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    48 volt battery selection for etrike

    I am looking for experience/suggestions for best overall 48 volt, 20ah battery selection for an Etrike w/26 inch front wheel Brushless Emotor drive. Majority of use will be on level pavement, bike trail. Etrike weighs apx 55 lbs plus battery and front hub motor! Low speeds 5 to 15 mph. 1 mile to occasional 12 mile max trips! I don't want to break the bank ($150 to $250 range). Looking for light weight solution. I assume Lithium Ion may be best fit??? Any suggestions and first hand experience would be greatly appreciated! Watch this video to see the conversion I am planing for this KENT TRIKE! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDF8WawlGXw Thanks in advance!

    #2
    You won't get a quality 20ah battery in that price range.
    Will you be pedaling? Throttle only may require 15ah+ but with even light pedal effort 12 miles should be easily done with less.
    lithium is the only choice in my opinion. SLA or AGM batteries are less than ideal.

    I use a 48v 20ah brick type pack from Unit Pack Power. They offer many styles and capacities. The usual price is around $360 USD.
    I love mine it's been going strong for a year now. UPP is a reputable builder and they stand behind their warranty. But there are fakes so I would only buy off Amazon from a listing that shows the seller as UPP OFFICIAL.
    Others claim to be resellers but often the specs aren't the same as the manufacturer uses.
    Honestly I wouldn't trust anything much cheaper.

    This one for a 13ah pack is in your range,
    https://www.amazon.com/Unit-Pack-Pow...=unit%2Bpack%2 Bpower%2Bbattery&qid=1627501654&sr=8-5&th=1&psc=1

    But as I said always make sure on Amazon that the brand and seller are UPP OFFICIAL. Here is what to watch for,

    Comment


    • jbwilli
      jbwilli commented
      Editing a comment
      Apologies for not answering the question in your reply...Yes will be pedal assisting! THX!

    #3
    Good 48V/20Ah Li-ion for bicycle/tricycle use ≠ $150 - $250

    More like 2.5-3x that - good quality batteries are expensive

    48V/20Ah lead-acid perhaps - which on a trike might be an option but very heavy

    For $150 - $250 would be hard to find much more than 10Ah

    OTOH if you keep your speeds reasonable (10-15mph) and don't do a lot of hills 48V/10Ah would likely be more than enough for 12+mi range and probably in the 3kg range depending on cells and package

    Comment


      #4
      Thanks for rapid reply!
      I keep seeing these Japanese 48V/20ah Li batteries for Ebikes on Ebay with prices too good to be true.

      https://www.ebay.com/itm/17481174497...BoCoLkQAvD_BwE

      Li ion vs Lead acid (sealed/unsealed).... despite the weight advantage of the Li, which has the most running capacity? Thanks much...I appreciate and respect your comments!

      Comment


        #5
        Originally posted by jbwilli View Post
        Thanks for rapid reply!
        I keep seeing these Japanese 48V/20ah Li batteries for Ebikes on Ebay with prices too good to be true.

        https://www.ebay.com/itm/17481174497...BoCoLkQAvD_BwE

        Li ion vs Lead acid (sealed/unsealed).... despite the weight advantage of the Li, which has the most running capacity? Thanks much...I appreciate and respect your comments!
        Those are actually chinese and frankly the difference between japanese and chinese is more than night and day IMO

        Chinese sources are spotty at best and have a nasty reputation of not only over advertising but out and out fraud and counterfeiting - here's a thread where a fellow bought a battery from ebay advertised as 48V/20ah, bought a battery tester and measured them at ~10.5Ah... he paid around $280 I think and frankly got a really good deal even though nowhere near the advertised rating - at least he wasn't completely ripped off and $280 is a good price for 48V/10Ah: https://electricbike.com/forum/forum...at-around-500w

        The battery you linked to, if the pictures are accurate, is what would be called a 13s4p (13 series 4 parallel - total 52 18650 cells) pack - the best cells commonly used in bike batteries these days are <3.5Ah per cell so a 4p pack made with the very best cells (no way this is) would be <14Ah... It's just not physically possible for it to be 48V/20Ah! I'd guess the one you linked to is garbage... but you never know... your gamble... chinese suppliers like that are notoriously fly-by-night so don't expect any post sales support if you even get the battery and it turns out to be crap. Do an internet search on counterfeit or fake chinese 18650's

        Also batteries like these can be very dangerous... grab a beer and entertain yourself with an internet search for videos on electric bike battery fires! Is this the best place to cut corners?

        But everyone has different risk comfort and needs to assess their own risk aversion. I recommend people get at least one battery from a reputable north american source and then gamble on others if they like. I've got about half a dozen batteries and some were more gamble than others - I paid more like $500+ for 52V/13.5Ah and somewhat less for 48V/11.5Ah.


