Lithium batteries



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Thread: Lithium batteries

  1. #1

    Lithium batteries


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    Re: Lithium batteries

    So their solution to three fires in seven months is build a bunker to keep the fire from spreading? Wtf. Do they ship bunkers with each e-bike they sell?

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    PrivatePilot's Avatar
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    Re: Lithium batteries

    Here's a thought - fire your manufacturer and source your batteries from somewhere else that actually makes quality ones.

    Lithium Polymer batteries are not a new thing and spontaneous combustion isn't normal. Sourcing cheap Chinese garbage batteries is their problem, not the fact their using LiPO batteries to begin with..
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    Re: Lithium batteries

    There is much better battery tech than lithium right now. But not at the price point they are looking at.

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    Re: Lithium batteries

    That's the thing alot of people don't understand. It's the same with e-cig battery safety. There are only a very small pool of actual manufacturers, all of them immense corporations like Samsung, Sony, LG etc. All of the rest are shell companies that buy rejected stock from the large companies, and rewrap or label them. The bigger or better the secondary company, the better grade seconds they buy. Some will get the batteries that were rejected for a scratch or small ding or some blemish on the cell. Others end up with ones that failed testing. Long story short, buy knock off brand, get the batteries that Samsung tossed in the dumpster.
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  6. #6

    Re: Lithium batteries

    Lithium and cadmium, the major ingredients in these batteries are deadly.
    Is there no minimum safety standard for the handling, storage and sales of this stuff ?
    The warehouse were these incidents occurred had no appropriate HazMat protocols in place - why are they in business ?

  7. #7
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    Re: Lithium batteries

    There should not be any cadmium in a lithium battery. No commercial lithium battery chemistry that I know of, uses it. (Cadmium is an environmental nightmare)

    Any method of storing large amounts of energy in a small space is going to have risks associated with it. A container of flammable liquid has risks, too. We, collectively, have learned how to deal with those risks over the years. It's not 100% effective ... vehicle fires still do happen from time to time. (My sister's 2012 Ford Escape had three recalls for fuel system leaks. Every time Ford phoned her and said "Don't drive the vehicle. We'll get a tow truck and a loaner to wherever you are.")

    It's the same with batteries. Reputable manufacturers have it (mostly) sorted out. Questionable ones, not so much.

    There was a dream among EV proponents once upon a time that an EV would be "simple" and "cheap" compared to a combustion engine vehicle. When you include the appropriate safety precautions against physical damage to the battery pack, temperature regulation of the battery pack, charging rate regulation to avoid excessive charging current under conditions when the battery pack is not ready for it, individual cell monitoring, precautions against accidental contact from service technicians or first-responders with high-voltage DC ... not so much.

    I have some actual field experience with industrial equipment with a "made in China" label. It hasn't been good. Chinese manufacturers that I've come across so far don't have a culture of safety in them. They have to be coaxed into doing things right and they're inexperienced with doing so. Rework is frequently required on this side of the pond in order to be code compliant and function correctly. By the time all that is done, the cost advantage isn't there any more. (I ran into a scenario recently where my official punch list had 10 things on it, about 7 of which were major disasters, and my unofficial recommendation was to pick up the brand new machine with a forklift, take it out back, and dump it in the scrap bin, and buy a new replacement machine from a reputable manufacturer like they should have done in the first place.)

  8. #8

    Re: Lithium batteries

    Thank you for the very useful information Brian P, and yes - I got Ni-Cad mixed up with Lithium.

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    Re: Lithium batteries


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    Re: Lithium batteries

    We switched to Carbon Foam batteries in a boat, specifically for the ability to take deep discharge cycles. Its newer technology but proven , just ridiculously expensive.

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    Re: Lithium batteries

    Having never heard of them, I did some digging, those use lead-acid chemistry. Not saying it isn't good for what you are using it for ... but serious vehicle-propulsion applications demand energy density beyond what lead-acid chemistry can deliver.

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    Re: Lithium batteries

    for an interesting read on batteries visit the Ocean Plant website, Bruce Schawb systems designs electrical systems specific to boats with light weight , deep draw requirements.
    We went from 36, 6v batteries, which was much more efficient than 18 12v, to 2 200lb 12V, occupy much less space and will run two fridges and a deep freeze + 2 AC units for 3 days before the gen needs to run.
    Its an enormous savings on fuel (running gen less) , its been an interesting project.

  13. #13
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    Re: Lithium batteries

    Im curious, if a lithium battery requires a specific type of charging, why is it using a standard bike alt. to charge as you are riding? In other words, why is it ok to use a standard bikes charging system, yet you shouldn't charge it with a lead/acid type charger? Isn't the charge from the bikes electrical system the same as the charger?

    What am I missing?
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  14. #14
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    Re: Lithium batteries

    LiFePo batteries have a charging voltage that coincidentally works out to 1.5 times higher than lead-acid, so a 4-cell LiFePo has the same (close enough) charging voltage as a sealed maintenance-free lead-acid battery with 6 cells.

