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Author Topic: What Battery do i need?  (Read 6722 times)
tbone
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« on: January 15, 2010, 11:17:43 AM »

One of the most common questions that arises on the forum is `Andy, what battery do you use on your trike?`.......
I`m not gonna answer that because i`m not Andy, i will however provide a little insight into batteries and hopefully this will help in finding the right battery for you.

Firstly i`m going to start by saying that your battery will only be as good as your charging circuit. Self explanitory really, you cant keep taking power out without putting more back in!

BATTERY TYPES

Basically there are two types of lead acid batteries (along with 3 sub categories).
The two main types are Starting (cranking), and Deep Cycle (marine/golf cart). The starting battery is designed to deliver quick bursts of energy (such as starting engines), The deep cycle battery has less instant energy, but greater long-term energy delivery, and should be used only to power items when you are camping.

The sub categories are : Wet Cell, Gel Cell, and Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM).
The Wet cell comes in two styles; Serviceable and Maintenance free. Both are filled with electrolyte and are basicly the same. I prefer one that I can add water to and check the specific gravity of the electrolyte with a hydrometer.
The Gel Cell and the AGM batteries are specialty batteries that typically cost twice as much as a premium wet cell. However they store very well and do not tend to sulfate or degrade as easily as wet cell. There is little chance of a hydrogen gas explosion or corrosion when using these batteries; these are the safest lead acid batteries you can use. Gel Cell and some AGM batteries may require a special charging rate and specific battery chargers are made for these types. If you don't use or operate your equipment daily, AGM batteries will hold their charge better that other types. If you must depend on top-notch battery performance, spend the extra money. Gel Cell batteries still are being sold but AGM batteries are replacing them in most applications.
There is a some common confusion regarding AGM batteries because different manufactures call them by different names; some of the more common names are "sealed regulated valve", "dry cell", "non spillable", and "Valve Regulated Lead Acid" batteries. In most cases AGM batteries will give greater life span and greater cycle life than a wet cell battery.
SPECIAL NOTE about Gel Batteries: It is very common to use the term GEL CELL when referring to sealed, maintenance free batteries, but not all sealed and maintenance free batteries are Gel Cell.  Wink.

CCA, CA, AH and RC. What does all this mean?

These are the standards that most battery companies use to rate the output and capacity of a battery.

Cold cranking amps (CCA) is a measurement of the number of amps a battery can deliver at 0 F for 30 seconds and not drop below 10.5 volts (a 12v battery is deemed to be flat below this). So a high CCA battery rating is especially important in starting battery applications, and in cold weather.This measurement is not particularly important in Deep cycle batteries, though it is the most commonly 'known' battery measurement.

CA is cranking amps measured at 32 degrees F. This rating is also called marine cranking amps (MCA). Hot cranking amps (HCA) is seldom used any longer but is measured at 80 F.

RC is Reserve Capacity. This is the number of minutes a fully charged battery at 80 F will discharge 25 amps until the battery drops below 10.5 volts.

AH is Amp Hour rating. If a battery is rated at 100 amp hours it should deliver 100 amps for 1 hour, 5 amps for 20 hours, 20 amps for 5 hours, etc.




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gazzagood
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« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2010, 11:32:53 AM »

very usefull . tb its the way you explain it I'm sure  Grin
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tbone
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« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2010, 11:46:35 AM »

Did you get all that? Neither did i ! Grin

So, what are we looking for in a battery?
Well the first thing we have to think about is where our battery is going go, so physical size is important, because the bigger the battery the more power it can store and delivier. Batteries are typicaly measured in Length, Height and Width.
Batteries specification should always be given or gained with the battery terminals closest to and facing you. This translates the length into left/right measurement and the width into front/ back. height should be self explanitory.

Secondly, we need to get our chosen engines started, so CCA is important, more so than Amp Hours because its the CCA that gets the engine turning over. There are some very complex calculations to work out when considering CCA, you need the engine cubic inch displacement and the number of cylinders.
To save you worrying about that,

on an 850cc 4cyl engine the CCA = 104.
on a   750cc 4cyl engine the CCA = 92.

