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My Projects Cells- RC Planes, Portable AC inverter/batterypack, and Hybrid Boat
#1
Hey There,  I just put my first 2 packs that I built from second life cells in the Cell counter and there was a link to post your projects here.

So my first project is replacing Ni-Mh battery packs in some of my old Electric Gliders and RC planes.  I just made 2 3S x 1P battery packs for a total of 6 cells.  I used the lowest mAh cells that still took a charge and resistance was less than 400 milli-ohms.  Even though these were the lowest performance cells, they are still alot better than the Ni-mh cells that I replaced.

2 other Projects--The ones that actually got me into this are building a portable AC inverter/battery pack, that we can take camping or off grid, or we can run AC on during power outages during hurricane and storms etc. 

The final and biggest one is making battery banks for a hybrid 27' ski boat with a small cabin and or kitchen.  I want to be able to have solar panels, and run the electric drive motors, and have a powerwall type system in the boat, to charge the boat or run our house when the boat is just sitting in the yard or at the dock.  I am still crunching the numbers for how big of a battery bank, how many solar panels, how large of a generator to get and all that.  Right now I am estimating a battery bank of 75 KwH and 40S total (144 nominal Volts).  

I am planning to practice on all the small projects, and scale up everything as I accumulate more cells.   One example will be building the battery pack /ac inverter the same size as a module for the boat, and getting a 300 watt solar panel to charge the module, and experiment with what BMSs, and all the other stuff.


My other totals so far:

So far I have 24 tested second life batteries that are good enough to use and catalog.  I just got 10 battery packs today and retrieved 78 cells from those and am testing those now.  And I have 22 new Samsung 30Q that I am going use in the boat.

I will probably set up a blog soon too, and will link it here.

Cheers,

Ryan "Rip"
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#2
Nice plans. Yep, even the "weak/bad" lithiums are far better good NiMH cells.

Hrmm, hurricanes. I know a thing or two about those storms Wink
Proceed with caution. Knowledge is Power! Literally! Cool 
Knowledge is Power; Absolute Knowledge is Absolutely Shocking!
Certified 18650 Cell Reclamation Technician

Please come join in general chit-chat and randomness at https://discord.gg/c7gJ5uA
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#3
(05-31-2018, 11:34 AM)Korishan Wrote: Nice plans.  Yep, even the "weak/bad" lithiums are far better good NiMH cells.

Hrmm, hurricanes. I know a thing or two about those storms   Wink

Hello Korishan,

I Just noticed you are in Florida too.  What part are you in?  (You can PM me if you don't want to be that specific on a Public Forum).  I live in Melbourne, FLORIDA, USA.  

Also I read in one of your recent posts that you are working on using an Arduino board for a BMS.  Do you have a thread for that.  I just ordered and recieved an Arduino Clone Starter kit last night and am getting ready to start playing around with it and learning.  I am thinking about using it (or them after I get more) as a timer for my battery spot welder, and use another one for a Charger Controller/BMS brain for the battery bank in my Hybrid Boat.

I have tested and cataloged 56 cells so far, and am slowly testing more cells slowly.  I am beginning to work on a prototype battery module for the Boat.  I will test the hell out of these prototypes.  Here is what I have : 

Right now the current (no pun intended) calculations look like I will be using one AC-51 motor to get the boat running, and adding a second AC-51 motor in the future.  At Max Power they draw 144 V nominal and 500 Amps.  I hope they create a motor controller that uses more voltage and less Amps by the time I get to that point, but for now I am using 144V and 500A.  

I was shooting for about a 75 kWh battery bank and with new 3000 mAh cells that' s about 7,000 cells, 40sx175p but being able to pull 72 kW of power from the bank is more important than the run time.  So I will use somewhere between 40s x 175p (2.9 A per cell) and 40s x 100p (5.0 A per cell.) I will divide it up into 10 battery modules.   The modules will be Aluminum cases to protect cells and dissipate heat, and I affix some copper pipe to run cooling water through.

Cheers,
Ryan "Rip"
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#4
Here are two in progress pictures or sketches of where all my 18650s will be going.    It will be 27' long, Maybe 29' if I add on an integral swim platform, and it will have an 8' wide beam.  I am pretty sure this is the shape of outside of the hull from the gunnels down.  I am working on the interior design and layout now.  I am planning on having a hardtop of it with solar panels on it.  And I will have to have an ICE generator on board to get enough range for the boat to be useful to me.

-Ryan
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#5
One thought for the boat, put the sells in series in long pipes. 40 in series adds up to around 2.6m with no connection spacing, so could end up around 3m with parallel connection joints. With 100mm pipe you could fit 20 parallel cells (19mm cell diameter, 95mm inside diameter) and 3Ah, 3.6V Nom each pipe would be 8.6kWh, 60A @ 144V. 8 Pipes, 4 each side would then give 69kWh. Depends on where you need to move the center of gravity to get it to plane. The pipe would be a lot easier to keep dry and cooling via air through the pipes... extreme coolling option fill them with a bio degradable oil - if the cells are ok with being in oil..
The pipes could then also be modular power tubes..
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#6
The other advantage of the pipes would be the weight would be more evenly distributed. You don't want too much bow weight. I think with the current location in the images, its way to far forward. The stern would be bobbing out of the water and would be hard to get going.
Proceed with caution. Knowledge is Power! Literally! Cool 
Knowledge is Power; Absolute Knowledge is Absolutely Shocking!
Certified 18650 Cell Reclamation Technician

Please come join in general chit-chat and randomness at https://discord.gg/c7gJ5uA
(this chat is not directly affiliated with SecondLifeStorage)
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#7
(07-01-2018, 09:23 PM)Korishan Wrote: The other advantage of the pipes would be the weight would be more evenly distributed. You don't want too much bow weight. I think with the current location in the images, its way to far forward. The stern would be bobbing out of the water and would be hard to get going.