        On lead-acid - I think they have their places and for bike/trike would use AGM. Although I suppose a case could be made for flooded cells, primarily a budgetary one, for me that would be a tough sell. If properly tended they will likely outlast li-ion a bit, are somewhat less expensive, and a lot less fussy about care. They are very heavy and large for similar capacity though - but in a trike where you can keep the weight low, have some room and they are stable I wouldn't rule them out if on extreme budget and/or if the bike/trike will sit for unused for months on end on a battery tender... They don't have a nasty habit of exploding and catching fire if you have safe wiring either. For the most part the electric bike world has migrated to li-ion for the huge advantages in weight & size, cold weather performance and the cost difference has shrunk...

        Comment


        • Fred
          Fred commented
          Editing a comment
          I don't know if this is the case for the linked to lithium packs, but I believe that some ads advertise 20,000 MAh, by taking the total number of cells (e.g. 13s3p = 39 cells) and multiplying the individual cell capacity x the TOTAL number of cells (e.g. 39). This means 20,000 MAh at 3.7 volts! For example, this one
          https://www.ebay.com/itm/38429008364...75.c101224.m-1 says it is a 13s3p config and delivers 20,000 Mah. This would mean cells with 6.67Ah capacity --- not possible with current cell technology.

        • AZguy
          AZguy commented
          Editing a comment
          Well that pack is 48V so it has to be 13s and in the pictures I can count the bumps and it's arranges as 13s4p - 56cells

          Industry standard is specifying 48V @ "X"Ah means the battery does "X"Ah... but many chinese companies are blatant ripoffs, plain and simple and even if the cells added up that way advertising the pack as 48V @ "X"Ah when X is the number of cells x indivdual cell Ah isn't just deceptive, it's an outright lie

          But they lie... all the time... and people continue to get scammed

          I very, very rarely ever buy directly from chinese suppliers... I have but did a bunch of homework on the company if more than a few bucks... if someone wants to purchase a supposedly 48V/20Ah pack shipping from china from some guy called "thenewman" with all of 43 reviews for $100 off ebay... well let's just say if they get ripped off I'm not shedding any tears... and frankly the word "sucker" comes to mind... ;-}

        #6
        Your comments are excellent! Video below of the exact Kent Trike and front brushless 48 volt front hub motor conversion I am contemplating.
        The battery in this video appears to be one of the cheap ones you describe. The 48 Volt motor is Japanese as well, I believe, but I do not know for certain.(Preenex?).
        Video of a users conversion on Kent Monterey Trike: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDF8WawlGXw
        Video of the Preenex front wheel brushless motor sold by Walmart (same as the user above it appears)!: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Electric-...W-26/154344963

        My use will be for vacation rides at the beach on FLAT LEVEL PAVED bike paths. Once or twice a year for a week. Low speeds 10/15 mph. Yes, it will sit unused as a Etrike for months! I may even remove the complete electric conversion wheel and battery and convert back to standard when not at the beach and on vacation!
        All that said, your comments on Lead Acid, may be best for my limited use! Lower cost and easier battery maintenance!

        Thanks again for your comments!

        Comment


          #7
          I seldom think much of a front wheel hub drive - one exception is for standard trikes (two wheels in the back) like what you are considering and as much as I tend to shy away from lead-acid this is one application where it would make good sense although I'd still go for AGM but frankly you could get away with flooded cells here. Put them in the bottom of that rear basket with a sheet of plywood or plastic or something over them and you still have basket space. With AGM they could be put on their side for more efficient space usage.

          Make sure the charger does a proper "float" following the charge. Some cheap ones don't and since you'll be leaving it sit for a long time you definitely want to leave the battery on a float charge. Leaving it off of a float will kill the batteries if they drop too low. If the charger doesn't float and just keeps things at full charge it can cook them over time however.

          For a front wheel drive you need a *very* sturdy solid fork and I would suggest looking for something called a "torque arm"

          Comment


            #8
            AZguy, Yes I am aware of the "torque arm" for front wheel motor installs on weak forks! The Kent Trike frame is strong, but aluminum and I have asked KENT if the fork is steel or aluminum...waiting on their reply!
            I will take all your excellent comments/suggestions and decide between Li Ion 48 volt 10/15ah cost/weight vs a 4 battery AGL/Lead acid cost/weight 48 volt 10/15ah ! Thanks!

            Comment


            • AZguy
              AZguy commented
              Editing a comment
              Li-ion is going to take some nursing to keep have them sit for months on end

              It's not a good idea to leave them for long periods fully charged and even worse to leave them on a charger unless a sophisticated one that will hold them at a storage voltage - they are out there but some are more cost than the battery prices you have in mind!

