My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

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teklektik   10 GW

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Re: Day 1, the other perfect day

Post by teklektik » Aug 15 2018 1:43pm

billvon wrote:
Aug 15 2018 11:23am
An alternative, I guess, would be to have a speed-hold mode to keep you from exceeding X kph, and using regen to hold it there.
CA3 Setup Utility 'Settings Help File' wrote:
[ SLim->Regen Lmtg ]
Chooser to select if Speed Limiting should use regenerative braking to help control the maximum speed.
  • Disabled: Speed is limited exclusively by reducing power. Above the speed limit the motor power is reduced to zero, but regenerative braking is not applied allowing the rider to continue to coast or pedal above this speed limit. [Default]
  • Enabled: Regenerative braking is used to enforce the speed limit setpoint. This means that regen may engage automatically when descending hills even without the rider applying the ebrakes. Proportional throttle regen (EBk->PropRegen) need not be enabled. This feature requires a controller with 0.0 - 0.8V throttle regen function (e.g. Grinfineon or Phaserunner).

Typically configured along with CA Aux Input as speed control to dial in the desired speed on the fly.
Solar Trike has CA3 and Phaserunners...
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Re: Day 1, the other perfect day

Post by billvon » Aug 15 2018 4:03pm

teklektik wrote:
Aug 15 2018 1:43pm
Typically configured along with CA Aux Input as speed control to dial in the desired speed on the fly.
Solar Trike has CA3 and Phaserunners...
So if I understand you correctly -

Set up speed limiting and enable regen limiting. Control it via the AUX pot. When riding normally keep the pot all the way on (a limit of 60kph or something) and when descending dial it down until you are at the speed you want to descend at? I may try that; I have an aux pot connected but unassigned right now.
--bill von

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Re: Day 1, the other perfect day

Post by teklektik » Aug 15 2018 5:14pm

billvon wrote:
Aug 15 2018 4:03pm
Set up speed limiting and enable regen limiting. Control it via the AUX pot. When riding normally keep the pot all the way on (a limit of 60kph or something) and when descending dial it down until you are at the speed you want to descend at?
Spot on. :D
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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by SprocketLocket » Aug 16 2018 7:36pm

Justin, please be careful in your travels, and do not make the same mistake as this naive lefty couple who unfortunately proved another dogma of leftist culture wrong in the hardest way possible with (ironically and sadly) a "Darwin award". We want/need you around. From your carte, it looks like yous two will be going through similar or close-by areas, and there are many areas I would consider "No-go zones" (the existence of which was--until recently--denied by lefties, now no longer able to lie about it, with developments like Sweden now officially ceasing mail delivery to certain quarters, for the safety of their workers).

I know y'all are experienced travelers, but a Super Soaker filled with vinegar will be inadequate if insular, murderous Muslims (yep, I said it--been around it, it's real) decide to prove their anti-human value to the moon. I've been in more no-go zones than I'd like to delve into right now... and my best briefest advice regarding no-go zones is, simply, don't go.

Millennial Couple Bikes Near ISIS Territory to Prove ‘Humans Are Kind’ and Gets Killed
https://www.pluralist.com/posts/1824-mi ... ets-killed
Bleeding-Heart Liberals Bike Through Tajikistan to Prove “Evil Is a Make-Believe Concept” — Are Stabbed Dead By ISIS
https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2018/0 ... d-by-isis/

Can't help but draw the congruency.
Image

I'll be really glad and relieved when you're both back safe and sound, and even some of my non-ebike friends will know and be happy too.

I'm not criticizing; your journey is epic... but we already knew you were epic. Just reminding (or begging--fine, I'll ditch pride) yous to defer to caution, and please trust that intuition and common sense that leftism teaches to go against [btdt]. ("The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command." -quote from 1984 by George Orwell, which is an exposition of, and warning against, a leftist technocratic conspiracy truly being planned exercised by elites. George Orwell split from that crew, which community included Aldous Huxley, who wrote Brave New World--which, unlike 1984, was not a warning, but an announcement; whose brother Julian founded the United Nations and UNESCO; and H.G. Wells, who, yes, wrote "The Time Machine", but have you ever been told he also wrote the book, "The New World Order"? Celebrating and inviting "international [globalist] socialism".) It IS time for everyone to awaken, get into that un-taught history, and reclaim common sense.

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by wturber » Aug 16 2018 10:36pm

Was this really just an excuse to say "leftist" a lot? Your concern seems misplaced since they caught their flight out of Tehran many weeks ago.

I'm going to give Justin and An-So credit for probably making a reasonable evaluation of the risks involved in the trip. I seem to recall some mention about areas that were off-limits for different reasons. For my part, I figure the risks of getting run over by some careless motorist who wasn't paying attention were probably far greater than the (very real) risks of being victimized by a terrorist or other criminal type who was up to no good.

