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Thread: Earth X batteries, ok or not?

  1. #81
    kestrel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scouter View Post
    He is really knowlegeble about all kinds of batteries. He said he would not sell me a lithium battery if it is going into an airplane, and then said heres why. Went out back and got this battery. Its a Shorai, which is a pretty big name in lithium. If you look close at the pix, you can see the bottom cells are swelled up and getting ready to burst. It popped the battery top off. His opinion is most lithium batteries are not ready for primetime yet. I dunno, sure was eye opening
    Jim
    Unless he told you how it failed, what was done to it, and compared that to an EarthX, all he showed you was FUD. Most lithium batteries are NOT ready for primetime/aircraft use. They lack the Battery Management System and protection circuits that EarthX has. Without more details, he may have done a good job of selling how smart he was, but doesn't actually know what he is talking about. Shorai may be big, but they are not EarthX. There is a difference.
    --
    Bearhawk, RV-4

  2. #82
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    Shorai was/is a motorcycle battery, while it is a lithium-iron type battery, it has no internal cell monitoring (BMS). Shorai has a special charger that must be used. You could damage a single cell by overcharging. I don't believe their original battery had a shutdown to prevent complete discharge, which also caused problems. They built quality batteries though and really pioneered the process that highlighted what problems to expect. EarthX has taken these batteries to the next level though. Comparing Shorai to EarthX is apples to oranges.
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  3. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by nanook View Post
    We just started installing lithium iron batteries in Caravans! True Blue Power STC'd. (EarthX needs to get with the program). The first Caravan to get one has the Blackhawk P&W PT6A-140 (867SHP). The lithium spins the start Ng past 20%, the lead acid would get maybe 18%. The charge rate after start is noticeably higher for a short duration. The lithium weighs 32lbs less than the lead acid...
    Why did you go with the TB battery? I looked at the numbers on the $14k battery and it seemed like it would be hard to beat the concord sealed lead acid long term on price. I usually get two years on a battery. The TB would have to last manny manny years to pay off. Do you see some other advantage other then the higher NG lower start temps? The 32lbs is attractive for the Pilatus but the caravan doesn’t need anymore aft CG then it already has at least on our company planes.
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  4. #84
    nanook's Avatar
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    Well since it's new, who knows. The TB is supposed to have an eight year maintenance free life. The big engine weighs more, this battery weighs less and is forward of the firewall. We are running five of the -140s and they are all going to end up with this battery. Time will tell whether it is worth it. The big engine Caravan needs more aft.
    Last edited by nanook; 12-30-2017 at 03:32 AM.

  5. #85
    Scouter's Avatar
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    Here is another discussion on lith batteries I have been following, Its got the best and the worst that the internet offers, really solid info, and guys throwing hand grenades.
    You will recognize one of the guys who makes a lot of sense, and gets his ideas presented well. Despite the grenades

    https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/comm...-fires.102016/

    jim
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  6. #86

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    The etx900-vnt has built in thermal containment as well as provisions for venting. If they do get it certified, it will be in my airplane the followimg week....
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  7. #87
    Smith PA12's Avatar
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    Goldy

    In my experimental 12 I put my earth X under the pilot seat. Pretty simple install. I've had it there all last winter and no issues. I park indoors but not a heated hanger. Temps here in northern BC, -40 C today! Not flying today but we go out in -15 C lots. I always preheat engine compartment but the cockpit doesn't always get heated. Battery has been good, I've never had it go to default mode.

    Heres a a pic of my install. Easy to get at, just remove the seat and easy to work on if needed. image.jpeg
    RCW
    Fort St John BC
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  8. #88
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Well, shoot.

    Looked up True Blue. 24v only.

    Oh well.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  9. #89

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    Besides my Earth X I also fly with sometimes as many of three batteries for my electric folding mountain bike. Like the X they are quality (Panasonic and Samsung cells only, no Chinese counterfeits please), and most importantly or at least as important, also a quality BMS. When you feel the energy of one of these bike batteries helping push you up a mountain (i was over 9K several times this year) it really gives you a direct physical sense of what they can do, really amazing tech for what they weigh and cost, and they are only getting better! BTW: I carry the bike batteries in a belly mounted all aluminum bomb shaped pod, either there or on the jury struts sometimes.

