Reputable suppliers of LFP LiFePO4 pouch cells

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No_Shorty   1 W

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Reputable suppliers of LFP LiFePO4 pouch cells

Post by No_Shorty » Jun 28 2020 6:49am

I can find plenty of suppliers aimed at the EV market for prismatic cells, I can even find suppliers of LitWerks massively expensive 26650 LiFePO4 cells. But these cells are significantly more expensive and massively more expensive than their Li-Ion 3.7v counterparts. Pouch cells on the other hand are only a small increase in size, weight and price.

However when looking about for pouch cells I can only ever find Chinese suppliers with poor review or zero reviews.

There is 'GeePower" who have many close websites (I hate clone websites, reeks of shady dealing even if its just a way to try and drum up business) like:
geebattery.com
battery-system.com
oembattery.com

I can find zero feedback on these guys and all of their cells are completely un-labelled

Then there is
https://www.bestgobattery.com/
and their American reseller: www.electriccarpartscompany.com

They do some really interesting pre-built packs for low prices, but mixed reviews can be found online about electriccarpartscompany.com - one person warning he was out of pocket to the tune of $16,000

One European supplier I have found is: https://shop.gwl.eu/
But I am really looking for 30Ah or below pouches.

So... Does anyone know of any reputable suppliers of these types of cells? Chinese suppliers are fine so long as they have a track record of supplying genuine new cells which are up to spec.

This is more a thought experiment for me at the moment to see if LFP is a viable alternative, prismatic and cylindrical cells simply don't meet the price and weight points.

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Re: Reputable suppliers of LFP LiFePO4 pouch cells

Post by amberwolf » Jun 28 2020 12:54pm

As long as you can find *real* cells, rather than counterfeits, then the A123 26650 cells (and pouches) would at least be known quantities. I haven't looked for where to buy them, other than the main site for http://a123batteries.com, but I expect they will be a fair bit more expensive than common non-LFP cells, partly cuz they're A123 and partly because they're less common than non-LFP.

Other cell brands are all chinese manufactured (probably so are A123 by now), and the cheaper the seller has them for the more likely it is that they are the rejects (significantly to wildly varying from original specification, meaning imbalance/etc issues in pack builds), so just beware of this.

When they are *really* cheap, they may well be recycled garbage cells--literally pulled from ripped-apart trashed battery packs, often rewrapped / remarked as new cells, and sometimes even recapped with little plate caps to hide the ripped-off spotwelds. This is the source for pretty much all of the *Fire cells (Trustfire, Ultrafire, etc etc which often give impossible capacities and other properties).

The same applies to all the other chemistry cells too.


The only other LFP pouch I know of that's going to be "guaranteed" to be good quality is from EIG, but I've never used them (just their NMC), and I don't know where to get them other than by the pallet from EIG (but I have never looked).

If you are not stuck on LFP, but simply need a reliable safe cell, the EIG NMC "c020" 20Ah cell is very good (been using them for years, and I got all mine used and they still work fine), and there is a UK supplier here on the forum Jimbob01 over in the items-for-sale-new section, and he also has the busbars to bolt them together.
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=102908
(they are MUCH easier to assemble than any other pouch cells I know of that's available new. The next closest is the Nissan Leaf EV cells, found used from a number of places...but they're used).

JonesCG and Jonyjoe303 and others have done cell testing on various types of cells over the years, and usually say where they got them, so you might check their threads for their sources. I think Queenbattery was one of them, but I don't recall the results.

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Re: Reputable suppliers of LFP LiFePO4 pouch cells

Post by No_Shorty » Jun 28 2020 3:20pm

Hi thanks yea I found 'A123/LithiumWerks' batteries, but in the 26650 format they are stupidly expensive and large. The 26650 format is over double the volume of 18650 and triple the price, and LiFePO4 is way less dense than a LiPo 18650.

LiFePO4 26650:
So it works out to be $0.79 per Wh and 102Wh/KG for the LitWerks 26650

LiFePO4 Pouch
I have read that gwl.eu are a reputable supplier, so to take their pouch cell as an example: https://shop.gwl.eu/LiFePO4-small-cells ... html?cur=1

Which is $0.26 per Wh and 135Wh/KG

LiPo
The benchmark is LiPo 3.7v cells in 18650 format, taking a Samsung 35E as an example (about $3.3):

Which is $0.25 per Wh and 256Wh/KG.

