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Product Test - Power & Light Company

Installing a High-Tech Battery from Shorai
Written By: 
Rick Engle

vendor.2014.shorai.lithium-iron-battery.JPGLead acid batteries aren't what they used to be. Before restrictions on the use of lead in many consumer products, we rarely replaced our powersports batteries. When we did, they would seemingly start a tractor in the dead of winter. Just like your glory days on the high-school football team, those days are long gone. There is an excellent alternative though; lithium-Iron batteries from Shorai.

Shorai Sure Thing

Shorai is all about making power. Not in the sense of a new exhaust or bigger carburetor, but as in the flow of electrons, and lots of ‘em. It's the storage and delivery of electrons that gets your engine humming, and a good battery is the key to the system. With the writing on the wall for traditional lead-acid batteries, Shorai invested in alternative power sources that would solve long term storage problems. They deliver all the power needed to start your engine, even under extreme conditions. The answer is what they call "prismatic cell, lithium iron phosphate power sports batteries". What it means is their batteries kick butt, in a scientific sort of way. Advantages of the Shorai Lithium Iron battery are:

  • Up to 80 percent lighter than their lead acid equivalents.

  • Improved starting performance thanks to higher voltage range; during cranking they maintain a higher voltage level. The result is quicker starts.vendor.2014.shorai.lithium-iron-battery.kit.JPG

  • Shorai batteries do not sulfate while sitting.

  • Shorai batteries do not suffer internal chemical degradation common to lead acid.

  • Available in a variety of shapes, sizes, capacity options and right/left polarity options.

  • Designed to maximize ease of installation, allowing customers to self-install.

  • Shorai batteries can be found at over 2,500 dealers and online at www.shoraipower.com.

  • Shorai batteries come with a three year pro-rated warranty.

  • Standard lead-acid chargers can be used, but the specially designed Shorai Lithium Iron charger will charge, store, maintain, balance and diagnose Shorais batteries.

  • Uses more efficient and higher performance lithium technology.

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Dull RZR

Recently our Polaris RZR had been starting poorly. The culprit was our old nemesis: the stock Polaris battery. It was time to try something better, and the Shorai LFX Lithium-Iron battery with a BMS01 battery management system looked like our ticket to ride.

Removing the stock battery on any machine is usually not a problem. If your machine has accessories such as lights, winches, etc. with extra wires, it might be a good idea to label them so there is no confusion about which terminal to hook them to on the new Shorai battery. We removed the negative ground wire (black) from our RZR first, and then the positive (red) wire. It's always a good idea to remove the negative wire first. Also, pay particular attention to the tools you are using! DO NOT cross the terminals with the tools, or by shorting a tool out through any rings you might be wearing. (One of our good buddies just gave himself a permanent burn scar by that mistake!) After the stock battery is removed, check the Shorai battery for fit and terminal location. We like how Shorai includes adhesive backed foam to ensure a snug fit. This cuts down on vibration and even helps with unwanted heat buildup. The LFX #3 series battery contains a series bar kit that you'll need to install. This allows the battery to be legally shipped via ground and air services. Assemble the series bar as shown in the instructions. Your wiring eyelets can bolt to either the top of the terminals directly or vertically using the supplied Z-brackets. Whichever you choose, make sure that the positive terminal of the LFX cannot short against any part of the vehicle. Remember the kid's game Operation, which made a buzzing sound and the patients nose would light up as you touched the sides? You definitely don't want that! Be careful not to touch anywhere on the machine with your tools while installing the positive terminal or you'll see sparks, but possibly damage the battery or your machine.vendor.2014.shorai.lithium-iron-battery.installing.JPG

TIP: Use anti-corrosion spray on terminals if you ride in salty or wet environments.

There is no need to charge a new Shorai battery. The LFX batteries are pre-charged to 70%- 90% of capacity at ship time, essentially making them a "plug & play" type of part. In fact, Shorai recommends against additional charging prior to use, but owners of the BMSO1 charger system may use the charge mode to fully top the battery before use. The BMSO1 battery management system is designed to create ideal cell balance and preform diagnostics to guarantee best performance. It's the perfect tool for long term storage, since the worst things for battery health are prolonged storage at high temperatures, and allowing a battery to be deeply discharged. Compared to lead-acid batteries, Shorai LFX batteries have a slower self-discharge rate, and therefore, can be stored much longer. In fact, if there is no current flow in the system when the key is off, the Shorai LFX can be stored for one year or more without damage. The best thing you can do is ride your machine a couple hours a month year round, or completely disconnect the negative (black) battery cable to eliminate any key-off draw on the battery if your machine will be setting for a long while. Ideal storage temperature is 34F.vendor.2014.shorai.lithium-iron-battery.management-system.JPG


Full Power

Nobody ever brags about full battery power, but it's great to have and the Shorai Lithium-Iron battery with a battery management system can get you there! It's a little like a return to the glory days when your fumbling buddy bobbled the pigskin into your chest. Thanks to a generous application of Stick-Em and a woefully unprepared defense, you found your way across the goal line, still attached to the ball. It was a great feeling. It really charged your battery! Shorai can do the same.

SHORAI Inc. www. shoraipower.com

TOLL FREE: 888-477-4848 or 408-720-8821   

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