[rant] If A123 cells are so great....

Batteries, Chargers, and Battery Management Systems.
whilechukwuzout   1 W

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[rant] If A123 cells are so great....

Post by whilechukwuzout » Aug 06 2013 8:52pm

Then why the hell are they so damn difficult to buy. Moreover, why the hell are they so f@ckin sketchy when you finally do find them for sale?

I dont get it. If they are as in-demand, and awesome as they are proclaimed to be, then its really not hard for the company to scale production and establish a LEGITIMATE distribution network.

Discuss.

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bigmoose   100 MW

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Re: [rant] If A123 cells are so great....

Post by bigmoose » Aug 06 2013 9:07pm

Let's keep this rant calm please. There has been a fair amount of emotion lately over A123 cells by members, and the mods are trying to figure out why.

That said,
Originally A123 focused on their large scale commercial clients. Our "hobby business" would be lucky to be one tenth of a percent of total production with each application being a headache to the application engineers. I agree that at the time it was likely the right business decision to not sell to us. If you have ever seriously tried to develop a BMS that will keep these cells healthy and safe you know what I am speaking of. If you haven't, frankly, you haven't a clue as to the engineering effort required for appropriate application.

Now with the bankruptcy there is some indication that there may be a retail "window" in development for cell distribution. Time will tell.
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Re: [rant] If A123 cells are so great....

Post by whatever » Aug 07 2013 12:21am

a123 was bought out by a chinese car maker?? is this correct? if so I doubt will be any probs getting good cells in future

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Re: [rant] If A123 cells are so great....

Post by whilechukwuzout » Aug 07 2013 12:25am

I see where you are coming from but the bottom line is that a company teetering on bankruptcy seems to be consciously ignoring a potential market... seems unwise.

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Re: [rant] If A123 cells are so great....

Post by 999zip999 » Aug 07 2013 12:42am

What hobby batteries for them are more trouble for them then it is worth. That's it. The power of these batteries in most hands is more trouble then it's worth.
Last edited by 999zip999 on Aug 07 2013 4:15pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Toorbough ULL-Zeveigh   100 MW

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Re: [rant] If A123 cells are so great....

Post by Toorbough ULL-Zeveigh » Aug 07 2013 2:16am

just like we could easily feed the entire worlds hungry if whomever runs the big show so wanted to, the problem is strictly political/socio-economic.
batteries fall under the umbrella of control over energy.
as such the release & proliferation of any new battery tech is highly managed.

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Re: [rant] If A123 cells are so great....

Post by whilechukwuzout » Aug 07 2013 2:20am

Toorbough ULL-Zeveigh wrote:just like we could easily feed the entire worlds hungry if whomever runs the big show so wanted to, the problem is strictly political/socio-economic.
batteries fall under the umbrella of control over energy.
as such the release & proliferation of any new battery tech is highly managed.
well put.

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Re: [rant] If A123 cells are so great....

Post by agniusm » Aug 07 2013 2:28am

This thread is a little to late I think. A123 have started selling their cells now: www.buya123batteries.com/

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Re: [rant] If A123 cells are so great....

Post by Hillhater » Aug 07 2013 2:47am

agniusm wrote:. A123 have started selling their cells now: http://www.buya123batteries.com/
Hmm. ?...
Odd that all the cells on that site are listed as "Out of Stock"
Anf the prices ??/ ..$70 for the 20 Ahr pouch :shock:

you always could buy A123 products via their authorised distributor (Maivsen ?) ..but the cost was also a little hard to swallow compared to other options.
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Re: [rant] If A123 cells are so great....

Post by agniusm » Aug 07 2013 5:26am

I was quoting on the first post:
whilechukwuzout wrote:Then why the hell are they so damn difficult to buy. Moreover, why the hell are they so f@ckin sketchy when you finally do find them for sale?

I dont get it. If they are as in-demand, and awesome as they are proclaimed to be, then its really not hard for the company to scale production and establish a LEGITIMATE distribution network.

