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Solar panel powered ebike - charge the battery or connect the power to the motor?

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    Solar panel powered ebike - charge the battery or connect the power to the motor?

    Hello,

    Was thinking about making a solar trailer for an ebike, would use a couple of cells and a boost converter. The question is do you plug the boosted solar power to the charge port of the battery or do you plug it in directly to the motor power alongside the battery? As I understand constant charging and re-charging of the battery will deplete it quite fast?

    Or is it just better to find a small gas generator?
    Last edited by brone; 06-13-2018, 04:27 AM.

    #2
    Charge the battery.

    While you might be able to get away with directly powering the motor if using one of those low power euro ebikes, that is assuming peak power production. Unless you are rocking something obscure like amorphous silicon it's not going to produce much in even partial shade, which is problematic

    Comment


      #3
      I think I'd probably use multiple batteries. Run the e-bike, when the battery goes flat, swap it--put the flat one into your solar-charger-trailer, and keep on rolling. As you ride, the angles will shift between your solar panels and the sun, and clouds, trees, bridges--other things will make shadows too. Because of that, I am pretty sure there's no way your solar cells will keep you rolling, unless you got something akin to a train-worth of solar-trailers behind you.

      Rather than having to constantly switch back and forth somehow between power sources--it seems just keeping your e-bike an e-bike, and then making your custom solar battery-charger-trailer set-up--is the simplest way to achieve what you want. Just charging your backup battery (or batteries) underway--rather than trying to propel yourself directly with the energy from your panels--is your best bet.

      Another thing to consider is this: For the days when you're not planning on an intercontinental voyage, you may not need to bring all your solar charging gear along with you--just however many batteries you need for the day. You could set up your solar-panel-set in your home or apartment, and just charge your batteries there. You're still 100% solar--if you think about it... Plus, you're not dragging all the extra weight around all the time. Just saying.

      I think it sounds like a neat idea though, and I hope however you decide to tackle it, that you keep us posted!

      Best of luck with your project!

      Take care,

      Tklop
      Last edited by tklop; 06-13-2018, 05:18 AM. Reason: for further clarity

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks for the replies, for the moment it really does seem like building a new battery pack would be the best choice and charging at home with solar/mains

        Comment


          #5
          Right on.

          I've already tossed around the idea of getting some kind of a portable solar-panel set-up too--so I can recharge my battery. Until I saw your post, I hadn't put much thought into charging while underway, rather more along the lines of something I could set up for my apartment, but which I could also take along when I'm camping, or if I'm going someplace "off the grid".

          Anyways, as the prices for solar-sets keep falling, and their capacities keep increasing--these ideas are emerging from "fantasy dreamland" into achievable realities. I think that's pretty cool.

          Take care,

          Tklop
          Last edited by tklop; 06-13-2018, 05:50 AM. Reason: for clarity

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by tklop View Post
            Right on.

            I've already tossed around the idea of getting some kind of a portable solar-panel set-up too--so I can recharge my battery. Until I saw your post, I hadn't put much thought into charging while underway, but more for something I could set up for my apartment, but which I could also take along when I'm camping, or if I'm going someplace "off the grid".

            Anyways, as the prices for solar-sets keep falling, and their capacities keep increasing--these ideas are emerging from "fantasy dreamland" into achievable realities. I think that's pretty cool.

            Take care,

            Tklop
            I saw solar cells sol on Ali which you can soldier them yourself to a desired shape - but the power generation is way too small for given space. I'll wait till the solar efficiency goes from ~20% to about 50% because there is no real on a bicycle to put them.

            Comment


              #7
              Shoot--I remember when the solar calculators' solar generation panel was three times as big as the display--and the things barely worked indoors--even under a really good desk lamp!

              Yeah--that says I'm old--okay. But my point was more that the tech has come a heck of a long way. Clearly though, in terms of efficiency and power, there's still a lot of room yet to grow.

              For now, I'll keep buying my power from companies that only generate with solar or wind. Yeah--the electrons are all the same--all the power goes through the same grid--but I can sure choose which company gets my money!

              One day, I'll be looking to generate my own--and then the power company will be buying the extra I generate--from me!

