Lithium battery's

For general discussion of the Just Aircraft family of aircraft.
Includes: Highlander, Escapade, Summit and SuperSTOL.

Moderator: scubarider2

Lithium battery's

Postby Pingert » Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:52 am

Are there many people out there using these light weight units and are there any do,s and do nots on what to watch for ,I just got mine from aircraft spruce ,sure is light only 3.5 lbs!
New Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:21 am

Re: Lithium battery's

Postby kenryan » Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:18 pm

If you will be using the airplane's charging system to charge and maintain the battery, there are two things to keep in mind. One is that a built in battery management system (BMS) such as on the EarthX brand, will add some safety and longevity to the battery. The other is that the aircraft charging system will not fully charge the battery, which is good for battery life, but must be factored in if, in addition to cranking, you are using the battery as a back up power source (in case of alternator failure).
Super Stol Kit #299
User avatar
Veteran Member
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: anchorage, ak

Re: Lithium battery's

Postby FlyerChief » Tue Mar 17, 2015 1:09 pm

Hi Rick,

Since our phone conversation, I remembered two other things to be aware of:

1) Don't let the battery voltage fall below 9 volts or you will not be able to recharge the battery and it void the warranty too. Make sure you have a "Power On" light to show the battery is connected to the buss, otherwise it is too easy to leave the power switch or ignition switch (if it's a combination unit) in the on position and not realize that power is being drained through the battery relay coil. It will drain the battery very quickly so you will ruin the battery and not be able to start the plane. (within hours)

2) The reserve power is not as great as a gel or lead-acid battery. The cranking power, small size and the weight savings are great, but you can't run accessories as long without recharging the battery.

Like they say... we are flying a collection of compromises to get the aircraft to look and perform the way we want.

When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. ~Henry Ford
User avatar
Veteran Member
Posts: 274
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:53 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Lithium battery's

Postby SuperFly » Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:44 am

I have installed a lithium battery in my airplane, but have not yet flown. It is possible that I may be talking out of turn here, but this is what I have done.
I installed an AeroVoltz 12 cell lithium battery in my airplane. I researched a bit about the failure modes of the batteries, and was able to find some instances that were honestly pretty scary. I also, as Dan pointed out, found that lithium batteries are basically destroyed by allowing them to discharge to a very low level.
In order to mitigate problems of over charging on board, I have installed a temp probe on the battery that is wired to my Dynon on one of the general temp inputs. I can then set it up to flag a certain temp and it will notify me of said condition. (I have not however figured out what temp would be alarm worthy, and what is acceptable. More research neccessary there) I also have wired (per Bob Knuckolls AeroElectric Connction) a relay in line between the alternator and battery to allow me to disconnect the alternator from the battery in the event of an overcharge. The hope/plan is that by monitoring the batterys temp, I will be able to stop an overcharge situation before it developes in to a battery fire. All of the stories I read about inflight fires with lithium batteries, seem to be caused by over charge of the battery by the alternator/generator of the aircraft.
I also bought the AeroVolts cell balancing charger to maintain the battery on the ground that should help prolong the life of the battery. In talking with Troy Woodland about this (over a year ago) his big concern was landing out somewhere and leaving the battery master on and draining the battery and not being able to start the engine. As he pointed out, it is not an "if" you leave it on, but rather an eventual "when", and then your stranded. My plan for mitigation of that scenario is to bring along a back up battery on trips where I would not have access to help. (I know, I know. "But then your defeating the purpose of saving weight by carring two batteries!") Yes, sort of. But most of my flying will be local hops in and around central IL. Only paying a weight penalty on traveling trips when I will have baggage and stuff weighing me down anyway, and am not going to be attempting to keep every ounce of weight off the ship in order to get ultra short field performance.

At least this is how I have justified it in my little pea brain...
Ben Schneider
Highlander #263 converted to SuperSTOL
N45FT Now Flying!
User avatar
Veteran Member
Posts: 244
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:20 pm
Location: Flanagan, IL

Re: Lithium battery's

Postby alan » Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:03 am

Hi y'all.

Here's my two cents.

It sure doesn't seem to be worth the added expense and (great) effort to deal with this type of battery. If you are going for a super light, super STOL, competition type airplane, then maybe so, but a fly around fun utility airplane would be far better off with a Odyssey PC680. Mine, with a battery maintainer routinely hooked up has lasted for 6 or 7 years with no problems at all.

I'm all for experimentation but this new technology seems to have more down sides than up.

Just my opinion. Hope it works out for you.

If I had known I would live this long I would have taken better care of myself.
User avatar
Veteran Member
Posts: 373
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2005 1:39 am
Location: Baytown, TX

Re: Lithium battery's

Postby Pingert » Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:20 am

Thank every body for info on these types of battery's
New Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:21 am

Re: Lithium battery's

Postby moving2time » Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:26 am

Although I am no expert I have read a lot as well as discussed the pros and cons of Lithium batteries and the field seems to fall on both sides of the arguments depending on the person you are talking with on the subject. I recently came across a video posted by Viking Aircraft Engines that discusses their battery installation in detail. I thought their instructional video was very well done and answers many of the questions posted on this thread ie: over-charging, over discharging, installation, and charging in general. This installation uses two 3.5 LB Lithium batteries each 12 amp hour and 60 amps which seems to be a good size for the 100 HP sized engine. Using two batteries provides what seems like an ideal solution to the fears of accidentally discharging as well as many other safety features. Apparently the manufacturer mentioned in this video incorporates technology into the battery to protect it from excessive discharge and charging but the batteries are $350 each. I am going to try to add a link to this video. Note that the discussion on the battery installation starts at minute 41:22 into the video. I hope the link works and I hope you find it helpful. I also think it is a very informative video regardless of your choice in power plants. Enjoy. Joe B
Veteran Member
Posts: 240
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 5:42 pm

Re: Lithium battery's

Postby User GDS » Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:42 am

It sure doesn't seem to be worth the added expense and (great) effort to deal with this type of battery. If you are going for a super light, super STOL, competition type airplane, then maybe so, but a fly around fun utility airplane would be far better off with a Odyssey PC680.

I agree. Same system I use and I'm thinking of carrying one of those back-up Li jump-start batteries in my tool bag, adding even more weight. I'm weight conscious, but where I'm flying (solo), reliability is my number 1 concern.
So Cal
Highlander #232
Rotax 912ULS, Dynon Skyview
User GDS
Veteran Member
Posts: 304
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:59 am
Location: Big Bear Airport

Re: Lithium battery's

Postby stede52 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:40 am

I just recently purchased a lithium Micro jump start system, ... +batteries
They really work well and only 2lbs. I've started my car with it and a couple airplanes. Definitely worth looking into and to keep in the plane. It will charge all sorts of electronics and has a built in light. The charge seems to last for ever :)
Steve D N419LD
User avatar
Premium Member
Posts: 1045
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:40 am
Location: Carnation, WA

Lithium Iron Battery

Postby gkremers » Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:15 am

I did quite a bit of research on this before making the decision to install one in my Highlander. The 330A Aerolithium weighs approx 3.3 lbs, mine is mounted under the avionics tray behind the panel. Every lithium iron battery they sell comes with the balancing circuit installed. He also will only sell the battery if you buy the Lithium balancing charger ($60). The directions have you use the balancing charger after the first 20 hours then again at 40. Mine was just about perfect, you can see the difference between the cells on the digital balancing charger. I'll check it again after 80 hours then at every annual.

Fly safe
User avatar
Veteran Member
Posts: 449
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:06 am
Location: Michigan

Return to Just Aircraft