The Electric Dinosaurs

Recumbents and all feet forward machines

The Electric Dinosaurs

Postby Joeblake » Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:58 pm

Well, here they are. I've finished putting together my second solar powered electrike.

Sitting together like two dinosaurs gathering enough energy for a day's hunting.

Image

They're both Greenspeeds (the green one ("Proud Mary") is an ancient (1991) GTR 20/26 and the red one ("Spidertrike") is a GTIII folder 16" all the way round.) They're both using Heinzemann 200/400 watt motors geared for a max revs of 193.rpm. The green one has a top speed (on the flat) of 24 km/h and the red one 16 km/h.

Spidertrike is so-called because it climbs hills like Spiderman climbs the side of buildings.

The red trike has my experimental lighting system sticking up from the side of the photovoltaic panel. It uses car directional indicator LED light globe and a tail light globe. The light shines onto the road ahead of me but also illuminates me, so anybody coming from the side will be able to see me.

There'll be a similar mounting on the left side to take a "helmet cam".



Joe
To acquire immunity to eloquence is of the utmost importance to the citizens of a democracy
Bertrand Russell
Many people feel their lifestyle has a high price, but they're quite cool with that .. as long as somebody ELSE pays the price.
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Location: Lesmurdie WA

by BNA » Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:54 pm

BNA
 

Re: The Electric Dinosaurs

Postby John Lewis » Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:54 pm

Interesting setup there Joe.
I couldn't help thinking that if you put the panels overhead you'd have a nice roof to keep the sun off you. :D

What wattage and voltage are the panels ?

John Lewis
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Re: The Electric Dinosaurs

Postby Joeblake » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:26 pm

John Lewis wrote:Interesting setup there Joe.
I couldn't help thinking that if you put the panels overhead you'd have a nice roof to keep the sun off you. :D

What wattage and voltage are the panels ?

John Lewis



You mean like this?

:lol: :lol:

(One of Greenspeed's builds.) I'd thought of it, but I don't need too much power, since it's mostly just for (a) getting up a particular hill (ie Welshpool Road) or (b) if I'm in a medium hurry to get some place, but don't wish to take the motorcycle. Usually I just pedal.

Image


The panels are Uni-Solar Flexibles (discontinued manufacture as far as I find). They're about 7-8 years old. Nominally they are 2.65 watts each at 12 volts (without load). Under load they drop to about 8 or so volts, so I just linked them all in series which gives a measured 70 volts (without load), then goes into a "Plasmatronics" PR2410L 24Volt 10Amp regulator to prevent over charging. I've got 2x12 volt 12 batteries (lead acid).

This link gives a fairly detailed description of how I built the first one, and the red one is just a duplicate.

http://www.wired.com/autopia/2008/09/solar-trikey-ma/

The main difference(s) (a) Spidertrike has 6 PV panels and Proud Mary has 8 (b) the guys at Greenspeed fitted a platform to carry the batteries under the seat on the left on Spidertrike whereas PM has the batteries in the blue/black plastic box on the carry rack.

Image

The white cable is the feed from the regulator and the fine red and black wires are for the lights.

In answer to a separate inquiry, the light pillar is simply made of PVC pipe with a T junction on top, and a 90 degree elbow at the other end. Probably about $3.00 in materials there.

The automotive globes

Image

I bought at Dick Smith Electronics, under $10 each, and the globe holders (pre-wired) I bought at a local automotive shop, I forget the cost probably under $10 the pair. The globe holder is just a press fit into the PVC T junction (I had to cut a slot to make allowance for the wire protector.) I fixed the wires permanently to one of the batteries terminals. Since there's so little power being drawn, I used the lightest wire I could find. By doing this I negated any need for a fuse, because the wire itself will probably fuse before a "real" fuse does.

Some piccies:

Image

The pool of the rear light.

Image

The PVC stalk
Image

What it looks like in the dark from the side.

Image


Hope that helps.

