Regarding the cell question, its a mixture of both. Cheap ebikes use cheap cells. You can bet the Sonders ebike had the cheapest cells available. Name brand ebikes usually use Samsung cells, but sometimes LG and occasionally Panasonic cells can be found in name brand ebikes (the Panasonics are some of the most expensive and so they are rarer). That being said, I’ve seen some shadier internet sites selling high quality (and genuine) Samsung/Panasonic packs, and I’ve seen some nice ebikes with some no-name cells. You should always check with the vendor/manufacturer if you want to ensure you’re getting good cells. Unfortunately, it can be hard to verify the cells yourself though without voiding the warranty, as they are usually sealed under shrink wrap. A good vendor will be happy to confirm the cells for you ahead of time and may even be able to show you some pictures of opened packs to verify.
Assuming the original battery is a li-ion battery and has the same number of cells in series (same voltage), then yes it should charge it. However, looking at the picture of the battery in that listing, I can tell you that is not a picture a 24V 25AH battery. That picture has 6 cells, and a 24V 25AH battery will have something more like 56 cells. That picture looks like a 22V 3AH battery. It could be that they simply used the wrong picture in the listing, though I doubt it as that would be an insanely good price for that size of a battery. but I’d be wary of that offer either way.
The purchase price is often a turnoff for many people, but in reality $200 for a good hobby-level spot welder isn’t bad. All together, the supplies for my first battery, including the cost of the tools like the spot welder, ending up costing me about the same as if I had bought a retail battery of equal performance. That meant that in the end I had a new battery and I considered all the tools as free. Since then I’ve used them to build countless more batteries and made some huge savings!
I also don’t have a spot welder, and for the purpose of building a single 16S2P pack, I’m not sure I want to splurge on that extra $100+. I do have a whole tub of flux and a temperature-controlled soldering iron, so I’ll be attempting to solder the cells instead (extra hot and fast with lots of flux to avoid conducting too much heat into the battery internals from dwell time).
This makes sense. Yes, it would be possible. You could wire balance connectors and extra discharge plugs to make three packs out of your one 13s pack, such as two 6s packs and a 1s, or two 5s packs and a 3s, etc. Then you’d charge each one, one at at time, using your imax B6 charger. It would take a while, but that’s how you’d do it. Just be careful to not get your connectors confused, as you’ll have three sets of balance wires and three sets of discharge wires.
You will find here all Li-Ion/LiFePO4 EBike battery packs and cells, battery management system(BMS). This category includes 12V~72V Li-Ion/LiFePO4 EBike battery packs and cells, EBike bottle battery, high power battery and high C-Rate cells, 4~24 cells in series Li-Ion/LiFePO4 bleeding balancing BMS and 5~13s smart BMS.
The sense wires generally connect to the positive of each cell group, but sometimes there is one more sense wire than parallel groups because the first sense wire is intended to connect to the negative of the first cell group, then all the subsequent sense wires connect to the positive of each cell group. Each BMS should be labeled on the board to show where each sense wire goes (B1-, B1+, B2+, B3+, etc…)
Most people find that once they have an ebike, they use it for all kinds of applications and trips outide of just commuting, and the ability to go 50+ km on a charge opens up possibilities that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. Plus, as the battery ages and declines in capacity, it still has more than enough range for your key commuting needs. Imagine if instead of getting an 8Ah pack, you purchased a 15Ah battery. Even if after 4-5 years it has lost 30% of its original capacity, that’s still over 10Ah and leaves plenty of reserve for your 24km commute.
There are many different types of 18650 cells out there to choose from. I prefer to use name brand cells from companies like Panasonic, Samsung, Sony and LG. These cells have well documented performance characteristics and come from reputable factories with excellent quality control standards. Name brand 18650’s cost a bit more, but trust me, they are worth it. A great entry-level cell is the Samsung ICR18650-26F cell. These 2,600 mAh cells should cost somewhere around $3-$4 in any decent quantity and can handle up to 2C continuous discharge (5.2 A continuous per cell). I get my Samsung 26F cells from Aliexpress, usually from this seller but sometimes I’ve seen a better price here.
It’s best to try and match the cells as closely as possible based on capacity by using a lithium cell tester like this one. If you plan on using the battery you build for a high drain application, different current ratings will be more of an issue. If you have many cells in parallel and will only pull low current from each one, then different current ratings are less of an issue. It’s always best to use perfectly matched cells, though I know that’s not the cheapest option and is outside of the budget for many.
Amazing article, just what I needed. Have been doing LOTS of research but have struggled to find any real answers on which charger I should buy for my homemade battery. I am making a 48V 13s4p battery with a BMS (with balancing) like yours but am stuck as to whether I need to buy a normal bulk charger or a ‘smart charger’ that will balance the battery. My question is will the BMS balance the battery on its own or will I need to get a charger that balances also?
