Ebay A123s

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EVan   10 W

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Ebay A123s

Post by EVan » Jun 25 2010 9:49am

There are several vendors with what claim to be A123 18650 cells at reasonable prices.

Is anyone using these, as opposed to tool packs? Such packs are *not* available cheaply in the UK.

Are they genuine? Are there any preferred vendors, or those to avoid?

Thanks a lot.
(PS I know there's a big A123 thread but it goes back some years when the cells were very new and rare, so I hope it's OK to ask in a new thread).

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Re: Ebay A123s

Post by nuvola » Jun 25 2010 4:29pm

I ordered 185 cells two weeks ago, when I will receive it I will update you.
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Re: Ebay A123s

Post by Chillboy » Jun 25 2010 5:51pm

I ordered some of those for replacement cells and got verification that they are the same cells Cammy-c V-Power has been using
who has mixed reviews with rarely anyone getting full capacity in a prebuilt pack with bms.
Hobby King is selling them with tabs attached which is nice but more $.
Having replaced a whole row in my pack, I wouldn't do it again but maybe with 1/2 the amount of cells using these
http://cgi.ebay.com/New-A123-26650-Batt ... 2308140cf6
for a little more $.
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Re: Ebay A123s

Post by Lock » Jun 25 2010 6:08pm

Earlier thread about fake/pirated A123 cells:
http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... 14&t=17513

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Re: Ebay A123s

Post by BMI » Jun 25 2010 9:16pm

EVan wrote:There are several vendors with what claim to be A123 18650 cells at reasonable prices.

Is anyone using these, as opposed to tool packs? Such packs are *not* available cheaply in the UK.

Are they genuine? Are there any preferred vendors, or those to avoid?

Thanks a lot.
(PS I know there's a big A123 thread but it goes back some years when the cells were very new and rare, so I hope it's OK to ask in a new thread).
All A123 cells as sold on Ebay by sellers from China or Hong Kong are fake, under performing, low quality copies of the genuine article.
I feel sorry for anyone who has wasted their money in buying these fakes.
The sellers all claim the cells are manufactured in China but the truth of the matter is when A123 Systems lost in the lawsuit against Phostech Canada for patent infringement they were required to cease all manufacturing of cells in China which is what they did. So if you are offered an A123 cell made in China you can be sure it is fake.

I have a colleague who builds custom mortorcycle racing battery packs from A123 cells and he can verify the lack of performance and poor quality of the cells sold on Ebay in the green plastic sleeves.
Daniel made an 8 cell pack from the original cells with the white cardboard sleeve removed from Dewalt packs. This battery was able to crank over his car engine and start it three times. The same size pack made from loose cells in the green plastic sleeves did not even attempt to try and crank the car engine.
Further, you would not expect a quality cell made by A123 to have its heat shrink wrapper put on the wrong way!!!
It was noticed that one of the cells was made with the wrapper upside down so the +ve mark on the wrapper was actually pointing next to the -ve terminal on the cell and vice-versa. This is a SERIOUS error which no legitimate battery manufacturer would made and just typical of why you would expect from China.
Seeing is believing and the proof is in the photo below!
heatshrink.JPG
heatshrink.JPG (56.45 KiB) Viewed 2509 times

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Re: Ebay A123s

Post by LiFe » Jun 26 2010 12:14pm

BMI wrote: The sellers all claim the cells are manufactured in China but the truth of the matter is when A123 Systems lost in the lawsuit against Phostech Canada for patent infringement they were required to cease all manufacturing of cells in China which is what they did. So if you are offered an A123 cell made in China you can be sure it is fake.
Armin, why do you repeatedly make up LIES ?? :x

You're beginning to appear a lot like Don Harmon.

A123 has not lost any judgements with Phostech, Goodenough, UT, Hydro Quebec, or anyone else for that matter. You just made this crap up! I don't recommend anyone buying batteries from LIARS!

The last published information about the negotiations from nine months ago is here:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... Kg.kW9OuMw

The most recent SEC filing of their books:
http://www.faqs.org/sec-filings/100513/ ... -INC_10-Q/

Nope nothing about their losing a lawsuit is published there either...

