NOAH'S ARK: Index of LiFePO4 cell manufacturers

Dzl

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Index of Lifepo4 Prismatic Manufacturers.
It is partial, imperfect, and evolving. If you see errors, have additions, or have questions/comments, comment below.
I have long felt that our depth and breadth of knowledge of the companies that manufacture lifepo4 raw cells is at best extremely limited. We quite frequently mistake manufacturers, brands, and resellers, and often brands and resellers actively try to misrepresent themselves. I'm used to markets where, with some research, its possible to learn about the reputations of the companies involved, quality of the products, what sets them apart or what they specialize in, and the histories of the companies/brands. I have not found this to be the case with lifepo4 raw cells (particularly with 'blue aluminum' cells).

As a small first step in that direction. I would like to create a sort of index of lifepo4 prismatic manufacturers. My knowledge is limited, but I will start with what I know, and hopefully we can build from there, if you are aware of a manufacturer I missed, or have a brand you want investigated, mention it in the comments (preferably with a link, and a picture of the cell).

Parameters for being included: (1) LFP or close cousin such as LYP (2) an actual manufacturer (3) offer at least one prismatic cell between 20-500 Ah. Also note there is a high bar of evidence for being included on the list, its common practice for Chinese companies/brands/resellers to misrepresent themselves as manufacturers, a baseline assumption of skepticism is reasonable.

Plastic Case Prismatic Cells
BrandCompany NameChemistryFoundedWebsiteAlibabaMiC
CALBChina Aviation Lithium Battery LimitedLFP2007calb-tech.com
WinstonThunder Sky Winston Energy Group Limited (?)LYP2007winston-battery.com
SinopolySinopoly Battery LimitedLFP2007sinopolybattery.com
GBSZhejiang GBS Energy Co., LimitedLFP2007gbslithiumbattery.comGBS Alibaba StoreGBS MiC Store

Note: It is my understanding that all of the plastic cased cell manufacturers descend from Thundersky, A company founded in 1998 that splintered (with a fair bit of drama) around 2007.


Aluminum Case Prismatic Cells
BrandCompany NameChemistryFoundedWebsiteAlibabaMiC
CATLContemporary Amperex Technology LtdLFP2011catlbattery.com
ETCWuhu ETC Battery LtdLFP2014etcbattery.comETC Alibaba StoreETC MiC Store
EVEEVE Energy Co., LtdLFP2001evebattery.comEVE Alibaba Store
HigeeJiangsu Higee Energy Co., LtdLFP2016ihigee.comHigee Alibaba Store
CALBChina Aviation Lithium Battery LtdLFP2007calb-tech.com
FreyJiangsu Frey Battery Technology Co., LtdLFP2010chinafrey.comFrey Alibaba Store
LishenTianjin Lishen Battery Joint-Stock Co., LtdLFP1997lishen.com.cn
GanfengJianxi Ganfeng Battery Technology Co. LtdLFP2011ganfengbattery.com
REPTRuipu Energy Co. LtdLFP2017chinarept.com


Pictures:
CALB (CA Series)CALB (SE Series)WinstonSinopolyGBS
CALB_CA.jpegCALB_SE.jpegWinston.jpegSinopoly.jpegGBS.jpeg

CATLETCEVELishen
CATL.jpgETC.jpgEVE.jpg
1605275383092-png.27416

FreyCALB (CAM Series)HigeeGanfengREPT
bVUGZ7d.jpg
CALB_CAM.jpgHigee.jpg
PE66vIa.jpg
lifepo4 battery 280ah
*Click Images to expand. Almost every cell (including blue aluminums) have visual indicators of manufacturer. Pay particular attention to terminals, QR code placement and features, and vent shape and orientation. Be aware some features vary based on size/capacity/generation.

**Many of these manufacturers are not 'consumer facing,' and do not sell cells through retail channels.
 
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Dzl

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Cell Datasheets
Below are example datasheets for each of the cell manufacturers. By "example," I mean that the specifications apply to the specific model of cell indicated on the datasheet. It should not be assumed that these specifications apply broadly to all of a manufacturers product lines, all models, or all generations/revisions. CALB is the only manufacturer in the list that has each of its 3 product lines listed separately.