    A "dumb" plug-into-a-wall-outlet battery charger regulated at 14.4 volts, or a "dumb" alternator that is regulated at 14.4 volts output, will charge either type of battery under normal circumstances, and that is what is happening when you are driving, and that is what is happening if you plug a "dumb" battery charger into either one.

    Where you get in trouble is when you use a "special", or "smart" battery charger, because the "smart" features designed to recover a lead-acid battery from a sulfation event or a deep-discharge event won't work with LiFePo, and the "cell balancing" features designed to charge each individual cell of a LiFePo to the same state of charge (not normally needed, but suppose it is) aren't applicable to lead-acid.

    Theoretically LiFePo batteries can become unbalanced over time (each individual cell not being charged to the same level) and charging the whole battery with an automotive alternator, or a "dumb" battery charger, doesn't fix this. In reality? I've had or have about 6 of these batteries in various bikes, and I've never had to use a "smart" LiFePo dedicated battery charger.

    Lead-acid batteries don't have the cell-unbalancing situation because if you attempt to overcharge a lead-acid cell, it starts electrolyzing water and thus producing hydrogen, while that current continues to charge the other series-connected cells inside the battery. (Maintenance-free batteries have something in them that returns this hydrogen to water inside the cell, but it still happens on an individual-cell basis.) LiFePo batteries have a different reaction to becoming fully charged .... they simply stop conducting all current (at the proper charging voltage). If that happens when one of the cells (in series) is only 99% charged, it only gets to 99% charged.

    The automotive lithium batteries (that are any good) have all sorts of electronic cell-monitoring and charge-rate control systems. "Made in China" ... maybe not.

  15. #15
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    Re: Lithium batteries

    Thanks for the details Brian, I found them helpful.
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    Re: Lithium batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by smergy View Post
    Thanks for the details Brian, I found them helpful.
    ^second that, ty
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  17. #17
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    Re: Lithium batteries

    And that's why, at least for powersports use, I still go with good old fashioned FLA, SLA, or AGM..in that order, depending on the minimum requirement of what it's going into.

    A properly maintained FLA will last many, many years..and can be had on the cheap from such convenient locations such as your local WalMart.
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  18. #18

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    Re: Lithium batteries

    and Walmart is VERY good at taking back batteries that don't last the ENTIRE warranty period. I had a car battery, warranted for 36 months at 35.5 months it wouldn't start the car, got a boost, drove to Walmart, pulled the battery, (thankfully anything like that I keep the receipt in the glovebox), took it into Walmart, they told me to go get my replacement, they scanned things and gave me a new receipt for the new battery, (so I had proof of purchase for warranty). Went out put the battery in, and off I went.

    Same with a tire, (Goodyear tire not the Walmart brand crap), went in for seasonal switch, the tech said your summer tire is leaking. pulled it off the rim, had a nail close to the sidewall. Pulled the receipt, took the replacement tire to the customer service, (I hadn't realized the old tire was still under warranty, so I bought a replacement, tech said nope it IS under warranty he recalled installing it for me in the spring). Walmart gave a refund on the new tire and away I went with brand new tire mounted in the trunk for this coming spring..lol

    Quote Originally Posted by PrivatePilot View Post
    And that's why, at least for powersports use, I still go with good old fashioned FLA, SLA, or AGM..in that order, depending on the minimum requirement of what it's going into.

    A properly maintained FLA will last many, many years..and can be had on the cheap from such convenient locations such as your local WalMart.

  19. #19

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    Re: Lithium batteries

    School me a little on Lithium batteries.

    I see some have a battery control module and some don’t. What does it do and does buying a battery without it cause any issues?

    I also notice that several aftermarket Rectifier/Regulator manufacturers are advertising units specifically designed for lithium batteries. They all mention the voltage set point, normally around 14v +/- .2v. What is that and is one of these R/R’s requires on an older bike to use a lithium battery?

    Sorry if these are dumb questions

  20. #20
    PrivatePilot's Avatar
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    Re: Lithium batteries

    Not dumb questions at all.

    A lithium battery with built in control circuits will regulate itself to ensure it's being charged and discharged properly when used in an application that wasn't actually designed to have a lithium battery in it. In the case of a motorcycle (for example) that didn't come from the factory with either a lithium battery installed (meaning it was designed for it), the bike is not really suitable for a lithium battery since it will eventually be damaged by charging circuitry that wasn't designed for the special charging needs of a lithium battery.

    If the bike was designed for a lithium battery then it has the proper circuitry and charging control hardware to handle a battery without it's own onboard, so a lithium battery is suitable. In some cases, on the flipside, it may not actually work properly with anything but actually.

    The aftermarket charging circuitry you mentioned is an upgrade that can bring an older bike that wasn't designed for a lithium battery up to the standards required to use one. The question quickly becomes, however .... is the cost of that required upgrade plus the significant additional cost of the lithium battery itself really worth it?
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