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  1. #1
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    36v v 48v system..... 36 is my choice

    So I've been looking forward to getting an e-bike one of these days and I've been wondering whether to go 36v or 48v... i won't even consider 24v cause of all the hills we have in southern california. I've tested out a 36v system before... and just this past weekend I tried a 48v system that my friend got! w00t!!!

    I was curious and excited to know how much faster this 48v was going to be. Right off the bat I noticed the bike was faster and the top end had to be quite a bit higher because I can feel the wind resistance so much more than 20mph... That is the good part... it feels very zippy and fun and just goes probably like 5mph faster, but I can't say cause there was no speedometer.

    This was good in the beginning but after a couple miles I realized that bicycling was not the same anymore, like at all.

    The reason I say this is because with the 36v, pressing full throttle, the gearing on the bike was still very useful and I could pedal continually and help ease the load off the battery very effectively.

    But with the 48v... the gearing was almost useless, I was just sitting there pressing the throttle all the way like usual. Only when going uphill was I able to pedal and be of some help. Otherwise I felt like I wasn't even getting any exercise cause pedaling was useless. I tried pressing 3/4 throttle consistently so my speed would lower but that's just weird and it's not intuitive and you want to just press it all the way all the time.

    So... I think i'm going to go for a 36v system, it'll cost less, the bicycle will still be a bicycle i can pedal and exercise with and at least I'll be within the legal 20mph limit as well probably. Those are my priorities so to speak (price and exercise/health benefits!). If you want to mountain bike off road and up lots of hills, then for sure 48v will be for you, but i'm always on the streets and trying to commute by bike is a lot of fun.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ypedal's Avatar
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    Now imagine 96v !!!!



    ( and i fully agree.. above 36v on a hub motor, the grin factor goes up, but it's not as much " bicycle " anymore.. it is however a car alternative ! )

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ypedal View Post
    Now imagine 96v !!!!



    ( and i fully agree.. above 36v on a hub motor, the grin factor goes up, but it's not as much " bicycle " anymore.. it is however a car alternative ! )
    I figured the 36v will actually have more range too.. if i had the same capacities battery like..

    48v/12ah
    or
    36v/12ah

    ... the 48v will probably die faster cause the rider can't assist it much, it's taking ALL the load onto itself.

    Maybe one day, when I have lots of money, I will have a 96v e-bike that just goes ridiculously fast like that, and I'll wear a full motorcycle helmet riding around the streets, hahah, that'd look hilarious. Wear a white suit and look like "the stig" of bicycles.

  4. #4
    Senior Member karma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ypedal View Post
    Now imagine 96v !!!!



    ( and i fully agree.. above 36v on a hub motor, the grin factor goes up, but it's not as much " bicycle " anymore.. it is however a car alternative ! )

    im already there
    karmaelectronics.info
    youtube karmabike1

  5. #5
    Hooligan Abneycat's Avatar
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    In the testing at the electric bike shop here, they found that (with the same amp rating on the batteries) the 48v units would reach just about the same distance as their 36v equivalents, and would simply do so at a greater speed. Of course, riding the 48v system at the 36v system's speed will net a greater distance due to the total watt-hours. But as you say, riding with the throttle down is what seems natural and enjoyable. I only throttle back on my 48v system on days when I know more distance has to be done that day than what the pack can offer at full speed.

    One of the big reasons that people experience what you are describing (gearing not matching motor output) is primarily due to the limitations of the freewheel. Most manufacturers are doing freewheels with 13 or 14t at the highest gear, too high for most riders to have a comfortable cadence at 40+kph. Sucky situation.

    Upon obtaining an 11-34 shimano "megarange" (now discontinued), pedaling at 40kph was much more enjoyable than with the more common 14-34. Too bad Shimano has discontinued production of freewheels with 11 teeth.

    The owner of Power in Motion (the electric shop across the hall from my shop) managed to source a manufacturer who supplied him with some decent quality 7 and 8 speed 11-28 freewheels though, which is certainly good news.

    36v certainly has its merits. Sometimes, I would simply like a bit less speed and a bit more range, it was the additional torque of the 48v system which was the cause to go that route on my cargo bike. If you are having troubles with the hills, increasing your amperage will help. In order to carry my bike tools, stands and so on, my personal solution was to increase both.

  6. #6
    ǝıd ǝʌol ʎllɐǝɹ I JeanCoutu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ypedal View Post
    Now imagine 96v !!!!



