Actually, the protected cells aren’t a great option for ebike packs. The protection circuit on every cell can overcomplicate things, not to mention that it usually isn’t rated to handle the same current the cell could without a protection circuit.
If you want to learn more in-depth about building your own lithium battery, you’ll want to check out my book “DIY Lithium Batteries: How To Build Your Own Battery Packs” which is an Amazon #1 Bestseller in multiple categories!
Sorry if this has been asked already but there are a ton of comments to wade through. Ten individual 18650 cells in series at a nominal voltage of 3.6 Volts would give me 36 volts. Assuming they are 2500 mAh a piece, then if I put 4 of these 10 cell in series packs together in parallel I would have a 10 Amp Hour battery correct? The same applies if I were to wire a pack together with 10 “4p” cells together in series. I’m trying to determine what the benefit of 10s4p over I guess what would be “4s10p”.
To answer your question, you can definitely build your own auxiliary battery. It looks like they used a fancy right angled female XLR connector, but I imagine a standard female XLR connector will fit just as well. I’m not sure if you’ll be voiding your warranty though by connecting your own battery. Those XLR connectors can be purchased all over ebay and probably even at your local electronics shop.
One other disadvantage of lithium batteries that isn’t talked about often, but should be, is their potential for theft. Lithium ebike batteries have become huge targets by bike thieves as a result of their combination of small size and high price tags (the same factors that keep shaving razor cartridges behind lock and key at the drug store). Thieves see an easy target and ample resale market, meaning you have to be extra careful about locking your ebike up and leaving it alone in public.
Thanks so much for all this great informating, Im going to purchase the ebook for sure! One small question first, though. I’m building a 13s8p 18650 pack from laptop batteries for my bfang 750w 25A pedicab. I already have 45V 15 Ah LiPo setups from china, but want to up my Ah.
Next comes the heat shrink tube. Large diameter heat shrink tube is hard to find, and I got lucky with a big score of different sizes from a Chinese vendor before his supply dried up. Your best bet is to check sites like eBay for short lengths of heat shrink in the size you need.
The most noteworthy battery supplier is based in the USA and is offering lithium packs based on high quality cells. A new vendor in 2015 is Lunacycle.com , so…check them out for a multitude of different packs at a very reasonable price.
1. The extra amperage that the battery could output isn’t wasted, it’s just sort of a safety factor. It means you aren’t stressing the battery to its limit. Also, batteries only http://electricbikeframes.com their full rated capacity at lower discharged. So you’re more likely to get the full capacity now than if you actually pulled 50A out of it.
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Hey Brian, good question. You can actually do regenerative braking this way, the only problem is that you won’t be using the balancing circuit part of the BMS as it will charge straight back through the discharge circuit. Theoretically this is fine, with the exception of one specific case where this could be a problem. If you charged your battery at the top of a huge hill and then immediately rolled down that hill for a long time while using regenerative braking, you could actually overcharge the battery. That scenario is pretty rare though.
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).
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.
If you have time, I’d be curious to hear about the pros and cons of this kind of approach. Is the main drawback simply the cumulative size of the plastic housing? Or is there some other limitation to this kind of hardware that makes it unsuitable?
The article was extremely informative, thank you. I’ve found everything but am struggling with good cells. At Aliexpress there are many choices but I’m struggling to get near the $2/cell mark you mentioned as a limit for decent cells and still find performance criteria of a good battery (or at all). So far I’ve found NCR18650B but it appears to have a 2C discharge rating for a 3400mA cell. At 4P this is more than enough but seems low for LiIon so I wonder if it is good? The price is $163 shipped to USA for 10s 4p 40 pieces to make 36v 13.6Ah. After adding shrink wrap, BMS and nickle strips I’m at $213 before buying a spot welder ($200). I can buy on the same site a 36v 15Ah Li Ion pack for $248. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/US-EU-No-Tax-DIY-lithium-18650-battery-pack-15AH-36V-Electric-Bike-battery-for-36V/32757165516.html?spm=2114.13010208.99999999.274.JmcpBS
One question regarding the specific battery BMS you used in this build: It uses a different wire for charging vs discharging the battery. Does this mean that the regenerative braking feature cannot be used for this battery?
As a side-note, the Boeing 777 Dreamliner battery fire was using LiCo. They wanted a battery that was as light as possible, and as compact as possible. I am not an engineer, but I agree with the statement made by “Tesla” electric car maker Elon Musk, when he said that there was NOT adequate heat insulation between each cell. Better individual cell insulation would prevent a bad cell that was getting hot from heating up the surrounding cells. That is what led to a domino effect. The Tesla cars have a cell cooling system, and the on-board computer can detect and cut-off any cell-group that is getting hot.
