Author Topic: the classic and simpliphi?  (Read 135 times)

BlackwaterPark

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the classic and simpliphi?
« on: November 24, 2021, 09:50:42 AM »
So I'm upgrading nearly my entire system, and am hoping to be able to parlay the classic (along with my panels) into the new.  Going from 24 to 48v, and will be switching from lead acid to lifepo4, so I'm trying to get a grip on how these elements play together.  I'm looking at Simpliphi (I've been looking at all the options out there), and I fully realize that they are ridiculously priced with far less features comparative to, well frankly, just about ALL their competition. But, they are in stock (likely for the afforementioned reasons), I can drive 2 hours to pick them up, and unlike every other company I've emailed with questions about availability and spec queries, they actually respond right away.  Signature solar, Energetech, and the other companies I've reached out to have completely ignored me for days. I suspect Will Prowse (and other YouTube gurus) syndrome is the underlying impetus behind their inability to keep up with customer surge. Yea, anywho,

Im hoping to hear from anyone who has been using a classic with the simpliphi phi 3.8s (NOT the ampliphis), and get a sense of how well they play together, and how well the wbjr tracks the true SoC of the bank.  I remember someone on here was using discover and having issues, because the discovers were actually higher in capacity than the sticker rating, basically forcing a shallower dod than the batteries were otherwise capable off, as a longevity safeguard, and this was the culprit behind inaccurate SoC readings?  Bearing that in mind, I asked simpliphi about this, and they said that the nameplate ratings are exactly what they state, so no issue there I guess.  Technically, wouldn't this actually make discover a little cheaper than the Simpliphis, incidentally?  Anyway, can someone explain/justify spending so much more money on these batteries (setting aside the issue of availability)? I'm not getting the warranty because I'm not having them  "professionally" installed, and compared to the eg4 and Energetech lines, they really lack in features.  They all claim aaa matched cells and high quality bms's. Is there something I'm not getting here?

qrper

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Re: the classic and simpliphi?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2021, 12:11:09 PM »
Hi,
I'm no expert in lithium batteries. To me, they are way to expensive up front, and frankly, a 24V@3.8kWh battery at $2500 simply isn't for me. You would of course need two for a 48V system, so you're popping 5 grand in two batteries.

For $2400 ($300 per battery times 8 batteries) would give you 24kWh (@50% DOD) 48V  with good old school lead acid L16 or equivalents.

I guess I haven't drank the Kool-aid yet.

What I did get from your message is simpliphi won't give you a warranty because the batteries are not professionally installed. REALLY? I goin' drop $5k worth of batteries (maybe more) and I don't get a warranty on a battery that lacks features when compared to other brands.

I guess what you're not getting is the fact you're doing do drop serious money on new batteries that lack features and come with no warranty.
System one: 7kWp w/ Trina 250 W panels @90 Vdc. Classic 150 to 16-6 V U.S batteries. Trace 5548 sine wave inverter.
System two: 6kWp grid tie with solaredge inverter.
System three: Midnite Brat, two 120 W Astropower modules, 100 Ah battery. Runs the LED streetlight in the back yard.

Steve_S

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Re: the classic and simpliphi?
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2021, 01:03:48 PM »
"24V" 200AH LFP = 5120wh / 5.12kWh
This is calculated as,  3.200 Nominal Voltage X 8 Cells (24V std - 25.6V) X Cell AH rating.

SimpliPhi are good, they use Cylindrical LFP A+ Cells, similar to BattleBorn. They ARE overpriced and not as advanced as more recent offerings by others.  Their warranties are good BUT not easy to deal with and the whole Pro Install pile kills it for many.  That is "Twaddle" but they did start in the "early days" if you will and then Pro was the only answer to ensure noone did stupid.

SimpliPhi operates from Oxnard California,  There are US Warehouses located there selling LFP Cells (some crap but others not) and related bit's if you are interested in possibly DIY'ing them, it isn't hard: See this doc I prepped for that.  https://diysolarforum.com/resources/luyuan-tech-basic-lifepo4-guide.151/

Or a simpler DIY option:   https://www.sunfunkits.com/

I will also aim you at https://www.currentconnected.com/product-category/btry/ who is EXCELLENT with +++ Rep, good folks.

