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Old 01-26-2013, 11:50 AM   #24
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Southern California
Posts: 314

Originally Posted by BoingTennis View Post
Topspin, I don't think we will find a lot of feedback on these batteries being used with ball machines.

I find this to be a worthy project to try, since my Lobster is in need of a replacement battery anyway. I myself do not live in the US, and that is the more reason for me to buy these LiFePO4 batteries since they are so light, shipping it to Asia would be cheaper.

After I did some google research, these are some of my findings:
1) This battery type will most likely work very well with our ball machines. They have been used extensively in many applications including automotive, EV, etc. Both high-discharge and sustained-discharge types of applications have been covered.
2) Some batteries has better electronic features than others. Shorai batteries (big with motorcycle owners) does not seem to have as much built-in protection and balancing features as the batteries from Powerizer.
Battery balancing feature seems to be an important one to have.
3) Price varies greatly and it looks like it depends on the electronic features I mentioned above.
4) Our stock charger (for Lobster owners) which are most likely made by Soneil are save to use with the LiFePO4 batteries. Pulse mode charging in the Soneil will only function when the battery is at 0.5V-5V. LiFePO4 batteries are not supposed to be discharged below 10V, so our charger will never have its pulse mode charging activated. Soneil charger highest charging voltage is 14.7V, which is below the max charging voltage for LiFePO4 batteries (15V).

Here are the alternatives (for Lobster owners) 7.13L x 3.03W x 6.57H:

1) Shorai 18Ah 5.83L x 2.60W x 4.13H
Only 2.12 lbs, prismatic cells, smaller than stock Lobster battery, same capacity as stock, doesn't seem to have built-in protections/balancing.
2) OEM Battery from BatterySpace with Balancing
7 lbs, prismatic cells, same size as the stock Lobster battery, 20Ah capacity, has balancing PCB but no built-in protection.
3) OEM Battery from BatterySpace w/o any extra features
6.6 lbs, prismatic cells, same size as Lobster battery, 20Ah, no balancing/protection, cheapest I've found.
4) Powerizer w/built in protection and balancing (PCM)
7lbs, cylindrical cells, same size as Lobster battery, 20Ah, complete built-in balancing and protection, expensive.

I'm going with option #2. Will purchase today and will probably get it within 3 weeks. I'll snap some pictures and test it ASAP.
I didn't see you excellent post! I like Shorei because they are made in Japan. But I think having a balancing circuit and protection (is that for overcharging or too low a discharge voltage?) are very useful. Then again, my model airplane friends tell me Lipo cell balancing isn't as much a problem as it used to be.
retrograde is offline   Reply With Quote