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Unread 07-27-2014, 10:35 AM   #51
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Default Re: LiFePo4 batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim C View Post
GCT_Cooper,

Do the lithiums still perform better under high discharge rates. My cart seldom is run on pavement. Come hunting season it's in the woods, crawling over logs and thru mudholes, all while hauling 3-4 people and 2-300 additional pounds.
I can't answer for golf carts, but in the RC Car world LIPO packs and the like are the best by far. All my cars came with a NiMH pack and when you upgrade to lithium polymer it's in a whole different league. Some are so powerful I stripped all my differential gears out on one car b/c I left the high speed gearing in and played on grass with it too much. The extra voltage alone will give you a good speed boost.

The C rating on the LIPO packs are crazy high compared to other battery types (granted lead acid isn't used here). By C rating I mean current rating times MAH rating. Some packs have 80C rating for example, like this one. It's a 6000MAH pack X 80C = it will handle up to 480 amps in short bursts. If the batteries that are being used here in the golf cart packs are anything similar to these, you'll be blown away at the acceleration and power. Wouldn't surprise me if people are able to screech their tires on pavement. My RC cars can do front and back flips on dirt roads with these packs. The down side to these packs, at least LIPO, is there is the potential for fire if they're punctured while hot, or severely overcharged or discharged. If the proper balance charging is done, shouldn't be a problem, but I still charge all mine in a fire resistance pouch. Something to think about in case your charger fails and you're charging your cart in the garage for example. LIPO pack fires are pretty fierce.
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Unread 07-27-2014, 01:57 PM   #52
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Default Re: LiFePo4 batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjderoche View Post
I can't answer for golf carts, but in the RC Car world LIPO packs and the like are the best by far. All my cars came with a NiMH pack and when you upgrade to lithium polymer it's in a whole different league. Some are so powerful I stripped all my differential gears out on one car b/c I left the high speed gearing in and played on grass with it too much. The extra voltage alone will give you a good speed boost.

The C rating on the LIPO packs are crazy high compared to other battery types (granted lead acid isn't used here). By C rating I mean current rating times MAH rating. Some packs have 80C rating for example, like this one. It's a 6000MAH pack X 80C = it will handle up to 480 amps in short bursts. If the batteries that are being used here in the golf cart packs are anything similar to these, you'll be blown away at the acceleration and power. Wouldn't surprise me if people are able to screech their tires on pavement. My RC cars can do front and back flips on dirt roads with these packs. The down side to these packs, at least LIPO, is there is the potential for fire if they're punctured while hot, or severely overcharged or discharged. If the proper balance charging is done, shouldn't be a problem, but I still charge all mine in a fire resistance pouch. Something to think about in case your charger fails and you're charging your cart in the garage for example. LIPO pack fires are pretty fierce.
Our pack in the dragster is made from 30 Lithium cobalt oxide RC pouches. 90C. A ton of power but not much capacity. Probably not the best chemistry for the normal cart but Lithium in general is certainly where everyone is eventually headed.



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Unread 07-28-2014, 10:17 AM   #53
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Default Re: LiFePo4 batteries

It really depends on the type of Lithium Battery being used. There are several main chemical makeups used in the lithium family of cells including Lithium Cobalt Oxide (LCO), Mithium Manganese Oxide (LMO), Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (NMC), Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP)... and the list goes on.
LCO is the older technology and still gives the most bang for it's size (highest energy density) but it comes with thermal issues... think Boeing.
NMC chemistries are the ones you will see in power tools... pretty good mix. But not readily available in the prismatic sizes.
LFP is a very stable chemistry... it has a very high output power, it can handle long runs at 2+ C-rates (100Ah cell easily running at 200A output), short spikes such as accelerations can go into the 10C range without issue.

So the short answer, a lithium ion cell chemistry focused on Power output is a great fit for these type of systems.

Stay away from chemistries focused on High Energy (LCO).... there is a reason they work well in lightweight Laptops and not in 777's.
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Unread 07-28-2014, 01:33 PM   #54
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Default Re: LiFePo4 batteries

Well i for one would like to do one of my project carts this way. I think it is a great idea. Any info on faster charge times at all?
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Unread 07-28-2014, 03:55 PM   #55
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Default Re: LiFePo4 batteries

Charge time is limited only by the charger amps you pick and the size Ah battery pack, just as FLS is. The more amps the charger puts out is directly related to price of unit. More power = more money.
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Unread 07-29-2014, 03:57 AM   #56
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Default Re: LiFePo4 batteries

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Originally Posted by Quizzy View Post
Well i for one would like to do one of my project carts this way. I think it is a great idea. Any info on faster charge times at all?
Charge rates on these can be quite fast. On my small LIPO packs most are rated for at least 2C charge rates, so my 6000mah pack can be safely charged at 12 amps. (this is a tiny single battery pack) Like was mentioned the only issue there is how much of a charger can you afford in this case. I'm sure once the right mix of high current and safe chemistry is made they'll be no more dangerous than lead acid, and likely much safer since no acid to spill. I really hope the price comes way down by the time I need new batteries!
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Unread 07-29-2014, 12:16 PM   #57
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Default Re: LiFePo4 batteries

sportcoupe - How do you keep your cells balanced? Does your charge process balance them?
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Unread 07-29-2014, 12:50 PM   #58
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Default Re: LiFePo4 batteries

Some people "top balance" their lithium packs with a battery monitoring system (BMS). That ensures no cell gets overcharged i the charging process only. This method does not prevent over discharging while using the pack (riding cart).

I choose to "bottom balance" my pack. I built a discharger that brought all batteries down to the exact same voltage level (2.75v per cell), ensuring no single cell can be over dischaged while riding the golf cart. This method is a one time balance.

I charge my bottom balance pack with a lithium profile charger that provides constant voltage (4.2v per cell in my case) at the last charge cycle till the current drops below 1 amp. This prevents over charging unless the charger were to fail.
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Unread 07-29-2014, 02:15 PM   #59
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Default Re: LiFePo4 batteries

If you are charging the cells in series they will get out of balance over time.
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Unread 07-29-2014, 03:31 PM   #60
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Default Re: LiFePo4 batteries

Yes I am charging in series. I can see them getting possibly a little out of balance over time. I have considered re-bottom balancing them yearly.
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