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

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

  1. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,464
    Location:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    just got back from a short 21f degree ride and back home. was looking for an excuse to do a short ride with full heated suit blasting.. to test out new Earth-X ETX24, which did an outstanding job. as it took about 75 seconds cranking to start R80G/S. note this was starting from an unheated garage bike exposed to 21f degree for about 15minutes before starting.

    kept the engine rev's up for all of 10 minutes it took to get there. then another 10min back. these LiFePO4 batteries don't have much in reserve amp hour capacities. ETX24 is a bit smaller than what I'm used to running. but it did an excellent job!!
  2. Global Rider

    Global Rider Alps Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2001
    Oddometer:
    3,836
    Location:
    Canada & the Alps - N 46° 31.714' E 010° 27.212'
    That battery is connected to the charging system, correct?

    If it is, it isn't that battery that is doing the job of keeping your full heated suit warm. Its the alternator; either it can keep up to supply the X amps at 14V or it can't.

    Note, run your starter in 10 second bursts and not 75 seconds of straight cranking. I know its cold out keeping the starter temperature down, but still.
  3. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,464
    Location:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    come on... battery is connected to charging system of bike or it couldn't start. sorry was not more clear, 75 seconds total. actual crank times varied from 3 seconds to about 15 seconds with wait times in between to allow battery to recover and make sure starter armature doesn't melt. G/S charging system is putting out about 400watts and supports heated gear but rev's has to stay up.

    purpose of ride last night was to duplicate worst case of long start time, full heated suit and short ride in 20f degree conditions. didn't recharge ETX24 last night.

    rolled R80G/S outside at 7:31am... 21f degree outside. getting ready to go again. this time with meters documenting. we'll see how ETX24 cranks....
  4. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,464
    Location:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Earth-X ETX24 battery measured 13.04v @ 21f this morning after last night's brutal use without allowing enough runtime for R80G/S to charge battery back up. note actual capacity measured by Powerlab8 was about 6.3 amp hours. after battery gets a few cycles, capacity will probably go up some.

    ETX24 at 13v is at aprox. 30% charged condition after last night's ride without charging battery. starter draws 181amp then falls... tests are stopped. note this test was designed to highlite a worst case senario of a short ride, hard start, cold conditions without recharging battery. what happens next morning....

    we will be doing further tests with ETX24 fully charged under same cold conditions.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
  5. Global Rider

    Global Rider Alps Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2001
    Oddometer:
    3,836
    Location:
    Canada & the Alps - N 46° 31.714' E 010° 27.212'
    Oh come on, you wuss. Thats not cold!

    I used to ride daily to and from work with as much as 12 inches of snow on the ground and down to -23C (-10F). :wink: And the battery was a plain old FLA.
  6. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,464
    Location:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    it is for us Okies :lol3

    Earth-X ETX36C installed in R80G/S ... much more comfortable with a properly sized battery in an Adventure bike!!!

    [​IMG]
  7. frogy

    frogy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    887
    Location:
    Ballwin,MO
    Don't forget about walking to school in 6 foot snow drifts with nothing but shorts and a tank top:rofl:D
  8. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,464
    Location:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    did another Oklahoma wuss night ride ... bad conditions for a battery... cold start at 30f ... full heated gear for about a 20 minute ride to a buddy's house.

    parked outside while they welded up a motorcycle carrier.... 3 hours later it was 20f ... Earth-X ETX36C cranked over R80G/S at 20f degree with authority.... 20 minutes to home with full heated gear.

    this is where one needs a battery with ample spare amp hours. 20 minutes with full heated suit is not long enough to charge battery back up to full. as alternator is doing good just keeping up with added overhead from heated suit, etc.

    next morning ETX 36C had power to spare!!!
  9. legasea

    legasea Ape on wheels

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    169
    Location:
    Hanging on in a garden by the sea
    After all this reading, my LFX 18 went to live in the K12 where it does it's job nicely.
    For the 1150 ADV, I'll wait a bit more as this thread goes and the Exide keeps his power.
    Thank you all, battery minded fellows for filling our ignorance.
  10. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,464
    Location:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    LFX18 is likely too small for BMW 1150 adventure. when battery are sized for when conditions are ideal for battery. ie warm temps and no issues with engine. ie .. engine cranks for about 1 second, fires and starts. then charging system takes over any electrical needs like headlights, heated grips, etc.... battery gets topped off

    LiFePO4 battery's tiny amp hour reserve doesn't come into play.... yet. all that changes the first time engine will not start without extended cranking. Let's say your small LiFePO4 battery has an actual capacity of 6 amp hour. compare to BMW gel cell battery of 19 amp hour vs Odyssey AGM 28 amp hour.

    ability of LiFePO4 battery to deliver cranking amps is different from that same battery's ability to deliver extended crank times.

    this is why for most folks my recommendations is to go with a quality AGM battery for adventure bikes. unless the weight savings is worth the $$$ and trouble to learn LiFePO4 cold start procedures.

