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Old 12-15-2015, 08:01 AM   #1
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Lithium batterys

I know little about this but are the batterys in the hover boards that are catching fire the same that rvers are installing?
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Old 12-15-2015, 08:31 AM   #2
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same battery technology, but as often the case, problem seems to lie with lower quality manufacturers, and those who buy or produce cheap knock-offs....

here's some light reading - http://www.wired.com/2015/12/why-hov...eep-exploding/ and Tips on buying a hoverboard that won't catch fire | ZDNet

ymmv...
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Old 12-15-2015, 09:41 AM   #3
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Likely not the same types of Lithium batteries. There are multiple chemical structures available in Lithium batteries. Example the Boeing lithium battery fires were using Lithium Cobalt Oxide (LiCoO2) batteries. Batteries from Elite Power are Lithium Iron Manganese Phosphate (LiFeMnPO4). AMSolar says their batteries are Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4).

So like travel trailers not all Lithium batteries are created equally. So it's possible that the batteries in some of the hover boards, combined with the charging products when used by those that don't read instructions nor follow them can lead to fires. Same thing can happen with the batteries in the ubiquitous drones that will be under Christmas trees this year.
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Old 12-15-2015, 09:46 AM   #4
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Do a google search on lithium batteries and airlines

Lithium batteries have been blamed for catastrophic explosions on airplanes. Some airlines only allow small lithium batts for cell phones and computers. I saw a video of a container in a airplane cargo compartment explode.

Anyway, it made me think twice, about replacing my AGMs with lithium
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Old 12-15-2015, 09:47 AM   #5
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NO THEY ARE NOT THE SAME. The cheaper chemistries in smaller batteries are prone to fire.

The GBS cells from Elite for example are LiFeMnPO4. They are the first cells to have passed certification tests for on road use, which requires the cell to not catch fire or explode when dropped, over discharged, over charged, baked, frozen, crushed or pierced with a steel rod.

Each of the cells will have a sense board that equalize the cell voltages and monitor individual cell temp and voltage. All of that is controlled by a EMS (energy management system) which also has HVC (high voltage cut) and LVC (Low voltage cut) alarm outputs which disconnect charge and discharge circuits.

A lot of the DIY EV guys use these cells which is another reason I chose them.

I do not know if AMSolars cells from Sinopoly in China are certified for road use. They can't ship them because of hazardous materials agreements. And their system is far more simplistic than the system Elite is offering.

Here is an excerpt from my post I was writing on my recent install to help you better understand these batteries:

Quote:
Lithium cells come in many chemical variations. The lithium iron phosphate chemistry, LiFePO4, is different than the exploding laptop batteries we all heard about a few years ago. There are a few slight variations in the chemistry of this category including LiFePO4 (generic version), LiFeYPO4 and LiFeMnPO4 cells. These are all similar batteries, the variations by different manufacturers is mostly marketing.

These all come in what’s called a prismatic form factor which translates to a rectangular plastic case. They are available in many sizes rated from 40 to 1000 Ah. Each cell is nominally rated at 3.2V, and it takes 4 cells in series to make a nominal 12.8V battery.

The lithium cells available to the public are all manufactured in China. NO ONE IS MAKING THEM IN THE USA. The biggest manufacturers are CALB, Sinopoly, Winston and GB Systems (GBS).

Some people have purchased factory direct. I tried but found the logistics too difficult. Caleb Power (CALB), Balqon (Winston) and Elite Power Solutions (GBS) are stocking US distributors. In addition to the distributors, there are many EV dealers offering the batteries, but most do not stock the cells for immediate delivery. A few do, so shop around. No matter what source you purchase from, make sure you have confidence in their ability to deliver.

I chose to go with Elite Power Solutions because I know of close to 5 people know who have used them. And because they had a dealer in Yuma, AZ when I was there who I could talk to.

I should mention AMSolar is selling a “kit” for RVers. They are using Sinopoly cells, which I did find a Canadian distributor for if you wanted to build a similar system yourself.
Let's also agree not to spread misinformation. Two people commented on this who clearly are guessing and are not versed on the subject. You now have two qualified responses as well.
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:43 AM   #6
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Thanks for clarifying, Mike (BoldAdventure.) I am always amazed at the amount of ignorance that is spread on this forum. I just hope no one has made any serious or costly mistakes based on such misinformation.
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:49 AM   #7
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I apologize…and thank you for the clarification.

