Prior to my purchase yesterday I had a lot of correspondence with Xin from Victpower. Although she seems a little reserved with the information, she also seems to be as helpful as she can be. I believe that they sometimes can't provide suitable answers on some questions because they honestly don't know. They come across as just another trading company with the right contacts to get products that others can't.
The terms of the purchase that we agreed on are that the modules must be New
and showing Correct Voltage
Xin would not agree to provide a refund on the modules if they were found to be DOA, faulty or bad (her term).....but she did agree to replace any bad modules with good modules providing I covered the freight component.....which is a damn costly portion.
They provided the following photo which is a new pack and shows no evidence of having been used. No marks on terminals, etc. I believe these are the potentially faulty modules that have not yet been assembled into the larger packs for Fisker and the like. A123 would be dumping them as it would be too risky for them to sell to the contract customers.
Xin said that I would receive 22 brand new modules exactly the same as these.
The following photo was sent to me by mistake.....but I believe it answers virtually all of the queries in this thread:
This will be obvious to most with any knowledge of the cells or modules, but what this shows to me is:
1. This module was forcibly removed from a larger Fisker pack....hence Fisker identifier label, bent tabs on end of module.
2. Victpower has the "real-deal" from A123.
3. Cell tabs are laser welded to busbars which results in shortened tabs. Thus cells that some have purchased with short tabs were not neutered on purpose, but more likely removed from modules.
4. Removing a group of faulty cells would not be an easy task....but would not be impossible either.
While the above photo initially looked bad to me, with the assurances from Xin, it was the one that pushed me over the line to proceed.
I have been thinking for some time that if I could only get my hands on one A123 module, I would copy it for my own packs as all the engineering is done and the cells are supported and connected as they were designed to be.
Although it is very likely that I will end up with some of the faulty cells in these modules, I believe that repairing them will be much easier than building modules from scratch.
I should receive the modules by the end of next week and provide feedback on their condition, voltages, etc. I will also like to build some form of test rig, so if anyone has suggestions on what this should be, I am all ears.