One of the easiest ways to increase the current handling capability and range is to put two or more batteries in parallel. In general, with lithium batteries of the same nominal voltage, this is no problem. It is perfectly fine to mix old and new lithium batteries in parallel, or even batteries from different manufacturers and with different capacities, so long as they are the same voltage. We stock a parallel battery joining cable to facilitate connecting packs this way.
Actually, it is not recommended to use protected cells in ebike builds. There a few reasons but the main ones are 1) unreliability of the protection circuit, 2) many points of failure, and 3) lower discharge current of individual cell protection circuits.
I purchased the 220v welder, which obviously was intended to run on non-US half of a phase 220v, Of course we have full single phase 220v, so could you supply me with a hint on how to wire the unit for US 220 v.
I would not recommend trying to use a 36V charger. The voltage will be way too high and damage either the charger, battery, BMS or all three. Always use a charger that is matched to your pack’s actual charge voltage, which in your case is 22.2V DC.
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).
You’ll notice that for my charge wires I used larger diameter wires than the sense wires that came with the BMS. That’s because charging will deliver more current than those sense wires will. Also, you’ll notice the discharge wires (including the B- pad to the negative terminal of the pack) are the thickest wires of all of them, as these will carry the entire power of the whole pack during discharging. I used 16 awg for the charge wires and 12 awg for the discharge wires.
When choosing a battery for your bike, not only is the weight important but the volume is also important. You want your pack as small as possible so its easy to stow and easy to hide. So therefore you should consider you battery’s volume, not just its weight. For sure you need to go with a lithium chemistry and not an old school heavy and large Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) or Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) chemistry.
From what I can tell, the Faraday Porteur uses a 36V 5.8AH battery made from the same cells I used on the battery in this article. They only have two cells in parallel though, not three like in my battery shown here. You can build a battery just like theirs, or a 36V battery of any capacity. You could make a 12AH battery and triple your total range! Heck, you could even take a premade battery like this one and just replace the discharge cable with a XLR connector – it’d be an auxillary battery over three times as large as theirs for 2/3 the price!
Since most welders have arms like mine, I’ll show you how I did it. I started by hot gluing two parallel groups together in an offset fashion, making sure the ends were opposite (one positive and one negative at each end, as shown in the picture). Then I snipped a pile of nickel strips long enough to bridge just two cells.
LiFePo is 30 to 50% heavier and 10-20% more expensive than LiMn/LiNiCoMn. It’s safe but mainly, it’s got at least double the cycle life of LiMn/LiNiCoMn and seems to have an almost indefinite shelf life.
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?
Now that we’ve got all that pesky planning out of the way, let’s get started on the actual battery. Our work space is clear, all our tools are on hand, we’ve got our safety equipment on and we’re ready to go. We’ll begin by preparing our individual 18650 battery cells.
There are many different types of lithium ebike batteries to choose from. I’ll give a short summary of the different types of electric bicycle specific lithium batteries here, but you can get a more detailed description as well as the pros and cons of each type of lithium battery in my article Not All Lithium Batteries Were Created Equal.
Lithium Iron Phosphate is currently the most common lithium battery used in Ebike applications. It is considered the most stable lithium battery type available today (low risk of fire) and has a reasonably high life expectancy of over 1000 charges.
Regarding the soldering of cells: generally it is not recommended as no matter how you do it, a soldering iron will still transfer more heat than a spot welder. That being said, I have seen packs that have been welded using both solid or braided copper wire. I’ve also seen someone use copper wick soldered to the cells terminals. It’s impossible to know exactly how much of an effect that the heat transfer had on the cells but if you don’t mind taking a risk of some level of deterioration of the cells performance, then it technically is possible to solder the cells together.
Now you’ve got all the info you should need to make your own electric bicycle lithium battery pack. You might still need a few tools, but at least you’ve got the knowledge. Remember to take it slow, batteries for electric scooter everything out in advance and enjoy the project. And don’t forget your safety gear!
I also soldered rather than spot welded and used 1.5mm2 solid core copper between cells, pre-bent to zig-zag shapes on a jig (current is then distributed between them). Offtakes were 4mm2. Soldering technique to minimise heat on the cells was to paint the cells and the wire with flux, load the soldering iron tip with enough solder to make the joint and then, while holding the wire on with the back of a wooden pencil, touch the molten solder to the cell/wire interface and immediately remove the soldering iron tip. This worked really well in terms of soldering quality and the solder cooled very quickly indeed. I cleaned the flux off with a baby wipe and then dried it with some paper kitchen towel.
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.
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.
Lipo batteries are currently the “hottest” battery choice for electric bike enthusiasts. LiPo batteries are the most power-dense type of battery available to electric bike riders today. The problem is that LiPo battery packs for e-bikes are hard to find, especially one with high output if you are building a racing bike for riding off road.
Do you by any chance have some spare parts you can swap in? A spare controller would you let you know if the controller is faulty and tripping early. Another battery would show you if the problem was battery related.
A cell that provides close to a “real world” 2.8-Ah per 18650 cell is pretty impressive, and the 3C current-producing capability is perfect for E-bikes (a 15-Ah pack can provide a continuous 45A, and our favorite power level of 30A can be provided by a very small 10-Ah pack). If you know of anyone who builds a pack out of these, please contact us, as we are very keen to discover whatever strengths or weaknesses they may have. If you are shopping to buy these, make certain you get these specific part numbers, because similar part numbers will only have half the C-rate.
The biggest advantage of lead acid batteries is their price: dirt cheap. Lead acid batteries can be purchased from many different online retailers and local stores. Purchasing SLAs locally helps save on shipping and makes them even cheaper. Many hardware and electronic stores carry them. Even Radioshack has them, though you’ll pay more there.
Edit: if this article was helpful, you may like our newer article on the latest NCM/NCA battery chemistries, and also our article on high-performance batteries that are NOT made from LiPo. If you have narrowed your battery choice down to LiFePO4, make sure to check out Dogmans expert guide to LiFePO4 batteries.
That is definitely possible, but keep in mind that the 10 modules you want to connect in series will only need one wire between them. You don’t need to connect the negative and positive of each to the next – you only need a wire from the positive of module 1 to the negative of module 2, then a wire from the positive of module 2 to the negative of module 3 and so on.
The chain is a very important bicycle part. It is responsible for turning the wheel when a cyclist pedals the bike. Problems with the chain create major riding problems. Chains commonly get dry or rusty,…
THE SPOT WELDING IS ALREADY DONE! I KNOW ALL YOU “DO-IT-YOURSELF” E-BIKE AND POWERWALL BUILDERS OUT THERE ARE LOOKING FOR AFFORDABLE 18650 CELLS. I KNOW THESE AREN’T THE HIGHEST CAPACITY CELLS (1300MA…
Most commercially available 36V packs are around 10Ah, meaning our pack will be just a bit smaller. We could have also gone with a 4p configuration giving us 11.6 Ah, which would have been a slightly bigger and more expensive pack. The final capacity is totally defined by your own needs. Bigger isn’t always better, especially if you’re fitting a battery into tight spaces.
I use white 2mm thick craft foam and cut out a shape slightly larger than my pack. I wrap it up and seal it with electrical tape. It doesn’t have to be pretty, it just has to cover the pack. Your next step will hide the foam from view.