Introducing the Solarbike
It seems like the next most obvious step – with today’s increasing capabilities of solar power, why not combine solar panels and e-bikes? Well, Jesper Frausig in Denmark is attempting to do just that. The Solarbike is the re-invention of a prototype version that surfaced about nine years ago. A lot has changed since then; photovoltaics capabilities have improved a ton, as well as hub motors and bottle batteries.
Additionally, people are becoming increasingly familiar with the concept – you can charge the battery while you are parked, and use the battery in conjunction with the solar cells to power the motor while you’re riding. As the designer (Frausig) notes:
“The on-wheel solar cells deliver clean energy directly to the battery. While the Solar Bike is standing still, it charges the battery. When it is in motion, the solar cells and the battery provides energy for the motor.”
The bike has been being worked on over the past , and Frausig has developed two prototypes. He claims that it can go up to 43 miles (70 km) and has a maximum speed of 30 miles per hour (50 km/hr). Or it can be thought of as having a standard speed of 15 mph, which is a lot safer for regular traveling.
The bike is really nothing too out of the ordinary from the original concept. Mostly, it just changed to “shadow optimized” solar, and he developed a clever method of routing the electricity to the battery from the panels through the bike frame. However it’s a nice compact product, and the above video demonstrates some of Frausig’s bicycle design while showcasing a nice ride through the Kalvebod Waves.
The Solar Bike was nominated for the INDEX: Design to improve life Awards, so it looks like it’s going to stick around this time. However, as of yet there’s still no word on when it’s going to start being produced beyond the prototype, or how much it’s going to cost, but hopefully Frausig will let people know soon!
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