E-Trike conversion & ride Video. 100% solar charged.

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
Post Reply
pullin-gs   100 W

100 W
Posts: 161
Joined: Jul 31 2009 8:26pm

E-Trike conversion & ride Video. 100% solar charged.

Post by pullin-gs » Jan 19 2020 4:17pm

I finished this project about 1500 miles ago.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mD_mHqUxeXw&t=102s
I made this video two days ago.
You can skip the E-Trike ride (7 mile ride highlights) video and go directly towards end (5-minutes 30-seconds from start) for technical details and performance specs.

$ Spent:
$550: Used TerraTrike Cruise. Chromoly Frame. 300lb rider rated.
$150: BMS Q128C 36V motor
$50: Scratch-built 11S1P 8AH LIPO battery.
(I also bought a new $500 Sanyo 29E 10S6P pack....I like $50 LIPO better!)
$20: Brainpower KSDLM25 1000W 38A Brushless Speed Controller.
$10: Generic hand-grip throttle.
$15: 25 AMP switch and various stainless fittings and aluminum.

Other:
Solar charge-station: $150 ($100 solar panel, $40 charge controller, $10 metal frame)

pullin-gs   100 W

100 W
Posts: 161
Joined: Jul 31 2009 8:26pm

Re: E-Trike conversion & ride Video. 100% solar charged.

Post by pullin-gs » Jan 24 2020 11:11am

Solar charge station notes:
Charges 10S6P 18AH pack at rate of 2.5amps in full sun.
I anchored a 100W panel to south-facing side of garage.
Grounded panel to steel pipe on gas meter using 12awg solid copper.
Drilled 1/2" hole through wall for 12awg exterior-rated copper wire.
Inside garage (other side of wall where panel is anchored) I mounted shelf for electronics.
Charge cable is 10' soft multistrand 12awg appliance cable.
I'm using a programmable (set to 41.5V) boost MPPT lithium 12V solar charge controller.
Also using "positive disconnect" Lithium Battery Charge Controller Protection Board set to 42V.

Parts list/cost:
Richsolar 100 Watt Polycrystalline 100W 12V: $75 delivered
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DN ... UTF8&psc=1
MPPT "boosting" Solar Charge Controller: $33 delivered
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omAhsQqwWSo&t=108s
Overcharge protection: $5 delivered
https://www.ebay.com/itm/123803680483

Various hardware (aluminum angle bars for mounts, wire, stainless fittings, rivets, shelf): about $40.
IMG_0572.JPG
IMG_0572.JPG (180.19 KiB) Viewed 931 times
IMG_0575.JPG
IMG_0575.JPG (132.36 KiB) Viewed 931 times
IMG_0576.JPG
IMG_0576.JPG (138.94 KiB) Viewed 931 times
IMG_0578 (1).jpg
IMG_0578 (1).jpg (49.37 KiB) Viewed 931 times
Last edited by pullin-gs on Jan 24 2020 5:59pm, edited 3 times in total.

john61ct   1 GW

1 GW
Posts: 3051
Joined: Dec 18 2018 2:06pm

Re: E-Trike conversion & ride Video. 100% solar charged.

Post by john61ct » Jan 24 2020 2:30pm


pullin-gs wrote: Overcharge protection: $5 delivered
https://www.ebay.com/itm/10A-6-60V-Lith ... 2749.l2649
bad link

please report also how well it works after a few dozen cycles


pullin-gs   100 W

100 W
Posts: 161
Joined: Jul 31 2009 8:26pm

Re: E-Trike conversion & ride Video. 100% solar charged.

Post by pullin-gs » Jan 24 2020 5:58pm

I updated links. Panel is now $75.
I've got about 20-25 cycles on the 8ah pack using the charge station.
I have to admit though I am no longer using Charge Controller Protection Board because I moved it to another project.

john61ct   1 GW

1 GW
Posts: 3051
Joined: Dec 18 2018 2:06pm

Re: E-Trike conversion & ride Video. 100% solar charged.

Post by john61ct » Jan 24 2020 6:14pm

But a reliable unit?

Search string, that vendor out of stock
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=6- ... Protection

markz   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 7961
Joined: Jan 09 2014 11:38pm
Location: Alberta Canada

Re: E-Trike conversion & ride Video. 100% solar charged.

Post by markz » Jan 25 2020 1:18am

Thats such a long wait time to charge that pack, 0.138888 C-rate
If you doubled everything up, the 5A charge rate is looking more appealing. Still too slow, I am used to 15-25A charge rates.

Great for camping!
However, I wouldnt hesitate to haul along a 500W in the trailer when going backwoods camping. 12.6"H x 8.2"W x 14.1"D @ 21lbs

pullin-gs wrote:
Jan 24 2020 11:11am
Charges 10S6P 18AH pack at rate of 2.5amps in full sun.

User avatar
dogman dan   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 35305
Joined: May 17 2008 12:53pm
Location: Las Cruces New Mexico USA

Re: E-Trike conversion & ride Video. 100% solar charged.

Post by dogman dan » Jan 25 2020 8:00am

Nice setup, I keep looking for a cheap used terra trike, but never find one.

Re the charge setup,,, one flaw in my opinion. Charging the battery inside the garage. This is a fetish with me now, I charged in the garage for years, till the bike burned it down.

User avatar
ZeroEm   100 W

100 W
Posts: 235
Joined: May 03 2019 11:53am
Location: San Antonio, TX

Re: E-Trike conversion & ride Video. 100% solar charged.

