I have built a few 13s lithium batteries in the past year following your instructions. Thanks. I have taken one of the batteries apart to check its condition as it is the middle of winter here in Winnipeg, Canada. Two parallel sets were out of balance with the rest of the pack. I was wondering if there is a way to use my imax b6 balance chargers to rewire the battery and keep each parallel pack in balance for sure! This way I will bypass the bms. Does this make sense?

Good question. The answer comes down to the difference between “nominal voltage” and “actual voltage”. LiFePO4 cells are nominally called 3.2V cells, because this is their voltage in the middle of their discharge curve, at about 50% discharge. They actually charger to a higher voltage though, about 3.7V per cell. That means that you need a charger that has an output voltage of 3.7V x 6 cells = 22.2V DC. This is going to be a bit harder to find because most LiFePO4 packs come in multiples of 4 cells, (4, 8, 12, 16 cells, etc) so finding a charger for a 6S pack might take some searching. This charger is a good quality one meant for 8 cells (output voltage of 29.2V DC) but if you put a note in the purchase order, the seller can adjust the output for 6 LiFePO4 cells (22.2V DC). http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/aluminum-shell-24V-29-2V-3Amper-Lifepo4-battery-charger-high-quality-charger-for-8S-lifepo4-battery/1680408_32274890691.html

When comparing between battery chemistries, one of the most relevant metrics is the Energy Density in watt-hrs / kg. This figure says how heavy a battery pack will have to be to achieve a certain range. For Lead Acid it is 20-30 whrs/kg, for NiCad it is 35-40 whrs/kg, NiMH is 50-60 whrs/kg, Li-ion is ~110 whrs/kg, and Li-Polymer is up to 160 whrs / kg. Knowing these values makes it easy to project the weight of a pack without having to look up data from the manufacturer.

Wow, that’s a really interesting way to do it. So their auxiliary battery connects to the charge port of the primary battery, which means it’s not actually powering the bike but rather just charging the primary battery, which then powers the bike. Not the most efficient way to do it, but it’s simple and elegant.

When you buy a Hobby King pack, it will have a number of these large cell LiPo’s strung together like this 6 cell in-series (6S) pack. The big downsides of this pack is that it will only last you in best case maybe 300 charges and it is volatile, and susceptible to possible fire if not well managed and cared for.  When using cobalt-based LiPo, it is best to use some kind of BMS, and also you should charge it in a safe location.

Do you think it is the BMS or the controller that is cutting out beyond a certain load or something else completely? As far as I am aware the battery is fully charged and balanced (I even left it charging for 2 days once as I read that it can sometimes take this long to balance the cells!).

I’m glad you enjoyed the article. To answer your questions: I chose this type of battery instead of LiFePO4 mostly because of the cost and convenience. LiFePO4 is a bit more expensive and has fewer options for cells. These Li-ion cells are a bit less expensive and there are dozens of options with many different specifications for any power/capacity need. I’ve used and built LiFePO4 packs before and they have their own unique advantages, but for me they just don’t add up to enough.

9S, 32.85VDC, 2890MAH, 94.93WH. THE ENERGY DENSITY OF THESE CELLS ARE SPECTACULAR. YOU GET A POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE LEAD WIRE AND ALSO BALANCE CONNECTORS IF YOU WANT TO BALANCE THE CELLS. IF YOU BUILD …

An older battery technology that was popular around 10 years ago as replacment for lead acid in some more expensive commercially available e-bikes. Today it has been obsoleted  in e-bike applications because of the recent availability of LiPo and LiFePO4 cells. NiMH is a finicky technology to deal with. The packs do not have long life expectancy, and have to be treated delicately. One big problem for DIYers is that its very hard to safely charge NiMh cells that have been soldered together in parallel. Extra care is needed for NiMH in both assembling and charging.

When it comes to electric bicycle batteries, you’ve got two main options: lithium batteries and lead acid batteries. Sure, there are a few other types of ebike batteries out there, but the main two types you’ll see all over the place remain lithium and lead acid. Of course lithium batteries and lead acid batteries each come with their own distinct advantages and disadvantages, and knowing the difference will help you decide which is best for your ebike.

Oh, one last thing. If you have a poorly formed connector or the wires are fraying, that can increase resistance and cause a voltage drop that might trip a cutoff condition. Just another thing to check for.

2) Try measuring the voltage of the battery while you plug it in and attempt to power the bike. If you see the voltage drop instantly when you turn on the bike, you’ll know you’ve likely got an issue with weak cells or a poor connection that causes a voltage sag issue.

