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Thread: 12 V LiFePo4 auto batteries?

              
   
   
  1. #1
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    12 V LiFePo4 auto batteries?

    On the back cover of the April issue of Motorcycle Consumer News is a review of an 18 Ah Shorai LFX motorcycle battery ($186.95 MSRP) in a Honda Goldwing and a Kawasaki Concours. The reviewer was happy with the performance and light weight of this battery when used in these two motorcycles.

    However, what caught my eye, is mention that Shorai promises a battery range in 24, 27 and 36 Ah battery sizes, to be offered in April 2011. Since these are pretty large for a motorcycle, I assume that they will be aimed at car usage. In any case, it seems to me that this size battery might be of use to anyone who has an electric motorcycle that is currently using auto lead-acid batteries. I imagine that if you connected several of the 12 V 36 Ah batteries in series, that would make a pretty simple conversion to a light-weight, much smaller, and hopefully longer-lasting battery system.

    To give you an example how light these batteries are compared with AGM types, the stock AGM battery for the Gold Wing weighs over 15 pounds, while the equivalent replacement Shorai battery weighs under 2 pounds and is much smaller, according to the article. That sounds like a great advance for an off-the-shelf 12 V battery and one that perhaps might be something worth investigating as a power source when these larger batteries become available.
    Last edited by Richard230; 25 March 2011 at 1529.

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    Old EV Racer EVcycle's Avatar
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    Are these starter batteries (hence the low AH) or something good for our application?

    Inquiring minds want to know!
    EV Ed
    Never let being a responsible adult get in the way of passion and curiosity.
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    Senior Member Skeezmour's Avatar
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    At the Seattle MC show I spoke with David Radford the president of Shorai and he seemed to have no interest in them being used for traction packs. I did hold one and they are VERY light so if they would hold up they could be fun. They are not cheap though so we will see.

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    SMPS Engineer BaldBruce's Avatar
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    Headway makes a 30AH and 50AH car battery also. I enquired about the 50Ah and it is simply 20 of the 10AH standard cells in a box with a built in BMS. 4S5P

    The 30AH was of course just a 4S3P configuration. Some pretty interesting stuff in my mind. I plan to purchase one sample of the 4s5p to check it out.....

    12v50ah.jpg

    edit: Just re-reading my notes and they do mention a 40Ah version also.
    Last edited by BaldBruce; 25 March 2011 at 1854.
    I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeezmour View Post
    At the Seattle MC show I spoke with David Radford the president of Shorai and he seemed to have no interest in them being used for traction packs. I did hold one and they are VERY light so if they would hold up they could be fun. They are not cheap though so we will see.
    He must have visited this forum and decided that Shorai didn't need any bad press with someone squeezing blood out of their batteries and having them expand and melt down. I'll bet the big ones will come with a warning sticker saying that they are not to be used as a power source in an electric motorcycle - or an electric Lincoln Continental, for that matter.

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    SMPS Engineer BaldBruce's Avatar
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    Just received shipping confirmation on a 12V 50Ah Headway battery. $280USD. Was sent UPS so I should have it reasonably quickly. (expensive shipping though!) I'll pass on testing resuilts pretty quickly because I have a lot of chargers and loads that work on 12V systems. (My 12V carbon pile load tester goes up to 500amps for instance)
    I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
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    Here is a link to a long and relatively thorough article comparing the Shorai Li battery, the Ballistic Li battery and a typical cheap BikeMaster sealed flooded lead acid battery. If nothing else, there is a big difference between the battery weights and prices. To me, the BikeMaster battery seems like a much better deal for an IC motorcycle battery, unless you are a racer and need to shed some weight. On the other hand, once the Li batteries become more popular and readily available and the price drops, they might end up replacing SLA types in the market.

    http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcyc...le-battery.htm

  8. #8
    SMPS Engineer BaldBruce's Avatar
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    12V50Ah Headway

    Battery 002.JPGBattery 008.JPGBattery 003.JPGBattery 004.JPG
    12V50Ah Headway received today. Measured 13.16V upon receipt. Charged up to 14.5 using automotive 12V 6A charger. Only needed to remove 4 machine screws to disassemble cover. 4s5p of 10Ah Headways as predicted. Small bms boards taped to side of top row of cells. 2 visible, but 4 assumed total. In process of gentle cycling (<10A) before heavy disharge testing starts next week.
    I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
    Thomas A. Edison

  9. #9
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    Nice shots, thanks for sharing. Do you think the circuitry is able to prevent overcharging? I imagine some customers might leave it on the charger for extended periods thinking the batteries need it like leads.

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    Senior Member DRZ400's Avatar
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    Wow, I really like the 12v packs. My bike had (6) 12/35ah U1 sized cells...a U1 size would be great. For running load tests on 12v batteries I use a 2500w 12v inverter and a power strips. By plugging in various bulbs I can get just about any load. Also, the unit shuts down at 10,5v so I don't have to worry about going to low. Was that a sample price? Works out to $14/cell with BMS and case???
    2003 Ninja 250EX, Agni #95R, 6:1 Gearing, 11 Leaf Modules.
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