Solar panels aren’t just sported on 4 wheeled electric vehicles.
Even the two-wheelers are getting their share of solar panel technology as well. If solar roads among other projects can be given an opportunity for development and fun experiments, then why not bicycles?
To my surprise, there are already several different solar bike prototypes, projects, and businesses existing around the world – many homemade.
Some individuals have taken on personal projects to help boost them uphill and give them a little more speed on the road whenever they feel fatigued or even lazy to pedal. For the most part, these home experimenters who may or may not be engineers by trade have come up with a design that incorporates solar-powered batteries to help run the motors integrated into their bikes. I don’t know about anyone else out there, but that’s pure genius to me. We can think of it as some would call it – a human-electric hybrid.
Not only is this a fun way to workout, it also gives the rider a chance to take breaks while covering ground.
In searching online, I came across a site titled Solar Bike Project and found the idea behind the creators to be neat. Imagine being able to rent or own a one or two-seater solar-electric recumbent touring bike that could allow people to travel long distances around the city. I could see that as a pretty good business potential in highly touristy parts of the world, but whether or not that idea will come to life is something I personally don’t have an answer for – cool, nonetheless.
The point of the matter to me is that these people had fun playing with solar. It’s a great way to stimulate the creative mind, have a good and fun learning experience independently or with friends, and discover new ways to utilize a valuable resource.
On the other side of the world from where I am, there’s an Australian business called Solar Bike that specializes in electric conversion kits for bicycles. They even design and build custom electric bicycles using the sun’s energy to power them. These particular bikes can be recharged using a solar module or normal household power supply. Not only are these designed for high performance for cycle enthusiasts they’re also meant to interest everyday commuters in order to encourage biking as opposed to driving cars that emit carbon dioxide.
Here’s an excerpt of their bike description:
“Electric bicycles are a joy to ride, without even using the pedals it is possible to travel over 30 km on one charge and further if you pedal. The bicycles are healthy, quiet and relaxing and are ideal for people traveling up to 40 km each day. There are so many good reasons to ride an electric bike. Firstly, they are very healthy. Because the bicycle is so much more enjoyable to ride than a regular bike you use it far more often. You will use it for most journeys and when you do you will have no concerns for hills, traffic, parking, getting sweaty, wind or distance. Because you can pedal as much as you feel like you will gradually begin to increase your fitness and will tend to cycle more – all in a super relaxing healthy way! Because you ride faster using less energy the wind chill keeps you cooler and it seems that sweat is totally eliminated.”
Doesn’t all that sound wonderful? This is a great way to help reduce the dependence of fossil fuel consumption, minimize environmental damage to the Earth, and boost your fitness. How’s that for techie and/or environmentalist thought?
So, if you haven’t purchased your solar panel backpack, then maybe it’s time to start searching for solar panel modules for your home, computers, or bikes? Food for thought.