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Old 12-01-2008, 11:33 PM
  #84  
Jason/TPRC
Tech Rookie
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 12
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Hello everyone,

I’d like to thank everyone for their contributions to this thread and for your support. We look forward to not only providing what we hope will become products among the RC surface market’s leading LiPo battery, charger and other accessory offerings, but also to becoming part of an incredible community of individuals that continues to push the limits of electric power system technology to the edge and beyond!

This is Jason Merkle from Thunder Power RC and I’m very excited both personally and professionally for us to enter the surface marketplace as I and many others here at TPRC share a significant passion for electric-powered RC models of all kinds. We were the first company to market LiPo batteries for use in RC airplanes and helicopters through wide-scale, world-wide distribution in a variety of capacities (730mAh to 8000mAh), configurations (2S to 5S) and performance levels (4C to 6C) starting in 2003. One of our earliest achievements was the ground-up design (never before done for a LiPo cell intended for sale specifically in the RC industry) of the now ever-popular and world-standard “2100mAh” LiPo battery size that provides the footprint for the best selling 1800-2250mAh batteries in the RC air industry today. For many pilots that have flown electric-powered airplanes and helicopters for at least a few years now, their first LiPo battery was from Thunder Power and many of those pilots still choose TPRC products today.

Our founder and President, Charlie Wang, and his company Advance Energy Inc. have been in the battery business since the early 90s, starting with nickel-based battery solutions for early cell phones. In 1996 Charlie and Advance Energy began offering their first Lithium Ion batteries for various cell phone models, and in 1997, they offered their first Lithium Polymer batteries (also for cell phones). Then, in 2002, Charlie’s passion for high-energy density batteries and electric-powered RC aircraft models collided in what quickly became a true evolution in power and power systems. Only a few months later the first Thunder Power LiPo batteries were made available, sparking the beginning of what’s been an incredible 6 years now providing LiPo battery power solutions to the RC, military and other industries.

I apologize for the history and story, but as some have pointed out, TPRC has been in the LiPo battery business for about as long as it’s existed in the RC (primarily air) industry. Since the beginning we’ve conducted cell testing in-house using a variety of equipment and techniques, and, after developing the most strict cell matching and some of the first LiPo battery assembly techniques in the industry, all pack assembly has and continues to be done right here in Las Vegas, NV. Charlie and our team have developed a very strong technical understanding of LiPo batteries, their intended applications and use, as well as the materials, assembly techniques, dimensions, chemistry and more that go into the development and manufacturing of the world’s leading performance cells. This understanding has translated well in relationships with a number of LiPo cell manufacturers that we often work very closely with to develop cells to meet our strict and specific size, weight and performance criteria. Nearly every cell we offer has been custom-designed/built, whether in dimensions, chemistry, tab-type/location, etc. to provide the fit and performance we feel RC pilots (and now drivers) are looking for in a wide variety of sport and competition applications alike.

We’re not new to the RC LiPo battery market, but are of course new to the surface market in particular. That said, we hope with the support and feedback of many here and world-wide to become a respected brand name and leader in product performance, quality and value for many years to come. Please feel free to offer any (preferably constructive!) feedback you can, any time!

But getting back to this thread and the exciting release of our new 5000mAh Pro Power 40C batteries in particular, I’d like to provide insight for a few of the comments, questions and concerns found here, along with more data we’ve gathered on these new batteries in recent days.


O’Brain –
Enerland has been the manufacturer of some of our previous and even current cell models. However, as noted above, we work with various cell manufacturers that offer us the specific dimensions, performance, etc. we require for a variety of projects, including the one who manufacturers the 40C cells for us. It’s very true that we often know (and work closely with) the suppliers that build the world’s best cells, and very often those cells are built to our specifications.

And yes, while the quality, performance and value of our chargers do not directly reflect the same for our LiPo batteries, they do reflect our desire to offer high-quality, high-performance and high-value in every product we offer under the Thunder Power brand name.

Also, the 5000mAh Pro Race 40C batteries are built using 2500mAh cells in parallel (2P).


Diggitty –
While we respect your position as a competitor, we also hope you respect the reality that not every supplier can offer the very best performance in everything they do. Sanyo, Panasonic, GP and many others often “leap-frogged” one another in the quest for the ultimate performance round cells by offering a product that was higher-capacity and higher-performance (generally in the same size) than what their competitor could offer at the same time.

That said, Charlie has worked very hard and very closely with our manufacturers and their engineers for quite some time to develop what has become the first “true” 40C continuous discharge capable cells that fit into a case size the ROAR rules allow. It is no ordinary feat, and while it’s also not something every other cell supplier can duplicate now, it is likely only a matter of time before some may and others will. But a leader also understands their position is never guaranteed forever, and by listening to the feedback of current product users (of their own and competitors’ products), they create the next evolution in a product if they have a desire to continue as a leader for years to come.


PartTime –
LiPo performance may vary greatly from battery to battery, application to application and user to user. That said, we can say with the utmost confidence that there are more Thunder Power cells with more cycles in use today than any other brand. We get reports almost daily of Generation 1 (some almost 6 years old), Pro Lite (some upwards of 4 years old) and many other of our batteries that have provided hundreds of cycles and years of use (and some still delivering 80% or more useable capacity) in a wide variety of applications.

