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  1. #1
    Interested Backpacker
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    E bike with self charging capability?

    Looking for an e Bike for my wife for extended rides. I read a story of a father son duo that rode the Trans Am route and the dad used an eBike for the climbs as he had bad knees. On the down hills, the bike would use the gravity benefit to help recharge the battery.

    Been looking at an Evelo Luna for my bride, but still looking for the self charging model. Any suggestions?

    Looking for that bike that would help my wife as she too has bad knees. Would like to do a tour together that would include some hills. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    There's no free lunch... Yes you can re-gen some energy while going down a hill, but that's only about 10 to 15 % maximum...
    Last edited by 350htrr; 09-22-14 at 12:28 PM. Reason: spelling
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

  3. #3
    Interested Backpacker
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    Quote Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
    There's no free lunch... Yes you can re-gen some energy while going down a hill, but that it's only about 10 to 15 % maximum...
    That makes sense. What brand eBike is that?

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    They don't all have self recharge capability?

    Such a waste.

  5. #5
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    Not all E-bike setups have re-gen capability, Falco & BionX are two that do... http://www.falcoemotors.com/?page_id=46 http://ridebionx.com/
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    .. but that is only braking .. still have to plug them in to recharge the batteries.. no perpetual motion machines..

  7. #7
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    Yes, when using the re-gen it's "effect" is like using the brake... On the BionX system you can pick how much "braking" effect you want as you are going down the hill or even level ground, depending on how much re-gen you want, from a level 1 to 4... Or you can use re-gen to slow you down when you pull the brake lever without actually using the brakes. On my set up I have experimented often to see how much re-gen I can do, and can easily get 15% more distance when using re-gen conscientiously than when not using it...
    Last edited by 350htrr; 09-22-14 at 12:41 PM.
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

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    Senior Member rscamp's Avatar
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    I'd like to see a detailed analysis showing the extra range that results from using regen when riding on flat roads without stopping.
    Rob

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    Quote Originally Posted by rscamp View Post
    I'd like to see a detailed analysis showing the extra range that results from using regen when riding on flat roads without stopping.
    If you are being sceptical about my 15% numbers...? I would say that it involves all types of scenarios to add up to that 15%... Constant vigilance to different inputs like maybe .5% down slope, wind at my back, willing to pedal just a bit harder for a while even tho the road is flat, pedaling even tho it's a 7% downhill grade to keep up the speed... Like I said before, there is no free lunch...

    EDIT; Using re-gen for a long distance on flat roads "can be done" if you want to ride/train, but certainly not practical for normal riding... IMO
    Last edited by 350htrr; 09-30-14 at 06:33 PM.
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

  10. #10
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    Any DD hub motor with right controller can do regen braking. On flats there is nearly no profit from it. On the other side, when riding hills, it can save Your brakes and gain significant amount of energy. How much depends on hill grade and style of riding. I was able to regen up to 50% when riding hill up and down (500-1000W consumption with hard peddling uphill and regen braking downhill with very light peddling, average grade 8%). On longer trips with flats and steep hills I get 15-30% regen. This helps to significantly increase my range. It is important to say that this type of motor has certain resistance when riding without power. You can also regen on flat ground peddling, according to regen setup it will start to brake and limit Your speed. The harder You peddle, the stronger it brakes and recharges battery. This is inefficient, only part of work is transformed to battery charge and max. 80% of energy from battery is transformed to work. I guess it could be 50% efficient at best.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuboN View Post
    Any DD hub motor with right controller can do regen braking. On flats there is nearly no profit from it. On the other side, when riding hills, it can save Your brakes and gain significant amount of energy. How much depends on hill grade and style of riding. I was able to regen up to 50% when riding hill up and down (500-1000W consumption with hard peddling uphill and regen braking downhill with very light peddling, average grade 8%). On longer trips with flats and steep hills I get 15-30% regen. This helps to significantly increase my range. It is important to say that this type of motor has certain resistance when riding without power. You can also regen on flat ground peddling, according to regen setup it will start to brake and limit Your speed. The harder You peddle, the stronger it brakes and recharges battery. This is inefficient, only part of work is transformed to battery charge and max. 80% of energy from battery is transformed to work. I guess it could be 50% efficient at best.
    Yes it does have resistance, if the controller isn't done right... On my bike the BionX system is totally unnoticeable when riding it like a normal pedal bike without using the system... Just like a normal bike...
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

