Solar power on electric bikes - Suggestions?

I need a solar panel and a charge controller to power my ebike. My batteries are 48v 20ah and the DC motor is 450 watts brushless. What type of solar and charge controller should I install? How do I install the charge controller? Do wires come with it? How much cost should I expect?

You can email me at [email protected] or send me a message here in the forum.

-Vince

Comments

  • RoderickRoderick Solar Expert Posts: 253 ✭✭
    Re: Solar power on electric bikes - Suggestions?

    Do you know what chemistry the batteries are? Are they Lithium ion? Lithium phosphate? 960 W-h sounds on the high end of things, so I suspect they aren't just the cheaper NiMH. I wouldn't think they're lead acid, but if they are, then the folks here are experts.

    Most likely, your eBike came with a charger that plugs into the wall. Can you tell us how much power that draws? That will give an idea of how quickly the battery can take a charge. If the solar panels won't provide that level of power, then you may have to settle for a longer charging time. I know I've seen eBike battery chargers that go at a 2A rate, but those are for much smaller batteries than yours.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar power on electric bikes - Suggestions?

    i hope this is not to be mounted on the ebike as pvs are quite large in area and would not mount to a bike very easilly and would not have enough of them to power the ebike. if it is to be a case of the pvs being at your home to charge the bike up for later use, this can be done and it does depend on the battery manufacturer and type as to how much pv power could be used in charging the bike's batteries. some batteries can not take a high or quick charge and given the limited time periods of sun availability this could be problematic in using it every day without it reaching a full charge. you would at best be able to use a c10 charge rate providing the batteries are not depleted past the 50% dod, but cloudy days or off season charging would not afford the 5 hours needed to charge that batteries up in a day making a least 2 days needed to charge them under such conditions.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Solar power on electric bikes - Suggestions?

    48v 20ah batteries are lead acid.

    Here's the chargers specs:
    Input is A/C110v +-10%Hz at 200W
    Output is 58v at 3A

    My batteries when fully drained takes 8 - 9 hours to fully charge.
    Does this help?

    -Vince
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Solar power on electric bikes - Suggestions?

    Also,

    According to my calculations, I would need 800w of solar panel to be able to charge the batteries. I can't afford to put out $4k to do this. So my alternative is to put something smaller, a trickler, to charge the batteries somewhat. If I can get 50w of solar panel instead of 800w I think that would be adequate. When prices go down then I will add more panels in the future.

    -Vince
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar power on electric bikes - Suggestions?

    supplemental is fine, but can you mount this on top of your bike? this could be 4 12v pvs or 2 24v pvs. you would have to look over the pvs to see what it is you can afford and can fit atop your bike. here is the link to the store and you can look over the costs and sizes of those items. http://store.solar-electric.com/
    the controller will have to be of the ability for 48v so the cheapest won't due. some of the cheapest usable for 48v would be like a tristar or a c40 which is a bit higher in cost than the cheapest that are available for lower voltages, but still doable. i'm having difficulty in picturing even the smallest pvs being mounted on a bike.
  • RoderickRoderick Solar Expert Posts: 253 ✭✭
    Re: Solar power on electric bikes - Suggestions?

    200W of charger is reasonable, as long as you plan to keep the panels at home.

    If the supplied charger is not too expensive, maybe you could get an extra one, crack it open, and connect your solar panels in place of the high voltage DC inside. It would take a bit of tinkering, if you're into that kind of thing.
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