However, it is also true (at least previously) that more powerful chemistries, such as that used for the eXtreme series, provided the power but not the cycle life longevity every customer was looking for. For this reason we have worked very hard to develop the all-new Pro Lite V2 (replaces Pro Lite), Pro Power 30C (replaces eXtreme V2), and Sport Race and Pro Race series batteries to provide not only the best in power and performance, but also cycle life that offers significant (and in some cases drastic) improvements upwards of 300-400% in most applications.

Also, sometimes no degree of cell matching in pack assembly can prevent single cell failures in a pack. Unfortunately, sometimes cells fail due to cell or pack manufacturing defects. For this reason we offer a 1 year warranty on all of our batteries, so if a pack/cell ever fails due to a defect (our trained staff is readily able to determine whether failures are due to defective cell or pack manufacturing or user induced damage), it will be replaced at no charge any time during the one year period from the date of purchase. And, because we understand sometimes accidents happen, we will replace any user-damaged (due to over-discharging, shorting, crash damage, etc.) battery one-time during the same one year period at 50% off the street price.

BTW – We will be testing cycle life of the Pro Race 40C batteries in the near future and will publish the results when available.


Danny/SMC –
We thank you for working hard to develop testing standards and products that deliver leading levels of performance. We also respect you very much as a strong leader in the current LiPo battery market.

However, we do have some questions regarding the standard test procedures you use and how they apply to the numbers you label your 5000mAh 28C batteries with. For example, we purchased a number of 5000mAh 28C batteries recently and tested them on our own GFX units. While the numbers listed on the box for each battery show readily visible differences in performance between each pack, and we’ve also found the data various GFX units provides to vary from unit to unit, when using the “best” battery on our “best” GFX, we are not able to achieve the same test results.

We’re charging the batteries with the GFX at 1C and discharging them at 35 amps to 6.0 volts following the info listed on the label you provide on the box. The batteries are tested at approximately 75 degrees (room temp) with the voltage sensing leads connected directly to the solder joints of the male Deans Ultra plug connector installed on the 12GA wire leads of the GFX unit. The following are the numbers for the best pack (the pack with the best numbers on the box and in our tests) on our best GFX unit (the unit that offers better numbers on the same packs than our other units) from the box and on our unit:

SMC 5000mAh 28C 7.4V

IR = 5.4 (on the box label) / 6.8 (as tested on our GFX)
Seconds = 537 (box) / 529 (tested)
Avg. Voltage = 7.43V (box) / 7.38V (tested)
mAh = 5220 (box) / 5143 (tested)

NOTE – The other 5000mAh 28C batteries we tested did not deliver numbers as good as these, but did show the same amount of variation between the numbers on the box and the numbers shown on our GFX unit.

For added reference, the following are our numbers when using the same GFX unit and test conditions for a production 5000mAh Pro Race 40C battery that represents the typical performance of production batteries:

Thunder Power 5000mAh Pro Race 40C 7.4V

IR = 5.7
Seconds = 524
Avg. Voltage = 7.44
mAh = 5094

Based on these results, it seems there must be some significant differences in our test procedures, conditions, GFX units or a combination of all. Our test result data for the 40C battery is not as good as the label on your 28C battery box shows for some data points, yet with all else the same when the batteries are tested back to back on the same unit here, the relative performance at all data points shows much better for our battery.

It seems that many customers in this market want to see the GFX numbers in print on the box in order to compare the same or different make/model batteries before they make their purchase, even though many are not able to duplicate those numbers currently published by some manufacturers based on a number of reports we’ve recently received and as our own test results show. Unfortunately it seems that if we publish the GFX numbers for every battery we sell, our published numbers for a proven better performance battery are not as good as those published for the battery that does not perform as well (at least using our current test procedures and equipment).

Without a doubt it seems the GFX unit itself provides the most variation in data. The numbers posted by Humpty are better than the numbers we see with a similar performance battery warmed to the same temp and tested on our own GFX units. The same also seems true for the 5000mAh 28C batteries tested on the SMC and TPRC GFX units.

Can you see or speculate any reason why our numbers seem to be so different?

Please understand our goal is not to discredit the data from any source, but rather to find potential errors and/or standards we did not follow correctly when testing our and competitors’ batteries on our own GFX units. We want to give customers in this market the data they request, yet are concerned to provide it if the data we show in good faith does not show a better performing battery to offer better performance by the numbers alone.

Our hope is to follow and/or help create a better standard for testing and the data published for consumers in this marketplace. Unfortunately, if we are not able to follow and/or create a better standard, we’ll all have to continue marketing the products as they’ve been marketed before and wait for customers to compare the performance of various makes/models of batteries on their own GFX unit (or on the track) in order to see the relative differences between them. This might be the most fair solution for the manufacturers, but is not the most fair (or cost effective) solution for the customer.


Thank you and we look forward to everyone’s continued feedback and support!

Jason

Last edited by Jason/TPRC; 12-02-2008 at 12:40 AM.
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