Hey Korishan.  

The two white boxes in the image are the consoles, not the batteries.  The steering wheel, helm and stuff will be outside the starboard, A bathroom and access to storage, small sleeping space under the bow seats(if I can fit it all in) will be in and under the two white consoles.  The motors and batteries will be approximately under the persons feet or maybe a little forward.  If I remember correctly the design center of gravity is about 11 feet forward of the stern..  Don't worry, I have plenty of experience calculating weights, moments, inertia, center of gravity, center of bouyancy, etc. in my past day jobs, hobbies, and schooling.  

If you are interested I am basing this design on Glen-L's Phantom, Catalina Express, and Calypso plans.  They can be found Glen_L Phantom link.  The design is kind of dated, so I am updating it and customizing it in my build...Making it very similiar to Dual Consoles today, except for electric motors, hybrid generator, and solar panels.   I think I am also trying to be too precise in these preliminary sketches--I need to just draw really crude shapes and sizes of the interior and just place them in rough position and work on blending them into position to see if they work.

I was also getting ready to ask about what to make the modules out of?  I was originally thinking of aluminum, as that will be durable, help with cooling,  but that will be expensive, subject to corrosion.  And in the case of a mishap or disaster it may short out get hot, melt stuff, short out more, and just become a chain reaction until a fire starts, and or I burn the lithium cells, aluminum, and/or the boat.  So I was thinking about assembling the cells using the same plastic holders that a lot of DIY powerwallers use.  Every block or module would be 1sX180p or (1sX90p and have 2 modules in parallel).  And then building plywood or other material boxes around each module that I could blow cooling air, or run water lines through if I needed to cool the cells.  Plywood can catch fire, but if it gets hot enough to catch the plywood on fire, the Lithium Ion Batteries will probably be burning already.  What do you guys think?  I have plenty of time before I have to worry about the exact details and material, but I am thinking about it.  I am using 0.125 pounds per cell for my calculations for the assembled battery pack weight .

I will look at using pipes and post some sketches of pipe based modules and square modules.
Thanks for the ideas.
Ryan
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#8
I have some sketches to post of my module prototype/Proof of Concept.  I haven't nailed down which motors I am using yet, so the battery pack may be 40s x 175p, or it may be 24s x 280p.  Or I may come across a third motor/controller setup that requires different arrangement when I get to the point of actually buying the motors, and controllers.  I am pretty sure I will be using about 7,000 18650 Cells.  Tonight I am leaning towards a setup of 24Sx2Px1sx140p.  Meaning each module will have 1s x 140p and two modules will be in parallel and 24 blocks of 2 modules will be in series.  But if I change my mind I can just modify the modules to have whatever configuration I need.

     The module I just drew in CAD is for a 1s x 40p module that I have all the cells for.  It is 12" x4" wide x 4.125"tall.  If I go with a 1s x 140p module then according to the design the module will be 32" x 4" x 4.125".  The drawing is all 1/4" plywood.  I will probably use 1/4" balsa strips directly above and below the batteries, but I ran out of time to change that in the drawing.  I hope to cut out the the wood tomorrow evening at a maker club meeting tomorrow.  Then if all goes well I will assemble it on Saturday or Sunday.  

Let me know if you have any suggestions or comments.
Cheers,
Ryan

P.S.  I plan on making the very top panel removable with screws and hope to be able to lift out the batteries.  I just realized i have to make a few small changes for the bus bars and stuff to clear.

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#9
With a boat the one thing that may need a bit of consideration is making sure the battery arrangement is set to handle the shocks from riding into other vessels bow waves if your not sea bound. If sea based then the repeated shocks will losen anything it can. The normal plastic holders have very thin walls in places and crack easily under shock stress... any additional compound to seal them in place will then have an impact on cooling if you are intending to pull 2C through them at full load with 2 motors.

Not saying you should use them, have a look at LTO chemistry because of the higher C rates (both charge and discharge) and lower internal reisistance as they will run a lot cooler and you can install less capacity and still run 2 motors flat out for a period of time.. not that great for energy density although on a boat it may not be a massive issue. recharge times can be very quick and you have pretty much unlimited cycle life, compared to the life of the boat... the costing is not that different from new Lithium 18650 on a per kWh basis.. $290/kWh for LTO. when looked at on a $ per kWH throughput basis they are far cheaper than 18650's.. only if you make use of them...

If you have a small onboard generator, that ran at say 5kW your cells could then take peaks as required, throttle back or loiter for a charge. Onboar solar will give a trickle charge but with the shock issue I'm guessing a canopy would need to use flexible panels as the alloy framed panels would fracture within a year or two with >150hp..
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#10
Ni MH in aircraft ??? How did they ever get off the ground??? Model aircraft push battery performance to the limit , extremely high discharge , I don't think even new 18650's are normally used ... second life cells , surely would have just too high an Int res. Prismatics are standard ,they are basically the same as 18650's except the steel can has been replaced by aluminium/plastic bag saving a bit of weight ...

As for use in boats I would approach this by regarding the 18650's as ballast , get them as low as possible to give the boat stability , abandon standard cell holders , create a shape of battery that adopts the shape of the bottom of the inside of the boat .
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