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Thread: Earth X batteries, ok or not?

  1. #121
    kestrel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bearhawk Builder View Post
    What are you seeing for temps there?
    I originally installed in the winter and saw temperatures like this for a taxi and take-off (which produced the highest temperatures):

    20170218-OriginalTempLog.jpg

    Knowing that warmer temperatures were coming, I updated the installation with cool air and saw a significant reduction in temperatures:

    20170317-2-ModifiedBox.jpg

    20170317-3-CompletedInstall.jpg

    20170317-4-ModifiedTempLog.jpg

    In warmer weather I saw this:

    20170625-warmWeather.jpg

    I did a lot of watching, but stopped recording screen-shots because it was never getting too hot. The installation is still a very open box that I think could be done much better, but it is working well as is.


    It is worth noting that the 140F temp limit is for a battery that is under load/self-heating. Earth-X recognizes a higher limit for a batter that isn't doing much (forgot what it is, but is is mentioned in the EAA video I previously linked) and they are generally not concerned about installations on the engine side of the firewall (with due consideration for direct exposure to high exhaust heats).


    http://www.eaavideo.org/detail/video...ries-explained


    The thermal runaway temperature for the LiFePo4 is 518F and is considered "Very safe battery even if fully charged":


    http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/a...of_lithium_ion
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    Bearhawk, RV-4
    Thanks Bearhawk Builder thanked for this post

  2. #122
    Smith PA12's Avatar
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    So here in northern BC we just went through two weeks of -30 to -40, my plane was in a hanger, not a heated hanger. It was -35 at 9:00pm, at 3:00am it had warmed up to -8, I turned on my 900watt interior car warmer via a Switchbox, which I leave in the cowl with the engine cover on the plane, and at 10:00 the next morning I went flying. I switched on my beacon and nav lights for about a minute and a half, turned them off and fired the plane. It fired as if it was middle of summer. Cams advice to put a load on the battery to warm it up seems to be very good advice, I will certainly do that whenever the plane has been sitting awhile or if it's been cold.
    Btw, battery is under seat and car warmer only warmed the engine area.

    Thanks Cam for the advice!

    Rick
    RCW
    Fort St John BC

  3. #123
    cgoldy's Avatar
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    Fitted the Earthx yesterday. Wow. Does it crank! I'm still scratching my head in wonderment. I reckon if I run out of fuel the battery could crank me back home.

    Location ended up on the starboard lower engine side of the firewall. Best place to get the greatest distance from the exhaust pipes and pick up some airflow. Threw away 5 foot of battery cable from the old under back seat installation.
    Back Country O-375 wide body extended wing cub

  4. #124

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    Thanks for the detailed cold weather pirep. That is my greatest concern. The odyssey has been bullet proof in the -20 and warmer I tend to fly in. I just want to be sure of similar performance before I make the switch.

  5. #125
    Ruffair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smith PA12 View Post
    So here in northern BC we just went through two weeks of -30 to -40, my plane was in a hanger, not a heated hanger. It was -35 at 9:00pm, at 3:00am it had warmed up to -8, I turned on my 900watt interior car warmer via a Switchbox, which I leave in the cowl with the engine cover on the plane, and at 10:00 the next morning I went flying. I switched on my beacon and nav lights for about a minute and a half, turned them off and fired the plane. It fired as if it was middle of summer. Cams advice to put a load on the battery to warm it up seems to be very good advice, I will certainly do that whenever the plane has been sitting awhile or if it's been cold.
    Btw, battery is under seat and car warmer only warmed the engine area.

    Thanks Cam for the advice!

    Rick
    Rick, I love the SwitchBox.

    I use the second outlet for a battery charger on the Odyssey. I’m not near your cold temperatures, but am cranking an
    O-520 in a c180 , and really like topping off the juice before I show up.

    The Swithbox is a great thing. I can light it up from about anywhere in the..... world, I guess...! Looking forward to an EarthX someday.

    Kem
    "...We're fast enough to get there, But slow enough to see..."
    Fron the song "Barometer Soup". By Jimmy Buffett

  6. #126

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    Etx900-vnt

    Quote Originally Posted by Smith PA12 View Post
    I've ordered a new Earth X battery and now I am seeing a lot of posts about them burning up. Any new information on them, should we be putting them in our planes? is there an installation issue that needs addressing? if anyone has info on why they have burned up, I'd sure like to know.