    ( and i fully agree.. above 36v on a hub motor, the grin factor goes up, but it's not as much " bicycle " anymore.. it is however a car alternative ! )
    Wait, what? Bicycles without motors are already great car alternatives... Let me fix that for you:

    Quote Originally Posted by Ypedal View Post
    ( and i fully agree.. above 36v on a hub motor, the grin factor goes up, but it's not as much " bicycle " anymore.. it is however an unregistered/unlicensed moped/motorcycle ! )
    There we go, much better.

  7. #7
    P7 Fanboy JinbaIttai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeanCoutu View Post
    Wait, what? Bicycles without motors are already great car alternatives
    I think he meant that it is capable of traveling at similar speeds that cars do on the streets.



    Have you thought about swapping to a thumb throttle, or if you have one of those already, swapping to a twist throttle? There are two different kinds of twist throttles, a half and a full, IIRC.

    I agree that 36 volts tends to compliment the top end of a bike's gearing more so than 48 volts. If you never throttle the throttle, I can see how 48 volts would make it seem less bicycle-like.

    If anything, 36 volts is too much top speed for the top end of a MTB's gearing, if you don't throttle the throttle. It is on mine.

    I used to have a 36 volt battery that was too small, so in order to prevent damage, I would avoid full throttle as much as possible. It coerced me to develop a habit of using partial throttle, and this took about a month. When I went to "mash" the throttle, I'd think of the cost of a new battery, and I'd back off. Looking back, I'm glad I was "restricted" from just cruising around at full blast. Now I will already have the habit for when I go to 48 volts.

    When I upgrade to 48V, I foresee myself riding around most of the time with just enough throttle so it feels like a normal bike, and only opening it up when I'm in a hurry or when I hit the hills.

    I'd suggest trying to get used to partial throttle, it really adds to the balance of the bike by being able to control exactly how much your invisible tandem rider pushes, by just moving your thumb/wrist a fraction more or less. Maybe the throttle you have isn't best for your hands for partial throttle.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by La Bicyclette View Post
    So... I think i'm going to go for a 36v system, it'll cost less, the bicycle will still be a bicycle i can pedal and exercise with and at least I'll be within the legal 20mph limit as well probably. Those are my priorities so to speak (price and exercise/health benefits!). If you want to mountain bike off road and up lots of hills, then for sure 48v will be for you, but i'm always on the streets and trying to commute by bike is a lot of fun.
    Another selling point for a 36V system - is the lower weight. An extra 12V battery adds about 10lbs of additional weight you have to carry and potentially pedal (with SLA). Obviously, the difference won't be so extreme with Li-Ion, but for someone with a modest budget purchasing their first e-bike kit, SLA is the likely choice. 10lbs will make it feel even less like a bike - probably more like a TANK!

  9. #9
    P7 Fanboy JinbaIttai's Avatar
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    Yeah I'd never do 48V with SLA. That must weigh a ton.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Ypedal's Avatar
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    Been there.. done that.. 48v 12ah = HEAVY

    About the same weight as my 72v 20ah Lithium Manganese pack !

  11. #11
    Senior Member safe's Avatar
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    There are RC motor ebikes that use 24 volts and put out huge power.

    It's not the battery alone... you have to think about the motor too. You can do things like play around with the way the motor is wound (something I'm playing with at the moment) and that can change everything.

    But then you need to know a bunch of stuff and get your hands dirty by getting inside your motor and figuring out how to change it... which is not easy.

    So in the "abstract" voltage doesn't exist in isolation and it can be anything, but in "practicality" you need to keep the voltage at a level that your motor and controller likes.


    ----------------------------


    High voltage is a way to overcome the downside of motors that are naturally of higher resistance.

    Get ANY motor with lowered resistance and you can use less voltage and more amps. However, needing more amps is also a problem. (again this gets complicated and involves finding the optimal match of charactoristics)


    ----------------------------

    The large electric motorcycle motors can have resistance values as low as 16 mOhms.

    http://www.electricvehiclesusa.com/p...-pmg-132-d.htm




    ...while the big hub motors tend to have resistance values of about 300 mOhms.



    So the lower resistance motors can be as much as 20 times lower in resistance compared to the higher ones.

    .
    Last edited by safe; 02-18-09 at 08:52 AM.

