Should I invest in Lithium?

Discussion about pairing third-party batteries with OutBack equipment
Shadow_Storm56
Forum Czar
Posts: 565
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:29 pm
My RE system: Solar panels, charge controllers , outback radian inverter.

Re: Should I invest in Lithium?

Post by Shadow_Storm56 »

raysun wrote: Mon Nov 08, 2021 9:45 am
JRHill wrote: Mon Nov 08, 2021 9:11 am Hoping to get an update from Jayne and her decision. I'm also hoping to move on from this humidity thing to her tuning the system. Will it be another 10 page thread? (wink)
Depends on whether folks stick to the subject of the OP. That doesn't seem to be a discipline here.
I looked at simplify the other day since you mention it alot. appears to be about $5000 canadain for one 48v 3.8kw battery. So in my case if I wanted to replace my lead acid bank someday it would be about $20,000 which I could replace my lead acid bank 4x for that....

Please tell me I am looking at a bad dealer with a huge price markup because that seems insane for anyone to buy
Shadow_Storm56
Forum Czar
Posts: 565
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:29 pm
My RE system: Solar panels, charge controllers , outback radian inverter.

Re: Should I invest in Lithium?

Post by Shadow_Storm56 »

Jayne wrote: Sat Nov 06, 2021 7:41 am Hi All,

I have an off grid setup in the jungle in Western Mexico. Hot, rainy nights and humid in the summer, Hot no rain and slightly less humid in the winter.

My panels are in a clearing of the trees but certainly have shading issues, and the outback system and batteries are housed in a small concrete shed nearby.

The AGM batteries we installed with the system 3 years ago are dead. Have gone to using the best 4 of the original 8 and they don't even last the night. My generator is on every day.

I had pretty much decided to bite the bullet and move to lithium until a local guy in Puerto Vallarta warned me that the humidity could kill the lithium batteries in a year and that wouldn't be covered under warrantee.

Is there anyone here who lives in a sub-tropical environment and has any experience with Lithium dying due to humidity?

Also any recommendations of what batteries I should get (Lithium or otherwise) would be much appreciated.

Many thanks!

Jayne
Agm are the least durable of any lead acid battery, no way to tell if a cell is bad or if something is outta balance... can't really equalize it..... even gel cells seem to do better. If you can afford it I would go lithium but your humidity issue is gunna cause corrosion but it'll do that on any battery or electronics regardless of the type of battery. Considering the acid it would probably be worse in lead acid batteries, just buy yourself a few gallons of dielectric greese
JRHill
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2296
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:12 am
My RE system: VFXR3648, FM80, 3k panels, Mate3s, FNDC, 4ea 3.8 PHIs. EU7000is AGS. X240 with big Bertha way off in the shop. Off grid.
Location: PNW
Contact:

Re: Should I invest in Lithium?

Post by JRHill »

What about the bigbattery and humidity? Tough to find a Rubbermaid box to contain that critter.
jainsw
Forum Guru
Posts: 409
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:54 am
My RE system: My setup is a 48v system and is comprised of the following components:
12-ES190 Evergreen solar panels-pole mount non-auto tracking, 4 220 Volt GE panels fixed mount
12-Hanwha Q Peak 300watt panels
1-Outback FM60 PV Charge controller 60a MPPT, 12-60 vdc. 60a output
1-Outback FM80 PV CC, 80a MPPT
1-Outback VFX3648 3.6kw, 120vac output
1-Mate3s with OpticsRE
1-Outback Hub
1-Outback FNDC
7-SimpliPhi 3.8-48v-75Ah Lithium batteries

Re: Should I invest in Lithium?