Fact is that the vast majority of people are kind and benevolent - given half a chance. But that truth doesn't mean that there aren't still a small number people who are quite the opposite. So yes, you should probably try to avoid them. Unfortunately it is often hard to know where they are and who they are.
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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by solarEbike » Aug 26 2018 1:24pm

teklektik wrote:
Jun 13 2018 10:15am
Cowardlyduck wrote:
Jun 13 2018 5:38am
Would the controller have to be powered on for the CA to measure/record the solar charging current?
No, the controller doesn't need to be powered on, but the CA does so you may need to mod the CA-DP connection if you are powering the CA from the controller. Having the CA active in an unattended situation probably isn't ideal, but I just put in a ticket for discussion of a means to allow the screen to be blanked. No promises, but at least it's on the list for feature discussion later this year.
I'm finalizing the wiring on my solar ebike so I'm at a point where I have to address this issue. I've wired an on/off switch to the Phaserunner but need to keep the CA3 powered on anytime the bike is charging from solar which includes leaving it on overnight to record early morning charge current for those days when I don't get up before dawn.

Can I just run the CA-DP Plug's red V+ wire to the battery through a switch? Is there a way to turn off the CA3 backlight?
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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by usertogo » Aug 26 2018 1:59pm

wturber wrote:
Aug 16 2018 10:36pm
Was this really just an excuse to say "leftist" a lot? Your concern seems misplaced since they caught their flight out of Tehran many weeks ago.
The story about the couple sounds like some fake news fabrication - they announce what they want to prove and even if they had been real the controlling secret agents wouldn't have anybody look behind the scenes in their crime scene - What I am saying the number one terrorist state is known to most as United Slaves of Monsanto or wait it used to be USA, cant remember what that stood for...
wturber wrote:
Aug 16 2018 10:36pm

... For my part, I figure the risks of getting run over by some careless motorist who wasn't paying attention were probably far greater than the (very real) risks of being victimized by a terrorist or other criminal type who was up to no good.
It plainly looks fabricated like those light composite jumbo jets that supposedly cut 10cm thick steel beams in the WTC facade - not even possible to imagine if you ever seen how air planes are build!
You are most likely a victim of disinformation - cause you gotta be afraid!
wturber wrote:
Aug 16 2018 10:36pm
Fact is that the vast majority of people are kind and benevolent - given half a chance.
True most will even be able to distinguish real peaceful people and spies that could be blamed for all those drone strikes and injustices empires roll out on the world in the name of fascism...

To get back on subject - how would you better show your humble borderlessness than with that colorful line of banners Justin and Anso were displaying on their homegrown solar invention?

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by teklektik » Aug 26 2018 4:17pm

solarEbike wrote:
Aug 26 2018 1:24pm
Can I just run the CA-DP Plug's red V+ wire to the battery through a switch? Is there a way to turn off the CA3 backlight?
Yep - just switch the CA to Vbatt+ and you're all set. I wire my bikes this way - the switch also powers the lighting DC converter and there's a kill switch on the throttle to turn off the controller. This keeps the lights working and the CA instrumentation alive regardless of whether the controller is ON. Lets you switch off a sick controller and pedal on with everything otherwise working normally.

There's presently no means to switch off the backlight but a switch and minor electrical component could be added easily enough - there's enough room on the bottom or side of the CA case. The backlight actually plays a necessary role in the 5V regulator circuit so it's a matter of switching in an alternate component. I don't know the needed voltage drop off the top of my head but let me know if you want to pursue this and I'll post up something.
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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by solarEbike » Aug 27 2018 4:07pm

teklektik wrote:
Aug 26 2018 4:17pm
solarEbike wrote:
Aug 26 2018 1:24pm
Can I just run the CA-DP Plug's red V+ wire to the battery through a switch? Is there a way to turn off the CA3 backlight?
Yep - just switch the CA to Vbatt+ and you're all set. I wire my bikes this way - the switch also powers the lighting DC converter and there's a kill switch on the throttle to turn off the controller. This keeps the lights working and the CA instrumentation alive regardless of whether the controller is ON. Lets you switch off a sick controller and pedal on with everything otherwise working normally.
Thanks for the confirmation. I have an unused switch next to the throttle and now that you mention it, it's a good location for the controller switch.

I'm using a separate (3rd) switch for the 12V DC converter for lighting and accessories so I can cut the parasitic drain while keeping the CA powered. I tried using one of these lighted switches for that but it failed closed in less than three months. The autopsy revealed heavily pitted contacts. I guess it's arcing due to inrush current on the converter. I think I'll just replace it with a beefy toggle switch but that's just kicking the can down the road. I've read up on adding soft start circuits to mitigate this but that sounds like more work than I have time for right now. I'll let future me judge the wisdom of that decision.

switch.jpg
As with most autopsies, the patient didn't survive the procedure.
teklektik wrote:
Aug 26 2018 4:17pm
There's presently no means to switch off the backlight but a switch and minor electrical component could be added easily enough - there's enough room on the bottom or side of the CA case. The backlight actually plays a necessary role in the 5V regulator circuit so it's a matter of switching in an alternate component. I don't know the needed voltage drop off the top of my head but let me know if you want to pursue this and I'll post up something.
I've noticed that brightness of the backlight is occasionally mentioned during troubleshooting so I had a feeling you might say something like that. I think I'm going to leave the backlight alone for now so please don't go to any extra effort unless others express an interest.

The conspicuousness of the backlight at night was one reason for asking. I guess I can just cover it for now if I feel the need. The other reason was suspected current drain which I just measured to be 50 mA at 41.5V for my CA3 with backlight on and Sempu BB plugged in. The Sempu accounts for 40 mA of that which got me thinking that I'm losing 20-30 Wh per day in standby losses if it's left on for 16-20 hours per day when I'm not riding. But after re-reading this post I confirmed that the Sempu goes into sleep mode after 10 minutes and draws less than 10 mA.