    Go with Earth-X ETX36 or Shorai LFX36 ... these are two of the largest LiFePO4 motorcycle specific batteries available. actual amp hour measurements are posted a few pages earlier. both ETX36 and LFX36 will deliver monster cranking amps for extended crank times.

    Shorai LFX36 has been tested in R80G/S for almost one year. LFX36 has not missed a beat. includes extensive cold crank times. and surviving deadly combo of extended cold starts/heated gear/ short rides times. then have enough reserve amp hour to start R80G/S next morning at 20 degrees.

    Earth-X ETX36C is currently in R80G/S. it's performance has been outstanding. lots more winter left to see how ETX36C holds up....

    weight comparison: Odyssey AGM 22lbs vs Earth-X ETX36C (3lbs 11oz) or Shorai LFX36 (4lb 14oz)
    so we are talking about saving a whopping 18lbs with ETX36C and saving 17lb with LFX36
  11. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,464
    Location:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    li-on battery described below are not Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4). which are inherently stable and very hard to cause a fire. unfortunately one cannot say the same for lithium cobalt Li-on batteries.

    note lithium polymer batteries can be molded into almost any shape to take advantage of existing space.

    ----------
    Boeing is confirming that a fire on one of its new 787s appears to have started in a battery, as scrutiny of the problem increases.

    [​IMG]

    Also Tuesday, the National Transportation Safety Board said it will send two more investigators to Boston to examine the Japan Airlines plane. The NTSB says the battery had "severe fire damage."

    The fire happened on the ground Monday, with no passengers on board. But in-flight fires can be catastrophic, so the matter is getting close scrutiny by aviation authorities.
  12. GHO100

    GHO100 Crazy George

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,107
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Hi all,

    i tried to read through this battery thread, but there's so much I get a bit lost.

    I've got a Vstrom, DL1000, 2006, and I have no idea what battery to get. I run a decent compliment of stuff, including lights, aftermarket horn and heated gear.

    Mind just pointing me to what I should buy? I'll also be at the IMS show here in NYC, and figured there might be some vendor deals on the new tech there.

    Thanks,
    George
  13. herrhelmet

    herrhelmet A Serious Man

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,367
    Location:
    USA West

    For the EarthX is the ETX18C. PM sent.
  14. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,464
    Location:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    strangest weather... 62f degree at mid-night January 11, Tulsa, OK
  15. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,464
    Location:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    winter is trying to make a comeback in Tulsa, OK...

    here's a Press Release from 2006, re: Thales and GS Yusa, makers of Li-ion prismatic cells for Boeing 787.
    GS Yusa makes aircraft Lithium Cobalt Oxide prismatic cells in 10 and 65 amp hour sizes.

    besides main power backup for entire aircraft. above lithium cobalt li-ion batteries are also used to backup electronic aircraft control systems used extensively on Boeing 787.

    it's understandable why lithium cobalt were spec'd back in 2005 era. but what's not understandable is why project engineers didn't pickup on the rash of new data generated by all the li-ion (lithium cobalt) fires connected to Sony laptops, etc and other consumer li-ion powered devices exploding.

    then factor in fires related to transporting li-ion batteries resulting in new regs by FAA restricting transport on aircraft. it's inexcusable Boeing project engineers didn't pickup on inherent dangers related to lithium cobalt batteries.

    what's most worrisome ... should a li-ion battery fire start on a backup power unit for an airplane control. fire could take out a perfectly good electronic control system causing aircraft to lose part of it's flight controls.

    IMHO lithium cobalt cells should have never been allowed into production for this mission critical application.
    ======

    Thales selects GS Yuasa for Lithium ion battery system in Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner
    June 12, 2005, Thales will incorporate the latest lithium-ion technology from Japan’s leading
    battery manufacturer, GS Yuasa, in the Electrical Power Conversion System of Boeing’s next
    generation commercial airliner, the 787 Dreamliner. The multi-year, multi-million dollar contract
    is a historic first as it marks the first commercial aviation application of Li-ion technology
    anywhere in the world.

    GS Yuasa’s Li-ion batteries will play a key role in on-board power, providing both Auxiliary
    Power Unit start and emergency power back-up capabilities. In the first phase of the contract, GS
    Yuasa will deliver prototypes to Thales starting in spring, 2005 and mass production will starts
    for Boeing’s latest plane in 2007. ~

    [​IMG]
  16. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,464
    Location:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    NTSB to probe batteries, wiring in Dreamliner fire

    [​IMG]

    Fire trucks surround a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner that caught fire at Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts today. The parked Boeing Co 787 Dreamliner aircraft with no passengers on board caught fire at Boston's Logan International Airport while parked at a gate on Monday morning, an airport spokesman said.

