Dongguan Lighting: Purchase 280AH LiFePo4 cells. Purchase & Review

LukeVader

Sun Farmer
Joined
Feb 28, 2020
Messages
140
Location
AB, Canada
Hello fellow energy storers. I was looking to upgrade my 2002 DP motorhome batteries that we bought used last year and couldn't really bring myself to paying $200 ish x 4 for yet more 6V lead acid golf cart batteries that just don't last. I was watching Will's videos for at least a year and knew there was a better option but paying the piper early was just something that was very hard to do and to convince the wife??? Pfft, Honey... sooooo we need to spend about $800 to $1000 on batteries next spring to get about 200ah of usable energy before a charge, how about these BB batteries instead? It will only cost us $5080 CDN for four of them PLUS shipping (whatever that would be) but at least we would have 400ah of useable energy when we go boondocking for the week. A conversation I dreaded bring up and wanted to avoid as long as I possibly could.



Anyway, I was on aliexpress trying to figure out value in 150ah cells, 195ah cells etc, when I figured I would check out Wills forum. I found mndares thread and was like........... WHAT?????? Needless to say I read the whole thread with baited breath and found ghostwriter66 post here https://diysolarforum.com/threads/j...red-grade-a-to-canada.3387/page-10#post-42004 and thought oh ok, I'll get another quote on shipping while I wait for the forum favorite Amy.




The messaging system on alibaba is pretty nice. I sent a message and the message name who responded back said rain Zeng, a very nice person started speaking to me. They were very nice, polite and easy to understand.

I asked about:

Prices? I got them with air express shipping included. For me it was 1166USD shipping to Canada. Your prices might be different due to battery price fluctuation and your shipping situation.

If bus bars and bolts were included? They sent me a picture saying yes, included. bus bar.jpg

Grade A? Yes.

Ship out time? Usually 3 days

Check cell voltage and match? Yes

Send pictures? Yes. AND as a bonus they ended up sending me a video with my name on a card testing cells. batt1.jpg 2batt.jpg

Then came the payment part, as usual with most others here I had payment processing problems. alibad.jpg I frantically tried to figure out what the problem was. My CC ended up sending me a fraud or valid email and a fraud or valid text. I dealt with that issue then Alibaba wanted pics of the CC and my DL so I did that right away. I don't know if I got lucky but I just kept trying to pay the bill over and over after that and after about 4 hours it just went through for some reason.

After my part was done I just relaxed and Dongguan Lighting went to work they have been great. They sent me pictures six of my cells.jpg and videos of my 8 cells being matched (see above) and then I asked about packaging. They said they usually send them in the cardboard box bulkbat2.jpg and I sent them a pic of how others got theirs and next thing you know I get more pictures of my cells rewrapped in bubble wrap packaging. new wrap cell.jpg They went out and purchased this product for me as an extra free service.

After all they've done for me I now at this point yet asked another question what was the manufacture date of the cells? Kind of important and to my very happy surprise they sent me this picture. date cell.jpg sooo needless to say I'm thrilled about this.

To close this part 1 I asked them, do you speak English or are you using translator program? it's not a concern either way I just want to know for my fellow forum mates in my review. They responded: Yes, I can speak English but sometime will use translator to help.


So there you go everyone. I'm scared to ask before they ship if double boxing the batteries is an option. I hate to push my luck but the people on this forum seem to have had really good luck with them being double boxed lately. https://diysolarforum.com/threads/j...d-delivered-grade-a-to-canada.3387/post-49697
 

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
5,416
Location
Rural NE Ontario Canada
Excellent, Glad you started this thread, it will help others no doubt about it. We ALL like to know about good vendors selling good product.
 

LukeVader

Sun Farmer
Joined
Feb 28, 2020
Messages
140
Location
AB, Canada
Hi again. I finally unboxed my cells just now. I'm almost thinking customs opened one box cause one cell was completely unwrapped. Pictures are attached, the cells are in really good shape except one little flaw I noticed. Almost every cell has a little dimple on the side of the cell? I also didn't have one single CE sticker on them. I'll meter them tomorrow I hope and check all the voltages to see if they dropped any since they shipped them out.

20200330_214141.jpg20200330_214212.jpg20200330_214604.jpg20200330_215307.jpg20200330_215316.jpg20200330_220014.jpgScreenshot_20200330-220954_Gallery.jpg20200330_221109.jpg
 

Dzl

Perpetual Newbie & Unofficial Forum Librarian
Staff member
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4,772
Looks like a near perfect fit, have you figured out how you will package/secure them yet?
 

LukeVader

Sun Farmer
Joined
Feb 28, 2020
Messages
140
Location
AB, Canada
I learned from Will, I bought 3 rolls of this stuff. :) 30mm wide.


I don't know if I'm going to keep using that case though. I might have to build something out of wood cause the lid doesn't quite want to close on its own.

That might actually be a good thing though to stop them from shifting. Also you can't really tell from the picture but there's room behind the cells for a bms still. I'll grab a better angle picture before I head out to essential services work.
 

