Where is the cheapest place to buy lithium batteries right now?

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by DennisRB, Nov 1, 2014.

  1. DennisRB
    Joined: Sep 2004
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    DennisRB Senior Member

    Preferably in AU, or with decent shipping rates.

    This place in the US seems to have amazing prices. They have a 700ah (9kwh) bank for $3350 USD. It comes with a sophisticated BMS, monitoring, fusing and constraint cage etc. The cells alone are $2800 from there for 700ah.

    http://www.balqon.com/online-store/

    6 months ago the best price from EV works was around $3400aud for 700ah of cells alone, then went up to $4600!

    I was expecting that sort of price DROP, not increase over time. The drop in the AUD can not explain this alone.
     
  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    You need to first define what kind of lithium battery you need. Each is designed for a specific service.
     
  3. WestVanHan
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    You're right,assuming he's buying from a US supplier-the difference in the rates should have added only another $500aud or so, but Lithium X is down ~15% since so the price should be about the same but lithium is likely sold in US dollars.

    But if he's buying straight out of China,they're ripping people off by blaming it on the rates change, as few people know how to calculate the difference.

    Call him out on it,or find another supplier,or find a wholesaler.
    PM me if you like.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. DennisRB
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    DennisRB Senior Member

    Sorry, I thought from my post outlining the cells I had prior pricing on would have given that info.

    The cells I am interested would make a 400-800ah prismatic lifepo4 bank. For a house bank in a 43 foot cat with electric ovens etc.
     
  5. DennisRB
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    DennisRB Senior Member

    My sentiments exactly. I think there is a growing market for lithium in AU now. I wonder if the market is now accepting lithium enough that they are willing to swallow rip off prices?

    Well I am not, knowing what they can be purchased for by anyone in the US with profit margins to the middle men.

    I would love a direct link to china. PM sent.
     
  6. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Do you need high capacity batteries, fast charge, fast discharge, etc.? The same as lead/acid batteries you can have batteries that will give fast discharge (cranking amps) or high reserve capacity (deep cycle). Also, fast charging batteries are available at a higher cost. You have to specify your needs before asking for a price. Otherwise, they may sell you a battery that is not appropriate for the application.
     
  7. DennisRB
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    DennisRB Senior Member

    The Winston cells I priced have the characteristics I need. I already know what I need. I just need it a good price.

    High capacity storage. Medium charge rates (max 100A). Discharge of up to 300A occasionally but usually less than 50A. 300A from a lead acid bank is extremely inefficient for any great length of time, and will close to halve the capacity of a 600Ah bank measured at the 20Ah rate due to Peukert's law. Plus I do not want the weight.

    Will be charged by a largish solar system. Will need to supply power to an electric oven and dive compressor, hence the requirement for efficient high current capability for durations of up to an hour.

    The 700Ah Winston cells appear to be able to do all this.
     
  8. Jim Caldwell
    Joined: Aug 2013
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    Jim Caldwell Senior Member

    I would start by getting rid of the electric oven, you would probably cut your 300 amp combined peak by as much as half.
     
  9. BertKu
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    Location: South Africa Little Brak River

    BertKu Senior Member

    Dennis,

    I am thinking aloud now. Often Hobby-King has a special on and last week it was a enclosed plastic pack of 6.4 Ampere hour/14.8 Volt battery pack for USA $ 50.00 each. For 60 packs thus 3000 Dollar. + cost for copper bus bar for a few hundred/thousand ampere + transport.

    One could place 60 parallel at 14.8 Volt or 30 x 2 paralleled and in series at 33.6 Volt . 6.4 x 60 = 384 Amphour at 14.8 Volt = 5, 68 Kwhr at a top discharge current of 60 x 60 x 6.4 = 23000 Ampere discharge continuous or 46.000 Ampere for a burst. Which is naturally a joke, as one would need a leg size thick copper bar. But one would not have to worry about not having enough whoooom!!!

    The combined power would be 5.68 KWh , weight 47 kg and volume 26.8 liter

    Like anything in life, one has advantages and disadvantages. An advantage is, one could buy it over a period of time, as they manufacture it on a continuous basis. If one pack is packed up, one would not have to throw the hole battery overboard.

    But there are disadvantages I assume. Which vary from user to user.
    What is your view to this idea.
    Bert
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
  10. BertKu
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    BertKu Senior Member

    Hi Dennis, why don't you try Blacky, he has a cute way of expressing himself in English, but I have good vibe for this company. I bought 4 years ago LiPo4 batteries from them and placed them in a parallel/serial combination. I don't know whether Black is still there, as I haven't communicated with them for a while. You have to ask him, what is the biggest bank he can make for you and at what price.

    From: Black/ EWT BATTERY [mailto:sales08@ewtbattery.com]
    Sent: 14 June 2013 09:08 AM <<<<<< please note Dennis <<<<<<<<<<<<<<
    To: Bert Kuijpers
    Subject: Re: EWTbattery

    Hi Bert

    Thanks so much.specially thanks you give me the details advice and Proposal letter.

    We are usually use Google to search the customer.use KEY words to check every link one by one.
    You know trade business is get harder and harder.