BUT…read my post…..everything I said was factual. Did either of you do the search that I suggested, and find any falsehoods in my statement.

BTW…could we try to be civil?
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Old 12-15-2015, 11:23 AM   #8
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Isn't that nice that the government said they are safe. They probably said the same for the Boeing. Isn't it great big brother is here to help.

Would you really want this product in the cabin with you. Better safe than dead.

Most problems with type of battery is that they have to be carefully maintained with the proper charger.

I use they batteries in model aircraft and even with a proper charger they want them charged outdoors or in a containment vessel so if they catch fire it will not set your home on fire.

If you are going to use them, make sure they have some kind of fire represent system installed along with them.
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Old 12-15-2015, 11:26 AM   #9
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Thanks for the comments. Just recently heard the hover boards or whatever cannot be carried on airlines.
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Old 12-15-2015, 11:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandolindave View Post
BUT…read my post…..everything I said was factual. Did either of you do the search that I suggested, and find any falsehoods in my statement.

BTW…could we try to be civil?
I think I was civil. I use bold font face for emphasis on specific points. And I know caps is shouting. Consider it the headline piece.

Let's take a look here, I don't see anything about doing a search. And while it might be factual, it's not qualified.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mandolindave View Post
Lithium batteries have been blamed for catastrophic explosions on airplanes. Some airlines only allow small lithium batts for cell phones and computers. I saw a video of a container in a airplane cargo compartment explode.

Anyway, it made me think twice, about replacing my AGMs with lithium

I saw a youtube video of AGM's exploding. Thus all AGM batteries are dangerous.

See, not qualified, anecdotal and doesn't answer the original question really.

The goal of my post, was to educate and answer the question of battery chemistries, but mostly in regards to the ones being used in RV's.

Li-ion batteries come in many varieties but all have one thing in common — the catchword “lithium-ion.” And I think that there causes the majority of confusion. The actual batteries are VERY different, like night and day.

LiCoO2 - Lithium Cobalt Oxide - is the one that was most used in Cell Phones and Laptops and other devices. Extremely cheap, and prone to exploding and catching on fire.

LiMn2O4 - Lithium Manganese Oxide - has since replaced the above in most things, but not all.

LiFePo4 - Lithium Iron Phosphate - this is found in most EV vehicles, EV Bikes and power tools.

LiNiMnCoO2 - Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide

LiNiCoAlO2 - Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide

Li4Ti5O12 - Lithium Titanate
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Old 12-15-2015, 12:14 PM   #11
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Just a couple of clarifications so as to not propagate mis-information.

ALL lithium cells, whether iron phosphate or manganese iron phosphate are considered hazardous material by ALL shippers. Haz-Mat training and approved packaging must be in place before any shipper will accept this tupelo material for shipping. AM Solar's batteries are waiting approval from UPS for their packaging and will be available for shipping as soon as they get the lab reports. Other lithium sources have already completed this process.

Elite's cells have a stated 1 year warranty while AM Solar offers a 5 YEAR WARRANTY with full replacement in the first 3 years.

If a balancing board fails on an Elite battery, the entire 4 position board must be replaced, as each 100 amp/hour 'battery' is comprised of 4 cells wired in series.

AM Solar uses parallel connections employing heavy solid copper bar with solid hex bolts as opposed to 4 set screws. This allows for the use of fewer balancing boards that are easily replaced individually if necessary.

While Elite has a nice display of individual cell information, most AM Solar clients don't want or need to know what each cell (24 cells in a 600 amp/hour lithium pack) is doing. Their main concern is that the battery is operating properly. All charging, use and state of charge information is clearly displayed on the Blue Sky iPN-PRO remote that's included in their solar charging systems.

AM Solar's proprietary battery monitor system is manually resettable with visual warnings of a solenoid disconnect, a feature others don't offer. Their design for lithium batteries was done specifically for the RV user, not folks in the EV field that want to as much battery data as possible for proper operation of their vehicles.