Jeremiah

Solar Breakdancer
Joined
Apr 5, 2020
Messages
251
Location
Mars
I may hop on the Dongguan boat since the surface shipping quote I got for the Philippines from the other company selling these seemed quite high seeing as how we are right next door. Please keep us posted with your testing and such @LukeVader
 

LukeVader

Sun Farmer
Joined
Feb 28, 2020
Messages
140
Location
AB, Canada
I'll update this as soon as I can. I'm still waiting for a multimeter I ordered off of amazon a week ago and the busbars were apparently removed out of the boxes from the freight forwarder. Rain said he put them in the box himself and I have no reason to doubt him yet. They are on their way to me in an envelope with tracking. Yeah, I could make my own but why bother, the right ones are on their way, plus it lets the batteries sit a little longer and I can test and see if they have any crazy losses.
 

LukeVader

Sun Farmer
Joined
Feb 28, 2020
Messages
140
Location
AB, Canada
Finally, my multimeter showed up. Six of eight batteries said 3.289 voltage and the other two said 3.290. I just saw the latest vid from Will (y) and I'm going to parallel and order a power supply Will uses off amazon.ca today to top balance.
 

LukeVader

Sun Farmer
Joined
Feb 28, 2020
Messages
140
Location
AB, Canada
Ok, next step, I've made 14 busbars out of copper. Got my 25mm studs, got my 16 6mm nuts and put it all together. I finger tightened the studs as far as they could go into the battery then used the allan key and backed them out 1/4 turn, held it there and tightened down the nut to just snug. I did a continuity test from the farthest stud to the closest stud (in the picture angle) and all was good with the beeping. Then I added the brand new charger I bought off of amazon and turned it to where Will said to tune it to in his video (thanks so much Will for all your help) and now I wait.... for fireworks or success lol.20200410_123553.jpg20200410_123541.jpg20200410_123533.jpg
 
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LukeVader

Sun Farmer
Joined
Feb 28, 2020
Messages
140
Location
AB, Canada
Hmm, should I stop the charge until I get a blocking diode on this thing now? (read and learn lol) what amp diode do I need though? 10A? 15A? higher?
 

LukeVader

Sun Farmer
Joined
Feb 28, 2020
Messages
140
Location
AB, Canada
Meh, I kept charging lol. 6 hours 19 min so far and the multimeters reading 3.308 on the copper bar and the ps is reading 3.65v and 6.504A. I also changed my negative charge lead to the opposite end for the heck of it.

I really am fighting the urge to stop charging at 3.350 90% SOC

I don't have my 150W adjustable Constant Current Electronic Load Battery Tester yet so I wont be able to release any power from its high state of charge. Will I hurt the cells if I stop at 3.350 then let them rest for a week or however long it takes to get my equipment then charge them the rest of the way when it shows up?

The cells are not even close to being warm at all and the PS has slight warm air coming out of the back from the fan.
 

Sky-HHI

On Hilton Head Island in South Carolina
Joined
Sep 24, 2019
Messages
158
I am really interested to see how these batteries turn out, they look like a great deal. ( I have the same yellow scaffolding by Metaltech. )
 

LukeVader

Sun Farmer
Joined
Feb 28, 2020
Messages
140
Location
AB, Canada
I am really interested to see how these batteries turn out, they look like a great deal. ( I have the same yellow scaffolding by Metaltech. )

Yeah, amazing scaffolding working on the MH. It also doubles as a work bench the car can park under. (y)


Those are huge batteries and you are only adding 6.5 amps, they should be fine. 280 ah X 8 batteries = 2240 ah. So adding 6.5 amps per hour is a small charge.

Yeah exactly. Maybe I should have gotten a 40 Amp 0-15V adjustable PS. I thought these things liked bulk charging though. I hope trickle charging them wont wreck them. I dunno. Not a cell expert here.
 

Jeremiah

Solar Breakdancer
Joined
Apr 5, 2020
Messages
251
Location
Mars
Yeah, amazing scaffolding working on the MH. It also doubles as a work bench the car can park under. (y)




Yeah exactly. Maybe I should have gotten a 40 Amp 0-15V adjustable PS. I thought these things liked bulk charging though. I hope trickle charging them wont wreck them. I dunno. Not a cell expert here.
From the very little I've gathered reading and watching videos so far, a lower C rate in and out is better for their lifetime. For max longevity one site recommended 0.2C rate so with these that would be 0.2*280 = 56.0 amps! So your 6.5 amp is like closer to a 0.02C, super safe :). Oh you've got them in parallel so the C rate is even lower I think?
 

Jeremiah

Solar Breakdancer
Joined
Apr 5, 2020
Messages
251
Location
Mars
Ok, next step, I've made 14 busbars out of copper. Got my 25mm studs, got my 16 6mm nuts and put it all together. I finger tightened the studs as far as they could go into the battery then used the allan key and backed them out 1/4 turn, held it there and tightened down the nut to just snug. I did a continuity test from the farthest stud to the closest stud (in the picture angle) and all was good with the beeping. Then I added the brand new charger I bought off of amazon and turned it to where Will said to tune it to in his video (thanks so much Will for all your help) and now I wait.... for fireworks or success lol.View attachment 10712View attachment 10713View attachment 10714
Hey shouldn't one of the leads be on the opposite end of your stack of cells? Seems like you will front load the one cell by connecting to both terminals of the same cell?
 
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