Discuss.
Not all out of stock. You ca purchase APR18650M1A Cell, ANR26650M1B Cell only 20Ah is not sold at the moment as they are deciding on minimum quantity and packaging due to the fragile nature of the cells.
The prices are high therefore this thread perhaps should be about pricing not availability at this moment of time. looks like childish anger basically saying: They are (edit) frockers because i cant buy Bentley for the price of VW. I don't justify that price myself but there are options saving you money and delivering more power than you need for your bike.

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jonescg   1.21 GW

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Re: [rant] If A123 cells are so great....

Post by jonescg » Aug 07 2013 5:50am

Because to paraphrase Luke, "A123 are a day late and a buck short." LiFePO4 is great for stationary energy storage though they are a pretty ordinary chemistry for EV applications. NMC and the next best chemistries are already out there, so why would you bother with last decade's model?

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Re: [rant] If A123 cells are so great....

Post by dogman dan » Aug 07 2013 6:02am

For the cycle life potential?

But not if one cycle of an A123 costs more than one cycle of NMC. I kept hoping for scaled up production of A123 to lead to not only availability, but lower prices. Unfortunately not.

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Re: [rant] If A123 cells are so great....

Post by bigmoose » Aug 07 2013 8:34am

Thanks for the link, and glad your posting made me look at it!

Interesting that A123 is "officially" selling "B grade" cells on closeouts:
http://www.buya123batteries.com/category_s/1515.htm

and a pix so when we loose the link we can prove there is official sales of B grade cells:
A123.jpg
A123.jpg (183.11 KiB) Viewed 2377 times
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Re: [rant] If A123 cells are so great....

Post by wb9k » Aug 07 2013 10:56am

Interesting. I have a hunch about those "B-grade" cylindrical cells. Notice that they also call them "discontinued items". You may or may not be aware that these cells have been through a revision lately that bumped their performance up a bit. For example, the latest 26650 cell has a nominal capacity of 2.5 Ah, up from 2.3 Ah in the old rev. Other characteristics are similarly enhanced with the newer cells. I suspect these are now B-grade only because there's a new A-grade in town. Maybe somebody at that site can answer--I honestly have no idea who runs that website. The "discontinued" note makes me think these are probably remaining stocks of the older chemistry. It's possible though, that these were B-grade cells even in their own time. I would recommend interested parties contact the vendor for clarification.
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Re: [rant] If A123 cells are so great....

Post by whilechukwuzout » Aug 07 2013 10:58am

bigmoose wrote:Thanks for the link, and glad your posting made me look at it!

Interesting that A123 is "officially" selling "B grade" cells on closeouts:
http://www.buya123batteries.com/category_s/1515.htm

and a pix so when we loose the link we can prove there is official sales of B grade cells:
A123.jpg
I cant possibly be the only one who thinks that this website is sketchy. Upon launch they are by default sold out of their only product?? They sell product that is known to be defective??

My initial point stands. There is still no straightforward way to purchase these cells. That site looks damn far from legit.

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Re: [rant] If A123 cells are so great....

Post by wb9k » Aug 07 2013 11:01am

Well, if the site isn't legit, it's got my bosses fooled. They've been selling cylindricals (in stock) since I've been aware of the site. Please stop fabricating "facts".
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Re: [rant] If A123 cells are so great....

Post by wb9k » Aug 07 2013 11:09am

After taking a closer look, the clearance cells are indeed the older part number (ends in M1-A while the new part ends M1-B). $5 a cell is a smokin deal if that's all that's "wrong" with them. Again, I would seek clarification with the seller, but it looks pretty promising to me.
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Re: [rant] If A123 cells are so great....

Post by dnmun » Aug 07 2013 1:15pm

wb9k wrote:Well, if the site isn't legit, it's got my bosses fooled. They've been selling cylindricals (in stock) since I've been aware of the site. Please stop fabricating "facts".
you have gotta be kidding. that is what this place is all about. they even have a slogan about using a BMS calling them 'battery murdering systems' and the guys who make this stuff up even acknowledge they have no clue about how a BMS works. one guy just yesterday was telling some newbie how a BMS causes fires and weighs so much it is not worth using on lipo. of course the newbie doesn't realize the guy doesn't know what he is talking about so all the newbies just repeat all this garbage and now A123 is painted with the same ignorant blather.

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Re: [rant] If A123 cells are so great....

