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#1 Jack

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Posted 31 July 2020 - 11:52 PM

Anyone had experience with the LifePo4Blue battery?

 

I'm looking at upgrading my AGMs to lithium. My two Full Rivers just barely fit - BattleBorn and Victron won't fit (at 200aH) in my Fleet front dinette.

 

I've probably got a year or two more on my AGMs, but lithium is likely to outlast me, so why not upgrade now?


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#2 PaulT

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 04:01 AM

No experience with the LiFePO4Blue but I have two Battleborn GC2 batteries in the same place where the two facrtory AGM batteries were located. A little tight in that I had to remove the ~1/2" square wooden spacer at the base of the leading battery to shoehorn them into the space on my Hawk. 

 

For a small offroad trailer I bought as a mobile mother in law apartment, I purchased a Lion Energy Safari UT 1300 from Costco online. This battery is LiFePo4 in a group 24 size package which is the same size as the factory AGM. I have had it only a few months but it has performed well and has a 105 aH capacity.  It was also several hundred dollars less than the Battleborn.

 

I went with the LiFePO4 batteries as it seems that they will outlast me and the camper.

 

Paul

 


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#3 Zirdu

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 01:03 PM

I just purchased the 200 AH low temp LifeBlue battery and am in the process of installing it. It came via fed-ex and was VERY well packaged, in about 4 inches of firm foam all around.  Shipped from Starlite Solar in Yuma, AZ.  

 

They were out of stock on the 200 AH low temp batteries for a while, and just got these new ones in.  They are slightly different than the old ones - The new ones have slightly different dimension than stated on their web site.  Length is 20 inches from end tab to end tab, rather than 19 inches. If you had to you could cut these off to make it 19 inches, but I don't think I will have to. Also the terminals stick up above the nominal battery height, rather than being recessed as in the old model.  I think it will still fit perfectly into the battery box in my Grandby, which is one reason I chose this battery.

 

Finally, this new battery has a data port on the top, and a reset button.  Don't know what these are for and they don't say in their literature.  Probably for the seller to test the battery?  


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#4 rando

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 02:57 PM

Jack, you seem pretty electrically handy based on your other posts.   Have you considered building your own LiFePO4 battery?

 

There are some very inexpensive bare LiFePO4 cells that have come on the market recently:

https://www.alibaba.....96e2450fqQiVhQ

 

$580 for 280 Ah delivered.    Add another $100 - $200 for a BMS, wiring, box and you have a 280Ah battery for about 1/4 the price of BB, Victron etc.  The other nice thing is that you can arrange the cells to fit the space you have.


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#5 CoreyTrevor

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 06:10 PM

Another benefit with the LiFePO4 is that you won't need nearly as many amp-hours as what has been working for you with lead acid, because you can draw them down to 20% SOC or less without harming them.

 

You probably already know this.


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#6 PaulT

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 06:47 PM

Jack, you seem pretty electrically handy based on your other posts.   Have you considered building your own LiFePO4 battery?

 

There are some very inexpensive bare LiFePO4 cells that have come on the market recently:

https://www.alibaba.....96e2450fqQiVhQ

 

$580 for 280 Ah delivered.    Add another $100 - $200 for a BMS, wiring, box and you have a 280Ah battery for about 1/4 the price of BB, Victron etc.  The other nice thing is that you can arrange the cells to fit the space you have.

rando,

Their website listing is confusing. On the title line, it reads 4pcs but in the pricing section it reads 1 pcs and the voltage reads 3.2v for the $330.68 price. The images show 4 units in various configurations.

 

Anyway, not having bought from them, is this just imperfect English or how do you tell that you are getting 4 prismatic cells to create a nominal 12.8v by 280 aH battery from the website?

 

Thanks,

Paul


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#7 rando

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 08:05 PM

It is a little confusing.   The item for sale is 4 cells 3.2v @280 Ah.    If you buy one item, you get 4 cells.   The 4 cell assembled in series gives you 280 Ah at 12.8V.   I have some friends who have ordered these for their Westy campers, and you do get what is advertised after a 3-5 week wait, and the specs at least initially seem to check out. 

 

It makes you realize how incredibly overpriced battle born and the like are. 


Edited by rando, 01 August 2020 - 08:06 PM.

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#8 Jack

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 03:04 AM

rando, I had seen Alibaba cells a couple of months ago when I started looking for LiFePO4s, but a quick search at that time did not turn up much on people's experience with them - and no luck at that time on the kind of BMS I wanted. A new search turned up your 2017 post and I found a BMS from Overkill Solar on Amazon (packaged, all the protections and Bluetooth for settings and data, including SoC). Getting SoC from the BMS saves the cost of a new battery monitor. Our old Nasa Clipper only knows about AGMs, though it still gives a good read out of V & A: https://www.amazon.c...h/dp/B088JYDKMR

So I'm taking a second look. Do you have any links to DIY articles (like your own), sources for battery boxes, links to other similar BMSs?

 

280aH is a nice capacity - equivalent to about double our current Full River 224 AGMs. Our stock 160 W panel has done us well for all of the FWC equipment but when we add our electronic toys, we are only good for about 6 days in Saline Valley before we get down to about 50% SoC. I'm also looking at more panels (Pacific NW in the winter), but that means replacing the heavy Zamp with lighter weight panels. With a 280 aH liFePO4, I may not need to get more panel power.


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#9 pollux

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 03:22 AM

this guy's youtube channel has instructions how to DIY a lithium battery

 

https://youtu.be/vTFLuKjvUQw


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#10 rando

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 02:13 PM

I don't have a favorite DIY article, there really wasn't much info out there when we I did this in 2017, which is why I wrote a long post about it.

 

That said, there really isn't that much to it, particularly when using 4 prismatic cells as opposed to 120 cylindrical cells.  You need the following:

 

1. The cells (what ever capacity you want).

2. Bus bars to connect the cells - the cell manufacturer often sells these, but if not some 1" aluminium flat bar with holes drilled at the correct spacing will work. 

3. The BMS.  The one from overkill solar will work, but it looks like a rebranding of these, which are cheaper, and is what I am using:

100A BMS with bluetooth. The digram in the overkill solar ad pretty much tells you all you need to know about wiring this up.

4. Some sort of connection for the battery, either a pair of heavy duty screw terminals, or something like a high current Anderson connector. 

5. You don't necessarily need a box, but you do need to at least clamp the cells to prevent them from swelling.   I don't know of anyone who sells a pre-made box, but it would be a simple wood working project.    If you just want to clamp the cells, then you need two end plates slightly larger than the large face on the batteries, and four sections of threaded rod to provide the clamping force:

LFP-200Ah.jpg

Image from http://nordkyndesign...ine-house-bank/ , which seems to be a pretty good resource. 

 

 


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