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Thread: LifePO4 Cells

  1. #1

    LifePO4 Cells

    Hello Group,

    Today I am posting about a LifePO4 pack I have constructed and am testing. I share this stuff for the benifet of the group so that you can see what is out there and at least how one guy (myself) puts it together, along with some supplemental testing.

    This pack is constructed of Tenergy 5.5AH LifePO4 cells. Here is a picture of a single cell:

    https://1drv.ms/i/s!AmzmftzD-V0mhwo1TMrbdiz1bvNd

    The pack is constructed with a total of 40 cells. I made four banks of ten cells and put them in series. Here is a shot of the four strings assembled. I used welding rod for the bus bars, same kind as we use for coil cores. The plugs you see at the top are going across each cell pos and neg so that I can attach balancing boards which will be removable. I plan to build more of these packs and you only need the balance board while charging so I have made them detachable.

    https://1drv.ms/i/s!AmzmftzD-V0mhwsXG_6xcHaztEIQ

    The next step I took was to hot glue some foam sheeting to the pack. This is to minimize any accidental knocking around of the pack and protect the buss bars a little.

    https://1drv.ms/i/s!AmzmftzD-V0mhwyenX43bEoKVcS_

    To finish off the pack I wrapped it with hot tape. Here you can see the finished pack with the balance boards attached.

    https://1drv.ms/i/s!AmzmftzD-V0mhw3d9JK7lqqIhFWX

    https://1drv.ms/i/s!AmzmftzD-V0mhw7XC5WdF1r-YlpZ

    And just to see how it would go I hooked up my 400 watt inverter to the pack and charged another prismatic 20AH pack that I have. The charger is a 10 amp charger and everything ran fine, no heat on the batteries and the inverter and charger got slightly warm.

    https://1drv.ms/i/s!AmzmftzD-V0mhw-2-yig-OkRra1u

    Finally here is a discharge curve from CBA testing. This was a 10A draw and I got 50AH from the pack. Technically it should be a 55AH pack but I'm impressed with how well it performed. Most real life loads are not going to be a constant current and probably not 10A but it shows that this thing does store some serious power.

    https://1drv.ms/i/s!AmzmftzD-V0mhxAmNNnC8mYI4bKC
    Last edited by BobZilla; 01-22-2017 at 10:50 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tom C's Avatar
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    Bob,

    wow!! that is impressive!!! will be very interesting to see how this setup serves your needs.

    Tom C


    experimental Kits, chargers and solar trackers

  3. #3
    Senior Member Faraday88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobZilla View Post
    Hello Group,

    Today I am posting about a LifePO4 pack I have constructed and am testing. I share this stuff for the benifet of the group so that you can see what is out there and at least how one guy (myself) puts it together, along with some supplemental testing.

    This pack is constructed of Tenergy 5.5AH LifePO4 cells. Here is a picture of a single cell:

    https://1drv.ms/i/s!AmzmftzD-V0mhwo1TMrbdiz1bvNd

    The pack is constructed with a total of 40 cells. I made four banks of ten cells and put them in series. Here is a shot of the four strings assembled. I used welding rod for the bus bars, same kind as we use for coil cores. The plugs you see at the top are going across each cell pos and neg so that I can attach balancing boards which will be removable. I plan to build more of these packs and you only need the balance board while charging so I have made them detachable.

    https://1drv.ms/i/s!AmzmftzD-V0mhwsXG_6xcHaztEIQ

    The next step I took was to hot glue some foam sheeting to the pack. This is to minimize any accidental knocking around of the pack and protect the buss bars a little.

    https://1drv.ms/i/s!AmzmftzD-V0mhwyenX43bEoKVcS_

    To finish off the pack I wrapped it with hot tape. Here you can see the finished pack with the balance boards attached.

    https://1drv.ms/i/s!AmzmftzD-V0mhw3d9JK7lqqIhFWX

    https://1drv.ms/i/s!AmzmftzD-V0mhw7XC5WdF1r-YlpZ

    And just to see how it would go I hooked up my 400 watt inverter to the pack and charged another prismatic 20AH pack that I have. The charger is a 10 amp charger and everything ran fine, no heat on the batteries and the inverter and charger got slightly warm.

    https://1drv.ms/i/s!AmzmftzD-V0mhw-2-yig-OkRra1u

    Finally here is a discharge curve from CBA testing. This was a 10A draw and I got 50AH from the pack. Technically it should be a 55AH pack but I'm impressed with how well it performed. Most real life loads are not going to be a constant current and probably not 10A but it shows that this thing does store some serious power.

    https://1drv.ms/i/s!AmzmftzD-V0mhxAmNNnC8mYI4bKC
    Hi Bob,

    Definitely a Combination of LFP and Lead acid in a SSG is the way ahead..
    Rgds,
    Faraday88.
    'Teaching can endure a quest for knowledge..but Learning solves an anomaly'

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom C View Post
    Bob,

    wow!! that is impressive!!! will be very interesting to see how this setup serves your needs.

