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Batteries for Solar or RV

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peppercorn
(@peppercorn)
Noble Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 2118
Topic starter  

As you know from my posts of about 2 years ago I road my lead acid batteries down to nothing (literally) , then started building a new bank up with LiFeP04. It was a little over a year ago I bought my first ones at nose bleed high prices of around 1000 Canadian for 1kwhr, then I found a Canadian distributor (last Sept) that started up his business importing directly from China, outside of U.S distribution channels, and his list price for a near equal product (in my opinion) brought my cost down to roughly less than 600 per kwhr (very reasonable). I have used his product in a few instalations now and performance has been flawless. I am not going to name his company on the forum but if someone is interested just PM me and I will give his you his web site.
Of course I also started to investigate ordering individual cells and BMS boards to build up batteries cheaper, I joined some battery forums where the slide rule guys hang out, and learned from them where and who they buy from. If I was just starting out again to build up a battery bank this is the way I would do it simply from a low cost perspective.These links will probably expire as the sellers get in new stock but for the moment they will be good if someone is looking for a product they can trust.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4001240385597.html?spm=2114.12010612.8148356.1.646451c0DZftG2

The above is 3.5 kwhrs for 1000 Canadian, and comes with all the hardware for assembly even the case if you wish. That works out to something like 300 Canadian per 1kwhr...dirt cheap, in fact less than lead acid. You could have a greater than 10kwhr (useable) battery for just a little more than 3000.00. You need a lead acid battery of about 20kwhrs to equally it in performance (because you should not take lead acid down below 50% regularly) If you dont think that is a good deal I suggest you get a price quote for a deep cycle 20kwhr lead acid battery bank!

You just have to add your own BMS and this one should work fine.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000221411094.html?spm=a2g0o.detail.1000014.27.19f27966fcn9eP&gps-id=pcDetailBottomMoreOtherSeller&scm=1007.13338.183347.0&scm_id=1007.13338.183347.0&scm-url=1007.13338.183347.0&pvid=273b898f-9501-473a-b41f-6d3dad1aeed5&_t=gps-id1007.13338.183347.0,pvid668%230%23131923%2358_668%23808%234093%23759_668%23888%233325%2313_3338%230%23183347%230_3338%233142%239890%232_668%232846%238115%23809_668%232717%237563%23505_668%231000022185%231000066055%230_668%233422%2315392%23504

or this one.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000355365324.html?spm=a2g0o.detail.1000014.13.2f9917edJ8zoPt&gps-id=pcDetailBottomMoreOtherSeller&scm=1007.13338.183347.0&scm_id=1007.13338.183347.0&scm-url=1007.13338.183347.0&pvid=005e9b18-9d3b-4e6b-ac3d-b4cbdb98aed5&_t=gps-id1007.13338.183347.0,pvid668%230%23131923%2358_668%23808%234093%23759_668%23888%233325%2313_3338%230%23183347%230_3338%233142%239890%232_668%232846%238115%23809_668%232717%237563%23505_668%231000022185%231000066055%230_668%233422%2315392%23616

I would be going the above way if I was starting out to build up a battery bank, I am not doing so because I already have most all the batteries I could want already, will just add one more next year and then I am good for life with a usable battery bank greater than 12kwhrs, in 15- 20 years from now I should still have about 10kwhrs of useable capacity. Of course I dont think I will be here in 20 years , thats why I can say I have bought my last battery bank. My total cost once I buy my last battery next year will bring in my costs to just shy of 8000.00 dollars. The first 4 I bought at that high price really skewed the costs upward. If I would have bought all my batteries from the new guy who started up I would have only spent 6000.00 total. Such is life, but this is why my green house project is delayed, I had to spend serious coin to resolve my future power needs.

Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.


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peppercorn
(@peppercorn)
Noble Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 2118
Topic starter  

Another advantage of this type of battery composition is that you dont need to buy all your batteries at once, as you should with Lead acid batteries. You can spread your costs out over a few years (a couple in my case) so it stings the wallet less. Its been I think 14-15 months now and no having to top up batteries with distilled water, or checking the cells specific gravity, no having to clean corrosion off the terminals. I dont even have to check on the damn things..they just work with no drama. No off gassing, and no pin holes in my clothes from battery acid.

Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.


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peppercorn
(@peppercorn)
Noble Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 2118
Topic starter  

Arrived today,

Was ordered in spring but we all know how things are late arriving. This is 12.8 volts x 240ahrs = 3072 watthrs or 3kwhrs of storage (fully useable storage). All in cost including shipping from Ontario was 1500.00, so that works out to 500.00 dollars per kwhr of storage. Very reasonable, relatively speaking. I will just be adding one more of these to my system come spring and I will have myself lots of storage.

Edit; 1500.00 just so happens to be the price quote I was given to have a 12x 42 foot cement pad poured for my green house I want to build.

Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.


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peppercorn
(@peppercorn)
Noble Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 2118
Topic starter  

I think its only been 3 days or so since I have added this battery into my bank and what a improvement it is making. My bank in amphrs is now getting large enough that I go to bed with the voltage at 13.2 and get up with the voltage at 13.2. and thats with running 2 freezers stuffed full. I may not wait until spring, and just order my last battery next month while my supplier still has stock. Lead is dead to me, long live Lithium!! (lithium Iron). This is such a game changer!

Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.


