Cheap Tesla battery modules now available - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 26 Old 03-28-2016 Thread Starter
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Cheap Tesla battery modules now available

There's been something of a seismic shift in Lithium batteries lately. Lightly used Tesla packs have been showing up for about $1200 on ebay. They hold 5.3kWh, and come in 24V packs.

This puts them at under $250/kWh, with the BMS and fuses already built in. This is roughly half what building your own packs would cost.

Their dimensions are 3"x11"x27", with the two terminals at one end on each corner, and they weigh only 55 lbs. You should be able to get at least 800 deep cycles (down to 20%) out of them, possibly more if you cycle them less deeply, you should get far more than that.

Does this change anyone's equation as far as moving to EP?
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post #2 of 26 Old 03-28-2016
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Re: Cheap Tesla battery modules now available

I was under the impression that Tesla batteries did not use the LiFePo4 chemistry. If they do, it might well make a difference.

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post #3 of 26 Old 03-28-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Cheap Tesla battery modules now available

They don't. They use 444 Panasonic 18650 3.7v lithium-ion cells grouped into banks and then wired in serial to make a 5.3kWh 24v pack.

The upside is every single cell has a fuse so one cell failing will make almost no difference.
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post #4 of 26 Old 03-28-2016
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Re: Cheap Tesla battery modules now available

But how used are they, and does it make a difference? I am always one for more amp-hours, but what is the catch?

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post #5 of 26 Old 03-28-2016
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Re: Cheap Tesla battery modules now available

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But how used are they, and does it make a difference? I am always one for more amp-hours, but what is the catch?
I believe the catch is that the salvage yards don't really know what to do with one. Nissan Leaf batteries are also surprisingly cheap $500-1000 from a salvage.

There is no secondary auto market for them yet and shipping just one battery would be expensive.

So, they get one battery or so, every year or so, and sell it to a hobbyist for what they can so they don't sit on it until it turns into a brick.

I'm sure the drivetrain, battery, charger and controls would make for an interesting boat project.

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post #6 of 26 Old 03-29-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Cheap Tesla battery modules now available

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I'm sure the drivetrain, battery, charger and controls would make for an interesting boat project.
Transplanting a drivetrain wholesale would be overkill for most monohulls. The Tesla motor on the single-motor version is capable of 503HP, so you'd have to reprogram the throttle to dial it waaaaaaay back. Either that or learn to enjoy hydroplaning on your wing keel. :P

On the upside, you'd never have to worry about overheating or wearing out the batteries or the motor. Working so far below spec, they'd probably outlast the boat.

Charging might be an issue, though. At 85kWh, that's a 28 hour recharge from empty at a standard 30A 120V shore power connection, or 7 hours at a 50A 240V.
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post #7 of 26 Old 03-29-2016
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Re: Cheap Tesla battery modules now available

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Transplanting a drivetrain wholesale would be overkill for most monohulls. The Tesla motor on the single-motor version is capable of 503HP, so you'd have to reprogram the throttle to dial it waaaaaaay back. Either that or learn to enjoy hydroplaning on your wing keel. :P

On the upside, you'd never have to worry about overheating or wearing out the batteries or the motor. Working so far below spec, they'd probably outlast the boat.

Charging might be an issue, though. At 85kWh, that's a 28 hour recharge from empty at a standard 30A 120V shore power connection, or 7 hours at a 50A 240V.
I'd be impressed with the stopping power...Imagine coming into your slip at lull speed and stopping on a dime

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post #8 of 26 Old 03-29-2016
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Re: Cheap Tesla battery modules now available

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On the upside, you'd never have to worry about overheating or wearing out the batteries or the motor. Working so far below spec, they'd probably outlast the boat.
Lithium Batteries have limited Shelf Life from Date of Manufacture, even unused. The _original_ Li Battery on my backup-to-the-backup Powerbook G4 just died after ~8 years, even though it was plugged in to the Charger 99% of the time.
Note that I was only getting two years out of the Lead-Acid batteries in my old Powerbook 100, and when those Batteries died, they had a nasty tendency of taking out the fuse on the Motherboard. So things have improved.

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Charging might be an issue, though. At 85kWh, that's a 28 hour recharge from empty at a standard 30A 120V shore power connection, or 7 hours at a 50A 240V.
Or ~850 hours out of a 100 watt Solar Panel= ~110 days, assuming good conversion efficiencies and ~8 hours of Sunlight a day. Say three months in reality to recharge, assuming no other Electrical load.
That's the energy content of ~2 Gallons of Diesel Fuel... and by now some wheels should be spinning...

Diesel Fuel Cells!
Diesel-Powered Fuel Cell Produces Clean Electricity - IEEE Spectrum
(Generating Diesel Fuel on the run is difficult, unless one does a fair amount of deep-fat frying with vegetable oils.)

The _only_ reason that Electric Cars on the road, like the Tesla, makes sense now is that the Charging Infrastructure mostly already exists. (Formula E is making inroads in off-road Motorsports, and I think that it's really cool. Still, only a handful of Tracks are equipped so far.)
Such Infrastructure does _not_ exist for Sailboats, and it is very unlikely, given the diminishing market, that it ever will.

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post #9 of 26 Old 03-30-2016
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Re: Cheap Tesla battery modules now available

This is going to be an interesting thread to watch.

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post #10 of 26 Old 03-30-2016
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Re: Cheap Tesla battery modules now available

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Originally Posted by Erindipity View Post

Or ~850 hours out of a 100 watt Solar Panel= ~110 days, assuming good conversion efficiencies and ~8 hours of Sunlight a day. Say three months in reality to recharge, assuming no other Electrical load.
That's the energy content of ~2 Gallons of Diesel Fuel... and by now some wheels should be spinning...


¬Erindipity
So 110 days of solar charging = ~ 12 knots/ miles of motoring, cut the days in half for 200 watts of panels then add a few wind and drag generators and you're all set.

I keep looking at my 16hp gasoline driven 200 amp DC welder thinking it would be a great backup for an electric boat. Can't remember all the specs right off but I'm thinking it puts out 24v to the welding leads and is a 7500 watt generator as well.
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