  12. #12
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    The resistance depends on size and quality of construction/materials used - it is created by eddy currents and magnetic attraction in motor. It does not depends on controller. High quality smaller power DD motor can have very low resistance.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuboN View Post
    The resistance depends on size and quality of construction/materials used - it is created by eddy currents and magnetic attraction in motor. It does not depends on controller. High quality smaller power DD motor can have very low resistance.
    Could well be you are right... All I know is that there seems to be zero resistance to the wheel turning on my bike when in bike mode only... And when in re-gen I have to pedal even going down hill to keep up the speed, depending on what level of re-gen I choose to use...
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuboN View Post
    Any DD hub motor with right controller can do regen braking. On flats there is nearly no profit from it. On the other side, when riding hills, it can save Your brakes and gain significant amount of energy. How much depends on hill grade and style of riding. I was able to regen up to 50% when riding hill up and down (500-1000W consumption with hard peddling uphill and regen braking downhill with very light peddling, average grade 8%). On longer trips with flats and steep hills I get 15-30% regen. This helps to significantly increase my range. It is important to say that this type of motor has certain resistance when riding without power. You can also regen on flat ground peddling, according to regen setup it will start to brake and limit Your speed. The harder You peddle, the stronger it brakes and recharges battery. This is inefficient, only part of work is transformed to battery charge and max. 80% of energy from battery is transformed to work. I guess it could be 50% efficient at best.
    Very interesting approach LuboN. Most riders of electric bikes use the power to go up the hills, but I suppose that your way will conserve the battery and enable a longer ride, especially with regen braking on the downhills. Done properly one could leave the house with a half charged battery and upon return have it fully charged.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDiamonDog View Post
    Very interesting approach LuboN. Most riders of electric bikes use the power to go up the hills, but I suppose that your way will conserve the battery and enable a longer ride, especially with regen braking on the downhills. Done properly one could leave the house with a half charged battery and upon return have it fully charged.
    Ha,Ha,... I suspect he meant hard pedaling to use less power up the hill...
    Last edited by 350htrr; 10-01-14 at 06:36 PM.
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

  16. #16
    Senior Member DrkAngel's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Running regen on flat roads.

    Quote Originally Posted by rscamp View Post
    I'd like to see a detailed analysis showing the extra range that results from using regen when riding on flat roads without stopping.
    WOW! ... ?

    Without regen:

    If you travel 10 miles using 0% regen,
    Use 10Ah but recover 0Ah = 10Ah battery drain
    10Ah = 10 miles

    With regen:

    If you travel 10 miles using 25% regen.
    Use 15Ah but recover 1Ah = 14Ah battery drain
    10Ah = 7.14 miles

    If you travel 10 miles using 50% regen.
    Use 20Ah but recover 2Ah = 18Ah battery drain
    10Ah = 5.5 miles

    If you travel 10 miles using 100% regen.
    Use 30Ah but recover 4Ah = 26Ah battery drain
    10Ah = 3.8 miles

    WAG estimate, but feasible, numbers.
    Last edited by DrkAngel; 10-02-14 at 06:53 PM.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member rscamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrkAngel View Post
    WOW! ... ?

    Without regen:

    If you travel 10 miles using 10Ah battery drain

    With regen:

    If you travel 10 miles using 25% regen.
    Use 15Ah but recover 1Ah = 14Ah battery drain
    10Ah = 7.14 miles

    If you travel 10 miles using 50% regen.
    Use 20Ah but recover 2Ah = 18Ah battery drain
    10Ah = 5.5 miles

    If you travel 10 miles using 100% regen.
    Use 30Ah but recover 4Ah = 26Ah battery drain
    10Ah = 3.8 miles

    Estimated, but feasible, numbers.
    I don't follow what you are trying to show. My point is this.

    What does regen do to extend range on the flat with no stops? The only source of energy other than the batteries under these conditions is the rider. How does the overall efficiency (motor system + rider) compare when pedalling in parallel without regen vs pedalling hard or intermittently to put energy back in the batteries with regen?

    Analysis would show it is better by far to never to use regen under these conditions due to inefficiencies on charge and discharge.
    Rob

  18. #18
    Senior Member DrkAngel's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Running regen on flat roads.

    Quote Originally Posted by rscamp View Post
    I'd like to see a detailed analysis showing the extra range that results from using regen when riding on flat roads without stopping.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrkAngel View Post
    WOW! ... ?

    Without regen:

    If you travel 10 miles using 0% regen,
    Use 10Ah but recover 0Ah = 10Ah battery drain
    10Ah = 10 miles

    With regen:

    If you travel 10 miles using 25% regen.
    Use 15Ah but recover 1Ah = 14Ah battery drain
    10Ah = 7.14 miles

    If you travel 10 miles using 50% regen.
    Use 20Ah but recover 2Ah = 18Ah battery drain
    10Ah = 5.5 miles

    If you travel 10 miles using 100% regen.
    Use 30Ah but recover 4Ah = 26Ah battery drain
    10Ah = 3.8 miles

    WAG estimate, but feasible, numbers.


    Quote Originally Posted by rscamp View Post
    I don't follow what you are trying to show. My point is this.

    What does regen do to extend range on the flat with no stops? The only source of energy other than the batteries under these conditions is the rider. How does the overall efficiency (motor system + rider) compare when pedalling in parallel without regen vs pedalling hard or intermittently to put energy back in the batteries with regen?