Ciao,

Joe
To acquire immunity to eloquence is of the utmost importance to the citizens of a democracy
Bertrand Russell
Many people feel their lifestyle has a high price, but they're quite cool with that .. as long as somebody ELSE pays the price.
Joeblake
 
Posts: 12866
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:04 pm
Location: Lesmurdie WA

Re: The Electric Dinosaurs

Postby just4tehhalibut » Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:05 am

The spoking of your rear wheel on Spidertrike is impressively difficult, what with that electric motor hub and 16" rims. Did Greenspeed do anything special in building this wheel up such as drilling the rim and extra gauge spokes?
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Re: The Electric Dinosaurs

Postby Joeblake » Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:59 am

I've not spoken to Greenspeed about it, but they do a few of these set ups apparently so they'd probably have the proper jigs etc.

Image

This shows a closeup of the wheel. The spokes in the rear wheel appear to be the same gauge as those at the front, but because they're so short, you can see that they bend at the spokenipple quite a bit.

Joe
To acquire immunity to eloquence is of the utmost importance to the citizens of a democracy
Bertrand Russell
Many people feel their lifestyle has a high price, but they're quite cool with that .. as long as somebody ELSE pays the price.
Joeblake
 
Posts: 12866
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:04 pm
Location: Lesmurdie WA

Re: The Electric Dinosaurs

Postby }SkOrPn--7 » Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:02 am

Great work Joe I'm impressed with your work so how far can you get if you just used electric power alone before you notice a slowing effect or does the solar panels keep up the charge?
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Re: The Electric Dinosaurs

Postby Joeblake » Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:24 am

The solar panels only put out about 15 watts or so, and are only used to keep the batteries topped up while I pedal. My main aim was to have a system which would enable me to arrive at the bottom of Welshpool Road with a full charge.

It's very difficult to determine how "far" I can travel on just power alone, since obviously that will depend on whether I'm on the flat, wind etc, but I will say that I can ascend Welshpool Road (with pedal assist) in about 20-25 minutes and still have enough power left at the top to hit top speed (16 kph) on the flat. (I suspect, but have not yet tested this, that I could get up even faster by riding the motor continuously.) After such an escapade, the solar panels are insufficient on their own to recharge the batteries fully (at least within 48 hours) so I use a standard 12 volt battery charger, just in the interests of saving time, then leave Spikey in the sun to maintain the charge. (The house has its own rooftop panels so this still counts as running the trike purely on sunshine :mrgreen: )

"Proud Mary" has two more panels than Spikey and this is sufficient to have not needed to use the battery charger at any stage.

The capacity of the batteries obviously will determine how far I can travel, but presently I'm sticking with lead acid (cheaper but heavier) until something really exciting happens with the technology (not too far away now.)

Joe
To acquire immunity to eloquence is of the utmost importance to the citizens of a democracy
Bertrand Russell
Many people feel their lifestyle has a high price, but they're quite cool with that .. as long as somebody ELSE pays the price.
Joeblake
 
Posts: 12866
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:04 pm
Location: Lesmurdie WA

Re: The Electric Dinosaurs

Postby John Lewis » Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:06 pm

Hi Joe,

Been very interesting reading what you have to say there. Certainly quite a setup.

Some time when I look like getting up to the city I will PM you and see if I can visit and see the setup in the flesh so to speak.

John Lewis
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Re: The Electric Dinosaurs

Postby Joeblake » Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:28 pm

No worries John.

I work at home so pretty much any time during the week will be suitable.

Joe
To acquire immunity to eloquence is of the utmost importance to the citizens of a democracy
Bertrand Russell
Many people feel their lifestyle has a high price, but they're quite cool with that .. as long as somebody ELSE pays the price.
Joeblake
 
Posts: 12866
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:04 pm
Location: Lesmurdie WA

Re: The Electric Dinosaurs

Postby }SkOrPn--7 » Sat Mar 06, 2010 9:18 pm

Thanks Joe for the explanation what you have said covers most of my inquiring mind and thanks for showing us as I have read some articles on a KMX Cobra that has been electrified but with a very high performance motor/batteries. It's was costly to say the least but it really had some get up and go and for many kilometer but I was interested in your build as your more my style of give it a go and tinker.
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