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

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

  1. BertKu
    Joined: May 2009
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    BertKu Senior Member

    Hi Dennis, Now that Australia has negotiated a successful deal with China and you have a free trade between Australia and China. No import duties to pay anymore. How will this lower the prices you can get in Brisbane? Bert
     
  2. Brian@BNE
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    Brian@BNE Senior Member

    It may not change. Currently there is 5% import duty for lithium ion batteries and 10% GST. At best the 5% duty would no longer apply. But the FTA is phased in over 10 years for many things, and some things are excluded from the FTA.
     
  3. groper
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    groper Senior Member

    I've imported a few things from china, I've never paid anything over the 10% gst plus freight charges. It won't help us any unless your a farmer, miner, or foreign investor...
     
  4. DennisRB
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    DennisRB Senior Member

    Either way after sending countless messages and correspondence with Chinese suppliers from Alibaba the price is hardly any better than what I can get locally. I buy from China often but not anything worth over $1000. I am sure a huge lithium battery pack would raise the eyebrows of customs and they would sting you with all the fees.

    So when do you think you will be ready to buy your lithiums Groper?
     
  5. BertKu
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    BertKu Senior Member

    It is a pity that one cannot get 4 or 5 people who like to get the same type of battery and buy them together. It certainly would be easier to get the attention of the manufacturer. It certainly will have its complexity to such a deal. But it can be done. A lady in the Netherlands got e few hundred people to buy with her and she purchased 10.000 solar panels. She advertised and let everybody to sign an agreement and money up front concluded her deal. Bert
     
  6. groper
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    groper Senior Member

    It won't happen till late next year...

    I've discovered a few avenues to low price lithiums... If they pan out, it may happen much sooner, I'll let you know if the avenues are feasible. Freight from the other side of the planet is the killer...
     
  7. DennisRB
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    DennisRB Senior Member

    I could hold out that long. I would be keen to go in with you to increase our purchasing power. We have no plans to leave for long term cruising for about 18 months. What I have should be fine for 2 week holidays.
     
  8. pdwiley
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    pdwiley Senior Member

    You could add me to the 'interested' list. 12 months is a good date to aim for, for various reasons.

    PDW
     
  9. groper
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    groper Senior Member

    Perhaps we should start a "group buy" thread...

    Last time I bought a pallet in from china in a shared container, the freight cost was $1100 after all the customs and unloading charges, then gst on top of that applied to the value of the goods. Could fit quite a few batteries on a pallet...

    The electric vehicle batteries are where it's at. We may be able to buy direct from japan, the limn2o4 type cells. There is a slight problem with the voltage being at 3.8v nominal per cell and 4.1v full charge. This raises the nominal voltage of a bank above what is considered normal, and needing a 16.4v regulation level for charging, nessecitating fully programable charge regulators etc. I think most of the electric vehicles seem to be moving on from the lifepo4 chemistry in search of increased energy density for better performance and increases range between charges on the electric cars. I had no idea how much things have changed, especially outside Australia and the west. Did you know electric vehicles such as the nissan leaf, tesla, and volt etc are now collectively enjoying higher total volume sales than conventional gas powered cars in Norway? Total cost of ownership is now lower for electric cars, and therefore it won't be long before the rest of the world starts buying these cars in a more wholesale fashion... This should mean cheaper batteries all round. you can buy a nissan leaf 24kwh battery from a wrecked car in Norway for a couple hundred euro... That's enough capacity for 3 good sized house batteries on a typical cruising yacht!
     
  10. DennisRB
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    DennisRB Senior Member

    Its great to see people embracing electric cars in Norway. I love this tech and love electric cars. I am doing a budget electric dingy conversion to my walker bay 10 at the moment using a 55lbs ebay trolling motor for $144 and a couple of free car batteries and a $100 solar panel. Obviously lithium will be perfect for this. With a bank with enough energy density I will be able to get rid of my petrol motor forever for the dingy.

    I think battery power is a way off yet for the main propulsion on a cruising boat, but I can't wait until range VS power VS weight becomes acceptable.