:evil:

Although I do agree with the statement that ALL the ANR26650 M1A cells being sold from China/HK are fake.
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Re: Ebay A123s

Post by cell_man » Jun 26 2010 1:11pm

LiFe wrote: Although I do agree with the statement that ALL the ANR26650 M1A cells being sold from China/HK are fake.
Why do you say that? That is a very sweeping statement. Do you not know that A123 have manufacturing plants in both Korea and China.

I wouldn't trust every A123 cell that comes onto Ebay from HK, but just because someone has put a 2nd layer of shrink wrap over the original shrink wrap doesn't mean the cells are fake or rubbish :wink: I recently tried some cells from a supplier in HK, some were a bit rough around the edges, but they perform. For sure there are likely some fakes out there but I haven't personally had any that didn't perform very well. Did they all meet the stated spec 100%, maybe not but the capacity was within limits and the current output was pretty damn impressive. The RC guys have been using supposedly fake or counterfeit A123 cells in far more demanding applications than even a high powered Ebike with no complaints.
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Re: Ebay A123s

Post by katou » Jun 26 2010 5:25pm

Or, for a slightly higher cost, why don't they test the cells that they are selling?

It kind of seems like someone should be testing the damn things, even just a rough-and-ready discharge test would be worthwhile I think.

I mean, I know why, it would take extra time, each cell must be charged, then discharged which takes time and equipment both.

I'd prefer to get cells that were guaranteed to meet some minimal spec. I wonder why no one offers this?

Katou

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Re: Ebay A123s

Post by BMI » Jun 26 2010 11:08pm

LiFe wrote:
BMI wrote: The sellers all claim the cells are manufactured in China but the truth of the matter is when A123 Systems lost in the lawsuit against Phostech Canada for patent infringement they were required to cease all manufacturing of cells in China which is what they did. So if you are offered an A123 cell made in China you can be sure it is fake.
Armin, why do you repeatedly make up LIES ?? :x

You're beginning to appear a lot like Don Harmon.

A123 has not lost any judgements with Phostech, Goodenough, UT, Hydro Quebec, or anyone else for that matter. You just made this crap up! I don't recommend anyone buying batteries from LIARS!

The last published information about the negotiations from nine months ago is here:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... Kg.kW9OuMw

The most recent SEC filing of their books:
http://www.faqs.org/sec-filings/100513/ ... -INC_10-Q/

Nope nothing about their losing a lawsuit is published there either...

:evil:

Although I do agree with the statement that ALL the ANR26650 M1A cells being sold from China/HK are fake.
I have told the truth (as I always do). Prove to me that what I have said is a lie?

After A123 lost the initial patent infringement lawsuit they were forced to cancel all manufacturing contracts in China with the Chinese battery factories who were making their 26650 cells. This is why the manufacturing contract with China BAK was cancelled. Please explain to me why this contract was cancelled with China BAK?

Of course A123 will and has found loopholes in the requirement for them to cease all manufacturing in China. This is why they now manufacture their large cells for the auto market in Korea. Why do they manufacture in Korea and ship all this product back to China where the end user is located ie, the EV manufacturers? Would it not make more economic sense to manufacure in China directly close to where the customers are located rather than incur shipping costs from Korea?
They do this to get around the lawsuit and find loopholes they can use to their advantage.

Of course there will be more claims and counter claims which I expect will take another 10 years to be resolved in the courts.

I don't expect anyone to believe what I say. By all means go and check out the facts for yourself. I know I am telling the truth and that is all that matters. Of course you may not be able to find all this information since not everything is printed in the media. There is alot of information I gain for colleagues in the battery industry. Whether you are as deeply involved in the battery industry as I am and have colleagues and other sources of information as I have I cannot comment.

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Re: Ebay A123s

Post by BMI » Jun 26 2010 11:18pm

cell_man wrote: ...just because someone has put a 2nd layer of shrink wrap over the original shrink wrap doesn't mean the cells are fake
But the question has to be asked. Why would you do that? Why would you cover a genuine A123 cell wrapper with a fake A123 cell wrapper trying to make out it is a genuine A123 cell if that is what it was in the frst place before you covered the original wrapper with a fake wrapper? :roll:
What am I missing here?

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Re: Ebay A123s

Post by cell_man » Jun 26 2010 11:26pm

katou wrote:Or, for a slightly higher cost, why don't they test the cells that they are selling?

It kind of seems like someone should be testing the damn things, even just a rough-and-ready discharge test would be worthwhile I think.

