It has been a busy period and things have progressed but more slowly than expected. This was also due to some components that arrived late or/and with partial shipments….
In essence I have been working on these 3 sub-projects:
1) – design and build all the ‘rotating’ components to allow the solar panels to tilt around the main axle
2) – add 3 support structures on the bike frame for the solar panels: one in the front, one in the center and one in the back.
3) – build the frame to keep both solar panels (150W each, size 1070x800mm) together
Here is the rotating element that is going to enable the rotation of the solar panels around the center axle.
Once again it was my friend Pierre who did help to obtain the cylindrical part using teflon as the basis: it is very strong and more important it can rotate with minimal friction.
I started to work on the central support on the bike frame.
The main challenges were:
- to try to position it as forward as possible
- with a ’round’ shape to allow the rotation of the solar panels
- to avoid interference with the cyclists’s helmet
Once positioned the central support it was easier to start to build the rear support and finally the front one. This is because the height of the central support was already determined and the others should have been positioned with same height from the ground: 117cm.
Concerning solar panels there are 2 main changes:
- after all the experiences in the last couple of years and having seen all other SunTrip solar bikes I decided to use in 2019 more powerful solar panels for a total of 300W.
- After several experiments I have also decided to start using a “tilting approach” also for the solar panels: in fact in my previous tests (check this video on the right) I could prove that with this solution in certain conditions the marginal gain could be of 70% and more!
For those reasons I have used a new supplier (“Link Solar”) who was able to develop 2 solar panels with exactly the dimensions I needed: 6×8 cells, 150W and a size of 1070x800mm
This is the final result: the new Solar Tilting Trike with…Tilting panels!
Better pictures to come in my next post…hopefully with some sunshine!