But if you want to account for life cycle, and so only run the LiPo cells at a shallower DoD, lets say 20-90% then you are looking at more like 179Wh/KG.

Basically, what I'm getting at is that the LiFePO4 26650 cells are 3x the price per Wh of both 3.7vLiPo and of the LiFePO4 pouch, as well as significantly lower Wh/KG. I find a similar story with prismatic cells.

For me, the 26650 LiFePO4 and prismatic cells are counted out before the race has even begun. I had actually discounted LiFePO4 entirely based on this. But the pouch cells are only 30% away weight and size wise from a 20-90% DoD LiPo pack. Thats close enough to think twice about dealing with the riskier LiPo cells, not to mention LiFePO4's greater temperature flexibility.

So this is why I am looking for a good LiFePO4 pouch cell, just so I can at least compare it fairly with 18650/21700 LiPo cells before deciding on my chemistry. If I'm going with LiPo chemistry then it will be 18650 or 21700.

(edit: my maths is often bad/wrong, so if the numbers above look wrong then do double check :lol: )

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Re: Reputable suppliers of LFP LiFePO4 pouch cells

Post by amberwolf » Jun 28 2020 3:45pm

FWIW, Iv'e run the EIG NMC cells with no BMS the whole time I've been using them (years, in the hot Phoenix weather, trike always parked outside except at work just because of size), and have had only one cell "fail", by swelling up, and that was because i left the automotive halogen headlight/etc on and forgot about it until it literally drained the pack to death and actually reversed one of the four cells being used--and the headlight was *still on and lit up* (other three cells providing current).

That was *after* that same pack had been accidentally drained to zero volts once before, :oops: and carefully recharged slowly back to normal, and then used for years again with no problems (though nowhere near their capabilities, as it was just for lights; the traction pack was separate). And after a short in the trike wiring caused a wiring fire on the stuff ocnnected to the same pack.

The reversed cell puffed up, but it's been in a file cabinet out in a shed for years since then, and nothing has ever happened with it. Never tried to do anything else with it since then, of course, so I don't know how it would behave if it were used (or abused) after what it's been thru.

None of the cells in any of hte packs have gotten hot, etc., under any usage I've put them thru (though I don't use them at their continuous C-rate of 5C, they do see that and more on some system configurations for peak power for a few seconds very regularly). The cells stay in balance, even drained down to empty (which I don't do on a regular basis, but have a ocuple of times), using just the pakc-level LVC in the Cycle Analyst to keep me from overdischarging them.

I had one cell of the original pack (oldest cells) increase in Ri and start sagging in voltage more than usual, so I swapped it out. I think I used it in the lighting pack above, and I think it is the cell that eventually reversed, but cant' remmeber anymore.


So while that's no guarantee of a cell's safety, it's a data point for consideration.


Personally, I think that any EV-grade cell like these, that are used in western-built EVs that have a lot of QC and original engineering qualification testing to ensure a cell is really well-designed and manufacturered, is perfectly safe to use as long as it is kept well within it's specifications, even without a traditional BMS. (for instance, just monitoring cell (group) voltages, to ensure no overcharge or overdischarge). Until they get "old", they are likely to be well-matched in characteristics and thus stay balanced on their own, and when they don't any more it is time to replace them anyway. ;)

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Re: Reputable suppliers of LFP LiFePO4 pouch cells

Post by john61ct » Jun 28 2020 4:15pm

A123 now Lithium Werks makes a (I think still) 20-30Ah range of pouch cell.

But that does not mean the price per kWh is cheaper, they are the best for those and cylindricals.

But there are plenty of top-notch sellers of LFP in prismatic hard cased cells, 20-40Ah is pretty common.

Best to buy enough shipped direct from the factory, that part of the cost has tripled in the past six months.

The market is so full of lying scammer middlemen, do not just order off Ali without recos from trusted members here, e.g. Mr Ping is trustworthy.

I would start by looking at:

Winston
CALB
GBS
Sinopoly
and CATL

Lesser known makers, or where the maker of the actual cells are unknown, I would only buy if have the price delivered.

I agree avoid ECPC personally.

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Re: Reputable suppliers of LFP LiFePO4 pouch cells

Post by No_Shorty » Jun 28 2020 4:17pm

Generally speaking, I agree that when proper safety precautions are taken and the cells respected there is little chance of disaster. LiPo are by far and away the most common battery we have around us and the incidences of failures are very low.