CALB (CA)​
CALB (SE)​
GBS​
SINOPOLY​
WINSTON​
CALB CA 180*CALB SE 200GBS 200Sinopoly 200*

CALB (CAM)​
CATL​
ETC​
EVE​
FREY​
CALB CAM 72*CATL 200ETC 228EVE LF280NFrey 100

GANFENG​
HIGEE​
LISHEN​
REPT​
Ganfeng 100Higee 152AhLishen 272AhREPT 280Ah-----------

*Indicates a concise spec sheet, not a full length datasheet. If you can provide a full datasheet for any of these manufacturers (especially if it is close to 200Ah) it would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Work in progress
 
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TBD and Changelog

Additional brands that need further research or confirmation:
  1. Shenzhen Topband and/or "Navitas" (need more info/confirmation, intuition is that this may not be a real raw cell manufacturer, bu IDK)
  2. REPT (need more info/confirmation, intuition is that this is a legit new-ish manufacturer)
  3. What else?
Brands that have either been added or excluded from the list:
  • Voltronix almost certainly rebranded Winston / Thundersky cells sold in North America.
  • Varicore (a rebrand/reseller, not manufacturer possibly EVE cells) [Visual comparison]
  • Frey (added) also sold under the names Fortune and Overkill Solar has been added to the list. It is possible that Frey is not the original manufacturer either, but for now it will remain on the list.
  • Headway only cylindrical cells
  • A123 only pouch cells (up to 67Ah)
  • Lishen (added) Tianjin Lishen Battery Joint-Stock Co., Ltd. est: 1997
  • BYD (raw cells not available to consumers)
  • Xcell (rebranded ETC cells sold by ECPC)
  • Ganfeng (added)
 
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Dzl

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Reserved
 
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@Will Prowse you used some white plastic prismatic cells in a video a while back. I've never seen cells like that before, do you recall the manufacturer?
 

Will Prowse

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@Will Prowse you used some white plastic prismatic cells in a video a while back. I've never seen cells like that before, do you recall the manufacturer?
White case, green terminal covers? The manufacturer name was in Chinese, and I sold them shortly after making that video unfortunately. I was never able to figure out who manufactured them to this day.

I bought them from a guy on craigslist, who bought them from a guy in Murrieta, CA. I tried googling the numbers on the cells and found nothing.
 
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White case, green terminal covers? The manufacturer name was in Chinese, and I sold them shortly after making that video unfortunately. I was never able to figure out who manufactured them to this day.

I bought them from a guy on craigslist, who bought them from a guy in Murrieta, CA. I tried googling the numbers on the cells and found nothing.

Yeah those are the ones I was referring to. I guess it'll have to remain a mystery for now. Thanks for the quick reply!
 

bdl

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Thanks for starting this! Perhaps this data would be better placed in the wiki part of the site?

It would be useful to collate longevity reports alongside the manufacturer/product info where the cell manufacturer is clearly known, and in a "lucky dip" section where the cell isn't known.

e.g.
CALB
ModelCell Size (Ah)Battery Size (kWh)Install DateReport DateURLFavourable?Summary
unknown21Dec 2012Jan 20185 years of CALB LiFePO4 battery operationyeslarger install
50% daily DoD
@~90% capacity


Winston
ModelCell Size (Ah)Battery Size (kWh)Install DateReport DateURLFavourable?Summary
unknown4004.82010/2011~2018LiFePO4 Batteries On Boatsyes"2009 cells and as of October of 2018 still deliver in excess of 400 Ah’s under a 30A constant load"

GBS
ModelCell Size (Ah)Battery Size (kWh)Install DateReport DateURLFavourable?Summary
GBS-LFMP100AH1002.620112015electrodacus - GBS 100Ah LiFeMnPO4 Battery review
https://plus.google.com/+electrodacus/posts/hQn19Z1WGgS (dead link)
~nooff grid home in Canada
after 3 years in service 81% capacity
 

Dzl

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@bdl

I think those are good ideas, I started this thread as a first step assuming that at some point down the road I will adapt it into a Wiki entry, and hoping it could be useful for others to build upon. At this point I'm just gathering information at my own meandering pace and trying to consolidate it all in one place in an easy to read format.

As to your second point on longevity reports. I think this is a great idea. At this point, I don't plan to add that to this post or to an eventual wiki post, but I think a post and/or spreadsheet and possibly its own Wiki entry recording reports on battery longevity would be a great idea, the format you used looks good, possibly with the addition of columns for application (like mobile, marine, or stationary), seller (or some indication of type of sale), approximate ambient temperature range, and reason for replacement/decommissioning.

This would be a great resource as it grows over time. For instance, it would be interesting to see how the EVE cells everyone is buying from Xuba perform over time. People have a lot of faith in them, and I think this is mostly warranted but I think many people downplay the uncertainty/risk, particularly people newer to the forum that don't realize that just a few short months ago the cells and the seller were unknown here, the earliest experiences are less than 6 months old. A spreadsheet where people can report their long term experiences would be a great resource for the community going forward, since most of us buy cells of somewhat unknown origin/quality often from somewhat unknown sellers.
 
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fafrd

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I just started a thread on Chinese cell manufacturers asking for exactly this sort of information - wish I had found this thread first.

The other thing I believe would be useful would be to link the cell manufacturers to the ‘Trading Companies’ like Xuba and Haomi that are reselling these cells in small MOQs.

