Read these articles written by experienced electric skateboard builders explaining why the
is changing the way people build electric skateboard.
WHY IS THE SPACE CELL BETTER THAN LIPO?
In my personal situation, soldering and wiring the battery together isn’t the painful part: it’s the form factor, charging, and mounting that really ruins a Lipo for a skateboard application.
I currently run a 5,000mah 6s lipo: it is a 55mm tall brick, with virtually no way to make it look aesthetically pleasing. Like I said, it’s a blue brick with a bunch of wires sticking out. The battery is practically useless on anything except a tall board with risers, as discovered by trying to put it on a dropdeck Even with two risers per truck, which is totally ridiculous and defeats the purpose of getting lower with a dropdeck, the battery was still just 25mm from the ground. With one set of risers, it is pretty much game over for the 6s… with 61mm of ground clearance, running a 55mm battery plus mounting and a case is pretty much impossible.
So you move to the only other option: running two 3s battery together to create your 6s in the form of two, flatter batteries. So problem solved right?
It actually becomes worse… Charging one lipo is bad enough, because I don’t feel comfortable charging it anywhere except my fireplace (I have had lipos puff and then catch fire, so I am not just some paranoid fool), and they are a pain with not only the little balancing plug, but also the necessary smart charger. With two batteries, you not only double your charge time, but you can’t just plug the batteries in, leave and come back when they are done. You actually have to charge one for 2 hours, then switch and charge the other… its all a royal pain.
The charging situation also leads directly into mounting problems: you have to enclose and protect your batteries so they doesn’t get damaged, but they must be removable, so you can charge them without the risk of blowing up your board… This makes it so that you are either taking off screws just to charge a battery, or trying to mess around with hinges, and other access doors than never actually work out as well as you want, and just add more bulk to your board.
There really isn’t a Lipo powered solution out there that solves the charging, mounting, and form factor problems that come with traditional batteries.
That’s where the SPACE cell comes in: its under half the thickness of previous brick, and is even 8mm thinner than a 5000mah 3s! It’s not magic, it just is optimization: rather than taking rc batteries and stuffing them in our skateboards, we now have a purpose built battery specifically designed for electric skateboards. It is the thinnest battery you can buy that still has enough power, it has ONE super simply plug for charging, and it is just a rectangle that doesn’t every need to be removed for charging, making mounting really easy. Not only that, but its got a voltage meter so you can actually tell when you are running low, as apposed to just stopping when you are dead on a normal battery.
All said, the biggest thing that has been done right here is the charging, and form factor. Making a lipo long and flat would’ve been the easy cheap way to go, but it would still need to be removable, and have to charge somewhere safe. You guys didn’t cut corners, and literally addressed every single problem with rc lipos on a skateboard. I never intended for my response to be so longwinded, its is just an easy topic to discuss, and I sorta got carries away…
written by: Caden Matson
THE BENEFITS OF A PURPOSE BUILT BATTERY SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED FOR ELECTRIC SKATEBOARDS
Why do I want a SPACE battery instead of a regular of LiPo pack? I'll tell you why, and with enthusiasm because its clearly important enough for me to raise my facebook account from three years of death to do so. Everyone knows I hate Facebook, so this battery had better be some serious shit, right? Well it is. But first, lets talk about LiPo.
LiPo is a rather volatile battery chemistry that really, really hates open air. Lets just say for a minute that you accidentally stabbed your LiPo pack with a stick or a nail while barreling down a bike trail after strapping all kinds of electronics to the bottom of your longboard deck instead of buying an aluminum case like a sane person. For example, like this guy: https://instagram.com/p/3AnaaUJp95/ . Sure, that tape looks good (no, it doesn’t) but what happens when that battery gets punctured? Fire. Not just any fire, mind you, but the kind you often see in more appropriate places, like the business end of your favorite MAPP gas torch.
But puncturing isn’t an issue if you aren’t a complete idiot, so maybe that doesn’t apply to you. You have a nice aluminum or plastic case to keep your LiPo protected from stabbings. But what about charging? LiPo is a pain in the ass here too.
Can you leave it alone while charging? No, because the charger could overcharge the battery, and start a fire. Can you run your battery down all the way and just get off of your electric longboard when it stops moving? No, because over discharging can cause it to ignite and start a fire. Puncture? fire! Drop it? Fire! Talk about its mother in unorthodox and potentially insulting ways? Fire! But that’s only the fire bit. We haven’t even touched the annoying bits that happen between you and your battery charger due to the ever-present fun-sucking fire hazard. You already know you can’t leave it alone for too long, but did you know that it won’t even charge all the way in one session? A lot of chargers won’t charge for more than 30 or 40 minutes at a time because they’re worried about overheating the battery, as they should be. That means its not done when the beeper goes beep. You have to start all over. I have to start mine up two or three times every single time.
