Arvio 3.5kWh drop-in-battery-replacement supercapacitor on sale

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Arvio 3.5kWh drop-in-battery-replacement supercapacitor on sale

Post by andys » Sun, 25 Feb 2018, 04:48

I thought this was an interesting development.

Arvio is now locally reselling KiloWattLabs (USA-based) supercapacitor which comes with its own electronics needed to simulate a 48VDC battery.

https://arvioshop.com.au/supercapacitor

Being capacitor based, it supports 1 million cycles, 100% depth of discharge, and an even higher charge/discharge rate than lithium.

Looks to be about double the price of the Lithium battery setups I'm used to, but what makes this interesting is being a drop-in battery replacement without the need to modify your off-grid inverter or what have you.

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Re: Arvio 3.5kWh drop-in-battery-replacement supercapacitor on sale

Post by Johny » Sun, 25 Feb 2018, 06:07

Very interesting. They appear to have the buck/boost converter built in which makes it a really good alternative to batteries for load shifting with the great cycle life.

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Post by jonescg » Sun, 25 Feb 2018, 07:17

Thry look to be physically bigger than most batteries oh that capacity. Not an issue for home storage at least. Great to see supercaps going one better than hydrogen and actually appearing on the market ☺
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Post by antiscab » Sun, 25 Feb 2018, 13:37

I wonder if they'd sell the underlying caps without the dc-dc.
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Re: Arvio 3.5kWh drop-in-battery-replacement supercapacitor on sale

Post by Richo » Mon, 26 Feb 2018, 13:08

There are glaring issues with this product.

You only get the "claimed" 1M cycles / 10years life if they are kept at 25DegC.
The warranty of 10 years will get them into a lot of trouble as the caps are unlikely to last that long.
And as an example the caps may only last 2 months if held at high temps - A loss of 9.8 years!

And TBH to get use of the full cycle life over 10 years you would need to cycle them 270 times a day.
That is 958kWh PER DAY for one module.
Given they have 48V 100A in/out you can only get ~16 full cycles out of it per day (5840 cycles in 10 years).
That's 994,160 cycles that you probably cant ever use over a 10 year life of the product.

Only some of the Eaton caps are "claiming" 20 years life - with little proof.
Seems a bit unbelievable they claim 45 years on these.

The website has superscript numbers noting conditions to their specs but it's not obvious what these reference to.

As a conservative estimate how good is it if it lasts 4 years / 1460 cycles?
Is this value for money?
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Re: Arvio 3.5kWh drop-in-battery-replacement supercapacitor on sale

Post by Johny » Mon, 26 Feb 2018, 13:32

We don't want any of your dirty little pockets of science and rationality spoiling this product Richo. It SOUNDS good - so it must be😥
When were marketing people ever wrong?

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Re: Arvio 3.5kWh drop-in-battery-replacement supercapacitor on sale

Post by Richo » Mon, 26 Feb 2018, 15:52

Richo wrote:
Mon, 26 Feb 2018, 13:08
Given they have 48V 100A in/out you can only get ~16 full cycles out of it per day (5840 cycles in 10 years).
Ha ha this is wrong :roll:
Its 58,400 cycles in 10 years.

So it's 10x better now :lol:

Well I kinda like it but the numbers don't add up for me to want one.
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Re: Arvio 3.5kWh drop-in-battery-replacement supercapacitor on sale

Post by Richo » Tue, 27 Feb 2018, 13:00

This module has 3550Wh which 12.78MJ or more.
As a comparison the retail price for the caps alone would be ~AUD$73,000.
I'm sure there would be savings to be had in wholesale pricing but again selling this complete module for $3,905 just sounds too good to be true.

Another give away would be the size of the module.
What a surprise the size of the module is no where to be found!

If I had to guess they really have LTO's in them.
Some LTO's are touted to last some 20 years.
By which time the 10 year warranty is over!
Realistically someone heavily using it would only do 25,000 cycles which again past the 10 year warranty and achievable by LTO's.
48V is exactly 20 cells so electronics works our nicely.

AND LTO's are about DOUBLE other lithium batteries...

