Initial tests…and first surprises!

This is my finished bike, the STT2.

It stands for Solar Tilting Trike with Tilting panels, so we can say that it is ’tilting 2 times’ 😉!

 

So as soon as I was able to finish my bike I wanted to start doing some tests.

In the pictures here below we can see some shots taken during those quick tours in the area where I live.

Each tour on average was around 60km of distance with 500m of altitude gain.

In one of my next posts I will publish a summary sheet with all main data like:

  • Wh consumed vs charged
  • Maximum Ah charged/consumed
  • Average power in Watts, etc.

  • testing tilting panels
  • first test ride on my preferred routes 😎
  • checking tilting position
  • stop in Herbeville
  • Herbeville quick stop
  • Herbeville quick stop
  • Herbeville quick stop

The first thing that I had to clarify was the solar charge readings on the Cycle Analyst.

Here you can see on the new Solar screen that the input Solar charge was:

– 9.66A

– 482W

Almost impossible to believe, since the new Solar panels have a nominal power of 300W.

In this video we can see how the data are grouped and displayed on the Solar Cycle Analyst (CA) using my ‘OLD‘ and ‘NEW‘ panels.

In the last part of the video we can see how I was able to change a parameter (‘Amp scale’) in the Solar CA setup in order to get correct input figures.

During one of my quick tours I had a very bad surprise: the bolt that keeps both arms connected to the tilting mechanism did get loose….

Luckily I was not going fast: I stopped immediately to check exactly what happened.

I had no other choice than going back home by foot (6km…) through the woods by pushing my bike.

The fix consists in using a thicker axle (6mm instead of 4mm) with double nuts to ensure they stay solidly in place

Another minor issue I have experienced was the position of the cables coming out from the Genasun Solar controller.

In fact by tilting the solar panels I have seen that they were slightly touching the cables.

This was happening only when the solar panels have reached the maximum tilting angle (45%).

Moreover this would happen only when the bike is parked and not while travelling.

Although the modification was really simple I had to remove and to partially disassemble the solar panels in order to change the position of the Genasun Solar controller.  

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Hello Daniele,
    Did you mesure the real power output of your solar panels with a wattmeter (or voltage + current) to see if you are close to the 300w announced. What is the name of your provider and the price you paid for both panels ?
    (because I’m looking for high efficient solar panels with a good quality/price ratio for my future solar bike..)

    Olivier BERTIN (Nissa, France)

  2. Bonjour Olivier, I measured the charge from solar panels directly from the Cycle Analyst after having correctly checked the settings. So far I have seen a maximum peak charge of 285W (against 300W nominal). My supplier is Link Solar from China, the price is 2$ per Watt.
    So far I am happy, of course I don’t know how the efficiency is going to decrease after time….

    1. I bought them from Link Solar (www.flexible-solar-panel.com), not sure about the grade of cells: but they should be ALL of same grade which is key for the performance of the solar panel!

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