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Charging a Li battery

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by maylar, Sep 29, 2019.

  1. maylar

    maylar VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Anybody here using a Shorai lithium iron battery with an e-starter? If so, what voltage does your charging system maintain it at while riding?
     
  2. paff

    paff

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    Assuming your alternator is keeping up with the load it would be what the regulator is holding the voltage down to. So shouldn't be much different to a led acid.
    I'm using a Motobatt MBTX16U AGM with the Alton electric start and get 14 -14.5V with lights on (20 watt LED headlight) cruising between 3000 - 4000 revs.
    Lithium battery's have a slightly higher terminal voltage than AGM and probably struggle to stay charged in stop start traffic when the alternator isn't producing sufficient output.
     
  3. Bob Matthews

    Bob Matthews

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2016
  4. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    The Lucas high output 3 alternator set up has kept my Shorai topped up nicely.
     
  5. MexicoMike

    MexicoMike

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    I've had a Shorai 18AH since I installed my Alton E-start in '12 with the standard lucas rectifier and later a podtronics. I have yet to replace that battery! :)
     
  6. maylar

    maylar VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    They refer to lithium ion... is that different than lithium iron?

    Oddly, Shorai says their batteries should be charged at 13.8 to 14.2 volts, and after sitting on the special $$ Shorai charger overnight, the battery reads 13.4 volts. I would have expected higher.

    I have a Sparx 3 phase alt on my bike and I just fitted a voltmeter to the handlebars to keep an eye on what the system does in use. I don't want to be out on the road and not be able to start the old girl.
     
  7. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    Dave, there are plenty of folk on Commandos running Shorai batteries quite happily. Matt sells ‘em and fits ‘em too.

    You should be perfectly fine from a charging perspective. If not it is because something is wrong.
     
    MexicoMike likes this.
  8. concours

    concours VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    maylar likes this.
  9. jimbo

    jimbo VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2004
    I have a few Shorai's in different things, had pretty good luck, but do not let them go dead, because they will stay there!
     
    Yakatak likes this.
  10. maylar

    maylar VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Great.
     
  11. lazyeye6

    lazyeye6

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    I have a 3 phase alternator, podtronics regulator, 21 AH Shiraz battery and cNw electric starter.
    I have never had to use a battery tender. Battery is always topped up at 13.2-13.4 V and never drops after any lengthy period of non use. I ride with lemon headlight on and honk my horn a lot. I have adopted a non worry frame of mind coupled with good towing insurance. If this system design is good enough for Matt it is good enough for me
     
    Fast Eddie likes this.
  12. Yakatak

    Yakatak VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2017
    I have been able to resurrect a flat Shorai by "shocking" it for a few seconds with a conventional 10 amp charger, then putting it back on the Shorai charger. I do not recommend that anyone do this....just worked for me.
    I have 3 bikes on EarthX lithium iron batteries. They have self contained protection circuitry that shuts down the battery if the voltage drops below a safe recharging level.
     
  13. Bodger

    Bodger VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 9, 2017
    I revived a dead lithium iron battery, that tested less than 3 volts and would not charge, by wiring it in parallel with a fully charged battery. This brought the voltage in the lithium iron battery up to a level (cant remember what it was) where the charger worked.
     
    concours likes this.
  14. 72Combat

    72Combat

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    I’ve got a Shorai 18 for the Alton e start. I was using Shorai in my BMW R 90 race bike and bought the cell monitor tool that shows % cell and total charge.
    neither my road R90/S or the Commando can charge past 75 % as from memory the Shorai needs 14.5...?
    I swapped out the BMW for a gel but as the Norton is only for local use top up with Shorai charger. Options after reading up are improve on shunt reg which gives the alt a hard time or fit a conventional batt.
    Better reg is probably way forward but gel battery is only $ 150 NZTA.
    BMW would be easier to modify as external slip ring style alt.
    The Shorai Digital monitor is worth having or as mentioned you can over discharge them.
     
  15. Tornado

    Tornado VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    How does changing the regrec affect the charging volts to get them where your lithium needs? You would need a reg rec that outputs the higher voltage specifically for lithium. Seems a better solution is Togo with a lead acid cell so it can fully charge via your existing system.
     
  16. maylar

    maylar VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Most regulators are designed to clip at about 14.2 v which is fine for any type battery. The problem is getting there at low rpm.
     
  17. maylar

    maylar VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Something was wrong... one of the 3 alternator wires had a bad connection. Ran new wires and fitted one of those MOSFET shunt regulators and now I get 14V at 3000 rpm :D
     
    Craig likes this.
  18. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

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    Oct 4, 2013
  19. maylar

    maylar VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    I've temporarily attached a voltmeter to my handlebars to monitor what the charging system is doing. After a ride around town...

    Voltmeter.JPG

    Warning light not working any more.. dunno why. I've sent the SparkBright folks an email asking if they have a calibration suitable for Lithium Iron batteries. I know if it reads less than 13.1 you don't wanna push that e-start button...
     
  20. MexicoMike

    MexicoMike

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Why? I often start my Norton (Alton E-start) with the batt (Shorai) showing down in the high 12's. Never been a problem starting or subsequent charging. I think there is a great deal of OVER-concern re these batts/charging. Just install one and forget about it. If the charging system was OK previously with a regular batt, it'll be OK with the Shorai-types.

    Admittedly, the standard system may not keep the Shorai at 100% charge but that hasn't been an operational issue in the 6 years I've been running the Shorai.
     

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