I'm finding that quiescent current draws which are inconsequential for daily commuting with AC charging can add up to several miles lost per day when trying to cover a lot of distance on solar power. I see a lot more switches in my future...
SWB recumbent, Grin all-axle hub (5T in 20" wheel), Phaserunner, 6x LiGo battery, 248 watt sun-tracking solar trailer and 82 watt solar canopy roof with 3 Genasun MPPT boost controllers (in progress), CA3 (solar FW), GPS Analogger, Rohloff IGH. Solar ebike build, Website, Instagram, YouTube

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by teklektik » Aug 27 2018 4:31pm

solarEbike wrote:
Aug 27 2018 4:07pm
I'm using a separate (3rd) switch for the 12V DC converter for lighting and accessories ... but it failed closed in less than three months. The autopsy revealed heavily pitted contacts. I guess it's arcing due to inrush current on the converter. I think I'll just replace it with a beefy toggle switch but that's just kicking the can down the road.
Actually, on one of my bikes I switch a big converter with a 40A 48V relay to avoid the inrush issue. Annoying and eats power. The other uses a very much smaller converter for LED lighting that doesn't have the inrush issue of the big moose one and so gets the simple switch treatment.

solarEbike wrote:
Aug 27 2018 4:07pm
The conspicuousness of the backlight at night was one reason for asking.
Yep - figured as much. Blanking the screen so it looks OFF in daylight is simple, but the backlight thing is not so easily twiddled. I have to add that there is also a red backlight option in there already that can be made electrically switchable if you want to go after a whole extravaganza of nighttime options....
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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by billvon » Aug 27 2018 4:32pm

solarEbike wrote:
Aug 27 2018 4:07pm
I've noticed that brightness of the backlight is occasionally mentioned during troubleshooting so I had a feeling you might say something like that. I think I'm going to leave the backlight alone for now so please don't go to any extra effort unless others express an interest.

The conspicuousness of the backlight at night was one reason for asking. I guess I can just cover it for now if I feel the need. The other reason was suspected current drain which I just measured to be 50 mA at 41.5V for my CA3 with backlight on and Sempu BB plugged in.
Not to put words in Tek's mouth, but I think that the backlight dissipates some of the energy that would otherwise be dissipated in the regulator - so the "replacement" would likely be a series of diodes or something to dissipate a similar amount of energy and drop the voltage for the regulator. There might be a way to carefully choose that replacement to reduce the amount of energy dissipated - although if it's an LDO then there's always going to be a fixed amount of energy that gets turned into heat while the CA is on.
--bill von

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by amberwolf » Aug 27 2018 10:16pm

solarEbike wrote:
Aug 27 2018 4:07pm
The autopsy revealed heavily pitted contacts. I guess it's arcing due to inrush current on the converter. I think I'll just replace it with a beefy toggle switch but that's just kicking the can down the road. I've read up on adding soft start circuits to mitigate this but that sounds like more work than I have time for right now.
If you don't mind the wasted power, you can use a common ICL (inrush current limiter) NTC, like some power supplies/chargers use.
https://www.google.com/search?q=icl+ntc ... 8&oe=utf-8

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by teklektik » Aug 28 2018 1:05am

billvon wrote:
Aug 27 2018 4:32pm
...the backlight dissipates some of the energy that would otherwise be dissipated in the regulator...
(Not to continue this OT discussion too much longer, but...) Yes - that's exactly the case... :D

Anyhow, I had forgotten I'd already written up details on this topic in the CA beta thread a year or so ago...
See this post (and few later for JLE's additional remarks):
Cycle Analyst Mods for LCD Backlight Color / Brightness
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And the Finale Event

Post by justin_le » Aug 28 2018 6:23am

philf wrote:
Aug 05 2018 3:54pm
Speaking of "Perfect Days"... When exactly is yours, Justin? This coming weekend? (Apologies if it appears elsewhere - you guys have been all over the various media, but everything I've read merely alludes to the month). I don't think I have the power to will every day in August to be perfect for you and Anne-Sophie, but I'll try :-).
Well, your will power must be good since all of August ended up being quit special! The actual wedding was Aug 11th so we had exactly 2 weeks between flying back from Iran to getting everything planned and organized for the ceremony and all that. And we juuuusst pulled it off, thanks in no small part to lots of help from AnSo's and my Families. I post this here only because it is for us relevant to the whole trip and thought you might get a kick.

We arrived 'down the isle' as it were on the very rowboats that inspired us to build a rowing station on our back to back suntrip trike:
OnRowboat.jpg
But it was our common interest in unicycling and not boating that caused us to meet some 10 years ago. Anyways, I happened to still have a whole bunch of chemicals left over at my family property in Sooke from back when I thought pyrotechnics rather than ebikes was my life's calling. I'd been hanging onto them for some event or other and this was the perfect occasion to do one last hoorah.