Wait, there’s more! We’ve yet to begin discussing the annoyances of dealing with all of the wiring between he batteries, the volt meter, the high current electronic switches you have to use, and any kind of custom charging port you may devise to keep you from having to physically remove the LiPo pac so you can charge it. The Too Long Didn’t Read version is that you have to buy a metal box and just cram all that shit in there and hope for the best. I don’t know about you, but I feel “great" hoping for the best at 30+ mph on a rocket stick.
Enter the SPACE Battery. The charger? built in. The volt meter? built in. The power switch? Built in. The only thing you have to worry about is wiring in your motor controllers. And when its time to charge, just plug it in and go to bed or watch TV or poke people on Facebook because you don’t have to babysit this battery. It’s not going to burn your house down. You can’t over-charge it. You can’t over-discharge it. ITs even got a pretty tough skin so putting it in a big ugly box is totally up to you.
The SPACE pack is the only battery pack you’ll want when you set out to build your own slim, dead-sexy electric longboard guaranteed to get heads turning. Not only will you get to sleep at night knowing your life won’t literally go up in flames, but attractive people of the appropriate gender will throw themselves at you recklessly in a most sexual manner. Beer will taste better. Barbecue shrimp and chicken will always be tender and melt in your mouth. You’ll get more fries when you order that combo from your favorite burger hut. Your muscles will tone up and you will burst forth into the world every morning with confidence and stamina as the birds sing to greet you and the sun casts its light into the direction of your gaze instead of blinding you like it does that dope down the street who still buys LiPos.
Welcome to the future, the future of DIY Electric Longboards powered by SPACE.
by Damon Wood
3 REASONS TO HATE LIPO'S AND LIVE IN S.P.A.C.E
- I love my family and don't want to burn down my house (ie, safety conserns)
- I'm lazy and just want to ride (ie lipo maintenance sucks)
- SPACE cell is cheaper (shocker :O)
Google how lipo's explode... its crazy stuff. I like explosions as much as the next guy but that junk is crazy.
Here are some reasons to fear lipos:
- Your not a perfectionist - if you just want to ride, and don't want to mess w/ the batteries every single time.
- You have kids - I have 3 boys (I just had my third 11 days ago). They throw/poke/drop/smash stuff... because they are boys.
- You have a wife - Ha! You try to convince your wife that lipos are safe after she searches them on youtube.
- You like money - See my "Lipos are more expensive" section below
LiPo Maintenance sucks
How to charge a Lipo (why lipo maintenance sucks):
- Unstrap and disconnect batteries from skateboard
- Find a place in my garage that if Lipo's explode, they don't start my house on fire and won't hurt my kids
- Plug into charger... don't shock yourself
- Don't leave house to get groceries or play with kids b/c lipo's are charging
- Set an alarm to check on charging so I don't over charge
- Make sure crap is balanced.
- Check battery packs for bulging. If bulging found... flush money down toilet.
- Put batteries someplace safe so if they explode house/kids don't die
- When I want to ride, painstakingly wedge batteries back on board
How to charge a SPACE cell:
- Plugin the battery
- Do whatever... because it takes care of itself AND your house won't burn down.
- Life happily ever after
Lipos are more expensive
Why I think LiPo's are more expensive:
- First, I'm a normal guy. I don't take pleasure in changing/balancing batteries like some people out there. I want to ride... not mess around w/ the power source. Also, I have 3 kids under 4 years old... I know I'm not going to take perfect care of my Lipo's... so I have to assume 100 cycles or lower.
- Communting: If I ride to and from work 5 months out of the year, thats 100 battery cycles (5months x 4weeks/month x5days/week) just for work... not including messing around in the evenings or weekends. So I know I have to buy new Lipos every year.
- LiPo initial price calculation: 2x6s=$80 + power supply=$40 + charger=$25 + parallel charging board =$6 + misc connectors & wire $15, voltage display and battery medic=$13, shipping=$30 ... Total $209. But Lipo's only last for maybe 100 cycles if your careful about maintenance... so to match up to SPACES's 300 cycles (more than likely the SPACE cell will do better than 300 cycles) we need 3 sets of batteries (add 2 more sets 2x2x6s=$160). Add $151+160 = $369. Oh yeah... plus $50 for a power switch... thats $419.