    Thanks
    It seems that on the VAF site there has been some discussion about the EarthX causing smoke (no fire) when hit with an alternators' runaway over-voltage. Now EarthX has a battery similar to their ETX680C which has vented leads that will vent smoke (if any is ever produced) to the exterior of the plane. This is recommended for any experimental airplane with the battery in the cabin. It's not cheap, (none of them are) but knowing that if it goes up in smoke and not in flames is comforting, as is the ability to take the smoke to the exterior of the plane. This smoke problem has happened once I believe so it is a very tiny concern. - Remember, in aviation $$ goes up in smoke of one kind or another every time we fly.

    Smoking or not The EarthX Li type batteries are quite safe according to Bob Nuckolls.

    http://www.aeroelectric.com/Referenc...Technology.pdf

    Look at the comparison of Li batteries at the bottom of this link. Not all Li are chemically the same... some are a lot more user friendly than others and the EarthX falls into the very safe category.
    Thanks Airhutch thanked for this post

  7. #127

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    Keep in mind a lead acid battery will smoke if hit with a runaway alternator. Something has to give when more than 18V gets in the 12V system.

  8. #128
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I have done a lot of research on the EarthX battery as of late. The only time there has been an issue was either the builder/owner used a powersport battery that does not have the over voltage circuit built into the battery or they fail to install some sort of over voltage cut out circuit and anything to warn of such. You can also put a temp sensor on the battery and an idiot light on the panel with a field switch on the alternator. I am working on a field approval right now on my Super Cub. My battery will be in it's stuck location so not in the cockpit. I have a B&C alternator and voltage regulator with an over voltage circuit. I also installed this with an alternator field switch which I don't turn on until the engine is started. There was a good article in Kitplanes and this is in the new EAA Sport Aviation magazine. I have read some discussions on other forums and it never ceases to amaze me how people respond when they have no idea what they are talking about.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Steve Pierce

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  9. #129
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    As pointed out, ANY battery will have issues with an overvoltage situation. Lead/acid fumes in the cockpit can be worse than some forms of smoke. Neither issue is healthy. Maybe worry more about overvoltage protection and amps/volts monitoring. It will keep the pilot healthy and keep the equipment from having to repaired/replaced.

    Web
    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.

  10. #130

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    EarthX ETX aircraft batteries have redundant battery management circuits built in that will isolate the battery in low and high voltage events. They come with a output wire to connect an idiot light for battery status. My Odysseys don’t have that. I’ve deformed a couple of Odysseys while bench charging too aggressively so if I had a failed regulator in my plane I’d rather have the EarthX.

  11. #131
    cgoldy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    I have done a lot of research on the EarthX battery as of late. The only time there has been an issue was either the builder/owner used a powersport battery that does not have the over voltage circuit built into the battery or they fail to install some sort of over voltage cut out circuit and anything to warn of such. You can also put a temp sensor on the battery and an idiot light on the panel with a field switch on the alternator. I am working on a field approval right now on my Super Cub. My battery will be in it's stuck location so not in the cockpit. I have a B&C alternator and voltage regulator with an over voltage circuit. I also installed this with an alternator field switch which I don't turn on until the engine is started. There was a good article in Kitplanes and this is in the new EAA Sport Aviation magazine. I have read some discussions on other forums and it never ceases to amaze me how people respond when they have no idea what they are talking about.

    Mine has been installed with the light on the panel and connected to a BnC 8 amp Alternator with the crow bar over voltage protection. So I think I have the over voltage side covered but not sure about over temp. I put it on the engine side of the firewall in some airflow but it gets pretty dam hot on an Australian hot day. Where is yours mounted Steve and what did you do for temperature monitoring?

    Oh, I have a Sutton exhaust so radiant heat is not a problem.

    CGoldy
    Back Country O-375 wide body extended wing cub

  12. #132
    Barnstormer's Avatar
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    Nice work Steve!