Thanks for the info! I have read about builders that used Sony Konion LiMn cells that were removed from Makita Drill packs. The constant theme of their reports show that the thing they seem to like the most, is that the cells seem to just stay in balance. So much so that, several have built packs with no BMS. If there is a measurable LiMn shelf life issue compared to other chemistries, it doesn’t seem to bother the DIY pack building crowd.
Most of the price involved these days in building an e-bike or buying a ready to go e-bike is the size and chemistry of the battery pack. For the consumer its important to understand the difference between a 24V, 36V, and 48V pack. Also know what a 10-Ah pack is compared to a 5-Ah pack.
I’m not sure what cells exactly you’ve got there, but a good replacement cell (assuming it has similar specs to your cells, which you’ll have to confirm) could be the Samsung 26F cell. It’s a good quality economical battery cell. I’ve gotten them from here and had great experiences with the vendor: Samsung 26F 18650 lithium battery cells
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.
Common lithium cobalt oxide (LiCoO2) batteries can catch fire or explode during loading and even when just stored. The safety depends on user precautions and the quality of the Battery Management System (BMS).
If you are concerned about the speed and power of an electric bike, pay attention to the motor size. Electric motor size is measured in watts and usually ranges between 250 and 750. When deciding on the appropriate amount of wattage, think about factors like the weight of the rider and the desired speed and terrain for the bike. If your child will mostly be on a flat surface, lower wattage should suffice; if they are planning to ride up and down hills, look for a bike with a larger motor.
The RC roots of LiPo are why they are most frequently sold in flat square foil packets with no protective covers. Hard-case cylindrical cells take up too much volume inside an RC model (airspace between the round cylinders), and RC builders are free to add as much (or as little) protective housing as they want to the flat foil-packs.
That’s exactly correct. You’d start by welding 10 parallel groups of 4 cells each, then you’d connect those 10 parallel groups in series to make one rectangular battery. I’ve done many 10s4p packs just like that for 36V 10ah ebike batteries.
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.
Now take your trip distance, multiply it by the appropriate watt-hours/km from the table above, and you’ll get the total minimum watt-hours required for the trip. Take the watt-hours you’ve estimated and divide it by the voltage, and you now have an estimate on the minimum amp-hours you’ll need from the pack.
Ebikeschool.com has a lot of great info, but I’ve spent countless hours putting even more info, examples, how to’s, reviews, maintenance steps and buying guides into my book and video course. They are some of the most fact-dense and info-rich ebike resources available today. So check them out to see if they can help you with your own ebike!
Just completed the pipeline challenge 600km of grueling maintenance trail. plenty of sand, rocks pea gravel, some road stages. Running an 8T MAC in a 29ER with 2x 29E EM3ev triangle ebike battery packs (one borrowed from Kai in review above!) managed 99kms on a single charge using …
In the end, I opted for a DPDT+OFF rocker switch, as using diodes introduced forward voltage drop and this interfered with charging enough for me to have second thoughts. This arrangement does require that the BMS be “flashed” to initiate it, which can be done by the charger in charging mode but for discharging, I found that shorting the B- and the P- for less than a second initiated the BMS and it then latched itself on, so I installed a reset button. If I had used a DPDT switch without an off position then I would not have needed to do this. However, when the BMS hits a low voltage group e.g. going up a steep hill, it will not automatically reset when the voltage recovers, so you need to use the reset button if you want to get the last bit out of the battery. I’m toying with latching this button when discharging, as the voltage drop knocks the controller out, so I think I’ll get a reaction like traction control, without having to manually reset the battery (which is annoying as it’s in a backpack).
Hailong makes some of the more refined of the generic battery enclosures from china. You’ll see them online everywhere, stuffed with whatever cells and BMS circuit appropriate to the market being addressed. They secure to the water bottle eyelets on the down tube of your bike frame, and the narrow height of this pack design allows it to fit even on smaller or hybrid frame geometries that wouldn’t normally fit a pack. We have the smaller Hailong-01 enclosure in 36V (10s 5p) and 52V (14s 4p) layouts suitable for 20-25A current setups, and the larger Hailong-03 enclsoure in 36V 23.5Ah (10s 7p) and 52V 16.5Ah(14s 5p) sizes for higher current and capacity.