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Thread: Lithium/Iron Battery Primer (LiFePO4)

  1. #46
    apriliaforum expert TimeBandit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by banzairx7 View Post
    .... the most important thing is to make sure your charging voltage is high enough.
    ....
    +1, hence why I started this thread (see OP). I cannot stress enough that an under-charge is equally damaging as an over-charge to the pack's internal chemistry.


    Quote Originally Posted by fallzboater View Post
    On the recommendation of an electrician friend I have just ordered a Shorai LFX21A6-BS12 for my Falco. I know the charging system isn't strong on this bike
    ....
    You need to be seeing at the very minimum 13.8v at the pack whilst running/charging. Anything less and you'll actually be discharging it! Above 14v is preferred. For the Falco, Id suspect the regulator/rectifier is SCR-based, i.e. if your R/R model # starts with "SH", you would extremely benefit by swapping that out for a MOSFET - aka look into retro-fitting a Shindengen FH012AA (common on Japanese bikes). Aside from being more efficient, the MOSFET R/R utilizes an internal fixed-voltage reference thus offers a higher and more stable charge level output. Mine hovers around 14.2v even at idle.

    FWIW, Shorias are decent packs, but unlike EarthX, they do not have integrated balance circuit safeties. That said, they do have the BMS port, so supplementing by having a good Balance Charger in the stable would help towards correcting anything naughty your bike does to the pack between rides.


    Quote Originally Posted by fallzboater View Post
    .... and I've had trouble with the old lead-acid battery in the winter, especially if I used my grip heaters and heated vest while riding to work in the morning, then didn't plug it in while it sits outside during the day.
    You might find LFP pack performance still disappointing in the raw cold - they'll act just like a weak battery until warmed-up. Yet the amps are still there - just won't flow at/near freezing temps.

  2. #47
    apriliaforum expert Stu_O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimeBandit View Post
    I think it's noteworthy to mention that "earthX" is the 1st LiFePo4 manufacturer/supplier I’ve seen offering a self-balancing pack. From what I can tell, they are implementing cell balancing circuitry (see fig 3) within the pack itself. [b]Although still no protections from over-drain (under-voltage)]/b], the added self-balancing intelligence is a step forward in making this technology more plug-n-play worry-free.
    Thanks again for starting this thread and continuing the updates. Funny you should mention this, as I had a long chat with the EarthX folks last week, and they claim their batteries do have protection for both overcharge and over drain. I suspected this meant the balancing circuitry protects individual cells, but no...they insist their batteries will actually disconnect internally if voltage exceeds 16 volts or drops below something around 10 volts, and that this feature is what distinguishes them from their competition. From the EarthX website FAQ - If your battery suddenly stops working, it may just need to be charged. A Lithium battery‘s voltage remains relatively constant while discharging, but when the battery runs out of power it does so abruptly. Our BMS is designed to disconnect the flow of current in the event of over discharge or over charge situations. If the voltage is reading 0 volts, the loop has been disconnected and needs to be reconnected by being put on a charger. The moment current flows through the battery, the loop will be reconnected again.

    A Chinese company named Haijiu is making and private labeling many of the other mainstream Lithium powersports batteries - Scorpion Stinger, Battery Tender, Skyrich, WPS. All of those have balancing circuitry (but no over charge or discharge protection like the EarthX). So unlike Shorai, these others (and EarthX) will self-balance from the bike's charging system and can also be charged and balanced using any maintainer with auto shutoff (float mode) and no desulfating mode. One caveat which I'm sure you've mentioned is that any bike with parasitic current draw that isn't being ridden will need to be monitored and charged before the voltage drops below 13.1 volts, or just charge monthly, or disconnect the B- cable.
    FWIW, Shorias are decent packs, but unlike EarthX, they do not have integrated balance circuit safeties. That said, they do have the BMS port, so supplementing by having a good Balance Charger in the stable would help towards correcting anything naughty your bike does to the pack between rides.
    Yes, but to do that, you either need to remove bike parts to get to the flap over the charging port, or permanently install a proprietary Shorai charging pigtail that can be accessed externally. That, plus the expense of the balance charger. The battery hold down hardware on my Caponord and another bike I own prevents installing the Shorai pigtail. I think that especially considering Shorai's pricing, they may want to step up with balancing circuitry before their competition gets more well known.

    Stu
    Last edited by Stu_O; 02-12-2014 at 05:10 AM.