Post by jainsw »

Jayne, I looked at Big Battery as an alternative to my replacement of my FLA bank. There were some horrifying reviews on their site as well as on the internet, so buyer beware. I could have saved over half of what I paid for the SimpliPhi bank I bought by purchasing the Big Battery. However, we are completely off grid and experimenting with unproven batteries is just not a luxury I can endure. Also, as Jim pointed out above, with smaller incremental units, if you have one failure, you can still operate on the others while you are getting a replacement as opposed to having one large unit. The same would apply if I wanted to increase my storage, adding another battery to the bank is fairly easy to do if the units are smaller. Best wishes on whatever you decide to do.
Darwould
Forum Member
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:12 pm
My RE system: 4000 Watt Off Grid System
FN-DC, FM80, VFXR3648A, Mate3
400AH NC Batteries at 48 volts
Soon to move to 4- SimpliPhi 3.8
12 350W Solar Panels (2X6)
With Tigo Optiimizers due to shading
Yamaha 6500i Generator for cloudy days
Location: Canada. System in Nyarit, MX

Re: Should I invest in Lithium?

Post by Darwould »

I like the thought of two of their 170 Ah packs...for redundancy.... good suggestions. I do believe if they arrive in one piece and are well put together they would work fine in Jayne's application. They have some good features, but not sealed very well if humidity is to be kept out...so would need some aftermarket sealing, or put in a larger sealed box.

My Head is full of BigBattery Youtube reviews and tests, which are generally positive. Some are offering a discount link, which makes one wonder how biased they are.
However there are a couple of red flags. One is the BigBattery facebook pages. The front page sounds good.. but the facebook reviews are all terrible with no response except a very old one from BigBattery: https://www.facebook.com/BigBatteryInc/reviews/.
The other red flag is all the reviews on BB's website are 5/5. Looks like anyone commenting with lower scale didn't make it!... and there are always people who find that whatever they buy is not quite suitable for their application, even if it is a good product.... where are their comments?
The problem with reviews is whether they are real or not, and whether they have been influenced by either really good performance, or something defective or not shipped properly. People who buy things and are just generally satisfied don't usually bother to post a review... they just use the product.

With the added problems of freight and customs into Mexico making returns and warranties difficult ...Choosing these looks like a bad idea.
This is balanced by the guy Jayne has found locally who has installed BB batteries in Mexico and has found them to be good, and is available for setup. There would be only two battery systems to fail instead of four.
Unfortunately when one is depending on the batteries day to day in the middle of the Jungle they have to be reliable.

There seems to be an upswell of battery assemblers as the LiFePO4 batteries become more mainstream.
I've even ordered four cheap cells and a bms from China to play with in my tent trailer.
And no...I'm not planning a road trip to Mexico. Been there, done that... 4300 km from door to door one way.
Jayne's Dad.
Darwould
Forum Member
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:12 pm
My RE system: 4000 Watt Off Grid System
FN-DC, FM80, VFXR3648A, Mate3
400AH NC Batteries at 48 volts
Soon to move to 4- SimpliPhi 3.8
12 350W Solar Panels (2X6)
With Tigo Optiimizers due to shading
Yamaha 6500i Generator for cloudy days
Location: Canada. System in Nyarit, MX

Re: Should I invest in Lithium?

Post by Darwould »

wrote:
I looked at simplify the other day since you mention it alot. appears to be about $5000 canadain for one 48v 3.8kw battery. So in my case if I wanted to replace my lead acid bank someday it would be about $20,000 which I could replace my lead acid bank 4x for that....

Please tell me I am looking at a bad dealer with a huge price markup because that seems insane for anyone to buy
Jayne has had a quote just over $2200 USD and I see lots advertized at a hundred dollars more in the USA... so even with our ridiculous exchange and gst and freight should be just over $3000 CAD... I saw some ridiculous Canadian pricing. Seems like solar guys here want to make their fortune on only a few customers. Canadian Government is offering up to $5000 CAD subsidy at $1000 per Kw capacity of a solar system, so that could help.
raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 7191
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
6 SimpliPhi 3.8-48 (48v @ 75AH. 450AH total)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
REC Alpha 440W panels - 2 arrays: each of 4 strings of 2 in series
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Should I invest in Lithium?