FYI, The BigBattery stuff requires serious consideration.  They use used cells, do test them BUT have had many issues as well.  They have generally made good but not nice & simple.  Recently though they have really stepped up in quality & grade so worth a "ponder": at least for comparisons.  https://bigbattery.com/

I could aim you at specific high quality products in China but you already indicated that is not of interest to you.

Alternatively, https://volthium.com/en/batteries/  is a Canadian Company, designed & built here with domestic components !  BTW, This is A++ Goodies !

Hope that helps, Good Luck.


Relion Battery https://relionbattery.com/shop/application/solar-power  is also pretty good but $$ is also a tad "stiff".

Now Costco in some regions have LiFePo4 Batteries (drop in types) for respectable prices, several CAN be set in series & parallel (NOT ALL) and that may be worth investigating.
Classic-200, Samlex EVO-4024 Inverter/Charger, 1190AH/30kWh of LiFePO4 & 856Ah of Rolls Surette LEAD.

BlackwaterPark

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Re: the classic and simpliphi?
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2021, 05:45:26 PM »
Thanks for the response, Steve. 

Regarding the China issue, I don't have any problem with Chinese manufacturing in and of itself, but through experience I've come to greatly favor US based design and support in that arena, when the company has sourced a quality China based factory. Case in point would be my upcoming purchase of Genetry Solar inverters for my new system.

I'm looking to obtain about 400ah at 48v, so I'll be laying down a good chunk of change.  With simpliphi, that equates to around $16k. I don't mind spending that of I have to, but I'm not opposed to a DIY build either.  Thing is, I've little time these days, even though I'm a real DIY guy. So the time constraint comes from the research (I already have a lot on my plate with projects and building things, like horticultural lighting systems and related endeavors and systems). Therefore, though I have the ability, and funds, I just don't have the time to delve into the research to do it proper...ergo; I have to rely on the experience of others, along with the trust that they know what they are talking about. That said, I've read many of your posts on the subject, and you seem to know a thing or two.  I'll certainly read your links intently, bit let me pose a question to you:  If you were going to build a battery system with your priorities being longevity, quality, and diagnostic/programability, and a coherent and active support network over cost considerations, how would you go about it?

Steve_S

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Re: the classic and simpliphi?
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2021, 04:03:45 AM »
Thanks for the response, Steve. 

 Therefore, though I have the ability, and funds, I just don't have the time to delve into the research to do it proper...ergo; I have to rely on the experience of others, along with the trust that they know what they are talking about. That said, I've read many of your posts on the subject, and you seem to know a thing or two.  I'll certainly read your links intently, bit let me pose a question to you:  If you were going to build a battery system with your priorities being longevity, quality, and diagnostic/programability, and a coherent and active support network over cost considerations, how would you go about it?

A question, a big one eh...
Being that I live off grid, am rural & remote and can be snowed in for days (I cannot ski or snowmobile out) I still did my own thing, but I also had the Budget Contraint... But I bought land, designed & built my own home by myself (only concrete pour was contracted) and did it all with cash and with 5 years of hard labour.  No Cash Piles - save, buy & build.   This was my "Bucket List" item.

As a DIYer, I have a Known Good Reliable Supplier for cells that are properly & correctly factory Matched, Batched & Binned Grade A+ cells and at a very respectable price as well.  That is Amy Wan, the owner of Luyuan Tech, in fact the company I wrote the DIY Assembly Guide for, I did that Because they are "Honourables"  !  (started dealing with Chinese Business in the later 80's)

BMS to use in this instance likely the SEPLOS product line or TinyBMS or possibly RECbms.  These have CanBus, RS485 to interact with gear.

Rackmount casing, that's tough, generally casings are not readily available and they have limited sizing constraints as well (cell size).

Active support network, does that really exist ?   I'll have to ponder that, I've only been at this a few years.

