DIY Lithium

Philip Tomlinson

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This may be of interest to those building their own lithium batteries...
So the battery is made of cells - usually 4 for a 12V Battery the way most folk are building them on this thread.
Cells look something like this ... (I think these are probably Winston, available via the Czech Republic pre Brexit)
View attachment 97976
What is inside the cell? Here is a photo from what I reckon is the same cell that I saw on the Victron Community Page
View attachment 97977View attachment 97978
I bet not what you expected to see?

I was looking at these as I heard a comment from Victron about how you should only use the Lithium Batteries upright and not lay them on their side. I can't find that video again so don't know if it was for a specific product or general advice, but a comment on the community page said "As far as I know the cell manufacturers all say 'dont do it' because of stress internally where the poles are connected to all the (very thin) anodes / cathodes." - and note the guy says "all say 'don't do it'", not some.
So thought it worth mentioning this for consideration and thought when folk are working out how to package their DIY blocks and fit them into their vehicles. You see loads of very neat installations with side-mounted lithium batteries in and I wonder if the makers (marketers) of those batteries are sure the cell pack providers have warrented their use that way?
I recall seeing a Will Prowse video where he had a leaky lithium and it was down to a poor casing design with side-mounted cells not being correctly supported. This could be more common then realised and problems just waiting to happen?
Those are pouch cells. The lishen cells are prismatic.
 

1 Cup

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Make sure the UPS air price includes all import duties and VAT.

Hi Phil, no they don't. should it put me off. What price is that on top for example. Please. For tax and import duties. ?£££
They are also out of stock ! All my searches are manufacturers. What was strange.
 

Harryw

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I think the import duty is 4% and then add 20% VAT on the lot. Roughly add a quarter to your quote, so for every £400 add another £100 ….

personally I’d go for a supplier that does DDP and has Trade Assurance with Alibaba, which helps underwrite the delivery. Have you tried Basen?
 

Harryw

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I see prices have gone up considerably for 270-310ah cells now at around £90-100 ea before shipping and duties.

if your not completely hung up on 270+ then 230aH seem a relative bargain at nearer £50 ea, see below, not a direct recommendation, just a thought. I note from the embedded video it tested at 241ah..

 
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Derekoak

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This may be of interest to those building their own lithium batteries...
So the battery is made of cells - usually 4 for a 12V Battery the way most folk are building them on this thread.
Cells look something like this ... (I think these are probably Winston, available via the Czech Republic pre Brexit)
View attachment 97976
What is inside the cell? Here is a photo from what I reckon is the same cell that I saw on the Victron Community Page
View attachment 97977View attachment 97978
I bet not what you expected to see?

I was looking at these as I heard a comment from Victron about how you should only use the Lithium Batteries upright and not lay them on their side. I can't find that video again so don't know if it was for a specific product or general advice, but a comment on the community page said "As far as I know the cell manufacturers all say 'dont do it' because of stress internally where the poles are connected to all the (very thin) anodes / cathodes." - and note the guy says "all say 'don't do it'", not some.
So thought it worth mentioning this for consideration and thought when folk are working out how to package their DIY blocks and fit them into their vehicles. You see loads of very neat installations with side-mounted lithium batteries in and I wonder if the makers (marketers) of those batteries are sure the cell pack providers have warrented their use that way?
I recall seeing a Will Prowse video where he had a leaky lithium and it was down to a poor casing design with side-mounted cells not being correctly supported. This could be more common then realised and problems just waiting to happen?

Here is the quote I was referring to.
"Mechanical Installation
It was once thought prismatic cells could be operated in more or less any position as they do not really contain free liquid. Nowadays manufacturers are a lot more prescriptive with installation position. In most instances, the only acceptable position is upright, vent cap and terminals on top (Sinopoly, Winston). Sometimes it may be acceptable to mount them on edge, with the terminals on the side (CALB). This may vary not only between manufacturers, but also between cell models, so seeking specific guidance is a sensible step if an odd installation position is being considered.

When questioned, Sinopoly indicated that installing the cell in any other position than upright would cause some of the plates to run dry after a while, damaging it. Installing them flat on their side is out of the question in all cases.

The cells must be installed securely in such a way that no movement is possible in relation with each other, or it will stress the terminals and link plates. Prismatic cells should also be clamped together between compression plates as the application of a modest amount of pressure helps with preventing electrode delamination, even more so in the presence of shocks and vibrations as found on marine vessels. It also helps with preventing the internals of the cells from shifting in case of violent shock, which can lead to internal cell short-circuits. Clamping is a common warranty condition from manufacturers. Strapping the cells together is simply not good enough for that matter.

The bank must also be installed in such a way that it can’t shift and nothing can come and short-circuit the cell terminals. This can involve fitting a cover over the cells"

This does refer to lifepo4 prismatic cells. The reference link is http://nordkyndesign.com/assembling-a-lithium-iron-phosphate-marine-house-bank/
 

wildebus

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Very interesting, Derek. It is an interesting area and I think important for both DIYers and those buying off-the-shelf as well.
I have seen some very neat and impressive installs on YouTube where batteries are side-mounted and those videos have even featured on manufacturers websites. That does imply THOSE batteries are ok mounted like that, but I wonder if they have actually checked on longer term implications/reliability?
I doubt all or even most Battery makers actually make any of the cells they use any more than car makers actually make the brake discs they fit.

Going back to the reference I made on the Victron site, someone directly asked Victron on there if they could mount their batteries on their side. Response was typical Dutch no-nonsense ... " We have to say no as we never got round to testing them that way" (or words to that effect). So basically if you try and it breaks early don't come running to us.
 

