Motorcycle Batteries .. AGM, GEL, Wet, Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4)

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by _cy_, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    regenerative discharge testing coming up ... let's see actual capacity in amp hour for Earth-X ETX36D.

    [​IMG]

    Powerlab 8 set for one charge/discharge cycle. note wet PB battery hooked up to Powerlab 8, which acts as power source and end source for amps to discharge into. ETX36D is fully charged to 14.6v, 51milliamps to full.
    [​IMG]

    Cycle 1 ... 11.28 amps in... 10.62 amps out (charge rate 10amp, discharge rate 7.5amps)
    [​IMG]

    Cycle 2 ... 11.51 amps in... 10.79 amps out (charge rate 10amp, discharge rate 7.5amps)
    [​IMG]
  2. LocuL

    LocuL Gnarly Infantry

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    Looking forward to see if the Shoria LFX36 is better then this new Earth-X ETX36D.
    The Earth-X ETX36D would fit my underseat tray and carry a lot of Ah.

    :lurk
  3. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    Shorai LFX36 has been in R80G/S for almost a year and doing an excellent job. whereas I'm just getting started testing ETX36D.

    Cold weather seems to be somewhat elusive this year with warmest weather on record in Oklahoma.

    Both LFX36 and ETX36D are substantially smaller/lighter than original R80G/S OEM battery. What's measurements of original battery? What are you trying to put a LiFePO4 battery into?
  4. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    Amp hour capacity testing in progress for Shorai LFX21 .. these test take about 3 hours per cycle with a two cycle min. charge/discharge rates are set at about 1C. discharge rates are limited to amount of heat/amp discharged into host wet pb truck battery.

    note LFX21L6 resting voltage of 14.17v after sitting for several months
    [​IMG]

    LFX21 cycle 1 results: 5,890 milliamps in .. 5,494 out
    [​IMG]
  5. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    Amp hour capacity testing in progress for 20 amp hour GBS LiFePO4 battery.. charge rate 20amp, discharge limited to 8amps by equipment.

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    cycle 1 results: 18.6 amp hour in... 17.3 amp hour out
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    Techtronics monitoring DC amp coming from host battery
    [​IMG]

    monitoring room temp during test, which are being done on a fireproof metal plate
    [​IMG]
  6. LocuL

    LocuL Gnarly Infantry

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    I was looking for the LFX36 as an option, can´t remember but i think the dimensions put me off. Though this ETX36 have the size to fit in my frankenbike. My project would be an KTM 950 Adv with an RC8R engine(complete electronics build in). So that would be 1200cc to start and standard electronic gadgets to feed by the time it will be travel ready.

    what do you think?
  7. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    time to do a few CCA test duplicating what Joel Wiseman did earlier in video below. 200 amp for 30sec, 10sec and 20sec cycle.

    reason for duplicating values Joel used is 200amp is about what R1200GS draws cold. just as important data produced will dovetail into Joel's excellent work.
    -----------------
    this video by Joel Wiseman, one of the most knowledgeable BMW tech's on Adv.

    shows what happens when a LiFePO4 battery is undersized as compared to AGM batteries that are correctly sized.

    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ySNbSZTgplA" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe>

    actual amp hour capacity for tested LiFePO4 battery will be part of new data generated.

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    battman ... thanks for the pic's... there's several types of BMS for LiFePO4 batteries ... most common is a intelligent shunt, when selected voltage is reached for that cell. current is shunted to ground to allow rest of cells to reach full voltage. if you have any more angles, would you send them to me or post em.

    Earth-X could be using both prismatic and cylindrical cells, depending on amp hour battery. note there can be substantial differences in actual CCA delivered. either due to different cells and/or cell to cell construction.
    [​IMG]
  8. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    ETX24 discharge test @ 200 amps for 30sec, 10sec, 20sec = one cycle
    Techtronix meter on left for Amps, Fluke 87V to track volts under load, timer set to beep for desired seconds
    Snap-on carbon pile load tester

    results: ETX24 sustains one full cycle at 200amp, 30sec, 10sec, 20sec. then delivers 200amp for 30sec, 10sec then fall flat
    with a total cranking time of 100 seconds @ 200 amps (note the exact moment amps delivered drops, test is stopped)

    [​IMG]

    ETX24 getting hammered @ 200amp for 30 seconds
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    ETX24 .. 200amp for 10 seconds with little recovery time
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    second cycle ... 210amp for 30seconds
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    ETX24 200amp for 10 seconds... then battery amps delivered falls to 50amp range

    ETX24 recovering from load tests... charging at 5amp
    [​IMG]

    ETX24C fully recovered ... 6,393 mah in
    [​IMG]
  9. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    Discharge test for Shorai LFX21 using same parameters. 200amp 30sec, 200amp 10sec, 200amp 20sec = one cycle

    LFX21 barely misses one full cycle, first 200amp 30se with amp falling at 30sec. makes 200amp 10sec, then 200amp for 20sec, fails 18sec in, amp drops to 170amp, test is stopped... total of 58seconds while sustaining 200amps

