Kent Peterson is an American cyclist who documents his experiences on his personal blog. One of its most interesting entries is related to the construction of a photovoltaic system to charge an electric bicycle.

Kent owns an electric bicycle and has set out to design a photovoltaic system for the shed where he keeps it. To achieve his goal, he chose a 100 watt panel. Since she lives in Oregon and it rains a lot, her panel gave a Maximum voltage of 18 volts.

The problem was that it wasn’t enough to charge your electric bike. The electric bike, Sparky, is powered by a 36V 12.5A lithium-ion battery.

The Sparky wall charger plugs into a standard US 120V AC outlet and delivers 42V DC at 2A, delivering 84 watts in one hour. Charging the 450-watt Sparky fully requires a few half past five if it plugs into the wall.

How does the photovoltaic system work to charge an electric bicycle?

The first step was to increase the solar panel voltage at 42 V. His first idea was to acquire a boost controller. It is a device that takes a variable voltage input and raises it to a constant voltage.

You have a Chinese model on ebay. The device uses advanced software algorithms to get the maximum power from the photovoltaic panels. Improves charging current and energy production.

After the first issue was resolved, he considered adding a back-up battery to the system. He has a small Power bank inverter built-in battery unit.

The Power Bank team indicates the amount of energy produced by the panel and the amount of energy stored. It also has a 4 LED power meter and integrated circuits that allow you to allow energy to be obtained directly from the solar panel.

Five minutes after installing the solar panel on the roof of my bicycle shed, it started to rain. As it was April in Oregon, the rain was not an unusual or unforeseen event and in fact the next five days were rainy and mostly cloudy. But even on those wet days, my solar system managed to generate enough power not only to charge my e-bike, but also my phone, Android tablet, and radio batteries. After that first week, I knew I had created a system that worked. It’s neither fancy nor particularly fancy, but it gets the job done.

Kent Peterson.

If you want more information and technical details, you can visit: kentsbike.blogspot.com