aluminum battery boxes

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aluminum battery boxes

Ben Jarrett



For my '84 Jeep conversion with 50 CALB 130 Ah batteries, I'm considering
building aluminum battery boxes to save weight.  I had originally planned to use
2x3 1/8" angle iron, but that's gonna start to get heavy.

Anyone have issues with aluminum besides price?

thanks,
-ben
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Re: aluminum battery boxes

Willie McKemie
On Fri, Nov 04, 2011 at 03:43:58PM -0700, Ben Jarrett wrote:
>
>
>
> For my '84 Jeep conversion with 50 CALB 130 Ah batteries, I'm considering
> building aluminum battery boxes to save weight. ?I had originally planned to use
> 2x3 1/8" angle iron, but that's gonna start to get heavy.
>
> Anyone have issues with aluminum besides price?

I had a sheet metal shop bend me a supply of light weight steel angle.  
As I recall, 1.5" x 2" x .08".  The short dimension sized to fit the
top of my cells without coming too close to the terminals.  Much
lighter and easy to cut, weld, spot weld, rivet, drill.  No
obstruction in the corner.  1/8" is just too heavy for typical battery
holding structures.

--
Willie, ONWARD!  Through the fog!
http://counter.li.org Linux registered user #228836 since 1995
Debian3.1/GNU/Linux system uptime  36 days  1 hours 59 minutes

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Re: aluminum battery boxes

Thos True
In reply to this post by Ben Jarrett
Each box that we have had in the Silver Bullet over the past 12 years has
been aluminum (Reconfigurations to adapt to new battery sizes and types).
Never had any issues. Easy to weld, rivet or bolt, and plenty strong at
1/8".
-Tom
Owner Silver Bullet - 8 consecutive world records

On Fri, Nov 4, 2011 at 3:43 PM, Ben Jarrett <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
>
> For my '84 Jeep conversion with 50 CALB 130 Ah batteries, I'm considering
> building aluminum battery boxes to save weight.  I had originally planned
> to use
> 2x3 1/8" angle iron, but that's gonna start to get heavy.
>
> Anyone have issues with aluminum besides price?
>
> thanks,
> -ben
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Re: aluminum battery boxes

Gary Krysztopik-2
In reply to this post by Ben Jarrett
Keep in mind that they should be kept under compression, secured
vertically and mounted to the vehicle frame well enough to hold at least
2 to 3 times the pack weight (preferably 5 to 10 times the weight but
it's usually eyeball engineering anyway).  It's a lot of thinking and
some trial and error to come up with a good solution.

I have experimented with some internal compression devices that seem to
work well.  They are the same outside dimensions as the cell and about
3/4" thick.  This allows me to build a steel box with fixed walls and
solid mounting.  Then I load the cells and insert this expanding
assembly that keeps the cells under compression.  I'll be posting
pictures of this next project soon with the battery boxes.

Gary Krysztopik
ZWheelz, LLC - www.ZWheelz.com
Alamo City Electric Auto Association - www.aceaa.org
blog - http://voices.mysanantonio.com/drive_electric_san_antonio/
San Antonio, TX


On 11/4/2011 5:43 PM, Ben Jarrett wrote:

>
>
> For my '84 Jeep conversion with 50 CALB 130 Ah batteries, I'm considering
> building aluminum battery boxes to save weight.  I had originally planned to use
> 2x3 1/8" angle iron, but that's gonna start to get heavy.
>
> Anyone have issues with aluminum besides price?
>
> thanks,
> -ben
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>

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Re: aluminum battery boxes

Thos True
Gary,
I agree, using dense foam within the box or straps that surround the
bateries with plates on each end is mandatory for lithium and most other
chemistries other than lead. And yes, all batteries must be secured so as
to not become a projectile in a worst case situation.
-Tom

On Fri, Nov 4, 2011 at 4:52 PM, Gary Krysztopik <[hidden email]>wrote:

