Folding Solar Charger

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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tmort   1 W

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Folding Solar Charger

Post by tmort » Feb 20 2019 8:26am

I searched and didn't find anything like this, but, it seems like someone would have already looked into this.

I was wondering if some sort of folding solar charger would be something that is available or something you could make. I'm thinking of it as something you would stow away and have as something you could hook up if you got to where the bike is going to be parked for awhile in a location where there is no power to plug in.

I big panel would be bulky but a number of smaller 6 or 12 volt panels could be mounted on cloth or flexible plastic such that it would fold up into a compact package. When unfolded it would need something to keep it lined up.

I've thought about this on and off a little and get distracted and move on to other things. I thought I'd post this and see if others have thought about this or get any comments/suggestions.

Maybe something like this is already available?

billvon   10 MW

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Re: Folding Solar Charger

Post by billvon » Feb 20 2019 2:50pm

tmort wrote:
Feb 20 2019 8:26am
I big panel would be bulky but a number of smaller 6 or 12 volt panels could be mounted on cloth or flexible plastic such that it would fold up into a compact package. When unfolded it would need something to keep it lined up.
Well, your first choice is between rigid panels or flexible (amorphous) panels. Amorphous panels are great but they have 50% of the efficiency of crystalline panels so you'd have to carry twice as many.
You can fold rigid panels, but it's hard to build them so they last. You can get 50 watt prebuilt panel sections that are about 24x24" so if you can live with that, that's an option. You could easily stack/fold 4 of them.
--bill von

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amberwolf   100 GW

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Re: Folding Solar Charger

Post by amberwolf » Feb 20 2019 6:03pm

tmort wrote:
Feb 20 2019 8:26am
Maybe something like this is already available?
Something like any of these?
https://www.google.com/search?q=Folding+Solar+Charger

Or this for 150w units, more useful for bike charging
https://www.google.com/search?&q=Foldin ... r+150+watt
but probably pretty large (generally would need a trailer if on a regular bicycle).

If not, you might look at the various solar builds here on ES (and elsewhere); they may give you ideas.

tmort   1 W

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Re: Folding Solar Charger

Post by tmort » Feb 21 2019 1:55am

I thought I had searched a while back and didn't find anything. The smaller type are kind of what I had in mind only I would need 48V. All that I saw were 5 or 12V. I did see some listed as 48V on Alibaba, but, I would have to order a huge quantity.

I saw some small 6V panels at Adafruit and they got them from a place that makes bags with panels and some folding panels, but, they are 6V.

Cephalotus   10 kW

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Re: Folding Solar Charger

Post by Cephalotus » Feb 22 2019 11:01am

What's your budget and what's your expectation?

Is there a weight and size limit?

I recommend to look into those:

http://www.lensunsolar.com/Foldable-solar-kit

ETFE cover is much better than the cheap PET cover

For a charger use the Genasun boost charger if you want the best option. (max current from solar panel needs to be smaller than 8-9A!!!)

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