Roughly costed for DIY:  48V/280AH/14.3kWh each.  2 Packs for 560AH/28.6kWh
32x Eve-280AH Matched & Batched cells with test reports:  $4096 USD + $2100 S&H (with inaccurate guesstimator) $6229 USD delivered to door all in.
2x 16S BMS rated at 300A. Relay/Contactor based - derate limited to 250A output and 140A charge limit.
Pricing varies depending on a few choices.
---  This should helps at least give you a basic cost value.

Now for some bluntness.
If budget is not that much of a concern due to the factors of time availability etc the Commercial Solution is the way to go.  I would ONLY get LFP (LiFePO4) no other Lithium Chemistry !  Now that is a limiter as several use Other Chemistry like NMC or NCA.  Entirely US Made, you WILL be Hard Pressed and that is unlikely to change until mid 22 to 23 as the IP for LFP Chemistry is up in April of 22 and then production can begin outside of China on scale.  US Assembled is available now but extremely limited as well.  Sorry the hard truth is the US is 10-12 years behind the 8 ball in this sector, regardless of how anyone tries to paint it otherwise... The cost of the Fossil Corp Funded & Backed Anti-RE/Anti-EV FUD who used subsidies to intentionally delay any developments to further the National Development of the tech...[/i]  US Made cells will be VERY HARD to get for several years yet as the focus is towards EV & Grid Storage systems, sadly that is still going to be woefully short...

I provided a link to Volthium, that is Good Stuff, prices shown in $ CAD !  currency exchange is 25% (discount to you) or thereabouts.   ROBIN & Then Gang should talk to them for a Midnite Battery System !  Already CSA, UL, CETL etc certified no less.  But being Canadian Designed & Engineered likely won't be considered good enough.

Now the quirky GOTCHA !
Do a Google search on "US made Rackmount telecom 48V battery" and guess what pops up...  There are a "few" with LFP but not that many...  Ironically Huawei Telecom (yes the cell phone co) makes some of the best Telecom Rackmount Battery Packs going.  Gotta love the FUD over the Administrative backdoors that ALL telecom, networking equipment has, to suit an agenda.  BTW: I am a retired CBE,MCSE,ECNE & former MS Core Engineer for NATO systems.  Was also heavily into the Protocol Standards & Communication Group for the Gov. as well...

Hope this is helpful and that it gives you some options to ponder upon.  It's now 4AM and I need a nap again, I'll check in later again.
Classic-200, Samlex EVO-4024 Inverter/Charger, 1190AH/30kWh of LiFePO4 & 856Ah of Rolls Surette LEAD.

BlackwaterPark

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Re: the classic and simpliphi?
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2021, 09:23:55 AM »
Same situation here, in many respects. I bought land here in Maine while living in RI/Conn, saved and built as I could afford to. Designed and built my house on my weekends, and am pretty rural, and down a mile and half private road (which was a a skidder trail when we first got here). I couldn't have afforded to do it any other way really.  But no mortgage, no recurring bills (except for phone, propane, taxes, and now Starlink)... that's what has been the catalyst for financial growth for me. 

Don't get me wrong about the "made in the US" thing here, I'm not super biased towards domestic products necessarily, its just that I find companies that are easy to contact in a timely manner without a language barrier to muck the waters, and who really stand behind their products. That being said, I've had good experiences with a few companies out of Shenzhen, like Kingbrite and Jerry Meng for all my high intensity led components.  But too many of them are like Solinba, where I can't even get a response post purchase, or one that makes any sense. It's for this reason I'd be loathe to switch from Midnite. Truth be told, I favor Japanese manufactured things across a wide spectrum of products, especially motors/engines.  Hell, I won't drive anything other than Hondas (now if they would only produce a ¾ or 1 ton for sale here...) South Korea makes great tractors (love my Kioti 2610). etc, etc.  I doubt I'd have much trouble dealing with a Canadian company, and I'm glad you cleared up the pricing. I reached out to ask them that very question last night actually, as my eyes popped a little bit in their sockets when I saw the pricetag.

What I mean by active support is that when you fire an email off to them, they respond back with a day or so, with a comprehensible reply. Or have an active forum. Or answer the phone, with their own reps. that sort of thing.