  10. #90
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    Stewartb, I appreciate your attempt on the other site. That other guy is an idiot.

    I’ve run my EarthX “dead” once by leaving the master on. Hand propped with no issues but no charge coming out of the battery (self protection mode cut it off from inside the battery’s circuits). A quick tap to the terminals with a gpu battery was enough to flash the alternator field and start charging the battery again. That happened pretty soon after I got it, still no issues. The EarthX internal circuitry is what makes that particular brand safe.

    Cranked yesterday morning at 32 deg F after having sat for the last month, no battery tender. I ran all the lights and radios off the battery for 15 seconds or so, then turned them all off and tried the start. Stalled on the first compression stroke, but the next attempt spun the engine through like summer time.

    I love this battery.
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  11. #91
    Smith PA12's Avatar
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    Cam
    what does putting the lights and radios on for 15 seconds do?


    Thanks
    Rick
    RCW
    Fort St John BC

  12. #92
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    Cranked mine at -12 below this morning after a -16 night. First try blade hardly moved on a preheated 50F engine, 5 seconds later same thing. Waited 30 seconds like they say and it spun over like it was a 70F day

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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  13. #93
    CamTom12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smith PA12 View Post
    Cam
    what does putting the lights and radios on for 15 seconds do?


    Thanks
    Rick
    Gets the electrons flowing and warms up the battery internals. They operate much more efficiently when warm and have plenty of battery capacity to “waste” some in the warming process.

    I got that method from another short wing guy in AK with an EarthX. Works real good. I’d run it longer if the temps were cooler. Maybe a minute or two.
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  14. #94
    Smith PA12's Avatar
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    Cam
    Thanks, I'm here in northern BC, i've got my plane in a hanger but no heat, -42 C for 10 days. Bought a 800 watt car heater and put in the cowling and it warms to 75 F in 3 or so hours. Battery is under seat and I usually put a heater in the cockpit for an hour to heat it up a bit too! I don't fly in -40 but we go out in -15 or -20 C as a limit.

    I noticed it it was a bit slower starting last time it sat in cold weather for a couple weeks, I'm going to try the lights and radios on for a minute or so next time. Thanks again.

    Rick
    RCW
    Fort St John BC
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  15. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smith PA12 View Post
    Bought a 800 watt car heater and put in the cowling and it warms to 75 F in 3 or so hours.

    Rick
    Remember, it takes time for the steel in the crank and cam to warm up. Even if the temps are 75 in the cowl, just like a roast in the oven, it takes time for the innards to come up to temperature.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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  16. #96

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    Quote Originally Posted by CamTom12 View Post
    Gets the electrons flowing and warms up the battery internals. They operate much more efficiently when warm and have plenty of battery capacity to “waste” some in the warming process.

    I got that method from another short wing guy in AK with an EarthX. Works real good. I’d run it longer if the temps were cooler. Maybe a minute or two.
    That's probably why my EarthX doesn't seem to notice when I first pump 10 or 15 gallons of fuel up into the mains using my built in transfer pump, in my 40-45 degree hangar. The few amps I draw pumping is just enough to get it warmed up.

  17. #97
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    According to the folks at EarthX, a cold soaked battery ( oat below freezing) sends an under voltage signal to the Battery Power Management to prevent further discharge and thus inability to charge up.
    They recommend a moderate draw for 30-60 seconds to “wake up” the battery.

    Lou
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  18. #98

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    Listen to the EAA webinar. At the end, where they address questions from the audience, I asked about cold start performance. The answer was very interesting. These don't work the same as the batteries we're used to.

  19. #99
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    Worked for an old farmer in and early 70s. One below zero morning I couldn't get the old truck to turn over fast enough to start. He came out with 2 long screw drivers and put the tip of one on the + terminal and one on the - terminal and crossed the blade shafts till they came together with a big spark. He kept them together for about 5 seconds and then closed the hood and told me to start the truck and get to work. Fired right up. He called it boot strapping, and told me it's safer to do with jumper cables because the battery blows up once in awhile

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"

  20. #100
    SJ's Avatar
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    There are enough things that burn in airplanes already! I don't need to add one more!