That said, I will be using these batteries at work and they will be left to charge unattended and potentially cycled up to 3 times a day (probably 1 or 2). I may well go on to sell these packs to others in my industry for similar purposes.

If there is an option to make a battery of the same capability for a similar price with the only sacrifice being a 30% weight gain and small size increase then this shouldn't be overlooked.

My plan at this stage is still to go with 18650/21700 LiPo, but these pouch cells have me thinking I might make a LiFePO4 pack as well.

p.s. it's a note of amusement that in another thread on this forum asking about LiPo chargers and my plan for the pack I was advised to think about switching to LiFePO4 and now in a thread about LiFePO4 it is advice to think about switching to LiPo/NCM :lol:

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Re: Reputable suppliers of LFP LiFePO4 pouch cells

Post by No_Shorty » Jun 28 2020 4:21pm

john61ct wrote:
Jun 28 2020 4:15pm
A123 now Lithium Werks makes a (I think still) 20-30Ah range of pouch cell.

But that does not mean the price per kWh is cheaper, they are the best for those and cylindricals.

But there are plenty of top-notch sellers of LFP in prismatic hard cased cells, 20-40Ah is pretty common.

Best to buy enough shipped direct from the factory, that part of the cost has tripled in the past six months.

The market is so full of lying scammer middlemen, do not just order off Ali without recos from trusted members here, e.g. Mr Ping is trustworthy.

I would start by looking at:

Winston
CALB
GBS
Sinopoly
and CATL

Lesser known makers, or where the maker of the actual cells are unknown, I would only buy if have the price delivered.

I agree avoid ECPC personally.
Hi John,

The prismatic cells are too big, too expensive and too heavy. I will have another look at them later on but I am fairly sure that every one I looked at wasn't anywhere near the proposition of the pouch cells in terms of cost and weight/size.

With the linked gwl.eu pouch cells as a benchmark, are there any prismatic cells that come in anywhere near this price per wh?

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Re: Reputable suppliers of LFP LiFePO4 pouch cells

Post by john61ct » Jun 28 2020 4:27pm

40-70¢ per Wh is the going rate before delivery costs and any infrastructure.

Depending on the C-rate and proper care, lifespan can easily be a decade, many thousands of cycles.

While the 3.6-3.7V LI chemistries you might only get 3-500 cycles.

The **much** higher risk of thermal runaway should not IMO be discounted, especially if family and living spaces are involved.

But yes no getting around the lower energy density

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Re: Reputable suppliers of LFP LiFePO4 pouch cells

Post by No_Shorty » Jun 28 2020 4:41pm

So the equivalent Winston cell from the same supplier as above - GBL

Pouch vs Prismatic both 60Ah at 3.2v:

1.5kg -- 2.4kg -- so 60% heavier
288x183x18 -- 203x114x61 -- so 48% bigger
$54 -- $74.59 -- so 38% pricier

This is on top of the extra 30% weight the pouch cell already has over LiPo.

I also agree that the higher risk of thermal runaway should not be discounted. Only a fool would do so. But the above figures are stark to me. The prismatic cells are a no-go for my purposes, they are too big and too heavy and the price isn't great.

The pouches would still work, they would be at the very upper end of what I would be happy with for the system I am building, as you know from the other thread you have been helping me out in John, I had previously discounted LiFePO4 completely, and this was based on the specs of prismatic or cylindrical cells.

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Re: Reputable suppliers of LFP LiFePO4 pouch cells

Post by john61ct » Jun 28 2020 6:00pm

Look for those A123 pouches

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Re: Reputable suppliers of LFP LiFePO4 pouch cells

Post by DogDipstick » Jun 28 2020 6:36pm

john61ct wrote:
Jun 28 2020 6:00pm
Look for those A123 pouches
I can get you a metric ton of cells, if youa re serious. You pay for Wh/kg. The 160Wh/kg stuff is easy to find.. the 200-220Wh/Kg stuff is where its at nowadays. I know where that stuff is. Albeit used, high quality guaranteed, not fake, and low IR/long lasting...., but also cheap en masse. If you know what you are buying.

I'll be having about 200+ cells posted for sale in about two weeks hopefully. About 10Kwh worth for sale, in individual ~1mOh cells.. Stay tuned. ~ 0.20 cent a Wh.

