Even inside a climate-controlled building, new cells are stored in a steel
shipping container that is an Aladdin’s
cave of battery treasure.
Cells are stored by size, shape and
power density. The end result of these
choices are rebuilt packs with more
amp-hours than stock.
This is a completed pack with the
standard RPE BMS
circuit board on top.
It watches under
voltage, over voltage, over current,
over internal temp
and stops short
circuiting. The cells
are divided from the
BMS by foam that
acts as a mattress
for the board. It
stops the minimal
movements so that
parts don’t wear
during vibration. You
want nothing loose.
This much larger
BMS board is an
It can manage active
balancing of the 10
cells in a 36-volt
pack. In addition to
many ordinary BMS
functions, a battery pack with the
installed can supply
all information about
battery charge and
health to a smart-phone.
RPE has the ability to rejuvenate a low-ering-performance battery. It is often
a matter of re-balancing/resetting or
replacing some, but not all, pack cells.
These jobs are quoted based on needs
and can greatly increase the life and
performance of the battery. The assembly process is growing and learning as
RPE is working with two e-bike touring
groups—one in Las Vegas and another in Utah. The groups serve as an
extreme test for battery packs that RPE
designs and repairs. While the average
customer may only use the battery
once a week, the touring groups use
these batteries as much as twice a day.
RPE is able to learn from these extreme
users to make battery modifications to
help make the best battery.
Finally, RPE is the premier U.S.
partner with eSocialBike, a smart battery management system. Now in the
final development phase, eSocialBike
is a $100 upgrade option on any RPE
batteries. It allows continuous communication, feedback and metrics to be
recorded from your battery. A smart-phone/tablet app, bike-shop app and
manufacturer’s app allow the battery to
be managed and maintained for maximum lifetime.
A smaller part of RPE’s business
is the Ripple bike brand. Ripple bikes
aren’t actually manufactured by RPE.
The first model is named the Ripple
GDC, since Utah-based Good Day
Cycles is the name of the frame
builder’s company. Each bike is custom-built to spec using the American-made GDC chromoly steel frame and a
mid-drive-assist unit. There are options
for belt drive and a host of other choices. The price depends on the final spec
of the bike. ■