ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Bikes > Old's Cool > Airheads
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-14-2013, 05:44 PM   #1
_cy_ OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Oddometer: 5,926
LiFePO4 battery info for Airheads (AGM & Gel too)

Please visit my LiFePO4 battery testing thread ... it's got the most technical data on LiFePO4 motorcycle batteries on the WWW.

there's also LOTS of technical info on mature technologies like AGM ... Yuasa just sent two chargers for me to test. Tecmate has also sent me an Optimate Lithium LiFePO4 charger to test.

yes .. it takes loads of test equipment and LiFePO4 batteries to do these tests. really fortunate to have factory support from several LiFePO4 battery mfg and charger mfg.

test mule is an R80 G/S ... LOTS of long term test data along with gotchas of LiFePO4 mfg grossly overstating actual amp hour capacities.

smaller LiFePO4 batteries may start/operate an airhead fine when it's warm. but as those of us that ride airheads in conditions under 25f knows ... starting an airhead really takes a toll on the battery.

different from bike to bike ... but for R80G/S aprox current draw when warm measures about 150amp peak, then drops down to about 100amp. cranking times veri from 1-2 seconds to several seconds depending on state of tune and bike temp.

all that goes out the window when temps drop ... at say 25f starter current 250+ amps... then cold engine depending on state of tune may need extended cranking before starting.

LiFePO4 amp hour capacity drops in half when temps fall to -10C (14f) hence why it's mandatory to understand cold starting procedures when LiFePO4 batteries under cold conditions.

here's a good video to watch that illustrates what happens when a wrong size LiFePO4 battery is installed... Shorai LFX 18 manages to start a 1,000cc modern bike with fuel injection for 20X times with a brutal 11amp draw in between starts. that same LFX18 when subjected to a 200amp draw test fails almost immediately.

if anyone needs help on any battery issues, LiFePO4 or PB ... please post here: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...757934&page=18

or in this thread


_cy_ screwed with this post 04-16-2013 at 10:31 AM
_cy_ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2013, 05:47 PM   #2
_cy_ OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Oddometer: 5,926
Optimate Lithium LiFePo4 specific charger that balances cells with need for balance ports.
in the middle to tests to verify claims.


Yuasa 1.5 amp charger would be excellent for AGM, but puts out too high voltage for gel or LiFePO4.
_cy_ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2013, 06:55 AM   #3
Bill Harris
Confirmed Curmudgeon
 
Bill Harris's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: backwoods Alabama
Oddometer: 7,304
Aren't those the batteries that grounded the new Boeing 787 for several weeks because of fires?

--Bill
__________________
'73 R60/5 Toaster
Luddite. Not just a philosophy, a way of life...
Bill Harris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2013, 09:44 AM   #4
_cy_ OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Oddometer: 5,926
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Harris View Post
Aren't those the batteries that grounded the new Boeing 787 for several weeks because of fires?

--Bill
a common misconception ... the Li-ion battery label includes many different chemistries.

lithium cobalt (li-ion) is what's used in Boeing 787. lithium cobalt batteries are inherently unstable and need all sorts of safeties to prevent it from going into thermal runaway (explosion).

vs Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) are inherently safe and are extremely hard to make it catch on fire. LiFePO4 li-ion used in motorcycle are completely different in voltage and safety.

installing a LiFePO4 battery in an Airhead is definitely where old technology meets new. there's weight savings to be had while gaining performance. main drawback is costs $$$ and installing a LiFePO4 battery that's too small.

BMW 19AH gel battery weight 13lb 8oz .. a correctly sized LiFePO4 battery Adventure duties for R80G/S would be Earth-X ETX36 (3lb 11oz) or Shorai LFX36 (4lb 14oz).

Pic below shows Shorai LFX36 after one year of hard service in R80G/S, including cold starts at below 20f. including the dreaded cold start/heated gear/short ride then successfully starting next morning at 25f. EarthX ETX36 tests are just getting started, so jury is still out. but based on excellent performance I see no reason why EarthX ETX36 should not equal to Shorai LFX36.

