36v 10Ah LiFePo4
A few months ago, on the Endless-Sphere.com forum, Jason from Kraft Global appeared
January 23, 2009
I received this from E-Bikekit.com
Nicely packed in foam, no loosies no rattles.. NO DUCT TAPE !!!!!! ( expect on the outside of the cardboard box.. .. This being the prototype, i'm assured the shipment on the way will be boxed in nice new boxes.. hey.. i've been working for a shipping company for 12 years and i hate seeing sub-standard shipping practices )
Notice the metal plate on the back, once you secure this thing to a strong bike rack, the pack slides on and locks in with a key lock. Pretty slick !!
On / Off and Locking keyswitch . Serial number with barcode.
Took me a while to find it.. but next to the carry handle is the usual RCA charge port..
Handle is strong and sturdy.. so far so good..
Soooo. the obvious question.. WHAT'S INSIDE ???
Above is the key and discharge side of the pack.
At the other end is the BMS..
I have not come across this model BMS before, it's compact, surface mount components.. color coded BMS wires, sandwitched between 2 pieces of G10 fiberglass material.
It's a tight fit, no wasted space !!!
Plugged in the 2 amp charger, sealed unit, no fan.
Green light comes on.. Good !
Made myself an RCA to Anderson connector and installed one of my Cycle-Analyst meters on the charge side.. and topped it off.
It was fully charged as it only took about 5 minutes for the charger light to go from Red to Green..
Cycled the pack half a dozen times at 4 amps.. checking for the usual sings of problems.. no loose wires.. no unusual heat.. all good..
Then went for a capacity test... ( sorry for the blurry pic.. hard to focus on an lcd screen )
10.18 Amp/Hour !
It's rare to find rated capcity actually deliverd ! most packs are a bit overinflated in their ratings.. refreshing change !
January 30, 2009
Since last friday I have used up a good dozen cycles on this pack, 10 or so shallow cycles.. and 2 full 100 % DOD ( Depth Of Discharge ) cycles. It yields a full 10ah at 9 amps.
It's horribly cold and snowy out here in the maritimes so i'm bench testing with my LBD
The picture above only shows 4 bulbs, but there are 6 more on the top shelf !! keeps a room nice and warm on a winter day !
Closeup of the charger.
UL, CE, FCC, etc.. all the good stuff i like to see..with a polarized plug !! Bonus.
I wanted to open it up but it's a sealed unit, no visible screws behind the sticker.... doh!
Open circuit my DVM says 43.6v
Cycle Analyst confirms 2 amp charge with CV at the end until 200ma then goes to green.
Supplied pigtail with connector that maches with upcomming controller on new kit.. i removed this connector and replaced it with andersons, everything in my house has andersons, I love those things..
Discharge plug that the pigtail fits into, and 30 amp fuse.
So now.. the nitty gritty.
At 9 amps, the supplied pigtail gets noticably hot. ambient temp was 22 celcius and surface of the wire was measured at 38 celcius after 20 minutes. That's a problem that needs to be dealt with.
Looking at the circuit, I see the glass fuse holder, key switch, thin brass crimps x 2, then the plug male and female, then connector (in my case ansersons ) ..
I'm fairly confident in the 120v type plugs, but the glass fuse and key switch are likely the culprits ..
Would it work as is ? = Yes
Woud it work to my standards ? = Nope...
Opened up the plug end for inspection.. the wire is low strand stiffy stuff, easy fix, and the screw ends could be soldered for extra measure.. also easy to do
I snipped off the bullet connectors and crimped on some andersons directly..
Ran the same 9 amp test.. = No Heat !
Feb 5, 2009
After some more poking and probing.. I found that the wires on the removable pigtail were not very well secured to the Male side of the external wire... without any real force both the + and - sides simply twisted right off by hand..
Went digging in one of my parts bin, found a 12" long piece of 12 or 14 gauge stranded wire, see picture on the left for difference in wire strands !
Slipped the rubber boot from the original pigtail onto the new wire and hot-glued it to prevent water from working it's way into the wire and into the connector.
Nermind the screws.. I soldered them suckers in there.... permanent !
It's a tight fit, but i got it in there.. Had to flatten out the metal tab to accomodate the thicker wire.. !
Now.. there are a few ways to deal with the heat issue.
1- Do nothing and live with the heat. At 10 amps ( on 36v = 360w ) it will hold up but at 20 amps I fear the connectors would start to get soft on a moderate to long ride..