              Take care,

              Tklop

              Comment


                #8
                Both methods have advantages and disadvantages, but I think charging the battery will be better.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Charging the battery will be a better option. A small solar generator can be a good option. I found Jackery's solar generators best in performance.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Connect it to the charge port of the battery.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      You should plug the solar power into the battery to charge it. Batteries are designed to sustain energy power over long periods. Constant charging can damage your battery, but only if you let it discharge completely. It is suggested to recharge the battery once it reaches 45% to avoid shortening the life of your battery. If the battery is completely drained it can take between five and eight hours to recharge. Various batteries work differently with solar panels, so pay attention to the voltage and capacity of your battery.
                      Last edited by paxtana; 09-12-2023, 08:43 AM.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        The future has caught up to the idea of solar charging your ebike. This was a plot theme from an old Sci Fi novel, WOLF AND IRON, by Gordon Dickson. Written in the 1980s, it predicted this development.

                        MOKWHEEL now markets a solar charge system to go with their BASALT model. And Amazon now lists portable solar panel chargers optimized for Ebike batteries, up to 72V.

                        In my experiments with solar power in RVs, I found some inexpensive charge controllers that automatically sense the battery voltage, and default to the correct voltage, 12/24/36/48v. I plan to follow through on this concept with a bike trailer carrying a spare battery and fold out solar panels.
                        Switching between batteries seems like the simplest solution, but there may be on the fly charging options available.

                        Comment


                          #13


                          One option is to use a solar panel to charge the ebike battery. To do this, you'll need to purchase a compatible charger that will plug into the battery and then connect the solar panel. This will allow you to top up your battery throughout the day as needed.

                          Another option is to directly connect the power from your solar panel into the motor of your ebike. This method is not as efficient, but may be more cost effective if you already have the solar panel setup. To do this, you'll need to purchase an appropriate wiring harness and connect it between the motor and the solar panel. Once complete, you should ensure that all connections are secure and tight before powering up your ebike.

                          You may also want to consider connecting your ebike battery to an external power source. This can be done with a user-made cable or pre-made adapter. When using this method, it's important to remember that the voltage of the power supply must match your ebike battery in order for it to charge correctly. If you're not sure what kind of voltage your battery needs, it's best to consult a professional before connecting an external power source. Once the connection is made, your ebike should begin charging.

                          Remember to always take proper safety precautions when working with electrical components and charge your batteries in an open, ventilated area. If you're ever unsure about any steps or need help troubleshooting, don't hesitate to reach out to an electric bike expert for advice. With the right tools and some basic knowledge, you'll be able to keep your ebike battery charged and ready for any adventure. Happy riding!
                          Last edited by paxtana; 12-04-2023, 01:08 PM.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by brone View Post

                            I saw solar cells sol on Ali which you can soldier them yourself to a desired shape - but the power generation is way too small for given space. I'll wait till the solar efficiency goes from ~20% to about 50% because there is no real on a bicycle to put them.

                            Solar has a fault, it works poorly in overcast conditions It fails in the night it's limited for output directly to a motor charging a battery bank works but has issues. Wind has less but won't work with no wind if not moving , moving it works but with minimal output, you go faster it works better multiple batteries can take you farther but then require twice as long to recharge in the end life is a fragile balance and is yours to find what works for you.
                            Last edited by OldJoe73; 12-03-2023, 12:21 AM.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Electric bicycles powered by solar panels usually convert light energy into electricity through solar panels, which are then stored in batteries. This process usually involves the following steps:

                              Solar panels capture solar energy: Solar panels mounted on e-bikes generate electricity by absorbing photons from sunlight.

                              Energy storage: Through the charge controller, the electricity generated by the solar panel is transmitted to the battery for storage. These batteries are usually lithium-ion or other rechargeable batteries.

                              Electric bicycle power supply: The electrical energy stored in the battery can be provided to the electric bicycle through the motor, driving the movement of the bicycle.

                              The advantage of such a system is that it can use solar energy to charge the battery, thus reducing the dependence on the traditional grid and reducing the consumption of electricity resources. However, it is important to note that the efficiency of solar panels is affected by weather and light conditions, so on cloudy days or at night, electric bikes may need to be powered from stored electrical energy.‚Äč

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