How to Solar Charge an Electric Bicycle

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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tomtom123   100 W

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Re: How to Solar Charge an Electric Bicycle

Post by tomtom123 » Oct 13 2013 10:45am

How much power do you gain back form these solar charging options?

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Lock   10 GW

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Re: How to Solar Charge an Electric Bicycle

Post by Lock » Oct 13 2013 12:39pm

Watt are the "size" (and number of) your PV panels? And how many hours of daylight do you have... And can the panels be oriented to face and follow the sun?
L
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Re: How to Solar Charge an Electric Bicycle

Post by ddk » Oct 15 2013 2:17pm

Lock wrote:Watt are the "size" (and number of) your PV panels? And how many hours of daylight do you have... And can the panels be oriented to face and follow the sun?
L
if you're asking me, for my trike I bought 2 DM Solar's 145W panels because:
they're 26" wide (most important to me)
they weigh 22 lbs -or- about the same weight as my homebrew 275W panel that weighed 41 lbs ...but was really too big to reliably mount without significant additional structural support (my opinion)
I'm still considering purchasing two more panels for the winter for my workshop. But it's more likely I might just tie into my truck's panels, which currently are being mostly useless.

...as for your idea, I agree with a previous poster that the best thing to do with a lot of space is installing grid-tied system(s) and charging outrageous amounts for pulling kWs from power connectors that support EVs of all types. -get the ball rolling- (ev infrastructure) This would also pay for more of the same and it's eventual maintenance.

-would you pay a dollar to recharge your e-bike battery to get your sorry a** home? (mr. capitalist)
I would. (lazy a** consumer)
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Lock   10 GW

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Re: How to Solar Charge an Electric Bicycle

Post by Lock » Oct 15 2013 4:16pm

Sorry ddk... It was a question for "tomtom123" from NYC actually, but yours is still "useful" info anyway.

In my little burg currently businesses "paying the full rate" (disc's "kick in" for "off peak times") pay 7.8 ¢/kWh, if I understand correctly, so yer dollar would cover about 12.82 kWh. Canadian. And our laws in our back woods (Canada and many - most? - provinces) restrict onroad electric bicycles (and tricycles) to 500 watts continuous... Actually, at a max legal speed of 32 kilometers per hour (darn near 20 miles per hour) watts consumed end up lots lower... w/no headwinds, uphills, smooth roads (ok, *some* small bumps... Right, Mister Major?)... depending on how heavy the vehicle plus rider plus cargo might be, plus basic design, how worn the tires might be, etc, etc...

So "ballpark" an ave over the distance... say... 250 watts per km? I dunno... But lets say 250w (any ya can correct/update me please?), so 12,820 watt hours divided by 250 watts... Ummm over 51hours of travel? Just how far DO you travel, exactly, if I may ask?

And re " support EVs of all types"... So, you DO maybe have some conclusive proof that it IS more "eco-friendly" to be hit/run over by an electric car or truck! Ummm... You DO have some proof/studies, etc... right?

Personally, I like to think the 20th-century horseless carriage needs to die, die, die... Might be fun to reminisce though, staring at examples behind the glass, etc at some museum...

L
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Re: How to Solar Charge an Electric Bicycle

Post by LockH » Oct 21 2013 4:12am

BTW... Don't see many/any "hits" in a search of ES for these folks:
http://www.solar-facts.com/

Lotta maybe handy stuff/info about "solar insolation", etc, etc...

So, just wish to add this link to this thread.
Tks
L

And one more "PS"... I find myself logging on to ES both with username "Lock" AND "LockH"... Seems a combo of my forgetfulness, plus using diff laptops, diff "flavours" of Windoze (Ver 7 Pro vs Win XP, etc), plus being bounced around/using diff WiFi locations/addresses, and it seems newer Windoze vers being "helpful" and remembering (?) my diff passwords... Then there was my email address, watt seems to have been "hacked" at some point late last year, so smart pants me just "reinvented" the same email address I have always had/used, but just added a "dot", watt seems to make some online systems/forums "hiccup". But yeah, I guess whether "Lock", or "LockH" here on ES, it's the same me, AFAIK...
L
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Re: How to Solar Charge an Electric Bicycle