  3. #48
    apriliaforum expert AndyD's Avatar
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    Great stuff Bandit, Stu and all who contributed. I love threads like this which add to new tech understanding.
    My lead acid battery finally gave up the ghost and I did a little sleuthing on Chaparral's site and saw the WPS so I went and picked one up. YIKES, the damn thing cranked so fast I thought it was a turbine or something. Starter spins so crazy that after she fires you can still hear it spooling down.
    Anyways, given the caveats I decided to do some voltage testing. At idle she puts out right at 13.01 not 13.1, do you think it might be a problem later on? At cruising rpms she's right there around 14.25, so that should be okay, right? Finally, I waited for the fans to cycle on and it drops to around 13.8 @ cruising and 12.7 at idle so hopefully I won't get stuck in much bumper to bumper traffic!
    I called WPS in Idaho to ask about the overcharge/discharge protection. They answered the phone @ 17:45 but all the techs had gone home and the guy was super nice. He didn't know, said it was a great question and to call back Monday morning and ask for a "street tech"; he'd know.
    So I'll keep everyone posted to see if anything's changed in two months!!
    AndyD
    Current: 94 Yamaha GTS 1000. All I can say is "WOW". 04 ST1300 Micah was right. 42.3 mpg
    "Naturally the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or fascist dictaatorship, or a parliament or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peace makers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country. H. Goring

  4. #49
    apriliaforum prov-nov TheBuilder's Avatar
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    Lithium/Iron Battery Primer (LiFePO4)

    I had an 8cell Ballistic lithium/iron battery in My 2010 R1 when I had it and it was horrible!! Even in warm weather. Like it had been mentioned on here earlier it had to "wake up" before it would start the bike. Crank it over for a few seconds wait 20 seconds and crank it again until it finally starts. Even when the bike was warm it would crank a long time before it would finally start.
    As great as the weight savings were I doubt I would buy another one for anything.
    They may work better on bikes with electronics that are less sensitive to voltage drops while cranking.
    It's not peer pressure....it's just your turn.


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  5. #50
    apriliaforum expert AndyD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBuilder View Post
    I had an 8cell Ballistic lithium/iron battery in My 2010 R1 when I had it and it was horrible!! Even in warm weather. Like it had been mentioned on here earlier it had to "wake up" before it would start the bike. Crank it over for a few seconds wait 20 seconds and crank it again until it finally starts. Even when the bike was warm it would crank a long time before it would finally start.
    As great as the weight savings were I doubt I would buy another one for anything.
    They may work better on bikes with electronics that are less sensitive to voltage drops while cranking.

    Boy that sounds weird. Maybe it was b/c it was early design in the technology?? Still you'd think they'd put it through real world testing b4 putting it out on the market.
    AndyD
    Current: 94 Yamaha GTS 1000. All I can say is "WOW". 04 ST1300 Micah was right. 42.3 mpg
    "Naturally the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or fascist dictaatorship, or a parliament or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peace makers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country. H. Goring

  6. #51
    apriliaforum expert TimeBandit's Avatar
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    Thanks AndyD,

    Hey regarding your voltage reading ... not sure where you were measuring, a DVM at battery, or some gauge connected elsewhere... but I can suggest that anyone putting a LFP battery pack on your bike also insure they are not running an SCR-based regulator/rectifier. Instead, make sure you have a MOSFET-based reg. While it is also a shunt reg, it is more efficient at not robbing power in the form of heat (aka too hot to touch), but more importantly these MOSFET regs a internal voltage regulation reference (aka read higher & more steady charge voltage). These are a better pairing for LFP setups because LFP's natural average higher operating & resting volts than lead-acid batteries.

    Tip: the common OEM regs on most (all) Japanese bikes (and others) are "Shindengen". The great thing is that this manufacturer uses model numbers which clue you in on SCR or MOSFET based regs. The ones starting with "SH" are SCR, & the ones with "FH" are 99% mosfet. Most Aprilia's are "SH" unfortunately.

  7. #52
    apriliaforum expert AndyD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimeBandit View Post
    Thanks AndyD,

    Hey regarding your voltage reading ... not sure where you were measuring, a DVM at battery, or some gauge connected elsewhere... but I can suggest that anyone putting a LFP battery pack on your bike also insure they are not running an SCR-based regulator/rectifier. Instead, make sure you have a MOSFET-based reg. While it is also a shunt reg, it is more efficient at not robbing power in the form of heat (aka too hot to touch), but more importantly these MOSFET regs a internal voltage regulation reference (aka read higher & more steady charge voltage). These are a better pairing for LFP setups because LFP's natural average higher operating & resting volts than lead-acid batteries.

    Tip: the common OEM regs on most (all) Japanese bikes (and others) are "Shindengen". The great thing is that this manufacturer uses model numbers which clue you in on SCR or MOSFET based regs. The ones starting with "SH" are SCR, & the ones with "FH" are 99% mosfet. Most Aprilia's are "SH" unfortunately.
    Hey Bandit, I was measuring @ the battery terminal with my trusty Radio Shack mini unit. Does that help you in assessing the voltages I listed @ the various rpms in my previous post? You think I'm okay?

    I tried searching to see if my rectifier/regulator was MOSFET or SCR but got nowhere. I even have $300 worth of service manuals and believe it or not, doesn't seem to have any specific information on the r/r that I can find other than in the stator troubleshooting area where it mentions replacing the regulator if such and such and so and so does (or doesn't do) this or that.

