While we are working on the improvements of our PowerPod, conducting tests, trying to make our product user-friendly, safe and reliable, we decided to share with you the latest news, as well as the answers to the most frequently asked questions.
Today we will talk about the electric version of the PowerPod.
We are often asked the following questions:
Do you have an electric version? It would be great if the PowerPod was on batteries!
It goes without saying that an electric paramotor looks very attractive.
An electric motor has a lot of benefits:
- Easy to operate
- Doesn't require maintenance
- No fumes and noise
- Environmental friendly
So why are internal combustion engines used instead of electric motors in paragliding?
Simple answer: PowerPod with our advanced and compact engine is 4 times better, it allows you to fly much higher and much farther than its electric counterpart.
4X more operating time at full power
4X more operating time of horizontal flight
Much more safety with a small propeller diameter
More glide with better aerodynamic quality
Complex answer: The reason is the low energy density in batteries compared to gasoline. One kg (or 2.2 lbs) of gasoline contains 13,000 Wh of energy, and a kilogram of battery contains 230 Wh. The difference in capacity is 5500%! Even if we take into account the lower efficiency of the internal combustion engine, the difference will be more than 10 times.
We considered implementing an electric drive, but we had to postpone this idea due to several technical reasons. One of them is the weight of the batteries.
Equivalent energy sources for 35 min operation
Internal combustion engine
Let’s do some calculations
Li-Ion 18650 cells have a high weight-to-power ratio, they are widely used, including in Tesla electric vehicles. Engine power 19 kW (25 hp), average rate of climb 1.7 m/s for a pilot of 80 kg in standard ground atmosphere.
of 18650 cells
|Weight of battery
|Max operating time
of climbing, minutes
|Total harness weight,
All in all, the electric version will be beneficial only for a very short flight, less than 8-9 minutes, that gives just 800 meters or 2700 feet of altitude.
|PowerPod, 20 kg
+ 7 kg of fuel (59 lbs)
with electric motor, 27 kg/59 lbs
|Operating time at full
|60 4X times better||13|
|Operating time of
horizontal flight, min
|120 4X times better||26|
The basic concept of our PowerPod is thermal flights. But the possibility of finding a thermic increases with climbing which is equal to energy reserve.
To improve the characteristics of an electric paramotor, you will have to significantly increase the diameter of the propeller (and hence the weight and production price), but this conflicts with the concept of the PowerPod.
A number of technical issues arises with an electric motor:
Modern battery technologies make it inefficient to use an electric-motor for the PowerPod concept. Our goal is to offer the market the first pod harness with a built-in paramotor and advanced aerodynamics which allows making thermal flights in any place even without hills, mountains and winches.
It's important for us to know your opinion. With all that said, are you interested in an electric powered PowerPod with a power reserve for a total lift of about 1100 m (3500 feet)?
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