Thunder Sky Batteries; Places to buy

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zigalisr01
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Thunder Sky Batteries; Places to buy

Does anybody have any recommendation as to where to get replace batteries from? Maybe someplace NOT to buy from? I am looking for the Thunder Sky TS-LFP40AHA for my XM-4000. I am thinking about replacing 2 that are slightly damaged. I found several places on the internet. Two place had the TS batteries but, the part numbers did not seem right. When I clicked the on the spec's they listed the TS-LYP40AhA. Could not find what LYP means in the TS manual. Two places had the right batteries listed but were out of stock.

PJD
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Re: Thunder Sky Batteries; Places to buy

the "LYP" cell has replaced the Thundersky "LFP" cells, and is also called the "LiFeYPO4 cell". The "Y" refers to Yttrium doping of the phosphate cathode material. There is published research (It will take some digging to find it) that claims that the Y-doping improves cycle and shelf life, but some believe that this was only done to get around the overly-broad Phostech-owned US patents on cathode material. At any rate, it is the same in every way (dimensions, charging, discharging) to the old LFP cells.

As far as where to get them, I bought a few LFP replacement cells from Elite Power Solutions:

http://www.elitepowersolutions.com/

But they now only sell their own cells "GBS cells" and their dimensions are just different enough so they won't work in the existing battery boxes in my e-maxs. They may work for your scooter, and you may be interested in the charge management system they sell.

Electric Motorsport has also been selling Thundersky cells - currently priced at $60.00 plus shipping (SF Bay Area, California) for the 40AH cells:

http://www.electricmotorsport.com/store/index.php

Way back, I ordered from them, than canceled the order when I found this guy who had done a bulk purchase for a bit cheaper. Electric motor sport was very responsive to my inquiries and they seem reputable.

Another, but untried, dealer is here:

http://www.alliancerenewableenergy.com/

They seem very cheap at just $43.00 each for 40AH cells, but to get this price, you must order FOB China so shipping may be high - but you are probably assured of getting fresh cells straight from the factory (more below).

The most important thing is to shop for the cells like eggs or produce - get ones that are closest to mfg. date and were stored and shipped at the coolest temperatures. Ask the seller. Most scooter-riders (particularly in climates where they can't ride for 4-5 months of the year) will find that the calender-life of these cells will govern when they have to be replaced, not cycle life. I have completed 3 seasons of use in our "his" and hers" scooters. After 3 years, both are showing the same amount of gradual degradation of performance in spite of the his scooter being used at least twice as much. The cells will be ready for replacement possibly as soon as next spring, and or the next year at the longest. So, undertypical use, expect about a 5 year life from date of manufacture. Then again, the calender life performance may have improved since 2007.

hope this helps,

Paul D.

zigalisr01
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Re: Thunder Sky Batteries; Places to buy

Hey PJD,
Thanks for all the info. I looked Alliance Renewable and sent them a request for estimated time. They have the 60AHA in stock and shipping from the FOB US adds $10.50. I can't wait 8 weeks to get a new battery. Do you think that the LYP and LFP batteries are interchangeable? I am looking to replace just one or two. I am thinking that they have the same voltage and produce the same current they should be interchangeable. Thanks for the info on the LYP batteries. I will ping electricmotor sport and see what happens. I have found also a company called Evolve Electric, http://www.evolveelectrics.com, and Electric Autosport, http://www.electricautosports.com/, however you must buy 4 at a time. Anyway, thanks again.

Randy

PJD
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Re: Thunder Sky Batteries; Places to buy

Depending on the age of the pack, you will find that the pack won't equalize as readily as cells all the same age. The old cells will come up to full charge voltage sooner, while the fresh cells will lag in coming up. This is because of the increasing internal cell resistance with age. With the BMS that I am using, this does not present a problem because it clamps each cell voltage at 3.7 volts or so and throttles down the charge current so the shunts at the "full" cells don't overheat while the lagging cells come up to voltage. But the charge time does increase a bit.

zigalisr01
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Re: Thunder Sky Batteries; Places to buy

So, my search for a new battery. I contacted Aliancerenewable enery. They said a minimum order is 12. They seem more like a distributor, buy from China and resell here to shops like Electric Motor Sports. I contacted both Electric Motor Sports, http://www.electricmotorsport.com/store/index.php, Evolve Electric, http://www.evolveelectrics.com, and Electric Autosport, http://www.electricautosports.com/. Electic Auto Sports has a minimum of 4. I like the response from Evolve Electric so got that on order from them. $58.00 + $10.00 shipping.

Anyway, does anyone have any suggestions on how to replace a battery? There seems to be some kind of string handles on each side and maybe a metal package that holds them in a group of 4. I was wondering if this model, XM-4000, 2009 has the double-sided sticky tape? So, maybe disconnect the copper bus bars on all four batteries and put that group out using the strings?? I am thinking that this is what my battery pack looks like and I can just grab those strings and yank it out!

