New Discover Battery Products

Graham ParkinsonGraham Parkinson Registered Users Posts: 84 ✭✭
Discover Battery has several interesting new products announced at Intersolar 2022 and on their website:

1) Helios GC (Golf Cart Sized) 24V or 48V LiFePO4 batteries (1.54 kWhr ea) with integrated heater (to -20 degree C), Designed for stationalry service with 1C continuous charge/discharge, BMS compatible with Lync port for closed loop charging and allowing up to 20 batteries to be paralleled per Lync communications unit.  Available Spring 2022.

2) Lithium Professional Batteries: GC (Golf Cart Sized) 24V or 48V LiFePO4 batteries self heating. J1939 Canbus communications. 2C continuous, 3 C peak power.  Designed for motiveservice (ie forklifts etc.) Prismatic cells, replaceable BMS, UL/IP rating

3) Update to Lync Units: LYNK II Communication Gateway and Lynk Access Software - aggregates and displays in real-time State-of-Charge for Discover HELIOS and AES LiFePO4 batteries. Remote SOC monitoring and Battery condition logs. Works with Schneider, Victron, SMA, Studer, SolArk etc. 3 Aux relays for generator start/stop, Battery Firmware update capability.  Available from Nov. 2021

All excellent developments.  Wish that they would add self heating capability to their existing higher capacity batteries such as the AES 7.4 kWh solar stationary batteries!

Offgrid in cloudy PNW

MacGyver'ed museum collection of panels, castoff batteries and generators - ready for state of art system install ....

Comments

  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Solar Expert Posts: 953 ✭✭✭✭
    They have always had very low pricing. Hopefully, they have upped their game in terms of product quality and longevity.
    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
  • Wheelman55Wheelman55 Registered Users Posts: 174 ✭✭✭
    They have always had very low pricing. Hopefully, they have upped their game in terms of product quality and longevity.
    Mark. Which of their batteries have had quality and longevity issues?
    Building Off-Grid in Terlingua, TX
    14 CS 370 watt modules. HZLA horizontal tracker. Schneider: XW6048, Mini PDP, MPPT 80-600, SCP. 3 - Discover AES 42-48-6650 48 volt 130ah LiFePO4 batteries
  • Graham ParkinsonGraham Parkinson Registered Users Posts: 84 ✭✭
    Marc - Are you talking about their FLA batteries in reference to pricing?  Their Li batteries are quite well established as being more on the high end of the quality-cost spectrum.

    Offgrid in cloudy PNW

    MacGyver'ed museum collection of panels, castoff batteries and generators - ready for state of art system install ....

  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Solar Expert Posts: 953 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 16 #5
    My experience is not hands-on, I have never sold or installed even one. My frame of reference is from working with unhappy customers using their Lithium and AGM products in marine/RV/Off-Grid/Lift Truck/Floor Scrubber applications. I have spoken with many, many people who were excited about their new battery banks for the first 2-3 years. I have not found even one who is happy after 5 years. Lifespan extrapolation is one thing. Proving it in the field is another.
    How many years have they been "quite well established as being more on the high end of the quality-cost spectrum." How many years of service are people seeing in their off-grid applications?  I would be happy to learn!
    I certainly may be behind on this, but experience tells me to be cautious of a company that pumps out stuff for years - that customers are unhappy with.


    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,138 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 16 #6
    The Discover AES LFP is engineers straight out of Schneider with open source i/o to Xanbus closed loop! They are awesome products and I have been using them for 4 years without any issues. Their main business use to be locomotive batteries for Diesel fleets. Super old reliable company from 1949.

    10 year warranty and backed up by a company that will be there. I only do this for Offgrid stationary and have zero experience with RV and Marine or their flooded/ AGM market.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • Graham ParkinsonGraham Parkinson Registered Users Posts: 84 ✭✭
    Mark

    Are there some specific issues with the capacity or reliability of the Discovery lithium batteries that you have heard of?   Were these possibly early adopter product issues?  I'm considering purchasing a set of their lithium batteries and have never before heard any significant complaints about them, other that their cost compared to some other options.

