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Use of Photovoltaic on an E-bike?: A Feasibility Study
Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Energy and Environmental Technology.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 12 credits / 18 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In recent years the number of bicycles with e-motors has been increased steadily. Within the pedelec – bikes where an e-motor supports the pedaling – a special group of transportation bikes has developed. These bikes have storage boxes in addition to the basic parts of a bike. Due to the space available on top of those boxes it is possible to install a PV system to generate electricity which could be used to recharge the battery of the pedelec. Such a system would lead to grid independent charging of the battery and to the possibility of an increased range of motor support. The feasibility of such a PV system is investigated for a three wheeled pedelec delivered by the company BABBOE NORDIC.The measured data of the electricity generation of this mobile system is compared to the possible electricity generation of a stationary system.To measure the consumption of the pedelec different tracks are covered, and the energy which is necessary to recharge the bike battery is measured using an energy logger. This recharge energy is used as an indirect measure of the electricity consumption. A PV prototype system is installed on the bike. It is a simple PV stand alone system consisting of PV panel, charge controller with MPP tracker and a solar battery. This system has the task to generate as much electricity as possible. The produced PV current and voltage aremeasured and documented using a data logger. Afterwards the average PV power is calculated. To compare the produced electricity of the on-bike system to that of a stationary system, the irradiance on the latter is measured simultaneously. Due to partial shadings on the on-bike PV panel, which are caused by the driver and some other bike parts, the average power output during riding the bike is very low. It is too low to support the motor directly. In case of a similar installation as the PV prototype system and the intention always to park the bike on a sunny spot an on-bike system could generate electricity to at least partly recharge a bike battery during one day. The stationary PV system using the same PV panel could have produced between 1.25 and 8.1 times as much as the on-bike PV system. Even though the investigation is done for a very specific case it can be concluded that anon-bike PV system, using similar components as in the investigation, is not feasible to recharge the battery of a pedelec in an appropriate manner. The biggest barrier is that partial shadings on the PV panel, which can be hardly avoided during operation and parking, result in a significant reduction of generated electricity. Also the installation of the on-bike PV system would lead to increased weight of the whole bike and the need for space which is reducing the storage capacity. To use solar energy for recharging a bike battery an indirect way is giving better results. In this case a stationary PV stand alone system is used which is located in a sunny spot without shadings and adjusted to use the maximum available solar energy. The battery of the bike is charged using the corresponding charger and an inverter which provides AC power using the captured solar energy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 33 p.
Keyword [en]
Pedelec, E-bike, Photovoltaic, Stand-alone system, stationary system, mobile system
National Category
Environmental Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-12750OAI: diva2:639627
Available from: 2013-08-19 Created: 2013-08-08 Last updated: 2013-08-19Bibliographically approved

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