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  1. #1
    thetolleyman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Williamsburg, VA

    Opinions on Lithium Ion batteries for skiis? One better than another?

    I need a new battery and am considering the new lightweight Lithium batteries that are being offered now. Experiences with particular brands, Ballistic, Battery Tender, WPS, etc?


  2. #2
    PEST!'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Rockledge Florida
    You do know they have caused fires in 2 or more airliners. The problem is the amps they will dump in a short causes enough heat the battery or box catches fire.
    It wont cure the 500miliamp drain from the mpem double or tripple that if you leave the key on the post

  3. #3
    Echo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Tarpon Springs FL
    I just tried one on tne suv. The bottom busted out of it after less than 2 tanks of fuel

  4. #4
    big john's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Cocoa Beach, Florida, United States
    DONT, just buy a AGM and you will have less problems, theLI batteries can and have gone into meltdown just sitting, almost destroyed Robs freshly built carbon fiber GPRSHO,

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  6. #5
    gp1200rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Iv hurd these antigravity batteries are good anyone ?

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  8. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    near Toronto, Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by thetolleyman View Post
    ... am considering the new lightweight Lithium batteries that are being offered now...
    Beware of hand waving generalizations and over stated Lithium battery 'specifications'.

    Since the Lithium batteries tend to cost more than traditional batteries there is a strong tendency for the marketers to overstate the actual electrical capacity compared to traditional batteries. Often you will see something like PBEQ spec, which is not really a spec at all. It is a number made up by the marketing dept. This is simply a claim that a particular Lithium battery pack can replace a certain size of traditional battery. Not work the same, just be installed instead of.

    In my opinion a high quality factory sealed AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) battery such as the Deka ETX product is the proper baseline for comparison. These AGM batteries are tough and vibration resistant, have long life and provide really strong starting power. Even if pierced they will not leak acid. Personally I only use Deka made AGM batteries in my own watercraft.

    Lithium batteries work differently from traditional lead-acid or the modern AGM battery. Lithium battery packs are capable of high energy output for brief periods during cranking. What costs money is making the Lithium battery pack large enough to provide plenty of reserve capacity and the ability to keep cranking if the engine does not want to start.

    So what happens is the battery pack is made with as few lithium cells as they can get away with for the price. Each time you start the engine these cells are highly stressed. The engine does start but the battery pack was really working to make it happen. That stress causes heat within the lithium cells. As long as you don't repeatedly crank the engine the cells recover and after some time are back to normal.

    Lithium batteries are sensitive to overcharging and to excess discharge. Either can greatly reduce the battery pack life. Deep discharge of Lithium cells can permanently damage them. Some lithium packs have an electronics module inside the battery pack which is supposed to manage the battery and avoid excesses which could kill the battery. The flip side is that the controller might need to cut off power to 'save' the battery.

    There are several different chemistries for 'Lithium' batteries. Laptop computers for years have used Lithium-Ion (Li-ion) or Lithium Polymer (LiPo).

    The recent Powersports Lithium batteries seem to be using Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4 or LFP) chemistry which has some important differences.

    If you decide you want to pay for the lighter weight of Lithium battery in your watercraft and understand the limitations, my advice is to purchase the largest actual capacity version that will physically fit the space.

    Do not put much faith in the PBEQ 'equivalent' specs, look for the highest rated reserve capacity and high cranking amps. Not just cranking amps. This will cost money.

    Do not pay much heed to testimonials on manufacturer web sites. Do not look for lowest price as that means you are shopping for the brand or battery pack that has cut the most corners.

    For LiFePo4 batteries each group of 3 lithium battery 'cells' combines to provide 12.8 volts nominal voltage. To increase capacity the manufacturer provides additional groups of 3 cells.

    appears to max out at 24 cells, which is eight groups. They also offer the same size battery shell with only 12 cells inside (four groups). Half the weight, half the capacity, half the price. Note that half the capacity means double the stress on the individual cells when starting the engine.

    For Antigravity model YTX12-24
    Quote Originally Posted by Antigravity YTX12-24
    720 Cranking Amps- (Cranking Amps are the power the battery has)

    25Ah (Pb Eq) - Amp Hours are the Capacity of a Battery
    That PBEQ number is not the actual Amp Hour capability of the battery. It is a claim that this battery can be used where you would normally use a 25 Amp-Hour lead-acid battery.

    With watercraft the cranking amps, to me, is not the most important specification. Of course the battery must be able to deliver enough power to crank and start the engine. And more cranking amp capacity means less internal stress on the battery cells.

    Reserve capacity is the weak aspect of Lithium powersport batteries. This is the spec that is most often not mentioned at all, or only listed as an imaginary PbEq number. It is also rarely tested by individuals or even in testimonials. People dislike running their battery flat just to find out how much capacity it actually has so individuals rarely test for this.

    When you are out on the water there will be times when you need Amp Hours, not just momentary cranking amps. Amp Hours (actual Reserve capacity) is what will run your bilge pump for a long time with the engine off, ride a long way back to the dock after the charging system fails, or allow you to forgetfully leave the key in position while you lounge at the beach or eat dinner, yet still have plenty of power afterwards to start the engine.

    Choose a Lithium battery pack with maximum actual reserve capacity (not just PBEQ numbers) and lots of internal cell groups and the starting power (cranking Amps) will also be there.

    Reserve capacity is essentially how much power you can draw from the battery with the engine not running and still have enough power to start the engine afterwards.
    Last edited by K447; 05-31-2014 at 11:39 AM.

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  10. #7
    I have a WPS one in my turbo gsxr 1000 I love it haven't had any issues had it about a year now ....

  11. #8
    rangermtb5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    North Jersey
    go with a Deka and don't look back....

  12. #9
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Elephant Butte New Mexico
    I'll post some pics later of somebody who actually melted the terminal block off an east PennBattery trying to start a drowned Yamaha triple and there was no venting or explosion ( the terminal got so hot the lead around the steel boss that the bolt threads into melted and the boss came off the battery. Sorry I didn't keep another battery that had been left on a car charger overnight, cooked the battery and swelled the to the point where the battery box broke but no bursting.

    Unless pounds are of monetary importance, stick with a Deka AGM.

    By the way, east Penn just went back to a 12 month warranty on their AGM batteries..sometime in the last two years some corporate wiseguy tried to shave the Deka warranty to 6 months..well that didn't fly well with me or quite a few of the other sellers and we weren't shy about complaining about it.

    If I get antsy over the next couple of weeks I might take a couple of batteries out into the desert and do a wally world vs. Deka shootout..using hollow point 9mm slugs for the test.

    Can a 158 grain hollow point at 20 yards penetrate a deka? I have no doubt a wally world battery could be unrecognizable after a shot or two.
    Last edited by K447; 06-08-2014 at 10:42 AM.

  13. #10
    xplayer2885's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    LI, NY
    I run similar batteries in my large scale gas rc planes for the electronics. From my experience these batteries are a bit high strung. They don't like any kind of impact or to be in a bit environment for long periods of time.

    If you run the battery down too low it's damaged, if you try to charge a battery that has sustained an impact ie surf jumping and slamming down hard when you go to charge the pack it could expand and ignite.

    Not sure if the skis have a built in pre adjusted voltage regulator but a lot of times the LiFe batteries pack one hell of a punch. For example I use 2 cell 1200maH 11.7V in some planes of mine..... The battery is a 2 inch by 1 inch brick

    pardon my grammar as I typed this via iPhone
    Last edited by K447; 06-08-2014 at 10:43 AM.

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