What kind of battery for adventuring, is Lithium up to the challenge?

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by JoelWisman, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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    :lol3 That's great ... ok maybe I wouldn't make such a good "hack" ....
    Or at least would need some hack-OTJ-training :lol3
    #81
  2. GoneAgain

    GoneAgain Huh?

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    same as NCD''s... SH541SC....and a little white dot under the 'A'... :evil

    i like being 'special' :D



    .
    #82
  3. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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    Folks tell me all time that I'm special... but usually they have a weird look on their faces....:lol3

    MOVING ALONG:
    I'm not sure what the "SC" suffix means compared to the more common "G" suffix.
    A google search only shows up a few russian web pages that I haven't tried to translate........

    I found a long thread here (54 pages):
    http://www.apriliaforum.com/forums/showthread.php?30014-Wiring-Mod-for-charging-issues

    And shorter one here:
    http://www.apriliaforum.com/forums/showthread.php?30014-Wiring-Mod-for-charging-issues/page36&

    I have not read all the crap yet, but netting it out, I think that:
    These guys seem to have the same R/R as most of us (SH541G-12),
    and were complaining of the same issue (low charging voltage of 13.x volts).

    The fix that seemed to work was to solder the 3 connections in the plug to the R/R from the stator
    to reduce resistance, and then adding extra wires on the battery side of the R/R to beef up the connections from the R/R to battery again to allow less voltage drop / loss.

    After doing so, they claim charging voltages of 14.x volts.

    Have we already talked about this.... I'm having one of those "deja vu all over again" moments........
    #83
  4. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    I gave up reading the whole thing.... Have you seen a diagram regarding what they did...... I don't like to copy something....looking at soldered wires....and electrical tape..... Nothing wrong with that in itself.... but it just doesnt cut it for me understanding what's done.... But a diagram will......:thumb:thumb

    Erling

    (ps) It looks like in part what was done was what we call the "free power mod" over in the Thumpertalk forum...
    #84
  5. alpi

    alpi Adventurer

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    I am afraid, there's at least one incident that received visibility and subsequently acknowledgement from a Shorai tech on the same forum. Since that incident, Shorai had made adjustments, so the risk is likely very much reduced, not to mention it wasn't that high to begin with (in comparison to LIPo type batteries used in RC model airplanes/cars which have 4.2V/cell, rather than LiFePO4 3.6V/cell, when fully charged).

    From my perspective, LiFePO4 batteries are really "bleeding edge" technology, and early adopters are quite lucky to deal with a company like Shorai, known to stand behind their product (i.e. they send a replacement during warranty through overnight FedEx, and there are at least 3 fellow inmates, including me, who were the recipients). Now, if I can only make sure the R/R will always behave in the future...
    #85
  6. NCD

    NCD Dirty Hairy

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    So, real world (besides my AGM getting a more solid charge) what does this mean in terms of stator longevity? Anything?

    Again, if the RR talk is messin' up your battery thread kick us out!
    #86
  7. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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    NCD:
    I would say that, if anything, the higher voltage at which your R/R is charging would improve the life of your stator.
    Quantifying the effect is beyond my poor skills....
    #87
  8. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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    In short what they have done is improve the connections between the stator wiring and the crimp-on connectors plugging into the R/R and also beefed up the conductor size from the R/R to the battery terminals. This will cut losses in the system.

    To me the most interesting part is that (apparently) the losses, and not some design change or defect in the R/R its self, are what caused the lower charging voltage ... or said another way, the R/R really WANTS to charge at 14.x volts but is being inhibited from doing so by external factors...
    #88
  9. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    We have been doing this on the DRZ400 at the TT forum.....for a while now..... It is a real thing..... Well.. we only messed with the wire from the RR to the battery, but gained about 0.3-0.4 volts...... I can see doing this on the ac side....even though the ac travels easier than dc does.... Interesting..... Lemmethinkaboutthis....... I might jump on this and try this.... But I need to get my new meter first....and listen what Joel thinks regarding enlarging the hole here.... He can do the math....backwards and forwards...before I can pull a double shot of espresso.....:freaky