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  21. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJ View Post
    There are enough things that burn in airplanes already! I don't need to add one more!

    sj
    Banner planes are particularly weight sensitive and I'd love to lose 15-20 pounds, but Im very nervous about a potential fire in a Ceconite and dope covered airplane. I suppose once certified we might look at this differently but for now, it seems like "playing with fire." I think it was Ben Franklin (Maybe someone else, correct me) who said...Be not the first by whom the new is tried, nor the last to set the old aside.

  22. #102

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    It would be interesting to see what the sample size is of people who have or have flown behind these batteries. I have about 300 hrs of experience with one. Is there a way to do a survey or poll on the website?


    Sent from my iPad using SuperCub.Org
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  23. #103
    Barnstormer's Avatar
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    I've got about 900 hours flying behind them in two different planes, both firewall mounted location, and I haven't burst into flames yet. Unless of course I have and I'm actually now in an alternate or parallel universe. Hmmm, that might actually explain a few things.

  24. #104
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    I'd be interested to see what the list of anecdotes looks like after removing all the reports on things that are not Earth-X batteries with the "aircraft" BMS. Every reference to Boeing or laptops is a red herring. References to other Earth-X batteries that do not contain their "redundant" BMS system also are not relevant. Since I continue to see references to other chemistries and batteries without a good BMS, it is clear that a lot of people still don't get it. If you actually understand the facts and still want to see more miles on them first, I get it. ...but I don't understand the continued references to unrelated technologies and products.
    --
    Bearhawk, RV-4

  25. #105
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    I've been using Earth-x for 950 hrs with no problems. Low voltage protective circuit works like a charm .
    Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of
    that comes from bad judgment. will rodgers

    "Anyone who would give up liberty for safety deserves neither" Ben Franklin

  26. #106

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    I wouldn't give mine up at gunpoint.

  27. #107

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    Possibly, AC 20-184 might give some guidance.

  28. #108
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubdriver2 View Post
    Worked for an old farmer in and early 70s. One below zero morning I couldn't get the old truck to turn over fast enough to start. He came out with 2 long screw drivers and put the tip of one on the + terminal and one on the - terminal and crossed the blade shafts till they came together with a big spark. He kept them together for about 5 seconds and then closed the hood and told me to start the truck and get to work. Fired right up. He called it boot strapping, and told me it's safer to do with jumper cables because the battery blows up once in awhile

    Glenn
    I worked on a farm when was 12 and 13, the farmer DID blow up the battery using cresent wrench and get a face full of acid....

  29. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike mcs repair View Post
    I worked on a farm when was 12 and 13, the farmer DID blow up the battery using cresent wrench and get a face full of acid....
    He should have used a lead acid battery instead of one of those new fangled Earth-X lithiums that explode! The lead acids are dead simple and safe! :-D
    --
    Bearhawk, RV-4

  30. #110
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    Re: bootstraping
    Supposedly turning the headlights on for a few min. will do the same thing. Not as exciting though.
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  31. #111
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike mcs repair View Post
    I worked on a farm when was 12 and 13, the farmer DID blow up the battery using cresent wrench and get a face full of acid....
    Like I said, better done with jumper cables to keep the spark and your face away from the fumes

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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  32. #112

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    Earth X

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    If you read AC43.13-2B allows you to install a lead acid battery if certain criteria is met. It specifically calls out not allowing Lithium type batteries. Earth X is working on a certified version. From everything I have researched you are on your own installing an Earth X in a certified aircraft at this point, kinda like those Catto props.
    I've been running one for months, no issues & I wouldn't swap it for anything.

  33. #113
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    Cut and pasted from Glasair forum.


