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Thread: Tesla 18650 vs Nissan Leaf Cells

              
   
   
  1. #1
    Junior Member nealwallace's Avatar
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    Tesla 18650 vs Nissan Leaf Cells

    Im running a 2001 SV650 with the following specs:

    ME1003 @ 72v
    Alltrax SPM-72400
    12 20Ah AGM batteries 6s2p (14.5lbs ea)

    The batteries are too heavy and I've narrowed my choices to either custom built Tesla 18660 pack (using actual 3400mAh Tesla cells) or Leaf modules.
    With the Tesla Gigafactory on its way to being finished 18650 cells are going to really start flooding the market. My gut is telling me to just build 18650 packs for my motorcycle conversion. Any thoughts on this idea? Ive heard it's tedious but I can handle the mundane. With the shape of the cells I can conform to any build.

    Leaf modules look very attractive for the present. 8.4v means fewer modules. The boxes are larger than cells but they are still very compact compared to CALB style cells. Who thinks it's best to just grab the Leaf cells while they're hot and upgrade later?

    Any ideas or random thoughts? I'm just stuck in my head about this decision and want to see if I'm missing something. Thanks!


    (Had to teach my boy to ride to get better range with 180lbs of batteries!)



    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    Senior Member DRZ400's Avatar
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    Go with 11 the Leaf cells! Sooo much better than building up a 18650 pack. The performance over your present pack will be astounding! Can supply more then your ME1003 will ask for. I have over 150 cycles on mine, no BMS, all cells balanced within .005v. My next upgrade will be the next generation of ev auto batteries...fresh from the wrecking yard!
    2003 Ninja 250EX, Agni #95R, 6:1 Gearing, 11 Leaf Modules.
    Alltrax SPM72400, 400 amp Controller, all LED lighting
    2014 CRF450X Supermoto
    http://www.evalbum.com/1955
    http://www.evalbum.com/3337

  3. #3
    Member mistercrash's Avatar
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    I am also running Leaf modules and I agree they are a good choice. Super easy to put together and they give good power. But I also am convinced that a well built battery made with Tesla 18650 cells would be even more powerful and much smaller and lighter than Leaf modules. But the build will end up being more expensive. I went with Leaf modules because they are a good bang for the buck, but if I wasn't so poor, Tesla cells would've been my first choice for sure.

  4. #4
    Junior Member nealwallace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRZ400 View Post
    Go with 11 the Leaf cells!
    This seems like the best idea right now, too. How did you manage the 90v limit on the Alltrax SPM controller? (I'm guessing there are 2 options: capping the charge voltage or draining the pack to below 90 after charge.)

  5. #5
    Senior Member DRZ400's Avatar
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    Simple, I adjust my charger to stop at 90 volts (~4.1/cell). I also set the LVC on my controller to 75 volts. This way I can run without a BMS by avoiding the cliffs at both ends. You give up a little range with less tress on your batteries.
    2003 Ninja 250EX, Agni #95R, 6:1 Gearing, 11 Leaf Modules.
    Alltrax SPM72400, 400 amp Controller, all LED lighting
    2014 CRF450X Supermoto
    http://www.evalbum.com/1955
    http://www.evalbum.com/3337

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    I working on a SV Build too, im going to use 11 leaf cells and a kelly controller

  7. #7
    Senior Member DRZ400's Avatar
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    Kelly controllers do ~ 1/2 their rated value (I had 2). My 400 amp rated Kelly maxed out at 240 amps. My SPM72400 hits 450 amps. BIG difference in acceleration and pull!! On the other hand you can get re-gen and they are very smooth.
    2003 Ninja 250EX, Agni #95R, 6:1 Gearing, 11 Leaf Modules.
    Alltrax SPM72400, 400 amp Controller, all LED lighting
    2014 CRF450X Supermoto
    http://www.evalbum.com/1955
    http://www.evalbum.com/3337

  8. #8
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    Yea, well i had to go kelly due to the use of the ME1119 Motor and the sin/cos encorder and feedback

  9. #9
    Senior Member DRZ400's Avatar
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    Gotcha!
    2003 Ninja 250EX, Agni #95R, 6:1 Gearing, 11 Leaf Modules.
    Alltrax SPM72400, 400 amp Controller, all LED lighting
    2014 CRF450X Supermoto
    http://www.evalbum.com/1955
    http://www.evalbum.com/3337

  10. #10
    Junior Member nealwallace's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    I've weighed all of the excellent advice I received and decided to go with 18650 cells (1,650 2500mAh). I have this long-term vision of making a standard 3s32p and 3s16p "whole-brick" and "half-brick" respectively.

    Description

    • Each "half-brick" will have a self-contained BMS (qty 3), pack fuse, temp sensors, etc.
    • To make a whole brick we parallel a special half brick w/o a BMS. Each brick is essentially a 12v 40Ah battery equivalent.
    • Each brick in self-contained enclosure that can snap/bolt in place. (Like a bottle enclosure)


    Applications:

    • Motorcycle: 6 "half-brick" slots.
    • Lawn mower (push): 3 half-brick slots.
    • Lawn mower (ride): 4 brick
    • Go-Kart: 2 half bricks
    • Car Conversion: 12 whole bricks (or more)


    Use
    Build a battery cage assembly that resembles mail slots. The slots are already prewired for the series/parallel configurations needed on each brick. All we have to do is insert brick into slot and secure it. DIY Tesla PowerWall? Batteries for camping trip? e-Bike batteries for a quick trail run? Snap some bricks in and/or easily carry a few extras.

    Conclusion

    Once I nail down a versatile form factor for the bricks I'll start prototyping them.

    Thanks for everyone's advice on this. Looking at this project long-term I don't want to rely on the availability of Nissan parts.

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