Sunday, August 22, 2010

UK solar charged recumbent bike blog -

AZ Krew Guru, Southend, Essex, U.K.

Here is a picture of the bike as it stands more or less at the moment. My wife uses it every day for work. The project has worked out well so far. It rides well and makes my wife's journey to work easier. I have some holiday coming up in a few weeks and plan to install two small panels on a pannier rack I have added since the picture was taken. They will be 12V wired in series to supply 24V to trickle charge the cells during the day, to boost available power for the homeward journey.

In the garden I plan to have some larger panels facing south, to plug the bike into in the evening, and to hopefully fully charge over the weekend. The batteries just about last the week on my wife's normal journey, but they are running low on steam by the end of the week for sure, and they take about 3 hours to charge with a 1.5A automatic charger.

I think this way I hope that I would rarely need to use mains power for charging if left to charge on the solar panels over the entire weekend. Ideal! I have also installed an LED voltmeter where the steering stem meets the frame, and a key to isolate the batteries. I will let you know how the solar charging performs. It should be operational in October if all goes well.

All the best. Tim

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