> Keep in mind that they should be kept under compression, secured
> vertically and mounted to the vehicle frame well enough to hold at least
> 2 to 3 times the pack weight (preferably 5 to 10 times the weight but
> it's usually eyeball engineering anyway).  It's a lot of thinking and
> some trial and error to come up with a good solution.
>
> I have experimented with some internal compression devices that seem to
> work well.  They are the same outside dimensions as the cell and about
> 3/4" thick.  This allows me to build a steel box with fixed walls and
> solid mounting.  Then I load the cells and insert this expanding
> assembly that keeps the cells under compression.  I'll be posting
> pictures of this next project soon with the battery boxes.
>
> Gary Krysztopik
> ZWheelz, LLC - www.ZWheelz.com
> Alamo City Electric Auto Association - www.aceaa.org
> blog - http://voices.mysanantonio.com/drive_electric_san_antonio/
> San Antonio, TX
>
>
> On 11/4/2011 5:43 PM, Ben Jarrett wrote:
> >
> >
> > For my '84 Jeep conversion with 50 CALB 130 Ah batteries, I'm considering
> > building aluminum battery boxes to save weight.  I had originally
> planned to use
> > 2x3 1/8" angle iron, but that's gonna start to get heavy.
> >
> > Anyone have issues with aluminum besides price?
> >
> > thanks,
> > -ben
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> >
>
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--
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merely twice the size that it needs to be! -TNT'82
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Re: aluminum battery boxes

Willie McKemie
In reply to this post by Gary Krysztopik-2
On Fri, Nov 04, 2011 at 06:52:30PM -0500, Gary Krysztopik wrote:
> Keep in mind that they should be kept under compression, secured
> vertically and mounted to the vehicle frame well enough to hold at least
> 2 to 3 times the pack weight (preferably 5 to 10 times the weight but
> it's usually eyeball engineering anyway).  It's a lot of thinking and
> some trial and error to come up with a good solution.

"Somewhere" I came up with 8g loads on roll-overs.  Factor of safety
should be at least two.  So, 16x + on each battery unit.  I have about
400 pounds in my biggest unit.  Choosing bolts is pretty easy; you can
find bolt strengths.  I think a weak point, many times, is the
attachment of the battery box to the car; it is hard to imagine the
entire box wanting to fly with 16 g, 6400 pounds in my worst case.  If
you bolt through sheet metal, that calls for big bearing plates; just
welding to sheet metal is not likely to do it.  Or course the only way
to REALLY know is destructive testing.

--
Willie, ONWARD!  Through the fog!
http://counter.li.org Linux registered user #228836 since 1995
Debian3.1/GNU/Linux system uptime  36 days  2 hours 54 minutes

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Re: aluminum battery boxes

Thos True
What we came up with was to use 1/8" thick straps of steel on the underside
of the car with 1 1/2" diameter fender washers attached to the 3/8" all
thread studs that had fenders and nuts at the top side as well. On the top
side, we used phenolic film, or fibergalss plate between the aluminum strap
and the batteries.

-Tom

On Fri, Nov 4, 2011 at 6:49 PM, Willie McKemie <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Fri, Nov 04, 2011 at 06:52:30PM -0500, Gary Krysztopik wrote:
> > Keep in mind that they should be kept under compression, secured
> > vertically and mounted to the vehicle frame well enough to hold at least
> > 2 to 3 times the pack weight (preferably 5 to 10 times the weight but
> > it's usually eyeball engineering anyway).  It's a lot of thinking and
> > some trial and error to come up with a good solution.
>
> "Somewhere" I came up with 8g loads on roll-overs.  Factor of safety
> should be at least two.  So, 16x + on each battery unit.  I have about
> 400 pounds in my biggest unit.  Choosing bolts is pretty easy; you can
> find bolt strengths.  I think a weak point, many times, is the
> attachment of the battery box to the car; it is hard to imagine the
> entire box wanting to fly with 16 g, 6400 pounds in my worst case.  If
> you bolt through sheet metal, that calls for big bearing plates; just
> welding to sheet metal is not likely to do it.  Or course the only way
> to REALLY know is destructive testing.
>
> --
> Willie, ONWARD!  Through the fog!
> http://counter.li.org Linux registered user #228836 since 1995
> Debian3.1/GNU/Linux system uptime  36 days  2 hours 54 minutes
>
> _______________________________________________
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--
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merely twice the size that it needs to be! -TNT'82
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Canadian URBEE vehicle

