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July 06, 2008

Comments

Fred

This type of experiment has been done by "solar car race" in the US and the world for at least 20 years. www.americansolarchallenge.org and www.wsc.org.au Note where the race was taken place and the size of the battery. My old school (UMR or Missouri S&T) has been in the race (and won a couple of world championship trophies). If there is no Sun, the car is not running at all! The folding bike is not designed for long distance travel. Dragging along a heavy battery was a bad idea. Three key elements for all solar car is low wing drag, largest surface area and highly efficient Lithium Ion battery. The battery itself cost upward of 50K USD (usually a donation from the manufacturer). So even after 20 years, this remains the critical piece of the technology that has not seen much improvements.

Fred

BTW, you are absoultely right about charging the laptop battery directly. He can fit his bike with a small bike generator (usually used to power head lamp) and charge the laptop, cell phone and other 3C products that he carries along the trip. I think he can get more power out of his own leg (and gravity) than solar!! One of our freshman engineering project is to design an efficient bike generator for regular 5V/12V/19V charging circuits. The product itself already contain a battery so there is no need to add additional battery.

Tze-Chien Chu

I agree, that it is much easy to get the power from his wheel .
Anyway.I think it is fun to let people know the reality of solar power.

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