    CGoldy, mine is mounted on the firewall behind an O375. I put it in this box and put this over it so it reflects the heat away. Never had a problem in the Texas heat.

    https://www.speedwaymotors.com/Aluminum-Battery-Box-for-Braille-and-Odyssey,42956.html

    http://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS-Performance-Products/555/10268/10002/-1

  13. #133
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I am awaiting FAA approval so have yet to install the battery but my intent is to install it in the stock location behind the stock baggage compartment.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  14. #134
    Super Dave
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    So does AC 43.13 apply in this case? If its a CAR 3 certified aircraft I would say no. The 1A3 TCDS says the following:

    IV. - Model PA-18S "150" and PA-18AS "150", 2 PCSM (Normal Category only), Approved October 1, 1954. (FAA is born in 1959)

    Required Equipment In addition to the pertinent required basic equipment specified in CAR 3, the following items of equipment must be installed: Items 5(b), 109, 209(b), and 401(r). (no mention of battery)

    Certification Basis Type Certification No. 1A2 (CAR 3, as amended November 1, 1949).






  15. #135
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    David, An electrical system was optional in the PA-18 therefor would not be listed as "required equipment". Thus no mention of a battery.
    N1PA

  16. #136
    Super Dave
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    Umm sorry not accurate: From TCDS 1A2:

    Electrical Equipment
    301. Battery - Reading S24 +27 lb. (+51)
    Not eligible on Models PA-18 "150" or PA-18A "150"
    302. Landing lights in wing leading edge +4 lb. (+5)
    (a) All Models except PA-18 "150" and PA-18A "150"
    per Piper Dwg. 12534
    (b) Models PA-18 "150" and PA-18A "150" per Piper Dwg. 14442
    303. Battery - Reading R33-12V. Serial No. 18-1116, 18-1152, 18-1155, 18-1182, 18-1183, 18-1199,
    18-1204, 18-1212 through 18-8309025.
    (a) Models PA-18, PA-18S, PA-18 "125", PA-18S "125", +28 lb. (+84)
    PA-18 "135" and PA-18S "135" installed per Piper Dwg. 12302
    (b) Models PA-18A and PA-18A "135" installed per Piper Dwg. 13296 +28 lb. (+59)
    (c) Models PA-18 "150" and PA-18A "150" installed per Piper Dwg. 14241 +28 lb. (+84)

  17. #137
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Key word "Required". Those items are optional. You could order a new PA-18 back in the day when they were being produced with out an electrical system.
    N1PA

  18. #138

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidv.lewis View Post
    So does AC 43.13 apply in this case? If its a CAR 3 certified aircraft I would say no. The 1A3 TCDS says the following:

    IV. - Model PA-18S "150" and PA-18AS "150", 2 PCSM (Normal Category only), Approved October 1, 1954. (FAA is born in 1959)

    Required Equipment In addition to the pertinent required basic equipment specified in CAR 3, the following items of equipment must be installed: Items 5(b), 109, 209(b), and 401(r). (no mention of battery)

    Certification Basis Type Certification No. 1A2 (CAR 3, as amended November 1, 1949).





    AC43.13-2b Chapter 10 only gives data for lead acid and nickel cadmium batteries. Nothing there for LI batteries. All the mounting data is good to go, just not the installation of the LI battery. You need more data for that.


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  19. #139
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    There is not a 1A3 TCDS. I'll let david sign off the EarthX with his license.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  20. #140

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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    EarthX ETX aircraft batteries have redundant battery management circuits built in that will isolate the battery in low and high voltage events. They come with a output wire to connect an idiot light for battery status. My Odysseys don’t have that. I’ve deformed a couple of Odysseys while bench charging too aggressively so if I had a failed regulator in my plane I’d rather have the EarthX.
    Well, my idiot light was doing a slow flash. Read the manual. The slow flash can mean different things based on the battery voltage. Mine was fully charged so it didn’t make sense. I called EarthX. Reg, the big boss answered the phone and listened to my explanation of the problem. He told me to take the battery out of service because it had a cell problem. Told me to make a warranty claim even though the battery is 18 months old. The warranty dept required a receipt, which I was able to come up with. They sent me a new battery via 3-day priority mail. That’s pretty good service, but the bigger take is that the battery management system and the trouble light worked. And EarthX backed up their product based on it. I’m impressed.
    Last edited by stewartb; 07-10-2018 at 11:19 AM.
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