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Old 02-18-2012, 10:10 PM   #91
_cy_ OP
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just got back from a 11 mile bike ride ... 40f degree or barely cold enough to use heated jacket, gloves and grips. about burned up using all that heated gear in 40f weather. but wanted to do a short run with heated gear and Shorai LFX21 AH (pd eq)

made one stop at a buddy's super cooool shop full of motorcycles for a few hours. Shorai handled that start with no sweat. rode to my favorite gas station 6 miles on the highway. naturally that start with a warm motor was instant.

low of 30f degree tomorrow night ... looking forward to getting in a cold start with entire bike cold.
after all the tests are done with Shorai LFX21 AH (pb eq) ... next up will be with Shorai 36 AH (pb eq)
looking forward to seeing how much performance difference after doubling available AH and cranking amps.

planing on making up new cables with substantially more copper. bigger pipes means less resistance.
we'll see how much difference that mod makes before switching to larger 36 AH Shorai.

notice strap has to be connected when first activating new Shorai 36 AH (pb eq) battery

_cy_ screwed with this post 03-24-2012 at 05:21 PM
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:39 PM   #92
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rode 106 miles today most at 40-50 mph, rest at highway speeds. them stopped at a friends house for an open firepit BBQ dinner. temps dropped from a bright sunny day to barely needing heated gear for the 20 minute ride home.

came home at about 8pm .. measured voltage and temp. charging system had only charged battery to 13.19V. transmission temp 121f degree. took another measurement at 9:30pm .. 13.21v resting

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Old 02-20-2012, 07:07 AM   #93
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8:15am .. disappointed the predicted low of 32 never materialized. 44f degree this morning
Shorai LFX21 AH resting at 13.20v .. amp draw 98 amp @ 44f .. 10 seconds with lights and heated grips on high.... engine cranked over and fired right up... turned choke off, then cranked over to measure amp draw again.

concerned at why battery only charged to 13.21v after a 100 mile bike ride. checked voltage with lights and heated grips on... 13.8v @ about 3k rpm, 14.2v with lights and heated grips off. may need to find an adjustable voltage regulator. brushes had about 1/3 remaining and will be replaced.

window for real life test conditions in Tulsa is rapidly closing. No I don't have access to refrigerated facility large enough to hold a motorcycle.

load testing while a valid indicator of performance. it's only an indicator and cannot replace real life testing. for instance the 20AH (actual) battery is rated at 3C = 60 amp continuous, 10C pulse = 200 amps. at 15f degree battery only put out 105 amps max. while starter's draw 180+ amps with cold engine/motor oils. load testing will not reveal above information. cold starting amp loss = 50% @ 15f degree

note amp differences needed between cranking over an engine in perfect tune/warm temps (fraction of a second?) vs cranking over a balky engine due to bad fuel, extreme cold or what ever .. can extend to 10+ hard crank cycles before finally starting engine.

what's coming out is importance of learning differences between pb eq or lead acid battery and li-ion. charging is different, cold starts are startlingly different, reserve amp hour capacity is different, weight is different, when these tests draw to an end... will be writing up a list of must do's to successfully live with li-ion batteries in our motorcycles.


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Old 02-20-2012, 08:08 PM   #94
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cy, Don't give up on the sub freezing temps. Have a little patience, after all it's still Feb. in OK. Interesting observation on the need for adjustable regulator. I don't know my Transalp charges high enough to keep a LIPO topped off.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:06 AM   #95
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soldered in new brushes, then checked voltage with motor running.
@ 3k rpm, 14.2v without load... 13.8v under about 14 amp load (engine, lights, heated grips on high) alternator putting 19.5 amps to battery at 3,000 rpm with or without above load.

charging system is working fine, no change after replacing brushes.
voltage regulator set for lead acid is too low to fully charge li-ion battery under load.

