Lithium-Ion batteries

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by tarheel rider, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. bimmer5891

    bimmer5891 Adventurer

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    Weve been selling them for nearly three years. Out of the approximately 200 we've sold I've had to warranty about 15 . Its a similar failure rate to yuasa. The biggest issue we've seen is the need for a specialized charger and the various battery manufacturers calling for the incorrect battery for the bike. The main benefit is the tremendous weight savings which is most beneficial for the guys on the track.
    #21
  2. oalvarez

    oalvarez Resident Raggamuffin

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    I personally know a distributor of li-ion motorcycle batteries.
    I have many friends who use them in their motorcycles.
    I ride/live in an area that is popular with motorcyclists.
    I currently employ Shorai batteries in two of my four bikes.
    I yet to hear of a motorcycle catching fire in the area that I ride.

    I'm not saying that they can't be improved upon, or are ready for prime time. :deal
    #22
  3. brewmann

    brewmann Been here awhile

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    I still fly both...If you can't smell it, it ain't flying...LOL...
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  4. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    Exhaust trails from glow engines...especially those using castor bean oil in the fuel...I love the smell of ricin in the morning.
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  5. Mr Head

    Mr Head PowerPoint ADV

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    Well, I'll know in about three four weeks how things work.
    I am swapping the OEM battery in my 2004 1150 Adventure for an Anti Gravity.

    This new battery will be the third battery in 185,000 miles,

    I'm blaming the economy for the early demise of my second BMW battery. because of the economy and piss poor management I've spent the last three nearly always on travel. Being away a month at a time then not home for more than a week, then away for months took a toll on the poor little undersized box of magic.
    The fat little bastard will get kicked to the curb when the new lighter and fitter model arrives. :gdog
    #25
  6. configurationspace

    configurationspace delooper

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    I have an A123 battery in my HP2. I like it a lot. It's not perfect. It's expensive. But it's super small and extremely light. My first one failed after about 18 months or so. It's not clear what caused the failure, but one of the cells ruptured and the battery couldn't hold a charge after that. As far as I can tell, failures seem to be pretty safe with these batteries.

    The new A123 batteries come with load balancers so you can carefully check to see the battery is properly charged cell-by-cell every once and a while. You don't need to check very often because the charging from the alternator seems to be good enough most of the time.

    Here's my install thread: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=687012
    #26
  7. everycredit

    everycredit Been here awhile

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    Lithium-ion batteries are not inherently unsafe. If used/charged improperly, they can be.

    As a consumer device, they tend to be very forgiving.

    One of the first uses of lithium-ion batteries are for medical implants, such as pacemakers and defibrillators. I could find only a handful of cases where some poor patient's chest exploded because of a faulty battery/charger.
    #27
  8. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Long timer

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    I have one in my R1100S. I put it in because one of the battery box posts on the transmission was broken. It is really light. You will think the box is empty when it arrives at the house. It REALLY doesn't like cold weather (40 or below). I've never been stranded but it will barely turn the engine on a cold morning.
    #28
  9. jdbalt

    jdbalt Been here awhile

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    I have used lithium batteries in RC Helicopters for years. There is definitely a hazard during charging. I charge outside in a lithium charge bag. These batteries are actually not forgiving. They will fail if discharged to far, they can detonate, or burn quite vigorously if overcharged. They can also fail if they have had a hard shock (helicopter crash). I dispose of any pack that has suffered a crash. That was probably a 2000 ish mah battery in the video. So if you have an overcharge situation while riding.... Or say you drop the bike and the battery gets damaged, it might get exciting. Another problem with the overcharging on our bikes is that the battery would not get to expand like the battery in the video because it is jammed in the battery location on our bikes. I have no scientific reasoning for this, but I would be afraid that this would cause a more explosive reaction. Instead of smoking, etc before you knew anything was going wrong. Right next to your gas tank, and other personal vital parts....

    Another issue for me personally is the smoke that these batteries is highly toxic. You would want to stand well away from any lithium based fire. The up side is they weigh half as much as lead acid and have roughly five times the capacity density over lead. I'm curious how many of these lithium batteries are on GS bikes. And if there has ever been a melt down.
    #29
  10. TuefelHunden

    TuefelHunden Been here awhile

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    Got a 14ah Shorai for my Tiger. That is what they said would work but I had problems with starting. Talked to Shorai and found they had some bad boards in the batch that I got. They sent me a new 18ah at no cost to me. I got my GS and didn't have much of a chance to test it in the Tiger, but the few times I did it was OK. Tried it in my GS and it was stone not good in even cool wearther, like low fifties. Contacted Shorai and they sent me a 21ah battery again at no cost. I tested it down into the 20's (bike is in an unheated garage). No, it does NOT fire up like you would expect from its CCA rating (that number is bogus on Li batteries anyhow). It WILL start the bike if you learn the drill. Hit the starter. The first time it probably won't start. Wait a few seconds. Hit it again and there is a 50 50 change it will fire. Wait a few seconds and it fires. Some folks put a low amp heating blanket around them because they have a very high internal resistance at low temps. They have lots of electrons ready to flow but just need to be warmed up a bit to allow them to flow. There is another trick and that is turn the bike on for a while without starting (lights on is better) and unlike other batteries you don't decrease the probability to start, you actually increase it (unless you had a discharged battery to start with). Shorai has a very good technical section explaining all of this.
    #30
  11. configurationspace

    configurationspace delooper

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    The advice you're seeing here is from a wide range of people's experience with totally different lithium ion batteries. They're not all the same. Much of the advice above is from people with no experience with the new Li-I batteries designed for bikes (using things like the A123 technology). So pick and choose carefully!
    #31
  12. everycredit

    everycredit Been here awhile

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    If you read my post, it may be difficult to read the sarcasm. Li-ion batteries being forgiving and patients exploding with implanted batteries should have gave it away. :rofl

    That said, the technology is better and I would be greatly surprised if the failure rate was greater than 1:1,000,000.
    #32
  13. rmarmbruster

    rmarmbruster Roba

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    I have just read in another post where the Shorai's (lithium ion model) need to be warmed up before starting in cold weather, apparently they have a low temp cut-off switch for high current draw. Switch the lights on and draw some current through for a few seconds to warm the battery before the high starting current load is applied.