- If you already have all the other stuff (power supply, charger, misc stuff)... you still have to store all the stuff someplace and have the time to site around and watch it charge... so your losing money in time. In 3 years I might have to buy another SPACE cell, but more than likely technology will have advanced to a place where there is something better and enertion will be selling that instead.
So if you don't want to...
- Die in a fiery inferno
- Spend hours charging a battery that will eventually just bulge so you have to throw it away (oh, by the way where do you dispose of them).
- Burn money
...Buy the SPACE cell
By Peter Olsen.
BUILDING YOUR OWN ELECTRIC SKATEBOARD HAS NEVER BEEN SO EASY
Having joined ES a few years back, my first EV was a Razor E300 electric scooter. I swooped out the lead-acid batteries with lipo to reduce weight and increase its range. All seemed awesome but after some time I ceased using it, due to reasons (which I would explain below) . Now, I am going to replace it with an electric skateboard which I will be building for a school project in August, so I hope to win a SPACE battery to use in this upcoming build!
So what is a lipo battery? Lipo (short for lithium-polymer) batteries are high energy density batteries (about 3-5 times that of conventional lead-acid batteries) which also has a high power output, commonly used in hobbyist RC aircraft and high performance scale model cars and boats. However, they are highly fragile and require much care and maintenance. They do not have protection circuitry to prevent misuse such as over-charging (which can lead to fire) and over-discharge (which leads to puffed up packs, shortening its lifespan). Lipos are highly dangerous and can easily explode!
(Lipo fire / explosion on an RC airplane (screengrab from youtube)
I fortunately haven’t had the experience of a lipo fire, but from first-hand experience, the most annoying thing about lipo is the charging experience. For example, with my DIY electric scooter setup, it is a cumbersome process to remove the batteries, connect the power supply, charger and balance cables together, and finally configure the charger to the correct charging setting. Depending on the whole setup you use, this could easily take 1-2 minutes altogether! Furthermore, they need to constantly be monitored throughout its entire charging process in case it catches fire! Depending on your charger, this could take anywhere from 45 minutes to 4 hours! How you wish you could have an easy plug and forget solution just like charging your handphone!
(Yes, this was my lipo charging setup. How cumbersome!)
Another problem with lipo batteries, especially high-voltage setups for electric scooters or skateboards is that the high voltage generates sparks whenever you connect wire connectors together, whenever you plug and unplug to power your board or to charge the batteries. These sparks eat away the connectors, causing soot to build up (turning it black) and also expose and oxidize the copper below it, turning it green. This process quickly renders the connectors unusable especially if you ride every day. Those on my previous electric scooter wore out in 2 weeks! Sure that anti-spark solutions exist, but like most noobs I didn’t know about it then, and even so they are really costly, up to $60 just for a switch! (http://www.enertionboards.com/electric- ... ff-switch/)
WHY THE S.P.A.C.E BATTERY WOULD MAKE BUILDING AN ELECTRIC SKATEBOARD EASIER
Now, introducing the new SPACE battery! The SPACE battery uses 18650 lithium-ion batteries, the same type used in laptop computer batteries. It is a significant breakthrough in the field of electric skateboarding, because only recently have high energy density, high current discharge 18650 lithium-ion cells been developed. With 60A max output, it can produce more than enough power to glide your twin motor skateboard up any slope effortlessly.
So how is the SPACE better than lipo? It has a greater energy density than lipo batteries, and is significantly safer due to the battery management system (BMS) circuit in the battery itself! This special feature, purpose-built for the SPACEbattery utilizes a special circuit which balances each individual cell, preventing them from over-charge or over-discharge. Together with a easy built-in charging port, this results in a simple plug-and-play system just like charging a laptop! Say goodbye to bulky lipo chargers and cumbersome balancing wires getting tangled up, or plugging in wrongly! Additionally, this BMS has an in-built non-sparking switch which negates the use of an anti-spark setup. My worst and most annoying problems with lipo solved altogether!
Another useful function the SPACE battery has is the voltage display meter. This display tells you how much juice you have left in the battery so that you can better plan your trip ahead. Also with a monster capacity of 270Wh (compared with 100Wh on most other electric skateboards), there’s no more going on a trip and then have the battery dying on you!
The SPACE battery is truly a game changer in battery design. Hassle-free charging and setup, huge capacity, a battery voltage indicator together with a slim and sexy design (that lipos can’t beat) makes it a sure winner. It is the only battery that you will ever need to install in your electric skateboard.
by Shawn Sim