Edit: if this article was helpful, you may like our newer article on the latest NCM/NCA battery chemistries, and also our article on high-performance batteries that are NOT made from LiPo. If you have narrowed your battery choice down to LiFePO4, make sure to check out Dogmans expert guide to LiFePO4 batteries.

Hi Micah, I have been studying your how to build an bike battery, and enjoyed all the tips. I have been having a bit of difficulty figuring out the wiring portion of the construct however. For example, you talk of C, B and P pads and wires you solder to the top and bottom of the pack; the yet don’t put arrows to or refer to their colors for easy identification. The charge and discharge instructions for connecting are gone over rather fast with little for us to identify with exactly where to attach to, etc. Could you revisit your post here and include some baby steps for those who can’t follow the reference instructions you give for wiring the BMS?

What I would recommend doing is trying to ride again and when the battery cuts off, take it inside and measure the voltage of each parallel group before you try recharging it. Measure straight on the battery. If you find one group that is lower than the rest, it is likely the problem. It might have risen back up to a reasonable voltage with no load, but it can still be lower than the rest.

I am not sure their interests align with mine. I would happily live with 1500 recharge cycles () by which time i would be sick of it anyway) instead of 2000 if I could use 3c in or out when urgently needed.

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?

The best method is to use a trusted vendor. They interact with the cell providers and are the best way to confirm whether cells are fake or not. It can be incredibly difficult to tell whether a cell is fake or not just by picking it up from the table. There are some giveaways like different printing on the wrapper, slightly different color, different stamp, different weight or different shell design, but all of those can be mimicked. That’s why I use only a handful of vendors that I’ve worked with continuously and who I know have always given me good quality cells. I had to go through some low quality ones until I found the sources I buy from now.

i am building a 10s4p 36v 18650 battery pack for my ebike, what gauge silicon wire you recommend for discharge and charge wires, i am using 2.5 amp 42.5v li-ion battery charger bought from ebay(http://www.ebay.com/itm/281639749374?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT), and 10s 36v 30amp bms bought from ebay(http://www.ebay.com/itm/182247900118?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT) and 500w 36v controller.

The battery pack is one of the defining aspects of any PEV project; by and large it determines the weight, range, and cost of the vehicle. For these reasons a solid understanding of the various battery types is more than a little useful.

I was using that battery on an ebike with a 15A controller, so that BMS was capable of twice the power I need, meaning I would only be stressing it to 50% of it’s potential by pulling 15A. That’s why I said it’s more than I’ll need. But if I wanted to put it on a bike with a 45A controller, then it would NOT be enough, and I’d need a more powerful BMS.

Micah is a mechanical engineer, tinkerer and husband. He’s spent the better part of a decade working in the electric bicycle industry, and is the author of The Ultimate DIY Ebike Guide. Micah can usually be found riding his electric bicycles around Florida, Tel Aviv, and anywhere else his ebikes wind up.

Nickel Cadmium was the old standard for rechargeable consumer cells in the familiar AA, C, 9V series. They are known for robust characteristics, a good cycle life, and high discharge capabilities. They are still widely used in cordless power tools, R/C toys and similar applications that demand large currents, but for nearly everything else NiCad’s have been replaced by NiMH and Lithiums.

I have found this BMS which is cheap (necessary for my project) and it is shipped from the UK. Because it is so cheap do you think that it may not be balancing? http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/400984825723?euid=0502c7e2b2c744ec8857879d65d46e08&cp=1

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.

Charge current depends on the cells. Most cells can take at least 500mA, some considerably more. It’s hard to know what cells you’re using. Assuming they are 18650pf Panasonic cells like I used here, 1A per cell would be fine, giving you a charge rate of 3A. They can actually batteries for e bikes more than that, but there’s no reason to push them too hard if you don’t have to.

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

Wear gloves. Work gloves, mechanic gloves, welding gloves, even latex gloves – just wear something. High enough voltage can conduct on the surface of your skin, especially if you have even slightly sweaty palms. I’ve felt the tingle enough times to always wear gloves now. In fact, my pair of choice for battery work are some old pink dish gloves. They are thin and provide great dexterity while protecting me from short circuits and sparks.

If you are excited about this improvement in battery chemistry, (NCM being 25% smaller/lighter that the fussy LiFePO4, and 300% better C-rate than the reliable and non-fussy LiMnO2) you may also be asking the question…What chemistry is next?

You’ve done your math correctly, though that “1000W” figure is largely arbitrary, and probably not the exact power level of the kit. Most 1000W kits I’ve seen use controllers in the 20-25A range, but it can vary greatly.

