The Terminology, Formulae and Physical Assembly of Lipo Batteries - or - Wtf does "C" mean?

Good write up!

Quick correction: I think you meant “parallel” here. Two 5000mAh 20C packs in series would still only be “100A”.

I put “100A” in quotes because those numbers are usually very inflated. For example, my Zippy 6.2Ah 40C lipos would “technically” be rated to ~248A continuous… on 10AWG wires. Yeahh… okay… Not even close


Hey @jmasta I can top that, I’m running 5ah Lipos with 60/120C rating. Thats a whopping 300a continuous and 600a burst on 12awg wires!!! So what would really happen if I trusted the math and put a 300a-600a load on that battery.

I would not want to find out…


Yes indeed I did, thanks for pointing that out! I’ve added something specifically noting that these are theoretical numbers only since it’s worth mentioning directly and most people won’t even consider the amps that the wires can carry without melting :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m not an expert on wire gauges, though, so I can’t offer any specific guidance in that area.

Nice write up. Very clear descriptions and examples. Only thing I noticed is that watt hours are a measurement of energy, not power. Looks like those terms got flip flopped.

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Hmm true. Not flipped, just mistaken. I forgot Watt-hours are a measurement of energy. It’s Watts that are a measurement of power. I’ll just remove that link and mention of power until I can write up a clearer and more correct explanation of that.

Thanks for the compliments though! :smiley:

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This is what I usually go by: American Wire Gauge Chart and AWG Electrical Current Load Limits table with ampacities, wire sizes, skin depth frequencies and wire breaking strength

  • Main power lines: 10 ~ 12 AWG is most common. 8AWG is used sometimes but probably overkill for most setups

  • Motor phase wires: 12AWG is most common, because 10AWG is just too bulky

  • Charging port: At least 18 ~ 22 AWG

  • Balance leads: 26AWG is plenty, but I prefer 22AWG

The following table could be greatly simplified for our purposes. Odd numbered wire gauges are uncommon. 8~26 AWG covers all practical applications for e-skate. Keep in mind the current ratings in this table are pretty conservative numbers


Nice, good information! I’ll link your post in the OP.

I’m aware of the most-used gauges in esk8, and I’ve seen that image before but I wasn’t sure if there was some other factor I wasn’t aware of because the current ratings seemed too low to make sense. I guess burst ratings would be much higher though.

nice to see someone taking time to do a writeup like that. Always helpful for some people :slight_smile:

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@jmasta Silicone wire has different ratings than standard chassis wire


Good info! Note that calculating range with that formula works excellent for your average street board. For trampa/AT boards the power consumption will be considerably higher.


Good points good points, added :slight_smile:

Yeah I’m with Nama, for calculating wire diameter/gauge I like the this calculator as it incorporates cable length and often for a eSk8 we use a really short run.

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is it really called formulae? :astonished:

It’s the plural of formula :wink:

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my life has been forever changed for the better.


Thank you…that seems to be the perfect start for electric epileptics like me.

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I feel there’s a few things I could have explained better but I can’t edit the post now so hopefully it’s not too bad :stuck_out_tongue:

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No its not to bad though. I learned a lot from this post, and I know now that my beloved Onan x2 has a 10s2p batterie hahahaha yeah! Feels great to know about that :nerd_face:… and i know it has 158wh that means it can reach a distance of almost 16km what is pretty similar to reality…awesome

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sorry Clonkex, the “C” number stands for Coulombs, not Capacity. the “mAh” or “Ah” stands for the Capacity.

Coulombs is the SI unit of 1 amp/sec

So if a battery is rated at 10C with a stated capacity of 5000mAh, the calculation will be 10 x (5000 / 1000) = 50A.

I’m well aware of how the calculation works. If you read the OP you’ll see I do actually explain that.

And unfortunately, you’re wrong. C does in fact stand for capacity. It’s using the standard maths shorthand for multiplication, so 20C is 20 * C, or 20 * capacity. It would make no sense for it to stand for coulombs. 1 coulomb is the amount of charge transported by a constant current of 1 amp for 1 second, so 1 coulomb == 1 amp over 1 second. If the C in 20C stood for Coulombs, that would mean 20amp-seconds (which is nonsensical when it’s used to measure maximum current delivery, and 20A-seconds would be a very small battery, only 5.555mAh), and that would be the same for every battery. In reality the C stands for capacity, so 20C for a 5000mAh battery means that battery can deliver 100 amps nominal, but 20C for an 8000mAh battery allows 160 amps nominal.

But if I got any of that wrong, please correct me :slight_smile:

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