  12. #12
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    Safe: that's true. sometimes you see a hub-motor that is only 3 inches in diameter and is SUPER discreet... but I don't believe they can create much torque.. and sometimes you see a hub-motor that is 8 inches in diameter. They can both be rated for the same power but I think the larger ones create more torque, if you visualize how the power created by the "larger" motor is further away from the axle and the concept of mechanical advantage.

  13. #13
    adrenaline junkie
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    [QUOTE=safe;8381946]High voltage is a way to overcome the downside of motors that are naturally of higher resistance.

    The DC resistance of motors typically has only a small effect on efficiency or power, sometimes insignificant. A good motor will have much, much higher reactance. I would not necessarily call higher resistance a downside. It is just one component of an engineering tradeoff.

    Increasing voltage does two things: First, it increases the top speed of a motor, which is limited by back EMF and has a theoretical maximum of the motor's Kv constant times voltage. Second, it forces more current through the windings at any given speed, producing more power.

    Reducing resistance requires thicker or shorter wire, which typically means fewer turns, less reactance, and the need for more current to generate the same magnetic field, negating the benefit of lowering the resistance.

    Alternatively, one can reason that high resistance motors will generally have more turns of thinner wire, allowing them to operate with less current than low resistance variants. The lower current in effect cancels out the higher resistance, resulting in no difference in efficiency. The higher turn motor will, of course, require higher voltage to force the current to flow, but power (voltage times current) will stay the same.

  14. #14
    Senior Member safe's Avatar
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    Turns verses Winds

    "Turns" of wire define the speed. More "turns" means a lower no load speed and more torque at lower rpms.

    "Winds" are the number of interconnects that exist within the "Turns".

    A "Single" wound motor has the most low end torque and also the highest inductance and highest resistance. This winding pattern is best for people who want the most torque at the lowest rpm, but is not very good for efficiency.

    A "Double" wound motor has less low end torque, one fourth the inductance and one fourth the resistance. This will create a more linear motor torque and has more power in the top end. This is a higher efficiency motor because it has less resistance.

    The "Triple" and "Quad" wound motors tend to have very little torque down low, but tons of power up top. It's often hard to be able to deliver enough amps to actually get this type of motor to fully function at it's peak.


    -----------------------------

    One can choose a thin wire and high "Turns" and then just "Double" or "Triple" or "Quad" wind it if you are willing to sacrifice low end torque.

    I know about this because I'm working on it right now... the Unite 1200 watt motor was a "Double" while the Unite 750 watt was a "Single". The "Double" worked better for my needs because I use gears. (I don't need low end torque)

    http://www.rccartips.com/advanced-rc...motor-tips.htm



    -----------------------------




    The reason that the lower resistance motors tend to be more efficient is that they work best at their higher rpms. People who want low rpm torque often go with a "Single" wound motor and that means that the resistance will be higher than you could get with the "Double". At the low rpms the motor inductance acts like a "flywheel" and allows a smaller current to maintain itself while the PWM controller is sending pulses to the motor. It's the inductance that creates that "EV Grin" down low. The best power is actually up high... well past the "EV Grin" point.

    This is something I have spent a lot of time playing with too... using Armature Current Limiting you can get excellent top end without needing to overheat your motor. However, this is another case where multispeed gearing is a necessity or you might bog down in the low rpms. It's just like with gasoline motors... the race cars / race motorcycles tend to get their best power up high in the rpms. Something like a tractor with a large flywheel is designed for low end torque.

    You end up picking the motor for your needs...

    But the best efficiency and power is going to have a lower resistance... that's a "fuzzy rule" that does work pretty well to classify things.

    .
    Last edited by safe; 02-18-09 at 02:58 PM.

  15. #15
    Hooligan Abneycat's Avatar
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    http://ebikes.ca/hubmotors.shtml

    Scroll down to the section titled "Technical Refresher on Permanent Magnet Machines" to find out about windings and resistance. Unime has a fairly decent, simple explanation.

    A short excerpt from the ebikes.ca tech section on these motors:

    If you take two motors with the same K and R values, but different cogging torques, then the one with the lower cogging torque will exhibit higher efficiency. But this efficiency peak is only in the low power end of the graph, under heavy loadings the two graphs converge. For a respectable power density, a PM motor should typically be run at about 80% of the unloaded speed, corresponding to roughly 80% efficiency. Whether or not the motor has 95% efficiency at low powers is pretty insignificant in terms of the amount of energy it will draw on an actual trip, so it's generally no about basing motor decision based on purported peak efficiency.
    If you take the same motor and wind it with twice the number of turns of copper, then k will double, so the motor will require twice the voltage to reach the same speed, but it will only need 1/2 the current to output a particular torque. Notice that the power input (V*I) for a given torque and speed is the same in both cases. The power lost in the copper is the same too, since twice the number of turns means twice the length at half the wire area, so 4 times the resistance.

