Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Battery Selection

I finally made a decision on batteries. I'm going to go with 12 Enersys Odyssey AGM 12V, 100Ah batteries for a pack voltage of 144VDC.

Most people recommend Flooded Lead Acid as the best balance of initial cost, capacity, and cycle life (charge/discharge). However, I didn't want to get involved in the water maintenance and ventilation issues. I guess the biggest thing was that I didn't want buckets of acid in the trunk, just behind my kids' seats.

Absorbed Glass Mat (or Valve Regulated Lead Acid) are maintenance free, sealed, more or less dry, don't give off hydrogen during charging, and don't have to be mounted upright. They also have good characteristics around current draw, so acceleration is reportedly pretty snappy with AGMs. The downside is that charging a series pack of AGMs requires a more intelligent charger ($) to avoid damaging the batteries, and they tend to wear out more rapidly than FLAs if you draw them down too much too often. These are guaranteed for 400 cycles if typically drawn down to 80%Depth-of-Discharge and 800 cycles if only drawn to 40%DoD.

If you figure that a charge/drive cycle is going to happen 4 times a week, that's about two years if I drive it until it gets slow each time. However, I don't expect to drive it until it creeps each time, so hopefully this set will last for three or four years. By the time they're done, the price for LithiumIon batteries should be more palatable.

For more info on battery type selection considerations, look here . Or here. Or here.

1 comment:

  1. sorry to rain on your parade, but there is no way you will get 40 miles out of these batteries, I know from experience. Puekert effect will eat half of your 100Ah capacity, so you end up with 50Ah usable, which at 144V will only propel you approx 25 miles on flat road. Your budget gets you very close to LiFePo4 batteris, I advise you to think real hard about it. Have you joined www.diyelectriccar.com/forum yet? We can talk there.