Beginners Guide to Processing 18650 Cells | Cell Database

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What will I get myself into
Hello All,

Since I am on the green tour and really want to be 100% fossil free I have taken interest into energy storage. I already should have enough solar (with net metering) to get me to below 0 and that is with the gas mains turned off. However that still means I am grid connected and will be taking in those electrons generated by fossil fuels.

That brings me to this place. With a Tesla powerwall2 @14kwh I should be able to be self powered for 8 months of the year (excluding the boiler hygiene run on Sunday night which will draw 9kW), which is an excellent start. However a Tesla powerwall 2 will be about 6800eur, without installation and other electrical adjustments needed.

I know my way around electronics, not afraid of a soldering iron and not shy of a bit of work; but can I actually *significantly* reduce the cost of battery storage by going DIY? It seems that by purchasing new cells that is mostly a no as the best price I have found was 1.45EUR for a 2600mA cell where the website itself claimed the cell quality was dubious. Now I could go out and start recycling laptop batteries, if I manage to find them. Of course after the initial setup expanding will be cheaper as that only needs the cells to recycle.

What is the general experience with this?
Location: Netherlands
18*300wp solar, grid tied, no gas


If its worth it or not totally depends on place. In Sweden its NOT worth buying new cells and hardly 2nd hand either unless you really save in stuff on other places. We have cheap electricity.

But if you can hands of packs already made in form of LiFepo4 packs like I did or get laptop cells almost for free you can save some bucks if you dont count the work hours... For the work hours i put in so far i could actually have bought almost half the system including installation.

Though in other countries where the price is up to 5-10 times what we have there is alot more to save.

For me i cannot give more than 0.4USD per 18650 cell that i "know" is above 2Ah for it to be viable in a 5-12 year periond. and base on this the number of cells need to be huge so it will last several years.

My Laptop power wall is there because I think its very interesting concept. The laptop pack was not built to save money as such. On the other hand my LifePo4 wall "should" be able to save me some bucks if they last 10+ years.
Follow me! >> YouTube / Forum system setup / My webpage  Diy Tech & Repairs

Current: 10kW Mpp Hybrid | 4kW PIP4048 | 2x PCM60x | 83kWh LiFePo4 | 10kWh 14s 18650 |  66*260W Poly
Upcomming: 14S 18650~30kWh | Automatic trip breakers, and alot more

There is an eBay seller who has some 'new-other' LG 18650 cells (they were built for the stand-up hoover boards that got recalled)and he's selling 1000 cells for $1100USD- $1 per call plus shipping. I know several people who have purchased cells from him and they are of good quality. If you purchased these, they would be easier and faster to use than the laptop packs (no disassemble process).

I also buy new cells from a Chinese manufacture called PK Cell. PK Cell uses the Samsung factory, with the same materials, but do not use the brand name, hence the cells are cheaper. (I have not verified the plant details, but this is what my sales-rep there tells me). I purchase at least 500 of the 2400mah cells at a time and they charge me 1.80USD per piece. Worth it to me because I know they are good and I don't have to spend days tearing apart laptop packs and testing cells. And if I do end up with a bad cell ( fingers-crossed as it hasn't happened yet) they offer a one year replacement warranty. I use these cells for my customers who want the additional peace of mind of new parts. Yes, I built and sell these things!

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