Post by LockH » Oct 25 2013 8:55am

Just came across my desk (email inbox) this morning (Vid on the site):
http://www.solarstirlingplant.com/?hop=greenopt

...those darned sneaky Scots...
:)

Per their site:
Product Price
$49.00 = 54.52 CAD
Tax 0.00 CAD
TOTAL 54.52 CAD

Immediate access to this product or service is available once payment is approved.
Kinda wish I had the $$$ now, for the new downtown ebike re-charging station...
L
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Re: How to Solar Charge an Electric Bicycle

Post by LockH » Oct 26 2013 2:40pm

Oh goody... Just stumbled across this site (and zero hits on ES for this site name so far that I can see):
http://www.solarflower.org/

So, pretty basic DIY stuff...

Somebuddy here wanna point out the harm(S) in trying this approach?
L
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Re: How to Solar Charge an Electric Bicycle

Post by LockH » Nov 04 2013 2:46pm

Interesting... On ES:
Search found 34 matches: +concentrator
In one of (possibly, on ES) first threads, titled "DIY Solar Power", here:
http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... f=1&t=7961

And I see I had a small contribution to make to that topic/thread, waaaay back in 2008, on the anniversary of the day that Captain William Mynors aboard the East India Company vessel the "Royal Mary" found some tiny island in the India Ocean now owned by a bunch of convicts (and ebikers still give thanks for it as a source of phosphate - but I am probably confused on all this stuff...)

So, on ES, the subject of DIY solar seems to have "died a natural death"? Just curious, as always...

L
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Re: How to Solar Charge an Electric Bicycle

Post by myzter » Nov 05 2013 11:48am

hey LockH
remember at the end of the day.. its a race/ and it is going to be a race from becoming obsolete
Solar ideas are everywhere ... so besides looking at how low cost your idea could be, is it possible to innovate..

ie

"ele" PV inside a wheel.. / :shock:
/ quantum effects improve the efficiency of plant photosynthesis in a way that classical physics cannot allow
SolarCross

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Re: How to Solar Charge an Electric Bicycle

Post by Bike Xing » Nov 05 2013 2:49pm

This can't be said enough: a grid tied system is the best approach.
Not utilizing the panel fully is a waste of resources. And, it's totally possible to put a tiny and inexpensive grid tied system on your house if that's what you want. I put a 580 W system on my old house. Two panels and two enphase inverters.

If you NEED to solar charge your bike because you're off in the woods or something, that's a whole different thing.

Make sure your approach uses a MPPT device for maximizing output from the solar panel. Here is one expensive but high quality and off the shelf option:
http://genasun.com/products-store/mppt- ... batteries/

Straight from the panel to your battery with MPPT and everything.

I also like this option (which has already been mentioned):
12 V solar panel (12 V panels are way more expensive (>$2/W) than typical 60 cell commodity panels (<$1/W), but you can get fold-able panels) -> inexpensive charge controller with MPPT (<$100) -> 12 V nominal hobby charger like hyperion or something

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Re: How to Solar Charge an Electric Bicycle

Post by LockH » Nov 05 2013 3:12pm

Hey Master M! Seems a shame to make it to our "wet coast", but not "make the leap" (Victoria BC-born myself... hehe)

Yah, fer sure it's a "race" (to beat the car). But so far our Sun doesn't seem to be burning out ("fossil fuel", I am less confident will last forEVer - relatively speaking...). And yeah, "solar ideas ARE EVerywhere"... but for transportation (while awnings "shade" from snow and rain AND the sun), I am not so sure.

And I know I keep apologizing to Jed Clampett, but these daze, as far as I am concerned, as an ebiker the sun is "where it's at" (energy/electricity-wise)!

And to Mister Xing... I'm a "city kid", as are most in NA these daze, so I suppose the subject relates to *urban* transport... plus that thingee about making solar-powered covers for bike lanes, paths, etc to hopefully make getting around town waaay fast than by "car" (and waaay cheaper, among MANY other benefits, as I guess folks aboard ES already know).