              If let run down that also hurts them - most take a much longer time than lead-acid to run down but months is too long

              Without a sophisticated charger best advice is usually to put them away around 70% and measure the voltage every month or so until you get an idea of how fast they self discharge - then top them to 70% if they are getting low until you are ready to use

            #9
            Thanks to all who commented to date!
            Here is a time lapse video of the appx 11mike Loggerhead Bike Path located on Cape San Blas near Port St Joe Florida on the forgotten Gulf Coast!
            You can see the relative flat terrain I will be riding!
            In addition, the beach house I visit has a long boardwalk from the house to a Gazebo at the beach shore access AND a much longer one to a Gazebo and docks on the Bay (opposite side from beach.
            (Cape San Blas is very narrow and the Gulf is on the West side and the Bay is on the right! I will ride to the Beach and Bay several times a day. I ride the Loggerhead trail 1 time at the most in a weeks stay.
            LOGGERHEAD TRAIL RIDE VIDEO
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MktvFlFChF8 (watch all the way to end to see state park section)


            House to Beach Access (100 yard ride from house to shore)
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            Bay Dock Access (1/4 mile ride from house to end)
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            Attached Files

            Comment


              #10
              OK guys, looking at small light weigh 12V lead acid batteries, 4 wired in series to get 48V, what is the minimum AH rating for the individual 12V battery that will drive my 48V 1000 watt front wheel brushless motor? Correct me if I am wrong, but I assume 4 batteries wired in series will give me 4 times the voltage (48V) but with little to no increase in amperage (of the individual battery).

              NOTE: The only spec info I have on the motor is brushless, 48V, 1000watt with top speed of 28 to 30 mph. I have no problem with a top speed of only 8 to 10 mph! With that in mind, how low of an AH rating per 12V battery can I drop to without harming the motor and still have basic useable performance?
              Last edited by jbwilli; 07-31-2021, 06:07 AM.

              Comment


              • Fred
                Fred commented
                Editing a comment
                I can give you my thoughts, not based on a trike, but on a small scooter that I have. Being from the great white north, I am fully indoctrinated in the metric system, so will have use Km. The only conversion needed is 1 mile = 1.6Km.

                You suggest you would like to about 10 mph for 5 hrs or about 50 miles. That is about 80km, not a short trip. With no pedaling, but the motor doing all the work, I would estimate one would get in the neighbourhood of 15-20 Wh/Km. This would suggest a required capacity of (15-20 x 80) = 1200 to 1600Wh. At 48V, this would mean about 25-33Ah.

                Now, of course if you contribute by pedaling, the battery would do less work and range would be increased. For example, on my PAS e-bike, I estimate I normally do about 50% of the work by pedaling.

                Other things to keep in mind:
                - A battery, especially SLA does not deliver it’s “rated capacity”, so you will not get 20Ah out of a 20Ah pack.
                - Over time, the range will decrease as well.

                20Ah SLA is a fairly standard size, so, if it were me, I would start with that and see what you get out of it. If you need more range, you could always add an auxiliary set of batteries (e.g. 12Ah or 14Ah).

              #11
              Thanks for rapid reply! Apologies for not explaining properly. Yes, I will be preforming pedal assist. No, no 50 mile trip in 5hrs on one run! More like several short trips per day, adding up to no more than 1 mile per day total at 8 to 20 mph. I guess I should have asked, what amp hour rating will I need to 1) maintain 8 to 10 mph and 2) how many miles at that amp hour, can I get before having to recharge?

              Comment


                #12
                Originally posted by jbwilli View Post
                OK guys, looking at small light weigh 12V lead acid batteries, 4 wired in series to get 48V, what is the minimum AH rating for the individual 12V battery that will drive my 48V 1000 watt front wheel brushless motor? Correct me if I am wrong, but I assume 4 batteries wired in series will give me 4 times the voltage (48V) but with little to no increase in amperage (of the individual battery).

                NOTE: The only spec info I have on the motor is brushless, 48V, 1000watt with top speed of 28 to 30 mph. I have no problem with a top speed of only 8 to 10 mph! With that in mind, how low of an AH rating per 12V battery can I drop to without harming the motor and still get a decent hour run
                duration of 4 to 5 hours!
                If you are looking for 4 to 5 hours, even at 8 to 10mph that's 32 to 50mi - a heck of a lot more than the 1 to 12mi trips in the original post!

