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Old 24th July 2010, 16:30   #1
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Default Solar Bike

This is one of the mails I have received from my friend. One of his friends is doing a project on solar bike and almost completed.This prevents the pollution as well as save the fuel.
I don't want to speak more but let the pictures speak. But I request all the BHPians to use the public transport and save the fuel.
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Old 24th July 2010, 18:49   #2
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I appreciate his noble intention and the clever idea to use the bikes existing power train to channel power from the electric motor but the solar panel is a dead weight for this application.

Looking at this size of the panel , even if it were mounted optimally the maximum energy it would generate on a good day is about 0.5 kWh or Rs 2 worth of electricity the whole day

Consider this a 7 bhp engine running at max will generate more then 5 kWh energy every hour
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Old 24th July 2010, 19:38   #3
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Oops, made decimal point mistake. The max energy produced by what looks like a 10 W polycrystalline panel should be .05 kWh or 20 paise worth of electricity.

Missed the edit window , hence the back to back post
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Old 25th July 2010, 06:33   #4
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It is a very good initiative, but as green machine said the weight of the solar panel and the battery will impact the bike's performance. How much time does it take to fully charge the battery. I dont think the solar panel alone can charge this battery in little time. There should be a secondary charging method.
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Old 25th July 2010, 09:28   #5
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Hello, guyes
You can expect two kinds of responces.
1) totally impractical, odd ,silly ,does he know what he is doing etc.& etc.

Another type will say

2) Wow what you have done man , Its Great & never seen before, get a patent etc. & etc.

Well I DO NOT feel either way

I do not see this as crap. This is a bold effort. Your friend is doing what he feels right & belives in hmself . He is not having a decent workshop . He dosent have a budget to support. But whatever he is doing is great, he has the courage to stand up & do what he feels to do . I like this part.

He has the passion & I salute to that .

I am not going to evaluate your product . I will say you are learning & there is a long long way to go. Remember this is just the begining.Dont be satisfied with this . You are going to need a lot of homework from now on .You will need to learn .
The challange you have taken is not simple but I am Sure you are going to succeed in that .

Again most Important dont be sad upon Negative comments, get your act perfect . Answer those comments with your performance.

Look there are critics for even Sachin Tendulkar , now what he does is he answers with his bat ( In a positive way )

Best of luck
Yours Sudarshan

Last edited by Sudarshan : 25th July 2010 at 09:30.
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Old 25th July 2010, 12:03   #6
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the best way I can think of is to install large number of solar panels at home, and use them to charge the battery. nice effort though, a perfect example of a healthy "jugaad"
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Old 25th July 2010, 12:12   #7
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Very good project. He should continue to explore more on this and see if he can come out with some good and more practical ideas to implement.

Imagine, even GM don't want to reinvent the wheel and tried to get technology from Reva.

So, let him continue and some statistics if you share would be good.

Remember, at the end its more to do with "kithne dethi hai"
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Old 25th July 2010, 13:01   #8
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A sun loving bike , nice! I am impressed by the outcome! Love it! @}-

The solar panel(s) can be added over the fuel tank area too, even every panels/surfaces for that matter! He can reduce the overall weight by other methods, like take out the metal fenders replacing with fibre/plastics.. etc.
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Old 25th July 2010, 13:20   #9
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Very good built i must say. And i agree completely with sudarshanji and his view point. If i may suggest, your friend must make this bike a single rider bike and try to reduce further weight by removing certain things like saree guard, rear carriage, make it a single seat, remove headlamps (since it is covered with panels already) etc. keep only the essentials which is needed for a single rider application. This might give you improved performance and longer battery life.
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Old 25th July 2010, 14:32   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abbas View Post
Very good built i must say. And i agree completely with sudarshanji and his view point. If i may suggest, your friend must make this bike a single rider bike and try to reduce further weight by removing certain things like saree guard, rear carriage, make it a single seat, remove headlamps (since it is covered with panels already) etc. keep only the essentials which is needed for a single rider application. This might give you improved performance and longer battery life.
I will definitely inform your suggestions to himt so that he can improve his project further.Thank u for the suggestion.

Last edited by F50 : 25th July 2010 at 20:30.
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Old 26th July 2010, 18:34   #11
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I did not mean to discourage the project. I am sure almost every one would have thought of having a having a solar powered vehicle. Most of them do not proceed with it further , but your friend had the willingness to proceed with it further. That in it self is a great think. I had congratulated your friend for this initiative and the clever idea of using the bikes existing transmission for the electric drive.

But there are some engineering and physical limitations that prove as a hurdle to most utopia moments. There is a site that lists a lot of such ideas (half bakery.com), some of the ides listed there may make it with if there are break through discoveries or suitable circumstances.

The basis of challenges in having a practical solar bike .

The bikes original engine has a max power rating of 7 bhp or around 5.25 kW. The max power which occurs at the crust of the power curve at around 8-9000 rpm is required for running the bike flat out (~ 80kmph) or during acceleration. For this case lets say the bike is to be powered by a 1 kW motor like some of the powerful e bikes not a 5kW motor like that of the original engine. Electric motors have a great advantage over IC engines , they can deliver max torque at almost at standstill. Thats why most e scooters have good pick up but lousy top speed as they don't have the power required to achieve this.

Coming to running a conventional bike using conventional panels

In order to power a 1 kW motor , we need 1kW panel . Even this will not suffice as during most part of the day, the solar isolation is less then 1000 W/ m2 on which the panel is rated. Even on very sunny days the total the total energy over a sq meter area is not going to exceed 6 kWh.

So a 1 kW panel array will occupy an area of around 100 sq feet, weigh 100 kg and will cost around 2 lakhs. This for the panel alone. There are other things like charge controller, battery pack etc, will add substantially to the cost and weight. A solar panel works best if its parallel to the suns rays and absolutely no shading. Even if one cell in one of the panels in the array is shaded , the output is reduced substantially.

This scenario is a near impossibility on the road with all the shading and the constant change in directions.

Even if we assume the panels to perform well, the energy produced throughout the day 4 kWh will have to pull weight of more than 300 kgs which is a lot.

Thats why some solar powered cars are powered by high efficiency cells like those used in space stations and will cost around 500 - 1000 Rs per sq inch. Also they are very light and super aerodynamic but still are underpowered ( 2 hp).

So until there are some great breakthroughs in cell efficiency, cost and performance requirement, e bikes are better charged at homes then on the fly.

P.s - You might not require a 1kw panel to make slow progress or give the batteries a boost, but the trade offs of added weight and cost do come into play.I have made quick calculations ,so it would better my and our understanding if you could point out the errors .
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