The comfiest chair I've ever seen!!

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The comfiest chair I've ever seen!!

Postby moosterbounce » Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:10 am

Didn't think I'd ever post a question in here :wink: but I saw a weird yesterday and was hoping someone could enlighten me.

I realise these things are meant to be comfy, but this baby had an electric motor!! Probably had a remote control too!! Is this normal, or some hom mod?
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by BNA » Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:42 am

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Postby Kalgrm » Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:42 am

If it's who I think it is, it's a home mod. There's a guy on the WAHPV mailing list who has done it to his trike. He lives up in the hills, so it makes his ride home each day just that bit easier.

One day, when none of us can afford to drive 4WDs, you'll see many more of those things around. I want to make one for my wife now. They'd be great for commuting 20 - 40 km a day if you're not the fittest person on the planet. :)

Cheers,
Graeme
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My electric trike!

Postby Freddyflatfoot » Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:35 am

Yep, they are! :lol:
I commute on mine nearly every day, when I'm not riding one of other 'bents!
Just a couple of facts and figures,
Bafang rear hub motor ~ 500 watts, 36v/10 AHR LiFePo4 battery,
max speed ~42 kph, range estimated (AT) 40 k's.
Usual commute is ~14 k's return,
here's a pic;
Image
Cheers!
Rob
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Postby mikeg » Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:29 pm

I would be interested in an electric assist version of this prototype Greenspeed ute, in particular with regenerative braking.

Image

Freddy, do you get problems or unwanted interest in the ~500W motor from authorities with the motor being more than 200W?

I guess you probably get away with a hidden switch to limit the power to 200W when testing is done.
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Postby Uba Tracker » Fri Oct 17, 2008 4:02 pm

Hi Rob cool setup mate :D , I can't quite tell from the pic does the elec assist drive via the rear wheel, if it does then you wouldn't be able to employ regenerative or dynamic braking because of the free hub would you?

cheers

Harry
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Postby froodh » Fri Oct 17, 2008 6:40 pm

mikeg wrote:Freddy, do you get problems or unwanted interest in the ~500W motor from authorities with the motor being more than 200W?


Heheheh. Freddy <IS> one of the authorities
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Postby Freddyflatfoot » Fri Oct 17, 2008 6:54 pm

Yep, Froodh is right! ;)
Anyway, the label that is on the motor is 200w, and that is all that is required by law. Anyway, most people can't even tell that there is a motor there! The motor is the rear hub, and it freewheels, so that you can pedal without pushing against the motor. That is of a higher priority than regen.
Not interested in regen anyway, as its a waste of time on a lightweight vehicle. You really need all the momentum you can maintain on a bike!
Being a hybrid drive vehicle, a freewheeling motor allows you to choose when you use the power, or pedal, especially when coasting downhill, or travelling at low speed.
There are other reasons as to why regen is probably a waste of time and effort, that I wont go into here.
Cheers!
Rob
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Postby mikeg » Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:15 pm

Freddyflatfoot wrote:There are other reasons as to why regen is probably a waste of time and effort, that I wont go into here.


Rob,

I would be interested in the reasoning you give. My thinking was for longer riding such as touring, regen would be used for speed management and braking on downhills, and recharging the batteries in the process.

You may PM me to keep it off the list if you so desire.
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Postby Joeblake » Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:09 pm

Does the trike have photovoltaic panels on the back?

Probably me. I live in Lesmurdie up in the Hills behind Perth.


Joe


http://blog.wired.com/cars/2008/09/solar-trikey-ma.html#more

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Postby Kalgrm » Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:30 pm

G'day Joe,

There's a few "interesting comments" on the blog, eh? Well done on the trike - I just might join you for a Sunday ride one day. Or maybe you'll join us ... :D

Cheers,
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Postby Joeblake » Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:48 pm

Now that the sunny weather is upon us, I'll do my best to get out and about. I've got occasional mobility problems so I have to choose my time to ride. I'm looking to buy just a couple more of the small PV panels to fit on the back, so I can see that the batteries are fully charged by the flicking of the voltmeter needle as the regulator cuts in and out.

Yes, the comments on the blog were very interesting, particularly the number of "genuine" people who displayed an understanding or even better still, curiosity. The others? Well, I can do without them, and I usually do.

:wink:

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Postby moosterbounce » Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:11 pm

It wasn't a trike. Lower to the ground than yours Graeme, and it was blue. Seen freeway north bike path on Wednesday arvo.
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Postby Kalgrm » Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:28 pm

Well I haven't seen that one around. I wonder who it is?

Cheers,
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Postby Freddyflatfoot » Sat Oct 18, 2008 10:25 am

Joe, like the trike and panel setup!
Actually, the panels make more sense than someone suggesting regen! Probably not a lot of difference in energy capture either!
What brand trike is it? I thought it was Greenspeed, til I saw the 26" rear wheel!
Anyway, good effort!
As for batteries, have you considered upgrading to LiFePo4? Will give a lot less weight, greater range, and a flatter discharge curve, and longer lifespan.
I like the trailer, a great idea! I'm only using panniers ATM, but considering a trailer to put behind my (non-assisted) trike for some touring.
Cheers!
And again, great effort!
Cheers!
Rob
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Postby Freddyflatfoot » Sat Oct 18, 2008 10:38 am

mikeg wrote:
Freddyflatfoot wrote:There are other reasons as to why regen is probably a waste of time and effort, that I wont go into here.