Sunday's 106 miles ride had several hours runtime. speeds was medium, rpms high. ran the motor hard! bright warm sunny day, headlight & taillight, ignition was only load on system. there was more than ample runtime to fully charge li-ion battery.

final voltage after a 106 mile bike ride with only lights on (heated jacket, grips, gloves on for last 20 minutes) was 13.2v or 70% charged for lithium iron phosphate battery.

conclusion is voltage regulator needs to be raised to 14.4v to fully charge li-ion battery. running any type load. that will reduce voltage down to 13.8v or lower. note conclusion is for this BMW R80G/S .. your bike's charging system may be different. but if your li-ion battery is not starting your bike cold and you are running heated gear. this could be part of the problem.

there is a HUGE difference between starting your bike with 13.20v vs 13.5v ... lithium iron phosphate discharge is very flat and only veri by about 1/2V for 80% of it's capacity.

Lead acid is fully charged at about 12.85v vs li-ion is fully charged at 14.4v then quickly scrubs off voltage to about 13.5v. don't discharge below 12.86v (DOD 80%) Charging systems are designed to fully charge lead acid batteries without damage. to optimize your bike for li-ion, voltage regulator should be raised to 14.4v.

-------------

hopefully tonight will drop to low 30's for a legit starter load test in the morning. topped Shorai LFX21 AH battery yesterday. wouldn't be fair to perform extreme load tests unless charging system can charge battery to full.

really looking forward to testing out Shorai 36 AH (pb eq)


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Old 02-21-2012, 09:38 AM   #96
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look what just arrived... SYCL 2.3AH with 4x A123 26650 cells .. talk about QUALITY construction!

placed on top of BMW 14lb Gel cell battery for size comparison.



weight 12.0 oz


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Old 02-21-2012, 03:09 PM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _cy_ View Post
look what just arrived... SYCL 2.3AH with 4x A123 26650 cells .. talk about QUALITY construction!

placed on top of BMW 14lb Gel cell battery for size comparison.
Are you being facetious about the construction? I'm sure it works but it looks like something put together in a r.c. enthusiast's garage.
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:39 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anorak View Post
Are you being facetious about the construction? I'm sure it works but it looks like something put together in a r.c. enthusiast's garage.
Nope... dead serious... SYCL 2.3AH is hand made of the highest quality components. very NICE beefy silicon wires, easily instrument grade. looking forward to seeing how this pack will perform.

on another topic...lucked out and located a 14.5V voltage regulator on the shelf for R80G/S from Motorrad Elektrik maker of the high output Omega alternator system for BMW airheads (installed on R80G/S). hopefully output voltage will solve low charge issue with regulator set 13.8-14.2 for lead acid.

optimizing your charging system to mate with li-ion battery will insure a fully charged battery those cold weather starts. which leads to another topic of necessity of purchasing an intelligent charger with balancing capabilities.

will be covering in more detail on how charging systems works on our motorcycles. And just as important what type of battery charger is needed to keep your li-ion battery balanced.

here's what en-route ... this state of the art charger will allow me to charge at 40amps. more importantly will allow precision high amp discharge tests.

FMA PowerLab 8 v2
High-power 1344 watt, 40 amp charger for 1S-8S Lipo packs. with JST-XH & ThunderPower balance board! USB cable to transfer data to my laptop.
http://www.progressiverc.com/fma-powerlab-8.html




this 0-40V 70 ADC beast of a power supply will be powering above

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Old 02-23-2012, 07:37 PM   #99
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just found this chart on Shorai web site that closely matches what I posted in an earlier post #44.
note discharge rate is extremely flat. only 1/2volt change for 80% of rated capacity. measuring voltage requires a known to be accurate meter.

