since I had believed back in 2005 about the rebate for the Prius and was IRS ruled ineligible even though nothing had really been finalized at the time of my purchase as far as I knew, and was told, within minutes of posting my first post there, how stupid I was for believing the salesman, which I didn't, and how I deserved to lose out on the credit therefore, and how I really wasn't interested in purchasing a LEAF because the guy had looked on the Prius forum and saw that I hadn't posted my car for sale (creepy in my opinion),only to, what do you know, have some people now posting even years later on the LEAF forum that they weren't aware of the tax credit rules and missed out.)
  • northernernortherner Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Cost Compare
    That's an LOL about the shipping promise.

    I too read the exact same words, saw that the 700ah batteries were "In Stock" (YES!!!), they could ship them in three days (YES AGAIN!!!). I had to pay for the entire order, they were going to get them out so fast. ;)

    And then the reality / nightmare of dealing with Balqon began.

    Since they are the only distributors of Winston batteries for North America, I would definitely, if I had it to do over, buy CALB batteries. Although CALB doesn't have a large format 500ah + battery, from my further research it is not a huge problem to parallel lithium batteries, it is just more complex and a bit more costly due to connections and the BMS (optional).

    As I communicated with the Winston battery people in China, as long as Balqon is their sole distributer here, their sales will continue to be held back. Research Balqon's reputation, as I did, and believe it, as I tried to overlook it and paid the price. Add to that the months of worry as Balqon's financial situation is apparently still (although this is only my opinion, but it is documented that it has been in the past), on thin ice. They used to list their share price on the website, I watched it go from $0.09 to $0.05 (IIRC, and in the past it has been up at $0.23 or so), now it isn't listed on their website but is listed on Google as $0.04. (And of course, I do at this point want to see them stay in business so I can possibly make a warranty claim, although that is also apparently highly questionable from my research, but I think others should know of my experience.)

    Thanks for sharing your experience, not something anyone expects or should have to go through. I have read that Balqon has recently gone through a difficult period, nearly going bankrupt, and possibly the reason for your experience? I also have heard that the company is recovering now, so not sure if that could mean that shipping issues have improved. I have read that many others have ordered from Balqon, and have had better service. Not making any assumptions, but I'm hoping that the company can and will deliver into the future. I will definitely look into the protection you are provided by paying via credit card, just in case.
  • northernernortherner Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Cost Compare
    Alaska Man wrote: »
    I got these local, but they do not ship Hazmat so way cheaper to ship than other batteries. At $260each my 8 battery bank was a little over two thousand dollars and there is no maintenance to do. : http://fullriverdcbattery.com/battery/DC220-6


    Canadian dealer: http://www.magnacharge.com/ No screwing around with Chinese production and shipping.

    Magna charge was the company I ordered my Trojan's from. I'm really trying to get away from using lead acid batteries. Still trying to decide between LFP and AHI?
  • xsnrgxsnrg Registered Users Posts: 10
    One spec I have not seen on AHI, or have missed... At what temperature will they freeze, and if freeze, will they be damaged?
  • northernernortherner Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    xsnrg wrote: »
    One spec I have not seen on AHI, or have missed... At what temperature will they freeze, and if freeze, will they be damaged?


    Aquion's AHI batteries are rated down to -5C ambient temperature, so not meant for cold environments for operation.That's a good question, as shipping them in winter could expose them to freezing. You may want to contact someone at Aquion about that?
  • dcx3000dcx3000 Registered Users Posts: 15
    I think many here get confused about what Balqon.com and Balqon in North America actually is.  So to they would also confuse the role that Samra plays in the process.  Put first yourself into that persons shoes and walk as he may during the day.  This is the CEO of a energy storage giant and producer of electric 30 ton trucks.  He has at will the attention of Winston Chung probably via text if needed. 

    Crazy to believe Balqon would ever be allowed to fail for any respect.  Just don't believe it would ever be allowed.  Changed perhaps as many will realize when they try to order. 

    They no longer list prices.  Fill in the quote request form.  You get a couple calls submit the credit card form.  Samra set me up pretty sweet in one or two conversations.  Shipping was excellent and information provided during the two conversations with Samra were priceless.  My ears work I just was not clear on the BMS originally. 