    This issue was not experienced on a Glasair aviation aircraft. The following was originally posted on VAF Forums and Mark felt that it may have some value if reposted here. Also, this is in no way a negative review of the EarthX product. Their batteries are excellent in my opinion as is their customer service but my mounting location needed some additional thought.
    VAF post:
    My RV-10 now has 35 hours on it and I’ve been removing the cowling regularly to check everything out. Up until now everything was checking out fine but now I’ve discovered that my choice of battery location needed a little more thought. Being 14" from the nearest exhaust component, I thought the regular light weight battery box would be sufficient and no additional heat shielding would be needed. I was wrong.
    Last week I was caught by some unforecasted weather and spent the afternoon doing short hops between storm bands to get back home and lengthy ground runs to keep some heat going in the cabin in the frigid weather. I suspect this is when the outer case of my EarthX ETX900 battery absorbed more heat than it was designed to handle.
    The battery is still performing perfectly but the deformation was concerning so I contacted EarthX for their advice. Reg immediately recognized the damage as being caused by radiated heat. The case areas exposed through the cutouts in the battery box were the only areas affected. They offered to inspect the battery and recase it at no cost even though it was my own set up that caused the problem. I opted to upgrade the battery to the ETX1200 at extra cost now that this model will fit in the original battery box. EarthX was excellent to deal with and Reg and Kathy handled my concerns quickly and efficiently. They have offered outstanding customer service and I’m glad I chose this product.
    I opted to install the lightweight battery on the firewall for several reasons. One was to eliminate the need for the long run of 2 AWG wire but mostly to keep the C of G where it needed to be with the Whirlwind prop and lightweight engine accessories. This goes to show that if you stray from the plans make sure you give your planned choices a thorough risk analysis and mitigate accordingly.
    The battery is now protected from radiant heat by installing a simple .063 bent aluminum plate to the front and bottom of the battery box. If you opt for a firewall mounted battery you really should consider adding the few extra ounces it takes to either modify the battery box to protect from radiant heat or make a battery box without openings.

    20161220_111231.jpg2988x5312 2.98 MB



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    Back Country O-375 wide body extended wing cub

  34. #114
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Colin, With this in mind, if I were installing an EarthX on the engine side of the firewall, I would make provisions for a cold air blast tube from above the engine to the battery box. Perhaps a pick up point in the rear upper baffle.
    N1PA

  35. #115
    kestrel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    Colin, With this in mind, if I were installing an EarthX on the engine side of the firewall, I would make provisions for a cold air blast tube from above the engine to the battery box. Perhaps a pick up point in the rear upper baffle.
    That's what I did for my firewall mount. I also have a Bluetooth thermometer in the battery box and spent quite a bit of time monitoring it.
    --
    Bearhawk, RV-4

  36. #116
    Bearhawk Builder's Avatar
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    What are you seeing for temps there?

  37. #117
    aktango58's Avatar
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    If I have to monitor my battery temp, I will change my set up.

    Enough things to take care of without being concerned of that particular issue.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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  38. #118
    kestrel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    If I have to monitor my battery temp, I will change my set up.

    Enough things to take care of without being concerned of that particular issue.
    Define "have to". It seems to me that with any experimental setup, one should take care of due diligence. I was testing a configuration that no one had ever done before. ...so I checked. You criticize because I checked?

    What I found is that I didn't need to monitor. Had I not looked, I would not know.

    What I also found is that the Odyssey PC680 was being used well outside of its temperature range. The maximum temperature for an Earth-X is 140F and mine is kept below that. I made sure of it. The maximum temperature for the Odyssey is 122F.

    So, was I safer with the AGM lead-acid battery that no one would ever question? ...or am I safer now with an Earth-X that is being operated with-in specs?

    ...the things that make you go "Hmmm...."
    --
    Bearhawk, RV-4
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  39. #119
    Barnstormer's Avatar
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    Regardless of the battery type if it's mounted on the firewall it gets wrapped on the side facing the engine and over the top in this:

    http://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS-Performan...32033/10002/-1

  40. #120

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    I appreciate the post showing the radiated heat damage. I'm surprised and a little disappointed that Earth X doesn't use a better plastic case. My 180's Odyssey has been on the firewall in a box that leaves the battery partially exposed to heat from the engine and exhaust. Within spec or not I've never had a problem in nearly 20 years of using this setup. Adding a heat shield with an air space between shield and Earth X battery box would be easy enough. Sharing the issue will help others avoid the problem. Thanks for that.
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