Verdict on Silicone Battery

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nprawira
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Joined: 07/20/2010
Points: 10

I'm a newbie and wanted to know about the track record of the silicone battery used in the E-Max. Is it as reliable as it is claimed to be? Longer lifetime, faster charging and saver too?

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PJD
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Joined: 11/22/2006
Points: 1240
Re: Verdict on Silicone Battery

The "silicone" batteries are really just a over-hyped type of gel-cell. My experience with the packs on two e-maxs is that they are comparable to, at best, conventional sealed lead acid batteries.

antiscab
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Joined: 07/07/2007
Points: 1598
Re: Verdict on Silicone Battery

ditto,

if you want to stay with lead, look at UPS batteries designed to be depleted in 15mins.
they do better with the high discharge rate in EVs

Matt

__________________

Daily Ride:
2007 Vectrix, modified with 42 x Thundersky 60Ah
Vectrix 60Ah Lithium Tyres Fuel Registration Insurance cycle analyst replacement TC Charger
conversion
Spent so far: $5800 + $7000 + $1720 + $960 + $320 + $720 + $140 + $600
Cost to do it again: $2500 + $5600 + $1720 + $960 + $320 + $720 + $140 + $600
Cost for a Petrol bike:$6000 + + $1440 + $6000 + $800 + $1400 + $3200 servicing
Total spent: $17260
Total to do again: $12560
Total to have used a petrol bike: $18840
Total distance travelled so far: 79'120km

nprawira
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Joined: 07/20/2010
Points: 10
Re: Verdict on Silicone Battery

Did you ride the Emax scooter? I found out that there are 2 companies claiming to make silicone batteries, Greensaver Corp in Ningbo and Guineng in Guangzhou. It's hard not to be enticed by their claims of being superior to ordinary lead acid batteries while not as expensive as superior batteries like lithium-ion.

The UPS battery you mentioned, what type is it and can you recommend me some brands? Do they work like deep cycle lead acid batteries? How do you find them better?

Thanks y'all

antiscab
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Joined: 07/07/2007
Points: 1598
Re: Verdict on Silicone Battery

nprawira wrote:

Did you ride the Emax scooter?

sure did, I owned two.
the first set of batteries reduced to around half of original capacity at 4'000km.
that scooter was crashed, so i bought a second one.

the battery in the second scooter failed after 1'500km due to overcharge.
more on that later.

nprawira wrote:

I found out that there are 2 companies claiming to make silicone batteries, Greensaver Corp in Ningbo and Guineng in Guangzhou. It's hard not to be enticed by their claims of being superior to ordinary lead acid batteries while not as expensive as superior batteries like lithium-ion.

The UPS battery you mentioned, what type is it and can you recommend me some brands? Do they work like deep cycle lead acid batteries? How do you find them better?

silicone batteries *are* lead acid batteries.

Guineng were original equipment in the Emax scooters.
they went bankrupt in 2008 (both guineng and Emax, but Emax is a longer story).

Greensaver batteries are good, but only equal to other lead acid batteries.
the rest is just sales hype.
eric fisher sells them in the US, though I haven't seen him online in some time.

aside from greensaver, there is powersonic ( look for PSH-12180FR ).

most lead acid battery manufacturers make agm format lead acid batteries for UPS

a battery that is intended for fast discharge has thicker interconnects, and gives more capacity at high discharge rates (at the expense of capacity at low discharge rates).

now, the original charger has this charge profile:

stage 1: 8A constant current
stage 2: when voltage reaches ~58v, hold that voltage
stage 3: when current falls to ~1.5A, float at 54.4v.

that causes the batteries to fail early.

you need to get a charger that has 54.4v as stage 2, and less than that for stage 3.
I used this one:
http://kipoint.com.tw/index_down.php?ISPID=119&IIBig=50&sele=shopbig_dm_right

