Lifepo4 batteries? | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

Lifepo4 batteries?

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JEEPNMEDIC

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I have done a search to no avail on the forum, so I will post the question. what is everyone's thought on the lifepo4 battery brands. I know battle born is suppose to be the best, however there dimensions don't fit the space I have. also renogy and SOK don't make anything smaller then a 100 ah and those are also too big, so are there other brands that people think are ok? I found a brand called eco-worthy its an off brand but the dimension work and the price isn't bad. so before I jump what do in need to know about using lifepo4 batteries? also for the space I am trying to fit, I think multiple smaller batteries would be better like 25-50 ah but the 50 seem to be just barely to big as well, but is this bad for lifepo4 batteries? or do smaller ah batteries not have the same BMS like the bigger ah ones?
 

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The biggest thing you need to think about is whether or not the battery your getting has a low temperature cutoff switch. The reason for this is because LiFePO4 cannot be charged below about 35F. Doing so will turn your battery into a paper weight.

Check out DIY Solar on YouTube for battery reviews and teardown.

If you don't already have a dc to dc charger, you would need one of those as well, as the battery cannot be charged via the alternator.

There are ways that you can safeguard the battery from the cold though, but it gets a bit complicated. You'd need to build an insulated box, put a heating source that's triggered by a thermostat in there to make sure the cells stay warm. You'd then need a way to delay charging until the temperature inside the box is above a certain point.

Or you could spend more money to get a 50Ah battery that has a confirmed working temperature cutoff (Dakota or battle born).
 

lhoffm4

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Remember where all/most of these are manufactured. The name brands you see are marketing their packaged version or spin on a product. Once you do your research, you can source the cells, bms, etc. at deep discount. Renogy-200ah, 12v= $1100+, BattleBorn-200ah, 12v= $1700+. They all use the same cells they just wrap them up with a look or a few different features.

I call it the “Kentucky Fried Chicken analogy”. If that is what I am hungry for, I can either buy the name brand (fast, ready to eat, I know it will be good tasting, and spend $30+ for the meal. I can also learn to cook fried chicken and make my own for 20% or so of that cost for the finished product. Chances are the meat for those meals is coming from the same/similar farms.

I went to Allie Express, did a review and found Global Power as a seller, who offers a set of LiFePO4 cells at 12v, 200ah and paid $325 (tax and shipping included). Add another $20-$40 for a battery management system and a battery box with 12v ports to put the cells in and you now have a usable set up at 20-25% of what a name brand product will cost you. Same quality, seasoned to taste... just saying.
1636980278026.jpeg
 

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Got this one, not the cheapest one, but not top of the line either.
IN general this company had good feed back.
Has done a couple of trips. I am running an engel 40l fridge and some lights, charging phones and tablets. Never seen lower than half , I have a solar 100w panel as well.
Can't tell about long term yet, this was my first year of use.
The idea you had about pairing 2 20 or 25 AH lifepo4 is very attractive, because you can stick them in unused places, like under the seats, or behind a panel in the trunk - easily, and this is great value in small, medium size rigs.
They are very light as well.
 

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A guy named Will Prowse has an excellent website, www.mobile-solarpower.com, with product recommendations having to do with LiFePO4 batteries and solar power setups. He also has a YouTube channel. My understanding is he always buys the products he reviews with his own money, so his recommendations are not biased from having received a product as a gift from a manufacturer.
 

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A guy named Will Prowse has an excellent website, www.mobile-solarpower.com, with product recommendations having to do with LiFePO4 batteries and solar power setups. He also has a YouTube channel. My understanding is he always buys the products he reviews with his own money, so his recommendations are not biased from having received a product as a gift from a manufacturer.
Not all of his videos are done with stuff he bought… but he is up front and tells which ones sponsored the video, and still gives an honest review.
 
