Rathbone LiFePo4 Lithium Iron

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Rathbone LiFePo4 Lithium Iron

LifePo4 - September 01, 2011: I started work on this product in 2007, I will write a white page on why we continue to elect not to assemble this chemical battery cell into packs and why the battery pack manufacturers we work with refuse to work with this chemical, and what my colleagues in the EV field and I experience when running extensive test on this chemical from existing manufacturers of the cell.

I wanted to introduce this pack in early 2008 but for the expectations of myself and industry colleagues that actually manufacturer battery packs and chargers, it is not practical or ready for broadcast and several other demanding industries. I have been approached by most if not all of the manufacturers of this battery cell chemical for a long time wanting me to consider it for Broadcast batteries and other versions for EV research. I have to say no and tell them why without giving out our experience and research information for free. This has been very frustrating to me because I was looking forward to using this cell starting in January 2008.

Stay tuned for a white page. BTW: It does not have the power. Remember your very old JVC and Panasonic cameras and the very old 13V ProPacs. Could you run your equipment today with a 13V ProPac? No.

Are there battery cell manufacturers manufacturing packs with this cell? Yes, the ones who manufacturer the cell and packs with the cell. They then promote their spin to ignorant widget buyers wanting one up on competitors.† Just so you know, you give me a big enough order and I will supply you these batteries and even in your name but you are forewarned.


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OK, Eric, from your notes:

  1. You know that I always encourage a short term and long term focus on budget, equipment demands in the future, and batteries to work now and in the future.
  2. Voltage:† Do you remember the old 13.2V batteries?† Your camera shut off is 11 volts.†
    1. Your Ni-Cd and Ni-MH broadcast batteries were 1.25V per cell x 12 cells = 15.0V and because of particular company marketing, referred to as a 14V battery.† Of course, the very best manufacturing gives you 15V Ė My prior batteries and rebuilds, and competitorís lower quality cells are closer to 14.4V, the widget distributor guys.†
    2. With Li-Ion you are at 14.8 / 16V and still under the 17.0V of the very tight specifications of the very old JVC and Panasonic Cameras.† 12.8V LiFePo4 is a very short run time.
  3. Safety of the LiFePo4: To Date LiFePo4 is very safe and this is a primary attraction of the chemistry.
  4. Discharge Cycles of the LiFePo4: To date the manufacturers of the different LiFePo4 cells claim many more discharge cycles than Ni-MH, Li-Ion, or Press Negative Ni-Cd, and this is another primary attraction of LiFePo4.† But, this is NOT field proven.
    1. Note: LG Chem, Panasonic and Sanyo BEST Li-ION cells are 500 discharge cycles
    2. Chinese versions, (all the rest under any brand name) are closer to 300 with a sloping discharge curve.
  5. Weight of the LiFePo4:† Twice the weight of Li-Ion, but less than Ni-CD or Ni-MH.
  6. Retention of proposed capacity specifications: In question by my colleagues in manufacturing and R&D and not expected to be better for a long time.† I will post more soon.
  7. Retention of proposed total voltage over time: In question by my colleagues in manufacturing and R&D and not expected to be better for a long time.† I will post more soon.
  8. Heat Durability: I will finish these notes later today, I hope.†I have to go now.
  9. Where is Ron Rathbone on LiFePo4 Ė Prevention / Discouragement?:† I am frustrated!† I started working on LiFePo4 in 2007, heavily in 2008, and for time issues had to go with Li-ON. †I knew I was dropping Ni-CD in 2008 and that Panasonic and Sanyo were going to drop Ni-MH in 2009.† That meant that no matter the brand name on any other battery cells, they were Chinese or South African battery cells, all poop.† Understand, I can supply bulk quantity of LiFePo4 broadcast battery packs any time I am paid by the client but they are not where they should be for the industries I supply, including broadcast. And, I am not stocking LiFePo4 with my precious inventory funds that are needing for better battery pack options.
    1. I cannot safely custom assemble Li-Ion so I was forced to go to China for automated assembly lines for each assembly type.† I was lucky.† I had done service work for PAG Europe since about 1994 and have a great relationship.† At NAB2007, my last show, I was talking with several Chinese Manufacturers Representatives who were continuing to come through my booth and Dave came over from PAG Europe and told me they had physically visited several of those people and not to use any of them.† He gave me three contacts.† I selected one and went from there.
  10. In Mid-2007 a guy about 70 miles away who manufacturers lead acid battery chargers came to me because he was 20 months into a 24 month DOD project and was not past first base.† Someone told him to contact Enersys and they sent him to me.† After 4 months with me, under his name, his battery management charger is now the Pentagon standard.† Any chemical, or voltage or amperage can be programmed into the unit from the fly.† I had history with Christie and my original design was very similar to PAG.† My thinking is very much like that of the Old Christie Company and with PAG.
  11. I see him at band competitions and he just received a one million dollar grant to build a circuit board assembly plant for these chargers to use in the EV industry which really pissed me off at Tennessee politicians because a cartel of auto manufacturers had hand selected me for a 500 million dollar Federal Energy Grant under the Obama Reinvestment Act with a matching 500 million dollars in automotive grants.† My Tennessee politicians avoided me for 20 months.† They embarrassed me in front of these manufacturers as well as certain related DOD projects.† But, I did catch up with them and they all understand that they will have to deal with me before the 2012 election.† Semi-quote:† We are not about to let that $(**&% Democratic President Receive Credit for 2200 jobs in East Tennessee.† And then these same Republicans say, "Where are those jobs you promised Mr. President?"
    1. This guy mentioned above has a strong focus in the automotive industry and is also working on the battery charging systems for EVís, specifically, Toyota.† But he still calls me because of my internationally recognized expertise and strength in battery cell and pack behavior.
  12. I continue to follow the LiFePo4 product line in the USA and Asia.† Each time I go back to the factory I use for my LI-Ion broadcast batteries they are very reluctant to work with LiFePo4 for me.† They have several reasons but especially because It Is Not A Proven Technology, is A Long Way from being a Proven Technology, and does not deliver the desired power per density if you will.
  13. About six months ago I sat down at a high school band competition with the guy building the chargers I mentioned above and he asked me my opinion about LiFePo4.† I made a couple of very short statements.† I then started quizzing him and discovered that he had already been trying to write software applications to get the best capacity from LiFePo4 from a few manufacturers of the cell.† He was really disappointed in the USA designs and gave me a list of things he had experienced or discovered that are not in LiFePo4 battery cell manufacturer or pack distributor marketing spin.† He went on in this discussion and mentioned several things that the factory I use in China mentioned as reasons they did not want to work with LiFePo4.† I have been very disappointed and will not jump on the wagon.† Heís opinion is that he is wasting his time in LiFePo4.
  14. The people I work with are like me and actually in the battery cell or battery charger manufacturing business.†
  15. Please feel free to reference me and use the above notes as my opinion and experience to date.† I will give you a better white page later but this should work well in making a decision.† It is not marketing spin.† A white page is coming soon.

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