I mean, I know why, it would take extra time, each cell must be charged, then discharged which takes time and equipment both.

I'd prefer to get cells that were guaranteed to meet some minimal spec. I wonder why no one offers this?

Katou
That's what I'm planning to offer. I just need to work out some details and see if that is something that is necessary for all cells or just offer tested and matched cells for an additional charge. I'm not here to shift a few cells on Ebay, I still want to be here in the future and that's not going to happen if I'm selling junk.
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Re: Ebay A123s

Post by cell_man » Jun 26 2010 11:45pm

BMI wrote:
cell_man wrote: ...just because someone has put a 2nd layer of shrink wrap over the original shrink wrap doesn't mean the cells are fake
But the question has to be asked. Why would you do that? Why would you cover a genuine A123 cell wrapper with a fake A123 cell wrapper trying to make out it is a genuine A123 cell if that is what it was in the frst place before you covered the original wrapper with a fake wrapper? :roll:
What am I missing here?
I don't know the full story so it is not my place to comment. It is up to the users to decide whether they are happy to accept a cell that is the spec weight of an A123, has the same case and comparable performance but is significantly cheaper than through the official route to buy A123 cells, which AFAIK is only through Enerland.

Cells I have checked have capacity of 2300mA give or take 50mA and output around 60A into a resistive load with very respectable voltage sag to about 2.55V. That's a 72g cell with 75.9Whr, so over 100Whr/kg, with a very impressive C rating.
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Re: Ebay A123s

Post by BMI » Jun 27 2010 12:08am

cell_man wrote:
BMI wrote:
cell_man wrote: ...just because someone has put a 2nd layer of shrink wrap over the original shrink wrap doesn't mean the cells are fake
But the question has to be asked. Why would you do that? Why would you cover a genuine A123 cell wrapper with a fake A123 cell wrapper trying to make out it is a genuine A123 cell if that is what it was in the frst place before you covered the original wrapper with a fake wrapper? :roll:
What am I missing here?
I don't know the full story so it is not my place to comment. It is up to the users to decide whether they are happy to accept a cell that is the spec weight of an A123, has the same case and comparable performance but is significantly cheaper than through the official route to buy A123 cells, which AFAIK is only through Enerland.

Cells I have checked have capacity of 2300mA give or take 50mA and output around 60A into a resistive load with very respectable voltage sag to about 2.55V. That's a 72g cell with 75.9Whr, so over 100Whr/kg, with a very impressive C rating.
So long as you are up front and clearly state that the cells are not genuine A123 cells but are a 26650 size cell as a replacement for A123 cells. These Ebay sellers who are passing off cells to unsuspecting buyers claiming they are genuine A123 cells just because they have a green shrink wrap label with an A123 logo printed on it are criminals as far as I am concerned.

A cell may be made in a 26650 size with a capacity of 2300mAh but unless it is manufactured by A123 Systems in their approved factory does not make it an A123 cell.

It is sad that buyers are ordering cells thinking they are made by A123 Systems when they have no way of knowing if they really are or are not receiving genuine cells.
I do agree with cell_man. The only way you can be sure you are getting 100% genuine A123 cells is if they are supplied directly by Enerland.

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Re: Ebay A123s

Post by MitchJi » Jun 27 2010 12:14am

Hi,
LiFe wrote: The most recent SEC filing of their books:
http://www.faqs.org/sec-filings/100513/ ... -INC_10-Q/
That's the SEC filing of:
As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 15, 2010
It states:
In December 2009, we formed a joint venture with SAIC Motor Co. Ltd., or SAIC, a leading automaker in China. We will have a 49 percent minority interest in the joint venture, Shanghai Advanced Traction Battery Systems Co., Ltd., or ATBS, which is domiciled in Shanghai, China. Pursuant to the joint venture agreements, we will supply ATBS with battery cells and, as requested by ATBS, we will grant necessary advanced technology licenses to ATBS for the development, manufacture and service of battery systems. As of December 31, 2009, we have not yet made any capital contributions to ATBS and operations of ATBS have not yet commenced.
BMI wrote: After A123 lost the initial patent infringement lawsuit they were forced to cancel all manufacturing contracts in China with the Chinese battery factories who were making their 26650 cells. This is why the manufacturing contract with China BAK was cancelled. Please explain to me why this contract was cancelled with China BAK?