mark at evie-systems
This was mentioned in the EVDL a while back.  Just sawre this on our
Canadian Satellite news broadcast.  Thought it might be worth mentioning
again:

http://www.urbee.net/home/

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~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
mark@evie-systems.com
"Delay is preferable to error", Thomas Jefferson.
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Re: aluminum battery boxes

Chris Tromley
In reply to this post by Ben Jarrett
On Fri, Nov 4, 2011 at 6:43 PM, Ben Jarrett <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
>
> For my '84 Jeep conversion with 50 CALB 130 Ah batteries, I'm considering
> building aluminum battery boxes to save weight.  I had originally planned
> to use
> 2x3 1/8" angle iron, but that's gonna start to get heavy.
>
> Anyone have issues with aluminum besides price?


Not sure what we're talking about here.  "Boxes" suggest full-containment
sheet metal, but angle iron just gets you racks.  In terms of weight, steel
racks might be lighter.  What do you want this battery retention system to
do?  Protect them from the weather?  Done right, 1 x 1 x 1/8 steel racks
with thin plastic boxes could be your most effective and lightest solution.

Aluminum is 1/3 the weight and 1/3 the strength of steel.  If you use
aluminum, keep in mind that wherever the aluminum attaches to steel there
will be a strong tendency for the aluminum to corrode.  You can minimize
that by thoroughly sealing the joint.  If joining two sheet materials (like
unibody to box), consider using rivets rather than bolts - sheet metal
really hates point loads. and rivets are much easier than trying to weld
thin materials properly.

You want to make sure your battery retention system can withstand around 8g
side loads and 4g vertical.  Letting your batteries loose in a crash is a
Very Bad Thing.  Calculating the strength of your particular approach might
be a subtle and complex process.  If you're not confident in your ability,
find someone who is or design conservatively.

There are few cases where you can think of these things as just a battery
box.

Chris
LeSled is for sale!
http://www.evalbum.com/274
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Re: aluminum battery boxes

EVDL Administrator
I'm not a big fan of aluminum for battery boxes, because of the problems of
securely anchoring them in the floorpan, and the aforementioned corrosion
potential when you do.  I prefer mild steel. You can weld it into the
floorpan, and bolt it under the hood.  

One downside is that once you have it welded in, you're stuck with the size,
so it's better to make it as big as you can and fill any extra space with
insulation or spacers - or with more batteries.

You can protect it from battery slurm with a good two-part epoxy paint. IIRC
Roland uses bathtub refinishing paint.  

Many years ago, Mary Ann Chapman swore by the spray-in epoxy truck bedliner
material she used to protect the steel (IIRC) battery boxes on her Desert
Lightning pickup conversions.   I've used it successfully, but someone later
mentioned (probably here) that it might be flammable, so investigate this
before deciding.  You will also need a cooperative accessory or body shop.

All that said, a very competent and respected professional converter,
Solectria, did use bolted-in aluminum battery boxes.  

David Roden - Akron, Ohio, USA
EVDL Administrator

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Re: aluminum battery boxes

Rush Dougherty
>  You will also need a cooperative accessory or body shop.

One of the EV'ers in our club gave me a couple links to some DIY bedliners. I was planning on using
it on my own metal frame. But since it hasn't happened yet, I never inquired, so I can't say
anything about the quality or ease of use, both are DIY.

http://www.chirienterprise.com/WhataLiner/WhataLiner.html
has a free 4 oz sample, is somebody wants to do some experimenting with batter acid.

http://www.nonslipcoating.com/
Polyurethane - which is, as far as I know, Acid proof.

Let us know the results if you decide to use one of them.