    Analysis would show it is better by far to never to use regen under these conditions due to inefficiencies on charge and discharge.
    Point is ...
    Using regen on the level has a negative advantage.
    If lucky, you might recover 25% of the extra energy you contribute.
    Much more efficient to just pedal w/ motor assist.

    Of course if you want to pedal harder than a non-motorized bike you could charge your battery a little.
    Couple hours of hard pedaling might get you 1 or 2 pennies of electricity into the battery.

    But, of course, that defeats the whole purpose of an electric bike! ... doesn't it?
    Last edited by DrkAngel; 10-02-14 at 06:53 PM.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member rscamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrkAngel View Post
    Point is ...
    Using regen on the level has a negative advantage.
    If lucky, you might recover 25% of the extra energy you contribute.
    Much more efficient to just pedal w/ motor assist.

    Of course if you want to pedal harder than a non-motorized bike you could charge your battery a little.
    Couple hours of hard pedaling might get you 1 or 2 pennies of electricity into the battery.

    But, of course, that defeats the whole purpose of an electric bike! ... doesn't it?
    Righto!

    So for many people and many situations, regen has little or even no benefit whatsoever - thus its seemingly high desirability with prospective e-assist customers is misplaced.
    Rob

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrkAngel View Post
    WOW! ... ?

    Without regen:

    If you travel 10 miles using 10Ah battery drain

    With regen:

    If you travel 10 miles using 25% regen.
    Use 15Ah but recover 1Ah = 14Ah battery drain
    10Ah = 7.14 miles

    If you travel 10 miles using 50% regen.
    Use 20Ah but recover 2Ah = 18Ah battery drain
    10Ah = 5.5 miles

    If you travel 10 miles using 100% regen.
    Use 30Ah but recover 4Ah = 26Ah battery drain
    10Ah = 3.8 miles

    Estimated, but feasible, numbers.
    Maybe feasible on paper but in real life riding, not worth it because of the huge increase in pedaling power needed even at 25% re-gen and almost impossible to keep the bike moving at full re-gen on flat ground... At least that's been my experience... You need something to help make it worth the gain that's achieved, like a downslope, wind at your back, or wanting a harder workout...
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rscamp View Post
    Righto!

    So for many people and many situations, regen has little or even no benefit whatsoever - thus its seemingly high desirability with prospective e-assist customers is misplaced.
    Not so, I have for a fact achieved 15% increase to battery charge with not too much effort... Not on flat ground per se but using some downslope, wind at my back, deciding on some extra workout effort when not needing the E-Assist.
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

  22. #22
    Senior Member rscamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
    Not so, I have for a fact achieved 15% increase to battery charge with not too much effort... Not on flat ground per se but using some downslope, wind at my back, deciding on some extra workout effort when not needing the E-Assist.
    With the exceptions you cite, you in fact support my statement!
    Rob

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rscamp View Post
    With the exceptions you cite, you in fact support my statement!
    But nobody is saying that re-gen on flat roads is worth the effort, it's the overall ride that makes re-gen worthwhile, if you use the opportunity for every downslope, wind at your back with just a little extra effort it does work to actually increase the battery charge...

    EDIT; My average ride around here is 20KMs and during that ride I go up 195M... I also go down 195M round trip, so, I can and do use the re-gen for that 195M decent... The trick is to pay attention and use the lay of the land for it's advantage...
    Last edited by 350htrr; 10-02-14 at 05:43 PM.
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

  24. #24
    Senior Member rscamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
    But nobody is saying that re-gen on flat roads is worth the effort, it's the overall ride that makes re-gen worthwhile, if you use the opportunity for every downslope, wind at your back with just a little extra effort it does work to actually increase the battery charge...

    EDIT; My average ride around here is 20KMs and during that ride I go up 195M... I also go down 195M round trip, so, I can and do use the re-gen for that 195M decent... The trick is to pay attention and use the lay of the land for it's advantage...
    Actually, I'm glad you like it and I hope you get significant benefit from it.

    For me, and I think for many others who perhaps don't realize it, the weight and the parasitic losses of regen-capable systems can be less beneficial overall than a lighter freewheeling setup.

    You could say that having something like this on my trike would be a real drag. Sorry. Couldn't resist.
    Rob

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by rscamp View Post
    Actually, I'm glad you like it and I hope you get significant benefit from it.

    For me, and I think for many others who perhaps don't realize it, the weight and the parasitic losses of regen-capable systems can be less beneficial overall than a lighter freewheeling setup.

    You could say that having something like this on my trike would be a real drag. Sorry. Couldn't resist.

    Yes, if it would have any noticeable drag while you are pedaling and using the bike as a Non-E-Assist bike I would agree that the benefits would be doubtful/iffi... But that's why I think BionX and Falco set ups are way ahead, they don't have any noticeable drag from the electric motor when not in use...
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

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