Large Capacity LiFePO4 Tester

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fannel

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Jan 4, 2019
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Greetings to my SLS family. I have been away from the forum for quite some time now, but this is where i get most of my knowledge concerning energy storage. My humble collection of 18650 LiIon cells are now dusting and I now want to embark of prismatic LiFe cells. Reading from the forum indicates that a large number of Life cells sourced from the Middle Kingdom are fake or capacities not as advertised. As such I need a means of testing them before ordering any.
My plan is a 48V system (16 3.2V LiFe Cells @ 280 Ah in series). I need to have a means of testing to verify capacity before ordering any. I came across "LeTkingok EBC-A40L Large Current Lithium Battery Charge/Discharge Capacity Tester" and "East Tester ET5410 Single-Channel Programmable Electronic Load 400W input 0-150V / 0-40A Tester DC Load", both on Amazon
EBC-A40L can charge and discharge LiFe cells at 40A, which makes testing of single cells really fast, but cannot discharge modules of cells in series because it is limited to 5V. East Tester ET5410 can discharge test up to 150V. Since it can discharge at 400W, I am guessing it can discharge a 48V battery at 400/50 = 8A. It will potentially test all the 16 cells combined to make a 48V battery at once, making testing significantly faster, but I have not been able to determine if it can also charge LiFe cells or batteries. (There's also a newer version of ETS5410 (ETS5411) that can discharge test up to 500V batteries).
Both cost about $270 each on Amazon, which I am willing to pay. I need opinion on the which is a better buy, considering the main objective is to rapidly identify if LiFe cells meet the seller's described capacity in order to rapidly decide to keep or return them.
It is also possible that there are better alternatives out there that I don't know about. I need your input or suggestions
 

floydR

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Aug 23, 2017
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1,329
The icharger 4010duo test up to 2 10s at a time $350 ebay/amazon, my favorite icharger x8 $130 ebay/amazon up to 8 inseries, icharger x12 $229amazon $180 ebay up to 12 in series, icharger x6 $110-130 up to 6 in series and they can do a regenerative discharge.
Later floyd
 

slimf

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Sep 26, 2017
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You need to test each cell, and I can recommend a CBA-IV by west mountain radio.

you can test at around 10 amps or if you want to go higher there are add on resistance modules available that can diss apart much more, but they are expensive.

you end up with a graph of the discharge curve and you can save the data on your pc and compare the cells over time. A very good quality, USA made device.

requires a PC.
 

fannel

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Jan 4, 2019
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14
@floydR and Slimf
Thanks very much for the recommendations. I will read up on the iChargers and the CBA-IV. Both seem good for my purpose
 

floydR

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Aug 23, 2017
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The icharger x series have a Micro Sd card slot: logs discharge curves,charge curves, etc to the card. Uses a java program DataExplorer to plot, visualize, print results

Later Floyd
 
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fannel

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Jan 4, 2019
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@ Floyd:

Short question: Will the icharger x series display the discharge capacity of the battery? I once bought a charger and had to return it because it will not save the discharge capacity and display it. I had to be physically present at moment the discharge was ending to see it. That made it useless for my purpose and I had to return it
 

floydR

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Aug 23, 2017
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yes they display the discharge capacity, also it can log the info to a micro sd card. You would need a power supply I bought a 75 amp@ 12v modified server power supply. to do a regenerative discharge you would need at least a 12v 280 AH battery. you can also drain the 12v battery as you are regenerative discharging the single cell. OGITC I believe posted how to do that.
Later floyd
 

fannel

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Jan 4, 2019
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Update:
All current models of CBA are on back order till Jan 2022 on West Mountain Radio Website. I'll go with one of the iCharger variants. I have 2 Dell PowerEdge 2900 (Model Z930P-00) lying around. I was hoping to connect them in series to get 24V. I know it is possible, but so far haven't found information on exactly how to do it. I will continue searching, but for now will order 2 HP DPS 600PB power supplies ($10 each) because I've found information online on how to connect them in series, although the HP outputs 47.5A, while the Dell PowerEdge 2900 power supply could output a 77.5A.

@floydR:
Is your modified power supply by any chance the same as my Dell PowerEdge 2900 (Model Z930P-00) power supplies? I just noticed that the specs are the same. Mine are not modified and so do not power up right now hopefully are fine because they worked when pulled from the server
 

floydR

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Aug 23, 2017
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They could be the same but since I bought it already modified I am not sure if they are the same.
Later floyd
 
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