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peppercorn
(@peppercorn)
Noble Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 2118
Topic starter  

I have made up my mind, I will order my last one end of the month. I prefer hanging onto cash in eventful times but this performance is just so outstanding that I want to be done and make sure I have all I could ever need. To hell with the world after I get my last one, I will be set power wise for good. My c rate on my bank will be about .1 maybe .15 tops and depth of discharge wont even be 20%, likely just 15% 8 to 9 months of the year, maybe 50% over some long dark winter days during the other 2 to three months of winter. In other words my usage and charge rate will be ideal for this chemistry. As near as I can reasonably figure I should be able to expect somewhere much greater than 7000 cycles ( I am guessing/estimating 7500). This takes me into decades of power security

From the manufacturers web site: Cycle Life: 2000 @ 0.2C (100% DOD), 3,200 @ 0.2C (80% DOD), 5,600 @ 0.2C (50% DOD)

Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.


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scrounger
(@scrounger)
Honorable Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 607
 

Any other tweaks planned for the system? Or the "be nice to have" items.

I reserve the right to be a blowhard. Blaster


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peppercorn
(@peppercorn)
Noble Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 2118
Topic starter  

Any other tweaks planned for the system? Or the "be nice to have" items.

Funny you should mention it. Yes, do to these new type of batteries I am going to dial my system in to be generator free. That was really not practical to do before when I was using lead acid as leaving lead acid batteries only partially charged on over cast days was harmful to there longevity. So I would often run the genny to bring them up to full charge even when I didnt need the power from them but with this chemistry they last longer at a partial state of charge So I can let them drift downward on winter days so long as I just get enough power to replace what I am using I will be fine. To that end I am going to add a charge controller to my 120 Volt water heating DC buss panels and pull about 500 watts off them to add to my battery charging. A extra 500 watts over the shortest winter days (at roughly 5 hours daylight) should net me a extra 2.5kwhrs a day and this should push me into the generator free zone.

Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.


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peppercorn
(@peppercorn)
Noble Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 2118
Topic starter  

%#!@K$?*%# I cant believe it, tried to order my last battery today and my supplier is out of stock already. I have to wait until the next slow boat from China arrives. He says he cant keep them in stock even with the progressively larger orders he places. Kicking myself, I could have got one yesterday, but not today!! FFS

Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.


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peppercorn
(@peppercorn)
Noble Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 2118
Topic starter  

Any other tweaks planned for the system? Or the "be nice to have" items.

And here it is, arrived today.

I dont really like mppt controlers, but demands on my time are such that I have hit the easy button just to get this in place before the snow flies. This is able to take 150vdc (from my water heating panels) and output 40 amps. This is a reasonably priced unit at 245.00 dollars. This is only going to be used in the months from Oct to Jan. This now means I wont be able to have have solar hot water in winter (oct-jan). Another problem to solve.

Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.


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scrounger
(@scrounger)
Honorable Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 607
 

Is it a case of adding more panels to solve hot water issue?

I reserve the right to be a blowhard. Blaster


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Anonymous
(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member Guest
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 11859
 

%#!@K$?*%# I cant believe it, tried to order my last battery today and my supplier is out of stock already. I have to wait until the next slow boat from China arrives. He says he cant keep them in stock even with the progressively larger orders he places. Kicking myself, I could have got one yesterday, but not today!! FFS

I think many of us feel your FFS pain! I certainly do and really, really am ticked at myself. Just really thankful I have what I have and shudder at the thought of how others are situated and now trying to ramp things up.


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peppercorn
(@peppercorn)
Noble Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 2118
Topic starter  

Is it a case of adding more panels to solve hot water issue?

Yes, but. The location of these panels leaves no room for adding more, more could be added elsewhere but other spots are not as ideal (lower to the ground, different angle, shading from trees, etc). I can still get hot water just by firing up the upstairs wood stove so its not like I will be going without, but I am trying to do my whole winter house heating with just the down stairs stove. So I think I might just add a on demand propane heater, or see if I can turn one of these diesel air heaters into a water heater. Lots of people around me are using very simple on demand propane heaters. They love them, They have all mentioned to me the consumption but I cant remember exactly. I bet a 30 pounder of propane would last me through the four months heating hot water, showers mostly.

Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.


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peppercorn
(@peppercorn)
Noble Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 2118
Topic starter  

That controller lasted something like 4 or 5 days before failure. Have I mentioned I really dont like mppt. Another is on the way to replace it. I new it wasnt going to last long, the heat sink was running so hot that I couldnt keep my fingers on it. Bucking down from 100+ volts to 12 is really hard on components, though I used it within its rated specs. I will be installing a fan to keep the replacement cooler.

Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.


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Anonymous
(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member Guest
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 11859
 

That controller lasted something like 4 or 5 days before failure. Have I mentioned I really dont like mppt. Another is on the way to replace it. I new it wasnt going to last long, the heat sink was running so hot that I couldnt keep my fingers on it. Bucking down from 100+ volts to 12 is really hard on components, though I used it within its rated specs. I will be installing a fan to keep the replacement cooler.

Question, what are the issues in running an inverter for some of the quirky items that give you pain, if stepping things down is hard and likely costly, why not small inverters to handle certain tasks? Also, as 120 V parts are more available, would it not be more feasible to install large inverters for most household equipment and perhaps leave 12v for lights and other low draw items?

If I build again, I really would like to go solar for almost everything. I have a great spot in mind For sun and close to two thousand foot driveway, so bringing in hydro will be expensive ( also runs on a rock ledge so no simple drilling into loose soil 😡


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peppercorn
(@peppercorn)
Noble Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 2118
Topic starter  

I think you miss understood, or I just wasnt clear. My inverter did not fail, just my new charge control that takes my high voltage DC that is used for water heating and bucks the high voltage Dc down and the current up, failed. Picture on the previous page.

Regarding your question about inverters or 12 volt loads like lights. I have found it best to not use any low voltage dc loads, just not worth the trouble. just use a single inverter running off your batteries to power up your house like normal.

Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.


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