In the weeks leading up preparation me and several friends were mixing up chemicals, ramming rockets and fountains, pressing stars, forming fuses, building a dock to do an aquatic pyro show. That bit Anne-Sophie knew about, but we managed to keep the detail a close surprise. Once the main fuse was lit, a giant 8 foot unicycle lit up on the water in blue lancework and then thrusters on the pedals set the whole wheel in spinning motion!
UniFwks.jpg
UniFwks.jpg (88.01 KiB) Viewed 1866 times
So thanks once again to everyone who wished us well. We survived the pre-honeymoon adventure stronger and more certain as a couple for sure, and had a good 2 weeks after the wedding to spend with family and friends.
2018-08-11 15.12.56.jpg
Now after some needed radio silence we're back to full time life in Vancouver.
Attachments
DockConstruction.jpg
Previously competed in the Suntrip race on a back to back tandem solar powered row/cycle trike. 550 watt solar roof, dual Grin All Axle hub motors, dual Phaserunner controllers, 12 LiGo batteries, and a whole wack of gear.

Now back in Vancouver learning to be a dad with my Big Dummy Frame (yes This One, thanks ES!) with GMAC 10T rear hub motor, Phaserunner controller, and 52V 19Ah EM3EV pack
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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by justin_le » Aug 28 2018 7:06am

StuRat wrote:
Aug 10 2018 5:01am
What happened to the bike??
The trike, as of today, is back at our shop in Vancouver!

With the help of Ali at ebikebc.com and the people at the research institute in Tehran it got crated up last week and shipped cargo to the Vancouver Airport. So that really wraps everything up without loose ends. There was only a little fuss clearing customs but when we showed them Instagram pictures of the trip it was obvious we were getting a personal bike back and not importing anything nefarious.

TrikeInVan.jpg

I haven't unboxed any of the parts or started the process of putting it back together again, but before doing that there would need to be some serious examination and tuneups.

At the time we arrived in Tehran I was pleasantly impressed that almost everything mechanical about the trike held up for the entire trip. The replacement no-name china freewheel for the rowing system that we got in Croatia survived right to the end; the experimental string/pulley rowing rig performed solidly the whole journey, and after some repairs on the ferry in turkey our rolling tilt solar roof system worked great for on-the-fly angle adjustments without us loosing a beat. Zero problems with the hub motors, motor controllers, MPPT charge controllers, or solar panels. I had LOTS of problems with the consumer electronics (3 broken cell phones and one failed tablet) but that's because I'm jinxed with those things.

However, we noticed in the last days that the roof structure seemed more wobbly than normal. It was only when we were dismantling the trike to pack it up in boxes that I noticed the reason. The front rowing frame which was made with the thin walled aluminum tubing was completely cracked on 3 sides of each tube, leaving only the inside face of the square tubing fully in tact.
WeldCracks.jpg
We accidentally flipped the trike on it's side a 2nd time on one of our last days riding when we went diagonally up a steep curb. I think it's that crash that caused the crack to go so deep but the fatigue failing was certainly well underway. It's likely that this would have broken off completely within a couple days if we continued riding.

I was nervous from the start about using this thinner walled (~1/16") square tubing over the thicker ~1/8" wall thickness material that we used on the rear frame tubes, and for good reason it would seem. On closer examination, we can see that even a lot of the welds between the steel plate and the cromoly frame tubes are cracking as well.
CrackedSteelWelds.jpg
CrackedSteelWelds.jpg (128.42 KiB) Viewed 1861 times
If we had set out to continue all the way to china we'd for sure have been hitting up welding shops along the way for some major structural repairs, as did a large number of the other teams.
Previously competed in the Suntrip race on a back to back tandem solar powered row/cycle trike. 550 watt solar roof, dual Grin All Axle hub motors, dual Phaserunner controllers, 12 LiGo batteries, and a whole wack of gear.

Now back in Vancouver learning to be a dad with my Big Dummy Frame (yes This One, thanks ES!) with GMAC 10T rear hub motor, Phaserunner controller, and 52V 19Ah EM3EV pack
My website: http://www.ebikes.ca
Please contact via email, info@ebikes.ca, rather than PMs, which are disabled

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by justin_le » Aug 28 2018 7:35am

usertogo wrote:
Aug 15 2018 7:37am
What interests most is for example that mysterious wrong road, that long time second place Bertrand Stephan took in China which cost him many positions and who knows what else...
In this case, that had everything to do with internal politics in China and nothing with road conditions or dead ends etc. This part of China (Xinjiang province) is nominally closed to tourists and has become in recent years the most vivid example of a surveillance/police state that you could imagine (see https://www.economist.com/briefing/2018 ... e-no-other to get an idea). People on the Suntrip race had to check in with police at every town, get escorted to authorized hotels for the night etc.

I don't know the details of why, but Stephane was choosing to take a different road further south of the official authorized route, and for the first several days was able to talk his way through all the police checks and carry on. But then one at one point the police forbade him from continuing on that route and made him turn around and backtrack all the way back on the same road. It's pretty crappy and killed any chance of him catching up to the lead, but he sure seems to have taken it in stride.
StephaneBacktrack.jpg
I had done little exploration in Germany and my GPS would have made me take forest trails that could be given variable weather fully impossible or at least 'stuck in the fractal' and not making distance, but that a region exists that is so fully disconnected from major routes that one would have to backtrack a days worth of travel?
Just politics. But your point is correct that the route planning on a solar bike ride takes a lot more into consideration than blindly following a cycling app. The best roads for solar ebikes are usually the semi major roadways (wide shoulder and mostly clear from shaddow causing trees and buildings), but then you're taking a chance that bikes aren't allowed and you'll get fined and escorted off by the police.
I would like to propose that pro quick charging consciousness a new Solar Muscle Electric 'Tribrid' Race - with larger battery capacity and Quick Charge stops allowed - would be interesting!
Well, make the rules and organize the race and I'm sure you'll find a lot of people (including a number of Suntrippers, me included) keen to participate!
Previously competed in the Suntrip race on a back to back tandem solar powered row/cycle trike. 550 watt solar roof, dual Grin All Axle hub motors, dual Phaserunner controllers, 12 LiGo batteries, and a whole wack of gear.

