Tim and his son have set off on a wonderful outback adventure with a couple of kitted up ebikes. We helped set up a simple solar system to aid charging when no mains power was available. The solar system used was a 48V 100W panel wired up to a 48V regulator and this connected directly into the ebike’s battery. The system can draw energy from the sun while you ride and also power up the batteries whilst you dip with the crocodiles in the billabongs en route. The kits were put on hard tail mountain bikes and used the 48V 17.5Ah Tiger Shark batteries and Bafang mid-drive motor conversion kits. With careful power use you can stretch the riding range to about 80km a day and the modest solar system will recharge the battery fully given about 10 hours of good sun a day – and there’s a lot of that where they are!
This is a nice simple system showing off both how little energy you really need for your commuting requirements and also how you can deck out an ebike for long touring commutes. This system was devised numerous years back and for maximum efficiency it’s good to have a 48V battery matched with a 48V panel and a 48V controller (pictured below). The controller on this system was an $80 item purchased from ebay but it works a treat. These days, it’s possible to find $50 ebay solar controllers that are able to take any input voltage and put out any output voltage that you want to charge your battery. This allows you a wider range of panels with different sizes and power levels and also allows you to charge a wider range of batteries.
Wishing you two the best for the rest of the trip!