lifted club cars - lifted ezgo
Home FAQDonate Who's Online
Go Back   Buggies Gone Wild Golf Cart Forum > Golf Cart Repair and Troubleshooting > Electric Club Car
Electric Club Car Electric DS, and Precedent golf cars



Post New Thread  Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 06-28-2011, 01:20 PM   #1
Not Yet Wild
Mixed Breed
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Salt Lake City
Posts: 24
Default The lithium project

I wanted to start a thread journaling what I've done with lithium batteries in a golf cart.

My background is as follows: I've been golfing since I was 6, and I'm now 26... so 20 years. About 9 months ago I started working for a lithium battery company in Salt Lake City. This company was established to supply telecommunications companies and EV hobbyists with lithium batteries. Over my first few months here, we fielded about a dozen inquiries into supplying lithium batteries for golf carts. Nobody really knew what to tell them because nobody had any experience with golf carts. Having spent so much time on golf courses as a teenager, I at least had a basic understanding, so I volunteered to take on this project of experimenting with lithium batteries in a golf cart.

I started with an internet search, and the first thing I learned was that a company in Southern CA had done a lot of groundwork with lithium batts. They even had a couple of their packs installed into carts at La Jolla Country Club. (you can find video of that on YouTube) I e-mailed the maintenance director there and he was thrilled with the batteries, just not the pricetag! So we decided to get a cart of our own, install some batteries with a BMS, and do some testing!

At the end of February, we purchased a 2006 CC Precedent which had just been turned in from a local country club. Below are some pics up to this point. We had the cart and the nasty Lead-Acid batteries (which really aren't that bad for lead-acids...)

We banded out lithium cells into 12V packs and modified the existing system for securing the batteries. We wired in the BMS, which required a voltage reducer because the BMS itself is designed to run off a 12V aux. battery - nice for a car, not for a golf cart! There were some tricky parts in the wiring because this particular BMS will divert the throttle input through a resistor when the cells reach 70% DoD, basically providing a 'limp mode' to preserve the batteries. We had to figure out which line to tap into - it took some extra time but we got it.

We took it out for some rides and loved the power and acceleration of the lithium set-up. But the further we went, the more we felt like the BMS was more hassle than it was worth. So I pulled it out, and we've been running it for the last few months without the BMS. We've had to monitor the charging closely because working with the OBC in the precedent has been a headache. For a few cycles, the Powerdrive charge we got from the dealer wanted to charge our cells up to 67V! I was very surprised to find that. But now it typically kicks off at about 59V, which is totally fine for these batteries. I wish we knew more about the OBC, but it's so fickle...

Anyway, we like the cart a lot, but we also knew that filling carts with little 3V batteries isn't very practical in comparison to other batter options, so we decided to abandon those cells (and the BMS), and move forward with a new battery being offered by our manufacturer that comes in 12V blocks - much more consumer friendly. I'll post some pics of those soon.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg cart.JPG (135.2 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg Nasty.batts.JPG (146.0 KB, 38 views)
File Type: jpg full.withbms.JPG (146.5 KB, 49 views)
File Type: jpg one-side.lithiumcells.JPG (140.4 KB, 44 views)
lithium.paul is offline   Reply With Quote
Alt Today
BGW

Golf car forum Sponsored Links

__________________
This advertising will not be shown in this way to registered members.
Register your free account today and become a member on Buggies Gone Wild Golf Cart Forum
   
Unread 06-28-2011, 01:27 PM   #2
Getting Wild
 
TheAspec's Avatar
E-Z-GO
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Georgia
Posts: 110
Default Re: The lithium project

Very interesting. Will you offer additional battery options in the future such as 6 volt and 8 volt?
TheAspec is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-28-2011, 02:09 PM   #3
Gone Wild
 
SaltLifeCC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 729
Default Re: The lithium project

Very interesting post. Can you not get a cart manufacturer to partner with you on this research? If there are advantages to using Lithium, I would think they would be very interested in being involved or contributing to the R&D. I am involved in some "never been done and brought to market before" R&D in my job and the companies that own the technologies we want to "marry" to ours, are very enthusiastic about partnering and assisting because it's dollars to them as well as to us.