Matt

__________________

Daily Ride:
2007 Vectrix, modified with 42 x Thundersky 60Ah
Vectrix 60Ah Lithium Tyres Fuel Registration Insurance cycle analyst replacement TC Charger
conversion
Spent so far: $5800 + $7000 + $1720 + $960 + $320 + $720 + $140 + $600
Cost to do it again: $2500 + $5600 + $1720 + $960 + $320 + $720 + $140 + $600
Cost for a Petrol bike:$6000 + + $1440 + $6000 + $800 + $1400 + $3200 servicing
Total spent: $17260
Total to do again: $12560
Total to have used a petrol bike: $18840
Total distance travelled so far: 79'120km

nprawira
Offline
Joined: 07/20/2010
Points: 10
Re: Verdict on Silicone Battery

Hmm, I thought the silicone battery should have addressed the overcharging issue. So in your opinion is it worthwhile to spend the extra money for silicone batteries? I'm actually planning to visit the 2 producers, guineng and greensaver at their respective factories in China to learn more about it.

Do you use the powersonic to power your scooter now? How much did it cost for the whole pack?

Is the charger profile exclusively for emax scooters?

fisher727
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Joined: 06/26/2007
Points: 85
Re: Verdict on Silicone Battery

I have been selling and testing the Greensaver batteries for about 4 years now and have found them to be an OK battery. They seem to have about the same life span as other lead batteries. They seem to be best when used under heavy load. The other good points is that you can leave the Greensaver without charging them all winter and they are still OK. I have a hwy. capable electric car, a scooter, and my house is off grid all using greensaver batteries. I also have Greensaver starter batteries in all 4 of my gas cars. I am doing a lot of testing on these batteries. I am trying a new test in my electric car. I have found that the voltage during the final stages of charging exceeded the 15 volt max. per battery. I traced this to the fact that the batteries are all at different temperatures. In my car some of the batteries are in the front and some in the back. I have order 13 different chargers to charge the batteries individually.

Eric Fisher
SiliconeBatteriesUSA.com

7circle
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Joined: 01/04/2008
Points: 66
Re: Verdict on Silicone Battery

Do you know how toxic they are?

What happens if they are over charged?

Have you used special techniques to balance them?
You mentioned individual chargers to cope with temperature imbalance.
Do the cells over heat.

What is the 2C discharge to 1C charge efficiency?

Where do you take them to be recycled?

Or how do you convince the Lead Acid Battery Recycler they can take them?
What do they do with the electrolyte gel?

Would be interesting to see inside one that's pulled apart to remove any illusions, can that be done?

I dislike the sulphates in Lead-Acid cells.
So the Greensavers with a Lead-Base reaction using no sulphur is enticing.

As Lead is such a big by-product of mining I hope that cheap Lead (Pb) based batteries will be economically viable for mass transport.

Also just in Emergency lighting they would would be good.

I'm just not convinced that they are Greener than normal Lead Cells.

fisher727
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Joined: 06/26/2007
Points: 85
Re: Verdict on Silicone Battery

Lots of questions and I dont know if I have the answers. The company says the batteries are as toxic as mud. I think they are taking about the electrolite, the lead part I think they think that would be recycled. On the spent Greensaver batteries, I take them to a battery shop where the give me money for them depending how much they weigh, about a dollar for every 7 pounds. Because of the low resistance the batteries run cooler than other lead batteries under heavy loads which mean they are more efficient. Keeping the battery balanced is very important to the life of a battery. I think from what I have seen it is harder to keep a low resistance battery like an AGM or a Silicone battery in balance. I have also noticed problems with the Greensaver batteries being over charged, which shortens their life. I think people are worried about sulfation to much and end up overcharing this type of battery which has cause a lot of shorten life spans in the Greensaver Batteries. I am doing some tests to see if using a float voltage of 13.2 volt or less will increase the life span of the Greensaver batteries, so far it seems that it will.

Eric Fisher
SiliconeBatteriesUSA.com

NZEVA
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Joined: 12/24/2010
Points: 3
Re: Verdict on Silicone Battery

Yes, I'd agree with that Eric, no need to charge AGM batteries at high voltages - just dries them out losing capacity.
On the other hand wet batteries like Trojans love high voltage (low current) charging...not overdone of course!
I have a set of T1275's in my ZAP Xebra PK and they're taken up to over 15V at the end of the charge cycle before going down to float, by the Chinese Delta-Q (AGM?) charger...lol
Going strong for just about 2 years now and hardly use any water.
I'm happy - the Xebra is a heavy vehicle to haul around - much better on 84V than the original 72V.

