What You Need To Upgrade Your Golf Cart To Lithium Batteries

If you want to convert your golf cart or LSV to lithium batteries, there are a few things you should think about first. It depends on the lithium alternative you pick for your car if replacing lead-acid batteries with lithium-ion batteries is an easy operation. The following are some considerations to consider when deciding which lithium golf cart battery to install before to your conversion.

What Size Battery Do I Need?

Here, I’ll briefly summarise what you need to know about golf cart batteries.

Tip1 - Golf Cart Battery Groups/Sizes

The most popular golf cart BCI battery groups are

It’s vital to choose a size and type of battery that works with your golf cart when moving from Lead Acid batteries. Some golf car owners utilize smaller 12V batteries, while others prefer bigger group 31 batteries. Regardless of your size, it is critical to ensure that the new batteries have comparable discharge characteristics. Before purchasing anything, measure the battery compartment and cable length.

Tip2 - Golf Cart Battery Pack Voltages

Most golf cart batteries are either 36V or 48V, with other voltages being much less common.

To make a 48V battery pack, one must first acquire eight (8) 6V batteries, six (6) 8V batteries, four (4) 12V batteries, and two (2) 24V batteries, or one can use one (1) 48V battery.

Tip3 - Golf Cart Battery Types

Wet/flooded lead-acid batteries, AGM/Gel-Cell lead-acid batteries, and Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries are the most frequent golf cart battery packs.

  • Wet/flooded lead-acid batteries

Lead-acid batteries of the GC2/GC2H (6V), GC8/GC8H (8V), and GC12 (12V) groups are the most common. They are not spillproof and are not maintenance-free batteries. However, owing to the high cycling rates, they are often considerably less expensive than AGM/Gel-Cell batteries.

  • Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) and Gel-Cell lead-acid batteries

Valve Regulated Lead-Acid (VRLA) batteries are absorbent glass mats (AGM) and gel-cell lead-acid batteries that are spillproof and require no maintenance. During the operation life of these batteries, they combine 99 per cent (or even more) of created hydrogen and oxygen back into the water, requiring no refilling.

  • Lithium golf cart batteries

The average voltage for lithium golf cart batteries is 3.2 volts. This type of battery is based on the Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) chemistry.

Lithium batteries are also spillproof, maintenance-free batteries.

Tip4 - Golf Cart Battery Features
  • Lead-acid batteries are bulky and heavy, making lithium batteries a desirable replacement.
  • Lithium batteries are lightweight and simple to maintain, making them a great replacement for lead-acid batteries.
  • Lead-acid batteries can cycle well between 700 and 1200 times, depending on the depth of discharge.
  • Lithium batteries can cycle well up to 4000 to 6000 times, depending on the depth of discharge.
  • Lead-acid batteries take 4 to 6 hours to recharge, depending on the depth of discharge.
  • Lithium batteries can be recharged in as little as 2 to 3 hours, depending on the depth of discharge.

How Do I Find Out What State I'm Charged In?

Lithium-Ion State of Charge (SoC) measurement

There are a few methods of measuring Lithium-Ion State of Charge (SoC) or Depth of Discharge (DoD). Some implementations require difficult equipment to set up and can be costly, too(impedance spectroscopy or hydrometer gauge for lead acid batteries).

We’ll go through the most popular and simplest methods for determining a battery’s remaining charge: voltage rating or Open Circuit Voltage (OCV) counting and coulomb counting.

  • The SoC (State of Charge) estimation for a battery using the Open Circuit Voltage Method (OCV).

Batteries range in size and shape; however, they share a few things. The voltage at the terminals of any battery decreases or increases as the battery gets charged. When the battery is completely charged, its voltage will be at its maximum. The battery technology employed primarily determines this link between voltage and SOC. A lead battery and a Lithium-Ion battery’s discharge curves are shown in the figure below.

The lead-acid battery curve is relatively linear, which makes it easy to estimate the state of charge (SoC). This means you can accurately estimate the associated SoC value for given voltage measurement.

Although the discharge curve of lithium-ion batteries is flatter, the voltage at the battery terminals changes very little over a broad operational range. Lithium Iron Phosphate technology has the flattest discharge curve, making it difficult to estimate SoC using a simple volt measurement. Indeed, the difference in voltage between two SoC values may be so small that accurate state of charge estimation is impossible.

For a 48V battery utilizing lead-acid technology, the voltage difference between a DoD value of 40% and 80%, for example, is about 6.0V (see diagram above), whereas it is only 0.5V for lithium-iron-phosphate!

The SoC meter uses lithium-iron phosphate batteries for more accurate readings.

Calibrated charge indicators can provide more accurate measurements of the state-of-charge concerning lithium-ion batteries, and this technology is being used with increasing frequency. When load curves are modelled precisely, SoC measurement accuracy generally falls between 10 to 15%.

  • SoC estimation using the Coulomb Counting method

The most straightforward technique to monitor the battery’s state of charge is to follow the current while using it. This integration immediately provides the number of electrical charges injected or removed from the battery, allowing for precise SoC quantification. This approach can calculate how much charge has been lost during usage, unlike the OCV method.

