Why Alien Motion, and what is the difference between an Alien Motion battery and a conventional lead acid battery?
We have been producing lithium starter batteries since 2009. We have always designed our batteries in house and assembled them here in the USA. As we were one of the very early lithium starter battery producers, some have chosen to copy our designs. Only accept original Alien Motion LiFe starter batteries!
Alien Motion batteries utilize Lithium Ferrous (LiFePO4) cells that have been specifically designed for Alien Motion to provide the highest amount of current output. Lithium Ferrous cell technology has only been available on a widely distributed basis for the last 5 years. The price has now fallen to the point where the Alien Motion battery is a cost effective alternative to traditional starter batteries.
The most striking difference between the two batteries is in energy density. An Alien Motion cell has 4 times the energy density of a lead acid cell. The result is that you get much more cranking power for the equivalent size and weight. An Alien Motion battery will be much smaller and lighter than it’s lead acid replacement.
Another advantage of Alien Motion batteries is their very low self discharge rate. What this means to you, is that your battery will not lose significant amounts of charge while the battery is not in use. This makes long term storage of your vehicle a simple proposition as long as there is no connected draw on the battery (such as alarm, anti-theft, or ECU draw).
Alien Motion batteries are environmentally friendly, contain no lead, and are one of the safest battery types available.
Just as you can not use any charger with any lead acid battery, you also need to be aware of what you are putting into your Alien Motion battery as well. To achieve a full charge, our AM4XP battery will need to be charged at 14.4V DC at a maximum of 8 amps, the AM8XP and AM12XP require the same voltage, but can utilize as much as 20 amps for a quicker charge time. Lithium batteries should be charged with a lithium ferrous LiFePO4 balancing charger such as our AME4 or AME6. When you combine our fast charge times with low self discharge rates, charging should not be a frequent proposition for Alien Motion batteries.
Lead acid chargers may charge at a higher voltage than recommended for Alien Motion products. In some cases, your battery may be damaged, and it will not reach 100% capacity as it will with the Alien Motion charger. Most vehicle charging systems output DC voltage in a range from 13.4-14.4V, which makes for a healthy battery. A trickle charger is not necessary and should never be used with Alien Motion batteries.
We offer both a 3 amp and 5 amp balance charger. Our chargers are designed specifically for our cell chemistry, and ensure that all four banks of cells will have equally balanced voltage. The AME4 & AME6 chargers make charging quick and easy by not requiring any user input. You simply connect three cables and wait until the charger displays a constant green light. If the voltage (14.4V DC) or current (8/20A) charging limits should be exceeded by improper charging, the Alien Motion battery may be damaged.
This depends on the model of battery and the vehicle application. The greatest difference is that the Alien Motion battery will be smaller than the battery it replaces. On our AM4 and AM8, we include a custom, high density foam ‘pod’. The pod will enlarge these two models to a very common battery size of 150MM X 85MM X 100MM making installation a drop in replacement in many cases. As the AM12 is already 85MM deep and 100MM tall, it does not come with a pod, but it’s size should not be a problem.
The batteries will work fine in any orientation. Under no circumstances should the battery terminals be left in a stressed state (ie: the battery dangling from it’s cables). It is also very important that the terminal connections are well insulated to protect against short circuits.
The life of your Alien Motion battery is determined by its usage and how it is cared for. Your battery should be properly sized for its load, kept in a good state of charge, and not subjected to abuse like overcharging/discharging, short circuiting, or being ‘jump started’ from another battery. Lithium Ferrous chemistry has proven to last for 8-10 years, and we have batteries that have been in use for 5 years now with no problems.
It is very important that the battery be sizeed accordingly to the application and weather conditions. Obviously size is a primary consideration, but your battery should not be subjected to repeated overloading (using too small of a battery for the application), and if cold weather is common, you should move up one battery size. If you have any questions about usage or suitability, please contact us and we will be happy to answer any questions you have.
Your battery should be stored in a good state of charge and balance, in a dry environment, with temperature ranging from 0F – 120F. Many vehicle ECU’s will draw a tiny amount of current from the battery, so to be safe, you should disconnect the ground lead to ensure the battery is not being discharged. We have test units that show practically no self discharge after almost 3 years of storage. Not only is trickle charging not suggested, it can in some cases damage your battery AND SHOULD NOT BE USED.
Star Motion LLC offers a 2-year limited pro-rated warranty for Alien Motion™ starter batteries for defects in material and/or workmanship. All Alien Motion™ starter batteries are tested, balanced, and charged prior to shipping to assure maximum reliability.
OK, if your Alien Motion battery has been working fine and now your vehicle will not start, lets go over a few things to check for.
Is it unusually cold outside? All lithium batteries will exhibit increased resistance in cold weather which will lessen their starting power. You can actually warm up your battery with starting attempts and in most cases will overcome the cold weather issue. You should not overload the battery excessively when doing this, and give the battery a rest period of 10-30 seconds between start attempts. If the battery does not seem to get stronger with each attempt, you should stop and contact tech support.
If possible check your battery with a multimeter. This is the best tool you can have for your battery and can be purchased for $10. You will need to disconnect the battery from the vehicle to accurately check the voltage. Fully charged and rested, your battery should be 13.3-13.5V. If you battery is under 13.0V it needs a recharge. If you battery reads under 8.0V it is extremely low and your AME4 or AME6 will not recharge it as they will 'protect' lithium cells under a critically low voltage. If this is the case, you should email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will have you return the battery for an attempted restore. We offer this service free of charge, with the customer only paying shipping charges.