    The U.S. transportation safety agency said on Monday it was analyzing the lithium-ion battery and burned wire bundles as part of its investigation into a fire aboard a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 at Boston's Logan Airport last week.

    The National Transportation Safety Board said in a statement that its investigators plan to disassemble the battery this week after studying the internal condition of the battery via X-rays and computed tomography scans at an independent test facility over the weekend.

    Investigators also took possession of burned wire bundles, the auxiliary power unit (APU) battery charger and several memory modules to search for any available data.

    The airplane's two combined flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder units were also brought to NTSB headquarters and are being analyzed by the investigative team.

    The fire occurred on one of Boeing's sophisticated new 787 Dreamliner jets Jan. 7 at Logan Airport. A mechanic inspecting the Japan Airlines jet discovered smoke in the cockpit while performing a routine post-flight inspection. There were no passengers on board.
  17. frogy

    frogy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    887
    Location:
    Ballwin,MO
    Come on and lets finish this.Daddy needs a lithiun,er a Lion,um ya,a light wgt batt. for my K100 Naked project:gerg
  18. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,464
    Location:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    how bike is to be used will decide which battery to go with.
    so far very impressed with Earth-X cranking performance. it delivers cranking amps as claimed.

    but any battery with lower actual amp hour reserves like Earth-X ETX24 or Shorai LFX21.
    there are situations where bike's alternator just is not given enough time to recharge battery back to full.
    this is where Earth-X ETX36 or Shorai LFX36 with it's extra amp hour reserve shines.

    BMW airheads with low 250 watt output (not K100), combined with long crank times, heated gear, lights and cold weather.
    with all the extra drain, output is barely enough to keep from depleting battery further especially on short rides.
    folks don't realize this and blame the battery next morning when bike will not start in 20f degrees. it would be good to use a Battery Tender Jr. (only) overnight to charge backup after a short cold ride with heated gear.

    older bikes without fuel injection could take 20+ seconds of cranking when temps go down below say 30f.
    unlike fuel injected modern bikes in proper tune, will usually start after a few seconds cranking even when cold.

    if bike is to be used on long trips, including winter riding. currently the only LiFePO4 batteries I can recommend are Earth-X ETX36 and Shorai LFX36. if you are mounting battery in a non stock location. make dead certain no possible way for positive side to ground out. don't loose your bike to a fire. lithium batteries discharge at huge rates producing heat equal to arc welding.

    if bike is to be used only on rides from home garage with a fully charged battery everytime. then a smaller LiFePO4 battery can be used. Earth-X has an internal BMS which gives overcharge protection to about 3amps. but my recommendation is only use a quality battery charger like Battery Tender Jr. that actually terminates charge after X volts is reached.

    size comp... Shorai LFX36 on left, Earth-X ETX36C right
    [​IMG]
  19. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,464
    Location:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    thanks for posting pic... re-sized below

    apart from a breach of the structure of aircraft itself, isn't a fire on aircraft in the air among most serious emergency there is?

    hysteria huh ... if a total system failure for a battery backup to the main APU doesn't scare you... then what does?

    notice the burnt bundle of wires going into battery pack. which of course goes into all sorts of electronics. I'd be very concerned at what electronics taken out by fire. on an aircraft this advance ... a loss of electronics on such a heavily computer controlled aircraft would be bad news indeed.

    peek at this high level schematic below. reason for so many electrical subsystems is the no bleed concept used in 787. IE electrically driven hydraulic pumps are extensively used.

    burnt lithium cobalt picture reveals there are 8x 65amp hour GS Yusa prismatic cells. highly unlikely it would burn for 40 minutes by itself. 8x 3.7v nominal = 29.6v ... actual voltage range from 28v to 33.6v full charged. possible sustained output for large packs like this would be 28C+ range or 1,800+ amps at 29-33v

    lithium cobalt cells will accept a charge for long as one is delivered. until thermal runaway occurs at about 4.4v range. a circuit board failure that controls charging for these massive lithium cobalt cells could easily result in burnt battery below.

    Lithium cobalt battery pack fire progression typical ... one or two cells goes unstable into thermal runaway... then explodes with a ball of fire. burning cell will burn with explosive force. a few minutes later ... heating nearby cells to critical temp, igniting it... chain reaction continues until all cells are consumed.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  20. frogy

    frogy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    887
    Location:
    Ballwin,MO
    Thank You