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    200amp for 30sec ... LFX21 barely makes it, amps drop to 150 at 30sec.
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    LFX21 200amp for 10 seconds... makes it fine
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    LFX21 200amp for 20sec... delivers 200amp for about 18sec, then drops to 170amp, test is stopped
    [​IMG]

    LFX21 is charged backup to full, balanced charge 5amp ...takes 3,332 mah charge to full
    [​IMG]
  10. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    ETX24C installed in R80G/S. two straps are used to really lock down battery. no way that battery is moving.
    Load tests on ETX24 indicates this battery will deliver 200amp for 100 seconds of crank time. tests ran last winter indicates R80G/S starter draws about 150amp, then reduces to about 100amps during extended cranks.

    ETX24C may handle crank duties, but at 6amp hour actual. but this battery may not have enough reserve capacity to handle heated gear during short rides and have enough reserve to start engine next morning. does this battery have enough reserve amp hour to heat battery up during cold start cycles and handle heated gear? solid questions that we hope to get real world answers for as winter progresses.

    since LiFePO4 batteries are substantially smaller than OEM. special cautions are mandatory to prevent dead shorts. doh, if your bike burns up due to dead short. it's NOT the mfg fault. so take a few extra minutes during install to make dead certain positive connection cannot short out.

    [​IMG]

    size comparison one year old Shorai LFX36 next to new Earth-X ETX24 (ETX36 is same size)
    [​IMG]
  11. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    The Big Dog comes out!!!

    Discharge test for Shorai LFX36 ... std test procedures... 200amp for 30sec, 200amp 10sec, 200am 20sec = one cycle
    note LFX36 is one year old, well into long term tests on R80G/S.

    [​IMG]

    LFX36 getting hammered .... 200amp 30sec... LFX36 acts like it's nothing
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    LFX36 recovers ... 200amp 10sec
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    LFX36 goes again... 200amp 20sec
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    LFX36 .. 200amp 30sec .... acts like it's no biggie
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    LFX36 .. 200amp 10sec
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    LFX36 .. 200amp 20sec ... still recovering nicely, battery actually feel stronger
    [​IMG]

    LFX36 goes another entire cycle of 200amp 30sec, 200amp 10sec, 200am 20sec....
    then testing has to be stopped... carbon pile tester is overheating!!!

    LFX36 has survived three complete cycles and coming back for more.
  12. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    voltage drop under load may not be as important indicator as amp drop due to LiFePO4's very flat discharge curve. the instant battery no longer sustains 200amp... tests are stopped to prevent damage to battery. then fully discharge battery is immediately charged above 12.8v, then allowed to cool for balance of charge cycle to full.

    main difference between my LiFePO4 tests and Joel's is the addition of actual amp hour measurements. which require special tools to measure. Joel has nicer Fluke meters than me :D

    discharge tests are well underway for Shorai LFX21, LFX36, Earth-X ETX24, ETX36C. here ... http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=757934&page=19
  13. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    Using Heated Gear with LiFePO4 batteries

    heated gear don't understand PB/EQ. they draw real amps. Almost all LiFePO4 battery mfg like to use amp equivalents to lead acid batteries. that may be valid for starting requirements. but heated gear don't care... they draw regular amps.

    listed amp/watts for Gerbings micro wire. even if you don't have Gerbings, amp draw will be real close. amp x volt = watts

    1. Jacket 6.4 amp/77watts
    2. Vest 4.5 amp/54watts
    3. Pants 3.6 amp/44watts
    4. Gloves 2.2 amp/27watts
    5. Grips 3.0 amp/36watts

    let's say you've got a heated jacket, heated gloves and heated grips = 11.6amp draw

    let's say your LiFePO4 battery has an actual Amp Hour capacity of 6 amp hour. this means your battery will support your heated gear for about 1/2 hour before going dead.

    then let's factor in alternator output and amp draw from rest of bike. on short rides using heated gear, it's quite possible to use more amps from your battery than Alternator has a chance to replenish.

    when you put your bike away for the night after that short cold ride. your 6 amp hour battery may not be fully charged.

    next morning it's say 30f degrees ... you go to start your bike with a half dead battery.... fail ... one automatically blames the battery. when the fault is putting bike away with a half charged battery.

    this is where LiFePO4 batteries with BIG reserve capacities shine. Lithium batteries internal resistance goes way up with battery gets cold. this means substantially less amps will be delivered. cold start procedures calls for a load to be placed on LiFePO4 battery. this heats up battery reducing internal resistance, allowing more amps to be delivered.

    ahhhh... but there is a catch... heating a cold LiFePO4 battery takes amps... battery must have enough reserve capacity to heat battery up and start your motorcycle.

    clear as mud... nah.. it's not that hard to understand. Adventure bikes must have some of the hardest demands on a battery. if you've got a R1200GS and you are planing on climbing the Andes mountains and camping out.

    go with an AGM or if saving 10lb+ is worth the trouble... go with largest LiFePO4 motorcycle battery available.