    In terms of quality - superb.  The HiQap BMS System is designed robust and failsafe.  I have had various HVD and LVD during my initial commissioning of the bank on boat and so far they are amazing. 

    I was able to make an incredible 48v 400ah system and everything I bought and use with it is so simple that it is hard to imagine life any other way now.  Put 2160w 180w 40voc 5.5a x12 solar into a simple charge controller.  Put a couple 48v Lestronic II chargers on the bus bars and wire in some 48v  gas Generators and power house loads with 48v inverters.  Shore power not really needed and use only 120v plug in for Lestronic II battery chargers.

    Honestly if it were I that were gifted with a 700ah pack at 48v I sure wouldn't be knocking the product before I tried it.  Neither would I be knocking and or contributing to speculation or rumour in regard to anything but published news releases.  I'm sure Samra is a busy individual and as such also suffers from human conditions we all endure.  Busy schedules, family commitments, Chinese New Year....  I mean really business litterally stops during this period.

    Certainly you will always want to maintain a good relation with Balqon because anything else is negative energy and I don't sense any negative energy when I speak with Samra but only knowledge beyond description when he helps you order.  Be thankful for he gave you exactly what you ordered no doubt.  The rest is now up to you and how you treat  your pack.

    If you cant charge the pack to full and deplete the pack at a steady rate to get a rough estimation of your pack rating then what are you thinking?  Pay someone to test the pack size for you?  Seriously!  Seriously???

    Really hook it up and use it.  I am able to charge my bank at 30amps Lestronic II's + 2-20amps solar in under two days topped right up 3.625 volts per cell.  From 54.0v to 57.4volts the acceptance is spectacularly quick.  Once the pack arrives in that voltage area it is monitored constantly.  Once the bank hits 57 volts I shut off all charge sources and loads on the system and calibrate the EV Display.  This is the only time the bank is allowed to be near the 57 volt range for any length of time.

    Recalibration of the EV Display is necessary if you feel it has gone out of calibration for any reason like a LVD or HVD.

    There is something to be said about airing dirty laundry in public and frankly if I were the moderator of this post I would likely take a keen eye where there are borderline discussions that don't shine a good light on the President of a Corporation.

    One should not fail to understand that each pack that is assembled and shipped is done so at probably great expense and time to those providing the service and assembly of your pack. 

    Proper balancing of 700ah cells could be a very challenging undertaking.  16 700ah cells and then they would have all had to have been initially charged to 3.6 volts and allowed to settle to back around 3.3 v then when all 16 are full charged separately they would have had to let them sit in parallel for a few weeks or perhaps more depending on how much time frame they have.  Finally they would have to assemble them all for 48v and meticulously install the BMS on a pack of this size. 

    The slightest scratchy sound will keep you awake at night after a few days of working on something like this.  My system is robust and efficient and I am thankful for the care and thought that went into the assembly, shipping and support or superior lack thereof without which I wouldn't have learned all there is to learn about mini bms and my new batteries. 

    Balqon is not going to hold your hand on technical support or implementation and integration of your system without that being included in the quotation.  So far as a warranty claim I'm sure if you needed to splice in a new cell Samra would be the only person capable of matching you with the correct cell in terms of cycles or age/style or new if you were to ever experience a faulty cell be it from a product defect and not from abuse like removing or bypassing the BMS.  

    I would have to think from your 700ah pack of submarine batteries you probably see 680ah usable and probably closer to 780ah total pack size from the compass marine site data 4 400ah @12v giving 420ah usable.  If you haven't read that information on your batteries and consumed the monster thread at cruiser forum lithium batteries for those using them for house banks that the previous condenses then keep reading.

    I know it isn't five years but how are you making out with your batteries?






  • dcx3000dcx3000 Registered Users Posts: 15
    I'm also not sure they even like to sell individual cells.  Shipping for me was great I know they are making my 18kwh pack so I'm not rushing them.  When they ship they ship - quality takes time.  I'm sure they don't even like to ship individual cells in quantity.  That is why most all cells they probably sell will have a BMS. 

    I spoke with a person I know who has 40 of these cells.  Also has a few extra just for good measure.  They have been sitting in his shop for years now.  He is not at all worried about the state of the batteries.  Nor would I be.  Three independent 48v 700ah banks.  Overkill but then he deserves it as he seems to be a really nice chap - friendly as all heck.  Nice project.



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