KiloVault Lithium Solar Battery
Date Added: September 03, 2020
I had purchased the HLX 3600 to use in an unheated power shed (in Maine) to power some test equipment fully aware that they aren't supposed to be used in lower than freezing conditions. The good news is I was able to actually discharge them well below O degrees F but around January I realized they weren't charging. Oops - I knew better. So I changed out the HLXs for the cold-rated CHLXs and sure enough, they work like a charm. I didn't have any issues again with charging in sub-zero conditions. Oh and they work well in the summer too - even though the shed's not cooled at all either. ;)
In full disclosure, I'm the CEO of altE and bluShift Aerospace. We are using the HLXs and CHLX's to power our rocket engine test stand, powering everything from data collection equipment, heating systems for specialty gases, cameras, etc. at the test stand. My guess is that bluShift is one of the only rocket companies to use strictly solar power at its engine test site facilities for power.
Date Added: September 16, 2020
With Alte's awesome support, we just finished installation of a 2KW system for a remote off grid cabin in New Hampshire's mountains. Everything is running great so far. Can't wait to see how the klv1800CHLX batteries work this winter.
Date Added: August 09, 2019
Upgraded my solar electrical system this year after 5 years on my smaller system. My intent was to never run my generator again. I have been running my new system with the KiloVault 3600 HLX for 2 weeks and it works fantastic. I've watched it put out 168 amps with no issue and only a couple tenths drop in voltage while doing it and then immediately returns to the normal 13. 3 volts.
I have seen it charge very quickly at 68 amps from my solar array. The only issue I have had is that the BMS will put this battery in standby when my PV input matches the load on the battery... the entire system "pauses" causing the inverter to shut off, the charge controller goes to resting or to alarm and the 12 volt system goes dead for a couple seconds... Be advised the battery can go into standby.... I contacted altE figuring my Classic controller might have a "work around" setting, all I got was a non answer... guess I'll be contacting MidNite Solar directly...
Response from altE
Date Added: August 09, 2019
Thanks for being an altE customer! We're so happy that your initial experience with the KiloVault battery was so positive.
The standby / pause issue has been resolved with the July 2019 BMS update (V3 for the 1800HLX, V2 for the 3600HLX).
All new KiloVault HLX series batteries have the updated BMS.
It sounds like the batteries you purchased have the outdated BMS.
If you are still having issues with your KiloVault battery bank, please contact KiloVault Support by phone - (877) 878-4060 - or web form - https://www.altestore.com/helpdesk/tickets/submit/ - so that we can resolve the issue to your satisfaction.
Date Added: December 19, 2019
I was not allowed to update my previous review until I created a new account.
AltE did replace the original battery with the defective BMS. The replacement battery, a 3600 HLX V3, is a big disappointment. It will discharge as advertised, however, it does not charge as advertised and causes significant issues. The updated BMS in this battery does not work anywhere near properly. The replacement battery experiences issues when the charge controller exceeds charging it above 55 amps. After 3 months of use and monitoring the battery with my own equipment during this time I am reasonably sure I have determined the defect with this battery. Incidentally I have produced over 200kWh in this time frame and the battery only registers 3 cycles???? My estimation is that should be around 35 cycles higher!!!
Response from KiloVault Support
Date Added: August 31, 2020
Since the above review is anonymous, we're uncertain of the details. However, we have worked with a customer who had a similar issue and, upon providing a screenshot of the Bluetooth app, demonstrated that the battery was being charged strongly at a voltage that exceeded "full" and beyond what is specified in the operations manual.
The KiloVault BMS is there to protect the batteries from being overcharged, overheated or run at very low temperatures. The KiloVault BMS is one of the most robust, in terms of current carrying abilities, of any batteries of the same class. The situation you described above is most likely due to the battery being full and it forcing the current down. There is a point where the BMS will completely shutdown the battery to protect itself if the charger continues to charge, ignoring the voltage levels.
As with any lithium battery it is vital that the user completely understand the voltage settings required to be programmed into the charge controller. If the controller used is unable to accept voltage setpoints that correlate to those described in the manual then another charge controller should be used that can. We recommend charge controllers from brands such as Schneider, Midnite, Morningstar, Outback and Victron.
Also, please note that it is still possible that a mis-programmed charge controller (allowed to charge at consistently at voltages that are too high) will shorten the battery cell's life and certainly void the warranty.
The cycle count parameter, visible with the Bluetooth app, may not correctly catch battery cycles that are not "deep". As such, if the user is regularly using the battery to say only 50% of capacity, like one would do with traditional lead acid batteries, then the programming of early V3's won't recognize that as a cycle. The cycle count isn't vital to the functioning of the battery but is of course very interesting to be aware of. A different algorithm is being used for newer HLX batteries that takes into account overall energy use for cycle count instead of SOC. Please note that the HLX warranty is no longer cycle count dependent.