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Old 09-01-2021, 01:49 PM   #1
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Default LiFePO4 prices

I am noticing that 12volt 100Ah LiFePO4 battery have become very cheap on Amazon, with a number of different generic brands under $400. They all seem similar in specs with similar BMS, etc.

My question is, does anyone have experience/advice regarding the difference between a $400 versus a $1000 LiFePO4 battery? I am not asking about LiFePO4 vs. AGM or problems or limitations of LiFePO4, matters that have been discussed at length already on the forum. But simply, how to tell the difference between a functional LiFePO4 and a cheap knockoff that will just fail in a short time?
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Old 09-01-2021, 01:54 PM   #2
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We recently took the middle road with SOK at $570/100Ah. Very satisfied.
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Old 09-01-2021, 01:59 PM   #3
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Check out https://youtube.com/c/WillProwse. He provides numerous thorough reviews on expensive and inexpensive lithium batteries. Additional plus……. he is entertaining to watch.
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Old 09-01-2021, 03:47 PM   #4
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Agree on the Will Prowse videos.

Additionally, your application matters a lot. The least expensive batteries generally lack protection against situations that are somewhat common in an RV. You can make them work if you manually protect them through proper use.

There is the bigger problem however that inexpensive batteries also have more downright dangerous assembly or cell problems. LiFEPo4 is a relatively safe chemistry overall, but even a small fire is a life-threatening issue in an RV. I personally would be more comfortable with the rock-bottom batteries being used in a solar shed located a safe distance from my home then with using them in my camper.
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Old 09-01-2021, 04:33 PM   #5
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Additionally, your application matters a lot. The least expensive batteries generally lack protection against situations that are somewhat common in an RV. You can make them work if you manually protect them through proper use.
Yes. From what I see, the videos on the link suggested above says that the $450 Chin or AmpereTime batteries are well-made but they lack a low temperature shutoff. So, as long as you are careful to not charge them below freezing you could save a lot--if that is the main difference between them and the $1000 batteries.

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There is the bigger problem however that inexpensive batteries also have more downright dangerous assembly or cell problems.
Yes, that is the bigger problem. And also, batteries that just fail to work. But how common are these kind of problems?
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Old 09-01-2021, 04:41 PM   #6
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I would not consider any LiFePO4 without robust BMS. I saw the look on my BIL's face when he instantly trashed a $600 battery. It was too easy.
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Old 09-01-2021, 06:49 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by RT-NY View Post
I am noticing that 12volt 100Ah LiFePO4 battery have become very cheap on Amazon, with a number of different generic brands under $400. They all seem similar in specs with similar BMS, etc.

My question is, does anyone have experience/advice regarding the difference between a $400 versus a $1000 LiFePO4 battery? I am not asking about LiFePO4 vs. AGM or problems or limitations of LiFePO4, matters that have been discussed at length already on the forum. But simply, how to tell the difference between a functional LiFePO4 and a cheap knockoff that will just fail in a short time?
Last December purchase 2 X 200 Ah Lithium batteries from China. They came with BMS. Total cost including marine shipping, insurance and ground transportation was $1200.00

I looked on multiple Alibaba websites and communicated via email with several vendors. Researched why to purchase one over the other. The type of cell inside the battery is also very important. So Far batteries function OK. Increased battery bank to 800Ah. Want to run my AC for 5 hours. I also have Victron 712 BMS to verify what entire system is doing.

These batteries are not as robust as Battle Born brand. They are also less than 1/2 price. The Chinese batteries do not come with heater. Only time will tell if they hold up under usage?
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Old 09-02-2021, 03:18 PM   #8
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It looks like the price on the battle born batteries has come down a bit. The basic 100Ah is $800 on their website.
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Old 09-02-2021, 04:00 PM   #9
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Competition is good.
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Old 09-05-2021, 04:39 PM   #10
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Default Warranty

Check your warranty coverage. Ijust acquired 200ah battery from a trusted Canadian manufacturer, Canbat. They offer a lifetime warranty.
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Old 09-05-2021, 04:53 PM   #11
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Check your warranty coverage. Ijust acquired 200ah battery from a trusted Canadian manufacturer, Canbat. They offer a lifetime warranty.
Curious on what the cost of battery? Lifetime warranty is pretty good considering.
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Old 09-05-2021, 05:36 PM   #12
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Curious on what the cost of battery? Lifetime warranty is pretty good considering.

Of course, the devil is in the details in that it a lot depends on the terms and conditions they put on. Long battery life warranties are commonly found to be hard to collect on as they get to choose whether they were "abused" or not, which you cannot prove one way or the other.
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Old 09-05-2021, 05:50 PM   #13
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I bought 2 Aphere Time 200 AH batteries. They have good reviews. They do lack a cold weather no charge feature which could be a problem if you charge in freezing temperatures. I simply installed an RV tank heater pad under them to solve this. This was still cheaper then battle born batteries.
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Old 09-05-2021, 06:07 PM   #14
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Of course, the devil is in the details in that it a lot depends on the terms and conditions they put on. Long battery life warranties are commonly found to be hard to collect on as they get to choose whether they were "abused" or not, which you cannot prove one way or the other.
Yeah, well...
At least in the US, the burden of proof on warranty claims is with the warrantor. Technically, you don't have to prove anything. Of course, they are likely to tell you to go pound sand until your lawyer shows up. The good news is that if you win, the law also requires them to pay your legal fees, so spec lawyers abound. The bad news is that such firms usually specialize in a market (such as vehicle warranty claims), and I doubt that there are any that specialize in small items such as batteries. Small claims court can sometimes work as well.

There is also the question "lifetime of WHAT"? It may well be the lifetime of the battery. (!) As stated, the devil is in the details. Reading warranties is often enlightening.

The biggest risk is the manufacturer going out of business when the claims start coming in.
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Old 09-06-2021, 02:32 AM   #15
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Renogy currently has Labor Day sale thru the 16th. 100AH for $680 and 100AH with "self heating function" for $723.
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Old 09-07-2021, 03:52 PM   #16
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Renogy currently has Labor Day sale thru the 16th. 100AH for $680 and 100AH with "self heating function" for $723.
There have been some issues with Renogy.

https://www.bbb.org/us/ca/ontario/pr...849/complaints

https://www.trustpilot.com/review/renogy.com

https://sprinter-source.com/forums/i.../#post-1060153
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Old 09-15-2021, 04:16 AM   #17
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Well several years ago I bought a portable solar panel from Renergy and it's worked flawlessly for all that time. I emailed them about whether or not I could get the mount to put the controller in the RV. They immediately sent me one free of any charge. Looks like they've taken a slide.
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Old 09-16-2021, 04:11 AM   #18
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Well several years ago I bought a portable solar panel from Renergy and it's worked flawlessly for all that time. I emailed them about whether or not I could get the mount to put the controller in the RV. They immediately sent me one free of any charge. Looks like they've taken a slide.
My experience with their customer service was also good between late 2019 and 2020, so I agree maybe they've declined. Their service tech knowledge was very mediocre, however.

But all components still working fine and for about 2/3'rds the cost of a Battleborn/Victron system. Maybe we just got lucky.
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Old 09-16-2021, 01:20 PM   #19
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A fellow member of the PM forum recently got excellent service from Renogy when her inverter was defective. She had a new one in hand within days.

We recently installed a Renogy B2B. I think of it as a Chevy—not great but cheap and good enough.
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