I suspect the OP to this thread wasn't considering maybe "charging" via canopy, but canopies/awnings over bike trails, etc could be advantageous? Adding solar panels would "compound" the advantages? So yeah, def "grid tie", but ya might also hook up to a energized low voltage "rail" etc? Save the batt pack for "off road" travel (outside of the solar/electric "grid")?

And just FYI, any panels would be "public" property... Cost to buy and set up paid for by the "public purse"... Which already pays how much for road maint, public transit, etc, etc...

L
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Re: How to Solar Charge an Electric Bicycle

Post by LockH » Nov 06 2013 8:53am

BTW, Mister M(myzter)... Maybe the problem is, for my little "project" I don't expect or want one nickel for my own "effort"? It's really up to taxpayers (in cities and towns across America and Canada) to "chip in" their own money (taxes), and THEY get the "benefit"... Any "innovations" to the tech (generating/storing/distributing electricity, and using it for - at least urban - transportation) would "benefit" all of us? I don't expect to EVer see that day, but for my own daughters? (the two that I know of, anyway... hehe) And my friends? And their neighbours? And maybe some in your own family? Remember the whole "thrust" of the matter (my lady friends love it when I use that word) is "killing off" that darned "relic". For some of us, it has waaaay outlived its usefulness/overstayed its welcome... A "victim of its own success", so to speak.
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Re: How to Solar Charge an Electric Bicycle

Post by LockH » Nov 06 2013 11:39am

Ummm... Earlier I said "... but ya might also hook up to a energized low voltage "rail" etc?". Like this maybe:
SiemensHalske_1879.gif
SiemensHalske_1879.gif (22.26 KiB) Viewed 3829 times
But of course there is nothing we might learn from history... Well, I'm off to the forum! Signing off for a bit. Over and out.
L
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Re: How to Solar Charge an Electric Bicycle

Post by LockH » Nov 06 2013 2:55pm

OK... It seems to me we have solar generation "nailed down", and "distribution" sorta worked out (as "electricity"), but the missing part of the equation, maybe. How to *store* that yummy solar power, to use later for transportation (with the "electricity" stored in some of that yummie lithium-flavoured stuff aka "batteries").

Well, that weird "gravity" thingee should work, maybe. After all, those crafty Romans were pretty handy at getting water DOWN hills (see "aquaducts", here, for example:)
http://weburbanist.com/2010/09/26/bridg ... aqueducts/

But how to get water UP hills... Oh, it evaporates? Up hills? Well, some day someone should invent something called a "water wheel", or a "water tower", watt could be used to spin a electrical generator... Oh waitasec...

L
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Re: How to Solar Charge an Electric Bicycle

Post by LockH » Dec 28 2013 10:20am

In the news today (various, in watt used to be termed "news papers"), "Toronto Hydro-Electric System Pubic Infrastructure Engineering Vulnerability Assessment Pilot Case Study - Electrical Distribution Infrastructure, Final Report", from September, 2012, online here:
http://www.pievc.ca/e/casedocs/TorontoH ... Report.pdf

With stuff published just now (in Canadas national newspaper, the Glob and Mange), like:
A Toronto Hydro vulnerability study published last year warned that climate change could result in more severe freezing rain storms, increasing the risk of major power outages.

The study, published in September, 2012, says warmer winter temperatures can increase the intensity and quantity of freezing rain and wet snow, which can damage tree branches and overhead wires. Toronto Hydro estimates that about 26,000 customers were still without power on Friday, six days after a massive ice storm swept through Southern Ontario.
Hehe... (Gloating and rubbing his hands together). Looks like things are falling into place - My plans to paper the whole province (starting with our own little backwoods berg aka Toronto) with canopies over our roads and pathways, supporting photovoltaic ("PV") solar panels (while offering some protection from the "weather"/elements for our tasty electric bicycles). EVen the 20th-century horseless carriage might be tolerated, as long as it is not blowing exhaust gases into the air that some of us breath. (That is, the some of us that live on a different planet, of course.)