    Best regards
    Black sales08@ewtbattery.com

    2013-06-14
    ________________________________________
    Everwin Tech Co. Limited
    Homepage:www.ewtbattery.com
    E-mail:sales08@ewtbattery.com
    MSN:blackvip100@msn.cn
    Skype:blackvip1000
    Mobile:86+13480187585
    Add:Building 9 Futing Industrail Park Zhucun Guanlan Shenzhen China

    Bert
     
  11. DennisRB
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    DennisRB Senior Member

    The peak is no prob with lithium. I have so much solar realestate I may as well buy an electric oven microwave combo, rather than install a marine gas oven AND a microwave. They cost difference will pay for the extra lithiums anyway.
     
  12. DennisRB
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    DennisRB Senior Member

    Intriguing idea. But the cost is not great. I have the money right now. I just dont have money to waste. If the price in AU was the same as in the USA (like it should be). Then I would be happy. Balqon sells 700ah worth of cell for a 12V bank for $2800 usd.

    Thanks for the email address. I will send him a message
     
  13. groper
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    groper Senior Member

    Dennis, I will also install lithium batteries on my boat. However, your reasoning seems flawed to a certain degree. There is no way you will run electric everything including a dive compressor from the battery you propose backed up only via solar generation. The real estate available for solar panels may be large, but you need to factor in shading from the rigging - which is substantial on a cruising cat. Large loads, such as a compressor, are better served via a dedicated fossil fuel powered source such as a genset or propulsion engine driven alternator etc.

    I'd like to see your calculations which show all your loads and generation capacity for an honest analysis of your needs and how to best accommodate them. Remember , I've been going through all the same process myself and it doesn't all seem as rosy when you really add it all up comprehensively...
     
  14. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Lithium Ion batteries need a sophisticated control system. You can't just parallel a bunch of them and hope for the best. Some will overheat and go up in flames; literally. Early setups added resistors to limit the amperage of the charge, but it is a very wasteful method and doesn't charge the batteries fully.
     

  15. DennisRB
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    DennisRB Senior Member

    Sure Groper.

    I disagree based on the fact you do not know my expectations. The idea is that solar will do most of the time not ALL the time.

    I am keen to see your data also. I don’t have a spread sheet or anything like that. My calcs are based on the following usage patterns and the fact that auxiliary charging will be available if needed, so it only has to work most of the time and that sensible operation will be required. Choices will need to be made on which huge power drawers you want to run in any one day/week.

    The dive compressor is a maybe, the elec microwave/oven combo will be used as a microwave most times, which while using a lot of current will only do so for very short periods. This load is small. Maybe 100A for a few minutes, so only a small Ah draw over all. The boat has no microwave or marine gas oven as it sits. Nikki wants an oven. A marine gas oven is expensive, then if I put it in that certain spot where it fits, there is no nice spot for the microwave.

    The cooktops will be gas as they are already there. So a lot of cooking will be done on them, in fact the vast majority will be done there. If these were also electric this would probably not work as power demand would be too high as they are used so often. However this is very easy to change to electric later if there proves to be a surplus of power, which I doubt.

    Now as for the oven. This is a huge user of power. About 200A max over longer periods of time, but I am not sure if it would use less over the duration of cooking something due to cycling. Let’s say it runs at full power the whole time. How often will it be used? Not often at all. Far less than once a week. Say I want to cook a roast for an hour that is 200ah. Only 1/3 of a 600ah bank. That’s no probs at all even if the bank is already down to 400Ah, if it’s done weekly. If the bank is not fully charged by the next day, it will be in a couple of days.

    The same deal with the dive compressor. It’s going to put a tax on the bank too. 2.2kw, so about 200a as well (with inverter loss). Time to fill one tank = 18min. So I can fill 2 tanks for around 120ah. Which is fine since we are probably diving in nice sunny weather, and probably not doing it daily. If I can only fill one bottle one day, and need to fill 2 because Nikki used the oven the night before well I can fire up the fossil fuel. But in reality most of the time it’s unlikely that that would have happened. Are we going diving tomorrow? Well let’s have a BBQ instead of a roast eh? Has it been cloudy? Well we won’t be diving anyway then, and maybe we will just use the cook top as we need to fill bottles tomorrow. But with the planned amount of solar and battery capacity, starting engines is not going to happen often if not ever without the use of the optional extras like, oven, compressor and AC. We HATE the noise petrol dive compressors make. They can ruin tranquil anchorages. I don’t want to piss everyone off and it will be closest to me if I use one!

    At this point in time I have 800W of solar putting in 45A in direct sun. Overnight the ex-Telstra AGM bank is usually depleted by about 30-60Ah with 4 people living on the boat and the charger is regulating before 10am (That’s with laptops, fridge, freezer etc). However right now my boat is permanently oriented to face the sun. I have no data on exactly how bad shadows would affect it. I might turn the boat around to see how many Ah I can get with a worst case scenario. As it sits my excess solar capacity is already massive and I have room to double my solar if I really wanted to, which as you know does not cost much these days. I am certain I could fill one scuba tank a day and have one roast a week with the solar input I have right now.

    Anyway, these things will be done gradually. So I will be able to test real world usage while adding power drawers. But if I don’t start with lithium the idea almost doomed from the start due to the inefficiency of lead acid batteries to supply loads of 200A. Well not without tons of batteries!

    The first thing to go in will be the oven which will be a real test, but right now I would not even be able to use it with only a 300ah AGM bank.

    Anyway let me know if you have a good supplier.
     
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