Unless you've got a buddy with an electronics lab. a free way to calibrate your meter is to visit a local HVAC store that sells Fluke meters. take along a CR123 lithium cell, which puts out stable voltage. measure same cell with both meters. a new Fluke 87V meter will be dead on.

note lead acid trickle chargers are designed to charge PB to float charge level which is 13.05v for gel. then add 150 milliamp = 13.20v .. assuming charger is delivering voltage within spec's. a lithium phosphate battery will be 70% charged at 13.20v. if trickle charger is delivering less volts. at 13.05v battery is only 35% charged.

more reasons why a li-ion specific charger with cell balancing should be used. Progressive RC offers some of the finest li-ion chargers anywhere. they come highly recommended by the RC crowd.
http://www.progressiverc.com/fma-powerlab-8.html

The Progressive RC folks have been doing load testing with lithium iron phosphate batteries for quite sometime. they have extensive testing data on all sorts of li-ion batteries for motorcycles and automotive use. hopefully they will agree to share a bit of the extensive database of A123 discharge testing.

more on this later...



From Shorai faq http://www.shoraipower.com/t-faq.aspx


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Old 02-24-2012, 05:16 PM   #100
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this just came in from Motorrad Elektrik who had the higher output (14.5v) regulator for all Airheads in stock.

Fast service and very knowledgeable too. explained to Rick what I was trying to achieve. He immediately recommended this higher output voltage regulator to better match higher voltage requirements of lithium iron phosphate batteries.

note a higher output voltage regulator is only needed if one is running large loads on charging system. like heated grips, heated jacket, heated gloves, etc. placing a 15-20 amp load on charging system will drop overall volts. which could result in an undercharged li-ion battery.

optimizing a motorcycle charging system for li-ion is brand new territory ... so we'll see soon, how much overall effect changing out to a higher output voltage regulator has.

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Old 02-24-2012, 11:22 PM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antigravity View Post

..........Through the last year I have tested and re-tested so much that it has changed my outlook on batteries...
I no longer look at Amp Hours as that much of a factor at all... Power is absolutely the king and most important factor bar anything...Starting your bike is the number one thing that must happen especially if your in the middle of nowhere....Sufficient amp hours will follow the Power if you get the proper size battery... My argument for this is just from so much testing and experiance and understanding the principals ignition systems of vehicles..........
I could not agree with you more if you were holding a gun to my head.

A little about my experience, not to toot my own horn, I have plenty of bad traits, ask any of my x girlfriends for corroboration, but to point out areas of experience.

1 year with independent volvo dealer.

4 years as a licensed industrial electrician. For the last 2 years, amongst other things I was responsible for $600,000 worth of backup power batteries for an industrial process that had to be shut down gracefully and if not, we were to place a call to the local FD so they could drive quickly in the opposite direction

2 years as assistant instructor for the industrial electrician feeder school.

3 years as a tech at a factory volvo dealer rising to lead diagnostic tech in the first year past techs with 30 times my experience.

4 years with Volvo NA corporate as a technical assistant (read FSE but paid less due to lack of degrees). Front line on many electronic issues and a lot of testifying in law suits over things like "thermal events". Ford acquires Volvo, a few days after rolling an XC while tracking down a stability control firmware bug, i'm reprimanded for not holding the handrail while traversing a half flight of stairs at HQ, my departure was sudden and memorable

7 years back to inde Volvo dealer as service manager.

2 years at large BMW motorcycle dealership after move across country, most of which was as shop foreman.

POWER IS KING!

I would have to say 9 out of 10 bikes that arrived on a flatbed could be started simply by hooking up an automotive jumper and cranking them over faster.

The usual culprits were stuck fuel injectors, stuck fuel pumps, shitty old gas, and sensors that were broken leading to sub-optimal fuel mixtures for easy starting.

Sometimes an injector would have to be tapped with a screwdriver to unstick it. Sometimes a pump would have to be jogged back and fourth to free it, but more startup voltage helped with everything.

In an adventure bike, my first step to reduce being stuck in BFE would be to install a battery with serious cranking power.


That said, and especially specific to modern BMW's, I'm not yet sold on lithium chemistry for adventuring.