Thunder-sky LFP60AHA - 4 cell pack-web.JPG

zigalisr01
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Re: Thunder Sky Batteries; Places to buy

Ok, so I got the battery and took off all the bus bars. I then give the strings a little tug. They were stuck tight. Then I noticed that the pop rivet that holds the VIN tag on is jammed into the side of the battery pack. If you look at the above picture you see the small bar above where the string attaches, the pop-rivet is jammed in there just above the bar. So, I got a small, 2 ton, bottle jack in there and pushed the side of the battery box open enough to clear the pop-rivet. That was not enough. The battery box is not a uniform size top to bottom or front to back. Oh, and those string, some of them can hold 100 pounds of pulling others maybe 10 pounds. So, when I tried to lift one the whole string came off in my hand the other string one side came loose. You see those metal bands around the side, when I got the first screw loose the battery pack expanded. I had to get a couple of bar clamps to compress the batteries enough to put those bands back on there. I had to compress those batteries 1/8'' to 1/4''. The battery box I expanded the top at least an inch maybe a little more. Way more work than just grabbing those strings. I also re-did how those strings are attached. The strings were just put in the eyelet and crimped. I put the strings in new eyelets, put a small knot in the string and then crimped the eyelet. One last comment when you are taking the bus bars off, stick something in those gaps between the batteries, I cut some cardboard strips. That will keep the bus bar from twisting across and shorting out to the other battery. Which is what cause this mess in the first place!!

Curious
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Re: Thunder Sky Batteries; Places to buy

Where did you end up ordering from?

In my research for creating an electric car I contacted Thundersky directly through alibaba.com. I think the minimum order from Thundersky is 10kWh, so motorcycles are too small for an order direct from the factory. The price they quoted me for a ~37kWh pack was $1.00 per Ah, and shipping to the nearest port town was $450. Came out to $1.17 / Ah if you could wait for the ocean freighter. But again, they'll only deal with you directly if you're ordering in quantity.

I had two cells go bad on my XM-3500li and they were replaced with minimum hassle through Alpha Products International under warranty. They didn't ask for specifics, just that I ship the dead batteries back to them. It was about a 2-week turn-around.

I hope you're learning from your experiences and having fun in the process! I've redone my 3500 twice now and each time it gets better. I'm looking into starting my own conversion business, although I don't have a business degree.

zigalisr01
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Re: Thunder Sky Batteries; Places to buy

I got my replacement from Evolve Electrics; http://www.evolveelectrics.com/. Justin had a good explanation of the difference between the LFP and LYP type of batteries, and why the battery shows as the LFP yet spec showed as LYP. It was $58.00. I have since found Dave at Current EV Tech, http://currentevtech.com/cart.html, in Lacey, WA, $50.00. I like him better for some reason. Something about his attitude. If you are going to buy alot, 20 or so I would try Alliance Renewable, http://alliancerenewableenergy.com/ or try to switch to the newer GBS batteries. I checked with Alpha Products/Green Max and the battery was within the voltage spec so no replacement. I have exploded one of the cell and they will replace that one. What a pain in the ass to get those battery packs out and back in. This time I will if I can expanded the battery box a little with a jack so next time it will be a little easier. I like the scooter when it is working it is fun. I really like the cycle Analyst, worth every penny. I need some way to test the battery packs before I put it back together. I am thinking of a 12 volt battery load meter with a couple of the VoltPheaks cell chargers.

Quite the experience to get the battery to explode. I had no idea what was happening. Have you looked at the GBS cells from Elite Power solutions? http://elitepowersolutions.com/products/product_info.php?cPath=25&products_id=90

Iccarus
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Re: Thunder Sky Batteries; Places to buy

Elite power systems. Try a search and post if you find better prices. If you buy 4 they come bundled like in the scooter. I bought from elite and had no problems.

2008 XM3500li Mods/Kelly KBL12251/84v 28cell 40AH pack/ Variable regen brake trigger on left brake handle/Givi/Cycle Analyst/Homemade BMS

KMX Typhoon Home build (recumbent pedelec) with two Astro Brushless 3220motors/twin castle Phoenix ICEHV 160/ Cycl

CHL lithium battery
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Re: Thunder Sky Batteries; Places to buy

I think you better buy from CHL,which have been proved to be better than Thundersky,

Iccarus
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Re: Thunder Sky Batteries; Places to buy

Didn't you smell anything funny before it blew? I've never heard of this before. I bet you know the smell now. I've had them get hot, and hiss but never blow. That's not normal at all. If you notice your voltage starting to sag excessively, when you get it home you will probably find some hot terminals. That's a good way to find them early if you don't have a BMS. I'm curious, did you ever figure out what was making them do this? It's very strange.

2008 XM3500li Mods/Kelly KBL12251/84v 28cell 40AH pack/ Variable regen brake trigger on left brake handle/Givi/Cycle Analyst/Homemade BMS

KMX Typhoon Home build (recumbent pedelec) with two Astro Brushless 3220motors/twin castle Phoenix ICEHV 160/ Cycl

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