    For my money I just fitted a glass matt battery in my R1200GS.

    Cheers
    #33
  14. Marki_GSA

    Marki_GSA Long timer

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    I guess trying to start the bike would warm the battery pretty quickly even although it would most likely fail to start. It's the leap of faith it takes to realise that despite the sound your not actually flattening the battery.
    I think the more I read comments the more I want to keep away from these batteries. I don't think they are particularly an incendiary device waiting to happen but their performance does seem to be a bit poor under certain circumstances. Maybe they aren't so bad but the manufacturers are miss representing their true capacity. Certainly seems the case when you have to go up 3 sizes nearly doubling the claimed capacity to get reliable cold starts.
    #34
  15. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    your comments may be true for the lithium cobalt based li-ion batteries. but you are way off on LiFePO4 not matching up with 12v motorcycle systems.

    you know this but LOTS of other folks are getting confused with li-ion label which includes lithium cobalt used in Boeing 787 and lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO44) used in motorcycles. Lithium cobalt batteries are inherently unsafe ... overcharge by 1/2 volt over 4.2v full charge ... battery could go into thermal runaway (explosion) vs LiFePO4 has to subjected to wild abuse before it will finally catch on fire. LiFePO4 batteries are inherently stable and are the safest of all li-ion batteries.

    think in terms of cell multiples... lithium cobalt based batteries operates at about 3.7v nominal, which mean that cell operates between 3.5v-4.2v fully charged. lithium cobalt based cells simply don't match 12v systems. compared to LiFePO4's 3.3v nominal which matches up nicely with 12v systems. LiFePO4 are fully charged at 14.6v with 20% remaining at 12.8v. which you don't want to drop below.

    12v charging system typically operate 13.8-14.2v which means a std 12v charging system cannot overcharge a LiFePO4 battery. cells however can get unbalanced without an internal BMS.

    LifePO4 batteries are starting to come with an internal BMS. Earth-X has an internal BMS that self balances cells. Shorai may not claim it but their behavior indicates presences of an internal BMS on some Shorai batteries.

    LiFePO4 has an extremely low self discharge. after you charge a LiFePO4 battery to 14.6v ... observe it's discharge ... after sitting overnight battery will drop to 14.1v range, then hold that charge level for months.

    if LiFePo4 battery has an internal BMS, voltage will drop to 13.85v range after sitting overnight. there's an internal shunt that bleeds off excess voltage, allowing cells not fully charged to reach full charge. some LiFePO4 battery has external ports allowing use of an intelligent charger that balances each cell.

    note there's very little power 14.6v to 13.85v ... 90% of available power occurs 13.3v to 12.8v range ... extremely flat discharge curve

    here's Powerlab 8 charging Shoria with balancing leads. Powerlab 8 is currently world's most advanced li-ion charger that you can actually buy.

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
    #35
  16. WindSailor

    WindSailor Been here awhile

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  17. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    thanks... getting concerned at all the confusion caused by Boeing 787 li-ion batteries in the news.

    Li-ion battery label includes a butt load of chemistries, which includes lithium cobalt used in 787 and LiFePO4 used in motorcycles.

    they are NOT the same... completely different voltages and behaviors. lithium cobalt is inherently unstable and need all sorts of protections to keep from going into thermal runaway (explosions) vs LiFePO4 are inherently stable and need wild abuse to catch it on fire.

    I've had a lead acid battery explode throwing acid all over ... all batteries if abused bad enough will do bad things.
    #37
  18. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    Just for the recpord, A123 has been sold in bankrupcy to the Chinese.

    Attempting to spin an electric starter under high load (H-Ds, BMW boxers, diesel engines, etc.) at cold temperatures when friction and rheological losses are high (cold oil and tight engine tolerances) with a battery that is not delivering full starting voltage places a high load on a variety of starter circuit components like the solenoid, the starter and other electrical components that rely on the correct voltage to function properly (ABS) and the reason that many diesel applications use two or more 12 volt batteries in parallel, some in series-parallel to provide 24 VDC starting voltage.

    I have replaced starters on marine diesels. Those starter motors are hugh and draw lots of current. If the available battery voltage is low, you're gonna damage something.

    For these reason, I'll not be using lithium batteries in my vehicles just yet.

    Warning: if your starter is turning very slowly or all you're getting is the solenoid clicking, do not attempt further starts until you have restored full battery charge. Otherwise damage to your starter system may result.
    #38
  19. SouthernYankee

    SouthernYankee n00b

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    Twilight, curious as to your thoughts on the Earth-X Lithium-Ion battery. It has built in electronics to enable it to perform similar to Lead-Acid batteries and works with a standard automotive charger.
    #39
  20. SouthernYankee

    SouthernYankee n00b

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    Jim, curious as to your final results as I'm riding a R1100S and looking into using a Lithium-Ion battery. I will be starting in cold temps and have read that one needs to let the battery "warm up" by running the headlight for 30 seconds before trying to start. As the battery is mounted just under the tank, did you notice the weight savings?
    #40