Post by raysun »

I don't hesitate to recommend SimpliPhi. They are well made, have a track record of trouble-free operation, are well documented for integration with Outback products and are used by a good number of knowledgeable users here. They are also entirely proprietary.

I may have reservations about BigBattery - they are nothing special - but that may be an advantage in the jungle.

A 170AH @ 48V battery is 16 series 170AH cells. This is one of the most common large capacity prismatic cells out there. BigBattery isn't buying some special-design cell here, they're buying (hopefully Class A) cells in large lots, that with a little sleuthing, anyone could buy off Alibaba.

Same with the BMS. Even if the firmware is burned with the BigBattery logo, its doubtful any of the rest of the binary is proprietary in any way. If the BMS goes up in smoke, finding a replacement isn't that challenging.

All the above field replacement is predicated on BB being gone with the wind. The ideal is they'd have a repair agreement with someone in Mexico.

TBH, anyone with a screwdriver, ratchet wrench, and the sense not to short battery terminals could service one of these.

There's a lot to be said for buying equipment in-country. I was planning on making the Phi purchase, but the timing was entirely dictated by my distributor sitting on 4 pallets of them (for one customer!) and was willing to peel off 6 blocks for me.

With two 170AH @ 48V battery modules, getting a dead one replaced/resurrected is a pain, but not a calamity.

Changing subjects. When it comes to enclosing these (or any) lithium battery in a container, the modules need not be installed "on their feet". Any orientation that permits the cabling to be properly routed is fine.
Last edited by raysun on Sun Dec 05, 2021 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Shadow_Storm56
Forum Czar
Posts: 565
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:29 pm
My RE system: Solar panels, charge controllers , outback radian inverter.

Re: Should I invest in Lithium?

Post by Shadow_Storm56 »

Darwould wrote: Sun Dec 05, 2021 4:00 pm
wrote:
I looked at simplify the other day since you mention it alot. appears to be about $5000 canadain for one 48v 3.8kw battery. So in my case if I wanted to replace my lead acid bank someday it would be about $20,000 which I could replace my lead acid bank 4x for that....

Please tell me I am looking at a bad dealer with a huge price markup because that seems insane for anyone to buy
Jayne has had a quote just over $2200 USD and I see lots advertized at a hundred dollars more in the USA... so even with our ridiculous exchange and gst and freight should be just over $3000 CAD... I saw some ridiculous Canadian pricing. Seems like solar guys here want to make their fortune on only a few customers. Canadian Government is offering up to $5000 CAD subsidy at $1000 per Kw capacity of a solar system, so that could help.
$3000 per battery is still alot but definitely cheaper than $5000
Shadow_Storm56
Forum Czar
Posts: 565
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:29 pm
My RE system: Solar panels, charge controllers , outback radian inverter.

Re: Should I invest in Lithium?

Post by Shadow_Storm56 »

jainsw wrote: Sun Dec 05, 2021 1:59 pm Jayne, I looked at Big Battery as an alternative to my replacement of my FLA bank. There were some horrifying reviews on their site as well as on the internet, so buyer beware. I could have saved over half of what I paid for the SimpliPhi bank I bought by purchasing the Big Battery. However, we are completely off grid and experimenting with unproven batteries is just not a luxury I can endure. Also, as Jim pointed out above, with smaller incremental units, if you have one failure, you can still operate on the others while you are getting a replacement as opposed to having one large unit. The same would apply if I wanted to increase my storage, adding another battery to the bank is fairly easy to do if the units are smaller. Best wishes on whatever you decide to do.
Reviews are odd somtimes, if people only leave reviews when somthing goes wrong then it'll be scary. I have seen videos of the big battery setups that worked really well.... although none of them reviewed lifespan so idk if that's good or bad...

Simplify is proven but you pay for the proof, the quality may not be that much more. In my opinion it comes down to how much money you have available, if you can afford the Simplify then why not? You know your good to go!