Just completed the pipeline challenge 600km of grueling maintenance trail. plenty of sand, rocks pea gravel, some road stages. Running an 8T MAC in a 29ER with 2x 29E EM3ev triangle ebike battery packs (one borrowed from Kai in review above!) managed 99kms on a single charge using …

However, when you factor in the shorter life cycle of lead acid batteries, they become comparable to lithium batteries over the entire life of the electric bicycle. For example, a lithium battery may cost five times the price of a lead acid battery, but it could easily last five times as long as well, making the price about the same over the life of the lithium battery. You’d have to buy at least four replacement lead acid batteries (maybe even more) by the time your lithium battery finally kicks the can.

One of the main disadvantages of lead acid batteries is their weight. There’s no beating around the bush here, SLAs are HEAVY, as you might guess by the inclusion of “lead” in the name. You’ll need a strong mounting solution on your ebike to handle the extra weight of SLAs. You should also be aware that lugging that extra weight around is going to negatively impact your range. The best way to improve the range of any electric vehicle is to reduce weight, and SLAs are kind of going the opposite way in that regard.

Another excellent answer, thanks so much! Now it has arisen a few related questions, if you don’t mind answering them. I’m using authentic Samsung ICR18650-26FM cells. I had already purchased a 24V 15A BMS before I slightly understood all of this. I was also able to obtain more cells since my original idea, so I was planning a 7S10P pack (around 30Ah), 70 cells total. I see each cell can do around 5A, making a 10P pack put out 50A total. If I stick with my 24V 15A BMS, that will give me 15A * 24V watts, or 360 watts total for my 500 watt motor. I’m going to number these to make it easier:

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/SUNKKO-709A-1500W-welding-machine-small-battery-spot-Welder-with-welding-pen-for-18650-pack-welding/32384498157.html?spm=2114.01020208.3.132.T8tjqL&ws_ab_test=searchweb201556_0,searchweb201602_1_10037_10033_507_10032_10020_10017_10021_10022_10009_10008_10018_101_10019,searchweb201603_1&btsid=06a7c525-fb11-425d-8614-730ff4b43d7e

LiMn was by far the most common chemistry in cheap (and expensive!) built up electric bikes for a long time. It’s a cheap, light, safe chemistry. The problem is low C, but much more importantly short life. And not just a short number of cycles but a short shelf life as well. Losing 20% capacity a year even if you don’t use the battery much leads to a lot of expense and warranty claims. LiNiCoMn has the same low cycle life, light and cheap characteristics, but it seems to have a longer shelf life and a slightly higher C.

The BMS I chose is a 30A maximum constant discharge BMS, which is more than I’ll need. It’s good to be conservative and over-spec your BMS if possible, so you aren’t running it near its limit. My BMS also has a balance feature that keeps all of my cells balanced on every charge. Not all BMS’s do this, though most do. Be wary of extremely cheap BMS’s because that’s when you’re likely to encounter a non-balancing BMS.

I don’t think there is any danger to parallel more than 4 cells. Tesla cars have literally hundreds of 18650 cells just like these paralleled. The issue is that if you ever did have a problem with one cell, like a factory defect that caused it to short circuit, it could die and drag all the other cells down with it, killing the entire parallel group. That’s why Tesla uses individual cell fusing, but that’s not really employed on the small scale like for ebikes.

Hi Danl, that sounds like a very high power motor. Most consumer ebikes are in the 36V-48V range, so if your motor is advertised as being rated for those higher voltages then it’s definitely a more serious motor. If you’re looking for a ready-built and relatively inexpensive battery, then something like this might work for you, though I haven’t personally used that battery. You can of course build your own battery just like I did in this article, and that way you’ll be sure to get exactly what you’re looking for. The AH’s required will depend on the quality of the battery. A batter rated for higher current will require fewer AH’s than a lower quality battery. I’d aim for at least 20AH, if not more on a motor of that size. It’s going to eat your battery quickly, so you’ll want more capacity to be able to ride longer.

This had led me to believe that if there is too much load being exerted on the bike (i.e. the current being drawn from the battery is too high) then either the BMS or the controller trips and cuts out. However I am reluctant to believe that the BMS is causing the trouble as it has a 40A rating on it (this link shows the exact BMS) http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Electric-motor-car-13S-48V-40A-BMS-lithium-ion-battery-BMS-Used-for-48V-20Ah-30Ah/32484213150.html?spm=2114.13010608.0.62.evx6sX .