    Tom C
    Thanks Tom. You know one thing I really want to try with one of these,,,, there is a place on a lake in my area where they rent john boats out for fishing. I want to take one of these packs there and see how it does with a trolling motor. One thing is certain, as DC supply it can put out an insane amount of current for it's size. That's just the way the lifepo4's are, another thing I want to try is to see if it could run my electric smoker but I doubt this pack is big enough to do a full cook. It could handle the load current fine but storage size I don't think it would last. I may try it when the weather is nice enough.
    Last edited by BobZilla; 01-23-2017 at 09:32 PM.

  5. #5
    Hello Group,

    Today I am showing this LifePO4 pack being used in bedini tech. Faraday didn't elaborate much with his statement but I think what he was trying to say is the same as I will say here now. Lithium batteries make awesome primaries for many reasons. One of the biggest reasons is that you get almost no voltage drop across a run. You can see this in the chart below. This run was approximately 28 hours at 1A and the primary hardly sagged at all.

    The run was done on a SSR solid state mode one type of circuit. On the front we have the battery that this thread is about and on the back we had two garden batteries in series. These garden batteries were very depleted although you would not know it looking at their starting voltage. These batteries always bounce back up to a fairly high voltage no matter where I drag them down too, I think in part because of the radient charging they have received. I did not mention it in the video but I had actually run these down to about 9v by accident the night before with them as a primary in parallel. They had bounced back to around 12.2 from that and that is where they got setup for this charge.

    Anyway here are the charts:

    smallSSR_24v_charge.JPG

    smallSSR_24v_primary.JPG

    And a short video of the beginning and end of the run.

    link:
    https://1drv.ms/v/s!AmzmftzD-V0mhxURNumCu8x5iXIK

  6. #6
    Senior Member Tom C's Avatar
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    that is a great run bob! I love the lithiums for primaries!! I use the LiFePo4 with a cap on the front on some of my runs, they seem to like it there, and the cap buffers the spike nicely.

    Tom C


    experimental Kits, chargers and solar trackers

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom C View Post
    that is a great run bob! I love the lithiums for primaries!! I use the LiFePo4 with a cap on the front on some of my runs, they seem to like it there, and the cap buffers the spike nicely.

    Tom C
    Thanks Tom. Yes I know what you mean with the cap, I have done that too. Originally I had this board setup with a very small cap on front and back and another SSR to control a dump for the output (notice the blank space on the board opposite of the 1st SSR), but I decided to go pure mode one with it for now. I change things around on my setups pretty often and am never really married to one setup for too long. This little board would make a fantastic portable unit though. I am thinking about getting a small solar panel, maybe 20 watt just for this unit to operate on. To me that is the huge advantage of going solid state, the sun can come out or hide and it will just go with it, no problem with a wheel stalling.

    I am going to try and put this run through a few cycles and add to this thread. I kept the charge chart running and hooked up the CBA this morning to pull them down again. I am going to try to keep it all charting and pop another run on it. Don't know if I will be able to get it, something usually craps out with the meter or the computer over such long continuous attempts but if I can get it I will post back. I'm sure the next run on them will go faster because this time they will be cut off at 21v.

  8. #8
    Senior Member John_Koorn's Avatar
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    Nice work Bob!

    John K.

  9. #9
    Thanks John.

    Hey I know you are working on similar builds with the 18650's, if you have the funds you might consider getting some of these and testing them out for yourself too. I have both cheap 18650's and some actual name brands (efest) which live up to their rating but since I got these lifePO4 cells I cannot see investing any more in the 18650's, these are just SO much better. Anyway I know you are on your own path and I respect that but I'm just saying these cells are winners for sure.

    @ Group

    Guys the computer rebooted half way through the continuation of that run so I lost the charts. I thought it might happen but I am just following up because I said I might post more.

  10. #10
    Thanks Bob,
    Its great to have a guiding light through the new tech that is becoming available.

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