Warranty is important too, fun fact a warrenty is 👍 but a garentee means nothing besides a cool marketing trick. Who has the best Warranty and the longest?
User avatar
Jayne
Forum Whiz
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:12 am
My RE system: Off-Grid
12 x 350W solar panels (4200 kW)
Mate3s
HUB comms manager
FlexPower FP1 FXR 3648 A 1 3.6KW 120V AC INVERTER
FlexMax FM80 CHARGE CONTROLLER
FlexNet DC
8 x 200AH BATTERIES Nano Carbon @48v (Down to 4 now as they are dying one by one)
Location: Nayarit, Mexico
Contact:

Re: Should I invest in Lithium?

Post by Jayne »

sodamo wrote: Sun Dec 05, 2021 12:50 pm
A thought.
Any chance you could get someone to get the Phis in US and transport to you (Dad visit)?
I have been trying to find someone to do just this for me, but it's a big ask - those batteries are heavy and I want 4 of them. Dad's in Canada - too far for a mule run unfortunately!
Darwould
Forum Member
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:12 pm
My RE system: 4000 Watt Off Grid System
FN-DC, FM80, VFXR3648A, Mate3
400AH NC Batteries at 48 volts
Soon to move to 4- SimpliPhi 3.8
12 350W Solar Panels (2X6)
With Tigo Optiimizers due to shading
Yamaha 6500i Generator for cloudy days
Location: Canada. System in Nyarit, MX

Re: Should I invest in Lithium?

Post by Darwould »

Just ran across a well written article on how to keep your
Lifepo4 batteries happy... good explanation on how they work. At least a 15 min. Read. https://www.solacity.com/how-to-keep-li ... ies-happy/
raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 7191
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
6 SimpliPhi 3.8-48 (48v @ 75AH. 450AH total)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
REC Alpha 440W panels - 2 arrays: each of 4 strings of 2 in series
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Should I invest in Lithium?

Post by raysun »

That's a classic post. The observations and suggestions have aged fairly well.

In practice, the only suggestion I take exception to implementing is "Dont charge to 100%, if you don't have to." Its good advice. Charging to 100% is generally considered hard on the battery. However, in practice in a typical renewable energy system, it either means "gimmicking" the charge parameters to end charging synthetically, or manually intervening to cut off charging at some point less than 100%.

Long term, both leave the battery in an indeterminate state of charge. Using voltage to estimate SoC requires taking the battery out out of circuit for an extended period. Hardly practical for an off-grid system. Coloumb counting is the preferred monitoring method, but requires regular meter syncing (at 100% SoC.)

If the battery has sufficient reserves, a certain meter inaccuracy can be tolerated for extended periods. I've gone as long as 21 days, others longer.

I don't fret about reaching 100% SoC. If solar charging gets there, fine. If not, also fine. We tend to use 40% or less of our battery capacity overnight, so I add 10% to consumption/meter inaccuracy "overhead" and shoot for 70% SoC at the end of the day.

The lowest our battery has been is 28%, so PSoC operation has, in practice, been easy to manage without manipulation.

Should the SoC drop low enough to need further charging using the generator, we typically put only enough charge into the battery to get through to the next solar charging cycle. No sense in putting in more than necessary and wasting future photons. For example, if its 4 in the afternoon, and the battery is at 50% SoC, I'll charge it to 70% and call it good. If its a rainy day and there's not much PV charging to be had, and I fire up the generator early, I might charge to 80%. (I don't use AGS. Those who do likely maintain their battery at an even lower SoC with smaller charging increments.)

BTW, since changing out the battery for lithium, generator use has dropped 80%.
JRHill
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2296
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:12 am
My RE system: VFXR3648, FM80, 3k panels, Mate3s, FNDC, 4ea 3.8 PHIs. EU7000is AGS. X240 with big Bertha way off in the shop. Off grid.
Location: PNW
Contact:

Re: Should I invest in Lithium?