EarthX ETX36 has advantage of being watertight, lighter/smaller .. EarthX all come with internal BMS (battery management system) smaller EarthX has outperformed Shorai by a substantial margin for 200amp cranking tests.

Shorai LFX36 and EarthX ETX36

_cy_ screwed with this post 04-15-2013 at 10:05 AM
_cy_ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2013, 12:41 PM   #5
Houseoffubar
fine beer sampler
 
Houseoffubar's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Bothell, Washington
Oddometer: 1,768
All good info, Thanks!
__________________
1978 R100/7 Build thread 1915 Boardtrack racer replica (Electric Powered) Lots of bicycles
Hemp: The strongest natural fiber in the world, and the most nutritious plant on earth.....why is this illegal again?
Houseoffubar is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2013, 07:08 PM   #6
Les_Garten
Studly Adventurer
 
Les_Garten's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: PSL, FL
Oddometer: 717
Why another thread? This looks like a rehash of the original thread?
__________________
<<This is my Airhead, there are many like it, but this one is mine>>
My "Orange Snappy Club" Membership Photo
Les_Garten is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2013, 07:47 PM   #7
_cy_ OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Oddometer: 5,926
Quote:
Originally Posted by Les_Garten View Post
Why another thread? This looks like a rehash of the original thread?
a good question ... this thread is specifically for airheads using LiFePO4 ... high tech meets low tech ..
_cy_ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2013, 07:53 PM   #8
Les_Garten
Studly Adventurer
 
Les_Garten's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: PSL, FL
Oddometer: 717
Quote:
Originally Posted by _cy_ View Post
a good question ... this thread is specifically for airheads using LiFePO4 ... high tech meets low tech ..
I see, the other one was in the Garage Forum
__________________
<<This is my Airhead, there are many like it, but this one is mine>>
My "Orange Snappy Club" Membership Photo
Les_Garten is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2013, 10:18 PM   #9
_cy_ OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Oddometer: 5,926
there's definitely a deficit in available knowledge for LiFePO4 motorcycle batteries. one of the biggest problems with LiFePO4 batteries is a marketing issue.

for instance a 4 cell A123 cylindrical (26650) battery = 2.3amp hour ... all LiFePO4 batteries for 12v systems have four cell in series. the mfg that use cylindrical will stack 4s in parallel.

8 cell = 4.6AH .. 12 cell = 6.9AH and so on ... batteries using prismatic pouch cells also use four in series. size of pouch cell varies with AH rating.

for instance what a LiFePO4 mfg calls 18AH in terms of PB/EQ or lead acid equivalent is actually closer to 4.6AH actual.

most folks don't have battery testing equipment to determine actual amp hour capacities. nor should they have to.

what LiFePO4 mfg are afraid of ... that if they called their LiFePO4 battery 4.6AH ... folks wouldn't buy it.... so almost all the LiFePO4 mfg have taken to using PB/EQ.

so LOTS of folks buy an 18AH pb/eq LiFePO4 battery thinking they put an equivalent sized battery to the say 16AH (actual) Gel they just took out. that 18AH pb/eq LiFePO4 works great until the first cold ... then it falls flat on it's face.

_cy_ screwed with this post 04-16-2013 at 10:26 AM
_cy_ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2013, 10:09 PM   #10
adrenal
skrunkwerks.com
 
adrenal's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Oddometer: 506
Hey CY, thanks a bundle for doing and posting! Your stuff is gold
Probably going to get a ETX24C for my current project based on your good work.

Thanks mate.
__________________
Adrian
cafebeemer is now:http://www.skrunkwerks.com
farcebook page: http://facebook.com/skrunkwerks
instagram: #skrunkwerks
adrenal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2013, 06:03 AM   #11
_cy_ OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Oddometer: 5,926
thanks adrenal ... hope I get to see your super cool airhead when I get to Oz
_cy_ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2013, 06:20 AM   #12
Stan_R80/7
Beastly Gnarly
 
Stan_R80/7's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2012
Location: VA
Oddometer: 1,277
On a modern motorcycle (which I will call newer than 2003), modern battery technology appears to be a good idea. But, for my old (1978) airhead I question the wisdom. Generally, my charging system is maximum rated at 240 watts. That number is optimistic. The newer voltage regulators will put out 13.8-14.4 volts with 14.2 considered ideal.