Ross

wookey
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Joined: 04/08/2009
Points: 90
Re: Verdict on Silicone Battery

Has anyone every worked out what the technical difference (if any) is between a standard SLA gel cell and a 'silicone' SLA? I have failed to find any real info online, and all the usage data seems to show that the 'silicone' batts in various mopeds perform exactly as SLA gel cells (optimised for high-current discharge) would be expected to. Has anyone compared them to AGM batts, for example which should also be relatively well-suited to this application?

Personally I don't think there is much future in lead-acid for EVs. Lithium is so much better on energy-to-weight and lifetime, even though they cost more up front, that they are in fact both cheaper and better.
An SLA moped is very much cheap-and-cheerful, and if you plan to use it for more than a couple of years you'll be better off with the lithium batts. I don't know if it's possible to make LA-based vehicles with lifetimes such that they really are cheaper to run over the long term, but that's not what's actually being supplied at the moment.

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Wookey
Sakura s50 (Efun A)

JLGRAU
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Joined: 07/22/2008
Points: 98
Re: Verdict on Silicone Battery

I bought 3 12v 12ah Greensavers from Eric back in Feb. 2009. The total weight is about 30 lbs. The batteries work perfectly fine today though I have probably run 50 cycles for maybe 500 miles in the past 3 years. The current range is a solid 12 miles with voltage still at 36.5 /37. On regular 3x 12/12 SLA's my range would be about 8 but the pack weighs 24 lbs. So my view is that greensaver silicone is better but heavier and the operating voltage seems slightly higher. Also, it is possible to go down to 35v or less without damage to the batts.

LeftieBiker
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Joined: 07/09/2011
Points: 654
Re: Verdict on Silicone Battery

wookey wrote:

Has anyone every worked out what the technical difference (if any) is between a standard SLA gel cell and a 'silicone' SLA? I have failed to find any real info online, and all the usage data seems to show that the 'silicone' batts in various mopeds perform exactly as SLA gel cells (optimised for high-current discharge) would be expected to. Has anyone compared them to AGM batts, for example which should also be relatively well-suited to this application?

Personally I don't think there is much future in lead-acid for EVs. Lithium is so much better on energy-to-weight and lifetime, even though they cost more up front, that they are in fact both cheaper and better.
An SLA moped is very much cheap-and-cheerful, and if you plan to use it for more than a couple of years you'll be better off with the lithium batts. I don't know if it's possible to make LA-based vehicles with lifetimes such that they really are cheaper to run over the long term, but that's not what's actually being supplied at the moment.

I have two scooters with Greensavers, and just sold my 2001 Lepton with lead-acid AGM batteries. The difference in chemistry is supposedly that the Greensavers don't use an acid solution, but either an alkaline or neutral one - that's where the silicone is. I got 10+ years out of my lead-acid AGMs - probably in part because they got what amounts to regular desulfating and equalizing charges, plus road vibration to jar loose the bigger sulphate crystals. If the Greensavers really do sit around happily with a partial charge only, without sulphating up, that alone is worth the price. The problem is, I don't want to be the one to test that claim. ;-) I can say that my 2008 X-Treme XM-3000 doesn't seem to have lost any range yet, and my 2012 ZEV didn't seem to lose much charge at all sitting around all (late) Fall and Winter.

Is there a future for lead batteries? There is a version of the lead-acid battery called the nano-lead battery, in which the lead is deposited into a carbon matrix, making the battery much lighter and, supposedly, energy dense. It's still in the development stage. I *will* observe that when I got my Lepton I was envious of the people who got theirs with those cool new Evercel nickel-zinc batteries. My AGM pack outlasted all those high tech batteries, though, along with early versions of the Lithium cells. Heck, lithium packs are *still* requiring cell replacement surgery and expensive battery management systems just to keep going, while my 20001 Lepton goes to its new home with about 60% of its original range, no BMS, and batteries that cost about $350 when new...

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