Post by JRHill »

raysun wrote: Wed Dec 08, 2021 9:02 am (1) In practice, the only suggestion I take exception to implementing is "Dont charge to 100%, if you don't have to." Its good advice. Charging to 100% is generally considered hard on the battery. However, in practice in a typical renewable energy system, it either means "gimmicking" the charge parameters to end charging synthetically, or manually intervening to cut off charging at some point less than 100%.

Long term, both leave the battery in an indeterminate state of charge. Using voltage to estimate SoC requires taking the battery out out of circuit for an extended period. Hardly practical for an off-grid system. Coloumb counting is the preferred monitoring method, but requires regular meter syncing (at 100% SoC.)

(2) BTW, since changing out the battery for lithium, generator use has dropped 80%.
First, a very good doc for both tech and non-tech folks.

1: Originally I installed three 3.8 PHIs. I was astounded. I added a fourth and reconfigured a few months later (2x2 all parallel). I actually got the FNDC to dial in on numbers below 100% and reset the Days Since Parameters Met. I wanted to stay in that zone between Max and Min charging for a bazillion years of life. One would think that having the parameters met all was good. What I found out is that it was a moving target. But as Mr. Raysun loves to say "If you lie to it, it will lie to you." Shortly after I went with the fourth PHI and it wasn't long before I went to 56.4 on solar charge. Yup, I charge them to max when solar is available.

2: I did achieve a goal plus some. The goal was to have one generator warm up and run per day in the winter. I have that and some. Night before last I was pooped and didn't run the generator and the weather was heavy overcast with 1.2kWh solar for the day. The next morning the taped over Battery Status light was on and I was at 41%. We had to to gone for the day (1.4kWh solar) so I ran the genset for an hour early and a bit more when getting back home:
Dec7-21.png
We went to sleep early and in the morning we were at 62%. Darn, I appreciate these batteries. No full charge plus Absorb needed. Yup, I over did the total battery capacity a bit for our use. I have satisfied a goal of one gen run a day and even further. But in the process satisfied a longer goal and that is for a system that is easily managed. That longer goal could not be achieved to my liking with lead.

The article is correct about the original cost. That hurt. I can't remember the exact quote but its something like "The good feeling of low price is soon forgotten but the lower performance stays with you much longer." If you can swing it I couldn't speak more highly of what LFP has meant in this household.
Darwould
Forum Member
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:12 pm
My RE system: 4000 Watt Off Grid System
FN-DC, FM80, VFXR3648A, Mate3
400AH NC Batteries at 48 volts
Soon to move to 4- SimpliPhi 3.8
12 350W Solar Panels (2X6)
With Tigo Optiimizers due to shading
Yamaha 6500i Generator for cloudy days
Location: Canada. System in Nyarit, MX

Re: Should I invest in Lithium?

Post by Darwould »

Just a quick note to update this thread....Jayne has ordered 4 Simpliphi 3.8 batteries which are sitting in Texas awaiting shipment to Mexico in a few days after a couple of other items are sorted. She has bought a plastic tote to put them in along with dessicant and the Govee remote temperature/ humidity monitor to keep relative humidity down. Meanwhile struggling with present batteries which need an hour of generator around midnite to keep the lights on. ... Generator control circuit has intermittent fault that has been hard to pin down. Dad Alan.
Attachments
IMG-20220104-WA0002.jpg
raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 7191
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
6 SimpliPhi 3.8-48 (48v @ 75AH. 450AH total)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
REC Alpha 440W panels - 2 arrays: each of 4 strings of 2 in series
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Should I invest in Lithium?

Post by raysun »

In anticipation of the new battery arrival:

• SimpliPhi stresses exact cable impedance to each battery block. This usually means professionally fabricated cables attached from each unit to a positive and negative battery bus bar. It sounds like these parallel battery-busbar connections would be best made inside the "battery box" if there's room. From there, a single set of cables attaches into the FlexPower panel, as now.

