CALB Generation 2 Plastic Case LiFePO4 Cell
Calb has historically been our go-to battery. We have used both CA180 and CA100 cells in countless solar, off-grid, UPS and RV Installations, with absolute perfection. Through our testing, we have found these cells to be top quality.
What made CALB our "Go To"?
CALB LiFePO4 batteries are manufactured under much tighter specifications, and for this reason we have found in our own experience that these are the batteries of choice. Having very consistent internal resistance characteristics, these batteries are known for having a capacity that exceeds their specification by 10% or more. CALB is an abbreviation for “China Aviation Lithium Battery”; their cells are aviation grade and strictly regulated by the Chinese government.
Generation 2 Cells & Sizes
In generation 2, Calb had truly refined a top-notch cell that was perfect for many applications. At initial release, CALB produced a 40Ah, 60Ah, 100Ah, 180Ah, and a 400Ah plastic case cell. Over the years CALB had tapered their production to be only their CA180FI cells and their CA100FI cells. CALB struggled to sell their 400Ah cells because shipping such large and heavy batteries was cost prohibitive. Their lighter counterparts could be parallel connected to reach the same capacity in a very similar footprint, making it easier for shipping and handling.
Calb CA Series Cells
|New Cell Typical Capacity1||108Ah||200Ah|
|Charging||Allowable Maximum Charging Current||1C|
|100 Amps||180 Amps|
|Optimal Max Charge Current2||C/4|
|25 Amps||45 Amps|
|Charge Voltage Limit||3.65v|
|Recommended Cyclic Charge Voltage3||3.45v|
|Charging Temperature Limits||0°C ~ 45°C|
|32°F ~ 113°F|
|Discharging||Allowable Maximum Discharging Current||2C|
|200 Amps||360 Amps|
|Optimal Discharge Rate2||C/4|
|25 Amps||45 Amps|
|Discharge Voltage Limit||2.50v|
|Recommended Cyclic Discharge Voltage3||2.8v|
|Discharging Temperature Limits||-20°C ~ 55°C|
|-4°F ~ 131°F|
|Storage||State of Charge||30%|
|Ambient Temperature||Short Term (Up to 1 month)||-20°C ~ 45°C|
|-4°F ~ 113°F|
|Long Term4 (Up to 1 year)||-20°C ~ 20°C|
|-4°F ~ 68°F|
|Physical Characteristics||Weight||3.4 kg||5.7 kg|
|7.5 lbs||12.6 lbs|
|Dimensions||Length||142 mm||180 mm|
|5.59 in.||7.08 in.|
|Width||67 mm||71 mm|
|2.63 in.||2.79 in.|
|Height (Excludes Bussbars)||219 mm||280 mm|
|8.62 in.||11.02 in.|
|Threads||M8 x 1.25|
|Bolt Tightening Torque||14 N·m|
All CALB cells must adhere to very strict quality control standards. Each cell is capacity tested at the factory, so any reputable seller should be able to provide capacity reports correlating to each cell’s serial number. All CALB cells are sold with a serial number and QR Code. A seller should be able to provide you with this testing data either before ordering cells or shortly thereafter. All cells provided by Current Connected have their cell capacities and testing data available by request.
New Cell Capacity
Our own testing has revealed that CALB is accurate on their new cell test report figures. Brand new CA180 cells discharged at a C/4 rate with a starting voltage of 3.5v/cell and a stopping voltage of 2.8v/cell, will output 192Ah. See the capacity test video.
Optimal Operating Currents
To ensure the rated cycle life of a cell is achieved, it is best to maintain charge and discharge current in the factory specified ranges. Occasionally charging and discharging at maximum specified current will not damage a cell. Constantly pushing the limits however, will reduce the cyclic life of a cell due to increased internal heating.
Cyclic Charge/Discharge Voltages
CALB specifies more aggressive voltages (2.5v/cell – 3.65v/cell) (0% – 110% SOC) for maximum setpoints. In our experience, charging and discharging to these voltages will lead to a higher degradation rate than slightly more conservative numbers. Our suggested cyclic charging voltages (2.8v/cell – 3.45v/cell) will still yield 106% of the nameplate capacity of new cells, while reducing the stress on the cell and therefore degradation.
CALB’s extensive quality control has resulted in cells that follow each other nearly identically during discharge. Per our tests (as shown on graph), during discharge without a balancing module, cells remained within a few millivolts of each other throughout their entire discharge process.
CALB’s batteries round trip effeciency is 98%.
Long Term Storage
When cells are to be stored, cells should be discharged to 30% state of charge, subsequently their BMS system and any loads should be disconnected. Storing these batteries at high states of charge will lead to premature degradation and capacity loss. When storing batteries for long periods of time, they must be kept at appropriate temperatures. At 6 month intervals, cells should be recharged and then discharged to their storage SOC.
CA vs SE Series
CA series cells have internal heat separators whereas the SE series batteries have higher energy density due to the removal of these separators.
Current Connected Sales
CALB Batteries were the core product that made Current Connected possible. After making videos of CALB batteries on YouTube, Current Connected realized there was a fantastic market for CALB LiFePO4 cells in the USA and proceeded to sell out of batteries time and time again before they could even arrive from China.