    I am happy to go outside the box when it comes to batteries. But I do not know much about limn2o4. Sounds like they are lighter and cheaper is that correct? Are they safe? Can anyone recommend some links for me to read up? I wish I could pick up a crashed Nissan Leaf battery!

    The charging should be OK maybe. I wonder if MPPT will become necessary, or if a nominal 12v panel (18-20v) will still put out a decent charge at 16.4V.

    I think there will be problems with many 12v appliances. Will fridges burn out? (add diodes in series, but that wastes power). Engines will start easy, the anchor winch will be turboed but will it handle it? Inverters etc will probably need to be replaced (but with what?) as they will cut out at 15V. Cheap LEDs will burn out, but you can pay more for regulated LEDs.

    Seems there will be many problems and the cost of solving them will need to be taken into account. But it still may be worth it.
     
  11. BertKu
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    BertKu Senior Member

    There should be enough people in Australia to club together. A proper signed agreement is necessary for those who joined, but due to unforeseen circumstance has to pull out. You don't want to sit with extra batteries. Bert
     
  12. Brian@BNE
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    Brian@BNE Senior Member

    No doubt EV's are leading the way. That's great, the question is when to piggy back their development. Mn one sound interesting.

    Dennis, you solar controller should be able to output whatever is required in terms of voltage. And with the Mn cells, why not go to a 24V house bank, but use just 7 of them in series instead of 8. That brings you back to 'normal' voltage ranges. IIRC most LED lights can handle 24V and you can use a DC-DC converter for a lot of 12 V loads. Although maybe not for heavy draw items like windlass if you already have a 12V one.
     
  13. DennisRB
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    DennisRB Senior Member

    My controller does not go above 15.5V. Its not MPPT so will the 12V nominal panels be able to charge at 16.4V? That can be changed for a more expensive controller with more settings and a possible change to 24V panels and MPPT.

    My boat is not in the build, so 24V will not be that easy. The electrical system is already installed which includes 2 x starter motors, 2 x alternators, 1 windlass. 2 x fridge/freezer compressors etc etc electronics etc etc.

    Some of this stuff might handle 16.4V, most wont. I like 24V and would use that for a new build, but I have what I have. It can be changed, but at what cost and effort?

    With these new higher voltage batteries a 24V system makes even more sense. Certainly, it seems to change my boat to 24 would cost more that what I might save. But I never say that for sure until I know all the sums.
     
  14. BertKu
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    BertKu Senior Member

    Dennis, I don't think you have to be worried about this. Lead Acid has to be above the 13.8 Volt to charge properly, with Li battery combinations, the charging already take place at a lower voltage. i.e. Lithium at 2 volt, versus the 3.3 Volt nominal voltage. You should check what the minimum charging voltage will be for the batteries you are planning to purchase.Bert
     

  15. groper
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    groper Senior Member

    Just about any 12v electrical equipment will run fine on 16v. The nominal range of 12v equipment usually extended upto 16v, I can't think of anything that would be damaged by it off the top of my head. My raymarine electronics gear says 12v-16v supply voltage for example.

    Remember 12v is a nominal voltage... In reality it's actually 13.2v via the lead acid cell legacy ... and the regulation voltage for led acid is often up near 15v as it needs more potential difference to overcome the higher internal resistance and reach 100% charge.

    The nominal voltage of the limn2o4 cells is 3.8v. So 15.2v nominal for a limn2o4 4s bank. The max voltage, ie regulation voltage, should be around 4.1v per cell although 4.0v would be fine and prolong the life of the battery. So really, the only thing you would need to upgrade is a programmable solar charge regulator , preferably with mppt, and set the regulation voltage to 16v.

    At least with these, there's no need to lower the regulation voltage of standard alternators either... They should be fine to direct connect without risk of over voltage, however they won't charge the battery if it's over about 50% SOC ie they won't be able to top off the battery, only help when the battery is pretty low. I don't run mine linked anyway... The starting batteries are separate, and only in extreme circumstance would the engine need to charge the house bank... In which case the house bank would be low enough to take charge from the alternators... The solar and wind etc takes care of the house bank...
     
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