IF Arvio are really selling this product perhaps they should open one before they sell to anyone else and end up with a big can of worms.
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Re: Arvio 3.5kWh drop-in-battery-replacement supercapacitor on sale

Post by Richo » Tue, 27 Feb 2018, 13:11

Johny wrote:
Mon, 26 Feb 2018, 13:32
We don't want any of your dirty little pockets of science and rationality spoiling this product Richo.
Sorry I just cant help myself. :oops:
I'll stop now :lol:

Really product this is awesome and amazing.
If your thinking of getting storage for your home solar this is IT 8-)
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Post by T1 Terry » Wed, 28 Feb 2018, 12:41

Couldn't help myself, I had to Google LTO to find out what it was .... seems to be either a complicated form of some sort that is required for land purchase, linear tape open as some form of information storage, lunar transport vehicle or a land transport office .... no idea why anyone would want to substitute any of these for a capacitor?

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Post by coulomb » Wed, 28 Feb 2018, 18:31

T1 Terry wrote:
Wed, 28 Feb 2018, 12:41
I had to Google LTO to find out what it was ....
The clue for me was how a 48 V battery was said to be exactly 20 cells, that means 2.4 VPC. The only chemistry I know like that is Lithium Titanate; it seems it's also known as Lithium Titanate (LTO) (see also Wikipedia's page on Lithium Titanate, Li₂TiO₃).
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Post by T1 Terry » Thu, 01 Mar 2018, 10:22

coulomb wrote:
Wed, 28 Feb 2018, 18:31
T1 Terry wrote:
Wed, 28 Feb 2018, 12:41
I had to Google LTO to find out what it was ....
The clue for me was how a 48 V battery was said to be exactly 20 cells, that means 2.4 VPC. The only chemistry I know like that is Lithium Titanate; it seems it's also known as Lithium Titanate (LTO) (see also Wikipedia's page on Lithium Titanate, Li₂TiO₃).
Thankyou Mike, sort of guessed that might have been what LTO stood for, but wasn't certain. It was sort of a dig at using acronyms that can easily be ambiguous without ever giving the full version the acronym represents.
Just one of those annoying things that keep coming back to haunt me after completing one of those Cert4 training and assessing courses some 15 yrs ago, don't assume those even in the same technical sphere understand every acronym.
There was a story that went with it but I won't bore everyone with that ;)

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Post by Richo » Thu, 01 Mar 2018, 12:43

Yeah I used to buy the LTO backup tapes for server back-ups.
Very annoying when I started looking for Lithium Titanate batteries.
Wasn't my abbreviation.
But I like it because the abbreviation is so much nicer than the other Lithium chemistries.
We should just use them just for that reason :lol:

So 3550W/80%DOD/48V is 92Ah.
So 100Ah batteries?!?

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There's really petrol in them :lol:
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Post by T1 Terry » Thu, 01 Mar 2018, 13:06

Light Tight Oil...
There's really petrol in them :lol:
A petroleum based solvent for the electrolyte? Isn't that common with all lithium based batteries? Isn't the difference between a super capacitor and a rechargeable lithium cell the thickness of the active coatings? Sort of like the difference between a lead acid start battery and a deep cycle battery, thicker plates meant better storage capacity but slower charging and discharging capability.

But besides that, are these lithium Titanate cells down to a price and availability the average punter could afford? A string of 100Ah or even 90Ah cells to build a pack that can handle fast discharging and recharging that would fit in the same space as a Winston/Thundersky LYP battery pack of the same capacity would be a real leap forward .... or are there hidden dangers that the LYP cells don't have?

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Re: Arvio 3.5kWh drop-in-battery-replacement supercapacitor on sale

Post by Richo » Thu, 01 Mar 2018, 14:45

No a battery is a chemical reaction which makes it different to a capacitor regardless of the composition of the parts inside.

Average punter...probably not - remember twice the price of other lithium batteries.
They are more for performance stuff.
This is why they are more used for UPS's as the moment.

But if you look at price over the cycle life LTO's are much better.
This is why I reckon they are in this "supercap" storage system.