There's that nasty phrase again, "climate change".
L
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Re: How to Solar Charge an Electric Bicycle

Post by Rusdy » Apr 22 2014 2:54am

Hi All,
Since I got an absolute bargain of solar panel (12V 80W panel for only AUD100), I've been trying to charge my electric bike using this solar panel. As Matt (the original poster) pointed out, it's not as easy as I thought. The best one I've found so far is from Genasun (they do custom voltage) but cost USD300. GSL does make BMPPT charger, but only for lithium 48V battery.

So, I just want to share my own backyard BMPPT charger, controlled by Arduino. The component cost overall cost less than AUD100, so it's cheap as. Not as top-spec like Genasun of course, but it does work! Unfortunately, you have to make your own board :). Details http://epxhilon.blogspot.com.au/2014/04 ... ger-2.html.

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Re: How to Solar Charge an Electric Bicycle

Post by LockH » Aug 18 2014 11:54am

An English friend might have said "Trouble Up the Mill" re solar concentration. "Emerging solar plants scorch birds in mid-air"
http://news.yahoo.com/emerging-solar-pl ... 13072.html
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Re: How to Solar Charge an Electric Bicycle

Post by Modbikemax » Aug 19 2014 12:33am

The nice thing about PV solar panels is they are current limited by their design.
To bulk charge lithium is pretty straight forward even easier than lead acid.
You just need a voltage higher than the battery pack but not too close or it won't charge, for a 36v pack say 3x 36cell panels with an open circuit voltage of 21v in series but more wont matter. The regulator simply needs to shut the panels off when the fully charged voltage is reached 40 or 42v.

If you are running 10 watt panels it will take days of full sun to charge an 8ah 36v pack so if you are riding around with a couple of panels stuck to your bike I wouldn't even bother with a regulator.

For a base station setup.
Use a 12 volt nominal panel to charge a car battery then use that to charge your lithium pack with an RC charger, they mostly have a 12v input. Simples.

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Re: How to Solar Charge an Electric Bicycle

Post by cycborg » Aug 19 2014 6:24pm

LockH wrote:An English friend might have said "Trouble Up the Mill" re solar concentration. "Emerging solar plants scorch birds in mid-air"
Compared to housecats and windows (not to mention habitat destruction from fossil fuel extraction and transport), solar thermal concentrators are still pretty far down the list of risks to birds.

But I think it’s safe to say they don’t have anything to worry about from ebike-charging photovoltaics, whether roof-mounted or bike-mounted. The power concentration we use is in the form of LiPo’s, which seem to be dangerous primarily to the user, rather than wildlife. :wink:

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Re: How to Solar Charge an Electric Bicycle

Post by Modbikemax » Aug 19 2014 6:50pm

cycborg wrote:
LockH wrote:An English friend might have said "Trouble Up the Mill" re solar concentration. "Emerging solar plants scorch birds in mid-air"
Compared to housecats and windows (not to mention habitat destruction from fossil fuel extraction and transport), solar thermal concentrators are still pretty far down the list of risks to birds.

But I think it’s safe to say they don’t have anything to worry about from ebike-charging photovoltaics, whether roof-mounted or bike-mounted. The power concentration we use is in the form of LiPo’s, which seem to be dangerous primarily to the user, rather than wildlife. :wink:
Since when have humans ever worried about about wildlife? A few reserves is band aid at best going on past record.
Here in WA sharks are slaughtered by the local government because a few surfies got bitten.

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Re: How to Solar Charge an Electric Bicycle

Post by LockH » Aug 19 2014 7:20pm

Lotta life wiped out over time. (Check w/any fossils you know.) But in recent human times, ask yer whale friend. Passenger Pigeon. And Etc. (Long list. From dominant species attacks.) Re concentrators, thinking netting fence re bird strikes maybe.
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Re: How to Solar Charge an Electric Bicycle

Post by LockH » Aug 22 2014 10:09am

ES "Search found 4 matches: +polished +mirrors"...