Now back in Vancouver learning to be a dad with my Big Dummy Frame (yes This One, thanks ES!) with GMAC 10T rear hub motor, Phaserunner controller, and 52V 19Ah EM3EV pack
My website: http://www.ebikes.ca
Please contact via email, info@ebikes.ca, rather than PMs, which are disabled

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by zro-1 » Aug 28 2018 9:24pm

A HUGE congratulations to you and AnSo, Justin! I'm sure the light in your hearts out shone those (very impressive) fireworks you put together.

I'm so happy for you both and wish you the very best of times on your journey together. Thank you for making this little forum on the internet such a big part of your life. I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we all appreciate everything you've done for and with us here.
~01~

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by justin_le » Sep 03 2018 8:31pm

Thanks Zro-1. I'm glad to hear that you and others have been appreciating the time needed to share and document this stuff on the forum and am always happy seeing others do the same.

FWIW we just finished the edits for the 2nd trip video which gets us up to Serbia.




For those who missed out as things unfolded in real-time, it looks like we'll get to have the video clips coming out on like a 2-3 month delay loop so stay tuned for Bulgaria and Turkey next!
Previously competed in the Suntrip race on a back to back tandem solar powered row/cycle trike. 550 watt solar roof, dual Grin All Axle hub motors, dual Phaserunner controllers, 12 LiGo batteries, and a whole wack of gear.

Now back in Vancouver learning to be a dad with my Big Dummy Frame (yes This One, thanks ES!) with GMAC 10T rear hub motor, Phaserunner controller, and 52V 19Ah EM3EV pack
My website: http://www.ebikes.ca
Please contact via email, info@ebikes.ca, rather than PMs, which are disabled

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by The fingers » Sep 03 2018 11:14pm

Congratulations on your wedding, you're off to a great start. :D
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Re: Suntrip Data Boxes and Solar CA Code

Post by justin_le » Oct 03 2018 11:39pm

Cephalotus wrote:
Jun 16 2018 12:59am
justin_le wrote:
Jun 10 2018 10:06pm
....
It'll take a lot of additional rework of this trip analyzer web app to present multi-day log files in a way that is easier to visualize since the graph data quickly gets quite noisy, but that's something we'll be working on over the summer so that by the time the race is done we'll be able to show and compare all the different solar ebike performances with this tool.
This would be fantastic!

I'm very interested in the performance of the vehicles and the solar arrays and sadly so very little data is available to the public from the first suntrips.
Well guys, long time since I've piped in here, but the 100 day time limit for the Suntrip race was reached a short while ago and the last of the suntrip riders have just crossed their way to the finish line in Guangzhou, certainly a little battered and tattered but amazing to see!
https://www.thesuntrip.com/francoise-de ... ntrip2018/

At last we've started getting the log files from the other suntrip treams and as promised we made a huge number of changes to our trip analyzer software in order to deal with these super large files. For the data junkies, here is the complete data for our trip:
http://www.ebikes.ca/downloads/SuntripL ... n_AnSo.zip

If you unzip this, you'll see there is a folder that has the logged data for each trip in DailyLogs. This is the raw 1Hz log data that's been parsed and split into 24 hr sections (as set by UTC+3) so that it's neatly organized into one file for each day. There's another folder for downsampled data which is the same thing but where we've decimated the data to either 0.1 or 0.2 Hz for smaller file size. And finally, there is a daily summary .csv file that has the statistics (total distance, average speed, wh/km, solar watt-hours etc) from each day.
LogFormatExamples.jpg
LogFormatExamples.jpg (35.84 KiB) Viewed 1565 times
Each log file starts with a header that shows the columns. The first column, UTC, is now a universal unix date/time stamp, the 12 next columns are all the standard things you'd have from a CA3 device (amphours, volts, amps, speed, distance, temperature, rpm etc). Since these databoxes were stand alone devices and not the primary CA, there weren't any PAS, torque, temperature, or throttle sensors attached so much of this data is zero. And the final 7 columns are all new, containing the solar amps and Ah data, the GPS data (heading, elevation, latitude, and longitude) and finally flags that indicate the state of the GPS sensor.
LogDataHeader.jpg
Here's where things get fun. If you have the trip data downloaded on your computer, you can now navigate to the trip analyzer page here, click to upload CA data, and then control select ANY NUMBER of files that you want to look at and it will concatenate the data and show it in a single plot. The trip analyzer can handle upwards of 100 MB of logged data this way before causing the browser to crash. With the x5 downsampling, it takes a while to load but you can view our entire trip from Lyon to Tehran in a single graph.

UploadMultipleFiles.jpg
EntireTripView.jpg
Right now after uploading and processing it switches by default to showing a time axis view rather than distance axis, which makes a bit more sense in the context of solar watts. The default viewing shows the solar data in the extended data set, with the watts in pink and the accumulated solar watt-hours in green.