A pair of these would do the trick:
https://www.solar-electric.com/victron- ... inals.html

I use these folks for custom battery cables:
https://www.batterycablesusa.com

Silicone Dialectic Grease is very useful for keeping connections from corroding in hostile environments:
https://www.amazon.com/Permatex-22058-D ... B000AL8VD2

• Each battery block is equipped with an integrated circuit breaker. No need for additional protection devices.
User avatar
Jayne
Forum Whiz
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:12 am
My RE system: Off-Grid
12 x 350W solar panels (4200 kW)
Mate3s
HUB comms manager
FlexPower FP1 FXR 3648 A 1 3.6KW 120V AC INVERTER
FlexMax FM80 CHARGE CONTROLLER
FlexNet DC
8 x 200AH BATTERIES Nano Carbon @48v (Down to 4 now as they are dying one by one)
Location: Nayarit, Mexico
Contact:

Re: Should I invest in Lithium?

Post by Jayne »

I've ordered 8 identical cables from the guys I'm buying the batteries from (Powerstore) - my plan is to hook them together by stacking them on a bolt.

Unfortunately I don't have the lovely selection of online buying options you have - it's very difficult to get anything delivered to Mexico.

Do I put dielectric grease on all exposed metal? so battery terminals, ends of cables etc?

Thank you all for your support! It's so very helpful.
raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 7191
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
6 SimpliPhi 3.8-48 (48v @ 75AH. 450AH total)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
REC Alpha 440W panels - 2 arrays: each of 4 strings of 2 in series
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Should I invest in Lithium?

Post by raysun »

my plan is to hook them together by stacking them on a bolt
Hmmm. OK...

Make sure its stainless steel fastener hardware, and that each ring terminal on the cable ends lies flat and makes full contact. It might be worth slipping a stainless flat washer between each ring terminal surface so the contact areas are equal. Use a flat washer, lock washer, and nut to secure the stack.

Dialectric grease on all exposed metal, and all contact areas will help keep them from oxidizing and corroding.
JRHill
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2296
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:12 am
My RE system: VFXR3648, FM80, 3k panels, Mate3s, FNDC, 4ea 3.8 PHIs. EU7000is AGS. X240 with big Bertha way off in the shop. Off grid.
Location: PNW
Contact:

Re: Should I invest in Lithium?

Post by JRHill »

raysun wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 3:18 pm
my plan is to hook them together by stacking them on a bolt
Dialectric grease on all exposed metal, and all contact areas will help keep them from oxidizing and corroding.
Yup ^^^^

On Amazon you can order the bolts, washers and nuts in brass. But with lithium I've seen no corrosion. But still use the dilectric grease on everything, everything, including your hub and connections esp in your hot and humid environment.

Jayne, I think you will be really happy with the PHIs. Next step is to get your system tuned. Raysun can do a wind sail to the east. He can hop a sea turtle for the return trip.
raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 7191
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
6 SimpliPhi 3.8-48 (48v @ 75AH. 450AH total)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
REC Alpha 440W panels - 2 arrays: each of 4 strings of 2 in series
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Should I invest in Lithium?

Post by raysun »

Brass works too.
pss
Forum Czar
Posts: 961
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:40 am
My RE system: 8330 watts in three strings, Flexmax 60 x 3, Radian 8048A, GSLC load center, Mate 3S, Hub 10.3, FN-DC and 900 Amp, 48V Trojan T105-RE battery bank.

Re: Should I invest in Lithium?