But, all that is for the lead-acid battery. Here I will call a lead acid battery wet cell or sealed maintenance free. Personally, I don't think a gel-cell lead acid battery is suitable with the ancient charging characteristics of an airhead.

However, I have not much experience with the lithium-iron batteries. But it seems everything I do read about LiFePO4 batteries talks about how a 'smart' charger is needed. As mentioned above, the airhead charging system is (affectionately) dumb as dirt. Maybe the newer batteries are intended when an upgraded alternator and charging system is installed?

Stan_R80/7 screwed with this post 04-17-2013 at 06:21 AM Reason: revised sentence
Stan_R80/7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2013, 07:10 AM   #13
_cy_ OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Oddometer: 5,926
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan_R80/7 View Post
On a modern motorcycle (which I will call newer than 2003), modern battery technology appears to be a good idea. But, for my old (1978) airhead I question the wisdom. Generally, my charging system is maximum rated at 240 watts. That number is optimistic. The newer voltage regulators will put out 13.8-14.4 volts with 14.2 considered ideal.

But, all that is for the lead-acid battery. Here I will call a lead acid battery wet cell or sealed maintenance free. Personally, I don't think a gel-cell lead acid battery is suitable with the ancient charging characteristics of an airhead.

However, I have not much experience with the lithium-iron batteries. But it seems everything I do read about LiFePO4 batteries talks about how a 'smart' charger is needed. As mentioned above, the airhead charging system is (affectionately) dumb as dirt. Maybe the newer batteries are intended when an upgraded alternator and charging system is installed?
another misconception is that charging systems for airheads are somehow not suitable for newer batteries. which for some airhead owners .. newer batteries is gel or AGM. never mind that AGM has been out for 25+ years

a normal 12v charging system puts out 13.8 to 14.2v .. our airheads are no different. where there is a difference is wattage output. whereas it was normal for airheads to put out 280 watts or less.

now days with heated gear, extra lights, GPS and no telling what extras are added. stock airhead charging systems struggle to keep up. for airhead owners this is old news with lots of folks upgrading to new 400-450 watt systems.

AGM and Gel cell batteries are both more sensitive to higher charging voltages vs wet lead acid, which are more tolerant to overcharge conditions.

Gel cell batteries should not be charged over 14.2v for extended time periods .. general rule of thumb is NOT to use a normal lead acid charger for Gel cell batteries. one can kill a gel cell battery by using an incorrect battery tender/charger.

same is true for AGM which can tolerate slightly higher charging rates to 14.8v. it takes overcharge conditions for extended time periods to do damage. like when a battery tender is attached for months.

for battery tenders what's most important is need of a true float mode. as a battery approaches full charge state, amount of current that it's able to absorb goes down to milliamps. an intelligent charger will then change into float mode by lowering charge voltage down to 13.1v to 13.6v range.

dumb battery tenders puts out current so long as it's plugged in, but at an extremely low rate. while those may do just fine for a large automotive wet PB battery with high internal discharge rates. putting a dumb battery tender without a float mode on a motorcycle sized AGM can kill it.

everything above is old news .. what's new is how does our Airhead charging system interact with LiFePO4 batteries?

_cy_ screwed with this post 04-17-2013 at 07:46 AM
_cy_ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2013, 07:10 AM   #14
adrenal
skrunkwerks.com
 
adrenal's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Oddometer: 506
Quote:
Originally Posted by _cy_ View Post
thanks adrenal ... hope I get to see your super cool airhead when I get to Oz
Drop in any time man...
__________________
Adrian
cafebeemer is now:http://www.skrunkwerks.com
farcebook page: http://facebook.com/skrunkwerks
instagram: #skrunkwerks
adrenal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2013, 05:15 PM   #15
_cy_ OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Oddometer: 5,926
coooool... don't be surprised when I take you up on it
_cy_ is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 12:03 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014