Coulomb Counter CC150

A coulomb counter also checks the battery voltage. The state of charge (SoC) measurement made with a coulomb counter has an accuracy of less than 1%, indicating how much energy remains in the battery. Coulomb counting, unlike the OCV technique, is unaffected by variations in battery power (which cause battery voltage drops), and precision is unaffected by the amount of electricity used.

How Do I Charge My Lithium Battery? 5 expert tips for a longer lifespan

Even in extreme temperatures, industrial-grade lithium-ion batteries power your remote controls and portable gadgets thanks to their robust design and high energy density. Their longevity is directly linked to how the battery is charged, discharged, and used. We’ll tell you how these batteries operate and offer our top five charging recommendations for prolonging their life. You’ll learn why balancing charging speed and rate is important for industrial usage, just as it is for your mobile phones, laptops, or e-bikes.

Tip 1: Understand the battery language

Two electrodes make up a lithium-ion battery: a positive one and a negative one. Electrons flow out of the battery through the electrical current while ions flow in from one electrode to another during charging or discharging. It’s similar to breathing for both electrodes, swapping ions in and out.

The capacity of a rechargeable battery is defined in Ah. For example, the Green ONE lithium battery has a 5.6 Ah capacity, indicating that 5.6 A may be delivered in an hour at 25°C during one cycle. This is directly affected by the following factors:

  • The C rate is how fast a battery can be charged and discharged. The C rate is a mathematical term for charge and discharge currents. The C charge/discharge indicates that you will charge or discharge the battery in one hour. A 2C charge/discharge takes 30 minutes, while a 5.6A C rate would take approximately 2 hours to charge using an a2C charging current of 2.8A.
  • The charge level is displayed in volts.: In our MP 176065 xtd example, a voltage of 4.2 means the battery is full, and 2.7 indicates that it needs to be recharged.
  • The temperature at which the device charges, discharges and operates.
  • Multiple cycles: The battery’s capacity diminishes with time as the electrodes physically and chemically degrade, along with the electrolyte.

The rate at which a battery’s energy is consumed may be controlled by changing certain parameters, such as the level of charge (DoD), maximum charging voltage, and depth of discharge.

Tip 2: When it comes to charging a CCCV, obey the rules and processes (the charger is your guardian)
  1. Bring the voltage up to the end-of-charge level using constant current (CC) charging.

  2. Begin constant voltage (CV) charging until current flow decreases, indicating that the charge is finished.

Other things to keep in mind when charging a lithium-ion battery:

  • Use a charger specifically designed for lithium-ion batteries.
  • Follow the CC/CV charging process to preserve battery health.
  • Avoid leaving the battery floating after charging is complete, as this can damage the battery over time.
Tip 3: Carefully design your BMS

If you want to switch your golf cart batteries to lithium ones, here are some things you should be aware of before investing. Unlike other battery types, lithium batteries are known for their long-term power and ability to maintain a charge for extended periods. Even though they might be costly upfront, such features typically last much longer than traditional lead-acid batteries.

Lithium batteries must be associated with electronics to work properly. A Battery Management System is the name given to this critical technological component (BMS). The BMS is responsible for safety features interrupting the discharge/charge to protect the battery against over or Undervoltage. It also checks the temperature and disconnects the battery to avoid overheating.

In addition, the BMS can incorporate other electronics that optimize reasons to use a lithium golf cart battery

  1. they are more powerful because they have a higher energy density than lead-acid batteries. This means you can get more power out of them for a given size and weight.

  2. They last longer- on average, Lithium batteries will last 2-3 times as long as lead-acid batteries. This is due to their higher quality cells and construction.

  3. They require less maintenance- since there are no liquids or fumes, you don’t have to worry about spills or leaks. In addition, there is no regular maintenance required, like with lead-acid batteries.

  4. Faster charging – Lithium batteries can be charged much faster than other batteries.

Tip 4: Lower your charging C rate

Upgrading your golf cart to lithium can provide many benefits, including longer battery life and more power. However, knowing the charging rate requirements is important to get the most out of your new batteries.

Lithium-ion batteries must be charged slower than lead-acid batteries to prevent damage. Charging at too high a rate can cause the battery to age prematurely.

Depending on your needs, you may want to consider a charging time of C/50 or less to protect the longevity of your new batteries.

Tip 5: Control the charging temperature

Most lithium-ion batteries can only survive a maximum temperature of 60°C and should be charged at a maximum temperature of 45°C using a C/2 charge rate. Green ONE’s lithium battery range, on the other hand, can maintain a C charge rate up to 60°C and even C/5 up to +85°C for the following items due to its unique design. Few batteries can be charged at temperatures below 0°C.

The electrode sheets compress and the electrolyte’s electronic conductivity decreases, making ion intercalation in graphite more difficult. Lithium deposits can form, resulting in irreversible capacity reduction. Some manufacturers advocate charging the battery at a very slow pace (C/20) when running below 0°C to compensate and allow the ion to intercalate correctly. When using C/8 and even C/5 rates, Green ONE’s lithium battery range can manage charges at very cold conditions — up to -30°C!

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