2- Bypass the internal fuse and key part of the circuit, running the wires directly from the BMS to the pack's stock plug. Fix the pigtail as detailed above and call it good.
3- Drill a hole in the black plastic end, next to the pack's stock plug, install a gromet, run 12 gauge wire with andersons to the BMS wires to bypass the fuse, key, and stock plug. This would be my personal preference, leaves a permanent wire dangling form the pack so care must be taken when setting it down not to crush that wire.. but this would not really be a problem.
For now, I want to test the heat factor with the fuse and key, so andersons it is !
When dealing with fairly thin wire and PP30 tips, strip double the lenght of wire, twist and bend it over on itself , makes more copper inside the barrel of th PP30 tips for a better crimp.
For those of you using the 10$ cheapie vice type tool for Andersons.. some things i do to make life easy..
Red and Yellow represent 90 degree, the Green line shows the angle i place the PP30 tip into the vice.. if the seam on the PP30 is not centered with the hump on the vice, it will not fold in properly...
Place PP30 over wire and squeeze...
Notice that one side took most of the strands of copper and the other side is mostly empty, this is ok, with 14 gauge wire this tends not to happen, 12g works best, but nothing wrong with this..
If requried you can flip it more more time and tighten the back end of the crimp.
Triple checked the polarity.. I am not interested in testing the short circuit protection on the BMS at this time.. !!!
2.3ah later.. no heat on the pigtail wire anymore !!!!!! yay !
Feb 6, 2009
Before bolting this pack back together, I decided to bypass the fuse and key switch.. I left the andersons inside the end cap so I can easily swap back at a later time..
Drilled a hole in the end cap, inserted a gromet.
Next, since I cut the original bullet type connectors to install andersons at the battery, I had to drill a new hole in the backplate because the wires were too short to reach the original hole.
Fresh andersons on the new wire. you can see the gromet ( not totally required, but it's a nice touch I think.. !)
Then came time to get all that back together..
Let me tell you.. there is NO wiggle room between this battery and box.. wooooo.. .. this is great however, as it will transfer heat to the aluminum box when the cells are pushed to that point. ( unlike the Duct Tape packs )
Another cool thing with this pack.. a Mounting Plate !
Slides right in..
Dimensions: 360mm × 148mm × 70mm
Went digging thru my parts stash and found an Axiom rear rack.. gives a rough idea what to expect for scale, one would have to get a bit creative to mount this thing but this is fairly easy to do.. a few spacers and zip ties. or hose clamps.. better yet.. nuts and bolts.. Could also be side mounted like a pannier style..
So far I have aprox 30 cycles on the pack, most are 50% DOD, 3 full cycles to BMS cutoff.. one of wich I had the charger plugged in while I was discharging no harm however.
This pack being No.1 down the pipe, has some minor things that can easily be done to improve it, it would have been suitable out of the box, but why settle for less ?.. Jason has been reading this review and we have gone over many of the things i've pointed out . I"m assured that future batches will be improved and the product will evolve. It's not easy dealing with ebike factories, getting them to do certain things, as simple as they may seem .. I've ordered all sorts of stuff from China and other ebike vendors in the past ( see my projects page for an idea of a few things i've had to deal with ) getting a kit up to snuff is not an easy task ! I have to give Jason credit.. he's one stubborn and determined s.o.b to put up with all my nit picking so hats off to him for that !
Now this leaves me to the next step, a test run on the road !
Slight problem however is that i'm stuck in the middle of winter so this will have to be a winter wonderland test.. more on that tomorrow !!
Feb 9, 2009
1st Ride of 2009 !!!!!
However, a short one.. .. It's -30 celcius ( -22f ) out here today, but i can see some pavement !!!!! so .. well.. that's good enough for me !
Taped a Cycle Analyst to my handlebars, pumped up both tires to 40 psi from like 10 ( yeah.. it's been that long ) , toque, gloves, winter coat, boots, tinsulate neck guard, backpack with battery pack.. and away i went !
From a full charge, 41v, slowly rolled down my iced driveway, all the time i've been spending on my unicycle paid off .. spun the front wheel a few feet on ice..
Voltage dropped to 36v at 20 amps off the line, and i managed to burn up 1 ah in about 5 minutes. voltage settles flat at 34.4v ( 12 cells means 2.8v per cell ).