ExtendedDataView.jpg

You can now see each daily sun cycle that we received and how much accumulated watt-hours we got from the rise of the green line. If you look closely at the graph, it contains both a dark line as well as a transparent shaded range. Since each pixel represents hundreds or thousands of data points, we have it so that the solid pixel is the average value and then the range of data that is averaged to produce that point is visible in the transparency.

This both helps the graph display much faster, and it makes it a lot less cluttered to see meaningful trends in noisy/fluctuating data like the solar output. Now when you are zoomed in and scroll left and right, it initially previews in the downsampled data to be responsive and render quickly, and then once you release the mouse button the data for that section reloads at a high resolution.
AutomaticResolutionChange.jpg
If anyone has tried using the trip analyzer previously with large data files, you'll know how bogged down and unresponsive it would get. These recent updates are a huge improvement that make it properly usable.

So now with these tools are in place, I'll be devoting my next posts to looking at interesting insights that this data has shown us about the performance of our own system, much of which wasn't at all apparent while we were actually riding on the trip!
Last edited by justin_le on Oct 04 2018 2:21am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: typos
Previously competed in the Suntrip race on a back to back tandem solar powered row/cycle trike. 550 watt solar roof, dual Grin All Axle hub motors, dual Phaserunner controllers, 12 LiGo batteries, and a whole wack of gear.

Now back in Vancouver learning to be a dad with my Big Dummy Frame (yes This One, thanks ES!) with GMAC 10T rear hub motor, Phaserunner controller, and 52V 19Ah EM3EV pack
My website: http://www.ebikes.ca
Please contact via email, info@ebikes.ca, rather than PMs, which are disabled

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MPPT Quirks

Post by justin_le » Oct 04 2018 2:13am

So Here's one thing we noticed from the graphs that I didn't observe at all on the trip. Whenever there was a section of steady constant solar power, like when we were stopped and charging on a sunny day, there were still regular blips where the solar power would drop down by ~100 watts for a second and then recover.

You'll see this clearly if you load the Day27 log file from our trip data (attached .zip, or just use the link here ). Here we were in the cave hotel in the Cappadoccia region. We'd arrived the night previous with the battery almost completely empty (you'll see it starts the day at ~31.5 volts) and so decided let it charge up in the morning before heading out. (Meanwhile we gladly took our time enjoying another delicious Turkish breakfast.

Day27Summary.jpg

At 6am the sun starts to rise but the solar output is pretty meek since we're in the shadow of a mountain. By ~7:30 the sun is fully on the panels and we're getting significant charge. It should be a perfectly smooth graph, but there's these rhythmic drops that are apparent. When we zoom in on it, we see that it's like clockworks at an interval just shy of 5 minutes.

5MinutePowerDrops.jpg

Our setup has two independent solar arrays, with 400 nominal watts of panel going into a chinese MPPT device, and then the extra 150 watt panels using a Genasun charge controller. I was lazy and left the Chinese MPPT to a default 36V lead acid profile that had a full charge of 43.5V, which meant it would charge the LiGo's at full current right until the BMS tripped. However, the Genasun device was set from the factory to a 41.7V constant voltage, and in practice with the voltage drop along the cable leads we'd see power rollback when the pack was a little over 41 volts.

By 10:20 in the morning, the battery is mostly charged and Genasun MPPT switches to CV mode, and at this point the 5 minute blips stop completely. So we can only conclude that this is some peculiarity of the Genasun charge controllers when they are operating in steady sunlight in max power mode.
GenasunVsChinaPulses.jpg
On a similar note, if you zoom in even more closely you can see there there is also a regular undulation in the solar watts that seems to average around a 9 second period. The variation in this data is much smaller at ~3-4 watts, but I didn't notice this AT ALL in all the time I spent watching the solar power on my CA screen. If the last digit changed I probably brushed it off as noise, but when you see it graphed like this it's very clearly the maximum power tracking algorithm of the MPPT device in play, as it gradually hunts up and down to see that it's pulling the most power possible from the solar panel.
MPPT_Undulations.jpg
MPPT_Undulations.jpg (67.13 KiB) Viewed 1548 times
These undulations were also present and at the same timing interval in the graph section where the Genasun device was out of play, so we can conclude it's the Chinese MPPT responsible for these pulses. It also means that there is a small but quantifiable amount of power lost by the MPPT unit when it is on either side of the peak. That's a lot of time spent when it's producing 3-4 watts less power than if it stayed on the peak the entire duration.
Attachments
DB03log_Day27(2018-07-09).zip
(1.36 MiB) Downloaded 23 times
Previously competed in the Suntrip race on a back to back tandem solar powered row/cycle trike. 550 watt solar roof, dual Grin All Axle hub motors, dual Phaserunner controllers, 12 LiGo batteries, and a whole wack of gear.

Now back in Vancouver learning to be a dad with my Big Dummy Frame (yes This One, thanks ES!) with GMAC 10T rear hub motor, Phaserunner controller, and 52V 19Ah EM3EV pack
My website: http://www.ebikes.ca
Please contact via email, info@ebikes.ca, rather than PMs, which are disabled

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Good days and bad days

Post by justin_le » Oct 04 2018 3:59am

Here is the summary statistics from each day.
DailyStatsSummary.png
The most solar charge that we ever got in a day was from that same day27 file in turkey that we just discussed, at nearly 3600 watt-hours, and that's including the fact that we were in the shade after sunrise and the allowed the batteries to become fully charged before we left. With a bit more attention this might have been a 3800 Watt-hour day!