    :thumb:thumb

    (ps).... here is a link to the Thumpertalk forum.... scroll down to the "free power mod"..... they list 0.5 volts gain... I saw 0.35..... So it works.....

    http://www.thumpertalk.com/topic/541623-charging-system-diagnoses-plus-the-free-power-mod/

    Erling
    #89
  10. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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    #90
  11. JoelWisman

    JoelWisman Long timer

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    Super busy for a little while, but wait on wiring mods, theres an issue or 3, hint, none of those threads had issues with voltage going down as rpm's raise and as for the AC wiring, supersize them only if you wish to add a few days to the life of your battery by taking months off the life of your stator :D

    Alpi I have seen that video before, and though it may or may not technically be considered a fire, it wasn't very exciting, just a bunch of mostly steam. His charging system went super high voltage when his regulator went full tilt. A lead acid battery is actually more exciting under those conditions so I don't consider that occurrence noteworthy except in that nothing particularly bad happened and the smoke/steam looked cool. Find me flames that I can se and I will get more reactive :)

    NDC it means your stator will last longer because the clamping voltage is higher resulting in lower stator current and heating, but probably not much longer. Only thermocouple couple tests will tell how much, the math is beyond nearly everyone and miles beyond me.

    P.S. this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPwPBY_k6TA&feature=colike cracked me up. Not scientifically meaningful, but very funny because I am always amused when people get opposite results of what they were expecting.
    #91
  12. alpi

    alpi Adventurer

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    Hm, I'm not sure we refer to the same incident. The one linked has only a picture and some description that includes: "my new $140 super duper Shorai battery is on burning, spewing fire and smoke at an alarming rate. Given the dual hilarity and alarming seriousness of the situation, I am now conflicted whether to let the damn thing burn, or stop it before the fire hits the gas tank, and burns down the church, too! I managed to get the negative cable off the battery."
    ... and later in the same thread: "On a lighter note, I was contacted by Shorai today. They want to know how much it will cost for the entire repair of my bike, my labor time included, and are going to reimburse me for that amount."

    It sounds like open fire, which fortunately damaged only some bike parts, before the owner managed to pull the cable, as far as I can tell...
    #92
  13. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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    See... I knew it couldn't be that easy.........................:lol3
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  14. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    I can't speak of the 8GS..... but the DRZ has the exact same set up.....and suffers the same issues. ..ie... higher idle charging voltage.....then dropping by almost 1/2 volt at 4000. What is going on there is the positive wire on the dc side is very thin.... or at the very least....thin enough to satisfy a voltage drop....the distance it travels from the rr to the battery ( about 4.5 feet in length). I changed it to one 10 gauge wire and gained about 0.35 volts to the battery. So it is a real thing.... But although the DRZ's stator...RR ...is very close in charging voltage.... it comes in at half the wattage....@ 200 watts...... So I will have a look.... I run out of warranty in 3 days.... and I have no issues with a hack in the wires....and documenting this.... so I will order the new meter today....and proceed forward....as soon as it arrives....:thumb:thumb

    Erling

    (ps).... It is important to know...that this will not fix the imbalance between idle and at rpm voltage... But merely lower the ressistance in the wires....allowing for the voltage to jump a little... But if that is enough...to tip the charging system to work by maintaining the battery correctly....then have at it.. We will find out.

