Who's in the UK and Ireland?

squowse

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Anyone importing and putting together batteries?
Maybe we can share tips on local and imported components and equipment?
 

JamTun

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Feb 17, 2021
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Yes I'm in the UK.
PV going up in a few weeks.
Batteries about to be ordered, just need a few more details from inverter supplier. I'm happy to wait for these.
I have a few quotes and they all assure me taxes and delivery are included but I'm more than a little anxious about the whole Brexit thing.
But even if I get hit with the 7% tariff and 20% VAT they are still within my budget (just!)

What are your plans?
 

squowse

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I'm putting together some LifePO4 batteries for off grid situations eg van, tiny house without mains.
Fed up with poorly performing Lead Acid. They're so cheap but you never know what's going on with them.

Are you putting together a battery to connect to a grid tie inverter? Does the BMS have to talk to the inverter for charge control?

As the items are over £135 the new rules on imports shouldn't make a difference. They should be stopped at customs where VAT and duty is assessed and charged. That's handled by the courier and can be a slow and frustrating process depending on the courier. The DDP option was a new one on me. The amount charged is not really enough to cover the VAT and duty as well as the delivery cost. I suspect they take a risk on bypassing the customs. Whether they take any responsibility if their risk doesn't work out I have no idea.

There's a good record of them coming through as far as I can tell. I imagine the customs have even less resources than normal to police the border so I anticipate a lot of "waving through" this year. I've had a few small packages from China through this year as normal, some VAT paid as per the new rules, some not. Mostly low value, one (BMS) was a few hundred. Another low value one from US waved through as well.

I'm in Cornwall by the way.
 

Pyke13

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I bought cells in December to be delivered this afternoon. It’s been a long 76 days wait. They cleared customs with nothing extra to pay as far as I know. I was £575 for 8 272ah lishen cells, including delivery ddp. Seems to have been ok.
I live in a converted truck normally between Fraserburgh and Newcastle but can be anyplace. I know 560ah is overkill for a camper but at least it takes the pressure of in winter and hopefully I will be able to run my fridge next winter
 

JamTun

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Are you putting together a battery to connect to a grid tie inverter?

Yes, I am. Hopefully two Lux hybrid inverters running in parallel.

Does the BMS have to talk to the inverter for charge control?

That's the big question.
All the Lux inverters for sale in the UK seem to specify that you need the Pylontech batteries, which are too expensive for me.
But the Lux manual states it will run any lithium or even lead acid.
The lithium option does seem to require a comms cable.
But if lead acid is connected then all is required is a temperature sensor. So it doesn't need communication to function, but I don't know if it'll cause me problems if it doesn't communicate with a 3rd party lithium battery.
 

squowse

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Yes, I am. Hopefully two Lux hybrid inverters running in parallel.



That's the big question.
All the Lux inverters for sale in the UK seem to specify that you need the Pylontech batteries, which are too expensive for me.
But the Lux manual states it will run any lithium or even lead acid.
The lithium option does seem to require a comms cable.
But if lead acid is connected then all is required is a temperature sensor. So it doesn't need communication to function, but I don't know if it'll cause me problems if it doesn't communicate with a 3rd party lithium battery.
This is something I'm looking into. The cheap BMS can generally communicate on serial interface (RS485) The inverters seem to use MODBUS. If I can find out the protocols it should be possible to use an Arduino to link them together. All the inverter really needs to know is the SoC. Error states would be good as well (eg outside temp and current limits).

I'm thinking that they key is to see which (if any manufacturers will give details of their protocol. It might be really universal and simple - who knows.

The trouble with pretending the battery is lead acid is that it;s hard enough to get the SOC of a lead acid battery by voltage. The voltage/SOC graph of LifePO4 is very flat so even harder to ascertain the SoC.

Also I wonder if it will then use the voltages suitable for lead acid which would not be good at all.
 

squowse

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Having said that I anticipate I'm mostly interested personally in off grid situations. That seems to be much easier as the charge controllers can be setup for lithium batteries without comms. I imagine they have the coulomb counters in them to know the SoC of the battery. Maybe not I need to look into it
 

squowse

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Yes, I am. Hopefully two Lux hybrid inverters running in parallel.



That's the big question.
All the Lux inverters for sale in the UK seem to specify that you need the Pylontech batteries, which are too expensive for me.
But the Lux manual states it will run any lithium or even lead acid.
The lithium option does seem to require a comms cable.
But if lead acid is connected then all is required is a temperature sensor. So it doesn't need communication to function, but I don't know if it'll cause me problems if it doesn't communicate with a 3rd party lithium battery.

looks interesting
 

davelondon

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Dec 7, 2020
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I'm about to but 64 of these cells with shipping to the UK. Does anyone know if I will be charged import tax (over the standard 20% VAT)? @JamTun mentioned a 7% tarrif... is this a standard thing documented somewhere for lithium batteries?
 

Pyke13

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When you order ask for ddp shipping, all taxes paid at point of purchase. I got my cells last week and didn’t have to pay anything when they arrived
 

squowse

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Did Amy add a percentage on to the base price for taxes to be included?
if you're quoted DDP then there should not be anything more to pay. VAT and duty will have been "paid". Say no more.
Worst case scenario is that the shipment is inspected and the batteries are separated from the boxes of bananas (or whatever else they're shipped with) and you'll get a bill from customs. I think the duty rate is 4% for batteries, plus the 20% VAT. What Amy or any other seller will do at that point is anyone's guess. I doubt they'll have enough margin to reimburse you much.
 

Pyke13

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I also got hit with a $24 brexit surcharge due to the extra paperwork, I bought mine start of December so don’t know if it’s any different now.
 

squowse

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I also got hit with a $24 brexit surcharge due to the extra paperwork, I bought mine start of December so don’t know if it’s any different now.
What's a brexit surcharge and who applied it? Sounds a bit bogus to me.
 

Pyke13

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The shipping company, it was paid at time of purchase. It probably was bogus but what do you do? Refuse to pay it and you don’t get your batteries.
 

squowse

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I suppose it would be fair enough if they paid the duty and vat. Did you get any paperwork showing that had been done though?
 

davelondon

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It's quite common for shipping companies to give you an extra bill for administration expenses... Not much you can do about it. You got off lightly with just $24!
 

Roly

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Feb 4, 2021
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Hi
Im in Chorley in the UK so it'd be nice to chat with you all.
 

Roly

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Feb 4, 2021
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I just had batteries from China (Aliexpress) and they had to warn me Brexit might change there delivery charge or time but they actually arrived early and no extra taxes etc
 
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