For an eV that has a large pack and low expectations (<5C) and expected 10 year life you are only doing 3650 cycles.
So using LTO's would be a waste - wrong application.
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Re: Arvio 3.5kWh drop-in-battery-replacement supercapacitor on sale

Post by weber » Wed, 07 Mar 2018, 06:24

I'm with Richo. That Arvio Sirius "supercapacitor" smells like a scam to me. All we see in the Glen Morris forklift video is a 3550 Wh 48 V battery delivering 260 A. That makes it 3550 Wh / 48 V = 74 Ah, and so 260 A is less than 4C. And we see it being charged at a mere 80 A. Just over 1C. A 1000 A charge rate is claimed. That's only 14C. Here's the longer rave by the salesman. He holds up one of the supposed "graphene supercaps" they are using, at 9:00.

As Chris Jones can tell you, lithium ion batteries are readily available with a 75C continuous rating. Even 90C continuous are available. Of course, at 90C, "continuous" means for 60 min/90 = 40 seconds! That's how long it would take to flatten any battery at 90C. And these Li-ion batteries have a burst rating double their continuous rating. These are "LiPo" drone batteries. Lithium-cobalt-oxide pouch cells. They typically have a 6 month warranty and don't last more than about 200 cycles.
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Post by weber » Wed, 07 Mar 2018, 06:56

I was alerted to these by one of my students in a battery course I ran last week. I've only recently had time to investigate.

If anyone gets hold of one, don't worry about testing it. I'm sure it will pass a capacity test, and any power test you will be able to throw at it. But by the time you determine that its calendar and cycle lives are nowhere near what is claimed, too many people may have been scammed. Just open it up and look inside. I confidently predict you will find enough high-rate "LiPo" cells (lithium cobalt-oxide pouch cells) to explain more than 90% of its capabilities, although these may be hidden under a layer of supercaps.

You can even see where they have tried to cover themselves against such a discovery. At the end of this web page they write the following gobbledygook:

"A charge retention circuit controls a small percentage of embedded Li Ion to supply current to reduce charge leakage and increase self-discharge time to 14 days."

A small percentage of Li-ion by volume perhaps, but (I predict) not by capacity.
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Post by weber » Wed, 07 Mar 2018, 07:19

I don't think you will find LTOs in it. They are too expensive and too low in specific energy. I predict LCOs (which are cheap and have more than twice the specific energy claimed for the Sirius device), otherwise there wouldn't be enough room in the box, to put the supercaps on top of them. The "20 cells" would be for the actual supercap component, which I predict will be responsible for less than 10% of the capacity (I'm being generous). Supercaps are typically limited to about 2.7 V, and the closer you run them to that, the shorter their life. 20 in series would let them go up to 54 V.

Here's a different salesman (one of KiloWatt Labs' founders) touting his wares. Gee! They figured out how to let the charge out slowly. That's amazing. :?

Please note the posts by Paul Zigouras (someone else with a BBD†), way down in the comments section. Particularly the post that begins: "After reviewing KiloWatt Lab's website ...".

The video front page shows what looks like a rebadged Maxwell supercap module. These are the state-of-the-art for supercaps (outside of a lab) and have specific energy less than a tenth of that claimed for the Sirius device.

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Post by weber » Wed, 07 Mar 2018, 08:15

And don't get me wrong. I'm not predicting 90C or even 75C LCOs inside. They are too expensive, and there's no need. They claim to have limited it to 2C for safety, and we only saw less than 4C bursts in the forklift video. So they can be the cheapest LCOs around. But notice that the salesman contradicted himself between videos—claiming a 30 minute (2C) limit at the show (for safety), and a 500 A charge rate (7C), or even 1000 A (14C), limited only by the cable temperature, with the forklift.
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Post by Richo » Wed, 07 Mar 2018, 12:28

I agree there probably is crap in it - best way to make money and run!

But the point I was trying to make was that using LTO's it is nearly do-able.
10+ year life, high cycle life, extended temp range etc...
Not in one-off's tho it would have to be made in production quantities for viability.