Rob,

I would be interested in the reasoning you give. My thinking was for longer riding such as touring, regen would be used for speed management and braking on downhills, and recharging the batteries in the process.

You may PM me to keep it off the list if you so desire.


Mike,
Regen needs extra electronic management to capture regen. It also needs some way to handle the high amps that regen produces. That means some way to bleed off the excess power, or maybe super caps. Either way, it adds to the complexity of the system.
I agree that motor braking would be an advantage on long descents, but I don't have any of those on my route to work, and as I already stated, I usually use any hill to maximise my speed!
OTOH, my battery pack is capable of a 40k range, and my commute is only 14 k's, so again, no advantage in regen.
If I was trying for extra range, say for touring, I would probably invest in another battery.
I have read some research on other guys playing with regen on their bikes, and they are reporting very minimal energy recapture, maybe in the order of 4-5%.
That's why I say that regen is not worth the effort on an electric bike, or other lightweight vehicle.
I'm considering building an EV, and I might consider regen then, but mainly for the engine braking, rather than energy recapture.
Hope this helps,
Cheers!
Rob
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Postby Joeblake » Sat Oct 18, 2008 10:54 am

Freddyflatfoot wrote:(1)The panels make more sense than someone suggesting regen! Probably not a lot of difference in energy capture either!
(2) What brand trike is it? I thought it was Greenspeed, til I saw the 26" rear wheel!

(3) As for batteries, have you considered upgrading to LiFePo4? Will give a lot less weight, greater range, and a flatter discharge curve, and longer lifespan.

(4) I like the trailer, a great idea! I'm only using panniers ATM, but considering a trailer to put behind my (non-assisted) trike for some touring.


(1) I'd considered using regen, but if you have a look in the comments that follow the article, I go into some of the reasons why I decided against it. Basically, it's recapturing energy I'd already expended. And as has already been pointed out, on any human powered vehicle the less drag the better.

(2) You're right, it is a Greenspeed (GTR 20/26). I bought it in 1990, and I have to say I'm not a fan of 20" wheels all the way round. I find the 20"/26" combo very comfortable and I believe much more visible on the road. Plus as I mentioned in a previous posting, I occasionally have mobility difficulties so having the higher seat back gives me assistance to get on and off.

(3) I've found the lead acid batteries aren't the greatest, BUT they do the job so I'll wait until the more efficient ones drop in price considerably. Plus with the on-board solar panels the other reasons you mention (range, flatter discharge curve etc) become less important, so there's only weight and cost.

(4) I've had the BoB mono-track trailer for a couple of years now and swear by it. I've got a Dahon 3-speed fold-up with the BoB axle Nutz as well, so it'll go behind two pedallies. It's rated to carry 30 kg, and the outfit will (barely) handle that weight. The mono track design is great, and even on the fold-up it follows me round obstacles like a faithful little Puppy Dog, which is my nickname for it.

In about 1995 I also bought a Greenspeed SWB USS two-wheeler, which goes like jet stink, even at my advanced age, and very flickable. I have it mounted on an indoor trainer to which I've affixed a Windspeed bicycle 12 volt generator, so in effect I can do tomorrow's ride today, by charging a second set of batteries (actually pretty well knackered from years of use) to put in the trike if the weather is unsunny. Or I can use the bike to generate power so I can watch TV while I'm exercising (usually while I'm watching a video of the Tour de France).


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Re: The comfiest chair I've ever seen!!

Postby pine » Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:57 pm

You are an unusual person Joe, Just looked at your blog, fascinating. I have been a pessimist, judgmental, shoot first ask questions later kind of person that I am beginning to open my eyes to other peoples way of life and dealings with situations. I guess it all come down to nurture or environmental or whatever the saying is. For me it must be cultural. (Excuse bad spelling and grammar; I wagged school a lot when I was a migrant). Nice blog, enjoy. :D
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Re: The comfiest chair I've ever seen!!

Postby Joeblake » Fri Jul 17, 2009 3:25 pm

Glad you found the blog interesting.

In the last few weeks, I've had solar arrays fitted to the roof of my house, so I can now keep the batteries fully charged without having to wait 24 hours for them to recharge with just the "on-board" panels. So I may be using the trike even more.

Ciao,

Joe
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Re: The comfiest chair I've ever seen!!

Postby geebee » Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:37 pm

Unless you have extremely long steep hills preferably on the way back home a free wheeling system is better.
I have both types in 2 wheelers the regen works well here with some provisos, I live on a hill so you waste the first downhills due to already being charged, but it does mean I can get quite a few k's away from my house with a fully charged pack BUT you are turning the regen system every time you pedal and on smaller down hills the braking is significant.
And unless you have very steep terrain (I do) it will be significantly less efficient than a full frewheeling system as in most cases the freewheel will be significantly more efficient and faster.
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