One very common event with almost all modern BMW's is for the ZFE (basic module by industry terms) to glitch randomly a couple times a year, not shut down and draw anywhere from 0.2 amps to 2.3 amps till the battery is dead.

There is no outward sign of this occurrence so customers usually have no idea why their bike started fine the day before and was too dead to light up instruments the next day.

I know about this because I was in the club. It is an issue I have watched and verified live and which all levels of BMW corporate is aware of but likely not sharing with Excide/Yuasa, their battery vendor.

So dead flat batteries happen. They happen because someone wires something to the bike and forgets to turn it off. It happens because people leave the key on, and it happens because modern BMW's occasionally glitch and do it all by themselves.

Stated over and over in this thread and on your web site is that running any battery too low will damage it.

This is technically true but there are differences of degree.

I will happily run either my personally owned ETX14 Deka AGM or PC535 Odyssey batteries dead flat, then bolt a piece of copper across the terminals and leave it for 48 hours. At the end of this the resting terminal voltage is going to be mili-volts. I will then break out my solar charger which is the biggest woos of a charger in the world and after a few hours in the sun, the bike will start. After that, hook it to a nice push charger, crank the voltage well into the gassing range and 4 hours later the batteries will still meet published CCA and AH and from past experience last years.

Is this hard on a lead acid chemistry battery? Yes

will all brand AGM's do this? NO, Yuasa / Excide sure won't, But Deka, Odyssey, and some others will.

In my experience all chemistry lithium batteries are instantly bricked when you hit a resting voltage of mili-volts.

The next thing that is important to me while adventuring is how the battery takes over voltage. R/R's break. I have seen it in the shop many times. Sometimes the customer is even unaware and comes in cause he's blown his headlight bulb 3 times in 3 days. We replace the bulb, fire up the bike, check the charging voltage and see 17.5 volts and rising.

Lead acid batteries hate this and will eventually dry out from it. They will even go into thermal runaway if it happens continuously for hours in a row. Thermal runaway in a lead acid battery is characterized by bulged and even cracked battery cases, but thats it that I have ever seen.

Conversely I have seen lithium iron phosphate auto batteries have "thermal events" from these same levels of over voltage. Did they explode? NO. But they made a lot more flames then I would want under my seat or fuel tank.

For the two reasons above, I am sold on lithium batteries for commuting and race / sport use, but would want to see a protection circuit for adventuring use.

I don't need to see a full on BMS, but some sort of protection from under voltage would be desirable and at the very least, a piezo that screams when voltage or temperature gets extreme. Also the under voltage protection should not brick the battery. A nice diode so I can put current in would be desired.

I love batteries, always have and always will.

My current main ride is an Aprilia Caponord which is insane in it's CCA requirements versus it's battery box size. On a -8F day I measured an average 236 amp draw for 6 seconds before the bike started. The only reason it did start was my Deka ETX14 managed to outperform it's specs and maintain a terminal voltage of 9.3 volts which was just enough for the ECU to remain conscious.

I can find no lead / acid battery that will reliably start these bikes when it is super cold AND fit in the ytx14 sized battery box, but I have a lot of reservations about Lithium sans protection circuits and also plenty of reservations about the protection circuit durability and how reliably it will prevent bad things.

So, with all that stated:

Antigravity, Thermal events? If the battery sees 22 amps unregulated for a few hours, with your battery are we talking some smoke and vapors? Or time to call my insurance company?

Under-voltage protection circuits. How far away are we from having one? Need a Beta tester?

I would like to become a fan of lithium SLI batteries, but I need my concerns rectified first.

And _CY_ Nice thread and I applaud you and everyone else for venturing into the bleeding edge so that it can become cutting edge. Since you seem to like specifying equipment used for testing and picturing it, I will specify mine :p

Fluke 289 used for minimum voltage in "peak" mode, so 250 micro second response time. Calibrated 3 months ago.

