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Old 06-09-16, 01:12 PM   #1
Daox
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Default Iron Edison - lithium batteries for Solar PV

I was reading the homepower email I got the other day and in it they shared a company that is selling lithium battery packs for solar PV setups. The prices are pretty steep, but the cycle life is vastly longer than lead. At 80% DOD, they claim ~500 cycles for lead, and 2000 for their lithium pack. At 60% they claim 4000 cycles vs maybe 700-800 with lead. They offer 12V, 24V, and 48V packs with Ah ratings from 180 to 1000. They come in a nice metal enclosure with a battery management system, and probably best of all they are made to work with inverters designed for lead acid systems, so its pretty much plug and play.

You can check them out here: Nickel-Iron NiFe batteries by Iron Edison




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Old 06-09-16, 05:48 PM   #2
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According to their spec sheets their lithium batteries are LiFePo4. I didn't know anyone in the US was still making those. I know they are made overseas for some US companies. Don't like the fact that they use the "designed and assembled in US" terminology. It kind of implies that the cells are manufactured here too. I couldn't find anywhere that was stated but I would love to see otherwise.

Voltage levels are a bit different from past versions of LiFePO4 also. They charge at 3.5 volts. Most of these cells used to charge at 3.6 volts and had an effective voltage of 3.2v. Suppose they could have tweaked the chemistry a bit or maybe they are using different cathodes and anodes now.

You're right about them being high priced. $700 to $1000/kwh is up there.
JJ

Last edited by jjackstone; 06-10-16 at 08:17 PM.. Reason: Changed 3.3v to 3.2v. Faulty memory module.
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Old 06-10-16, 04:54 AM   #3
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From the title I expected to read a comparison between lithium and iron-edison batteries.
I've heard iron-edison batteries are an excellent match with solar if you have the space (they're big) and you can even build them yourself (budget friendly). I love to see that comparison.
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Old 06-10-16, 08:30 AM   #4
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Straight from the horse's website:

"Fabrication

The industrial series Nickel Iron batteries are imported from one of the largest battery factories in the world, located in Sichuan province of Western China. Our production facility has been building batteries since 1971, and is known for producing the highest quality batteries available.

Our renewable systems have components from all over the world. The battery racks are from Italy, the breakers are from South Africa. The breaker boxes and battery cables are Made in the USA. We strongly support American businesses whenever possible. "

If you think these products are expensive, just imagine how much more you would pay if the parts were manufactured on site... the value chain just doesn't exist that way for these types of products any more. The NIMBY crowd has regulated these "toxic" industrial processes overseas. To manufacture the whole thing in America would easily double the price.
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Old 06-11-16, 11:14 AM   #5
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over here in Egypt we are struggling to convince customers about the feasibility of solar energy in the long term, which is a new technology over here
let alone the increased pricing of Lithium batteries..... we have a very long way to go
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Old 07-10-16, 12:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff5may View Post
Straight from the horse's website:

"Fabrication

The industrial series Nickel Iron batteries are imported from one of the largest battery factories in the world, located in Sichuan province of Western China. Our production facility has been building batteries since 1971, and is known for producing the highest quality batteries available.
I think that's only referring to the flooded Nickel-Iron, which makes sense since they're made in an older shop that had to be making flooded batteries back in '71. Note that the original post has a link to the nickel iron page, but the photo is of the case for the lithium iron.

Edison is mum on the source for their LiFePO4 line, but from the photo and the specs they look like CALBs, the most common cells by far. CALB = China Aviation Lithium Battery Co.

But what's with the price? Unless I'm missing something, the 180AH LiFePO4 unit at $6213 is just $1000 worth of cells and $150 worth of straps and BMS, with a pretty blue $5063 box.
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Old 07-10-16, 02:50 AM   #7
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You don't 80% DoD lead acid.
Properly sized lead acid banks can last up to 10 years.
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Old 07-18-16, 10:10 AM   #8
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These look like balqon lithium kits repackaged and retailed. Not a very appealing price point. Caveat emptor.

Lead acid is unsuitable for off grid solar. Too expensive. Too much maintenance. Too poor performance. And how. 10 year life span is outlier performance. 2 years is average in the RV community.
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Old 07-18-16, 08:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjackstone View Post
According to their spec sheets their lithium batteries are LiFePo4. I didn't know anyone in the US was still making those. I know they are made overseas for some US companies. Don't like the fact that they use the "designed and assembled in US" terminology. It kind of implies that the cells are manufactured here too. I couldn't find anywhere that was stated but I would love to see otherwise.

Voltage levels are a bit different from past versions of LiFePO4 also. They charge at 3.5 volts. Most of these cells used to charge at 3.6 volts and had an effective voltage of 3.2v. Suppose they could have tweaked the chemistry a bit or maybe they are using different cathodes and anodes now.

You're right about them being high priced. $700 to $1000/kwh is up there.
JJ
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Old 07-18-16, 08:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff5may View Post
Straight from the horse's website:

"Fabrication

The industrial series Nickel Iron batteries are imported from one of the largest battery factories in the world, located in Sichuan province of Western China. Our production facility has been building batteries since 1971, and is known for producing the highest quality batteries available.

Our renewable systems have components from all over the world. The battery racks are from Italy, the breakers are from South Africa. The breaker boxes and battery cables are Made in the USA. We strongly support American businesses whenever possible. "

If you think these products are expensive, just imagine how much more you would pay if the parts were manufactured on site... the value chain just doesn't exist that way for these types of products any more. The NIMBY crowd has regulated these "toxic" industrial processes overseas. To manufacture the whole thing in America would easily double the price.
These are getting cheaper in China now.

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