    (pps).. Joel.... as mentioned before.... we ( me and others) are cluttering your thread....with this stuff.... So please let us know when enough is enough....:freaky
    #94
  15. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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    I"m going to wait for more education .... lord knows I need some :deal
    I would have thought that raising the output voltage (it it worked) by supersizing the wires would add life to the stator as the current flow thru the stator would be reduced ...
    #95
  16. JoelWisman

    JoelWisman Long timer

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    This is how you write in a sport bike forum, I know as I ride sport bikes and belong to forums. A girl saying "nice bike" becomes a story about wild sex by the side of the road until the cops show up, then a wild chase with the naked girl on the back who is still..... :D

    Burning plastic produces a header of black smoke visible for miles. There is NOTHING on that bike that will contain a fire. And in either case, pulling a battery cable will not do the remotest thing to slow a battery fire because if the battery and not a short is the cause of the issue, what you have is shorting cells IN the battery. If it is a short external to the battery producing smoke, sure, pulling the cable will remove the cause, but lead/acid batteries will start external shorts burning or smoking just the same.

    Anyone concerned, look at the picture in the link. Thats steam from boiling electrolyte and likely some vaporizing plastic.

    I'll bet that battery got super hot, shrink wrapped its case and melted the insulation of wires touching it, all of which I have seen lead acid batteries do.

    Notice the op set his helmet carefully on the ground next to the front wheel, something sport orders do not do if concerned about real fires.


    Here is some real fire coming out of a LiFePo4 cell. The guy demonstrating is a nut of my favorite sort who I correspond with.

    In his previous attempt, putting an 80 amp 22 volt charger on a single cell only made the battery label melt before the cell opened internally, so he went at it again with a 1500 watt heat gun simultaneously with the 80 amps and managed to create fire.

    On a power sports battery, there are 4 cells in series, so this would require 88 volts, and a heat gun. No bike or car charging system can do this, and even if they could, all the other electronics on the bike would shoot fire long before.

    Here is the video:
    <object width="853" height="480"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/wkJM8MZkFKU?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/wkJM8MZkFKU?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="853" height="480" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>

    If you want to see where the fire and explosion concern comes from, click on some of liveforphysics532 other videos to see what the dangerous lithium chemistries can do, and note, what the LiFePo4 cell did is boring compared to what a lead/acid battery will do under 5x over voltage, 8C charge rate with no heat gun required. At the least with lead/acid you will get a ball of fire 10X the size of the battery and acid everywhere including your eyes.

    I am SOOOO not impressed with Shorai batteries to date, but I find zero evidence they are a fire hazard.
    #96
  17. JoelWisman

    JoelWisman Long timer

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    Raising the output voltage by supersizing the R/R output wires, yes, you will slightly reduce stator current.

    My past measurements indicate this might be good for as much as 0.11 volts, cause thats all the drop there is in the wires from the R/R to the battery. You may also get unintended consequences as the big culprit of under voltage with the K7X is that the stator rings the R/R mildly and the R/R sensing circuit is not buffered and there fore clamps on the spikes rather then the RMS as it should. But it may work for some additional voltage. Heck, if it reduces the ringing of the R/R sensing circuit, it may be good for more voltage then that. Modeling voltage ringing is hella hard, so the only way most people do it is to try it and find out.

    Note that these wires are unfused so be cautions mucking with them / adding parallel paths for current and fire.

    Supersizing the AC wires from the stator to R/R removes external resistance before the shunt and will heat the stator that much more and won't affect voltage (unless it reduces ringing) as regulation happens downstream of this. It will increase current slightly, but at the cost of shortening the life of an already short lived stator.

    No one has said "Joel, what the heck is ringing?" But I will answer anyway lol

    This is a K7X ringing:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/joel_wisman/7029880553/" title="P1000013 by joel.wisman, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6094/7029880553_692a384930_o.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P1000013"></a>

    We are looking at the output of the R/R at the precise instant it stops clamping (the R/R is a duty cycle on/off affair. Basically the voltage bounces as the SCR's open. We are looking at a tiny division of time (20 microseconds per division).This is normal though fairly large on the K7X. What is abnormal is the R/R fitted to the K7X, at least the one that does not end with "SC", senses this super brief spike and clamps for it which is stupid because SCR's are not NEARLY fast enough to clamp this brief of a transient. The ringing is small at idle and much larger at RPM, hence voltage goes down as RPM is raised.