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4Rover

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Not all of his videos are done with stuff he bought… but he is up front and tells which ones sponsored the video, and still gives an honest review.
Thanks for clarifying. I agree, he gives honest reviews. He has YouTube videos that explain things very clearly for beginners, but he also has done some very advanced stuff with solar power and electrical systems.
 
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Mike W

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The biggest thing you need to think about is whether or not the battery your getting has a low temperature cutoff switch. The reason for this is because LiFePO4 cannot be charged below about 35F. Doing so will turn your battery into a paper weight.
Also make sure you keep them under ~140F because heat can kill them too. Just don't put them in an engine bay.

I found 6.1" of space under my drawer system in my LR4 so I am cramming two 170AH renogy batteries under there. Way overkill power but that should be fun. They take a charge so well it is crazy. I put 90 amp hours into one with a 25 amp charger in like 90 minutes. I'll have a redarc 50 amp dcdc charger so I can put huge amounts of power back into these things with a short drive.

1638286420938.png
1638286454917.png
 

lhoffm4

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Thank you so much for all the answers
Im building mine to be modular so I can more easily move things around. I’m putting the cells themselves in one of the autozone battery boxes that has some 12v ports, USB ports and a quick reference charge read-out. I was inspired by the small footprint of the Bluetti EB70 my Son gifted me. I’d already ordered some components for my larger project. So I will make sure they all play well together for the power needs. Making things modular and portablewill also allow me to keep the batteries in the house in a well regulated environment. Then I can keep them healthy and long lasting. None of the lead-acid batts in my vehicles have lasted 10 years. But then they didn’t cost as much as the LiFePO4 batts either!
 

lhoffm4

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Remember where all/most of these are manufactured. The name brands you see are marketing their packaged version or spin on a product. Once you do your research, you can source the cells, bms, etc. at deep discount. Renogy-200ah, 12v= $1100+, BattleBorn-200ah, 12v= $1700+. They all use the same cells they just wrap them up with a look or a few different features.

I call it the “Kentucky Fried Chicken analogy”. If that is what I am hungry for, I can either buy the name brand (fast, ready to eat, I know it will be good tasting, and spend $30+ for the meal. I can also learn to cook fried chicken and make my own for 20% or so of that cost for the finished product. Chances are the meat for those meals is coming from the same/similar farms.

I went to Allie Express, did a review and found Global Power as a seller, who offers a set of LiFePO4 cells at 12v, 200ah and paid $325 (tax and shipping included). Add another $20-$40 for a battery management system and a battery box with 12v ports to put the cells in and you now have a usable set up at 20-25% of what a name brand product will cost you. Same quality, seasoned to taste... just saying.
View attachment 215921
Batteries came in today, took two months and a week to get here, but they arrived. Letting them warm up. They were well packaged and appear to be in good order. Will know tomorrow when I assemble and charge them... fingers crossed!
 

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K12

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Batteries came in today, took two months and a week to get here, but they arrived. Letting them warm up. They were well packaged and appear to be in good order. Will know tomorrow when I assemble and charge them... fingers crossed!
cant wait to see it done. Ive been paying attention to this thread and might do this myself. Do you have a plan of putting incorporating a battery heater for colder temps?
 

lhoffm4

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cant wait to see it done. Ive been paying attention to this thread and might do this myself. Do you have a plan of putting incorporating a battery heater for colder temps?
Yes, While waiting for delivery I have been going to school on these batts. Mostly watching Will Prowse on YouTube. Fortunately my Son is also quite up on the technology, having taken his Tiny House off grid with it, albeit in 24v vs. 12v that I am using.

To address your question specifically, Ive been considering using a battery warmer pad/wrap in the case housing the cells, controlled by a temp sensor/thermostat that will cut off charging below freezing- 32F.
Ideally, the batt case will be stored indoors with regulated temps. When in the field, it will be in the cab of the truck, or in the tent where we sleep where temps are more constant. I also plan to monitor the batts via the BMS. My Son has his set up via blue tooth to an app on his phone so he can monitor battery health. I’m not at his level yet, but learning rapidly. Even though I have not invested retail in this project, I’m estimating I will have @ $750-$900 into it for a system that functions like one in the $2000 range, once panels and their components are added in. I’m learning that it’s not an inexpensive project, but the cost-benefit analysis still justifies the effort for what it provides, at least for me.