I don't recall saying I was looking for rackmount casing (even though I am, hehe.. maybe your a mind reader), but I can fabricate that myself If i had to anyway.

Regarding the bms, id like passive balancing, and canbus would be nice, as the Genetry inverters I'm getting are set up for that, and the designer, Sid, is always updating firmware and can write code for custom situations. He actually also makes passive balancers as well.  Bluetooth function would be a very welcome feature as well.

I'll check out the eve cells, and Luyuan. I did read through your guide last night. That price range is very doable, so long as the components aren't hung up in shipping for months on end.

Thanks man, you've been very helpful here.

Regards,
Jay.

Steve_S

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Re: the classic and simpliphi?
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2021, 10:25:15 AM »
Not a mind reader but from your talk & thinking I made the assumption as it seemed logical.
Midnite is GREAT and I really wish they had more goodies, I really love my Classic 200 and all the related gear, even if a little clunky with Lithium Based, really needs more params for Lithium. 

PSSST   Do look in Craiglist & similar to see if you can get a used server or telecom rack (quite cheap and lots out there) and if you have a Brake, bending up sheets to make a casing isn't tough (OK I am a licensed Body Man (restorations) so take that for what it's worth LOL) but you will have to line ANY metal casing with something like Bakelight or Fiberglass composite to isolate cells from all conductive surfaces. I particularly like, FR-4 thermosetting industrial laminate. This is readily available on Amazon/EBay/AliBaba/AliExpress and virtually every Electronic Components store.

I do get the tech support issues absolutely but batteries require none if you do it right.  Or buy a proper known good commercial product of course.

Do tell Amy Wan @ Luyuan I sent you !    shhhhh don't tell anyone LOL.  I don't get anything from anyone.

You see, I was diaged terminal in 2014, hence bucket list project.  Next spring I finish details and sell my place and coast to my termination date of September 2022 and I am off to the Next Adventure.  Got noone but my sweet Maggie left and nothing else left.  Fortunately she will benifit from this.  Damn it though, she's been stuck behind the border since Covid.   Three of my kids survived but are long gone and completely estranged so...

I help when I can when I feel up to it and that at least gives me something positive in the meantime, needs, wants etc are pointless.

Time to take another nap... This sux too, 2-4 hrs sleep max and only able to manage 6 hours awake  before having to nap again...   Sick of it = understatement.
Classic-200, Samlex EVO-4024 Inverter/Charger, 1190AH/30kWh of LiFePO4 & 856Ah of Rolls Surette LEAD.

ClassicCrazy

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Re: the classic and simpliphi?
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2021, 10:50:49 PM »
Thanks for sharing all your lithium and other knowledge Steve !
Do you think I could put a small lithium pack in an old freezer for the winter to keep them warm enough to charge in daytime ?
I am experimenting now with my SLA gel pack . They perform pretty good in Wisconsin winter temps out in the shed . But I just took some old foam board and built a crude enclosure around them. I also recently had acquired some heating wire - like they use to warm up soil in greenhouses . I strung that around inside the insulated battery box and plugged it into relay controlled outlet that is controlled by Aux 1 of Classic - in Waste Not mode for now. It is pretty low wattage wire / heat so I am not worried about anything heating up too much .
I will see how it goes. I was thinking a wire like that in insulated freezer box maybe would keep lithiums above freezing on sunny days.
Fun to tinker !

Larry
system one
Classic 150 , 5s4p  Kyocera 135watt , 12s Soneil 2v 540amp lead crystal for 24v pack , Outback 3524 inverter
system two
Classic 150 ,5s 135 watt Kyocero , 16s Calb 100AH LiFePO4 , Outback VFX 3648 inverter
system three
Midnite KID MPPT 24 DC in to  12 volt AGM batterie

Steve_S

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Re: the classic and simpliphi?
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2021, 03:47:54 AM »
I, personally don't use a "warmer" as I have a small powerhouse/pumphouse combo that I heat with a small recovered RV Furnace.  Most people using warmers tend to go for the low voltage silicone warming pads with their own settable thermostats to keep them between 45-50F.   Typically placing the pad underneath with an aluminium diffuser and works a treat without burning up much juice if all well insulated... no offgas so no issues in that area.  I cannot recommend any personally but a lot of people are using them in the DIYSolar Forum.