Post by pss »

The answer to the investment question is yes if buying land near the Salton Sea. Or NO if you haven't already installed a proper reverse osmosis water system with UV sterilizer in your home, a UV sterilizer in your home duct work and an electrostatic air filtration system too to incinerate every particle that is sucked in.
Darwould
Forum Member
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:12 pm
My RE system: 4000 Watt Off Grid System
FN-DC, FM80, VFXR3648A, Mate3
400AH NC Batteries at 48 volts
Soon to move to 4- SimpliPhi 3.8
12 350W Solar Panels (2X6)
With Tigo Optiimizers due to shading
Yamaha 6500i Generator for cloudy days
Location: Canada. System in Nyarit, MX

Re: Should I invest in Lithium?

Post by Darwould »

Good news... Phi batteries are shipped and on their way to the Jungle! (see Photo)
Picture 2.jpg
raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 7191
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
6 SimpliPhi 3.8-48 (48v @ 75AH. 450AH total)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
REC Alpha 440W panels - 2 arrays: each of 4 strings of 2 in series
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Should I invest in Lithium?

Post by raysun »

¡Hurra!

We can't wait for the new arrival!
User avatar
Jayne
Forum Whiz
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:12 am
My RE system: Off-Grid
12 x 350W solar panels (4200 kW)
Mate3s
HUB comms manager
FlexPower FP1 FXR 3648 A 1 3.6KW 120V AC INVERTER
FlexMax FM80 CHARGE CONTROLLER
FlexNet DC
8 x 200AH BATTERIES Nano Carbon @48v (Down to 4 now as they are dying one by one)
Location: Nayarit, Mexico
Contact:

Re: Should I invest in Lithium?

Post by Jayne »

Four Simpliphi 3.8 48v Batteries should arrive at a warehouse in the nearest city to me on Friday (this is Mexico so no guarantees). I'm excited but also nervous about getting everything right! No friendly neighbourhood installers in the jungle so I'm doing this all by myself.

I really like the idea of setting all the outback system back to factory defaults and starting from scratch (because over the past year or more we've messed with so many settings trying to get the current dying batteries to perform that I've lost track). Any reason that I shouldn't do a complete factory reset?

I've been testing my anti-humidity device in the box I bought and it keeps it under 80% RH - so now I'm just hoping the batteries fit in the box perfectly.

Any advice in what order I should do the set up? What guides, forum threads, videos and websites should I read? Are there any special considerations or equipment I need?
raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 7191
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
6 SimpliPhi 3.8-48 (48v @ 75AH. 450AH total)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
REC Alpha 440W panels - 2 arrays: each of 4 strings of 2 in series
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Should I invest in Lithium?

Post by raysun »

Jayne wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 4:56 am Four Simpliphi 3.8 48v Batteries should arrive at a warehouse in the nearest city to me on Friday (this is Mexico so no guarantees). I'm excited but also nervous about getting everything right! No friendly neighbourhood installers in the jungle so I'm doing this all by myself.
Christmas in January! Excited and a bit nervous are to be expected. The great thing is getting everything right is simpler than it might seem.
I really like the idea of setting all the outback system back to factory defaults and starting from scratch (because over the past year or more we've messed with so many settings trying to get the current dying batteries to perform that I've lost track). Any reason that I shouldn't do a complete factory reset?
There's no harm in starting from system defaults. I'm not sure what a "complete factory reset" would entail, however. It might be helpful to list each piece of equipment, and what resetting it might involve.

In my mind, the #1 time suck will be resetting the Mate, especially if the wizard is invoked. Again, no harm in doing it, but afterward, you should walk through every parameter to make sure they are all set correctly anyway.

Since what's being changed out is the battery, the main parameters to adjust are battery charging and monitoring parameters.

I'd suggest doing any reset operation on the existing battery, setting it up to its original specs, ahead of installing the Phis.
I've been testing my anti-humidity device in the box I bought and it keeps it under 80% RH - so now I'm just hoping the batteries fit in the box perfectly.
Good for the RH target.
Any advice in what order I should do the set up? What guides, forum threads, videos and websites should I read? Are there any special considerations or equipment I need?
For all the high drama of spending a fortune on a battery, the actual commissioning is going to seem just a little anti-climactic in retrospect.