At this point I contemplated getting my ski-doo suit and full face helmet to try and stay warm ( i could pedal.. but Ypedal when you are testing batteries !! Bading .. tssss )
Pointed for home base while I could still feel my legs.. at least a little bit...
Pack was warm, not hot, BMS did not cut out at any point, I went up and down my street with brakes on both ways, 20 amps for 10 seconds + without incident.. cool.
I need to redo this road test when it's warmer.. more on that one later this week ! Hopefully.
Feb 15, 2009
So monday night ( Feb 10 ) I fully charged the pack, let it sit on the desk until Feb 12 , using my BMX equipped with a crystalyte X5304 and a modified controller, I applied the brake to load the motor at 20 amps constans.. Since I can't dump all that heat into a bicycle rim without melting something, it's been 1 minute 0.5ah at a time, let rim cool, another 0.5ah.. etc...
All the way to this, tonight Feb 15.
The BMS cut out at 9.3ah, using 20 amps all the way, spikes of 30 amps ( Controller will allow up to 80 !! but i don't push it that hard)
Very steady voltage, 10 amps gives you 36v, 15 amps is 35v, 20 amps is 34v .. + - 1v on SOC up to the 9ah mark.
( The 38.4v you see on the meter below is the resting voltage of the empty pack, once the BMS cuts out it stays off until you disconect and reset. )
Feb 22, 2009
Just got back from a 10km ride, roads are fair ( well.. i can see pavement.. so.. well... you know. )
I wrapped the pack in a towel before placing it into my backpack, purpose was to keep the heat in ...
Bolted on a Cycle Analyst to my eZee bike, strapped on my Giro helmet, and away i went.
Don't take much to make the legs burn after a winter cooped up in the house.. i walk the dog daily but walking 30 minutes is nothing like pedaling for 20..
No heat, no cutouts, all good !
The andersons at the controller kept comming apart as the zip ties don't hold very well in cold weather, so i ended the trip at 10k .
More on this once the E-BikeKit motor shows up !!!
March 22, 2009
An update on the EBK battery pack .
On friday ( March 20, 2009 ) after work, i plugged the pack in for a top off charge and then placed it outside to chill out !
(-5) degrees Celsius = 23 degrees Fahrenheit
Brrrrrrrrr.... Yes.. that is indeed snow in my driveway.. this is Moncton NB, still plenty of the nasty white stuff out here !
March 30, 2009
I've been cycling the EBK pack regularly, on the trike, with my eZee bike, and today on the Downtube folding bike !
I used this folder for a season, sold it to a local kid, he has driven it for 2 more seasons and this is his 3rd year on it. Rear crystalyte 405, 20 amp controller, he accidentally ripped the wires out of the throttle and dropped it off here so i can fix it up.. did that today and took it for a test ride
July 4 , 2009
Over the last 3 or so weeks, it has been used heavily by a local customer, 2000 kms + ( 2 deep DOD cycles per day ! ) on an eZee equipped hybrid bike with 700C wheels.
The eZee LiMn battery bit the dust after 1 year of use and had to go back for warranty, i lent him the EBK pack while this was taking place.. should have it back on monday for a health check and update on capacity !
July 6, 2009
I covered the edges with heavy duty vinyl tape before letting him have it, and wisely he chose to cover it again with another layer as he rides in rain, alot..
am waiting for his CA stats, i recorded his data before he left so will have accurate km/ah/cycle count shortly !
July 21, 2009
Late update on the commuting customer and his 700C equipped eZee hybrid bike !
Stats : ( over a 40 day period !! )
total Ah 535
Total Km 2064
So 535ah / 77 cycles = 7ah average drain per cycle !
2064km / 77 cycles = 26.8 kms ( 16.7 miles ) per 7ah charge average..
535 ah at 36v = 19260wh / 2064km = 9.33 wh / km
So the pack is well into it's 100 to 125 cycle since the start of the season, a few days ago the charger quit but Jason quickly shipped me a new one that should arrive this week !!! Great service !
August 11, 2009
still on the move, it's now being used by " Ann ", she and her husband now have each an Ebike, ( I built Nick an X5304 powered trike with 20ah CammyCC pack ). Her eVox bike was purchased used but in excellent shape, barely driven by original owner as it was not setup correctly at all and i suspect she had no clue how to do any bicycle maintenance... I had to fix the seat mount, brakes and shifters were all wrong etc...
Her eZee kit arrived with a low capacity battery that has to go back to ebikes.ca, so until i get the new pack under warranty i am letting her use the EBK pack for a few weeks !