Derekoak

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I got a message in Early June through Alibaba messaging from Basen saying that my cells had reached their final station on 25th May, and were awaiting cutoms clearance. I have heard no more. Today I got automated Alibaba emails saying my order was complete. They assume I am satisfied and have unfrozen my money to Basen. I replied to the email saying " I had not got my cells. How do I find where they are?"
I then messaged Gloria Luo my contact at Basen through the Alibaba messaging system asking how I got my cells delivered ?
I hope this is just a last minute mix up.
Is there anything else I should do?
 

Philip Tomlinson

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I got a message in Early June through Alibaba messaging from Basen saying that my cells had reached their final station on 25th May, and were awaiting cutoms clearance. I have heard no more. Today I got automated Alibaba emails saying my order was complete. They assume I am satisfied and have unfrozen my money to Basen. I replied to the email saying " I had not got my cells. How do I find where they are?"
I then messaged Gloria Luo my contact at Basen through the Alibaba messaging system asking how I got my cells delivered ?
I hope this is just a last minute mix up.
Is there anything else I should do?
You should have got a message from Alibaba saying that in x number of days they would automatically mark the items as delivered. I would open a case with Alibaba stating that no goods have been delivered.
 

Derekoak

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How do I open a case? I have not received a message like you say I should have, just the message I received today saying
"We acknowledge that you are satisfied with the shipping information for the Trade Assurance Order 79804663001026209 (as you neither confirm the shipment nor request a refund within the given time period).


Now we suppose the goods shipment has been completed, and the supplier’s Assurance Amount of 540.00 for this order has been unfrozen."
 

Derekoak

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I have found a place to ask for a refund but it is greyed out I assume because the order is assumed complete.
 

Harryw

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I have found a place to ask for a refund but it is greyed out I assume because the order is assumed complete.
Not sure if it’s of any help but I just checked my previous deliveries and there is a note saying Review and Refund facilities are not available on the mobile site use a PC.
 

Derekoak

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Thanks Harry, Its probably fine, now China has woken up for the day Gloria says "goods have cleared customs, delivery in 5 to 7 days". I have asked if I can communicate with the local delivery company for more exact information.
 

Craster van kippers

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New meds to lower my BP have given me hours of new free time to think about the state of the world, economy, life, the universe, and everything. I think the medical term is Insomnia.

DIY batteries? Of course very few people would have tried to construct a DIY lead acid battery. Bit on the iffy side that.
But with the amount of components available on eBay, Amazon and AliExpress. Prismatic cells, BMS, etc. I’m surprised no one on this forum has tried, or admitted to have built one. (AFAIK)
There’s more than enough videos on YouTube, by the likes of Will Prowse.
Time for someone to give it a go?
Not me of course, I’m still in Lee’s mindset. A two piece toolkit. Hammer and electrician screwdriver.
If a hammer doesn’t fix it, it’s electrical
Surely a tin of WD40 is the third essential tool.

I like watching Will. He gives impression that he’s as well charged as his batterie.
 

Derekoak

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I hope everything is fine for me but Alibaba seems to pay your money to the firm after 60 days if the delivery is by land (train) unless you open a case for a refund before that time. So my advice for others is diarise to open a case before that date unless the delivery has arrived, so that the money is not paid until you are satisfied. For me Basen hopefully will deliver but the Alibaba security has gone just because delivery and customs clearance has taken longer than the 60 days, and I was inexperienced.
 

Derekoak

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Hoorah my parcel of cells arrived half an hour ago. It was well packed and nothing seems damaged or swollen. All cells had the same Basen paper label and the little reflective square near one terminal. 2 Daly 100 amp 4s bluetooth Bms as ordered.
I shall read this thread back to see what you all did before I rush in. no electrical tests done yet.
 

Derekoak

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His new aluminium bars had a larger contact area if I remember correctly, doubling the thickness of the copper wouldn't have helped his contact problem in my opinion.

Look forward to your video, the more information that is out there the better chance the rest of us have of getting it right first time.
I am going to have to use slightly longer bus bars than supplied to fit my heater pads. So I have ordered some 1.5mm copper sheet to cut and drill to make them. Flat bright copper with a smear of battery grease should make good contact. The cells have an aluminium contact area 15mm x 18mm around the terminal threading so the contact area cannot be greater than that in this case.
 

wildebus

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Hoorah my parcel of cells arrived half an hour ago. It was well packed and nothing seems damaged or swollen. All cells had the same Basen paper label and the little reflective square near one terminal. 2 Daly 100 amp 4s bluetooth Bms as ordered.
I shall read this thread back to see what you all did before I rush in. no electrical tests done yet.
Good stuff. I bet that was a relief and no mistake!
 

Derekoak

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All cells claim 100ah, 3.27v, IR (internal resistance) 0.42 m ohm.
Measured the lowest voltage was 3.265v the highest 3.273v.
All the QR codes have 2 numbers, one is the same for all 8 cells, the other is similar AC then another letter mostly different then 020 and 4 different numbers.
 

1 Cup

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I am going to have to use slightly longer bus bars than supplied to fit my heater pads. So I have ordered some 1.5mm copper sheet to cut and drill to make them. Flat bright copper with a smear of battery grease should make good contact. The cells have an aluminium contact area 15mm x 18mm around the terminal threading so the contact area cannot be greater than that in this case.
Could you use lighting strike earthing tape for 100ah ?
 
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