    Power loss goes as I2R, so halving the current is exactly cancelled by a 4-fold increase in R. The important point here is that rewiring the motor for a different K value does _not_ change the motors fundamental performance in any way, provided that the same total amount of copper is used.
    "High voltage is a way to overcome the downside of motors that are naturally of higher resistance."

    This is a misleading statement, as you can see. High voltage is also a way to alleviate the downside of any style of these motors, as they all have their shortcomings.

    The only thing any individual can really do, is to pick their motor configuration to best suit their needs.

  16. #16
    Senior Member safe's Avatar
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    The same K and R values...

    That doesn't apply to what we were talking about though...

    My point was that motors with DIFFERING R values will tend to allow the one with the lower resistance to operate more efficiently across the entire spectrum... often with the loss of low end torque however.

    RC motors are generating a lot of excitement in the ebike world BECAUSE they have resistance values down in the 50 mOhm range. That opens up the possibility of running efficiently at lower voltage.

    High resistance needs high voltage to equal a low resistance low voltage motor.

    That was the point of all this... the question was about "voltage"...

    You can:

    Increase voltage to attain higher efficiency

    or

    Decrease resistance to attain higher efficiency

    ...either will do it.

  17. #17
    Senior Member safe's Avatar
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    Turns and Winds again...

    I can't stress this enough...

    Most people look at a motor and only think about the "Turns", but that's only half of the options you have to play with. You can increase the "Winds" from a "Single" to a "Double" and you get:

    1/4 the inductance
    1/4 the resistance

    ...the effect is a cool running motor that spins well at low speed (assuming thin wire and many "Turns") and high efficiency and good top end power.

    The RC people always seem smarter than the ebike crowd that always seem stuck on these darn hub motors. All I ask is for people to research "Winds" and then come back with an opinion. (I didn't understand it until just recently either)

    Try going here:

    http://www.rc-truckncar-tuning.com/c...ound-wire.html


    -------------------------------


    Comparing your options:

    "Single" - 40 "Turns", 1 "Wind" - 800 mOhms (example)

    "Double" - 20 "Turns", 2 "Winds" - 200 mOhms

    "Quad" - 10 "Turns", 4 "Winds" - 50 mOhms

    ...all will produce the same no load speed, but the "Single" will be strongest down low and the "Quad" will be strongest on top, the "Double" is roughly linear.

    .
    Last edited by safe; 02-18-09 at 03:42 PM.

  18. #18
    Hooligan Abneycat's Avatar
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    Please read the relevant section I linked to. Turns and winds are both discussed. There's a bit more about it on the "about the 400 series motors" section.

    A brushless hub motor is still a brushless electric motor. The design has the same relevant consequence.

    One false and oft-repeated conclusion is that therefor the 409 is a higher torque motor than the 406 because it can produce the same torque with fewer amps, or likewise more torque with the same amps. This is not the case. All 400 series motors can deliver exactly the same torque at exactly the same efficiency. The lower winding count motors just need more current to do this, but because they have fewer turns of a shorter length of heavier gauge wire, they can handle high currents with minimal loss. To use a concrete example, lets compare a 404 with a 408. The 408 has twice the number of turns than the 404, so the copper wire in the windings has 1/2 the cross sectional area and twice the length, for a total of 4 times the winding resistance of the 404. For a given torque output, the 408 needs only 1/2 the amps, but because it has 4 times the resistance the net electrical loss (I2R) is exactly the same.
    If you take the same amount of copper and build the same motor, it doesn't really matter what you do for wind / turn design, efficiency remains pretty comparable. Performance characteristics change.
    Last edited by Abneycat; 02-19-09 at 12:14 PM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member safe's Avatar
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    No, no, no... you are still not getting it....

    Seriously... I understand this.... there is an actually different type of pattern to "wind" the "turns". (the Unite 1200 watt was a "Double" and the Unite 750 was a "Single")

    "Turns" does NOT mean the same thing as "Winds".

    Do some lookups on the internet... most of the RC people are pretty hip to this stuff, but the ebike crowd seems to not yet to have been exposed to it.

