Believe it or not, most BMS’s can handle the current from regenerative braking in the discharge mosfets as its rarely more than 5-7A. Some BMS’s (called two wire BMS’s) actually use batteries for electric scooters replacement same mosfets for charging and discharging. Those inherently should be more than capable of dealing with the load from regen.
For example, suppose you see a 24V 4Ah NiMH battery pack on ebay, that is rated for 1C continuous and 2C max for short times. You might want to get two of these to make a 48V 4Ah battery for your ebike. You calculate that the range will be more than adequate for your short commute to work and back. The problem is that 1C is just 4 amps, while your ebike will probably draw 10-20 amps. If these cells are subject to such discharge rates, then the voltage will sag considerably, leading to slower performance, and the cycle life of the packs will be greatly reduced.
Whether you’re shopping for a turn-key commercially available electric bike, or trying to find or build a good battery for an e-bike conversion, being able to find the right battery for an electric bike is a difficult task. The right battery pack is the most difficult part of the e-bike equation. Keep in mind that even if you’re buying a turn-key electric bike, the lithium battery is more than likely the most expensive component in it, and…not all lithium batteries are created equal, so you should know what you are getting before you buy the ebike.
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 😉
A quick note: when you get into large sizes of heat shrink, the method of quoting the size often changes from referring to the diameter of the tube to referring to the flat width (or half the circumference when in a circle). This is because at these large sizes, it’s not so much a tube anymore as two flat sheets fused together, sort of like an envelope. Keep that in mind and know what size is being quoted when you buy your large diameter heat shrink tube.
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.
I am having 36v lithium battery with 4.4 Ah(segway -balancing wheel battery pack ) but i want to convert this battery in to 36v with 9 ah is it possible to add one more 36v lithium 4.4 ah battery with this and i can use as 36v 8.8 ah battery ???? please help me iam not getting lithium battery in india for my e bike
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.
There is some research into 18650 packs that use pressure connectors like in a remote control but most results aren’t impressive yet. It’s difficult to get a good enough connection to deliver high enough power for ebike applications. The ones that are close to working use custom designed enclosures. Don’t attempt to do it with off-the-shelf 18650 holders with spring contacts — you’ll melt them in no time.
RC packs may be fine for enthusiasts that know what they’re doing, but even telling others about them scares me! FIRE! And secondly, they typically don’t have any BMS so don’t have any inherent protection from over-under voltage or balancing. FIRE!
You’ll need someway to hold your cells in a straight line while welding, as free-handing is harder than it looks. I have a nice jig (that I received as a free ‘gift’ with the purchase of one of my welders) for holding my cells in a straight line while welding. However, before I received it I used a simple wooden jig I made to hold the cells while I hot glued them into a straight line.
Also, since the negative electrode is the entire bottom and sides of the cell (formed by a metal cylinder) these cells can take some bouncing around. Be aware if you scratch the plastic wrap on the cylinder, the metal shell underneath is energized to the negative electrode, so…an electrical short may be possible.
Have a plan on where you are going to charge your bike before settling on a battery chemistry. If you live in a crowded apartment building and the only place you have to charge is in your living room floor, you may want to decide against any of these lithium technologies.
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.
Nissan, Imara, Microvast, and Zero E-motorcycles are now using NMC after extensive testing. Let’s take a quick run down memory lane to show how battery chemistry has evolved in just a few short decades. The following is not the order of their invention, just what my foggy memory recalls as seeing them used in E-bike battery packs.
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I’ve been building a 13s6p Li-ion battery based on your article, and everything went swimmingly (except underestimating the amount of nickel I’d need) until I started hooking up the BMS. I was in the middle of hooking up the sense lines, and the BMS smoked. Opening it up, it looks like a few of the caps that couple adjacent nodes burned. Have you seen this before? Any thoughts on what I may have done wrong, or does this just happen sometimes when a cap’s voltage tolerance is outside spec?
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.
Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) remains the most affordable entry-level battery option. However, their life-cycle is so short, it is more cost-effective to pay twice as much to get a lithium-based battery that will last 6-times longer.
The other thing to consider is that if you have one 48-volt 10-Ah battery putting out a measly 20 amps, you can add a second version of the same battery, wire them together in parallel, and you will have a 20-Ah pack with a 40-amp capacity, thus effectively doubling your range and doubling your amp output performance.
Offset packing results in a shorter pack because the parallel groups are offset by half a cell, taking up part of the space between the cells of the previous parallel group. However, this results in a somewhat wider pack as the offset parallel groups extend to each side by a quarter of a cell more than they would have in linear packing. Offset packing is handy for times where you need to fit the pack into a shorter area (such as the frame triangle) and don’t care about the width penalty.
Do you have any charts showing the different weights by voltage for lead acid vs lithium? It would be good info to be able to see the penalty paid for cheap lead acid in a mid level build when compared to the equivalent lithium setup.
I am just trying to install a battery on a velomini 1 that I traded for. I don’t have a problem using the above battery as a hang on battery, but don’t know if it has the BMS in it or if my current charger would charge it. It is pretty cheap.
One other unrelated question: Do commercially available eBike batteries generally use off-brand cells for their assembled batteries to bring cost down, or similar to the cells, do reliable eBike companies use name-brand cells and off-brand internet vendors use off-brand cells?