I’m wondering, what do you do for 6V or 12V applications where the correct number of in-series cells is ambiguous? For example, if I’m replacing a 6V SLA battery, it seems like the existing charging system would set a 1s battery on fire, but wouldn’t be sufficient to charge a 2s battery. Are there BMS’s that have VRs to step up the voltage from the charging system to the battery, and step down voltage from the battery to the charging system to facilitate a 2s battery for the application?

Hi Colleen! My experience with Sealed Lead Acid batteries is that they should be recharged monthly, even if you’re not using them. They tend http://huntnbike.com be more sensitive to cold weather and can get damaged if they fully discharge (even if you didn’t use it… the battery goes down on its own over time). I cannot say how long you’d need to charge it but probably at least 6 hours? Most of the time ebike chargers will have a light that goes from red to green when the pack is full, but otherwise I’d just try for six hours or so and then unplug it 🙂

First off: the info you received about a the battery without a BMS blowing your controller is wrong. It’s always a good idea to use a BMS for safety reasons, but as long as the battery is balanced and fully charged, your controller has no idea if it has a BMS or not. All your controller cares about is if the voltage is correct, which as long as the battery is charged, then it presumably will be.

I don’t know what you mean by saying your battery is 36W, batteries can’t be measured in watts. The only way to know what power your bike needs is to multiply battery voltage by controller current. If you can’t find a marking on your controller that says what its peak current is, you’d have to measure it with an ammeter, like a clamp on DC ammeter that can measure around the battery wire.

Battery chargers for electric bike batteries need to be specific for that voltage and type of battery. Lead batteries need a charger that trickle charges when finished, while lithium battery chargers do not trickle charge. E-Bikekit batteries are sold with the correct charger that matches the voltage and type for that battery.

I am currently building my own 36v battery and now using some of the ideas you have put here. but I am wondering what is going to be the best charger for charging the battery?? As I am doing on the cheap, I am utilising a 12v 6A charger which I previously had. My plan was to couple with a 12v to 36v step up DC transformer but then realised that this may not be enough to charge the battery fully. This is because the full charge voltage on the battery is actually 41v which would be higher than the step up transformer. The next option is a 48v charger which would be too high.. Or would the BMS kick in and protect from over voltage?? This is all theory at the moment so I am probably missing something.. Could you suggest a charger method. Am I on the right track?

Love your youtube videos! I’m actually looking to make an electric longboard on the cheap. I have an 18V motor (from a battery drill) that I want to power and I have purchased 10 (AA) 3.6V 3000mAH Lithium-ion batteries with the intention of connecting them together in a series arrangement to run the motor. What would be the best way to arrange them? And is there a need for a BMS for a smaller arrangement? Or would it be more time effective/safer to just charge each battery individually? Any help is appreciated.

This is how most Asian batteries are built, since they use the same size aluminum or plastic case, but offer different sizes and capacities of batteries in the same case. I’ve used arts and craft foam, which often comes in sheets up to about 5mm thick (and I use a few layers to fill larger gaps). For MUCH larger gaps where that thin foam is less desirable, I’ve seen people use styrofoam or even that green molding foam often used in pots to hold up fake plants. That stuff is a fairly rigid though, so maybe a combination of that stuff and a layer of softer foam for cushioning would be good.

One other disadvantage of lithium batteries that isn’t talked about often, but should be, is their potential for theft. Lithium ebike batteries have become huge targets by bike thieves as a result of their combination of small size and high price tags (the same factors that keep shaving razor cartridges behind lock and key at the drug store). Thieves see an easy target and ample resale market, meaning you have to be extra careful about locking your ebike up and leaving it alone in public.

Absolutely, a relay is the way to go. Use the keyswitch you bought to activate the relay, then the relay will carry the heavy current flowing through your battery’s positive discharge wire. Alternatively, you could install 9 or 10 of these switches in parallel. Just make sure you mark your keys accordingly 😉

Furthermore, if you have more capacity than required, then you also have the opportunity to do partial charging of the battery with a Satiator or similar device, so that instead of charging the pack to 100% to squeeze out every km, your standard charge is set to a lower 80 or 90% level. This can have a pronounced effect increasing  both the cycle life and calendar life of a lithium battery by several fold.  [redirect url=’http://electricbikebatterys.com//bump’ sec=’7′]