Battery Options

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packer_backer60
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Battery Options

Hello everyone,

I got my IZip Fusion 1000 at the beginning of June and since then I've put roughly 330 miles on it (by comparison, only 260 on my car in the same time). I have already noticed a drop in battery output. I can no longer make the 2.6 mile roundtrip to my job (1.3 miles, 8 hour shift, 1.3 miles back) without my power cutting out.

Its getting close to winter here in the greater Cleveland area and soon I'll be packing the scooter up for a few months. I plan to tough it out until then with the current batteries, however, I need to look at replacements. I'm not a big MOD person, but I am curious about my options.

So, I was hoping someone could give me a breakdown of what options are available.

Obviously I can go with simple replacement SLA batteries. That's the safe option.

I also have read about the LiFePO batteries some of you have used.

So, can someone give me an idea of the differences between these two (and possibly others). Range/speed, weight, size, charging requirements, MOD difficulty, etc.

A quick sidebar, does anyone know anything about the Toshiba SCiB? Any potential for its use in scooters since its being used in a Schwinn eletric bike?
http://www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press/2007_12/pr1101.htm
http://www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press/2008_09/pr2401.htm

Thanks for the help.

racermike39
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Re: Battery Options

2.6 miles and it cuts out? I can't help but thinking something is radically wrong with the bike? The factory specs say 18 mile range. So real world range should be 9 miles WOT. Subtract 40% for cold weather, and you still should be able to make the ride. Check the charged and discharged voltage of each cell. You may have one bad battery that is causing the trouble.
If your batteries gave up that quickly, you may want to check your charger to make sure it is not over charging and hurting the batteries. Only riding 3 miles a day should not be discharging the batteries anywhere near the 70% DOD, and should last longer than 150 charging cycles. Check things out now so you won't do damage to the new batteries.
Keep us posted.

Racermike
5 years ago I met Jesus and he total ruined my life. I have never been happier.

e-doggies
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Re: Battery Options

The same thing happened with my new Schwinn Stealth 1000. I bought it in May 2007, and I had to replace the batteries by August. I replaced with (3) 12V 17Ah brand new SLA's and they were shot by Winter.

I'd suggest you check each battery's voltage separately. You can get a Digital Multi Meter at Harbor Freight for just a few dollars and it would be good enough for this purpose. I'll guess you will find a large voltage difference between batteries. If possible, charge each battery with a 12V charger using about 1-2 Amp setting. Hook back up in series and check your range again. Let us know what you find.

In my opinion, the cause of this is likely that Currie does not install top-of-the-line batteries at the factory. More importantly, continued discharging and re-charging in series will allow the batteries to become further and further out of balance. I rewired my Stealth to bank charge and I have had great success running some old 10Ah batteries I removed from other scooters. I would not string charge without some way to equalize the batteries.

With some "battery-mnanagement", you might be able to finish this season on the old batts and not have to push home.

The other chemistries are all lighter, give better performance, take less space, and cost a bundle more. For the amount of riding you do (and congrats on putting more miles on the scooter than on the car!), I'd probably just stick with SLA's. You will need to either bank charge or wire-in an equalizer or your new batteries will have a shorter life as well. I chose to bank charge using Connectors to change from a 36V series pack, to a 12V parallel pack, so I can charge with one 12V automotive type charger. After the initial re-wiring, it's easy and safe to use.

packer_backer60
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Re: Battery Options

Well, its 1.3 miles one way, then the scooter sits for 8 hours without power, 1.3 miles back. It tends to "stall" within 150 to 200 yards of home. I wouldn't be surprised if sitting, unpowered like this, has some bearing on the trouble.

I know a little about electrical systems, but I don't have the right equipment to test or charge individual batteries. My father might have the right stuff though. I'll have a chance on Sunday to work on it.

As for more miles on the scooter than the car, its worth including that those 260 miles on the car were 1 tank of gas.

chas_stevenson
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Re: Battery Options

I guess while it is sitting for 8 hours you turn off and remove the key. Did you know that turning off the key on these scooters only disables the throttle input but does NOT remove power from the controller. Therefore the controller is on for 8 hours causing your batteries to slowly discharge. I placed a switch between the batteries and one of the controller input wires so I can turn the power off to the controller stopping the discharge. I used a DTDP 15 amp switch and wired across both sets of contacts and have had no problems with the switch for over 4 years and still counting on 3 different bikes. As a matter of principle I always turn off my main power switch even if I am just stopped to talk to a friend for a short time. It really helps save the battery.

Hope this helps,
Grandpa Chas S.

packer_backer60
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Re: Battery Options

Mine has no key and yes, I do turn the scooter off.

racermike39
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Re: Battery Options

Well, its 1.3 miles one way, then the scooter sits for 8 hours without power, 1.3 miles back. It tends to "stall" within 150 to 200 yards of home. I wouldn't be surprised if sitting, unpowered like this, has some bearing on the trouble.

Actually, I believe SLA batts (healthy ones) will regain some charge as they sit after use. I think you have a battery that is dragging down the rest of the pack. See if you can borrow that meter and check them out. Remember to check them when they are discharged and finished charged. I suspect you will notice radical differences in voltage.

A master switch is probably a good idea like Grampa noted. It will eliminate another possible cause.

Did your bike ever get the 18 mile range the MFG suggests?

Racermike
5 years ago I met Jesus and he total ruined my life. I have never been happier.

Racermike
5 years ago I met Jesus and he total ruined my life. I have never been happier.

packer_backer60
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Re: Battery Options

Saturday, my battery troubles appeared again, except this time they did so on my trip TO work. I was getting the yellow and red lights for almost the entire trip. Not good considering I had just unplugged it.

My parent's house is along the way, so I stopped there, dropped off the scooter and walked. My dad checked things out and found that 1 battery was about 2 volts short. He then charged things up. When I got back after work, I rode the scooter and my trip home was much better.

However, this morning, I went to their house and back, the original problem appeared. My power cut out in just about the same place...150-200 yards from home.

That 1 battery is (obviously) not holding the charge the way it should be. I will deal with it as best as I can. I figure I've got a week (possibly less) left before I put the scooter in my closet for the winter. The wind chill is getting to be a pain.

packer_backer60
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Re: Battery Options

Probably Unnecessary Update:
Winter has come and gone. I had a few different options available to me for my batteries. I found a site online where I was able to purchase 3 12amp 12V batteries that just fit in the battery well of my scooter. The added 6 amps is great! I can ride anywhere I need at full throttle and not worry about killing my battery life.
A couple weeks ago, I rode 11 miles running my various errands (full throttle almost the entire time) and it wasn't until the last leg of my trip that my battery indicator showed any yellow.

In a couple days, I will have been riding my scooter for 1 year. In that time, I've ridden roughly 450 miles.

Old_Scoot
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Re: Battery Options

Congrats! Sounds like standard SLAs were the right choice for the way you ride. I've about decided they are for me too. I'll need to change out mine by the end of the summer (I'm guessing) and have spent hours researching the various options and I just keep coming back to lead.

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