Have you heard about Velomobile?
A Velomobile, velomobiel, Velo, or bicycle car is a human-powered vehicle (HPV) enclosed for aerodynamic advantage and/or protection from weather and collisions. They are similar to recumbent bicycles, pedal go-karts, and tricycles. But with a full fairing (aerodynamic or weather protective shell).
The Velomobile is one of the passions of the Swedish rider Alve Henricson. And it has intrigued him to build a Solar Powered Velomobile. The Suntrailer, as it has been called by him, is an addition to his Velomobile Quattrovelo. Equipped with one SUNBEAMsystem Tough++ 124.5W Solar Panel, the Suntrailer powers the 250W auxiliary motor. The auxiliary engine, which is mostly used on uphill slopes, switches off at 25 km/h and for the most part, his average speed is around 28 km/h. According to him, the challenge is to find the right balance between weight, air resistance, and electricity needs.
”The challenge is to find the right balance between weight, air resistance, and electricity needs.Alve Henricson
“Today I finished a 3-day off-grid test of my new Suntrailer and am extremely pleased. The single panel has also been charging lights and my smartphone. The solar panel is 124W from SUNBEAM https://www.sunbeamsystem.com/tough_plus_plus_series / and the charger is a Genasun GV-Boost controller.
The Suntrailer prototype weighs 6.5 kg. Hopefully, I’ll make a lighter one in the future. I estimate that the trailer is slowing down the Velomobile by 2 to 3 km/h at high speeds and less at low speeds, hard to tell the difference.
If mainly cloudy during the day, the battery has 65% of capacity left at the end of the ride and 85% at sunset, the remaining 15% is charged in the morning before leaving. If not, and if it is partly cloudy several days in a row, I might have to take a day off every 3 days for charging myself and battery. I can live with that. “