Remember, if a battery with a certain chemistry can “survive” at 2C, it may actually last much longer if it is sized so that the amp-draw from the controller/motor is only 1C. If it can actually be run at 2C, but it dies in a month with daily use…and yet if sized to run at 1C it lasts a year? Legally the manufacturer is not lying by calling it a 2C battery. There is nothing wrong with that, but…we here want E-bike customers to be aware of the real-world results so they can make an informed decision, and avoid the disappointment that could turn off a lot of potential E-bikers to a wonderful sport and hobby.

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If not possible, try charging them individually. Some of them might come back but others might be dead. The tricky thing is that they will likely not be able to deliver their full capacity anymore and the actual capacity will likely vary from cell to cell. Two year old cells at a very low voltage are quite a gamble.

My thinking is that because each of the batteries is only 50% stressed, that the probability of problems due to overcurrent, etc. would be negated and I wouldn’t use a BMS for the supplementary battery.

Since an E-bike’s battery pack typically has about 20~65 battery cells, it is very important to ensure the safety of the pack. Safety protection function of Samsung SDI’s pack improves the safety of the E-bike by automatically disconnecting electric power when the battery is in danger.

This page is embarrassingly old, referencing chemistries that are completely obsolete, and is due for a rewrite. In the meantime, we recommend checking out our Battery Kits Product Info page for a more current explanation on lithium specific battery packs.

The next consideration is ensuring that the battery is large enough for your required travel range; it’s no fun having a battery go flat before the end of your trip. In order to determine the range that you will get from a given battery, you need to know both the watt-hour capacity of the battery, and how much energy you use per kilometer. Sounds complicated? Not really. As a rule of thumb most people riding an ebike at average speeds consume about 10 Wh/km from their battery, and this makes the math very easy. If you have a 400 watt-hour battery, you can expect a range of 40km. A 720 watt-hour battery? ~72km

22f cells are quite low capacity and not very strong. They will work for an ebike (and are about the cheapest good quality cells out there) but they aren’t optimal. You’ll end up with a larger and heavier pack as compared to more energy dense cells like Panasonic 18650pf or Sanyo 18650ga cells.

Lithium batteries made specially for ebikes often come with specific bicycle mounting points making them easy to bolt to the bike frame, seat post or rear rack. If you go with a different type of lithium battery without ebike specific mounts, you’ll likely have to put it in a bag on the bike, which is still a good option, and one that I even prefer sometimes. (Link to blog post of mine about center frame triangle batteries).

It says it is 110 volts (220 are available) but this welder needs a 60 amp circuit (breaker) to work properly so it is not advisable to use at home! anyway, have you found this is a certainty? that you must use a 110 volt (single phase) 60 amp circuit? is this what you are using? have you been having breakers flip when you use your welder on a smaller breaker? (most homes are 20 amp breakers) Or would it just be better to go with their 2 phase (220 volt) 60 amp breaker? I guess I could just pick up another breaker and run it directly from the panel.

For this reason I like to either add a second lock specifically through the handle of my lithium battery (if it’s a removable style battery) or permanently secure it to the bike so it isn’t removable at all. The second option is less convenient because it means you have to bring the charger to the ebike, but it’s a much more secure option if you find yourself locking your ebike in public often.

Use 52v20 in place of 48v20 to get more speed New! Rechargeable Electric Bicycle Batteries 52V 20AH Lithium Ion PVC Battery. These are 18650 cell based batteries (similar 18650 type cells are used in …

Great article! Have ordered everything BUT i have a big problem with the spotwelder. Most homes in europe are limited to 10A and this spotwelder alone drags 15A just to powerupp!!!! I can even start it without blowing both fuses! And when welding it wants 50A-800A which you need a an actual POWERPLANT for!

I purchased the 220v welder, which obviously was intended to run on non-US half of a phase 220v, Of course we have full single phase 220v, so could you supply me with a hint on how to wire the unit for US 220 v.

When it comes to layout, there are two ways to assemble cells in straight packs (rectangular packs like I am building). I don’t know if there are industry terms for this, but I call the two methods “offset packing” and “linear packing”.

Thank for the great article. I made battery packs already, do you have any recommendations on chargers. I have a 53 volt pack 30 amp hr. I don’t know what charger to buy, and I’m worried as lithium batteries tend to blow up if not handled correctly.

hi i was considering adding a second set of batteries to my ebike in parallel to double the range but heared on a thread somewhere that this can damage/overload the controller which i suspect is a load of tosh but can anyone confirm/clarify this as i assumed the amp hour capacity was just that and the max amp output was just that, the maximum that can be drained at once, my understanding is it doesnt matter what amp hr the pack is as the amps drawn into the controller is governed by the demands of the motor which wont change if i have 2 packs connected. [redirect url=’http://electricbikebatterys.com//bump’ sec=’7′]