Here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror

"The first mirrors used by people were most likely pools of dark, still water, or water collected in a primitive vessel of some sort. The earliest manufactured mirrors were pieces of polished stone such as obsidian, a naturally occurring volcanic glass. Examples of obsidian mirrors found in Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) have been dated to around 6000 BC. Polished stone mirrors from Central and South America date from around 2000 BC onwards. Mirrors of polished copper were crafted in Mesopotamia from 4000 BC, and in ancient Egypt from around 3000 BC. In China, bronze mirrors were manufactured from around 2000 BC"...etc.

Well, OTOH, "Search found 21 matches: +Archimedes"...


(I like Winding Calculators as much as next person.) Possibly more relevant in this thread:)
http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PNABC955.pdf


Ohhh... Tech for Development. (Nice list of "reviewers".)

(See also "Needy Bits Served by Tech".)

Oooops... "principally re thermal apps". (Like heating water to spin generators?)

Ed: Maybe usefull nice post from 2011 re Big A:
http://secretsofthesunsects.wordpress.c ... em-solved/
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on the road solar charging

Post by arkmundi » Sep 17 2014 7:48pm

Segue dialog on Battery Space 20AH Prismatic LiFePO4 tests thread....
John in CR wrote:Solar is becoming easy, practical, easily portable and cheap. Forget a genny. Then all you need is food, water, and a secure campsite, so you can go off exploring the wilderness on your ebike every day for extended periods. Traveling very light would be interesting in optimum weather with the right bike and a couple of square meters of fold up and store solar that doubles as part of your shelter. Then just keep going deeper and deeper into the wilderness or extended touring, and all you have to do is schedule extended relaxing stops during peak sun. Dogman lives in the desert but has been shooting down this approach for years, but I know absolutely it will work great. If I could get away from daily family duties for a while I'd love to prove it and just go. It sounds like you are planning exactly that, at least for weekend jaunts, so do it.
Hey John, continuing the dialog. After visiting the http://cse.fraunhofer.org/ center in Boston and asking about the highest efficiency panels on the market, and their response that it was SunPower, I've wanted to buy some. Went online and found these: Semi-Flexible 120 Watt Solar Panel High Efficiency Sunpower, Marine Rated.
SunPower01.png
SunPower01.png (33.39 KiB) Viewed 3885 times
These panels are about 20% efficient, very high. My thinking is that I have a 36V battery and with new eBike underway, will be 72V (2x36V). So 2 x 22V = 44V at 5.85 amps. That's almost exactly what I'm charging with now with my Smart Charger from BatterySpace.com. So, 4 of these would get me my near equivalent charge (2x36V), now taking about an hour for a full charge. What do you think? Asking this time before hand, for a reality check. Thanks.

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Re: on the road solar charging

Post by John in CR » Sep 17 2014 9:20pm

To me it depends on how you want to use the panels. eg The route I plan is only minimal solar capture while riding and ride faster to each planned stop quickly, where I'd set up the complete solar panel rig with good angle to the sun. A couple of hours riding at 30+ mph in the morning and again in the afternoon covers good distance and leaves large portions of the day solar charging. I'd use a greater number of smaller panels that would connect in series/parallel, and only a small portion semi-permanently on the bike as a sun/wind break to harvest a bit of energy while riding. Smaller panels seems like the way to go if I did a bike with a solar panel skin too, but even then I'd have significant panel area stowed stacked or folded while riding and then deploy them fully for a long break during peak sun.

Another viable approach is what Solarshift did for his solar powered journey. He made a quite large long rectangular solar panel array that he could tilt for good angle to the sun, and he mounted it above a long recumbent trike. With that approach he could continue riding right through peak sun with his solar panel providing shade, and the air flow keeping them cooler so higher output than stationary. Last year he took that rig all the way around Australia http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... =6&t=46587. It wouldn't win any beauty contests, but it was top notch as far as functionality and comfort.

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Re: on the road solar charging

Post by arkmundi » Sep 17 2014 9:34pm

Yea, that's my approach. Pulling a smallish cargo trailer with camping gear. Panels stack on top with just one panel collecting. That'll power a 12V DC refrigerator to keep some water, drinks and rations cold. Then when needed, set the array to optimum angle and let charge. I'll experiment around before the long trip. What do you think about those particular panels?

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