    If you are only talking about "Turns", then what was quoted was correct... but this is about "Winds".

    Read... learn... come back and discuss...


    --------------------------------


    The best way to look at it is that "Single" is like a series of inductors. "Double", "Triple" and beyond is like a parallel set of inductors. The inductor "size" is the number of turns, but you can have more than one inductor in parallel and since the magnetic force is based on current and total turn count then you can parallel the sets of inductors and still get the magnetic force, but lower the inductance and resistance. This produces a motor that has the highest inductance and resistance when in series and lower and lower inductance and resistance when in parallel.

    Think "series" verses "parallel".





    .
    Last edited by safe; 02-18-09 at 04:06 PM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    Safe is right.

  21. #21
    Hooligan Abneycat's Avatar
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    Ultimately, don't you still need more current to equal the same output on a motor with lower resistance? The net result should be the same. What should be changing is the torquing / speed characteristics, and where the efficiency peak is, not what the efficiency peak is. I'm not very interested in studying it. You may be right.

    I suppose i'm not very hip to it
    Last edited by Abneycat; 02-18-09 at 04:32 PM.

  22. #22
    Senior Member safe's Avatar
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    Even people that know what they are talking about apparently get into disputes over language. However, this quote from this link does a good job of revealing what is happening:

    http://info.ee.surrey.ac.uk/Workshop...ils/terms.html (see italics below)

    Basically the "Turns" and the current within the "Turns" defines the speed of the motor, but it's the "Winds" that can alter the "paths" through which the current can travel. A Series "path" (the Single wind) has the highest inductance and highest resistance and the best low end torque. But for a lower resistance motor that can still give the same magnetic torque based on the "Turns" you can split up those "Turns" and distribute them between multiple "Winds".


    -------------------------------



    You could be forgiven for thinking that there would be no need to spell out what current is. That's obvious surely? Your mistake is to forget how hard all writers on electromagnetism strive to obfuscate an already difficult subject. Here's the problem.

    When considering the magneto-motive force it makes no difference whether you have twelve turns of wire carrying one amp, or three turns carrying four amps, or two turns with six amps. As far as the MMF goes it's all just 'twelve ampere-turns'. You will get just the same magnetic field in each case.

    Reasoning that detail about the number of turns and the number of amps doesn't matter, only the product of the two, some writers decide to say that the current is twelve amps. They write I = 12 A and leave it to you to decide which scenario brought about that 'current'. This insidious practice carries over to formulae as well.

    Which is fine as long as it's consistent and clear to the reader what's happening. If the current changes then, by Faraday's Law we have an induced voltage. You then have to remember that the induced voltage is per turn and not the the total coil voltage. Ambiguity starts to creep in.

    It depends, perhaps, on whether you're more interested in physics or engineering. These pages take the latter view and distinguish current from MMF. Current here, then, is what an ammeter reads, and the number of coil turns, N, is written explicitly.

    The physicists get their way in the end because, although you might just speak of reluctance as 'ampere-turns per weber', inductance as 'weber-turns per ampere' is getting a little contrived - even if it does reflect the concept of flux linkage rather nicely. But permeability as 'weber-turns per ampere-metre'?


    .
    Last edited by safe; 02-18-09 at 05:01 PM.

  23. #23
    Senior Member blippo's Avatar
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    I have to agree with the original post. 36v is just right.

  24. #24
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    Wink

    Not me,

    I think 60v with a 56t big chain ring and 11t small freewheel is the way to go.

    I'll know for sure when I get mine done

  25. #25
    Senior Member safe's Avatar
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    Re-Volt or Re-Wire?

    That is the question...

    The typical motor is mass produced and it's just cheaper for them to do a Single wind with a larger wire. But if you have a battery that can pull the amps and you want better performance your other option is to become a "tech freak" and literally take your motor apart, figure out it's existing wiring, then project what an alternative wiring might produce.

    Yeah right...

    Okay... so most people aren't as into as I am... but I have been playing around with a spreadsheet that would be able to make some guess about the resistance based on the "Turns" and "Winds".

    Anyone who wants to play with this can download it and check it out. It's only as good as the information you have for the motor and so if you don't know your "Turns" or "Winds" or things like the length of wire per "Turn" then it's not going to be accurate. However, I have gotten some results that seem roughly in the "ballpark" for being correct.

    Comments are welcome. (it's not perfect)

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    Last edited by safe; 02-20-09 at 08:40 AM.

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