There are two main levels of spot welders currently available: hobby level and professional. A good hobby model should run about $200, while a good professional one can easily be ten times that price. I’ve never had a professional welder because I just can’t justify the cost, but I do own three different hobby models and have played around with many more. Their quality is very hit or miss, even on identical models from the same seller. Unfortunately the lemon ratio is quite high, meaning you could fork over a couple hundred bucks for a machine that just won’t work right (like my first welder!). Again, this is a good reason to use a site with buyer protection like Aliexpress.com.
Then I took the sense wire labeled B1 and soldered it to the positive terminal of the first parallel group (which also happens to be the same as the negative terminal of the second parallel group, as they are connected together with nickel strip).
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I am however encountering problems in finding a BMS for my pack which will be 2 or 3 P and 7 S to replace 24V 6 AH in frame battery pack. Can you please enlighten me as to where I can access a suitable BMS. Thanks for any help. K.
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.
– BMS/Greenbikekit are now selling cased or shrinkwrap LiFePo batteries based on high capacity cylindrical cells probably from Headway and with a BMS. These have a higher C Rating between 5C and 10C. This makes a 48v-10AHr battery useable in a high performance kit with 30-40A max. Using this with a 1000W-1500W motor/controller should work fine. This is heavier than LiPo but close to the holy grail. Long lasting, safe/easy/convenient, high power.
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Note that in the article it says that LiFePo is the most commonly used chemistry. I think that depends on where you are looking. I suspect that LiNiCoMn or the older LiMn is actually most common in terms of total unit cells because they’re the cheapest and get used in the low end E-Bike market in China.
If I regroup my 12 paralled cells in 10 modules, can I then join these in series using single wires (one for neg, one for pos) between modules, instead of wiring each terminals of each cells like you are doing. Could this affect BMS and/or have any negative impact on cells balance?
my questions are obviously related to sla’s as this is what i have now but if answers differ according to battery chemistry i would like to know this as well for future reference any info much appreciated cheers craig
Charge voltage for li-ion cells is 4.2V per cell maximum. So for a 36V 10s battery you’d want to charge it to a maximum of 42V. Charging slightly lower will increase the life of the battery, but isn’t a requirement.
Lastly, regarding the spot welder. I actually prefer to use the kind like you said, with the two arms that lift up and provide equal pressure at each weld. The kind with two long welding cables like this welder has both options which is nice, especially for if you need to reach to the middle of a pack to make a repair or if you missed a weld. I mostly use the short rigid arms though and just weld one row at a time before adding more cells – that way I can reach all the cells with the short arms.
To wire the BMS, we first need to determine which of the sense wires (the many thin wires) is the first one (destined for the first parallel group). Look for the wires to be numbered on one side the board. Mine is on the backside of the board and I forgot to take a picture of it before installing it, but trust me that I took note of which end the sense wires start on. You don’t want to make a mistake and connect the sense wires starting in the wrong direction.
I want to use my two 4Ah Ryobi lithium batteries 18volts in series for 36 volts. I have a charger for them , they use 15 batteries each so 30 total, they are $50 each. This seems similar to your 36v build for about $3 each so $90 total, plus a spot welder for $1oo. I want to get a 38v/750 48v/1000w rear motor recommended from your web site from aliexpress. Do you think that these will work for my bicycle?
As you draw current from a battery pack, the voltage will very slowly decrease until the cells start to go flat and then the voltage will plummet. The time that the battery lasts for is directly related to its capacity, measured in amp-hours (Ah). A pack that can deliver 1 amp for 1 hour has a capacity of 1 Ah. Most ebike batteries are on the order of 10 amp-hours. Suppose your bike uses 15 amps on average and has a 10Ah pack, then you would expect it to last for – quick, mental calculation… – 40 minutes.
These cells are distinctive due to their cylindrical shape and are about the size of a finger. Depending on the size of the battery you plan to build, you’ll need anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred of them.
Bigger is better! And I know a better way batteries should be made. I use 560 of the Panasonic 18650b battery cells with 3.4AH per cell, wich in the end gave me (7kwh battery ebike!), that’s more than 300+ miles battery range easy. And I’ve learned that these batteries can be assembled like Lego blocks instead and eliminate harmful heat from soldiering, and wastful glueing. The benefit is a battery pack that can have removable, repairable, and reconfigurable battery cells! Its called (battery blocs) patiented by Shawn McCarthy. Unfortunatly its not the cheap method and requires a 3d printer to make. It spaces the cells slightly apart for better air cooling. Mine are packed into 4 PVC tubes run either at 103.6v or 51.8v. I believe along with some experts that a BMS is not required and can cause battery cells to fail early!, and a proper set voltage monitor and regulator prevents over discharge damage and you need to a timer and monitor the cell voltages with cell monitors while charging. Cooling setup would be a pluse to extend life. That’s all for now, best luck to all battery builders.