Even if it did exist in a real battery format I still don't think its value for money anyway.
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Post by Richo » Wed, 07 Mar 2018, 12:41

3550Wh of currently available supercaps would be ~280mm H x 1220mm D x 1830mm L.
So that's about the size of 2 single size mattresses stacked on top of each other.
Substantially bigger than the pictured device.
How'z that going to fit on a forklift?!?

If you made it into the base of a car it would be ~20km range.
And still cost ~$75k.
Perhaps if it was a bus that did circle routes and recharged multiple times during the day.

Nope LTO's still look better than any supercap.
Better off leaving supercaps for the military railguns :lol: :twisted:
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Post by weber » Wed, 07 Mar 2018, 13:39

Some guys over on the Whirlpool Forum have been doing some sleuthing. On the KiloWatt Labs facebook page we find this image in which you can read "2.7VDC 3000F" on some of the devices, that look like a Chinese ripoff of the supercaps described in this Maxwell datasheet. In other photos we see that this is a box of 64 of these supercaps, with dimensions of about 500 x 500 x 200 mm.

The formula for energy stored in a capacitor is E = ½CV², where C is in farads, V in volts and E in joules.
½×3000×2.7² = 10935 joules
A joule is a watt second, so we divide by 3600 (seconds in an hour) to get 3.04 watt hours (as it says in the Maxwell datasheet). So the whole box of 64 would only be 195 Wh. And that assumes you're using a DC-DC converter to discharge them all the way down to zero. Let's be generous and assume you could fit about twice as many of these in the Sirius box. That still leaves more than 3000 Wh to be explained. I suggest it is explained by lithium ion cells.
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Post by jonescg » Wed, 07 Mar 2018, 13:53

As the Checkout said:

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Post by weber » Wed, 07 Mar 2018, 15:29

Here's an "explainer" video. It's about their "energy server" architecture in general, so I've set it to start at the part about the Sirius battery. Where have we seen this style of video before? Oh yeah.

They really can't keep their story straight. In some places it's a "graphene supercapacitor". In the above video, it's a "double layer pseudocap hybrid battery" and at the same time a "non-chemical battery". The video is a contradiction in itself, since pseudocapacitance is most definitely a chemical process. And "double layer pseudocap hybrid" describes a type of capacitor*, not a "battery".

This is typical of scams, and probably works in their favour with some potential customers. The customer can believe whichever sounds the most plausible to them, and assume the others are a mistake due to lack of knowledge on the part of the sales-person.

The "graphene supercapacitor" claim works because people have been hearing about breakthroughs with these recently. They do have the theoretical possibility of achieving specific energies as high as lithium ion cells. But they are still tiny capacitors in labs, where cost is irrelevant. They are nowhere near production. And we don't know if they ever will be, or if so at what price. We also don't know what cycle life or calendar life they will have, or how badly they will be affected by temperature.

* A lithium-ion capacitor (not to be confused with a lithium-ion battery) is an example of a "double layer pseudocap hybrid". But the ones shown in the facebook photos are almost certainly not Li-ion capacitors, but like the Maxwells, EDLC capacitors using activated carbon.
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Post by weber » Wed, 07 Mar 2018, 18:11

For those who enjoy this kind of thing, I think you will get a laugh out of the claims made on this web page of one of KiloWatt Labs "sister companies", not to mention the badly photoshopped "flash charge" station that can put 8 kWh into a 384 V electric tuk-tuk in 16 seconds. If you do the maths, that's an average power of 8 kW × 3600 ÷ 16 = 1.8 megawatts. But hey, they have a big bank of the same supercaps at the charge station to deliver that power level. So what would the average charge current have to be? 1800000 W ÷ 384 V = 4688 A. Those charge connectors must be doozies! ;)

And we read the same gobbledygook we've seen elsewhere:
"The ESD utilizes a combination of ultra-capacitors, aligned in series to increase voltage output, and modified lithium-ion batteries which absorb and recycle the electricity self-discharged by the ultra-capacitor making ultra-capacitors viable for energy storage."

And apparently the round trip charge efficiency is exactly the same every time, to 5 significant figures. Not merely 99%, but 99.121%.

But I am disappointed that none of the founders is an opera singer or an alchemist, or claiming guidance from Swami Muktananda. :)
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