Most electric skateboards come equipped with a regenerative braking system, but this powerful feature is often overlooked by the majority of people. In reality, it is a very useful and convenient technique. Just think about how often you stop and start in urban environments. In such situations, electric skateboards can recover a significant amount of energy, greatly reducing energy consumption.
The term "regenerative" implies generating something. Here, we define regenerative braking as the direct conversion of kinetic energy into the electric skateboard's battery when braking. This results in charging the battery.
The regenerative process of the battery depends entirely on the principles of physics: "Energy cannot be destroyed; it can only be converted from one form to another." Therefore, the operation of regenerative braking is governed by the laws of physics. To understand the deeper meaning of this process, let's simplify it and see how regenerative braking works in electric skateboards.
Regenerative Braking and Electric Skateboards
Most electric skateboards primarily utilize regenerative braking systems. This concept is crystal clear but also quite profound. Essentially, the braking systems used in electric skateboards vary by manufacture. Some boards use friction braking, while others use dynamic braking.
Traditionally, friction braking was mainly employed in traditional skateboards. However, with the advent of technology and the replacement of traditional skateboards with electric skateboards, friction braking has eventually been replaced by regenerative braking.
Regenerative braking is becoming increasingly common not only in electric skateboards but also in all other modes of transportation, including electric cars and electric motorcycles. Here, I would like to introduce another key concept of the regenerative braking system.
Regenerative Braking and Sustainable Development
It is well known that to control global warming, countries worldwide are committed to climate and sustainable development. Regenerative braking is one of the "R"s in the 3R initiative for sustainable development. Here, "R" stands for the reuse and re-creation of available resources.
In regenerative braking, energy is reused and reused for charging the battery. Therefore, whenever the rider brakes, the battery receives a charge. Thus, the regenerative braking system significantly contributes to the sustainability of the product.
How Does Energy Recovery Work?
Without delving too much into technical details, energy recovery is achieved by reversing the operation of the electric motor. As you ride, the motor uses the energy contained in the battery to move the wheels. However, when decelerating or braking, the motor acts as a generator, converting the kinetic energy, which would be lost as heat, into electrical energy.
The electric motor consists of two key components: the stator and the rotor. The stator is the stationary part containing a frame wound with wires through which the current circulates. This generates a rotating magnetic field. On the other hand, the rotor is the moving part of the motor. It is inserted into the stator and equipped with wires or magnets that generate a magnetic field. The interaction between these two magnetic fields causes the rotor to move. As it is connected to the gearbox, it provides the torque needed to rotate the wheels.
When the vehicle brakes or decelerates, the electric motor operates oppositely, transforming into a generator. Thus, it does not consume energy but generates it. As mentioned earlier, the generated current is then used to charge the battery.
How Does Braking Charge the Battery?
As we previously understood from the principles of physics, "energy does not disappear; it can only be converted." In traditional braking systems (friction braking systems), energy is converted into heat.
Similarly, when you stop or decelerate an electric skateboard, the energy is transferred from the motor to the battery. The motor facilitates energy transfer and acts as a generator. Now, these stored energies can be reused until the next ride. Ultimately, the electric generator sends power back to the battery and charges it.
The time it takes for braking to charge the battery may not be short, but is it reliable? If it is reliable, how much energy can the regenerative braking system recover? These are questions that any intelligent person can raise. To keep you clear-headed, let's first introduce the energy statistics covered by regenerative braking in the next section.
Energy Covered by Regenerative Braking
Generally, the range of an electric skateboard depends on its battery capacity. The longer the battery's usage time, the greater the maximum range the electric skateboard can cover. Therefore, when the regenerative braking system charges the battery of the electric skateboard, it extends the range of the electric skateboard.
According to research (Boretti, 2013), the efficiency of electric skateboards in capturing energy generated by regenerative braking ranges from 16% to 70%.
After understanding the value of the regenerative braking system, everyone wishes to own a product that operates based on this system. People purchase sustainable and durable things.
So here, we need to determine the lifespan of the regenerative braking system. Because when we think about the regenerative braking system, we hear questions like, "Does the regenerative braking system last longer?"
Lifespan of Regenerative Braking
Regenerative braking is a reusable specification of electric skateboards that reduces the risk of early loss. Regenerative braking is considered a cutting-edge feature of electric skateboards, helping to charge the battery while riding.
It reduces the wear of the basic braking system, making the system last longer. On the other hand, other traditional braking systems, such as power braking and friction braking, may become ineffective over time due to continuous obstacles.
How to Better Utilize Regenerative Braking
Control Braking Intensity and Frequency: The intensity and frequency of braking during regenerative braking affect its effectiveness. Moderate braking intensity and frequency help maximize energy utilization, while too much intensity or frequent braking may lead to energy loss. Riders can adjust these parameters through appropriate braking operations.
Develop Good Riding Habits – Predict Braking Opportunities: Observe road conditions and traffic situations to predict possible braking opportunities. By decelerating and braking in advance, regenerative braking can be more effectively utilized. This driving style helps maximize energy recovery during braking.
Reduce Speed Before Braking – Coast: Opt for coasting rather than accelerating just before deceleration. By coasting, the electric skateboard can reduce speed before braking, minimizing the kinetic energy that needs to be dealt with during braking and enhancing the effectiveness of regenerative braking.
Smooth Riding: A smooth driving style contributes to maximizing the effectiveness of regenerative braking. Avoid abrupt braking or acceleration, and adopt smooth driving operations to make regenerative braking more efficient.
Adapt to Driving Environment: Different driving environments may require different driving strategies. Regenerative braking is often more effective on downhill sections or deceleration lanes. Adapt to the environment, and adjust driving styles to maximize the use of regenerative braking.
Regular Maintenance: Maintaining the electric skateboard in good condition ensures the normal operation of the regenerative braking system. Regularly check and maintain components such as the motor, braking system, and electronic control system to ensure their efficient operation.
Understand Product Features: Different brands and models of electric skateboards may have different regenerative braking system designs. Understand the technical features and user instructions of the product to better utilize its regenerative braking function.
Regenerative braking is an advanced technological system integrated into electric skateboards. It helps charge the battery until the next ride and makes the rider's journey comfortable and reliable.
Therefore, whenever you plan to purchase an electric skateboard, choose one with regenerative braking functionality. Because the regenerative braking system changes the concept of electric skateboards and their complexity. For example, the GHOST electric skateboard is an environmentally friendly product with a powerful regenerative braking system.