And finally, AM Solar tested many of the available lithium batteries available over a two year period in actual RV use and found that their present offering best suited the requirements of their RV clients in real world situations


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Old 12-15-2015, 12:19 PM   #12
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The heading of my post said…and I quote

"Do a google search on lithium batteries and airlines"

The original video ( that I can't find ) said that the FAA was allowing small batteries, IN personal devices. Which led me to think that large lithium batteries MIGHT somehow be less than safe. Further research led me to understand that they are not wanting bulk quantities of lithium batteries on commercial flights.

Please allow me the same right to be " blunt ". as you allow yourself. Play nice.
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Old 12-15-2015, 12:43 PM   #13
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Cool

Well I hate to argue with Lew, and this isn't meant to be an argument, but clarification of sales speak. I know we are AMSolar fans here. I purchased all 505 watts of solar from them. But I do want to counter a few points made.

First Elite is not the only supplier of GBS cells. They don't sell individual cells for example. But there are about 15 US suppliers who do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post

If a balancing board fails on an Elite battery, the entire 4 position board must be replaced, as each 100 amp/hour 'battery' is comprised of 4 cells wired in series.
No, that's not true. You can replace one sense board in the chain. You can also purchase individual sense boards. And if you send an email, they will even customize the layout if you ask. I actually wrote them about this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
AM Solar uses parallel connections employing heavy solid copper bar with solid hex bolts as opposed to 4 set screws. This allows for the use of fewer balancing boards that are easily replaced individually if necessary.
Hate to challenge you here Lew but the connectors have nothing to do with the balancing boards or the parallel block layouts.

I do believe AMSolar's layout methods are better. If you want to do that, which I did here in this photo, this was copy AMSolar, you have to ask for the boards to match your arrangement.


Also the 200Ah GBS cells feature the same screw connector.

AMSolar does not monitor at the individual cell level, they do so at the 4 pack level. To me, that is a problem as the cells could driff over time. There are serious advantages to individual cell monitoring. And I don't think just writing it off as not important to the RV market is a legit answer. I think it's a marketing answer.

Not saying it's not as good, just saying, I'd prefer individual cell monitoring for the advantages and individual cell balancing, not just pack level.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
While Elite has a nice display of individual cell information, most AM Solar clients don't want or need to know what each cell (24 cells in a 600 amp/hour lithium pack) is doing. Their main concern is that the battery is operating properly. All charging, use and state of charge information is clearly displayed on the Blue Sky iPN-PRO remote that's included in their solar charging systems.
Marketing speak. Got it.

I hope that includes educating people that with a flat discharge rate you can't just look at the voltage to determine how much of the battery is depleted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
AM Solar's proprietary battery monitor system is manually resettable with visual warnings of a solenoid disconnect, a feature others don't offer. Their design for lithium batteries was done specifically for the RV user, not folks in the EV field that want to as much battery data as possible for proper operation of their vehicles.
What others don't offer this feature? Elite has OV and UV protection and visual warnings along with the ability to control a solenoid and remove the battery from the system.

I'm glad they updated their pictures. So we have a board, with a on/off switch a constant duty solenoid, a Power Junction Post Block, and the BMS. Hmmm....



I've seen this before....



Look at the systems the other installers have done, they use the same setup.

I will say it's nice that AMSolar put this in a kit. But it is just that, a kit. Anyone can have the same setup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
And finally, AM Solar tested many of the available lithium batteries available over a two year period in actual RV use and found that their present offering best suited the requirements of their RV clients in real world situations
Marketing speak. Got it.

AMSolar could probably benefit from having more detailed information about their system on their site. And maybe an education page like they have for Solar which is excellent. They were the first I considered, but as I learned more about lithium batteries, and costs, I decided I wanted to build my own system.

I would and will say, AMSolar is the best bet if you want to buy a kit with all the pieces and not play, figure it out yourself. If you go with Elite, you will need an installer, or you will need to bug them via phone/email and be willing to figure out the components you need in the system yourself. They don't actually sell a complete KIT.

And the KIT is probably the strong point for AMSolar.
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Old 12-15-2015, 01:04 PM   #14
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Mods, as the original poster can I have this thread closed, gotten off track.
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