Of course A123 will and has found loopholes in the requirement for them to cease all manufacturing in China. This is why they now manufacture their large cells for the auto market in Korea. Why do they manufacture in Korea and ship all this product back to China where the end user is located ie, the EV manufacturers? Would it not make more economic sense to manufacure in China directly close to where the customers are located rather than incur shipping costs from Korea?
I don't think they filed a false statement with the SEC so up until March 2010 you are incorrect. If this has changed I'm pretty sure the filing would have been updated.
Best Wishes!

Mitch


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Re: Ebay A123s

Post by cell_man » Jun 27 2010 12:25am

BMI wrote:So long as you are up front and clearly state that the cells are not genuine A123 cells but are a 26650 size cell as a replacement for A123 cells. These Ebay sellers who are passing off cells to unsuspecting buyers claiming they are genuine A123 cells just because they have a green shrink wrap label with an A123 logo printed on it are criminals as far as I am concerned.

A cell may be made in a 26650 size with a capacity of 2300mAh but unless it is manufactured by A123 Systems in their approved factory does not make it an A123 cell.

It is sad that buyers are ordering cells thinking they are made by A123 Systems when they have no way of knowing if they really are or are not receiving genuine cells.
I do agree with cell_man. The only way you can be sure you are getting 100% genuine A123 cells is if they are supplied directly by Enerland.
Not quite. They are manufactured by A123 but not sold as A123. Official markings are concealed but bar codes are present. Some choose to put another shrink wrap and attempt to cover the bar codes etc for whatever reason. However there are still some under performing cells out there, so people need to pick their supplier carefully.
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Re: Ebay A123s

Post by BMI » Jun 27 2010 12:38am

I don't see anything in the above documents which explains why the contract to manufacture 26650 cells cheaply by China BAK (who manufactured 26650 cells for Dewalt packs) was cancelled in preference to the cells being manufactured in the USA at higher cost by Enerland?

Yes, the large format A123 cells are manufactured in Korea and shipped to China to the EV manufacturer (SAIC Motor Company Ltd). Why not just manufacture directly in China and avoid transport costs to China?

I am sure there is alot of information which A123 Systems is keeping quiet and reasons they do not want to openly divulge this information publicly which is due to the legal actions brought about by Phostech.

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Re: Ebay A123s

Post by BMI » Jun 27 2010 12:41am

We are getting way off thread topic here which is "Ebay A123's" so let me ask openly can anyone nominate a seller on Ebay who is supplying genuine A123 cells?

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Re: Ebay A123s

Post by MitchJi » Jun 27 2010 12:54am

Hi,
BMI wrote:I don't see anything in the above documents which explains why the contract to manufacture 26650 cells cheaply by China BAK (who manufactured 26650 cells for Dewalt packs) was cancelled in preference to the cells being manufactured in the USA at higher cost by Enerland?

Yes, the large format A123 cells are manufactured in Korea and shipped to China to the EV manufacturer (SAIC Motor Company Ltd). Why not just manufacture directly in China and avoid transport costs to China?
I thought this was pretty clear:
we will grant necessary advanced technology licenses to ATBS for the development, manufacture and service of battery systems.
BMI wrote:I am sure there is a lot of information which A123 Systems is keeping quiet and reasons they do not want to openly divulge this information publicly which is due to the legal actions brought about by Phostech.
False statements in their SEC Filing? Information that you know and they are hiding :lol:?
Best Wishes!

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Re: Ebay A123s

Post by BMI » Jun 27 2010 2:52am

MitchJi wrote:Hi,
BMI wrote:I don't see anything in the above documents which explains why the contract to manufacture 26650 cells cheaply by China BAK (who manufactured 26650 cells for Dewalt packs) was cancelled in preference to the cells being manufactured in the USA at higher cost by Enerland?

Yes, the large format A123 cells are manufactured in Korea and shipped to China to the EV manufacturer (SAIC Motor Company Ltd). Why not just manufacture directly in China and avoid transport costs to China?
I thought this was pretty clear:
we will grant necessary advanced technology licenses to ATBS for the development, manufacture and service of battery systems.
This only says a licence will be granted to manufacture. It does not say WHERE this manufacturing will take place nor does it explain why they are now manufacturing in a less cost effective manner (outside of China) compared to in China as they had previously done which made the end product cheaper?
Why did they do this? Does anyone have the answer?