Folks on the forum seem to be very happy with the cells they are getting from Xuba and Hoami and it seems like those are cells manufactured by EVE, but it would be great to be certain.

Also, do the trading companies like Xuba and Haomi typically sell cells from only one of these manufacturers (no other manufacturers) or do some of them resell cells coming from multiple manufacturers?

And finally, I’ve read about A-Stock versus B-Stock - it would be helpful to understand whether resellers like Xuba and Hoami sell only A-Stock, only B-Stock, or both (or luck of the draw).
 

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The other thing I believe would be useful would be to link the cell manufacturers to the ‘Trading Companies’ like Xuba and Haomi that are reselling these cells in small MOQs.

Could be useful but that sounds like a lot of work, and a lot of updating. I think their are at least a dozen companies selling the 280Ah EVE cells, and many/most resellers don't clearly state the manufacturer so it would take a bit of detective work. I do think a post dedicated to the different resellers would be good.

Folks on the forum seem to be very happy with the cells they are getting from Xuba and Hoami and it seems like those are cells manufactured by EVE, but it would be great to be certain.

Part of my inspiration for making this thread was to help with this problem. If you look closely at the pictures I've posted, you will notice that even with the blue aluminum cells, they can be semi-reliably distinguished by terminal shape/size, qr code placement, and other small differences.

One problem is that there can be differences in cells from the same manufacturer depending on capacity or manufacture date and probably other factors so its not always conclusive.

But once you pick up on some of the characteristics of the different manufacturers its often possible to identify and differentiate them visually.

Also, do the trading companies like Xuba and Haomi typically sell cells from only one of these manufacturers (no other manufacturers) or do some of them resell cells coming from multiple manufacturers?

Most seem to sell cells from a variety of sources.

And finally, I’ve read about A-Stock versus B-Stock - it would be helpful to understand whether resellers like Xuba and Hoami sell only A-Stock, only B-Stock, or both (or luck of the draw).

It is unlikely (in my opinion) that they are selling A grade cells (though they may be close to grade A and fine for our purposes). The main indicator of this is the price being substantially lower than the market rate for grade A cells through official channels. Couple this with the fact that at least two sellers of the same cells have stated they are grade A- or grade B (cant remember which), and the fact that EVE does not offer support or warranty on these cells and does not want to be publicly connected to them. Add all this together and I think the logical conclusion is that these are probably less than A grade cells (or potentially old stock grade A that can't be sold as new anymore though official channels). But this is just speculation.

As an example, here is a breakdown of the price of a comparable cell (made by ETC):

SellerCost per cellShipping
Reputable US based Seller$319$74
Direct from Manufacturer$250Unknown
Grey Market Seller$70Unknown

I have the impression that the cells resellers are selling are often a mix of old-stock, overstock, older generation, and grade "A-" and grade B cells and unfortunately sometimes Grade C cells, and the sellers will often not know which reason. It is important to note that there are many reasons cells are classified as grade B and many of those reasons aren't a huge deal for our application.


*I'm far from an expert on this, and just going off the little bits and pieces of information I've gathered here and there + a bit of healthy skepticism. And I fully except I could be wrong on some points, its a pretty opaque market without very much credible information. If you want to learn about A and B grade cells watch these videos
 
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fafrd

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Could be useful but that sounds like a lot of work, and a lot of updating. I think their are at least a dozen companies selling the 280Ah EVE cells, and many/most resellers don't clearly state the manufacturer so it would take a bit of detective work. I do think a post dedicated to the different resellers would be good.



Part of my inspiration for making this thread was to help with this problem. If you look closely at the pictures I've posted, you will notice that even with the blue aluminum cells, they can be semi-reliably distinguished by terminal shape/size, qr code placement, and other small differences.

One problem is that there can be differences in cells from the same manufacturer depending on capacity or manufacture date and probably other factors so its not always conclusive.

But once you pick up on some of the characteristics of the different manufacturers its often possible to identify and differentiate them visually.



Most seem to sell cells from a variety of sources.



It is unlikely (in my opinion) that they are selling A grade cells (though they may be close to grade A and fine for our purposes). The main indicator of this is the price being substantially lower than the market rate for grade A cells through official channels. Couple this with the fact that at least two sellers of the same cells have stated they are grade A- or grade B (cant remember which), and the fact that EVE does not offer support or warranty on these cells and does not want to be publicly connected to them. Add all this together and I think the logical conclusion is that these are probably less than A grade cells (or potentially old stock grade A that can't be sold as new anymore though official channels). But this is just speculation.

