Blimey, these controllers don't half get hot.

Northern Irelander

Pedelecer
Jun 4, 2009
180
0
after a 14 mile journey, pretty much flat out in the highest gear the 26 v powacycle controller is seriously hot.

The hot glue even melts :eek:

It will be mounting the unit somewhere with plenty of airflow, as inside a waterproof panier is asking for trouble.

Might even run it to the handlebars and make myself a decent hand warmer ;)
 

OneWayTraffic

Pedelecer
Apr 7, 2009
44
0
Did you goose the throttle going slowly up a hill? If the motor is running at an inefficient speed, and it's being overfed with current that it can't use, then all that gets dumped into the controller in the form of heat I believe.

Aside from that, yeah put it in the airflow.
 

emissions-free

Pedelecer
Oct 24, 2009
176
0
Shanghai
You can get away with leaving a controller in a bag if it's not getting hard continuous use but if you're running it to it's max power for an extended period it needs to be in the open air. You wouldn't run your car engine with no coolant, so why run a controller with no cool air to dissipate the considerable heat generated, there's no difference ;) You could run a car for a short time with no coolant, but it would soon overheat and go bang, likewise your controller if there isn't a safety feature that shuts it down before that happens :)

If the controller is also securely mounted to a big piece of metal that will also act as an effective heat heat sink and in that case the controller wouldn't necessarily need to be in free moving air. There are componds available that help to transfer heat, which could be used to improve the cooling effect.

You may also find that your controller power output may be reduced when allowed to get excessively hot. Hope that helps :)
 

averhamdave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 13, 2009
331
1
When you buy a car though it does have coolant and a radiator. The manufacturer doesn't expect you to use your initiative and fit your own do they?

If the thing is getting too hot to the point of causing a problem then surely it should go back to the retailer. If it were a kit built bike it would be a different matter but this sounds like a packaged product from Powacycle that is suspect.
 

daniel.weck

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 8, 2009
1,224
1
Mine runs at 36/37 Celcius degrees when used up hill...and it's in a bag !! :confused:

(Bafang 36V 250W - eCrazyman controller)
 

john

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 1, 2007
531
0
Manchester
after a 14 mile journey, pretty much flat out in the highest gear the 26 v powacycle controller is seriously hot.

The hot glue even melts :eek:

It will be mounting the unit somewhere with plenty of airflow, as inside a waterproof panier is asking for trouble.

Might even run it to the handlebars and make myself a decent hand warmer ;)
Was it in a bag when it got hot? If so, try it in open air but make sure that it is proof against water if you go out in the wet.
 

Northern Irelander

Pedelecer
Jun 4, 2009
180
0
Thanks all for your input, I'm a k-series engine enthusiast when I'm not on the bike, so all too aware of cooling issues and engines :D even done many a modification to help cooling and thermal stress.

In fairness to powacycle, originally the controller was mounted in a alum box at the base of the crank. This would act as a heat sink and conduct away from the actual controller as well as airflow.

In criticism, the wires are in close proximity to the unit, they should be loomed to a separate compartment.

I have since retro-fitted the 180w motor from a 16" wheel to a 26" wheel MTB.

On the flat with just throttle it is hitting 18 mph (rolling circumference 2.025 m), if I pedal in top gear 18th, the bike is cruising at just over 21mph (I must state for legalities this is on a private road of course :) )

The controller is inside a a small fabric bag inside a panier bag.

I always new that with 10A there would be some heat but didnt expect so much
 

emissions-free

Pedelecer
Oct 24, 2009
176
0
Shanghai
Well it sounds like you've got the matter well in hand :) Apologies if my previous post may have come across in any way condescending. The price of controllers these days is pretty low, so worse case you couldfind a replacement that's more up to the job in hand.

Best of luck ;)
 

Northern Irelander

Pedelecer
Jun 4, 2009
180
0
Well it sounds like you've got the matter well in hand :) Apologies if my previous post may have come across in any way condescending. The price of controllers these days is pretty low, so worse case you couldfind a replacement that's more up to the job in hand.

Best of luck ;)
No not at all, I was only too glad to have your input and the other posters have all put valid points across

The unit is far too hot to touch, after a long journey. This is November, I could see potential problems in the warmer months.

I did wonder about temperature dropping performance. The temperature co-efficients for the components and resistors will all cause a different current, depending on temperature.

When I'm on the pedal assist the power display power drops rapidly from 4 LED's to 1 or 2 LED's,(rarely use throttle). When I coast/freewheel the power shoots up to 4 again.

On very steep hills and low battery the power drops to overload.


I would interested to hear from other powacycle users if their display does a similar 'equaliser display' when on and off the power.


There are some figures on the unit, all writing is in chinese but there is a 120 degree written within the text.

I haven't opened up the unit but suspect that the types of resistors used will vary between units, hence Daniel Wecks ambient 40 deg and my scorching 70+

Bottom line is, as you have all stated above mounting the unit to get max cooling. Plenty of places, but I'll fabricate an alum box mounted on the panier rack.

In todays ethic of energy saving I thought about some 8mm copper pipe coiled round would make a nice cuppa at the 10 mile point don't ya think ;) :D
 
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wurly

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 2, 2008
501
8
Yeovil, Somerset
I have never noticed my controller getting anywhere near hot.Warm, yes but only after climbing a very steep hill. Wires get warm also.
I guess if it's getting warm/hot, that is a good thing, dissipating heat from semi conductors proves the heatsink is working. I wouldn't worry about it too much.
 

emissions-free

Pedelecer
Oct 24, 2009
176
0
Shanghai
I've been using a 25A peak controller at 48V and that barely gets warm, and the motor pulls every last bit of current it's got to give. Had to get it modified as it was current limiting :eek: However I can't keep it fully pinned where I live, well not if I wanted to get home in 1 piece anyways ;)
 

Northern Irelander

Pedelecer
Jun 4, 2009
180
0
Well, I have fabricated a small aluminium box mounted to the pannier rack and the controller barely gets warm ;)

I haven't noticed an awful lot of difference, possibly getting a few more miles in total distance.

Thanks all for your replies
 

Pete

Pedelecer
Oct 17, 2009
171
8
Perhaps also use some heat sink compound between the controller and aluminium box, this would improve its efficiency. Get it fron places like Maplins or Radio shack.

Pete
 

Northern Irelander

Pedelecer
Jun 4, 2009
180
0
Perhaps also use some heat sink compound between the controller and aluminium box, this would improve its efficiency. Get it fron places like Maplins or Radio shack.

Pete
Good nugget of info.

The controller has good contact area (whole base) against the aluminium box, the wires are loomed to a waterproof chamber away from the actual controller (except main +ve and -ve wires)

Maplins, too tempting. I always come out with more than I intended to go in for, too many cool gadgets :cool:
 

Pete

Pedelecer
Oct 17, 2009
171
8
You should do what I do for the same reason, send the wife in while I wait outside. It is as cheap as chips though and very effective if you find you still have problems possibly when the weather gets warmer.
 

frank9755

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 19, 2007
1,228
2
London
Watch out that your controller hasn't already been damaged by the heating. My experience has been that, while the controller might not blow when used for an extended time at full throttle and having got hot, it can go the next time it is used!