                For 32 to 50mi on the front hub drive trike you are looking at would take a lot of battery, even at 8 to 10mph... as the previous post said that's likely in the >20Ah range and yes the Ah rating in series is the same as the Ah rating of the weakest battery... 20Ah deep-cycle AGM batteries are likely going to start at ~$80ea, I've seen 33Ah at the local Batteries Plus at ~$90-$95 so more bang for the buck and would cover the range more comfortably - if you have one of them nearby they might be a good place to start your discussion for AGM


                For comparison, 48V/20Ah in LI-ion from reputable north american source is likely going to start around $600 and can easily cost a lot more although you may be able to find some chinese companies in north america selling cheapies for closer to $400, hard pressed to find much that's worthwhile and legit for le$$

                Comment


                  #13
                  Originally posted by jbwilli View Post
                  Thanks for rapid reply! Apologies for not explaining properly. Yes, I will be preforming pedal assist. No, no 50 mile trip in 5hrs on one run! More like several short trips per day, adding up to no more than 1 mile per day total at 8 to 20 mph. I guess I should have asked, what amp hour rating will I need to 1) maintain 8 to 10 mph and 2) how many miles at that amp hour, can I get before having to recharge?
                  Ah rating has little do with how fast you go, that's more about the current (power to be precise) - Ah is the capacity so more about how far

                  I'm entirely unclear on your goals at this point - to put it simply how far on a charge? Let's not worry about days and hours, etc., keep it simple... Although how much starting, stopping slowing down and speeding up are very important - steady speed is a whole lot different than a lot of frequent accelerating

                  I'll bet you won't really be adding much with the pedals regardless since even 10mph would likely turn into turning the pedals very quickly on that trike unless you change the gearing and then trying to move it with pedal only will be very difficult (batteries may run out)...

                  Comment


                    #14
                    Again, I apologize for lacking the ability to ask my question properly! Let me make it as simple as I can. With the 48V 1000watt brushless front wheel motor: 1) What max speed can be expected with 4 12V batteries with a 16AH rating each, wired in series to produce 48V 16ah ?

                    Comment


                    • AZguy
                      AZguy commented
                      Editing a comment
                      You aren't asking the right questions

                      Speed is limited by the motor and the battery voltage - according to the ad it says 28mph with 48V battery but you need to be careful since 28mph is a legal definition of class three and they may have picked that number based on that, not what it can really do

                      Ah is the capacity and has pretty much nothing to do with speed

                      The battery will have to deliver enough power to drive the vehicle at that speed so the amount of current it can deliver is a factor but the motor speed is limited by voltage

                    #15
                    WOW, this is harder than I expected! Again, I appreciate all the answers and I am sorry I can't properly express my self!
                    Here are reviews from several users of the 48V 1000 watt front wheel motor I am planning on using.
                    All state they purhased 48V 20ah Litium battries off Ebay to power the motor:

                    ​​​​​​
                    June 7, 2021
                    Verified purchase

                    Very GOOD price. $200 DIY very easy. I added a 20amph 48v li battery from eBay $200. I used a Schwinn trike from Sams now in 2021 $380. Was $260 in 2017. Total cost now is $780. I did it for $680. Would be nice if the throttle Was a little more sensitive. I use free iOS APP WAZE on iPhone for Speed and Navigation. You can also do this on a bicycle very easy. Battery comes with a connector for controller. 20mph is to fast, 15mph is nice. Don't know how fast it will go.


                    May 7, 2021
                    Verified purchase

                    Great kit for the price, is not disk brake compatible. works fine with linear pull brakes . get a good 48 volt battery with 20 ah 1000 watt. real easy to install. I used this kit for a adult sized kick scooter by schwinn. pulls me around no problem I am 6' 1'' 210lbs. this has a large motor controller which is nice for the power but hard to hang on builds the controller/battery bag is really too large for use on most bicycles but are great for trikes and carry on luggage.

                    July 22, 2018

                    shipped the day after I ordered it, poor instructions, front wheel build the wires need to be on the left side of the bike or you will drive backwards, idle speed is 8mph. I pedal at 10 mph, I went out 10 miles at 15 mph. had dinner out and drove back at 20 mph. and that is just touching the throttle, I don't need any faster then 20, crossed a 65 foot high bridge and buzzed right up, coasted down the hill with no electric on and was doing 25, easy to petal bike without the motor running, installed in half hour, packing was perfect nothing broken... built this on a folding bike with a rear rack battery...

                    ~~~~
                    I have located 12V 16ah lead acid batteries. Performance will obviously be less than the above users with Li 48V 20ah, , but what can I expect? Flat bike paths and pedal assisting.?

                    Comment


                    • AZguy
                      AZguy commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I suspect with four 16Ah lead-acid deep-cycle (make sure you get deep-cycle batteries) on that trike at 10mph I'd expect ~10mi, maybe more... but then again maybe less depending on a ton of factors

                      To put it in perspective I've got a fat-tire bicycle with the tires about 10-12psi so not the best rolling resistance and if I'm not pedaling it would be odd for me to get less than 20mi with 48V/10Ah at 12-15mph

                      For the most part I always pedal and have a derailleur system so can better couple my pedaling power to the wheel and the bike is a mid-drive and the motor is going to be more efficient than that direct drive hub... typically 48V/10Ah will give me closer to 30mi... but my bike is an entirely different animal than that trike...
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