This pack has been around the block a number of times so far, eZee, Crystalyte 4 and 5 series, EBK, i've used it as a power source for lighting a number of times, charged thru the discharge wires accidentally, been in the rain a number of times, used in sub-zero weather.. and it keeps on ticking !
When i get it back in a few weeks i will open it up for a cell level health check and capacity test !
Picture of Ann's eZee eVox !
January 17, 2010
Capacity test : 9.844ah
January 24, 2010
Alrighty... it's COLD out here in the maritimes..
(-13) degrees Celsius = 8.6 degrees Fahrenheit !
I just put the 10ah pack outside to chill and will discharge it on the same 8amp load in a few hours from now.
In the shade, ground temps on the garage floor :
(-12) degrees Celsius = 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit
My front yard !
Pack surface temps at start of test
(-4.4) degrees Celsius = 24.08 degrees Fahrenheit
35.6v , 3.7ah, still going..
34.7v --- 6.2ah
BMS trip , lights turn off, i bundled up and went out there with my IR thermometer, pack surface +6~8 celcius depending on the spot.. so the cells generate enough heat even when it's this cold to warm itself up .
oh, and since it's only science if you can repeat it.. i plan to charge this afternoon and leave it in the garage overnight, repeat the test tomorrow morning.
And then recharge in the cold to see what i can put back in .
March 27, 2010
Alright.. time for an update ! ( I"m late on delivery of this update , but here it is none the less ! )
It's march 27, and the pack has been in the cold garage for over a week, last night it was :
(-12) degrees Celsius = 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit
And this afternoon it got as warm as :
(-5) degrees Celsius = 23 degrees Fahrenheit
So i took a picture of the weathernetwork before i took off on the ebike !
My chilled little friend..
On the rear rack it goes, no warm backpack to help it either..
Resting voltage = 40.2v
The pack was fully charged before being put out in the cold over a week ago.
Got dressed warmly with no intention of pedaling, full head helmet over my toque, winter boots, gloves and off i went.
Full throttle off the line made the voltage drop to 31v and 25 amps on the meter = 780w , but no cutouts by either the BMS or the controller. the eZee motor buzzed up to speed and pulled me along like a champ.
Trip took 36 minutes, consumed 8.1 ah, travelled 15.7 kms .
I'm very impressed, the pack delivered over 75 % capacity in as cold as just about any insane ebiker would ever ride in. Worth mention that this is an Integrated CA on a crystalyte controller, not the same meter i normall use ( the red one ) as that CA is on my A2B Metro at the moment, however, i have used both meters on this bike before and they are calibrated very close to each other !
Try that with SLA !!!..
After the ride, i removed the pack from the bike, put it in the driveway while i took the bike inside the house.. when i picked up the pack to bring it into the cold garage the handle snapped !
Yes.. that is snow in my driveway ! it was not hot enough today to melt it even on black pavement !
So i let the pack sit for an hour after the ride, am now charging in this cold with a CA hooked up to see how much goes back in ! documenting this on video.. will load to youtube later !
Just went to the garage for a check on things.
After aprox 1 hr of charging, 1.8ah back into the pack, and the charge rate has gone down to 1.4 amps, pack voltage reads 43.4v .
So, something interesting here, just like the voltage dips lower when cold during discharge, voltage goes up to charger's limit pre-maturely in the cold, this will make charging take alot longer and how much energy goes back in will also be a factor. Will udpate later tonight.
March 29, 2010
after fully charging to Green on the charger, i left it in the cold garage for a few hours. CA says 7.7ah back in. Resting voltage off the charger = 40.6v
In the afternoon i took the pack back into the house to warm up and monitored the voltage every hour or so.. the voltage slowly dropped down to 40.3v as of last night and was the same this morning.
So, this pack does not seem to behave like LiPo as the voltage did not rise as the pack warmed back up from a cold charge. Either my method was different or it's a factor of the chemistry.
April 13, 2010
So last friday, mailman hands me a package.. I open it up and find a brand new handle ! Compliments of EBK !.
Today I took a moment to install it.
And since i originally modded the end cap and installed that stupid wire hanging out there, it's been bugging the hell out of me.. so next step was to panel mount some andersons.
E-Bikekit.com has been doing this for a while now, they come with andersons right off the batt.
So i took out the trusty dremel tool.. and hacked up the back of the original AC type plug.
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