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Re: Ebay A123s

Post by whatever » Jul 01 2010 4:25pm

I think a123 executives/ceo etc are the only people who know the truth. Not worth arguing about that stuff.
China has been welcoming foreign companies in since they opened up to the west since the early 1970s(?)approx.
Allowing foreign companies in to set up manufacture and then taking the technology is how china has operated, nothing has changed on that front. I suspect a123 were also 'taken in' by the chinese methods of operation. On the positive side for buyers of cells there will be chinese factories producing a123 ( equivalent) cells using their 'stolen' technology, lets say 'copied' technology.
The negative side for the chinese is there are many fakes out there.
I think testing cells to find if the a123 technology is being used would involve discharging a cell at a specific rate ( a certain resistor value depending on cell size) and measuring the temperature of the cell. There is plenty of data on genuine cells showing detailed temperature plots at different discharge rates. Temperature I think is an excellent indicator of cell quality.
If a genuine a123 cell is tested against other chinese ones at same rate of discharge, the temperature graph ( or just temp after a given time interval) will be almost identical if the test cell is genuine. If its not genuine temp will be way higher.
There maybe other complicating factors but I think a very quick simple test could be done to weed out fakes. Thats the simplest way I can think of to do it.
Finding out who is making a123 equivalent cells and if price is lower than a123 genuine, then I think its maybe not so bad for the ebike/ev community, but not so good for a123. Packaging alone is not a good indicator for finding fakes, a123 has put out info on how to identify fakes by packaging but the information is fairly useless really.

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Re: Ebay A123s

Post by heathyoung » Jul 01 2010 6:10pm

Lets not forget the great electrolytic capacitor scam that was running for a while either - Low ESR caps that someone had copied the formulation (they thought correctly), manufactured it and sold it on - the short term results were indistinguishable from the real stuff, but long term - it caused a LOT of headaches for OEM's who bought caps with this formulation...

If you aren't familiar with this - it casued the ESR to rise, and caused heating, and caused the caps to bulge and dry out and no longer function - the end use of most of these caps was in motherboards and power supplies - Causing random lockups/bsod's etc etc. Nothing but headaches for techs (ask me how I know that one!)
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Re: Ebay A123s

Post by morph999 » Jul 01 2010 8:30pm

if they don't have serial numbers below (or below and to the right) the A123 logo, they are fake.

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Re: Ebay A123s

Post by cell_man » Jul 02 2010 10:22am

morph999 wrote:if they don't have serial numbers below (or below and to the right) the A123 logo, they are fake.
That's BS. What is your definition of a fake?

I have cells here which according to your standard are fake, yet when I remove the outer covering I can see "A123 SYSTEMS" laser etched into the aluminium case along with a laser etched serial number with a label also carrying the same info. Why would someone go to the trouble of faking a cell, put the wrong label on, but go to the trouble to laser etch into the aluminium case, something that cannot easily be read through the heat shrink? There is more going on than what is sent out on leaked/distributed A123 memos I think. A123 have manufacturing facilities in both China and in Korea. It's all on the www. I'm not saying every A123 cell is gonna perform to the highest standards, but there are good cells available that do not comply with the company line.

I'll do some checks on the cells I am getting and post them up, but my preliminary tests are very good, and I can get similar current levels from cells I have here as are stated by A123. I also hope to do some cycle life testing. Will they meet the A123 specs? Maybe not, but I bet they'll perform very well and these wouldn't be handpicked cells to look good for spec sheets.

I can get 70 or 80A for an extended period from a single 2.3Ah cell whilst still maintaining a reasonable voltage for LiFePO4 that is being worked very hard, of about 2.5V. I put a dead short across a single cell and measured over 250A. The voltage sag was pretty bad though at around 1V though, so of course it is not advisable to do this, but to me this give a pretty good indication that the cells perform. Also charged a single cell with 10A and it got no more than a bit warm. This was all after soldering thick brass bars to the end of the cell that I checked as well, which should have destroyed it :wink:
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Re: Ebay A123s

Post by The Mighty Volt » Jul 02 2010 10:45am

Didn't this thread refer initially to 18650 cells?

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Re: Ebay A123s

Post by EVan » Jul 02 2010 1:24pm

Yup! :)

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