Lithium (LiFePo4) AH battery experience? - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-15-2018, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Lithium (LiFePo4) AH battery experience?

Hi folks,

To make a short story long..

(skip this part if you like, it's mostly ranting)

My AGM battery that I bought new last summer will no longer hold a charge, drops to <10V when trying to start with the dash resetting every time. It was stored in a semi-cold garage (~0C) all winter without a maintenance charger, so I guess I have myself to blame for that.

I've already ordered a new AGM lead/acid battery supposedly capable of 350 CcA, but it's taking it's sweet time to get here and I'm thinking of returning it. In the meantime I've read a bit about Lithium batteries, specifically the LiFePo4 variant which seems more stable than Lithium-Ion in that they won't catch fire or explode if there is a short circuit and seems safer to have that close to a gas tank. What I can't get my head around is how important the amp hour (AH) rating is. I know that cold crank amps (CcA) is the most important thing to start the bike since it determines how much power the starter motor can get. But as I understand it AH determines how long it will be able to crank, which could affect how it starts (or don't) if it's cold or if you've mostly been driving short stops with traffic jams and/or a lot of red lights - which I do on my way to work. In these cases the bike might generate less power than was used up.

Anyway, I've been looking around for lithium batteries to replace the heavy, acid-filled thing I've used so far, but have come up short for anything near the recommended 18 AH capacity available here in Sweden.


(resume reading)

To get to the chase, would a lithium battery rated for only 5AH be sufficient for the beast? Cranking amps are rated as 290A, which is more than the standard Yuasa battery. I'm not sure if the charging time would be more or less efficient with a lithium or lead-acid battery. Has anyone had personal experience from these batteries? I've searched this forum but cannot find any real reviews or discussions that includes the AH.

Full specs on the battery I'm looking at: http://www.biltema.se/biltemadocumen.../80176_TDS.pdf

Last edited by FrankLumien; 06-17-2018 at 04:29 PM.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 07:05 PM
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Probably not going to like what I'm going say, but since new (2008 bought new carry over in 2010) I have left the battery in my 2K all winter in cold storage, no maintenance charger, and I'm still running the original battery. It is just now showing a slight sign of weakening. This is the first year it did not start on its own after winter storage. It cranked a few times but just not enough to start so I had to charge the battery.

If your new battery is shot already I suggest perhaps there is an unusual parasitic load or a charging system problem. Less likely, I think, would be a "bad" new battery.

Have you checked the voltage regulator connections for corrosion or burnt/damaged terminals? That is not terribly uncommon.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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whoaru, thanks for taking the time. The battery really do seem shot. If I put it in the bike 20 minutes after charging it, it most of the time won't turn over the engine and will immediately resets the dash. Even the headlight seem dim. Most of the time there is just a very loud clicking from the starter relay. I ordered a new relay a few days ago just in case (it was cheap).

I've checked for parasitic draw, it's 11 milliamps when key is off, which is from what I can find considered normal since the dash draws a little. When I pull either the main or decomp. fuse, the draw will drop to 8 milliamps, not sure if *that* is normal. I've verified that the decompression solenoid was not stuck.
When the bike is idling, the voltage across the battery poles reads about 14.1V, when I rev it a bit (not too much), it goes up to 14.4V.

But I finally received, filled and charged my new (lead-acid) battery two days ago, and after installing it in the bike yesterday the bike started immediately. Drove for a couple of hours in three sets during the day, bike started immediately every time.

I think I'll keep this battery for as long as it will last me, take it up to the apartment during winters to maintenance charge it (no electrical outlets in the common garage) and hope that the battery was the *only* electrical problem.

But I would still find it very interesting to get an answer on the AH required for lithium batteries!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-21-2018, 07:28 AM
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AH is the static continuous draw the battery is capable of. A 5AH battery will sustain 5 amps for an hour, (max), or 1 amp for 5 hours, 0.5 amps for 10, etc.

CCA is the “shock load” (my term).

I am running the Shorei battery, the one that has to be connected correctly or it catches fire. I didn’t know that when I bought it. It was bought because it had 350 cca and weighs a lot less than a lead acid.

Burt
2008 V2K
1976 KZ900A4 (restoration project)
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-24-2018, 07:56 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info hawkwolf. Does your Shorei have any AH rating? Have you had any problems with it so far?
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-25-2018, 08:30 PM
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Amp-hours (AH) is more or less a different way of stating Reserve Capacity.

With lower AH the battery will go dead proportionally faster at any given parasitic load relative to higher AH. Also, if you have accessories or whatever and accidentally left them turned on the battery would go dead faster. Same if the charging system puked out on a drive, the battery with lower AH will not have as much non-charging run time before the bike quits running.
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