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New lightweight battery?


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HI all,

I've jsut replaced the battery after 10 years of good service, with a new VArta Blue line. Fits right in and works as advertised. No problemo.

So, anything can be improved, and since I've now run Shorai LiFe for near 10 years on my Laverda, why not on the Esprit?

Take a look at for example this site:

https://www.deadweightindustries.co.uk/products/touge-500

Before I buy one, I'd like to hear if anyone have any experience on the matter.

Is the voltage too high for the cars electronics, bulbs, ecu and other parts? Or is it doable?

Any real world experience?

Kind regards,

Jacques

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Nobody does it better - than Lotus ;)

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  • Gold FFM

12.8V is less than what you'll get with a normal battery and engine running/ alternator charging. And besides the engine ECU, there's not much electronics in an Esprit SE. So nothing to worry about.

I would double check the output of the alternator, you don''t want to overcharge your new expensive battery. Or does the battery have built in circuitry to make sure it is charged properly and not just fed some current at something 12 to 15V ish.

Filip

I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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Hi both,

They have built in management electronics called a BMS.

Controls the critical balance charging of the cells and usually over-load protection too.

Way to go in a track car where every kg counts.

They are a drop in item but wouldn't be for me in an Esprit.

Andy.

 

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Thanks for the confirmation Andy, that's what I thought.

Filip

I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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Seeing as the proposed battery is only about 0.2v more than a typical regular battery, there shouldn't be an issue.

When the engine is running, the voltage at the battery floats around 13.5v - 14v anyway.

I think I read in the EMH Service Notes that some of the ECU error codes appear at 16v.

Andy.

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All right, I take it as it's fine. I have had a Shorai on my Laverda motorcycle (with computer controlled ignition module and electronic charging regulator) for over 9 years now, and it functions flawlessly and super powerfull. No maintenance and no charging during Winter, and best kept in a semi-cool environment - aka my garage or basement.

I think I'll jump that bandwagon. If it toasts something, I may pick up a new Sport300 ecu...

I can read on their website, that the designated charger charges with up to 14,,6 Volt. A bit heavy. Maybe one shoul always disconnect tthe battery before any charging is done. Anyway, it's easy to relearn the ecu, if done like that.

I think I'll write the company and ask for a little more info.

Kind regards,

jacques

Nobody does it better - than Lotus ;)

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Hi Jacques,

Your caution is well placed. Esprit's can seem a bit fragile, sometimes, and end user feedback on LiFePO4 technology, in cars, is pretty thin on the ground.

I have used it in other fields for years and it does need looking after. Cool is good and traditionally, they were best stored half charged if not used for a long period.

The consequence being, a serious shortening of the battery's life or a cell failure rendering the battery useless.

Maybe things have changed.

Your experience with one on a motorcycle is good so I really do think they are fit for purpose.

That said, you could buy 8x lead acid Esprit batteries for that price!

I would say charging is best done with the battery disconnected from the car with that particular charger you mentioned.

Probably wouldn't actually hurt anything but regular (lead acid) trickle chargers usually stay below 13.5v.

Andy.

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Hi Andy,

I spoke to Shorai and it's (now defunct) Danish importers as well, and it is very clearly stated, that ANY modern trickle charger is strictly forbidden to use on a LiFe battery, as it will destroy the cells. Some modern chargers can be manually set to avoid this, but most are automatic with a series od various "programmes" to get a lead acid, old school, or a little newer AGM battery going.

I think that in this day and age, a special charger is needed for every single application. Unfortunately.

Anyway, my 9 year old Shorai LiFe in carbon casing, is super duper going strong still. The starter spins faster, the light is brighter (a Laverda triple is notoriously known for being hard to start). Not so with the Shorai battery. I thought long of buying two of their biggest 36Ah and couple them together, but discarded the idea, as I want it all in one shell, so to speak. Hence my renewed interest in this from deadweight industries.

This brand of LiFe car battery I don't know, and am interested in finding out more. By now, this technology is 10 years old, so some of the early problems must have been overcome with time.

Generally speaking, I try to avoid anything made in c...a, but it's nearly unavoidable.

Price is not an object in this matter, as I just bought a nice new Varta 60 Ah battery in old school lead acid, but maintanance free, but it's heavy at 15 Kilo. It price was an object, I think people would never be crazy enough to buy carbon parts etc. And I think that the 11,8 kilo saved will be the cheapest weight reduction I can do, save the unloading of the spare wheel, jack and handle. I think my carbon sunroof ended up way over 1200 gbp with new magnolia leather etc. as the original roof on my car was built with that. So expensive for a battery, but cheap for performance and weight saving ;)

Back to chargers. The Shorai use a very smart Shorai charger, with it's own port and can balance the cells, turn it down to 60% charge for long term storage etc.

The charger for this battery mentioned here for the car, is another brand and have it's own charger, which does not have that function, but possibly some others.

I'll write back what I find out on the matter.

To me at least, at forst glance, this looks appealing ;)  (I am a sucker for "invisible" weight savings...)

Kind regards,

Jacques

Nobody does it better - than Lotus ;)

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Hi Jacques,

1 hour ago, Jacques said:

it is very clearly stated, that ANY modern trickle charger is strictly forbidden to use on a LiFe

Sorry for any confusion. I wasn't suggesting you use a conventional trickle charger for charging a LiFe battery. That could indeed be harmful for a LiFe battery.

I was merely pointing out that trickle chargers like the C-Tek for example, generally stay below 13.5v while charging a battery which is connected to the car and this is key .

I have seen regular (low cost) 4A, 6A, 8A chargers achieve over 16v while charging and this might be harmful to some ECU's if done while the battery is still connected to the car.

2 hours ago, Jacques said:

Price is not an object in this matter

In that case, go for it, I say 😀

 

Andy.

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Unless you use a reconditioning program, a good charger (like Ctek) should not go over 14.4V, no more than what a strong alternator can deliver. So no risk for the electrickery and no need to disconnect the battery. Obviously talking about old skool lead-acid or AGM batteries.

If weight saving is the main objective, why not use just the one 36Ah battery? That should have more than enough oomph to turn the starter, the Esprit does not use that much electricity and when not regularly driven, the charger will make sure the battery remains topped.

Filip

I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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