As an example, here is a breakdown of the price of a comparable cell (made by ETC):

SellerCost per cellShipping
Reputable US based Seller$319$74
Direct from Manufacturer$250Unknown
Grey Market Seller$70Unknown

I have the impression that the cells resellers are selling are often a mix of old-stock, overstock, older generation, and grade A- and grade B cells, and the sellers will often not know which reason. It is important to note that there are many reasons cells are classified as grade B and many of those reasons aren't a huge deal for our application.


*I'm far from an expert on this, and just going off the little bits and pieces of information I've gathered here and there + a bit of healthy skepticism. And I fully except I could be wrong on some points, its a pretty opaque market without very much credible information. If you want to learn about A and B grade cells watch these videos

Appreciate the response.

You’ve helped solve one mystery for me - I saw the EVE LF280 price on Alibaba and it was over $200. For low-volume sales I could understand - to discourage sales to end-users.

But the price for MOQ of 500 was also over $200 - 2.5 to 3x the price from these ‘Grey Market Sellers’ as you call them.

So yeah, if that’s truly the market price for new Grade-A 280Ah cells sold in full-palette+ volumes, these $70-80 cells must be excess stock, outdated stock (I see EVE launched the LF280N last December) or defective in some way...

In a situation like this, the reputation of the (grey-market) vendor is paramount, so I suppose I’ll monitor the board for a while to see a bit longer of a track record of happy customers (and hopefully no horror stories) before pulling the trigger.
 

fafrd

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Amy of Xuba confirmed to me that the 280Ah LFB Xuba sells are from EVE and stated that they are Grade-A as well as in continuous supply under a long-term supply agreement with EVE...
 

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Amy of Xuba confirmed to me that the 280Ah LFB Xuba sells are from EVE and stated that they are Grade-A as well as in continuous supply under a long-term supply agreement with EVE...

Good news if true.
If both of these things are true, I wonder why EVE didn't want to be publicly connected to these cells, and I wonder how its possible to undercut the factory price by so much. I can think of a few possible legit ways and some less legit ways. I really wish I could understand this market a little better, its very nebulous and opaque.

Regardless of whether they are A grade or not, if they meet your needs and perform suitably over the long term and live up to the life cycle the datasheet promises, they are a very good deal. But I would point out, nearly all resellers claim the cells they sell are grade A, many/most cheap cells are not, and EVE officially cautions that cells sold by unofficial resellers (which includes Xuba/Amy) are often non-grade A regardless of what the seller says.
 
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fafrd

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Good news if true.
If both of these things are true, I wonder why EVE didn't want to be publicly connected to these cells, and I wonder how its possible to undercut the factory price by so much. I can think of a few possible legit ways and some less legit ways. I really wish I could understand this market a little better, its very nebulous and opaque.

Regardless of whether they are A grade or not, if they meet your needs and perform suitably over the long term and live up to the life cycle the datasheet promises, they are a very good deal.

From Alibaba, seems like you can purchase cells directly from EVE if you are willing to pay over $200 each...

These could be excess production that EVE bleeds off through 2nd-tier channels, they could be ‘old’ inventory of LF280 cells now that the LF280N has been introduced. Or they could be ‘within-spec’ cells that lack some margin EVE usually plans for what they deliver to their top-tier customers.

They are a great deal as long as the cells you get are reasonably matched and come close to EVE’s datasheets specifications.

Seems as though these 280Ah ‘deals’ started up early this year as the Coronavirus slowdown kicked-in, so a big question I have is whether these will continue to be available as the recovery continues or will prove to have only been necessary to keep the factory running throughout the slowdown...
 
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Dzl

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These could be excess production that EVE bleeds off through 2nd-tier channels, they could be ‘old’ inventory of LF280 cells now that the LF280N has been introduced. Or they could be ‘within-spec’ cells that lack some margin EVE usually plans for what they deliver to their top-tier customers.

They are a great deal as long as the cells you get are reasonably matched and come close to EVE’s datasheets specifications.

I share this sentiment 100%, if the reason for the discount was any of these reasons, (particularly the first) this would be a killer deal. I can think of a few more 'desirable' reasons these cells might be sold at such a discount, and then of course they could just be cells that were slightly or somewhat out of spec and didn't pass QA (i.e. Grade B cells).

Peoples experience with them so far hasn't made me feel that there is a conclusive and definite answer one way or the other, and really most of us (and me especially) do not have the experience, the expertise, or the right tools to be great judges of this.

At the end of the day what's important is if they work for you and they last. Too early to say anything about latter but so far they seem to be working well for most people.
 
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Dzl

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A couple pictures that might be helpful for those trying to differentiate between large form factor aluminum prismatics

First, here is a side by side birds eye comparison (Lishen, EVE, ETC) I spliced together, not to scale necessarily:

large-prismatic-comparison.jpg


Second Comparison (CATL, ETC, EVE) was provided by Heiwei Dao with Shenzhen Senberry:

6269468837384725044.png
 
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