    Shorai LFX36 next to Earth-X ETX36C
    [​IMG]
  14. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    Up next is Earth-X largest amp hour battery.... ETX36C

    explanation on how tests are ran:

    Snap-on carbon pile provides 200amp loads. Techtronics tracks DC amps (clamp meter on left), Fluke 87V tracks volts during tests, Raytek Mini Temp for F, digital kitchen timer is set for 30sec or other time. when timer reaches zero a buzzer goes off, picture is taken at that exact moment. capturing amps/volts after being under load for 30sec or other time.

    battery is allowed to recover between discharges. when volts stops raising, next discharge cycle begins again. typically about 20-30seconds or what one would typically wait in between cranking in real life.

    the moment battery amp drops and can no longer sustain 200amp. tests are stopped to prevent damage to battery.

    Earth-X ETX36C resting (overnight) voltage 13.7v, room temp 67F, Techtronics reset to zero, timer set for 30sec.
    battery charged to full (3.65v per cell, 4S) with Powerlab 8, then allowed to rest overnight before starting tests.
    [​IMG]
  15. herrhelmet

    herrhelmet A Serious Man

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    Don't understand the connection between the 2 photos of the Earth X BMS and this text?
  16. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    thanks for asking ... there was no connection from Earth-X BMS and text. Which brings up an important advantage for Earth-X products. An internal BMS should prevent overcharging up to about 2amps or so.

    it's my belief that all multiple cell LiFePO4 batteries needs balanced charged with a specific to LiFePO4 charger with balance leads from time to time. unless battery is equipped with an internal BMS like Earth-X which keeps cells balanced anytime battery reaches fully charged condition.

    note pictures of circuits are not from me. someone had indicated about using volts under load as a indicator on when to stop load tests.

    one of the characteristics of lithium batteries is it's binary nature... either it's producing full power or not at all.

    meaning that once battery fails to maintain what ever load it's being tested at. tests are immediately stopped. this goes for rechargeable lithium batteries of all types.

    when using lithium cobalt or LiFePO4, the instant battery fails to sustain exact same performance battery should be intermediately disconnected and recharged.

    here's a chart showing discharge curve of LiFePO4 at different temps, which is the crux of winter testing. hopefully this chart illustrates why it's so important to warm up internal temps to decrease internal resistance to bring amps hour capacity back to normal range.

    note at all temps transition to power fall off is dramatic from a near flat curve. chart from First Power (50,000 square meters mfg) one of the tiny number of actual mfg for lithium cells in the world. Another reason for not letting A123 another actual lithium cell mfg into foreign hands.
    [​IMG]

    Source: CGGC, based on(METI, 2010; NEDO, 2009)
    [​IMG]
  17. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    Earth-X in tests so far, flat delivers huge cranking amps. using Joel's testing methodology of 200amps for 30sec, 10sec and 20sec. ETX24 delivered the goods!!! very impressive performance. in terms of cranking power, outperformed Shorai LFX21 by a considerable margin. note tests done at room temps so far for Earth-X. performance under real life cold conditions is what counts.

    Shorai LFX36 is still the big dog ... yes Shorai LFX36 survived three complete Joel cycles (180 sec @ 200amp) discharges without missing a beat. had to stop test due to overheating Snap-on carbon pile tester. LFX36 had lots left when tests was stopped.

    Earth-X36C discharge tests coming up soon...
  18. Global Rider

    Global Rider Alps Adventurer

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    So where are the thermal runaway tests and tests of the fail-safes.

    I just saw a spectacular video that another department at work did of a bullet fired into one of these high-tech batteries. Be it a bullet or physical damage by a blow to the battery, no difference.

    Get the marshmallows out!
  19. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    good question ... these are expensive batteries graciously provided by battery mfg for these tests.

    while no promises were made for results. it would not be fair to subject batteries to test to destruction conditions. object of course is see how these batteries perform under real world conditions. one HUGE advantage for LiFePO4 batteries is it's the most stable of all the rechargeable lithium batteries. documented by chart below.

    tests are carefully documented by lab grade instruments and can be duplicated by anyone else with same.

    note in overcharge curve at 3C rate in potential range over 10V, the battery passed by the safety testing, no thermal runway&#12289;explosion and burning appeared.

    source First Power (mfg)
    [​IMG]
  20. Global Rider

    Global Rider Alps Adventurer

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    Well collisions are real world happenings. It wouldn't be fair to not test them under those conditions. When consumers see how these batteries react to damage, the heat and fire, they will think otherwise.

    We just had a company come in and do a presentation of their technology. They are trying to break into the military vehicle 6T battery market . Yup, one of those batteries are the last thing I'd want in an enclosed armoured personnel carrier. It goes off for whatever reason within the compartment, and you get picked off by the enemy while trying to get out.