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Solar Powered Bicycles: Staying Eco-Friendly!

The two great things about solar powered bicycles are that they are not expensive at all and they are extremely Eco-friendly! Unlike any other bike, these are powered by the sun and store the energy in engines that were built into the bike. Most of these bikes can go 7 to 10 miles per hour and not only cut down on pollution but can be used as an easy and cheap form of transportation for all of your outdoor travels!

DIY Solar bike

Building a solar powered bike is a great way to cut down on gasoline and pollutants in our environment. All you need to start is a bike, batteries, an inverter and some panels! Very convenient!

The panels for solar energy need to be big but lightweight. The bigger the panels, the more energy can be caught and used. Batteries need to be charged with either a 12-volt charger or a 240-volt charger. The panels can be connected to the inverter and the power needs to be on DC, then to AC, and back to DC. The battery and inverter will add weight, about 6 pounds, to the bicycle, and while that is heavy, this is what works best. From here, you can make sure the bike’s frame is reinforced.

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At the drive train, you will have the electrical area and you will put your motor here. If you order this online, the wheel comes with a motor on the hub. From here, you can add your accessories like speed controllers, and an indicator for battery amount – actually you can find DIY kits online. Once the motor is installed, the wires need to be attached to the back end of the bike, leaving some leeway so the wires are not too tight. You can purchase batteries with more energy, but keep in mind they do take longer to charge.

Adding solar panels to the bike that have 21.8 volts at max and 17 volts at a minimum will produce 1.2 amps. This means that, if you put 3 solar panels on the bike, you can get maximum 66 volts and minimum 51 volts, which is enough considering that only 42 volts are needed to charge your battery!

Another thing is that you have to figure out how you will pedal the bike with so many panels attached. A basket that is welded to the hinges is best and allows for movement of the wires. A piece of rubber can be attached to keep the wires safe while you are enjoying your solar paneled bicycle! After this, you have to make sure your wires are done correctly and attached to a zip tie in the proper fashion. After this, you should be ready to go!

Other considerations

The advantages of a solar powered bike are great, besides reducing pollution and being very Eco-friendly! For instance:

  • Those who have health issues, like knee or joint pain will have an easier time riding this type of bike.
  • You will get a good workout without too much pain and sweat which is ideal for some.
  • You are saving money by not using a car or truck and you can avoid much traffic by riding a bike like this!

How far can you go while riding a solar powered bike? There is a formula for that! You should divide the energy (or wattage) by 20. Most bikes have 26 volts of power and 10 amps. So you would take 36 times 10 and that is 360 watts per hour. If you divide that by 20, the answer is 18 m. These types of bikes are great because you can manually pedal and pull it along. They do not require a lot of strength and can usually go up to 50 miles on just one charge, which is wonderful for those who enjoy long bike rides, or those who cannot charge each day.

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Our advice is to consider all the factors before making the decision on if you should build a solar powered bike. Here are the main factors you should think about:

  • Think of the places you will travel by your bike. Most people suggest riding more than 30 minutes one way is far enough.
  • Also, consider your distances. Many people also suggest to only use your bike if you are traveling to places that are not too far, o, if you want to go far, take a car with you and drive your bike wherever you want.
  • Another thing to consider is the cost. While it is relatively cheap to build, some would still say it is expensive. You will have to purchase inverters, batteries, panels and the bike itself, including a motor and any upgrades you want to add to your bike.

These bikes are mostly recommended for those who just enjoy riding around and not for a specific purpose. Do not forget you can still pedal the bike while it is using a battery or when the battery has run out of energy. However, solar powered bikes can be heavy because of the added weight of the items like batteries, but it can be somewhat easy to transport. Still it could be hard to use while going uphill or in rough terrain. That would be the only downside since having to carry the bike in an area where it is hard to control due to the weight and a dead battery is difficult.

However, you will probably enjoy the bike because you can do so much and go most places with it. You are saving fuel, using the sun as an energy source, and can pedal manually if you want! You can actually go around 70 km while manually pedaling your bike. These bikes are also low maintenance and budget friendly.

In conclusion, check your local area if you can use solar power bikes as some areas do not let you. If they do, you can enjoy being totally green with this bike and making the world a better, environmentally sound place!

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