Sunday, 6 December 2009


Deliveries came together and this weekend has been spent putting together prototype electronics/electrics for the new bike. The solar panels haven't arrived yet but that's no excuse for not getting ready for them. So here are the results of a weekend's work:
First of all, the power wiring loom - this will allow the 4 separate solar panel circuits (see below) and the battery packs to be hooked together via the module on the left. In the centre is a block waiting for some voltage level indicator parts to be added. The output lead (hooked up to a Toplight Line Plus here for test purposes) will go on to the distribution board/dashboard to power lighting and accessories.

Here we have a pair of the solar panel controllers - just a blocking diode and charge indicator LED with resistor. The diode prevents reverse current damaging a panel when one of them is shaded and the others are generating power. There will be one of these for each of the 4 panels (there are 4 panels because that is what there is convieniant space for around the tail of the Glyde and that will generate around 400mA - allowing power to run my GPS and enough spare to top off the batteries for later use)

First of the accessories is this USB charger. The part on the left is a voltage regulator circuit which limits the power supply to a steady 5v so that any USB device can be plugged into the hub for recharging. It is wrapped in epoxy to prevent vibration damage. I've tested this with my phone and Satmap GPS and both charge happily using this setup.

The next thing I need is for the solar panels to arrive so I can get the whole lot set up as it will be on the Glyde and confirm charging works as expected.


    have you considered this?

  2. Yup. There are several different versions out there at the moment. But it needs a dynamo to drive it... There is a problem with the SON for the Glyde velomobile so it doesn't look like it will be ready in time for my trip.
    A solar power system is a compromise but has the advantage that it works when the bike is stationary.
    Thanks for the suggestion - ideally I'd have both!