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Old 09-21-09, 02:50 PM   #1
Remoteman
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Remote Off Roading -Renewable energy?

Hi all, would be grateful for some advice with any solutions to renewable sources of power if one wanted to go off the beaten track for a few days for some wild camping in remote locations, away from any power sources. I looked into foldable/flexible solar panels, but they only seem to charge up to 12V non Li-Ion batts. Am I stuffed if the battery runs out? Why is there no wind up or solar renewable sources for those of us who want to escape to the wilderness?? I thought I could get two 36V and only use it for hills, but I intend to have a monowheel bike trailer with a week's supply of camping gear. Please brainstorm any solutions.
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Old 09-21-09, 07:52 PM   #2
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You're looking to go offroad biking or several days and have something to either store or generate electrical power?

Any energy generation source (wind generator, solar, etc.) and storage system is going to be so heavy that its not worth it. Why do you need a power source anyway? Most people would just gear their bike really low so that they could still make it up hills with a load.

On a more philosophical note, isn't one of the points of going out into the wilderness to get away from ubiquitous power and technology?
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Old 09-22-09, 07:07 AM   #3
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You can "try" line a huge solar panel as a cap on top of your entire trailer like a hood. and splice the + and - to each of the 3 individual cells in your pack. It should charge it throughout the day.

something as simple and light as this:

http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/4/Auto/SolarPortablePower/SolarEnergy/PRD~0111882P/Eliminator%2BSolar%2BPanel%252C%2B15%2BWatt.jsp

would charge a individual 12 volt cell at 1.25amps. but since you are dividing it among three would make it around .4 amps at high noon sun. And if you buy a panel for each it'll take you like around 10 hours of high noon sun to charge up a typical 10ah cell.

In the end if the uphill isn't often you'll save yourself alot of hassle carrying the 3 cells and panels on the flats. these things amount to the weight of another bike already.

the wind up thing you are talking about is a mini generator that could only power a cell phone for a minute or two and an led flashlight for 15 minutes at most. So unless you can wind in you sleep it'll only recharge your batter enough to probably go 5 meters.
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Old 09-22-09, 09:08 AM   #4
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Why not go with a little 1.1 hp Honda gasoline engine? Half gallon of gas would take you a long way.
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Old 09-22-09, 10:04 AM   #5
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If you are using lithium ion batteries, don't try to divide your batteries into 12 volt chunks that you can charge with a 12 volt solar panel. bad idea.

You might find that solar panels are not worth it due to their weight and bulk - i.e. you might feel like you're better off with no motor and no solar panels, and therefore less weight.

However, if you want to try solar panels, one thing to consider is (for 36 volt lithium batteries) wiring three 12-volt panels in series, and using an appropriate diode to protect the panels (so that the battery can't force current in to the panels when they are not receiving sunlight). You would also want to make sure that you don't overcharge your batteries if they are ever connected to your solar panel while they are near 100% charge.

if you're not sure how to wire solar panels in series, see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Series_...allel_circuits
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Old 09-24-09, 05:43 AM   #6
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Just brainstorming

Thank you all for bothering to reply and with such valid and helpful answers.
Obviously I'm very ignorant on this whole topic and just threw out a brainstorming idea for suggestions. Appreciate nobody giving condescending answers.

I take on board the point that the weight/bulk of the equipment needed to renew my energy wouldn't equate with lugging it about.

I understand the point about avoiding as much technology when 'going out into the great outdoors', however we're all guilty of that, unless we go naked and live off the land. Even the jackets we're wearing are now high tech.

I just wanted something which would allow me to take some 'luxuries' which packpacking doesn't really afford once you've stacked up with food supplies, but without really creating any noise pollution and was legal. I wanted just a boost for some of the hills, whilst free cycling most of the time.....I'm no spring chicken now.

I think I may just have to make a compromise for the time being and plan my route to go off for a couple of days being economic with my electric power and break up the trip by conveniently sneaking off to the nearest village to have a recharge. I know, that's cheating, but that'll have to be the situation for now. Here in the UK we don't really have vast wilderness places anyway.

Perhaps in the future we'll have super lightweight rods which we can plug into the ether or ground to re-charge. I'm sure this 'free' energy is already available and we 'the profane' are fed obsolete technology.

Please check out these fascinating sites on a seperate topic www.tpuc.org www.thinkfree.org www.cuttingthroughthematrix.com

Many thanks again for your sound contributions

Remote(village)man
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