    Batteries have electrochemical complexities and as a result are not perfectly "pay and play", many people are not aware of all the ways that cells, charging and control systems can go south.  

    There are probably many people who are not "happy" with their batteries even with good top end products.

    Living off grid isn't easy.

    Thanks

    Offgrid in cloudy PNW

    MacGyver'ed museum collection of panels, castoff batteries and generators - ready for state of art system install ....

  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Solar Expert Posts: 953 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 17 #8
    Good input, Dave. Sounds like you really like and trust their off grid product line.
    Graham, See Dave Angelini's opinion above. I would value his opinion far above what I hear from my customers.

    Marc
    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,138 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Welcome Marc, you have always been a big help over the years. No ice storms this year right? Sorry about your cowboys ;)

    When I first got to test lithium for Schneider and LG I saw firsthand the advantage of closed loop charging over open loop. If you have the amps (like 120adc from xwp ) for each AES 7kwh you cut the charge time by 25%. That is alot of solar or fuel saved to do that.

     I watched last week a charge of an AES 7kwh battery from 0% to full in 68 minutes, just like they spec it. None of the voltage worries that these guys all write about here in this forum. All done by Soc controlling voltages.

    On a smart phone running Insight cloud from Schneider each AES shows a separate battery with it's Soc. Very nice to see that for the ladies offgrid!  It is always about them ! I hate to see them put thru the H E double tooth-pics some of these offgrid guys make them do because they are just cheap. I call it offgrid squalor and I see it too often. Being the richest guy in the graveyard is a really bad ending.  End of rant for that. Cheers to the the good guys !
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • Graham ParkinsonGraham Parkinson Registered Users Posts: 84 ✭✭
    Hi Dave

    Nice to hear of good experiences.  I'm wondering if the AES 7kwh have an output that could be used to drive a  relay and heating pad.  I think they have internal temperature sensing. Discover needs to update the AES 7.4 kwh to have self heating capability, that would be a big selling point here in Canada.  It actually gets cold here eh?

    During the cold snap here in the PNW the islands got down to -10 C ( 14 F) for a week or so.  Although we have a propane wall heater and mV thermostat, the poorly tinned pins on the thermostat socket develop just enough contact resistance in our salty air to stop working in about a month (unless I wiggly the thermostat to break the oxide layer).   As a result of the heater failure the cabin got down to well below freezing inside and everything that wasn't winterized froze. 

    Next step is to rip out the fancy thermostat socket and solder directly onto the pins ....  

    Quite hard to find a good wi-fi mV programmable thermostat that can be powered by low voltage DC - most want 24 VAC which implies leaving an inverter on.   In the sun starved PNW winter, even minor always on power draws become hugely significant.

    Offgrid in cloudy PNW

    MacGyver'ed museum collection of panels, castoff batteries and generators - ready for state of art system install ....

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,138 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 19 #11

    You just have to do it right and have fail safes if you are going to leave it on for critical inverter loads. It will shut down to protect itself from being charged below 32F and come back on when it warms up. I have plenty of clients up your way and alot farther N, and they do fine. 

    Below is the dashboard and AES on the Schneider Mobile app. The earnings are based on utility cost if we had a grid-tie.






    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • Graham ParkinsonGraham Parkinson Registered Users Posts: 84 ✭✭
    edited January 19 #12
    Thanks for the assurance about the automatic shutdown Dave, and your screen shots showing your setup with remote monitoring and temperature sensing.

    Discover just announced another Li battery line, the larger "Element":

    "Coming down the line for Discover this summer is its Element battery, a 5 kW LFP battery that can also be placed in a series of 20 and managed by Lynk II.".

    Discover Battery’s rack-ready battery

    Discover Battery has focused on selling its AES lithium battery for five years, but is now introducing a new model with significant enhancements. The new Element battery is less than half the weight of the AES as well as more compact. The company’s upgraded battery management system, the Lynk II, serves as the central communication point between the batteries and inverters.


    Hopefully it has self heating capability to allow continued operations at lower temperatures.


    Offgrid in cloudy PNW

    MacGyver'ed museum collection of panels, castoff batteries and generators - ready for state of art system install ....

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