Rush
www.TucsonEV.com

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Re: aluminum battery boxes

Cor van de Water
In reply to this post by EVDL Administrator
Also US Electricar used 1/4" Alu battery boxes in the S10 longbed
to get 52 x 42Ah batteries under the bed and partly under the cabin.
26 batteries on each side of the drive shaft.
Others have used this same box to put 13 x 80 Ah batteries on each
side and I have managed to get 11x 110Ah AGMs (on their sides) in
each side and the remaining 4 (to make 26x12V for the nominal 312V
AC system) in a separate alu box behind the diff/rear axle.
(tight fit between the two shocks from the axle to frame)

The frame is steel, the boxes Alu, not welded but bolted to the
frame as the entire box could be dropped from under the vehicle,
but I have managed from the available opening, pushing 3 batteries
under the cabin at each side...

Really the only problems I have heard with these boxes were due to
using flooded (NiCd) batteries, as the KOH just loves to corrode
the alu away. One other incident is an overcharge, causing enough
Hydrogen buildup that a spark caused an exposion and the cover
was blown off the box.
This resembles problems that WaveDriver had, due to their 30kW
charging capability, they could easily (and did) cause problems
with explosive mixtures in the battery boxes, one of the reasons
that my box had 2 large holes in the top with a fan behind one
of them to actively send air through the box.

Cor van de Water
Chief Scientist
Proxim Wireless Corporation http://www.proxim.com
Email: [hidden email]    Private: http://www.cvandewater.com
Skype: cor_van_de_water     XoIP: +31877841130
Tel: +1 408 383 7626        Tel: +91 (040)23117400 x203

-----Original Message-----
From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On
Behalf Of EVDL Administrator
Sent: Sunday, November 06, 2011 12:31 AM
To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List
Subject: Re: [EVDL] aluminum battery boxes

I'm not a big fan of aluminum for battery boxes, because of the problems
of securely anchoring them in the floorpan, and the aforementioned
corrosion potential when you do.  I prefer mild steel. You can weld it
into the floorpan, and bolt it under the hood.  

One downside is that once you have it welded in, you're stuck with the
size, so it's better to make it as big as you can and fill any extra
space with insulation or spacers - or with more batteries.

You can protect it from battery slurm with a good two-part epoxy paint.
IIRC Roland uses bathtub refinishing paint.  

Many years ago, Mary Ann Chapman swore by the spray-in epoxy truck
bedliner material she used to protect the steel (IIRC) battery boxes on
her Desert
Lightning pickup conversions.   I've used it successfully, but someone
later
mentioned (probably here) that it might be flammable, so investigate
this before deciding.  You will also need a cooperative accessory or
body shop.

All that said, a very competent and respected professional converter,
Solectria, did use bolted-in aluminum battery boxes.  

David Roden - Akron, Ohio, USA
EVDL Administrator

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = EVDL
Information: http://www.evdl.org/help/ = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
= = = = = = = = = = = =
Note: mail sent to "evpost" and "etpost" addresses will not reach me.
To send a private message, please obtain my email address from the
webpage http://www.evdl.org/help/ .
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


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Re: aluminum battery boxes

Ben Jarrett
In reply to this post by EVDL Administrator



Some great replies so far... thanks!

In my case, I'll be running 26 Calb 130 Ah LiFePo4's in the back and 24 up front.
The battery box frames will be attached to the frame of the jeep.  In the back,
the box will hang down where the old fuel tank lived.
In the front, the box will sit just above the motor.

I call it a box because I do plan to at least fill in the bottom of the back - kind
of like a skit plate.  I'm not sure how much I will fully box in.  I'm not worried
about cold temperatures in here Austin (it sometimes goes below 32F, but not often.)
I'm more worried about high temps.  We reached 110F multiple times this summer
so I would think my batteries near the road might have some troubles and I may need
to cool them.

