We combined some information related to electricity, especially the ones related to electrical vehicles.
V is short for Voltage and a unit of electric potential. This gives electrons the potential for high speed. The higher the voltage, the higher the potential for high power but also the higher potential for danger. A 9 volts battery doesn’t do you any harm. A 50 volts welder can already give you an uncomfortable jolt and the 110-230V power outlet in your house can kill you. You can compare it to waterflow: the higher the pressure, the faster water can move. Water from your tap is low pressure and doesn’t do any harm, a power washer can already hurt you and a water cutter using extremely high pressure can cut trough thick steel no problem.
A is short for Amperage and a unit of electric current. When there is a potential difference (Voltage) and a conductor, electrons start flowing. The number of electrons moving past a boundary is related to Amperage. The higher the number, the more potential there is for high power. The height of the Amperage is not directly related to danger like Voltage is, but the effects can be dangerous. For instance a welder uses a high Amperage and heat generated will melt steel and as a result can harm you. Also, this can be compared to waterflow. A water hose at your house will not push you away. A fire hose has a large diameter and the sheer amount of water coming at you will likely push you back. The current of a river, even flowing slowly, will take you along with it no matter your swimming skills.
W is short for Watt and is a unit of Power. Amongst others 1 watt is defined as 1V multiplied by 1A. High voltage with low amperage results in low power. Also, low voltage with high amperage still results in low power. For example: the water cutter I mentioned before can cut through steel, but if you try to fill your bathtub with it, it will take forever. It has high speed, but very little water. A fire hose would fill that same tub very quickly, but good luck trying to cut steel with it as it has relatively low speed.
It gets interesting when you combine both: high voltage and high current gives high power! It also gets dangerous very quickly. The analogy with water still stands, imagine that river having a waterfall: incredible amounts of water fall down at high speeds. Cool to look at but you don’t want to be in there. This is also exactly what they are doing with water power stations with large amount of water from a great height: high voltage times high amperage results in high power.
kW is short for kiloWatt and means a thousand watt. Its more convenient to get rid of all the zero’s in high power applications. It is roughly the power of a modest waterheater. kW is more and more taking the place of the good old horsepower (hp) and is also officially used to indicate power of petrol engines. As a reference, 100kW is 136 hp.
In our electric racer we are planning to use 600 volts at 300 ampere peak which would result in 180kW or 245 hp
kWh is short for kilowatt-hour and is a unit of energy. It means that 1kW of power is used for 1 hour. This can be used to calculate how long you can drive at a given power.
This value indicates the size of EV batteries. The higher the value, the larger the potential range. But how does range relate to power? For instance, a 10kWh battery could give you 10kW for 1 hour. 10kW is roughly the power needed on a bike to drive 100kph so it means you could drive 100km at highway speed.
However, on the track it’s a different story. If you would use 30kW average, a 10kWh battery pack will be done in 20 minutes. With an average speed of 100kph this will get you a range of 33km, or 5 laps on your average track. We are planning for a 12kWh battery pack.
We hope this clarified, is you hAVE More questions, please ask! If you would like us to clarify another topic, you can contact us.