It seems that all LiFePO4 batteries are made in China.
I tried, but I couldn't find Lithium Iron Phosphate battery cells made in the United States – at any price. The closest I found were some cells made by Enerdel, of Indianapolis, Indiana, but their cell chemistry is different. Enerdel's battery chemistry is newer, and in theory it has a number of advantages over the old style LiFePO4 chemistry. The good news was that their cells are longer lasting, but the bad news is that their energy density is not as great as the Winston cells I'm after. In addition, the Enerdel cells are more expensive than the Winston cells. Purchasing American cells for the 24vdc battery bank on the boat is not in the cards. Bummer.
I was able to locate several European companies who imported Winston cells from China. If I showed them the money, they would be glad to export them to me here in the United States. That solution was too much like throwing money at the problem, though – it would cost an extra $1,200 or so.
I spent lots of time researching where to buy the cells, and spent lots more time sorting out the best charger for the new battery bank, and still more time sorting out the best battery management system for the cells.
Soo… the bottom line? It was time to quit researching suppliers and technologies.
It's time to put on my big boy pants. Time to source, purchase, and import Winston cells. I just got back from the bank after wiring money to the Chinese supplier whose price and references looked best – and I've got to tell you I'll be on pins and needles until the cells arrive.
In the meanwhile the last of the snow is melting off, and the boat beckons. Don't get me wrong, March has been known to drop massive amounts of snow in this area, so I can't count on winter departing gracefully. Not yet.
I think I'm beginning to feel a little spring fever though!
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