Watch out for fraudulent LIFEPO4 200AH "NEW A-GRADE" CALB cells

Watchout

Solar Enthusiast
You really need to watch out. I have bought lots of stuff from AliExpress without any major difficulties...untill NOW!

I bought 16 cells advertised as "Brand new Grade-A 200 Ah CALB LiFePo4". They came with app. 2 months delivery time and was packed very nicely 4 in each 4 boxes.

I instantly put them on charge to max. 3.65V and then initiated capacity tests.
2 cells had 150Ah, only 1 cell reached 174Ah, the rest were between 158 to 168Ah, and 1 cell was slightly swollen.

Seller tried all kinds of tricks to avoid admitting what was obvious:

Cells could not have been new. CALB would never send out cells so far from specs and certainly never swollen cells, moreover CALB stopped using the center ventilation caps present on my delivery 12YEARS AGO !!!

Swollen cells are directly dangerous potentially catching fire, from dendrites developing inside. This may happen over several years of use.

I don't know about all stores, but many use exactly the same pictures and texts, so difficult to know who is honest and who is not.

If you don't have and understand how to make proper capacity tests straight after arrival, DON'T BUY. A voltage of 3.3V is no indication of SOC or capacity, it is simply the resting voltage of a partially charged cell. after you have put them together in a bank and started to use them there would be no way of getting your money back.

My experience was with OYE store, stay far away from them !!! They don't refrain from anything to avoid any form of compensation!

Best regards
 

Diysolar123

Solar Addict
You really need to watch out. I have bought lots of stuff from AliExpress without any major difficulties...untill NOW!
you have been lucky, my success rate with aliepress is much lower hehe....

My fake product rate is quite high, here are some examples:
1)trying to get REAL 100% nickel battery strip material...every single order was nickel plated steel across several different sellers!
2)out of my eight 280Ah lifepo4 cells purchased: 1 very defective(only 75% of rated capacity), 3 were marginal (a bit pregnant looking)
3)ordered a batch of sensor IC chips, was sent a completely different (and much lower cost) chip...

ebay also has its issues but I have always had very good luck getting my money back on defective/fake items.
with aliexpress, well, the answer for the above three examples are:
1) four orders across several different merchants (average order was around $20-$30) refund from 2, told to get lost from 2 so thats a 50% success
2)after a long drawn out battle that I asked aliexpress to help with, I received $50 on the battery order
3)they told me to take a hike basically, so I got nothing even after I agreed to send the chips BACK to them (I was foolish in my early aliexpress days ..NEVER bother to offer to send anything back unless THEY give you a shipper hehe)

it is definitely a roll of the dice when you shop on aliexpress ;)
 

Watchout

Solar Enthusiast
you have been lucky, my success rate with aliepress is much lower hehe....

My fake product rate is quite high, here are some examples:
1)trying to get REAL 100% nickel battery strip material...every single order was nickel plated steel across several different sellers!
2)out of my eight 280Ah lifepo4 cells purchased: 1 very defective(only 75% of rated capacity), 3 were marginal (a bit pregnant looking)
3)ordered a batch of sensor IC chips, was sent a completely different (and much lower cost) chip...

ebay also has its issues but I have always had very good luck getting my money back on defective/fake items.
with aliexpress, well, the answer for the above three examples are:
1) four orders across several different merchants (average order was around $20-$30) refund from 2, told to get lost from 2 so thats a 50% success
2)after a long drawn out battle that I asked aliexpress to help with, I received $50 on the battery order
3)they told me to take a hike basically, so I got nothing even after I agreed to send the chips BACK to them (I was foolish in my early aliexpress days ..NEVER bother to offer to send anything back unless THEY give you a shipper hehe)

it is definitely a roll of the dice when you shop on aliexpress ;)
Well generally speaking, I have been quite pleased with AliExpress, bit has only been buying stuff that could go below the import duty processing limit. This has been my first real big order there.

Delivery times have generally been much better than what eBay's has been able to offer so I switched many of my purchases to AliExpress, and has untill now not had any major difficulties. I have always chosen delivery with AliExpress standard delivery terms with tracking, and has worked flawlessly.

But this particular Battery order is really not going well. I'm still fighting with the seller and AliExpress compensation proposals have not been satisfactory so far. Sellers proposals offering 0.00 in compensation despite the overwhelming evidence of direct fraud (or happened to take cells from the "throw away stockpile" instead.
 

ereams65

Solar Addict
The only things I've ever ordered from Aliexpress/Alibaba are from direct manufacturer storefronts. JDB BMS from their LLT storefront...Daly BMS from their storefront, etc. Especially on popular items. Sellers on Alibaba have a tendency to watch marketflow and switch products as the wind changes. "Today's hot item, LiFePo4 cells and we have them! Tomorrow's hot item, drinking fountains and we happen to make those too!" It's easier for the get-rich-quick folks to operate because they know you're thousands of miles away and have no real recourse. Caveat emptor
 

elvis_asaftei

Solar Enthusiast
You really need to watch out. I have bought lots of stuff from AliExpress without any major difficulties...untill NOW!

