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Thread: Lithium battery

  1. #1
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    Default Lithium battery

    Anybody running this battery? I'm almost done with the Kitfox 4 with 912 rebuild, and am looking at maybe going with a lithium battery. Or if anyone is running some other lithium battery, what is it, and how do you like it? Thanks, JImChuk

    https://www.amazon.com/Shorai-Lithiu.../dp/B00I69WDUW

  2. #2
    Administrator DesertFox4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lithium battery

    I have EarthXís ETX680 model. https://earthxbatteries.com/shop/etx680
    My Kitfox has the Rotax 912 ULS with soft start and of course the now standard high torque starter.
    Iíve never seen or flown behind a Rotax that starts as quickly as this set up. The EarthX battery contributes most to the rapid start then the high torque starter with the soft start likely the lesser of the 3 contributors. Their batteries designed for aircraft use have battery management technology specifically for that application.
    I have about 75 hours now and the starts are nothing short of amazing.

    FFEC7E40-6142-44D9-AFA4-64D74581F149.jpg


    DesertFox4
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    7 Super Sport
    912 ULS Tri-gear
    Ivo Prop

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Lithium battery

    Be wary of lithium-based batteries that have unknown internals. Without a robust cell-balancing and battery protection system, they're potentially dangerous in aviation applications. Also, see the reviews on that Amazon listing for reports of cells going out of balance, leading to a failure to accept charge or to crank the engine. See also reports of elaborate required maintenance rituals using the Shorai-specific charger/maintainer.

    I've only seen one report of failure of an EarthX battery, but the owner bought a new one and tossed the old; it was never analyzed to find the fault. Perhaps EarthX have cracked the code on lithium battery tech, but I'm still skeptical. A battery with active electronics inside which can disconnect the battery from the bus, and over which I have no control, doesn't appeal to me, despite the weight and cranking performance advantages.
    Eric Page
    Building Kitfox 5
    Member: EAA, AOPA, ALPA
    ATP: MEL / Comm: SEL, Glider / ATCS: CTO
    Map of Landings

  4. #4
    Senior Member jrevens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lithium battery

    There is a good weight savings with Lithium-based batteries, but Eric makes some good points. EarthX uses Lithium-Iron chemistry, which is considerably safer than most others. With my airplane, a 7SS w/ 912 ULS, it's actually advantageous to have the heavier AGM battery on my firewall from a CG standpoint. It's a little better in some other ways also, principally based on economics (I can buy 3 or 4 of them for the price of an EarthX) & total operational efficiency. I think that the newer starters are the biggest factor for fast starts... I can't imagine my engine starting any faster than it does. It seems like it usually starts before it even makes 1 revolution. That may be an exaggeration... I'll pay close attention next time.
    John Evens
    Arvada, CO
    Kitfox SS7 N27JE

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Lithium battery

    Thanks guys for the comments. What got me going on batteries was the fact that I weighed the plane and did the CG calculations yesterday. Came in at 649.8 lbs with an empty weight CG of 13.46. When I was calculating most aft CG, I ended up going back to about 14.9" when I got to 1200 lbs total weight. Just behind the rear limit of 14.78". My battery, a lawn tractor battery was back on the shelf about 24" behind the seat. Got to thinking that if I went with a lithium battery, I would drop at least 10-12 lbs, and the CG would move forward a fair amount. For now I'm going to move the battery forward to as close to the seat as I can fit it, and that will move the CG just far enough that I can load to 1200 lbs and still be in the CG envelope. I do have room in front of the panel for a battery, and thought about going there, but it gets tight with the battery I have. Did some searching on here, and guys like the Odyssey 680, but it's just as heavy as the one I have and almost the same size. Has anyone been using the Odyssey 545 with an 80 HP Rotax? it's a bit lighter, and would fit better in front of the panel. Thanks JImChuk

    PS here is a picture from last night and the panel from a few days ago. Right side of panel is empty for a 7" tablet to set there.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    Senior Member PapuaPilot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lithium battery

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Page View Post
    A battery with active electronics inside which can disconnect the battery from the bus, and over which I have no control, doesn't appeal to me, despite the weight and cranking performance advantages.
    Certified aircraft are being upgraded with lithium batteries. Concorde is doing beta testing and True Blue has an STC for theirs. Pretty soon you are going to need to give up flying if you don't want a lithium battery in your aircraft.

    Shouldn't a pilot be able to keep flying and land safely without the main battery as long as engine ignition isn't a factor? I would much rather have a lithium battery that self disconnects than a cheap unknown brand that might get hot, catch on fire and not be able to be extinguished. An engine/cabin fire gives a pilot a horrific short time to try and get the plane on the ground before it is no longer able to fly.

    FYI I upgraded to an Earth-X 680C a couple years ago and love it. I like that Earth-X has dual BMS circuitry in their aircraft batteries.
    Phil Nelson
    A&P-IA, Maintenance Instructor
    KF 5 Outback, Cont. IO-240
    Flying since 2016

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Lithium battery

    Quote Originally Posted by avidflyer View Post
    Anybody running this battery? I'm almost done with the Kitfox 4 with 912 rebuild, and am looking at maybe going with a lithium battery. Or if anyone is running some other lithium battery, what is it, and how do you like it? Thanks, JImChuk

    https://www.amazon.com/Shorai-Lithiu.../dp/B00I69WDUW
    Hi,Iím using a shorai in my current build. Lithium iron technology. Donít leave the master on
    it will kill the battery. Good part is a three year warranty, two years free replacement !!
    The little battery will crank a 914 like crazy!

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