I'm not sure what you mean by heating wire, but if it's like Pipe Heat Tape or something like that, I would not be very comfortable with that.
Classic-200, Samlex EVO-4024 Inverter/Charger, 1190AH/30kWh of LiFePO4 & 856Ah of Rolls Surette LEAD.

ClassicCrazy

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Re: the classic and simpliphi?
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2021, 10:34:12 AM »
I, personally don't use a "warmer" as I have a small powerhouse/pumphouse combo that I heat with a small recovered RV Furnace.  Most people using warmers tend to go for the low voltage silicone warming pads with their own settable thermostats to keep them between 45-50F.   Typically placing the pad underneath with an aluminium diffuser and works a treat without burning up much juice if all well insulated... no offgas so no issues in that area.  I cannot recommend any personally but a lot of people are using them in the DIYSolar Forum.

I'm not sure what you mean by heating wire, but if it's like Pipe Heat Tape or something like that, I would not be very comfortable with that.
yeah sort of like pipe heat tape . I got it with a greenhouse someone gave me. I like the idea of the heating mats - I will have to look into those - maybe I have one around here. I like to salvage stuff and reuse it . It was so nice that I knocked together the quick battery insulated box because the  insulation board was always in my way .

Larry
system one
Classic 150 , 5s4p  Kyocera 135watt , 12s Soneil 2v 540amp lead crystal for 24v pack , Outback 3524 inverter
system two
Classic 150 ,5s 135 watt Kyocero , 16s Calb 100AH LiFePO4 , Outback VFX 3648 inverter
system three
Midnite KID MPPT 24 DC in to  12 volt AGM batterie

Steve_S

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Re: the classic and simpliphi?
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2021, 12:09:19 PM »
There are Fishtank warming pads and also for seedling tray pads that some people are using with success, I just went and dug up some handy stuff from the members.  Check the links to get a handle on what I am suggesting based on known good info.
** CAUTION **  I must reiterate that you never want ANY warmer making direct contact with cells, cells must be protected by non-conductive material.

https://www.amazon.com/GAOHOU-Electric-Beekeeper-Keeping-Equipment/dp/B0794V5J5H/ref=sr_1_8?dchild=1&keywords=silicone+heating+pad&qid=1614352374&sr=8-8

Heating & Cooling control
https://www.amazon.com/Inkbird-Temperature-Controller-Fahrenheit-Thermostat/dp/B019I3YCFS/ref=psdc_306533011_t3_B076Y5BXD9

Good Warmer
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N7QVBJJ/

I hope that angles you in the right direction and also again KISS really applies for doing such.

BTW:  Normally I consider such a HIJACK of a thread BUT in this case not entirely, SimpliPhi Batteries do not have warmers and such that I am aware of, they do have the same issues with regards to Cold Temps and therefore in certain cases warming ability may be called for.
Classic-200, Samlex EVO-4024 Inverter/Charger, 1190AH/30kWh of LiFePO4 & 856Ah of Rolls Surette LEAD.

BlackwaterPark

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Re: the classic and simpliphi?
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2021, 12:23:09 PM »
It's cool, I'm not one to try and moderate my own posts to stay on a set course, but to meander as they will. Sometimes they lead to considerations I hadn't thought of.  I'm still trying to piece together the system I'm looking for, in DIY terms, and compare that to the commercial offerings. Honestly, I don't really put an ounce of stock in ANY company honoring their warranty on ANYTHING, and least of all something like a battery, so therein lies a major advantage to the diy route.  I'm wholly unconcerned any low or high temp for these batteries at any rate, as they will reside in the understairs closet on my first floor where the lead acids have for the last  9 years along with the rest of my system. The temp in my house fluctuates between 56° (on winter early morning lows where i didn't feel like stocking the stove overnight, and lazy shoulder season days) and upper 80s on hot summer days.