Everything you want to know about ebike controller

Everything you want to know about ebike controller
If the motor is the “heart” of the e-bike, then the controller is the “brain” of the ebike, which is the main factor that determines the performance of the e-bike.
Considering that the motor of an e-bike is its “heart” and the controller is its “brain”, it determines the performance of the e-bike.
What is an ebike controller?
Motor controller is also known as ebike controller or electric speed controller. It is a circuit board in a sealed protective box with a few connecting wires sticking out.
It is installed inside the e-bike and connects and combines all the key components such as the motor, battery, paddle helper, LCD display, sensors and throttle to control the speed, start and stop of the motor.
If the motor is the “heart” of the e-bike, then the controller is the “brain” of the e-bike, which is the main factor determining the performance of the e-bike.
The controller has two main purposes:

ebike controller
It controls and regulates the current from the battery to the motor in the e-bike.
Most controllers are capable of providing regenerative braking. During operation, stationary power is sent from the motor back to the battery to save energy.
Electric Bicycle Motor Controller
E-bike motor controller voltage and power
The higher the current and voltage of the controller, the more powerful the e-bike it can drive.Of the common voltage types from 12 volts to 72 volts, 36V, 48V, and 60V are the most common controllers used for electric scooters and e-bikes.
High-performance e-bikes usually come with high-voltage controllers such as 52V, 25A, 60V 40A, 100V, and 400A.
Most commuter scooters or e-bikes have only one controller, while extreme performance versions usually have dual motors for more power.
Controller Display
The controller display is usually located in the center of the e-bike handlebars for easy viewing.
This LCD display is the key interface between you and your e-bike!
It turns the motors on and off, keeping you up to date on speed, total mileage, battery level, pedal assist level, and more!
And you can use its menu operations to set the auxiliary power and find out if you need to charge the battery.
How the controller works
As we know, the motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy, and the controller is the bridge that takes power from the battery and transfers it to the motor based on sensors and rider input.
As the central hub, the controller receives signals from the user-adjusted throttle and then indicates how much power will be sent to the motor to control the speed of the e-bike.
How the ebike controller works
The principle behind the controller is simple:
The motor controller consists of a processor that receives command or request signals from the battery, motor speed sensor, or brake sensor and gives the correct output signals, such as setting the motor to run at a specific speed.
Hall sensors on the controller’s circuit board monitor and control the motor speed.
What does a microprocessor do?
A microprocessor is much like a computer running firmware. It sends weak signals to a network of FETs that control and drive the motor. Typically, the processor forces the FETs to open and close quickly by using high-frequency signals, which causes the controller to spin slower or faster!
The processor or microchip can also control when the motor is powered, which is exactly how a brushless DC motor works.
How the Processor Affects Motor Performance
Today, more and more brushless DC motors are replacing brushed motors.
To understand how the process affects the performance of the motor, let’s first take a brief look at brushless DC motors
Brushless DC Motors
For brushless DC motors, there are permanent magnets on the rotor and electromagnets on the stator
Permanent magnets are usually made of hard materials such as steel and will always have and display their own magnetic field, while electromagnets are coils of iron cores that only release their magnetism when current is passed through them.
Rotor and stator
So in order for the motor to work, it needs to rotate the permanent magnets, and to control the rotation, it needs to regulate the current flowing into the coils around these stationary electromagnets.
The processor will activate the electromagnets at precisely timed intervals based on the rotational speed to control the timing of the power delivery.
What are the functions of an e-bike controller?
The controller accepts all the inputs from the motor, battery, paddle assistants, LCD display, sensors.
The controller provides feedback based on the above inputs to control various aspects of the e-bike. Examples include motor speed, amount of pedal assist, and braking system.
The controller monitors acceleration, speed, power, voltage, pedal level, etc.
The controller protects the internal circuit system such as over voltage, over current protection, low voltage protection, over temperature protection etc.
Different types of e-bike controllers
Controllers can be categorized based on the following criteria:
Brushed motor vs. brushless motor

ebike controller
BLDC controller (Brushless DC motor controller)
Most quality e-bikes are fitted with brushless DC motors with permanent magnets. They are more efficient than brushed motors that produce overheating, have a better power-to-weight ratio, and are quite reliable.
The controller that corresponds to a brushless motor is a BLDC, usually having three phases controlled by a set of buttons.
Brushed DC Motor Controller
Another type of motor used in e-bikes is the brushed DC motor. Brushed controllers have a simpler design to regulate this type of motor, and these motors are often used in budget e-bike options.
BLDC Controller for Motors with Hall Sensors
There are permanent magnets on the rotor and electromagnets on the stator. Hall sensors are located on the controller’s circuit board and are used to monitor and control rotation. They are used to manage the timing of power delivery when we need to push the rotor
Hall sensor motor
How to choose the right electric bike controller
If you want to use a controller on your e-bike, there are several factors to consider.
To match the voltage
The first thing is to make sure that the controller can handle the voltage and current requirements. This means that you need to check that the controller voltage and power are the same as the motor when choosing, as running too much voltage through the controller can lead to overheating.
By using the correct voltage and power, you will reduce the amount of heat generated by the controller and increase the stability and reliability of its operation.
To match power ratings
If the motor is controlled by an unmatched controller, the motor will not reach its claimed maximum speed.
Running an unmatched controller, either above or below the voltage of the motor and batteries, will not only affect the performance of the motor, but will also increase the risk of overheating and connector burnout.
The motor controller you choose should be compatible with the motor’s power rating and the battery voltage you are using.
Matching Motor Type
You should also consider the type of controller to match the type of motor your e-bike is currently using.
Brushless E-Bike Controller
If your e-bike is equipped with a brushless motor, you will need to select a brushless motor controller.
Sensor Controllers
Some controllers require Hall sensors, while others can operate without them. The Hall sensor on the motor detects the rotation of the motor and the controller generates power based on the sensor signal. Therefore, if you have a sensor-enabled motor on your e-bike, you should select the controller mode with a Hall sensor.
If you have a sensorless motor, you will need to use a brushless motor controller that supports sensorless operation.
Sine Wave Controller
One of the most popular controller types is the sine wave controller, which is known for its low noise output.
It can help your bike get better performance when climbing hills or carrying weight. On the other hand, sine wave controllers will use more power and therefore cost you more. In addition, they are limited to matched motors
You also need to know that sine wave controllers can provide smoother acceleration with switched reluctance motors.
Square Wave Controllers
A square wave controller is another type of controller that has a different phase voltage waveform than a sine wave controller. It generates a rectangular waveform.
Square wave controllers are cheaper and more robust during sudden braking or acceleration than sine wave controllers. They can also be used with different types of motors.
However, there are some drawbacks to square wave controllers: they typically produce high noise levels and do not produce uniform or smooth control, and square wave controllers make it difficult to improve the efficiency of motors when going uphill or carrying heavy loads.
Final Thoughts
The controller is the brain of the e-bike, connecting the display, battery, throttle and pedal assist. It receives signals from them and then sends feedback to make the ebike move correctly.
A good ebike controller should last 4 to 5 years. Whether you are an end user looking to modify your current e-bike or a brand owner looking to make your e-bike stand out, choose the best quality e-bike controller.

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