I have been somewhat concerned about dissimilar metals (aluminum battery frame to steel
jeep frame) connections.  Also, I don't have as much experience with aluminum.  I may use
steel just because I'm more comfortable welding, cutting, etc.  Not sure how much weight
I'd saver overall going with aluminum.  Probably around 30 lbs.

thanks
-ben


________________________________
From: EVDL Administrator <[hidden email]>
To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List <[hidden email]>
Sent: Saturday, November 5, 2011 2:00 PM
Subject: Re: [EVDL] aluminum battery boxes

I'm not a big fan of aluminum for battery boxes, because of the problems of
securely anchoring them in the floorpan, and the aforementioned corrosion
potential when you do.  I prefer mild steel. You can weld it into the
floorpan, and bolt it under the hood. 

One downside is that once you have it welded in, you're stuck with the size,
so it's better to make it as big as you can and fill any extra space with
insulation or spacers - or with more batteries.

You can protect it from battery slurm with a good two-part epoxy paint. IIRC
Roland uses bathtub refinishing paint. 

Many years ago, Mary Ann Chapman swore by the spray-in epoxy truck bedliner
material she used to protect the steel (IIRC) battery boxes on her Desert
Lightning pickup conversions.   I've used it successfully, but someone later
mentioned (probably here) that it might be flammable, so investigate this
before deciding.  You will also need a cooperative accessory or body shop.

All that said, a very competent and respected professional converter,
Solectria, did use bolted-in aluminum battery boxes. 

David Roden - Akron, Ohio, USA
EVDL Administrator

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email address from the webpage http://www.evdl.org/help/ .
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Re: aluminum battery boxes

Pestka, Dennis J
In reply to this post by EVDL Administrator
Any progress on Digest Mode.
This is the last entry I've received.
Over a week ago.

Thanks;
Dennis                                            
Elsberry, MO                              
http://www.evalbum.com/1366 
http://www.evalbum.com/3715                                               



-----Original Message-----
From: EVDL Administrator [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: Saturday, November 05, 2011 2:01 PM
To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List
Subject: Re: [EVDL] aluminum battery boxes

I'm not a big fan of aluminum for battery boxes, because of the problems of
securely anchoring them in the floorpan, and the aforementioned corrosion
potential when you do.  I prefer mild steel. You can weld it into the
floorpan, and bolt it under the hood.  

One downside is that once you have it welded in, you're stuck with the size,
so it's better to make it as big as you can and fill any extra space with
insulation or spacers - or with more batteries.

You can protect it from battery slurm with a good two-part epoxy paint. IIRC
Roland uses bathtub refinishing paint.  

Many years ago, Mary Ann Chapman swore by the spray-in epoxy truck bedliner
material she used to protect the steel (IIRC) battery boxes on her Desert
Lightning pickup conversions.   I've used it successfully, but someone later
mentioned (probably here) that it might be flammable, so investigate this
before deciding.  You will also need a cooperative accessory or body shop.

All that said, a very competent and respected professional converter,
Solectria, did use bolted-in aluminum battery boxes.  

David Roden - Akron, Ohio, USA
EVDL Administrator

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
EVDL Information: http://www.evdl.org/help/
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Note: mail sent to "evpost" and "etpost" addresses will not
reach me.  To send a private message, please obtain my
email address from the webpage http://www.evdl.org/help/ .
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =




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| Please take those discussions elsewhere.  Thanks.
|
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Re: aluminum battery boxes

EVDL Administrator
On 14 Nov 2011 at 13:10, Pestka, Dennis J wrote:

> Any progress on Digest Mode.

The last report I had from SJSU IT was on who the ticket had been assigned
to.  That was on the 10th.  I have nothing further yet as of today, but keep
in mind that we're coming off a long weekend.  

David Roden - Akron, Ohio, USA
EVDL Administrator

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EVDL Information: http://www.evdl.org/help/
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Note: mail sent to "evpost" and "etpost" addresses will not
reach me.  To send a private message, please obtain my
email address from the webpage http://www.evdl.org/help/ .
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


_______________________________________________
| Moratorium on drag racing discussion is in effect.
| Please take those discussions elsewhere.  Thanks.
|
| REPLYING: address your message to [hidden email] only.
| Multiple-address or CCed messages may be rejected.
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