I think I enjoy both the DIY-knowledge-skills-abilities I am acquiring as well as the cost-savings aspects. Will keep you posted on what I learn.
 
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K12

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cant wait to see it done. Ive been paying attention to this thread and might do this myself. Do you have a plan of putting incorporating a battery heater for colder temps?
Yes, While waiting for delivery I have been going to school on these batts. Mostly watching Will Prowse on YouTube. Fortunately my Son is also quite up on the technology, having taken his Tiny House off grid with it, albeit in 24v vs. 12v that I am using.

To address your question specifically, Ive been considering using a battery warmer pad/wrap in the case housing the cells, controlled by a temp sensor/thermostat that will cut off charging below freezing- 32F.
Ideally, the batt case will be stored indoors with regulated temps. When in the field, it will be in the cab of the truck, or in the tent where we sleep where temps are more constant. I also plan to monitor the batts via the BMS. My Son has his set up via blue tooth to an app on his phone so he can monitor battery health. I’m not at his level yet, but learning rapidly. Even though I have not invested retail in this project, I’m estimating I will have @ $750-$900 into it for a system that functions like one in the $2000 range, once panels and their components are added in. I’m learning that it’s not an inexpensive project, but the cost-benefit analysis still justifies the effort for what it provides, at least for me.

I think I enjoy both the DIY-knowledge-skills-abilities I am acquiring as well as the cost-savings aspects. Will keep you posted on what I learn.
Sounds just like what I would like to do so will be paying attention for updates. I am wanting some 300ah builds to work in my HQ19, but may do a smaller 100 or 200ah for the truck as a test bed first to make sure it all works proper. Im scared to work with electricity, even when I know what im doing. Something about being tasered just doesnt leave you the same.
 

lhoffm4

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Sounds just like what I would like to do so will be paying attention for updates. I am wanting some 300ah builds to work in my HQ19, but may do a smaller 100 or 200ah for the truck as a test bed first to make sure it all works proper. Im scared to work with electricity, even when I know what im doing. Something about being tasered just doesnt leave you the same.
Having spent some time in LE, I had the opportunity to become a fire arms and taser instructor. While I have yet to be shot (Thank the good Lord), I did volunteer to be tased. Nothing reinforces didactic knowledge like the practical application of it. It made my instruction to others much more credible.

That said, I don’t feel the need to destroy expensive batteries or any of my equipment, just so I can say I learned something. I will trust the SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) to keep me and my gear functioning 5x5 (the best it can)!

BTW, I gotta ask- “multiple 300ah...”. Are you planning a sustained off-grid power system for a large group or running serious power-hungry tools? I get redundancy (You have two=you have one...) I am planning to order another set of cells to match what I have, but I figure with a 4000W/8000W peak inverter My 200ah LiFePO4 bank should cover more than what I will need it for. I will run my banks in parallel to increase the 12v output, and then later, if I were to set up an off grid cabin, I could incorporate my banks into a 24v or even an 48v system. I plan on keeping things modular so battery bank separate from inverter/12v accessories, etc. I want everything in this build to be portable and multi-purpose (as much as possible).

I will be sure to share my design layout and components as soon as I can map them out, so as to get input from folks way smarter than me. If I’ve learned anything in my time, it’s that 1- There is always someone as smart or smarter, 2- Why re-invent the wheel when you can follow someone smarter’s path, 3- Why buy when you can DIY. There are many“nuggets” I have acquired over the years, but I’m still writing them all down for my posterity... lol
 

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Having spent some time in LE, I had the opportunity to become a fire arms and taser instructor. While I have yet to be shot (Thank the good Lord), I did volunteer to be tased. Nothing reinforces didactic knowledge like the practical application of it. It made my instruction to others much more credible.