For instance, I can have this module shipped to your door..... probally for a small discount, and I will probally get a small commission If I may ask, and... it will show up at your door insured within a week. I have considered buying it ( A123 module from Chevy spark.... the 105 lb 5Kwh block).. to tear down and see what I get.. but.. it is an investment I dont want to be stuck with if the module doesnt tear down easily or I cannot harvest the cell. A123, guaranteed OEM and assembled. Chevy Spark. 400$ + Ship ( freight). Less than 100$/Kwh. Salvage.

I didnt think there was great interest in the A123 20Ah cell.. because of the.. "A123 issues'.
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Re: Reputable suppliers of LFP LiFePO4 pouch cells

Post by Tony01 » Jun 28 2020 7:41pm

I just got a 4.4kwh pack of 60ah cells from battery hookup They aren’t very big. They come as 2p 120ah modules. Easy to separate into two cells. Have a 2.5mm thick piece of foam between them, non adhesive.

Around 225wh/kg and cost $115/kWh.. gonna pull 5c should be no problem.
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Re: Reputable suppliers of LFP LiFePO4 pouch cells

Post by DogDipstick » Jun 28 2020 7:57pm

Tony01 wrote:
Jun 28 2020 7:41pm
I just got a 4.4kwh pack of 60ah cells from battery hookup for $115 per kWh shipped.
Yeah many ( of the modules that I have torn up, er down.. ) have that foam betweenthem.. but some dont.

I asked Tom for the sheet for those cells.. No reply? Anyone? Have it? I would love to see it. I have looked. Humbug.

I thought about them.. but.. the energy density vs volume.... a little to big for e-bike, great for e-motorcycle. Great price if they really can put out. I have heard good reviews and they sell out quick. Battery Hook Up is great seller.

They will laugh at 5C.
83.1v of Ironhorse XC.. :) :bolt: by Chevy :bolt: :D Broke 10 horsies :twisted: (..about 80% healed..).. :? Anybody.. what equals √3 times the line to neutral voltage? Asking for a friend.. :| (gottenymoem4115thangs?Yall?) :confused: Fabricator @ BSECo. Inc.

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Re: Reputable suppliers of LFP LiFePO4 pouch cells

Post by No_Shorty » Jun 29 2020 1:52am

Are these LiFePO4 cells or NCM?

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Re: Reputable suppliers of LFP LiFePO4 pouch cells

Post by john61ct » Jun 29 2020 10:27am

Yes A123 makes both.

This thread should only be for LFP discussion so as not to confuse newcomers.

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Re: Reputable suppliers of LFP LiFePO4 pouch cells

Post by No_Shorty » Jun 29 2020 2:08pm

We really are bouncing back and forth here, and a sentence like this:
You pay for Wh/kg. The 160Wh/kg stuff is easy to find.. the 200-220Wh/Kg stuff is where its at nowadays.
Very much suggests that LiFePO4 have matched LiPo in energy density, which as far as I am aware simply is not the case. The post then goes onto suggest these 200-220Wh/Kg cells will be in stock, but then directly below that uses an example of A123 systems LiFePO4 cells from 2014 which are no where near that:

Image
48kg/5430Wh - 112.5Wh/Kg - very much what you would expect from a LiFePO4 cell.
I just got a 4.4kwh pack of 60ah cells from battery hookup They aren’t very big. They come as 2p 120ah modules. Easy to separate into two cells. Have a 2.5mm thick piece of foam between them, non adhesive.

Around 225wh/kg and cost $115/kWh.. gonna pull 5c should be no problem.
I am fairly certain these are not LiFePO4, but LiPo and as such a 225Wh/Kg density is to be expected, I actually find it somewhat surprising/disappointing that these pouch cells cannot match the density of cylindrical. I would also be be very wary of how they were used in any battery pack with high drain as they lack any of the 'natural' spacing of a cylindrical cell. Good for packing them in tight, very back for airflow if you don't build your pack carefully.

My guess is they are these: https://batteryhookup.com/products/new- ... 7081154692

Don't get me wrong, they are a great price for a very modern cell, but they aren't the focus of this thread.

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Re: Reputable suppliers of LFP LiFePO4 pouch cells

Post by john61ct » Jul 01 2020 8:20am

Yes as I mentioned the thread went off track by those suggestions of non-LFP cells.

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