I bought 16 cells advertised as "Brand new Grade-A 200 Ah CALB LiFePo4". They came with app. 2 months delivery time and was packed very nicely 4 in each 4 boxes.

I instantly put them on charge to max. 3.65V and then initiated capacity tests.
2 cells had 150Ah, only 1 cell reached 174Ah, the rest were between 158 to 168Ah, and 1 cell was slightly swollen.

Seller tried all kinds of tricks to avoid admitting what was obvious:

Cells could not have been new. CALB would never send out cells so far from specs and certainly never swollen cells, moreover CALB stopped using the center ventilation caps present on my delivery 12YEARS AGO !!!

Swollen cells are directly dangerous potentially catching fire, from dendrites developing inside. This may happen over several years of use.

I don't know about all stores, but many use exactly the same pictures and texts, so difficult to know who is honest and who is not.

If you don't have and understand how to make proper capacity tests straight after arrival, DON'T BUY. A voltage of 3.3V is no indication of SOC or capacity, it is simply the resting voltage of a partially charged cell. after you have put them together in a bank and started to use them there would be no way of getting your money back.

My experience was with OYE store, stay far away from them !!! They don't refrain from anything to avoid any form of compensation!

Best regards
what should I do ?
I received swollen 310 CATL fake cells :

EDDE8209-006A-4728-A0F7-539758A47034.jpeg
CD05213C-9151-493D-BDB2-FCD0D652D56C.jpeg
 

Watchout

Solar Enthusiast
If you don't have equipment to test them yourself, then find someone who can ( perhaps a Technical Institute), once you have connected them into a bank, seller will refuse any compensation.

If indeed they vary a lot in capacity, apart from using BMS (which you should always do) you will need a powerfull active Equalizer to keep them reasonable ballanced during operation.

Atorch have a DT24P which can use external discharge load and measure up to 30 or 100Amp max, so you should with a proper load resistance be able to perform a capacity test on a single cell within approximately 10-11 hours. (30Amp is only 0.1C, so a very relaxed load for a +300Ah cell)

Using a resistive load will cause the current to drop as voltage decrease, but that doesn't matter, except the test will take longer.

Make sure your resistive load can cope with app 350W, for instance 8 X 1 Ohm +35W resistors mounted on heatsink with fan cooling.

You will also need a powerfull relay to automatically turn off the load when 2.7 (or 2.5V very little capacity difference).

Best regards and good luck
 

elvis_asaftei

Solar Enthusiast
CATL Cells are known for slight swelling, these do not have to be fake just because of the swelling

yes but i also notice the old QR hidden and unusually old Look of connector that have marker sign and also oxidation and looks very old not brand new . What do you think?

E945D102-B935-4804-B2B1-B47FB9C006BA.jpeg

Also 1cm gap because of swollen cells :

F2DD5ED6-CB00-46BD-A115-F9AFE39EEEA4.jpeg

I can’t push them more to fit the bus bars

BAC3AAC4-61D6-44A4-B5EE-AB65D8E2E177.jpeg
 

SolarKimmy

Solar Addict
yes but i also notice the old QR hidden and unusually old Look of connector that have marker sign and also oxidation and looks very old not brand new . What do you think?

View attachment 55413

Also 1cm gap because of swollen cells :

View attachment 55414

I can’t push them more to fit the bus bars

View attachment 55415
Yes, those are definitely used. The swollen cells, QR code is wrong and the top black cover is obliviously re-manufactured.

I recently purchased and received some CATL cells that are brand new.

Here are pics of new cells for your comparison. Look where the new cells QR code is located. These arrived a week ago from a US supplier that received them from China a few days before. They were still packaged in factory sealed cartons from CATL and packaged two cells per carton in custom thick foam surrounds. Cost was under $200.00 per cell, with bus bars and hardware, including UPS delivery in four days from when I placed the order. I'm very satisfied with the purchase. Those are not welded terminals. I prefer grub screws that I can remove. The cells came with 6mm threaded terminals.
IMG_8893.jpgIMG_8894.jpg
 
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elvis_asaftei

Solar Enthusiast
Yes, those are definitely used. The swollen cells, QR code is wrong and the top black cover is obliviously re-manufactured.

I recently purchased and received some CATL cells that are brand new.

Here are pics of new cells for your comparison. Look where the new cells QR code is located. These arrived a week ago from a US supplier that received them from China a few days before. They were still packaged in factory sealed cartons from CATL and packaged two cells per carton in custom thick foam surrounds. Cost was under $200.00 per cell, with bus bars and hardware, including UPS delivery in four days from when I placed the order. I'm very satisfied with the purchase. Those are not welded terminals. I prefer grub screws that I can remove. The cells came with 6mm threaded terminals.
View attachment 55421View attachment 55422

They look a lot different than mine.
does it seem that mine is CATL 310ah or what factory produce them by the shape of connectors?
 

