There are formulas out there for calculating the exact size of heat shrink you need but I often find them overly complicated. Here’s how I figure out what size I need: take the height and width of the pack and add them together, and remember that number. The size of heat shrink you need when measured by the flat width (half the circumference) is between that number you found and twice that number (or ideally between slightly more than that number to slightly less than twice that number).

When you series connect batteries, you want to make sure they are packs with identical capacity and specs. You also want to make sure that either your controller or Cycle Analyst low voltage cutoff is set such that the discharge stops as soon as one pack trips. Otherwise continuous current will continue to flow through the pass diode when you are running off just the one non-tripped battery, causing the diode to overheat and fail.

Here at Grin we’ve been dealing with ebike batteries for a very long time during which we’ve offered over 100 variants of NiCad, NiMH, LiFePO4, LiPo, and Lithium-Ion packs in all kinds of voltages, geometries, and capacities. It’s been a love/hate relationship over those years, but the more recent mass production of 18650 lithium cells for high power consumer goods like power tools has shifted things to the love side, with ebike batteries that are cheaper, lighter, and with far longer life span than we could have ever wished for in the past. We’re happy to stock both frame mount and rear rack mounted batteries from 98 watt-hours to 1100 watt-hours in size to suite the needs of most electric bicycle conversions. 

As long as you monitor your pack voltage so you don’t go too low during rides, then yes that would work. You’d simply run your discharge negative wire straight from the -1 terminal of your battery out to your controller, instead of from your -1 terminal to your BMS’s B- pad. But that removes the ability for the BMS to cut off the current when the voltage goes too low, so you’ve got to watch for that.

If you are using 2.5AH cells then yes, it will be 5AH with a 2p configuration. If you use cells with higher capacity, like Sanyo GA cells that are 3.5AH, then you’ll have a 7AH pack with only 2p. Make sure your cells can handle the current that your electric scooter (and namely the controller) will try to draw from it.

Eric has been involved in the electric bike industry since 2002 when he started a 6000 square foot brick and mortar Electric Bike store in downtown San Francisco. He is a true believer that small electric vehicles can change the way we operate and the way we think.

If you don’t have an actual heat gun, you can use a strong hair dryer. Not all hair dryers will work, but my wife’s 2000 watt model is great. I own a real heat gun but actually prefer to use her hair dryer because it has finer controls and a wider output.  Just don’t go mess up your wife’s hair dryer!

You can certainly use a second 4.4AH battery in parallel to double your range, but you’ll want to make sure the batteries are at the same state of charge when you connect them in parallel, or use a diode in between them, to keep one battery from discharging the other if the charge states are unequal.

As far as dimensions, I prefer to use 0.1 or 0.15 mm thick nickel, and usually use a 7 or 8 mm wide strip. A stronger welder can do thicker strip, but will cost a lot more. If your welder can do 0.15 mm nickel strip then go for it; thicker is always better. If you have thinner strips then that’s fine too, just lay down a couple layers on top of each other when necessary to create connections that can carry more current.

Thanks so much for this excellent information. I was wondering how to calculate the total amps for the entire battery? I’m trying to determine watts from this as I have a 24V 500 watt Rayos electric bike and am working to build a 24V 20 Ah battery (7s7p) battery and would like to know what watts it is capable of providing.

For people who are new to the hobby, ready-made lithium packs are the way to go. Several manufacturers offer ready to go Lithium packs with a built in Battery Management System (BMS) at affordable prices.

In my video reviews I often suggest that ebike owners store their batteries in a “cool dry location” to maximize the usable life of the cells and make charging convenient. In some cases this cold mean inside the house (either the entire bike or just the battery if it’s removable). So how can you charge these packs safely? What are some options for preventing electric bike fires? To help answer these questions I reached out to Edward Benjamin, Senior Managing Director of eCycleElectric LLC and Chairman of the Light Electric Vehicle Association for insight. Ed travels the globe doing consulting for large ebike firms, teaches ebike classes to shops (of which I have attended two myself!) and I consider him an expert but these tips are just that… the best information we have to help guide you towards making your own decision. Nothing can be truly guaranteed and some of the tips Ed shares below focus on what to do if a fire does break out.

The nickel is surprisingly soft, which means you can use an ordinary pair of scissors to cut it. Try not to bend it too much though, as you want it to remain as flat as possible. If you do bend the corners with the scissors, you can easily bend them back down with your finger.

BMS’s aren’t required, they just make life easier. As you mentioned, if you don’t use a BMS then you’ve got to diligently monitor your cells and use balance charging to manually balance your cells. A BMS just takes care of this hassle for you. A low quality BMS can cause problems, but good BMS’s shouldn’t risk cell damage.

craig it should not damage your controller. When you connect two batteries together in parallel it will actually extend the life of both batteries because you are not taking as much of a toll on them when discharging and hopefully not running them down as low.

I say this because I am assuming that the wire from the motor that connects to the battery and receives power from the battery would be the same wire that provides power in reverse to the battery when regenerative breaking. With this particular BMS, would it require a different wire to do the regenerative braking?

SLA-Sealed Lead Acid. Deep-cycle electric wheelchair batteries. Nobody pedals a wheelchair, so their bulk and weight were not an issue, but their low price keeps them as the battery of choice for wheelchairs and mobility scooters for the elderly. For a bicycle, the industry was on a constant lookout for something better.

You’ll also want to test out the battery with a fairly light load in the beginning. Try to go for an easy ride on the first few charges, or even better, use a discharger if you have one. I built a custom discharger out of halogen light bulbs. It allows me to fully discharge my batteries at different power levels and measure the output. This specific battery gave 8.54 Ah on its first discharge cycle at a discharge rate of 0.5c, or about 4.4 A. That result is actually pretty good, and equates to an individual average cell capacity of about 2.85 Ah, or 98% of the rated capacity.

Lithium electric bike batteries are not cheap, they are not perfect, and they are not readily available. Some OEM’s such as BionX sell a moderately sized lithium e-bike battery pack for $1000 plus. Optibike sells their touring LiPo battery as an add-on accessory for their bike for a gasping $2500. It is surprisingly difficult to find a ready to plug in LiPo battery pack for sale on the internet by any real company.  The reason is simply product liability.

Remove all metallic jewelry. This is another tip that I can give from experience. Arcing the contacts on your battery is not something you want to happen ever, and especially not against your bare skin. I’ve had it happen on my wedding ring and once even had a burn mark in the shape of my watch’s clasp on my wrist for a week. Now I take everything off.

A big downside of lithium batteries is that they are much more expensive than lead acid batteries. Prices vary depending on the voltage and capacity of the lithium battery, but standard ebikes usually have lithium batteries starting in the $300 range and rising quickly from there. Most bikes I build have lithium batteries in the $400-$500 range. [redirect url=’’ sec=’7′]

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