Anyway, can you expand on what the advantages of Lithium might be in a cart? Longer range, longer run time, longer battery life? All of the above?

And, you lost me on BMS - is that "Battery Management System"?
SaltLifeCC is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-30-2011, 12:42 PM   #4
Not Yet Wild
Mixed Breed
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Salt Lake City
Posts: 24
Default Re: The lithium project

To address the manufacturer problem...
We've been working closely with both the E-Z-Go and Yamaha dealers here. They're both really interested, but not the manufacturers. I've looked into it and here's the reason why I don't think they want to make a battery switch:

Most of the manufacturers' profits come from fleet sales/leases to golf courses etc. They have this cushy status quo going for them where courses are used to renewing a lease for a new fleet every 4-5 years. So if they start manufacturing carts with batteries that last 10+ years and the carts cost $700 - $1000 more, they lose on both counts! They'd have a higher bottom line AND they wouldn't sell new carts as often - no manufacturer wants that! But that shouldn't stop consumers from getting access to the best products available for their carts. That's why I think aftermarket lithium batteries are the way to go for now. If one of the big 3 (EZGO, CC, Yamaha) starts to see individuals and then courses seeking out lithium batteries, then one of them will make the proactive choice to make the switch. And once one does, the others will follow.

As for 6v and 8v configurations, there's nothing in the works yet with our manufacturer. There's no reason it can't/won't be done. It's just that the general population is way more used to 12v batteries than 6 or 8, so that's what they've gone to first.

Last edited by lithium.paul; 06-30-2011 at 01:25 PM.. Reason: poor grammar
lithium.paul is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-30-2011, 12:55 PM   #5
Not Yet Wild
Mixed Breed
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Salt Lake City
Posts: 24
Default Re: The lithium project

BMS is short for Battery Management System, yes. Almost all lithium battery packs (for telecommunications, EV's, solar energy systems, etc..) use them to keep monitor the voltages of the individual cells in the battery system. In the pictures above, the little blue box contains the BMS, and you can see a small 18AMG wire lead to each positive post.

The main advantages of lithium are:
Extended range... the smaller 40Ah lithium batteries provide about 100 minutes of pedal time. The largest 12v option is 90Ah, and it provides 4-5 hours of pedal time!

Extended life: lithium batteries last 2,000 cycles at 80% depth of discharge, 3,000 at 70% DoD. After that, they're still very useable... they're capacity at that point is about 80-90% of new.

Lighter, smaller: 1/4 the weight, 1/3 of the size.

Those are the main ones, but you also get quicker, more efficient charging, next-to-no self discharge (2-3% monthly), exceptional temperature stability (performs the same from 0-150 degrees F.) There's no acid/fumes so they're maintenance-free, safer, and they won't freeze. Based on just the extended range and higher cycle-life, they're cheaper per cycle than lead-acid.

That's the run-down, and that's essentially why we embarked on this project. More pics coming later today (I think).

Last edited by lithium.paul; 06-30-2011 at 01:27 PM.. Reason: Incomplete
lithium.paul is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-30-2011, 01:30 PM   #6
Gone Wild
 
SaltLifeCC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 729
Default Re: The lithium project

Sounds like an opportunity for some aftermarket conversion kits, at least. It seems like the manufacturers would want to be in it to at least try to control that. Just like the auto bigs are in on the development of alternative fuel/electric vehicles.

Oh well, very interesting stuff anyway. Keep us posted.
SaltLifeCC is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
batteries
Go Back   Buggies Gone Wild Golf Cart Forum > Golf Cart Repair and Troubleshooting > Electric Club Car


Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Forum
Lithium Ion Batteries Extreme DC!
New lithium battery discussion Electric EZGO
Lithium batteries Electric EZGO
Lithium Batteries Electric EZGO


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:47 AM.


Club Car Electric | EZGO Electric | Lifted Golf Carts | Gas EZGO | Used Golf Carts and Parts

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.