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Batteries. Voltage and Amp Hour Guidelines


#1

This was the biggest hurdle for me to overcome on my first build. Figuring out not only what type of battery to use, but also cell count and voltage was confusing. Gaining an understanding of battery technology took some time, money, a fire extinguisher and a few destroyed charging systems, esc’s and a motor.

I have found a minimum of 6s lipo (22.2v) is needed to properly power an e-board. What have you found to be the best set up for your boards?


#2

I tend to think most first time builders of an electric skateboard are naturally attracted to the option of LIPO, it is cheap, readily available and fairly straight forward, especially if you are not planning on joining packs in serial or parallel configurations to increase voltage or capacity. My first few DIY eSk8’s where running 6S 8000mah lipos from hobby king and I was more then happy.

However there are some things with LIPO that are not so great, mostly to do with charging safety keeping cells balanced and charging simplicity. Not major issues & certainly not impossible to manage with some planning, but i think as the DIY scene evolves more eboard builders will start looking at other options for their batteries and probably follow the lead of the DIY e-bike scene who are more commonly using the 18650 type cells.

Here is a really good article I just read about the advancements with 18650 form factor cells.
https://www.electricbike.com/amazing-new-18650-cells-for-e-bike-batteries-in-2015/

For me personally I’ll probably never use LIPO again, I’m too lazy and just love plugging in my “one-plug” charger into the on-board BMS built into my battery and going to bed!


#3

I will likely continue to use lipo packs for smaller, less expensive builds such as single drive 6S and 8S systems in situations where the rider is ok with assuming the responsibilities of a separate charger and risks related to lipo and/or really wants a shorter wheelbase/smaller deck where space constraints just don’t allow a longer battery pack plus twin ESCs and motors. Performance wise, lipo really does pack a punch for the dollar. The hidden costs tend to show up in the charger and related diy solutions such as charging ports, as well as cycle life.

One big issue for lipo for me personally is the lack of high output compatible BMSs designed for this sort of application. The ones I’ve found in various corners of the web are either not ideal power wise or are so big that just using Enertion’s Space Cell makes way more sense layout wise.


#4

I like the 6S 5000mah packs which I can wire in series for 12S 5000mah. They work great and are relatively cheap at $40/each. I thought the height issue would be an issue but it’s not that bad.

I do think 18650 high discharge cells are way better and can pull more amps from the HK Lipo packs. Perhaps, sometime in the future I’ll swap to a 18650 setup.


#5

I have yet to try 12s, but I’m going to set something up soon. I have lots of 6s battery packs so once I sort my esc shortage I’ll get er done.

The bms thing is the only thing stumping my on 18650 cells. I havent been able to find a bms that seemed just right.


#6

If we could just kidnap enough scientists, we could come up with a LiPo BMS that had an adequate discharge rate, possibly in the form of a single PCB (with mount points or at least bolt holes) that had traces and solder points for up to two battery packs specifically for doing this. Maybe something that allowed the ESC to mount above the BMS circuits to save some real estate. The whole thing would fit in a box/lid quite easily.


#7

I’ve often thought of this too…