Fluke 867B and deltronic 400 amp precision current shunt. The 867B hasn't been calibrated in ages but I check it against the 289 regularly and it is still spot on. The current shunt has never been re-calibrated but shunts don't go out of calibration unless they oxidize, melt, or warp, none of which has happened so it is at the least an order of magnitude more accurate then any inductive probe.

Fluke 196 scope meter to watch the voltage and current draw graphically just because I like to see things.

I think I have you beat on test equipment lol

My test equipment
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Old 02-25-2012, 07:00 AM   #102
_cy_ OP
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@Joel .. thanks for dropping in .. looks like I'm not the only Fluke junkie

power may be king, but at what temperature? so far I'm getting losses of 50% when battery along with bike is subjected to 15f degrees. then factor in additional current draw when engine/oils are cold. then factor in need to learn a completely different starting procedure, IE necessity of waking up battery before placing starting loads.

there's definitely an education process to successfully learn how to use li-ion batteries when starting a motorcycle in cold conditions. this goes for even advanced techs too. NO one knows it all... especially when treading brand new territory.

for cold starts, Amp Hour rating plays a very important role. Waking up li-ion batteries with current flow uses amps pure and simple. for cold starts Lithium iron phosphate battery must contain enough reserve to power warm up phase. then contain enough power to put out 200amps for several discharge cycles.

a four cell A123 li-ion battery like SCYL 2.3 AH will probably start a car or a Harley Shovelhead (fixin to find out). All li-ion cells are capable of putting out HUGE power for short durations. this is due to very low internal resistance.

reason for disclosing details of testing gear ... data generated is lab grade using traceable standards. Discharge tests are only an indicator of performance. Real world test like what's being laid out is what counts.

overcharge and under-discharge protection circuits have been around for quite sometime. ALL portable devices containing multiple li-ion cells should contain protection circuits. Laptops were the power user for li-ion cells for quite sometime. a power management system was mandatory. even then fires/explosions started hitting the news. Sony and Apple both had their share of devices with li-ion cells go into thermal runaway... resulting in fires/explosions. naturally they were among the first to made the switch to lithium iron phosphate. too much liability not to.

in it's simplest form, protected lithium cobalt cylindrical cells have been around for 5+ years. I was part of the original group buy by JS Burley on Candlepower forums for the world's first protected cell. He mortgaged his house to pay for initial tooling, then Chinese companies took resulting technology and ran with it. JS Burley got nothing .. his investment spawned an entirely new category of consumer li-ion cells.

here's a 18650 lithium cobalt protected cell ... over and under charge protection with an estimated 10% self discharge per month


if you will note during first phase of testing ... balance/over discharge circuits was used on the 20 AH battery. they were later removed due to circuit boards/shunts scrubbing off 10% of charge. most bare li-ion cells will have about 1% self discharge per month. add protection circuits and that no longer is true. depending on circuits. there could be 10% per month self charge due to protection circuits.

here's a pic of balance/over charge protection circuits in action. red led light when shunting off excess current.

----------------

had a brain fart and didn't leave G/S outside last night. lately spring like weather, first cold that actually arrived... 27f for a low. overslept, wheeled G/S outside at 6:45am .. waited until 8:15am .. had to start tests, temp raising fast.

33f degree, 13.51v resting voltage... 10 seconds lights & heated grip on... choke off ... first crank 124amp for 5 seconds. engine spins over fast. would have easily started if choke was set.

two more 5-6 second cranks nets 164amp draws. starter cranking engine over strong. battery drops to 12.59v after first sets of cranking

battery is allowed 3-4 minutes rest ... voltage raise to 13.18v .. battery case temp raises to 39f
choke is turned on, motor cranks strong and fires right up. amp spiked up too quick to get a good read. about 155amp for a fraction second.

after motor runs for about a minute ... turned off and cranked again... current draw drops to 68amp, motor starts quickly.... cold start tests are over for now. Forecast is 30f tonight. will leave G/S outside. above test is estimated to be equal to 40f degree starts. since bike didn't have time to fully get down to 33f internally.