If not done already, download the SimpliPhi documents. Start with the SimpliPhi / Outback Integration guide.

There's lots of threads on this forum re.: SimpliPhi, but most of them are too long and convoluted to be useful for a simple install. I know, I wrote about half the random BS myself.

I'll try to dig up some of the salient material and cross post the text, or links, here. Also, I'll take a crack at the battety setup and commissioning sequence - in a separate comment on this thread.

In regards to commissioning, the battery will need to be fully charged before first use. There should be no load on the battery during the commissioning charge. That pretty much means generator/inverter charging will be involved (with a solar charging assist, if convenient.) If like mine, the battery will come about 70% charged, so about 90 - 100AH will be put in during commissioning.

As far as tools go, the most special tool would be a torque wrench in the proper range, the torque value is listed in the SimpliPhi installation guides.

** Comment on a question you didn't ask **
Please don't lose sleep over this, and I may be just a tad overcautious here, but the planned method of tying together the parallel battery cables leaves me with a slight case of heartburn. SimpliPhi stresses making the connections electrically identical because small variations in voltage and amperage matter with lithium, more in some ways than with your nanocarbon VRLAs.

"Pancake stacking" the battery cable ring terminals onto a bolt will get close to electrically identical, but won't be exactly electrically identical. Close is great in a game of Horseshoes, or Hand Grenades, but it leaves a bit to be desired in battery circuits.

Please don't "freak out" at my observation here. In the near term, the effects will be inconsequential. The long term may be another story.

For the immediate installation, two considerations:
• Make sure each ring terminal has an equal contact area - front and back (actually obverse and reverse faces). Stacking the ring terminals themselves, face-to-face may take some slightly tricky orientation to assure they are laying flat to each other. (I envision the cables in sort of a star arrangement.) Play with the connection method before attaching to the battery blocks. The terminals should lay flat without forcing or deforming them. The ring terminals at the bolt head and at the nut end should have flat washers between themselves and the fasteners. The nut end should be ring terminal - flat washer - lock washer - nut, in that order. The terminal at the nut end might need to be "flipped over" so the flat and flush reverse face is in contact with the flat washer.

• In order to encourage "parallelism" to the greatest degree, I suggest having the cable that goes from the bolt to the equipment panel in the center of the stack, with two of the bolt-to-battery cables stacked on either side of it. That will help balance the impedance variation just a bit more.

Torque the bolt to a spec commensurate to its diameter and composition (don't overtighten). Check the torque after 10 hours of use, then after 50 hours. Every 6 months after that. Current through the stack will tend to micro-heat (and micro-cool) the terminals, causing them to expand and contract, "working" the connection, and possibly loosening it.

As mentioned, this connection strategy (using the bolt) will have little consequence in the near term. Long term, it may lead to small imbalances in charge and discharge between the 4 battery blocks. The saving grace is the LiFePo4 cells could scarcely care less, as long as the imbalance is not so great that some cells discharge fully. Keeping the discharge floor to 20% SoC (or above) keeps that risk at bay.

At some point in the next year or so, it would be to your benefit (for peace of mind), and your battery's benefit, to swap out the "MacGyver" bolt connector for a legit battery bus bar.

Just my $0.02
Last edited by raysun on Sat Jan 15, 2022 9:06 am, edited 9 times in total.
raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 7191
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
6 SimpliPhi 3.8-48 (48v @ 75AH. 450AH total)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
REC Alpha 440W panels - 2 arrays: each of 4 strings of 2 in series
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Should I invest in Lithium?

Post by raysun »

Phi Docs:

Outback Integration Guide
https://simpliphipower.com/wp-content/u ... -guide.pdf

Install and Owners Manual
https://simpliphipower.com/wp-content/u ... manual.pdf

Warranty
(they actually put tech specs in the warrany doc.)
https://simpliphipower.com/wp-content/u ... rranty.pdf
Post Reply