DIY Electric Car Forums banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I know, a little bit OT (because EV forum), but I know, here are many experienced people, thats why I ask here:

Does any1 have experience with LiFe(Y)PO4 batteries replacing the lead ones within an ICE car? My old one is going near to dead, so it would be a very interesting point for me because of the much less weight and more cycles.

Thank you very much!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,222 Posts
I doubt they have a longer cycle life in this application. Starting batteries only have about a 10 cycle life if deep cycled but about a 5000 cycle life at 5% depth of discharge. That is why a starting battery can often last over 5 years in an ICE automobile. The DOD is very shallow starting a car, a few hundred amps for only a few seconds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
870 Posts
The cost IMHO isn't worth it. The lifespan of a lead-acid battery is long enough where the two or so that you replace in a 10 year lifespan is going to cost less than 4 LiFePO4 cells.

Plus you will have a tough time if you live in a cold climate like I do because the lead-acid specified for your vehicle will likely outperform, say, a Headway LiFePO4 when temps drop below -20. I've thought of it too until I did some research on cold temperatures and LiFePO4 and I just wouldn't go for it unless you want to do a guess and check setting your freezer as cold as you can and tossing the cells in overnight and pulling them out and attaching them to your car to test, but then again the oil isn't as thick as it would be at winter temps either so you'd want a step up from even that. Not to mention you'd want to pull them to do a balance charge here and there too to keep them in check. More effort than its worth even if the cost were the same for the application. ...plus if you ever leave a dome light on or headlights on and you drain the cells they are done. Lead-acid is more forgiving to that sort of mistake. Just my opinion however, it seems to work for guys who off-season their motorcycles and other 6v and 12v vehicles that hate that they have to trickle these things every other month to keep them alive. ...for a daily driver in the winter, I think otherwise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,317 Posts
I would say the only benifit would be reduced weight, or if your normal use discharges the starting battery more than usual. IE big stereo, winch, off road lights used when the vehicle isn't running.

If you are a "typical" user that just starts the car with it, and you aren't trying to remove every pound possible then just stick with lead. They actually do work well for that (but that's about it).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
261 Posts
Not that OEM's are the epitome of engineering, but the scant few hybrids and EV's out there have historically kept the accessory battery as lead/acid- so there must be a reason. As far as using in your car, how were you thinking of charging your lithium cells? An alternator AFAIK would not charge to a high enough voltage to make your cells happy. And I am asking this because I am considering doing the same thing, not because I want to deter you from doing so....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,293 Posts
Not that OEM's are the epitome of engineering, but the scant few hybrids and EV's out there have historically kept the accessory battery as lead/acid- so there must be a reason.
purely cost... if a $100 lead battery does the same job as $400 worth of lithium, the OEMs stick with lead. Especially since buyers are the ones replacing the batteries when they die after 48 months.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
966 Posts
If you drive for fuel economy and have removed your alternator this might be worthwhile, otherwise I would worry that you would overcharge the lithium battery into oblivion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
I'm more worried about overdischarging than overcharging. If the alternator is ok it wont take your battery over 14.4 volts (3.6 V per cell), but if you forget the lights or something else on there is nothing to prevent the disaster:rolleyes:

Plus you will have a tough time if you live in a cold climate like I do because the lead-acid specified for your vehicle will likely outperform, say, a Headway LiFePO4 when temps drop below -20

How about these LifeYPo4s? Would they survive in cold climate?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
870 Posts
How about these LifeYPo4s? Would they survive in cold climate?
They will still have high internal resistance, a 40Ah cell likely won't handle it in the cold, in fact 4 Headway 8Ah power cells in series will probably do better than 4 of the 40Ah of Thunder Sky in series at frigid temperatures.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I'm also interested in this topic...
I want to replace lead acid for space and weight reasons.
My question is, seems I don't need an overcharge, but I do need an undercharge protector.
Moreover, do I need a balancer circuit?
If so, if there something specific?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
I'm also interested in this topic...
I want to replace lead acid for space and weight reasons.
My question is, seems I don't need an overcharge, but I do need an undercharge protector.
Moreover, do I need a balancer circuit?
If so, if there something specific?
Check out these. I'm waiting for some expertise in another thread but they are very attractive price-wise. They will have overcharge protection and I hear are talking about undercharge protection later in the year. http://www.shoraipower.com/
Apparently they have very good American product support.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,293 Posts
if they are Li based, they will not 'self-discharge' like lead will, but that is only an issue if the car sits for long periods. Li does NOT like huge loads though, which creates internal heat, which shortens the life, which is probably why they are talking about a 2 year warranty where you can get 80 months out of a good lead starter battery.