Hasakei

New Member
The batteries with QR codes are not necessarily brand new grade A goods, but scraped off the QR codes must be Grade B.
All you need to know is that you get what you pay for.
 

SolarKimmy

Solar Addict
They look a lot different than mine.
does it seem that mine is CATL 310ah or what factory produce them by the shape of connectors?
Other clues from my shipment confirm that they are new. Packaging was from CATL factory, box markings, cell condition, etc.
 

SolarKimmy

Solar Addict
They look a lot different than mine.
does it seem that mine is CATL 310ah or what factory produce them by the shape of connectors?
Guangdong is famous for knock-offs and copies. They could take a loaf of bread and make it look like a new CATL cell. Probably perform better, too.
 

Bluenova Lithium

Tough Lithpower Batteries Designed To Last.
there never have REAl and NEW grade-A cells (CALB, CATL, EVE, Lishen) to the retail market, the Chinese trading company get these cells from these big factories, but these cells are definitely not the grade-a cells. they are mainly the grade-B or C cells that not qulified to be used on electric car, or the cells disassembled from the electric car battery module. there have so many in China market, and very very cheap. we can use these cells for the small power system with small charge /discharge current. anyway, they are cheap.
cells.jpg
prisimatic cells.jpg
 

Watchout

Solar Enthusiast
Another certain tell-tell sign of a used cell is the darker colour of the copper terminal.

When copper is new, it shines almost yellowish, on a used/older cell they turn darker into more and more redish color, while the other pole turn more and more greyish without any shine at all, this is due to reaction with the atmospere and humidity over years.

In any case CALB stopped production of the 200Ah LiFePo4 cells last year.
 

Sunfunkits

Solar Enthusiast
There are Grade A batteries direct from the factories from but they cost more. We have grade A batteries from EVE, the price is 2x the going rate listed on Alibaba sellers but they meet and exceed the manufacturers specifications.
 

Just John

Photon Sorcerer
there never have REAl and NEW grade-A cells (CALB, CATL, EVE, Lishen) to the retail market, the Chinese trading company get these cells from these big factories, but these cells are definitely not the grade-a cells. they are mainly the grade-B or C cells that not qulified to be used on electric car, or the cells disassembled from the electric car battery module. there have so many in China market, and very very cheap. we can use these cells for the small power system with small charge /discharge current. anyway, they are cheap.
View attachment 55544
View attachment 55545
I have certainly received grade A Eve cells. Complete with factory test results.
 

Watchout

Solar Enthusiast
Well, I have found out lately, that the strategy of these sellers is to send new cells to some lucky customers, to get some good reviews, and used cells to the less unfortunate customers, to possibly also miscredit these customers reviews.

They claim that they are testing all cells before shipping, but that is DEFFINATELY NOT the case.

If you don't have any means of testing the capacity right after arrival, then DON'T BUY!

And measuring 3.3V on each cells at arrival is NO INDICATION OF NEITHER BALLANCE NOR CAPACITY !!!

Some tell signs of used cells are:
1. Both terminals looking mat and copper terminal not yellowish and shiny.
2. Substantial scuff marks in particular on the bottom.
3. Much lower capacity than advertised.
4. Substantial difference in capacity.
5. QR-codes not matching paperstickers.
(They will claim only factory can read them, but that is absolute BOGUS. They are easily readable with a good QR-reader app).
There is another thread where you can upload QR-code readings and paperstickers, please post them there for further analysis.

Regards and Watch out.
 

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Just John

Photon Sorcerer
Well, I have found out lately, that the strategy of these sellers is to send new cells to some lucky customers, to get some good reviews, and used cells to the less unfortunate customers, to possibly also miscredit these customers reviews.

They claim that they are testing all cells before shipping, but that is DEFFINATELY NOT the case.

If you don't have any means of testing the capacity right after arrival, then DON'T BUY!

And measuring 3.3V on each cells at arrival is NO INDICATION OF NEITHER BALLANCE NOR CAPACITY !!!

Some tell signs of used cells are:
1. Both terminals looking mat and copper terminal not yellowish and shiny.
2. Substantial scuff marks in particular on the bottom.
3. Much lower capacity than advertised.
4. Substantial difference in capacity.
5. QR-codes not matching paperstickers.
(They will claim only factory can read them, but that is absolute BOGUS. They are easily readable with a good QR-reader app).
There is another thread where you can upload QR-code readings and paperstickers, please post them there for further analysis.

Regards and Watch out.
You are correct, every single vendor claims grade A cells "matched".
Very, very few actually deliver.


I know Amy does, complete with test reports from Eve.
I am well equipped to test capacity. Her grade A cells are exactly that, matched in batches of up to 16 from Eve, only manufactured and tested after you order. Of course you pay for that. Sometimes it can be worth it, but for storage capacity, bulk cells are the better value (she also sells those).
 
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