Landcrossers Hailong E-Bike Battery. Case Material：ABS Aluminium alloy. Fuse Installation position:Inside on the PCB. Fuse Diameter(mm):5. Fuse Length(mm):30. Fuse Current: 30A. 1 x Lithium Battery wi…
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 .
Sure, it is possible to solder directly to the cells (though it can be tricky without the right tools). The problem with soldering is that you add a lot of heat to the cell and it doesn’t dissipate very quickly. This speeds up a chemical reaction in the cell which robs the cell of its performance. The result is a cell that delivers less capacity and dies an earlier life.
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40% grade hills? That’s huge! You’ll definitely want a cell that can perform at high current since you’ll be pulling peak power from those cells to get up those big hills. Something like the Samsung 25R would be a good choice for this application.
Please do not ask us to overvolt or otherwise modify your eBike to exceed 20 mph. First off, we have yet to have a customer who has (on their own) overvolted their bike to go above 25 mph and avoided a hospital visit within their first 6 months of doing so.
I have been looking up materials and researching where to buy them for my battery pack. I’ve come to the exact conclusions (and almost the exact same materials) that you write about in this great article. Too bad i didn’t find it earlier… Doh!
The single best manufacturer is BesTechPower, but their BMS’s are really expensive and they have a minimum order quantity of 2. For ‘best bang for your buck’ BMS’s I’d recommend Greentime BMS’s. They are great for most ebike applications outside of serious hotrods and speed machines. I use them on most of my packs.
Panasonic and Samsung are the only manufacturers I know of that are producing this chemistry (several other manufacturers buy these and re-label them as their own). Since you would have to buy the bare cells in order to solder together your own pack, I wouldn’t have mentioned these just yet, but…EBAY-seller supowerbattery111 is selling these, and…he will also professionally spot-weld the cells into groups for a small fee, which reduces your pack-building efforts down to about 1/10th of what it would be otherwise. His main business seems to be refurbishing cordless tool battery packs that have worn out.
When it comes to the nickel strip you’ll be using to connect the 18650 batteries together, you will have two options: nickel-plated steel strips and pure nickel strips. Go for the pure nickel. It costs a little bit more than nickel plated steel but it has much lower resistance. That will translate into less wasted heat, more range from your battery, and a longer useful battery lifetime due to less heat damage to the cells.
Thank you for the very informative post, and it has helped a lot. I plan on building a battery pack with 20 cells with blocks of 4 in parallel, and then I am going to put those in series to make an 18.5V, 13.6A pack. Sorry if these sounds a little bit foolish, but I am not sure what kind of BMS I should be using. Would I be able to use any BMS or would there be an issue with having extra wires if the BMS can power more batteries in series?
Actually I have ran into a problem – a few days ago I was riding it up a hill on a hot day when the power cut off and it wouldn’t start again. When I tried to charge it, the light on the charger just flickered from green to orange. I took out the battery and found that one of the cells had corroded from what looks like overheating. I think that the battery pack failure was most likely caused by too much of a load applied to the battery pack.
Thanks again for the great info, that is really helpful. I just have one last question. On the XLR connections there is a hot, neutral and ground. It appears on the battery you linked to that there are just two wires, how can I ensure which prongs of the male XLR connection on the Porteur are hot and negative? Also, do I just leave the ground spot on the female XLR connection open since there is just a hot and negative wire?
Why do we alternate sides of the pack during the welding process? We do it because in this way we connect the positive terminal of each parallel group to the negative terminal of the next group in line. That’s how series connections work: always positive to negative to positive to negative, alternating between the two.
Nickel Metal Hydride is quite similar to Nickel Cadmium, but with a higher energy density and a safer environmental record when disposed of in landfills. This is the dominant rechargeable battery type in digital cameras and other consumer products that offer user replaceable cells.
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The 48V, 8AH lithium battery of this ebike is removable. Material: Aluminium alloy frame. E-bike & Assisted bicycle, you can choose the E-bike to enjoy a long time travel, and also exercise. Combining…
i noticed that bms installation is different (as i guess) from the video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSv9bke52eY&index=10&list=LLDXj2cy8mbQoc0dz3RO3zFw) i have watched before. In this video bms wires were connected on the negative poles of batteries lifepo4. In my amateur opinion i could not understand how we organize BMS connections for my 13s pack. if you illuminate me, i will be preciated.
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).
Lead acid batteries are much larger and heavier than lithium batteries, limiting their placement on ebikes. They almost never come packaged with ebike specific mounting hardware which means that they generally have to go in a bag on the rear rack or in panniers on either side if the rear wheel. Mounting them up high on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_bicycle rack isn’t a good idea either because it will negatively affect handling. Generally speaking, you want to mount your batteries as low as possible to keep the center of gravity of the ebike lower towards the ground. This will significantly improve your ebike’s handling.
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