unless the cell pack is designed such tha tthe max output 'charging' voltage from alternator is within safe max voltage of the cell chem... you may be asking for trouble. i.e. if it is just 4x3.2v cells, the max voltage from alternator had better be no more than 4x3.8 or you will be frying cells.

I would say using LiFePO4 as a started battery is 'probably not' a good idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
248 Posts
Hello all,

I know, a little bit OT (because EV forum), but I know, here are many experienced people, thats why I ask here:

Does any1 have experience with LiFe(Y)PO4 batteries replacing the lead ones within an ICE car? My old one is going near to dead, so it would be a very interesting point for me because of the much less weight and more cycles.

Thank you very much!
The world has too many nay sayers. LiFePO4 will have a future in aviation batteries first (weight), but once they have proven themselves they will make their way into cars for all the same reasons. They do require more care and feeding and expense but just give it time. Besides... we're going all electric soon anyway, right ;)

-Bruce
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Porsche's Weight-Saving Lithium-Ion Car Battery

Weight is the enemy of fuel economy on the highway and quick lap times on the track. Porsche has one solution in the form of a lithium-ion replacement starter (main) battery that weighs in at just 13 pounds vs. 35 pounds for the traditional lead acid battery. "Less weight naturally means greater agility and driving dynamics," Porsche notes in its release. This four-cell battery runs $1,700 which, Porschephiles will be quick to agree, isn't all that much for a Porsche option. It's available on the 2010 Porsche 911 GT3, 911 GT3 RS, and Boxster Spyder. You get the standard lead acid battery as well and the two can be quickly swapped for track days.

Porsche says the two batteries have the same fastening points, connections, and voltage range. Dimensions are the same except the lithium battery is 2.8" lower. It has a capacity of 18 amp-hours vs. 60 Ah for a standard lead-acid battery, but the lithium-ion battery delivers all its power, Porsche says, while a standard battery delivers about 30% of what's available. Porsche also says the lithium-ion battery has more charge-discharge cycles and is quicker to recharge. Porsche recommends against using the lithium battery below 32 degrees because of its characteristics. You can charge it and jump-start like a normal battery and the internal electronics protect against overcharge situations.

http://www.gearlog.com/2009/11/porsches_weight-saving_lithium.php

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
I was interested about people's experiences, thank you for the link. Those are Headway 38120S cells right? The problem with these is the temperature range, manufacturer says they can be charged above -10 Celsius and discharged above -20. That works in warmer climate, but not in here where I live.

http://www.chinaheadway.com/en/productsh.asp?id=187

LiFeYPo4 can be charged and discharged to minus 45 Celsius (according to Winston Battery), but its cold performance is poor as MN Driver said.

http://en.winston-battery.com/index.php/products/power-battery/item/wb-lyp90aha?category_id=176
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
870 Posts
It depends on what performance you need out of them and if you are willing to deal with a quirky start to warm them up if they don't perform as well in the cold as you need them to. Unfortunetly I haven't seen anyone cold test these cells and document much of anything yet. I nearly had my hands on some 100Ah TS cells to do this kind of testing but I haven't heard back from that person in awhile. It sucks because I have a 500 amp load sitting here doing nothing waiting for a cell or cells to test this with. For all I know they might start a car just fine, lead-acid batteries sag in the cold too and usually we look at LiFePO4 cells and see much smaller amounts of sag and consider them saggy. The only real test would be to buy them and see if they perform. Of course its a little risky on a $$ perspective if it doesn't work. I'd personally go with 38120P cells from Headway.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top