newbie bank charging question

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Rich
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Last seen: 14 years 1 month ago
Joined: Sunday, May 11, 2008 - 07:50
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newbie bank charging question

Hi All-

I'm an new R20 owner and new to electric vehicles. I've been reading about the experiences of the other Z/R owners and pouring over the advice in threads such as Astar's teardown thread. (For all of which I'm very grateful.)

I've broken in my batteries using the lazy man's method, taking short, slow rides and charging in between, mostly to start using the bike and get it out of my garage. At this point I'm considering going to bank charging and have a couple of questions.

1. Is it too late to start bank charging? I've already taken it on a few rides (less than 50km).
2. I'm intrigued by the threads from Andrew about possibly bank charging with one charger. Mostly because I'm reluctant to spend $150 on 5 chargers without knowing whether I'm capable of not electrocuting myself or causing my bike to explode. I'd rather only shell out $30 before finding those things out. In another thread, someone said that bank charging was possible for newbies, so that's encouraging. But is the same true of a single-charger bank charging method?

Rich

sgmdudley
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Joined: Saturday, December 22, 2007 - 08:04
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Re: newbie bank charging question

It is said it is never too late. You did a good job breaking in the batteries, now just need to fine tune your charging process. There is a lot of positive about bank charging. The other option is battery equalizers. The key to both of these is having to strip the plastic off the scooter so you can see the terminals on all the batteries.
This is not something you will want to do often. The best way is to strip it down once, add the wiring and a terminal block at an easy access point, then you can play around with the various options as you want. Here is my scooter wiring. Zapino w/5 batteries.
wiring.jpg

Robert Dudley
E-Scoot Tech

andrew
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Joined: Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - 17:21
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Re: newbie bank charging question

Hi Rich,
The method I recommend is outlined here:
Series/parallel Switching...Simplified

The traditional method of bank charging is probably easier to wire up. And, the method I describe above is going to cost more than $30 for the parts, plus you would need one high-amp 12v charger. The one charger will cost $70+. And, it is labor intensive. Additionally, the larger PP75 connectors needed to do it would be cumbersome to deal with in a large block. The PP45s may be suitable, but I don't know how well they would hold up at more than 45 amps continuous on the Z20 so I wouldn't recommend using them. A couple of 4PDT switches could be used which might work okay instead of using connectors, but then there's the issue of safety, and the fuses required to make it safe. The fuses would really add to expense.

I think really your best bet is to get a BattEQ device. This would be much easier to set up than either bank charging, or series/parallel switching of the batteries. And, if/when you upgrade to lithium, the battEQ device would be easier to sell than a bunch of 12v chargers so the cost could be recovered.

ScooterTech is testing some of them on voltsrider.net , and he may be worth contacting about them. Apparently the 5-battery module has been improved:
BattEQ Prototype - NS selected to field test

[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/587-my-kz750-electric-motorcycle-project]KZ750 Motorcycle Conversion[/url]
[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/588-fixing-my-chinese-scooter]900 watt scooter[/url]
Pic from http://www.electri

Rich
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Last seen: 14 years 1 month ago
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Re: newbie bank charging question

Thanks very much for the advice. It's pretty clear to me that the single-charger method is beyond my capabilities and comfort. So it looks like I have 3 options: bank charging, batteq, or run them into the ground and buy new batteries sooner rather than later.

Can I ask a couple more questions? What are the prospects of upgrading to the LiFePo4 batteries on the R20? If I were to plan on putting these in as replacements for the lead-acid batteries, would I still need either the batteq or multiple chargers? Would the batteq or charges I'd get for lead acid be appropriate for LiFePo4?

Thanks for your patience with a newbie.

Rich

andrew
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Last seen: 12 years 5 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - 17:21
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Re: newbie bank charging question

The prospects of upgrading to LiFePo4 are very good. ScooterTech on the voltsrider.net forums has done a lot of research into replacing the 35ah 12v case size batteries with LiFePo4. I don't know what would work best at this point, but you might try contacting him.

I don't have enough information to say if equalizers or multiple 12v chargers are needed for LiFePo4, but I bet they would help. I don't know if LiFePo4 actually need more extensive balancing, such as charging each individual cell with an isolated charger. It is likely that there will be some better balancers and chargers on the market once LiFePo4 become more mainstream. The BattEQ should work with LiFePo4 and help to balance them, but this has not been discussed very much. Multiple 12v chargers also would work with LiFePo4, but again, I don't know if this would be sufficient. Once you decide to switch, you could always sell the BattEQ or whatever charger(s) for the existing lead-acid setup.

The makers of BattEQ advertise a specific product line for Li-ion batteries:
BattEQ for Li-Ion Batteries

[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/587-my-kz750-electric-motorcycle-project]KZ750 Motorcycle Conversion[/url]
[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/588-fixing-my-chinese-scooter]900 watt scooter[/url]
Pic from http://www.electri

chas_stevenson
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Joined: Wednesday, December 6, 2006 - 17:14
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Re: newbie bank charging question

Just to let you know LiFePo4 batteries require a Battery Management System (BMS) which controls both charge and discharge of the battery pack.

Grandpa Chas S.

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