That said, I don’t feel the need to destroy expensive batteries or any of my equipment, just so I can say I learned something. I will trust the SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) to keep me and my gear functioning 5x5 (the best it can)!

BTW, I gotta ask- “multiple 300ah...”. Are you planning a sustained off-grid power system for a large group or running serious power-hungry tools? I get redundancy (You have two=you have one...) I am planning to order another set of cells to match what I have, but I figure with a 4000W/8000W peak inverter My 200ah LiFePO4 bank should cover more than what I will need it for. I will run my banks in parallel to increase the 12v output, and then later, if I were to set up an off grid cabin, I could incorporate my banks into a 24v or even an 48v system. I plan on keeping things modular so battery bank separate from inverter/12v accessories, etc. I want everything in this build to be portable and multi-purpose (as much as possible).

I will be sure to share my design layout and components as soon as I can map them out, so as to get input from folks way smarter than me. If I’ve learned anything in my time, it’s that 1- There is always someone as smart or smarter, 2- Why re-invent the wheel when you can follow someone smarter’s path, 3- Why buy when you can DIY. There are many“nuggets” I have acquired over the years, but I’m still writing them all down for my posterity... lol
I am going to be full timing in the trailer, hopefully start around this september/august. I am hoping to be able to run the AC umit for a bit without depleting the batteries completly.
 
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Mike W

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I fully expect my 340ah/4080watt hour setup to be massive overkill for a Land Rover LR4. But I will have a 2kw inverter so I can run power tools off it and other random things. vacuum cleaner or whatever. It will be nice to let my lights run at camp and run electric blanket all night if I want. Or run a little cheap LED projector in our tent to watch a move with the kids. Who knows.

Should be a fun experiment.
 
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I personally own 2 - Talent Cell 24 Ah batteries since May 23rd, 1 - Ampère Time 50Ah battery since May 26th, 1 Ampere Time 100 Ah battery since Aug 4th all used for home made solar generator battery packs. All work fine but none of them have low temperature shutoff. For the 100 amp that is permanently installed in my truck, I use a victron charge controller and the Victron Battery Sense Module to make sure it does not get charged when the temp gets below 32 Deg. The others I charge inside so I don't have to worry about that. I also have 4 - 100 AH SOK batteries but have not installed them into my trailer yet because it took 3 months to get 600 amp busbars. Check out Will Prowse on youtube, he tests and then takes apart a bunch of lithium batteries.
 
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lhoffm4

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I personally own 2 - Talent Cell 24 Ah batteries since May 23rd, 1 - Ampère Time 50Ah battery since May 26th, 1 Ampere Time 100 Ah battery since Aug 4th all used for home made solar generator battery packs. All work fine but none of them have low temperature shutoff. For the 100 amp that is permanently installed in my truck, I use a victron charge controller and the Victron Battery Sense Module to make sure it does not get charged when the temp gets below 32 Deg. The others I charge inside so I don't have to worry about that. I also have 4 - 100 AH SOK batteries but have not installed them into my trailer yet because it took 3 months to get 600 amp busbars. Check out Will Prowse on youtube, he tests and then takes apart a bunch of lithium batteries.

Wow, you are in it deep with all this tech! I feel like I’m doing good, but still on the porch with the pups vs. running in the yard with the big dogs! Lol. My Son likes the Victron controllers too, he just ordered a new one as he is upgrading his setup to 24v on his tiny house off grid system. I bought his 12v MPPT Victron controller, to help him towards funding the 24v one he wants. Funny how as I learn and get into this, I am inheriting his “hand-me-downs”. Even at second hand prices, piecing these components together is NOT an inexpensive process. I will still be in it for over a $1000, a-lot of money these or any days, but that is still a deep discount over what new retail would be for folks wanting off-grid power for home/recreational use. And to think, I thought I was doing pretty well getting involved in collecting Coleman lamps, stoves and gear years ago for similar reasons. Ha!