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Science Fair eboard ideas!

So I know some of you guys know, but I originally built my first eboard to compare Lipo’s and Nickel metal hydride batteries in an electric skateboard application… Surprisingly enough, I made it to states with that overthought “which battery is better” project…

Also, for those who ask, i did this before knowing anything about eboards, or ever visiting ES. I just had some knowledge from the rc car hobby, where nimh and lipo are pretty close in performance…

Long story short, I can’t seem to figure out what to do this year… Last year was mandatory, and this year is optional, but the bonus points are worth it, and if I’m doing something I love, then it really isn’t work.

I have a vesc on the way whenever Jason gets them in stock, so I was thinking something along the lines of that. The possibilities are pretty much endless with the vesc in terms of measuring stats that I could use for data.

If any of you guys have some killer ideas, or questions that are just to much work to try to answer yourself, please drop them below.

this is for 10th grade, but any suggestions are welcome: I don’t care how complex, and I’d actually love to something that is challenging!

thanks all!

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The logging on VESC is pretty awesome, but not stored permanently. So i’d look at perhaps a wireless BT connection to configure VESC and show/log data? I’m sure Vedder would answer questions if you get stuck as well.

Do you want to do more analytics and software, or hardware?

You could try to build a planetary gear in a hubless like Stary! That would be a super low profile and cool project.

With VESC you could also measure and determine best settings for regenerative braking for best efficiency. Or best gearing ratio for a specific weight regardless of top speed. Or best cruising speed and methods (think hypermiling) to maximize distance from “X” Ah lipo. Hard riding/accelerating = “x” miles. Doing these steps to maximize distance you get “y” miles?

Now add in gas saved if using for transportation. Or cost savings vs driving those miles (including cost to recharge w/ losses in AC/DC conversion and charging losses).

Sooo many options.


What are the guidelines that you need to conform to? is the purpose to compare things? or is it whatever you decide is worth presenting?

Some Ideas I would like to test are.

  1. Single Motor VS Dual: Range test. Does dual motors use more power & if so how much as a percentage, hills & flat terrain
  2. Wind resistance. Does wind resistance on a skateboard cost you in range (watts used) if so how much & how can we minimise it. What’s the best stance and clothing to wear?
  3. Solar panel & Real time charging. Can you charge your battery using a solar panel whilst riding, does it increase range? does the increase in weight counter the range improvement?
  4. DD vs DR handling & braking performance, does Diagonal drive effect the handling of an electric skateboard?

The guidelines are pretty open ended, especially since it is optional for me this year. As long as I comply with the state rules (which are REALLY general, and hard to break) I’m fine. I don’t need to compare things, or even do something practical… it really just has to relate to science, be my own work, and include plenty of visible testing…

It’s funny you should mention solar panels, as that was one of the first things I thought of after making my first board… I have multiple sketches drawn out already, and would really like to do that- I just need to look into it deeper to make sure it’s something I think I can actually do in terms of $$$, which I’m pretty sure I could…

DD vs. DR is also something I’d love to embark on, but I feel it’s just a little too simple for a whole project (yes, comparing batteries was simple, but I am trying to out do that)

The planetary gear system is also a really cool idea, but I just don’t see myself being able to do that in a timely manner considering I don’t even have a CNC machine… I do like the idea of maximizing range though.

I think I’ll do some 3D mockups of some of the solar panel drawings I have, and throw them up here for fun.

The initial idea deadline is the 11th (next friday) so I have plenty of time to at least get an idea. I just figured I would throw this up here now rather than next week so I’m not doing everything last minute.

Thanks for the suggestions so far!

How about a center differential which also has a planetary gear? Single motor, dual wheel drive, centrally adjustable gear ratio?

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What did you end up going with?

Solar board - I’ve got a little thread on it.

Just look up solar electric skateboard on the forum search.

Maybe a liquid cooled board vs aircooled or possibly someway of using a small fan that spins like an alternator as you ride vs solar panel or recharge off of the spinning front wheels kind of how bikes power lights, basically a hub motor that sends power back to the batteries and possibly assist with braking too. Just some crazy thoughts I have.