Most decent days were in the 2500-3000 watt-hours, but what amazed me is that even in cloudy and rainy weather we still regularly got over 1kWhr of solar input. There was only a single day on the entire trip where we didn't quite reach that, with 985 watt-hours on the day we crossed from Croatia into Serbia.
Cephalotus wrote:Can you show data from a day with rainy or overcast weather, too if you find some time to do so?
Here is day 14, which was our worst in the entire trip (as measured by Solar Wh, it was actually pretty fun for other reasons). During the morning with clouds and light rain we were seeing ~50-80 watts. By noon there were some brief periods with the sun breaking through and we were able to take breaks and let the batteries get mostly charged up. But by the afternoon some really dark clouds came over and you can see the solar output dropping to near zero watts.
RainyDay14.jpg

Day 16 is the 2nd worst with 1040 watt-hours. What you can appreciate here is that it was what anyone would call "cloudy" all day long, but during the day there are clouds that would allow ~250 watts of power into the panels, and there were clouds that would only let like 10-20 watts come through. Riding a solar ebike you developed a good sense for the relative opacity of a given cloud cover, and me and An'So got pretty good at the game of looking at the sky and guessing exactly how many solar watts we had coming in.
Day16SolarGraph.jpg
Towards the end of the full Suntrip race, the people riding through the last legs of china with spells of bad weather and ever reduced daylight would have died to get the 1kWhr of energy that we considered a "worst day" example.

Anyways over the entire trip we had an average 2200 watt-hours / day, exactly 4 times the nominal power of our solar roof (550 watts). That's with panels that could tilt left/right for better exposure, and riding in the summer months through a region that should be mostly fair weather. I'm very curious to see how that multiplier number looks with the other solar bikes and if it's fairly consistent or varies with the different setups, since it's basically the most useful rule-of-thumb stat when planning a solar touring trip.
Previously competed in the Suntrip race on a back to back tandem solar powered row/cycle trike. 550 watt solar roof, dual Grin All Axle hub motors, dual Phaserunner controllers, 12 LiGo batteries, and a whole wack of gear.

Now back in Vancouver learning to be a dad with my Big Dummy Frame (yes This One, thanks ES!) with GMAC 10T rear hub motor, Phaserunner controller, and 52V 19Ah EM3EV pack
My website: http://www.ebikes.ca
Please contact via email, info@ebikes.ca, rather than PMs, which are disabled

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by solarEbike » Oct 04 2018 8:25pm

Hey Justin. Thank you for dedicating so much of your time and Grin Tech resources to upgrading the Trip Analyzer and sharing your detailed analysis. The low rez/high rez approach and the shading are elegant solutions to working with large data sets in a browser app. I'll certainly be putting them to good use.
justin_le wrote:
Oct 04 2018 2:13am
By 10:20 in the morning, the battery is mostly charged and Genasun MPPT switches to CV mode, and at this point the 5 minute blips stop completely. So we can only conclude that this is some peculiarity of the Genasun charge controllers when they are operating in steady sunlight in max power mode.
That's cool to see in the data. Genasun's marketing claims their "MPPT adapts immediately – 15 times per second" so I guess their algorithm hunting around the IV curve doesn't show up at the 1Hz sampling rate. The 5 minute blip may be a periodic full sweep of the entire IV curve to ensure it's not stuck at a local maximum? My understanding is that the specifics of these algorithms tend to be closely guarded secrets as the various PV inverter and charge controller vendors see them as a way to differentiate their products from the competition.
justin_le wrote:
Oct 04 2018 2:13am
Anyways over the entire trip we had an average 2200 watt-hours / day, exactly 4 times the nominal power of our solar roof (550 watts). That's with panels that could tilt left/right for better exposure, and riding in the summer months through a region that should be mostly fair weather. I'm very curious to see how that multiplier number looks with the other solar bikes and if it's fairly consistent or varies with the different setups, since it's basically the most useful rule-of-thumb stat when planning a solar touring trip.
I'm curious, too, so I took a shot at it. Technical specs on the SunTrip bikes are hard to find (why?!)... you may have better numbers but here's what I've found:
  • Bernard and Yann averaged 2080 Wh/day with a 517 watt array (my estimate based on 150 cells at 3.63 watts per bare cell minus 5% for encapsulation losses) so 4x
  • Jack Butler averaged 906 Wh/day with a 300 watt array (assuming 4 panels @ 75w each as indicated here) so 3x
  • Eric Morel averaged 1137 Wh/day with a 370 watt array (my estimate based on 108 cells, assuming high-efficiency SunPower cells) so about 3x
Interesting that the two bikes with solar roofs appear to be producing about 30% more daily Wh per panel watt than the two bikes with lower mounted arrays. I find myself wondering how much of that might be self-shading losses? It would be nice to get more data.

I used your daily total solar Wh and km to try to validate the predictions of the solarEbike Trip Planner I posted last month. I applied a 15 day moving average to make it possible to compare with typical weather data at multiple locations along your route. I then adjusted the shading loss input value to match your daily production to see if the results looked reasonable.