    I'll call a Yamaha parts department tomorrow and see if I can make any headway but from what I could glean from the roadstercycle.com site it looks like most Yamaha units are MOSFET.
    AndyD
    Current: 94 Yamaha GTS 1000. All I can say is "WOW". 04 ST1300 Micah was right. 42.3 mpg
    "Naturally the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or fascist dictaatorship, or a parliament or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peace makers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country. H. Goring

  8. #53
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    A significant factor with Li-powered electric motorcycles is weight. While Li is much lighter than lead/acid and so is useful to help in wt. reduction for replacing a starter battery, when you load the bike with Li cells for power, it's a different ballgame and performance suffers too. The 2014 Zero S with an 8.5 kWh battery pack weighs in at 367 lbs. The same bike with an 11.4 kWh battery plus the power pack weighs in at 444 lbs. and the zero to 60 time is a full second slower than the same bike with the smaller battery (5.8 sec. vs. 4.8 sec). It always look like we are just one breakthrough away from making electric bikes really mainstream. We need a way to either lower the weight, increase the power and range, or a very quick charging capability, and still keep the bike affordable.

  9. #54
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    Hey guys, planning on getting a scorpion SSTZ14S battery for my Gen1 Tuono. I park my bike outside and my stock Yuasa YTX-12BS does not have the juice on cold mornings. And its only 55F outside now at night. I might ride till its around 35F outside.

    Just wondering if anyone has any input on cold weather performance of scorpion? I know Shorai has good cold weather performance if warmed up using the lights. But how about scorpion? They do not make any claims about the cold in their website. Just performance at 72F.

  10. #55
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    Update: Tried a WPS featherweight 490-2513 which is a replacement for OEM YTX12-BS of the Tuono. Failed to crank this morning. Started last night while the temperature was good. Returned it. Going back to good old lead-acid albeit a slightly higher CCA one (Yuasa GYZ16H - 240CCA).

  11. #56
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    Installed a Shorai three years ago on my 09 RSVR. Have not had any trouble at all. I start the bike about every 4-5 weeks in the winter and ride it for 20 min. Voltage does drop a little but not enough to not start the bike.
    Kevin
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  12. #57
    apriliaforum Junkie YevJenko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pratapchandar View Post
    Update: Tried a WPS featherweight 490-2513 which is a replacement for OEM YTX12-BS of the Tuono. Failed to crank this morning. Started last night while the temperature was good. Returned it. Going back to good old lead-acid albeit a slightly higher CCA one (Yuasa GYZ16H - 240CCA).
    I run a motobat agm lead acid in my gen 1, and my bike is outside stored too. I really rate the motobats as far as lead acids go. My bike is used everyday thru winter too (around 2c) and it hasn't let me down once. This wasn't a new battery either, about two years old, and was in my Suzuki bandit prior to the tuoldo.

    Had to leave the bike unused for a week and she fired up 1st time.

  13. #58
    Honest always, feared often Micah / AF1 Racing's Avatar
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    One thing I would like to point out, my Ballistic 8 cell I got for my 03' Mille years ago has never been on my proper balance charger. For the last few years it has been used exclusively in my Vespa 300 Super, it starts every day and shows zero degradation over time, even after it sat unused in my Mille for almost a year. That Vespa seldom sees trips exceeding one mile, but occasionally goes for a full tank of fuel, never one issue, and it cranks at ludicrous speed on the 278cc scooter motor?

    that said, I dread every bike that comes into service with any LiFe battery, I've replaced far more than I've saved on seldom used bikes, the balance charger can only do so much.
    Diminished expectations is the key to happiness in life.

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  14. #59
    apriliaforum expert bidwell's Avatar
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    I ran into a problem with a Shorai Li battery that will more than likely keep me from buying another. Over the past couple of years I purchased at least three and they all worked well until the one in my track bike ('12 ZX10) went dead. Either the battery killed the rectifier or the rectifier was not charging and killed the battery (not sure which happened first). In any case, Shorai replaced the battery under warranty and Kawasaki replaced the rectifier. That's when the problems began.

    First thing I noticed is the Bazazz QS would only work intermittently. After much head scratching and replacing Bazazz control units, I found it worked fine when I disconnected the rectifier. Purchased a NEW rectifier and it worked....for a while.

    Next the bike started blowing ignition fuses. But not while in the paddock or anything less then full throttle, only when howling down a straight at high speed. It blew three fuses like this and I can't tell you how terrifying it is when this happens. If someone were on my tail it would have been very bad.

    I tore the bike apart and checked all connections/wiring etc and found nothing. I was very close to pulling all my race goodies off and trading it in. A chance conversation with a tech at a company that sells high quality MOSFET rectifiers saved the day. After explaining the problem, he asked me what kind of battery I had. When I told him, he said to replace it with a conventional battery and try it. 10 track days later, no blown fuses! Apparently the chip inside Shorai batteries are not the best quality may not play nice with the charging system. This could cause voltage spikes and BLOWN FUSES.

    After these issues I just can't bring myself to put one in a track bike again. There's a Shorai in my '13 Tuono and its been great, but a failure on the street would most likely *not* result in me getting ass packed at 150mph.

  15. #60
    apriliaforum expert kzmille's Avatar
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    Why would there be a chip in a Shorai battery? First I have heard of that.

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