LiPo’s are the smallest, cheapest, lightest and most powerful lithium batteries. Their disadvantages include short lifespan and propensity to combust into giant fireballs if not cared for correctly (I’m not kidding, check out the short video clip below).
hello, firstly i would like to say that i think this is a brilliant article its really helped me understand a lot more about how this works and how i can use a similar system for my project but i am a little confused and i was hoping to pick your brains….
Electric bikes in the UK tend to come with either Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) or Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries. In China, on the other hand, lead acid batteries are still the most common ones used. In 2014 – according to the China Bicycle Association / IdTechEx – 35 million eBikes were sold on the Chinese market, and just 2.8 million of them had lithium battery.
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.
When it comes to nickel strip, I also like to use Aliexpress. You can also find it on ebay or even a local source if you’re lucky. Once I started building lots of batteries I began buying pure nickel strip by the kilogram here, but in the beginning I recommend you pick up a smaller amount. You can get pure nickel strip for a good price in smaller amounts from a seller like this one, but you’ll still get the best price by buying it in kilo or half kilo quanitites.
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:
3. i saw 18650 and 26650 li ion batteries which are more powerful such as 6000 – 8000 mah. i think they are fake??? i need 48v 10ah or 20ah minimum i guess as a pack ??? your advices are important. thanks for all…
For 12V applications, such as 12V power tools, 3s is the standard. That gives 11.1V nominal and 12.6V fully charged. 6V is trickier, and I imagine you’d have to go with 2s. However, when it comes to charging you should ONLY use a commercial lithium battery charger. Don’t try to use a stock SLA charger – it won’t work for lithium. You need a very specific voltage to reach full charge on lithium (4.2V per cell) and you need a constant current, constant voltage (CC-CV) type charger to ensure safe charging. This is all done in the charger. The BMS only monitors the cells and also cuts current during charging if something goes – the actual charge voltage and current is handled in the charger.
I understand that the Ebay battery may run low, but as it is running in parallel to the “Whale”, I’ simply use the “Whale” LED display as rough guid to both batteries charge state (assuming I fully charge both batteries each time before I ride).
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Lithium Polymer is by far the lightest battery option out there. LiPoly cells that can handle very high discharge currents are becoming widely available and are especially popular in the R/C crowd for electric airplanes and helicopters, but ebike LiPoly packs are often made with cells that are only rated to 1C or 2C, and these don’t usually deliver a very good cycle life count. The cells are produced in a thin plastic pouch rather than a metal can, making them structurally quite vulnerable unless supplied with a rigid enclosure. Although Lithium Polymer has a reputation for being volatile and failing with spectacular pyrotechnics, there are companies making cells these days that are quite stable and can pass the fullUN 38.3 overcharging and puncture tests without any flames.
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The main limitation of those holders is power – they can’t handle it. For a few amps, they might be fine, but ebikes require dozens of amps, which would surely melt those guys. Think about it this way: professional ebike batteries have big hunks of nickel plate welded between cells. The tiny little spring contacts of those holders will never compare to that kind of current carrying ability.
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.
Thank you very much for quick answer. You give me a good advice and I will use it. To sum up, now I am on the cross Li-ion or LiFePO4, can you sugest me some othre examples like Panasonic 18650 which you tested and you clame are good batterys? For BMS, is there special tipe which are good or there is no different or just like you says it must be for a bit stronger etc. batterys give 30A we must have a bit stronger BMS like for 40A?
Well, you’re right that I wouldn’t recommend it! I admire your ingenuity but there are a couple big issues with this setup: 1) You have 4 groups of 10 series cells but no way to balance between them. The 4 cells need to be paralled before they are wired in series otherwise they will get increasingly out of balance with each charge/discharge cycle. 2) I’m not sure you’d get a good enough contact from a copper spring or busbar that is just held on the end of the cells in compression. The copper will also corrode over time and caused increase resistance at the point it touches the cells and problems down the road.