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Old 02-10-2020, 10:59 PM   #1
eranrund
 
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Default 5kWh Lifepo4 battery pack and associated electronics

Hi!

Wanted to share some photos of my build of a 5kWh LiFePo4 battery packs that utilizes 16 100aH CALB cells and hopefully answer any questions people might have regarding such a setup. In addition to building the enclosure and installing the pack, I redid a bunch of the electronics. The stuff I currently have is:
* Electrodacus SBMS40 solar charge controller/BMS
* Reliable Inverter 3KW - Some cheap Chinese inverter that so far seems to do the job. I've tested my microwave, kettle, angle grinder, heat gun and AC with it just to see if it's willing to run all these types of loads and it did that without issues. At the peak I was drawing around 100A from the battery to power two heat guns with nothing acting funny for over an hour.
* GL.iNet GL-AR750 Travel AC Router which is connected to a permanently installed Nexus6 phone. This serves three purposes:
1) GPS tracking of the van using google maps location sharing.
2) Provide me with a WiFi access point. It uses a separate carrier than my primary phone so I get better coverage.
3) Provide internet to a Raspberry Pi
* Raspberry pi - currently the only thing this does is pull data out of the Electrodacus to give me remote monitoring/graphing of amount of energy produced/consumed.
* Small reverse camera mounted on the side of the van, since I have no windows and might want to see who's knocking at my door
* A custom wireless LED dimmer controller. I have two transmitters - one by the door and one by my bed, that control a receiver mounted where all the other electronics are and allow separate dimming of two zones in my ceiling LED lights (front and rear)
* A similar wireless controller that is controlled by a fob on my keychain for turning on and off two large LED light bars I have mounted on the roof at the front and rear of the van. I also have wired buttons for those indoor, again using custom hardware/software I designed
* A 500W charger to allow for shore charging, to supplement the 600W solar array mounted on the roof
* I also run all the standard loads (fridge, water pump, diesel heater, etc).

There might be pieces I'm forgetting since this project has many parts in it, but that's a rough overview of what I've done with the electronics. Most of it is probably unnecessary but I enjoy this kind of work, and this is my main hobby.

The full album of some pictures I've taken is at https://imgur.com/a/nkE8J0d but I also attached a few select photos to this post.

Cheers! And thanks again for being such a wonderful and helpful community, my Sprinter adventure would've been a failure if it wasn't for the people here taking the time to answer questions and help others.
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg 11.jpg (187.8 KB, 87 views)
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Old 02-11-2020, 03:18 AM   #2
autostaretx
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Default Re: 5kWh Lifepo4 battery pack and associated electronics

Gotta love the "one size fits everything" wall outlet...

PowerWallDetail.png

(except South African plugs)

--dick
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Old 02-11-2020, 07:17 PM   #3
eranrund
 
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Default Re: 5kWh Lifepo4 battery pack and associated electronics

Yeah, it gets the job done :) Its powerful enough to run my Macbook pro charger which is the only thing I use that mini inverter for.
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:08 AM   #4
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Default Re: 5kWh Lifepo4 battery pack and associated electronics

Nice work, good to see unistrut in use, it's so versatile.

I'm planning on using a Raspberry Pi in my build to control the lights via touchscreen, I decided to use Pi so I could have a dimming function which I plan to use a 16 channel PWM board but also to create lighting zones where I can have predetermined locations and colours, I'm very impressed with your wireless dimmers.
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:20 AM   #5
eranrund
 
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Default Re: 5kWh Lifepo4 battery pack and associated electronics

Thanks! Yeah, a RaspPi would be adequate for that :)
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Old 02-14-2020, 02:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: 5kWh Lifepo4 battery pack and associated electronics

I would be curious what your pack construction cost was.
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Old 02-14-2020, 06:22 PM   #7
eranrund
 
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Default Re: 5kWh Lifepo4 battery pack and associated electronics

I initially purchased 8 of the cells from Craigslist in used-in-new condition buy a guy that decided to go to a bigger 48v pack for his house for around $900. That honestly provided enough juice 99% of the time, before adding a microware and a kettle. But I wanted to not have to think about running out of juice so I added another 8 cells later on.
The other 8 cells cost me ~$1300 from a US supplier after a bunch of time wasted on a different second hand lifepo4 back that ended up measuring ~3kWh for $450 - so a good deal but it was too big and heavy (came out of an electric vehicle of some sort). I believe those ones are still being sold so if you're happy with 3kWh of usable capacity for around $450 + shipping and ~160lbs, I can find the link.

Anyway, $2200 for the 16 cells, and the BMS/charge controller was around $250 I believe. Those were the expensive pieces. The steel enclosure was cheap, I had a bunch of the 1" square tube around in the shop so I just had to weld it together and get some unistrut to mount it.
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