    Ringing is almost impossible to model and occurs when it does however bad it does in a given circuit. It is not harmful at this magnitude, but your R/R needs to ignore it and regulate on RMS average voltage, not the peaks of ringing.

    Put a huge choke around the R/R output and a capacitor in parallel and it kills the ring where upon the RPM voltage becomes the same as idle. This is not practicable as the choke required adds weight and the capacitor is big.

    Interestingly, I have an SC regulator in my possession and it does seem to ignore the ring.

    I am about to do the true CCA test on the last of 3 batteries in my possession, AKA something related to this thread :p

    Here is a pic:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/joel_wisman/6883780260/" title="P1010183 by joel.wisman, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7261/6883780260_869f89f964_o.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="P1010183"></a>
    of desolating the 5 month old battery in preparation for hammering the hell out of it.

    CTEK 4.3 charger I am in love with in desolate mode applying 15.7 volts to the battery. Deka AGM battery construction, like Odyssey is extremely tolerant to high voltage for desulfating. Note, the battery is only drawing 0.23 amps. It is mildly gassing and not venting at all confirmed with flammable gas sniffer. Try this on a Yuasa AGM and at least you will dry out the battery and may even get to see it gizz electrolyte.

    Soon as this next test is done, I will be posting video of true CCA of 3 comparison batteries (Deka ETX14, Yuasa YTX12, and Shorai LFX18). I also began testing a Shorai LFX21 but aborted because it is not going back to Shorai and I didn't want to hurt it.

    Loads of time consuming work but the results are more eye opening then capacity tests so hopefully the results will be meaningful.

    All for now....
    #97
  18. Gangplank

    Gangplank Advenchaintourer

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    Long thread so havn't read it all yet.

    What I do know is I have seen these shorai lightweight batteries fail at the track. They are intended for track use and still they fail or loose charge.

    What is more of a problem is you CANNOT charge them without the Shorai special charger.

    That = no go for me on a touring adventure bike. Is there more to the story? Can I get the cliff's notes version?
    #98
  19. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    Just ordered the meter....

    Quote Joel:

    My past measurements indicate this might be good for as much as 0.11 volts, cause thats all the drop there is in the wires from the R/R to the battery. You may also get unintended consequences as the big culprit of under voltage with the K7X is that the stator rings the R/R mildly and the R/R sensing circuit is not buffered and there fore clamps on the spikes rather then the RMS as it should. But it may work for some additional voltage. Heck, if it reduces the ringing of the R/R sensing circuit, it may be good for more voltage then that. Modeling voltage ringing is hella hard, so the only way most people do it is to try it and find out.

    That's good enough for me..... I will do the beta testing to see if one can tip the charging system to a user friendly level.... As soon as it gets here... I'l hack it....:thumb:thumb

    Erling
    #99
  20. JoelWisman

    JoelWisman Long timer

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    Cliff notes..... not yet, but close. You can charge a Shorai or any other LiFePo4 on any charger that meets the following requirements.
    1: does not exceed maximum charge rate printed on front of battery, which for the LFX21 is 21 amps.

    2: Does not have a pulse or high voltage mode that is automatically engaged.

    3: is set for a finish voltage of no greater then 14.4 to 14.7 depending on the LiFePo4 manufacture.

    Most lead/acid chargers meet all 3 of these requirements.

    Now for maximum life when the bike is layer up, all lithium like to be stored between 50 and 70% charged, so leaving it on a constant maintenance charger would only remove battery life, but many lead acid chargers shut down once charged unless the battery gets below a certain voltage, which is fine for LiFeP04 batteries. But you want to avoid maintenance chargers that have a pulsing maintenance desulfating storage mode.

    Interesting that I keep defending Shorai, because for touring or adventuring, I think their battery sucks! I'm just trying to make sure people dislike them for the right reasons so if they change their product in the future to something good, people won't be biased against them as I absolutely DO believe LiFePo4 chemistry will and should replace lead/acid batteries.

    Also, many of my Shorai complaints do not extend to all LiFePo4 batteries, just Shorai so far.