Maintaining your Hoverboard

Hoverboards
SolTraveler hoverboards utilize the newest generation of Lithium-ion or Li-Ion rechargable batteries. All of our boards are equipped only with Samsung batteries. These batteries are currently the highest quality available on the market today. The quality of the generic batteries vary widely and some have UL and UN certifications, while others don't.
So what is Lithium-ion batteries and how do they differ from other batteries? Li-Ion batteries are able to produce a lot of power as they are able to maintain a near full charge right up until they are almost fully depleted. The batteries than experience a steep voltage drop-off and almost immediately become discharged. In addition, the batteries are also prone to thermal runaway (i.e fire or meltdown) when overly depleted.


self-balancing
Do Hoverboards Explode?

Let's get one thing straight, the term "explosion" is due exclusively to the media's over exaggeration. So no, they don't. In fact, there have only been fires, no explosions.
This bring us to two key issues, raised by the media as of recent:

Continual Use, Despite Severe Discharge State of Battery

Like any other battery, when the battery is almost depleted, continuous use can damage the battery, potentially resulting in the inability of the battery to accept a charge. This extreme discharge can cause damage to one of the cells and when the battery pack is plugged into a charger, the charger will try to charge the pack to 36 volts, however, only 9 out of 10 cells wil be carrying the load. This than causes more strain on the remaining functional batteries and is how overcharging frequently occurs. In such cases, the battery can than become very hot and could result in damages to the internal components of the hoverboard or in rare cases cause fire due to overcharging. When the battery is in an extreme discharge state, it is important to re-charge the battery as soon as possible, if the the battery is left is a discharge state for too long, it may inhibit the batteries ability to regain a charge.

Overcharging Due to Compromised Electric Insulators

In addition, within the litihium ion battery there exists sheets of Polypropylene or Polyethylene which seperate the individual cells and act as "electric insulators".  The overcharging can also compromise one or more of the seperating sheets, resulting in a short circuit. Damage to the separator sheets within the battery pack could occur either through droping, kicking, or hitting sharp objects. In such cases, the battery can than become very hot and could result in damages to the internal components of the hoverboard or in rare cases cause fire due to overcharging. In addition, it is important to re-charge your battery as soon as possible.

Overcharging Due to Faulty Charger

As addressed above, most of the fires seem to happen during charging, as Lithium ion batteries cannot accept overcharge. Most chargers have a built in feature that detects when the battery is charged and will stop the charging process. Therefore, defect in this cut-off mechanism, may lead to overcharging of the cells and resulting in a fire.

Follow These Simple Rules:

1. Never charge your hoverboard batteries overnight. Either set a 3 hour timer or wait until the light turns green and unplug the charger. Remember, the battery will stop charging when fully charged. However, this is assuming the cells are functional properly and/or the charger is not dsyfuntional.
2. When the hoverboard starts beeping it is very important to stop riding your hoverboard. Unlike the older batteries, continuing to dis-charge a Li-Ion battery can severly comprise the batteries cells and damage the longevity of the battery.
3. Store your battery with a full charge and top of the charge at least once every 3 months (if not not used as often).
4. Do not leave your battery in a discharged state for more than a few hours. The less time in a discharged state, the better will be your batteries health.
All in all, lack of familiarity with the differences between lithium relative to older batteries and not necessairly the quality of the batteries themselves has resulted in the most recent fires.
If you have any more questions about Li-Ion batteries or about Hoverboards in general, plese feel free to ask us at adrian@soltraveler.com.
Happy riding and safe charging!
SolTraveler
 
 

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