Screen Shot 2018-10-04 at 3.40.34 PM.jpg

This chart makes it looks like Turkey and Iran get a lot more sun in July than Europe does in June but according to the weather data (using a "typical meteorological year"), it's usually only 11% more. It's possible that June 2018 was more rainy than a typical June but I can't check right now because I don't have weather data for individual years.

From Lyon to Istanbul, the shading loss input value would need to be 45-50% to match the modeled daily solar Wh to your actual daily Wh. This seems high to me. I wondered if (in addition to extra rain) it could be due to the solar energy that wasn't captured due to late morning starts and extended stops during the day when the energy coming form the sun couldn't be captured because the charge controllers were in CV mode. I looked for sustained high voltage plateaus in your data but didn't see many.

From Istanbul to Ramsar, the average shading losses would have to be 22-33% to match the predicted daily solar Wh. This is much closer to my expectations based on my test rides and years of residential PV production modeling.

I think the lesson here is to assume at least 20-40% for overall system losses due to shading and system availability when comparing against PVWatts results which are intended to model stationary PV installations designed to harvest every possible Wh.
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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by tomjasz » Oct 05 2018 12:15am

What a great fantasy trip for this old gimp. Full of great stories, humanity and data. As wheel as a gorgeous bride.
All the best.

T
Thanks Justin_le we're here thanks to you. All the best to the mods for their tireless work keeping it on an even keel.

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by justin_le » Oct 05 2018 3:37am

solarEbike wrote:
Oct 04 2018 8:25pm
Hey Justin. Thank you for dedicating so much of your time and Grin Tech resources to upgrading the Trip Analyzer and sharing your detailed analysis. The low rez/high rez approach and the shading are elegant solutions to working with large data sets in a browser app. I'll certainly be putting them to good use.
I can't wait to see what you'll be able to do with this tool Mark, especially for comparing your detailed modeling predictions with empirical test results.
justin_le wrote:
Oct 04 2018 2:13am
By 10:20 in the morning, the battery is mostly charged and Genasun MPPT switches to CV mode, and at this point the 5 minute blips stop completely.
That's cool to see in the data. Genasun's marketing claims their "MPPT adapts immediately – 15 times per second" so I guess their algorithm hunting around the IV curve doesn't show up at the 1Hz sampling rate. The 5 minute blip may be a periodic full sweep of the entire IV curve to ensure it's not stuck at a local maximum?
I think it's something like that. We don't see this same 5 minute blip pattern when there is lots of fluctuation in solar input either, only in times when the solar watts are flat and steady. So it's like the MPPT is needing to do an occasional 'slap in the face' to see that it's really doing the right thing when it's otherwise been mostly invariant.
I'm curious, too, so I took a shot at it. Technical specs on the SunTrip bikes are hard to find (why?!)...
I've been promised a copy of the technical review document that was done on all the teams which has both the panel area and nominal watts, so we'll have this information soon. And hopefully the log data from many more teams as well.
you may have better numbers but here's what I've found:
  • Bernard and Yann - 4x
  • Jack Butler - 3x
  • Eric Morel - 3x
Interesting that the two bikes with solar roofs appear to be producing about 30% more daily Wh per panel watt than the two bikes with lower mounted arrays. I find myself wondering how much of that might be self-shading losses? It would be nice to get more data.
There is another possible factor at play here, which is that both me&AnSo and Bernard&Yann only did the first month, when the days were longer and weather was theoretically better. Both Jack and Eric made it all the way to Guangzhou finishing much later in the summer which could have brought down their averages.

In any case this will be a fascinating thing to compare when we have a larger dataset, the solar roof vs solar front/trailer.

If you look at the actual log data, we have a column in there for the travel direction, and that was put in partly so that we could also do comparisons tilting vs level panels as a function of heading and time of day. We'd be able to calculate the theoretical left/right sun angle at each moment of travel, and see how much better tilting roofs were able to capture this. It's another thing that would be neat to compare with your modelling predictions.
I applied a 15 day moving average to make it possible to compare with typical weather data

We had a friend who's involved in tracking migratory animals recently share us this program here
https://www.movebank.org/node/6607
which would let you extract the actual weather info for an location at any time in the past, instead of using 'typical' data. I haven't looked into it in any detail but if we could upload the GPS data for a trip and get back a set of cloud cover, wind speed and direction data for each point, that would be amazing.
I think the lesson here is to assume at least 20-40% for overall system losses due to shading and system availability when comparing against PVWatts results which are intended to model stationary PV installations
That sounds about right. There were times when it felt like we were constantly fighting with shadows from trees, mountains, and buildings along the way, but also very large swaths of road where there wasn't anything blocking the light path and we should have matched a stationary install. There were also times we lost out on solar Wh by letting the batteries get fully charge while on a meal break or border lineup, or having the trike in morning shade by mistake.
Previously competed in the Suntrip race on a back to back tandem solar powered row/cycle trike. 550 watt solar roof, dual Grin All Axle hub motors, dual Phaserunner controllers, 12 LiGo batteries, and a whole wack of gear.

Now back in Vancouver learning to be a dad with my Big Dummy Frame (yes This One, thanks ES!) with GMAC 10T rear hub motor, Phaserunner controller, and 52V 19Ah EM3EV pack
My website: http://www.ebikes.ca
Please contact via email, info@ebikes.ca, rather than PMs, which are disabled

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