Post by agniusm » Aug 07 2013 2:16pm

whilechukwuzout wrote:
bigmoose wrote:Thanks for the link, and glad your posting made me look at it!

Interesting that A123 is "officially" selling "B grade" cells on closeouts:
http://www.buya123batteries.com/category_s/1515.htm

and a pix so when we loose the link we can prove there is official sales of B grade cells:
A123.jpg
I cant possibly be the only one who thinks that this website is sketchy. Upon launch they are by default sold out of their only product?? They sell product that is known to be defective??

My initial point stands. There is still no straightforward way to purchase these cells. That site looks damn far from legit.
...and banner is on A123 official site!

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Re: [rant] If A123 cells are so great....

Post by whilechukwuzout » Aug 07 2013 5:14pm

agniusm wrote:
whilechukwuzout wrote:
bigmoose wrote:Thanks for the link, and glad your posting made me look at it!

Interesting that A123 is "officially" selling "B grade" cells on closeouts:
http://www.buya123batteries.com/category_s/1515.htm

and a pix so when we loose the link we can prove there is official sales of B grade cells:
A123.jpg
I cant possibly be the only one who thinks that this website is sketchy. Upon launch they are by default sold out of their only product?? They sell product that is known to be defective??

My initial point stands. There is still no straightforward way to purchase these cells. That site looks damn far from legit.
...and banner is on A123 official site!
That doesnt so much lend credibility to buya123, as it does subtract credibility from A123 systems. They are posting a banner that links you to a site where you cant buy their bread and butter product. Thats like Toyota putting up a banner for a dealership that doesnt sell Camrys.

I will believe it when they start shipping cells, and the cells arent wrinkled, and they funciton properly, and they dont have hacked-off tabs. Until then this website is no more than an empty promise peddling B-grade merchandise.

As for those trying to somehow discredit me here by saying I know nothing of power systems electronics: what the hell does my knowledge of battery management systems have to do with cell availability anyway??

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Re: [rant] If A123 cells are so great....

Post by mvly » Aug 07 2013 5:53pm

Website looks legit. The price seems right for legit cells. But then again some chinese reseller can always mark fake cells up and claim anything.

The only way to know is to buy a few (24 is minimum order) and test them yourself.

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Re: [rant] If A123 cells are so great....

Post by wb9k » Aug 07 2013 6:17pm

Incredible. Ignore button, here I come.
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Re: [rant] If A123 cells are so great....

Post by Hillhater » Aug 07 2013 6:19pm

wb9k wrote:Well, if the site isn't legit, it's got my bosses fooled. They've been selling cylindricals (in stock) since I've been aware of the site. Please stop fabricating "facts".
What exactly are you saying wb9k ?
how long have you been aware of that site ?
Your previous post implied that you had only just been made aware of it ?
Can you CONFIRM it is an OFFICIAL A123 authorised reseller ?
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Re: [rant] If A123 cells are so great....

Post by wb9k » Aug 07 2013 6:41pm

I first became aware of the site about a month ago or so. At that time, they were only offering current chemistry 26650's and 32113's at "regular" prices of ~$9.50 and $25 per cell respectively. I had already begun discussions with my management about making B-grade 20Ah pouches available to hobbyists. A few days in, they sent me the link. I had no previous knowledge of the site, and neither did my boss, who sits fairly high in the company. This is not necessarily surprising, given the "fractured" nature of the new A123 which is now organized as a handful of small, autonomous pieces. This looks like a MA effort, but I could be wrong. Their site is linked from this page of A123's site:

http://www.a123systems.com/solutions-co ... -vacps.htm

Open and shut case--they are legit. I've already stated my opinion on the "B-grade" cells, and I stand by it, though it's always good to verify, and if I was in a position where I had to pay for these cells, I would contact them and ask. Apparently others would rather cast aspersion with no substantiation whatsoever.

If anyone does buy cells through this channel, please share your experiences here. I would hope the service is good, but like I said, I have no idea what people are behind it.
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Re: [rant] If A123 cells are so great....

Post by Stevil_Knevil » Aug 07 2013 7:13pm

Image

You mean these? Awkward time for American-made LiFePO4 cells...

..enter B456 :|

http://green.autoblog.com/2013/05/22/a1 ... ankruptcy/
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