I've been pondering the next major phase of my Lectra motorcycle. I'm sure the battery pack will croak "soon" because SLA batteries supposedly have a life of 300 charge cycles (or so) and every time I ride the Lectra to work it is two deep charge cycles and while I haven't been keeping count it's likely the pack I have has 70-100 charge cycles in it right now.
I ordered two new 20Ah LiFePO4 cells from Sam at Yesa on Tuesday to replace the two that were damaged (see "Fire is Bad"). Cost was $70 per cell and shipping from Hong Kong was $45. The cells arrived last night along with an individual cell charger. Sam asked me to send him a picture of the cell arrangement in the pack so he could have the tabs soldered in the correct orientation.
I took my damaged pack over to Synkromotive today to have some experts take a look at it. We took voltage readings of each of the 12 cells. They each read about 3.3V, except for two cells. One of them read just about zero, and the one with the obvious damage read about 1.8V. Their advice was to just replace the bad cells and keep going. They also briefly studied the BMS that came with the batteries, and deemed it satisfactory.
I had a harrowing experience yesterday while I was riding the Rezistor home from work. I smelled something funny (it always starts that way, doesn't it?), looked down, and saw smoke coming out from under the seat. I pulled over, cut the power, got off, and saw the paint on the exterior catch fire. I blew out the fire, lifted the seat, and saw some arcing between the corner of the battery pack and the inside of the scooter body. I disconnected the battery pack immediately.
The two 36V 20Ah battery packs arrived yesterday. Pretty fast shipping, considering they shipped from China on Thursday. (sunglasses in the photo are for scale) Sam at YESA was able to have them configured two different ways so I can fit one (barely) where the gas tank was and the flatter one in the left cowl. I think I'll separate the BMS circuit boards and put them in the gas tank area where they're better shielded from the weather.
Altair Nanotechnologies Inc. has received a $1-million purchase order for NanoSafe 35 kWh lithium-ion battery pack systems from California-based Phoenix Motorcars for delivery in February and March 2007.