Obviously the cubic capicity i have posted refer to the Reliant engines, as they are the ones most of us run. The given CCA is the minimum required to turn those engines over for enough time for them to start, assuming they are in reasonable condition. Higher CCA`s will allow for longer cranking time.
So we would need a battery capable of not only fitting our chosen space, but also with enough Cold Cranking Amps to turn our engine over.

Finally i would consider the Amp Hour (AH) rating.
Because we`re not enclosed in a metal box with the stereo, heaters, wipers, rear demister, heated seats, air con, dvd player ect ect ect on, we dont really need a huge amount of Amp Hours, with that said, the higher the AH rating the less work the charging circuit will need to do.

I guess when it comes down to it, you need the biggest battery with the highest CCA and AH that you can physically fit in the space you`ve made for it  Grin
« Last Edit: January 15, 2010, 12:04:02 PM by tbone » Logged

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tbone
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« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2010, 12:27:13 PM »

here is a list of batteries by size.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2010, 01:11:06 PM by tbone » Logged

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tbone
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« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2010, 01:15:45 PM »

.
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Manky Monkey
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« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2010, 08:47:09 PM »

All this info now added to the Motors sections of the main site.
Thanks TB.  Wink

Choosing a battery
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spanners
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« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2010, 09:13:33 PM »

 hey,, that there  ,tbone,, is pretty good at finding and retreiving allsorts of usefull information=
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just maybe
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====CEEFAX


 Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
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Manky Monkey
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« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2010, 01:11:42 AM »

He's a very well informed gent is our TB. An asset to the site.  Grin
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nabsim
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« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2010, 01:49:57 PM »

Very useful, always wondered which bike battery I would need for my 850 Reliant engine Smiley

Realistically tbone what would  you say is the lowest workable AH for these engines?

I was always under the impression the AH on the battery had to be as big or bigger than the AH output of the alternator which I think would make the 850 34AH which rules out all but the most expensive bike batteries. If this isn't the case it would make battery size/storage a lot better Smiley
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Manky Monkey
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« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2010, 06:12:47 PM »

Not being clever enough to know about AHs 'n' stuff, I've always just gone for an 850cc bike battery. I think my last one was intended for an XS850 Yamaha. Worked fine if the trike was being used at least once a week, but would need a bit of a jump start if left for 2 or 3 weeks.
I haven't bought a battery for my current trike build yet, but only have an XS850 sized box to put it in. Any ideas what I should buy? -yeah, I know ...a bigger battery box!
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tbone
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« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2010, 06:41:18 PM »

I`ve just bought a YB10 equivilant which is 11a/h but more importantly 160 cca.
For me its about having enough power to turn the engine over, what is being used while you are riding will be replenished by the alternator. As i say, these trikes are basic, running the minimum of electrical equiptment so wont be a huge drain on the battery and the alternator will be more than enough to keep up with demand.
The alternator amp rating is the most amps that the alternator can generate, this is far more than most applications call for and is more than it will actually charge the battery at under normal conditions.
The heavier the load taken from the battery, the higher the charge rate will be.
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nabsim
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« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2010, 02:22:07 PM »

Okay I follow the thinking there, one final (I think) question. If battery box size isn't a problem are you better staying smaller bike battery and work it harder if you are pulling the power or a bigger car battery so it isn't working ar hard recharging? You will see I am guessing this is what happens which is why I am asking the question. Electrikery is a black art Smiley
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BikerGran
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« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2010, 08:24:39 PM »

http://www.mankymonkeymotors.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=6874.msg83220;topicseen#msg83220

 Grin Grin Grin
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nabsim
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« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2010, 02:13:10 PM »


lol BG I like that, could almost be true as well if I didn't know better Smiley
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tbone
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« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2010, 09:04:30 AM »

Okay I follow the thinking there, one final (I think) question. If battery box size isn't a problem are you better staying smaller bike battery and work it harder if you are pulling the power or a bigger car battery so it isn't working ar hard recharging? You will see I am guessing this is what happens which is why I am asking the question. Electrikery is a black art Smiley

I would always go for the biggest battery i could physically fit into the space. The larger the battery the more reserve it will have, this will always be better if you you should ever have starting problems
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