----------

9am .. 44f .. battery has recovered to 13.26 or 80% capacity remains ... amp draw spikes to 118am, then goes down to 98amp. engine cranks over strong and fires right up.

at 13.26v recovered resting voltage... this means first sets of crank cycles used about 20% of Shorai 18AH capacity. Very impressive performance from Shorai so far... but we still have not done a valid cold start test yet.



battery drops to 12.59v after first sets of cranking



battery raises to 13.18 after 3-4 minutes rest, batt temp is now 39f



9am .. 44f .. battery has recovered to 13.26 or 80% capacity remains ... amp draw spikes to 118am, then goes down to 98amp. engine cranks over strong and fires right up


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Old 02-25-2012, 06:53 PM   #103
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here's an interesting video worth watching... How to make Lithium Polymer Batteries


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Old 02-26-2012, 07:52 AM   #104
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_cy_
With your apparent focus on precision and accuracy, would you try to get the chemistry right? I'm pretty sure there is no "lithium iron cobalt cell". Lithium-cobalt is what is generically called lithium-ion. Is that what you mean? It appears that the lithium cobalt chemistry is what was causing the laptop fires but it was due to contaminates in the cathode.

Quote:
overcharge and under-discharge protection circuits have been around for quite sometime. ALL portable devices containing multiple li-ion cells should contain protection circuits. Laptops were the power user for li-ion cells for quite sometime. a power management system was mandatory. even then fires/explosions started hitting the news. Sony and Apple both had their share of devices with li-ion cells go into thermal runaway... resulting in fires/explosions. naturally they were among the first to made the switch to lithium iron cobalt. too much liability not to.
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Old 02-26-2012, 08:41 AM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anorak View Post
_cy_
With your apparent focus on precision and accuracy, would you try to get the chemistry right? I'm pretty sure there is no "lithium iron cobalt cell". Lithium-cobalt is what is generically called lithium-ion. Is that what you mean? It appears that the lithium cobalt chemistry is what was causing the laptop fires but it was due to contaminates in the cathode.
ooppss... thanks for catching that... corrected... that's what I get for posting half asleep..
switching to LiFePO4 ... been avoiding using to due to all the different chemistry connected to li-ion batteries

here's a few of the different chemistry within li-ion batteries. to complicate thing further, all are constantly evolving. then add private labels like A123 Nanophosphate lithium ion batteries .... arrrggghhhh

1. lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery, also called LFP battery
2. lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (LiNiMnCoO2)
3. lithium manganese dioxide (LiMn2O4)
4. Lithium cobalt oxide (LiCoO2)

---------------------
48f degree by 8:15am .. left G/S out all night. the 30f low never materialized
Shorai LFX21 AH (pb eq) has more than proven it's ability to start and operate R80G/S in temperatures to 40f degrees.

many more batteries to test with several more on the way. next up is Shorai 36 AH (pb eq)
besides additional reserve capacity and increased starting amps. 36 AH (pb eq) provides more headroom during charging.

G/S is equipped with a 400 watt high performance charging system by Motorrad Elektrik. 400watts/13.8v = 29 amps then subtract motorcycle's overhead (5amp) which is about 10 amps total with lights (55watt)

with higher output voltage regulator... measuring 22.5 amp to battery at 3k rpm with lights on.
to keep our LiFePO4 battery healthy Shorai recommends not to charge over 3C. which is figured on actual AH. So we should not subject Shorai 36 AH (pb eq) over 36amp charge load. a Shorai LFX21 AH (pb eq) max charge rate is 21 amps.

A123 26650 spec sheet recommends 4C fast charge rate to 80% DOD.

translated... if AH capacity of your li-ion battery is not large enough... your motorcycle charging system may charge your battery at too high amp rate.

R80G/S voltage regulator changed out to higher output 14.5v Motorrad Elektrik




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