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What is Cell Balancing?

Cell Balancing Explained

When I try to explain why Ariel Rider Ebikes are unique, one of the part people seem to get confused is; Active Cell Balancing -I’m going to try to keep it as short and as simple as possible. I’m glad you asked.

Cell balancing is a technique of creating reliable batteries that prolong the battery runtime as well as battery longevity.

Sadly, due to the fact that battery cells being chemical substances, not all battery cells hold the same capacity. At the factory, you can sort them according to their values to a certain extent. But what most end users do not understand is, why their Li-ion batteries on their bikes make less mileage after just a few months of usage. Every battery has a brain, which is called BMS (Battery Management System) and every battery has many smaller battery cells inside their casing. These individual battery cells have somewhat different capacities. If the brains of your ebike battery isn’t that smart, what will happen is, when you’re using your bike, one of those battery cells with the lowest capacity is gonna go empty sooner than the others. Even though you still have lots of juice left in your other battery cells, the brain will assume that your battery is empty as this lowest capacity cell drains. In order to overcome this issue, we’ve decided to put cell balancing technology to all of our models.

Cell Balancing Methods

  • Active Cell Balancing: Energy is drawn from the most charged cell and transferred to the least charged cells.
  • Passive Cell Balancing: Energy is drawn from the most charged cell and is wasted as heat.

As you may imagine, the second option (passive) is the cheaper way and least effective way. It doesn’t actually add up to the mileage you’re making with your bike that much, however, it helps you to increase the lifecycle of your batteries drastically.

The expensive option which is #1 (Active), is the more expensive, yet more efficient technology to use. Due to batteries being the single most costly component on your ebike, most manufacturers oversee this small technology and make you buy new batteries from them every 8-12 months depending on your usage. As we’ve always said, our goal with Ariel Rider electric bicycles is to cherish electric bikes as a convenient way of transportation. And you can’t expect people to use these bikes if they’re going to have to spend 350-400 USD on the batteries at least once a year.

Of course, this is not all that you need to make a great and efficient ebike battery pack. There are other tricks to the trade, but we’ll explain them in a more broad battery blog post.

[caption id="attachment_18786" align="aligncenter" width="881"]Cell balancing demostration photo. Credit: EDN Network[/caption]



So, next time you or someone you know is buying an ebike, please make sure to ask your local ebike shop for the models which comes with active cell balancing technology and doesn’t set you back $5k+.

If you want more information on cell balancing, you should check out this extensive research by Sihua Wen.

All of our bikes do contain cell balancing technology.