Post by ZeroEm » Jan 25 2020 8:45am

Summer I use 100% solar for my trike. only have 3x15w = 45 watt panel 20-30 watts. Have the panels in series connected to a buck charger for my 20s7p but in the summer it is enough for the way I ride. have two batteries and swap them. Winter is different need more panels. cloudy-rainy short days has taken 2 months for one charge.

Wish I could get a 500 dollar trike :mrgreen:
2019 Performer E-Trike 9w/km
2013 Nissan Leaf S 8 bars 328.306w/KM

pullin-gs   100 W

100 W
Posts: 161
Joined: Jul 31 2009 8:26pm

Re: E-Trike conversion & ride Video. 100% solar charged.

Post by pullin-gs » Jan 25 2020 11:01pm

markz wrote:
Jan 25 2020 1:18am
Thats such a long wait time to charge that pack, 0.138888 C-rate
If you doubled everything up, the 5A charge rate is looking more appealing. Still too slow, I am used to 15-25A charge rates.
I've been using an 8AH pack (is faster) for last few months. That helps with the charge rate.
Good idea about increasing things. I just checked Amazon. The 100W panel is on sale for $75! Hmmmm. I would not need to update anything else. Charge controller is rated for 300W input. :-D

markz   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 7961
Joined: Jan 09 2014 11:38pm
Location: Alberta Canada

Re: E-Trike conversion & ride Video. 100% solar charged.

Post by markz » Jan 26 2020 4:06pm

Whats the advertised efficiency rate of the $75 100W solar panels?
Be interesting to see the true eff. rate.

I would look into flexible solar panels myself, nice and compact for regular camping or e-bike camping.

User avatar
dogman dan   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 35305
Joined: May 17 2008 12:53pm
Location: Las Cruces New Mexico USA

Re: E-Trike conversion & ride Video. 100% solar charged.

Post by dogman dan » Jan 27 2020 8:20am

The flex panels are worth the money. I have 140w of them on my RV. Even when I park kind of in the shade, they greatly reduce the need to run my generator. I have a few lipo packs around, and now I just charge them off the house battery on the parked RV. Kind of cool to do it without AC power, since my lipo chargers run on 12v anyway.

But out camping, it does take the generator running to charge the bikes.

pullin-gs   100 W

100 W
Posts: 161
Joined: Jul 31 2009 8:26pm

Re: E-Trike conversion & ride Video. 100% solar charged.

Post by pullin-gs » Jan 27 2020 1:08pm

RE: Flex pannels. Use at your own risk.
*)Can not dissipate heat well. Degrade very quickly. Cuts usable life drastically compared with rigid panels.
*)Even bending a little bit can cause cell breakage. Marketing fluff and reality do not line up.
*)Just one cell broken hits overall performance and efficiency big-time on solar panels.
*)Warranties being honored is hit/miss! Be sure to use reputable dealer who back their sales, not just the word of the manufacturer. Lifetime warranties are meaningless because flexible solar manufacturers are known to play shell-games with their products by moving products from company to company....in one year vendor may not even be in business yet product is still sold under another name.
There are excellent applications for them, but my fixed-installation is NOT ONE of them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onMZ_dRSFUs&t=20s

User avatar
ZeroEm   100 W

100 W
Posts: 235
Joined: May 03 2019 11:53am
Location: San Antonio, TX

Re: E-Trike conversion & ride Video. 100% solar charged.

Post by ZeroEm » Jan 27 2020 4:20pm

My solar panels are 10 yrs old, was going to add more last summer but during the long days and tracking (moved by had several times a day) the sun make all the E-Trike gas I needed. But making a (detachable) canopy for my trike out of a flex panel dual purpose manly for the shade, why not capture some juice. when it's not on the trike park next to it and charge. That would be all the power I would need. Have read that you bend them once when in stalling and leave them at that shape for longevity.

Finally have put to bed the idea of breaking even on solar. Like the idea of making my own power and learn not to waste it.
2019 Performer E-Trike 9w/km
2013 Nissan Leaf S 8 bars 328.306w/KM

pullin-gs   100 W

100 W
Posts: 161
Joined: Jul 31 2009 8:26pm

Re: E-Trike conversion & ride Video. 100% solar charged.

Post by pullin-gs » Jan 27 2020 9:38pm

ZeroEm wrote:
Jan 27 2020 4:20pm
Finally have put to bed the idea of breaking even on solar. Like the idea of making my own power and learn not to waste it.
My payback timeframe is 18 months (based on $4/gal gas, my 10MPG car, and $200 solar tax credit).
But the satisfaction I (and I presume you as well) get engineering, implementing, and operating my creations is nourishment for the sole. :-)

User avatar
ZeroEm   100 W

100 W
Posts: 235
Joined: May 03 2019 11:53am
Location: San Antonio, TX

Re: E-Trike conversion & ride Video. 100% solar charged.

Post by ZeroEm » Jan 28 2020 6:44am

lol yes, can not put a price on the good feelings. I remember $5 gas 13 yrs ago and feeling helpless. Like the idea of solar charging my trike, this Winter have charged from the grid three times so far but use all the electric that my panels make. Just need more panels. Wish I could store it up and charge my trike from that. Don't want to charge from another battery seems like a waste of cycles. My battery 1600-1800 watts most charges are 1000 watts. Should just get more panels and shorten the charge time and mount both batteries. Keep it plugged in when not in use.
2019 Performer E-Trike 9w/km
2013 Nissan Leaf S 8 bars 328.306w/KM

Post Reply