Yesterdays long trip gave me a chance to reacess the electric assist on my recumbent trike as I recently cleaned out the connection to the Battery and it now charges much better.

Leaving and returning home yesterday would have been 70 k's for me. I lost the green light having orange and red left about 5 k's before I got back to the meet up area  but still had some power in the battery so that would be about 60 ks then. Being a bright sunny day the hour or so we stopped at Woody point would have had the solar panel replenishing the battery .

Off home then, riding with David who guided me on how to get up the last couple of steep roads without any assist till he went off a different way and I stopped at Burnie Brae park sitting the trike and solar panel angled correctly to the sun for a while while I used the park equipment to exercise my arms. That topped up the battery enough to allow me to get home and up the ramp first floor car park. That is the best way to get my trike up especially with the trailer on it. Even without the trailer I cannot peddle it up with out the electric assist.

One day I hope to get some sort of meter on it the trike. I have seen the Watt-app metres on line but they will tell me input but not battery level I think.

Having longer rides on my wish list I am considering a second Battery but also wondered if there is some way a second battery could be recharging via a dynamo thingy.

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Comment by Mary Martin on October 5, 2015 at 9:14am

Doc I am definitely up for the group ride thing. Much more fun.It will be a matter of finding people going to places I want to eventually. IE : South Island NZ but in about two years when my fitness level has improved and has been tested. I had booked for another group ride yesterday in my keenness or greediness for the great outdoors. I turned back pretty early on so it isn't time yet. I think that maybe alternate riding day with a day to explore in between, being carried around in Georgian bath chair on those days of course.

This video way back was the one I tripped across and saw my future unfolding instantly. There was no doubt, me and trikes would become one.

https://youtu.be/9BXhZHdOuCk

Comment by Mary Martin on October 5, 2015 at 8:42am

Thanks Playdough and Doc (aka The Brains Trust). Good Oh, it will be an extra battery then. I am determined to grow wings in my doter-age and on trike will be the best way.

Comment by Doc Embrey on October 5, 2015 at 8:20am

It's just like Playdough said.

Sadly it's the first law of thermodynamics that's cheating you here. It's the law of physics that tells us that there is no free lunch - it more or less says that if you use energy from you battery to drive you bike forward you can't then get that much energy back to charge your batteries without the bike stopping because the energy has to come from somewhere. The dynamo will still slowly charge the battery and your bike will slowly stop because it's energy from the battery which is turning your dynamo, but if you want the bike to keep going forward without your batteries going flat you you must get more energy from somewhere else to replace the energy used to make your bike go forward, like your legs or your solar panels.

However, there is another solution for touring which you hinted at - get another battery OR get bigger batteries. I see now that it's common to get batteries of up to 30Ah, so, if you get 70Km off your current battery, with two of those you could travel, maybe two-hundred kilometres with the motor assisting your pedalling.

A fellow hereabouts you might want to talk to goes by the alias of Puddlejumper has toured with an electric bike from Brisbane to Sydney - he said he used two batteries and charged them up each night. A link to AN ACCOUNT OF THIS TOUR CAN BE FOUND HERE, though if you find one of his posts and click on his name, then view all of his posts you can find all his posts on touring with an electric bike.

Another issue if your legs are not as mighty as they once were might be breakdowns, but if you travel in company you should be OK, and things are always nicer when you have friends with you :)

Comment by Playdough on October 4, 2015 at 7:01pm

wondered if there is some way a second battery could be recharging via a dynamo thingy.

The short answer is no- the laws of physics prevent this, unless you're using it while reducing speed, also known as regenerative braking.

The slightly longer answer is-

If you had a 250W motor, and ran it for an hour, to recharge another battery at the same rate you would then need your legs and the dynamo to also generate 250W for an hour, PLUS a little bit extra for heat loss and friction, PLUS the power needed to keep you moving.

Most bicycle dynamos only generate a maximum of 6W, so to generate the same amount of energy as a 250W motor uses in 1 hr, you would have to pedal at a sustained speed without the motor for around 50 hours.

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