Electric Bicycle Controllers

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Electric Bicycle Controllers

The selection of a speed controller for an ebike needs to take a number of variables into consideration.
Whether this selection is done by an ebike manufacturer, a kit provider or by an individual designing their own electric bike, the selection of the controller needs to be based on a number of key factors.

Certainly the system voltage and the known amperage rating of the motor to be used is an important factor but not the only thing that needs to go into this selection.

Some other things that should be taken into consideration:

Overall mass of the vehicle, passenger and cargo (including batteries).

Speed at which that mass needs to accelerate.

Maximum incline on which that mass will accelerate from a stop and continuously traverse.

Duration of acceleration, climb or level traverse

Motor and system efficiency

Reduction ratio of motor speed to hub speed (RPMs)

Wheel size (linear distance traveled in one revolution of the hub)

Operating temperature (range of temperatures)

Cooling or heatsink used on the controller.

Wire sizes and length (as well as other potential resistance)

Regenerative braking (is it needed)

Other requirements

Cost vs. requirements

This is by no means a complete list but more a list of some of what I went through when I was deciding what controller to use on my build.
I can tell you that you that the more I learn about controllers, the more I realize that is not an easy selection.
The bike controller could be compared to many things ... I like to look at it as a central nervous system, taking in information, regulating the system and supplying the needed proportions of that which is needed to make things operate well.
Controllers can be rather simple or very complex and your requirements should dictate what controller you select.
Some bikes may require brute force while others may better utilize a more complex control.

Good luck in your selection!

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