Customer Stories: Retired Airline Pilot Powers Motorhome & E-Bikes with Solar…

Customer Stories: Retired Airline Pilot Powers Motorhome E-Bikes with Solar Power

Being on the road is a desire of many, but only a few actually take the plunge. Living a mobile life has its pros and cons, but for those that live it, they understand it is important to have the everyday comforts they are used to having at home. Solar electricity gives RV owners the ability to get creative as to where they want to park their rigs. Super cramped and noisy RV parks or as is the case recently, closed state and federal campgrounds due to COVID-19, have forced campers to get creative as to where they park. Fortunately for one of our customers, he was already prepared for the worst.

Our story this week features Tom, a retired airline pilot that does his fair share of traveling in his motorhome. Tom enjoys doing hands on activities. more specifically, solar power. In 2011 Tom installed 80 ground-based solar panels on his home. When he isn’t at home, he tows a 12’ motorcycle trailer behind his 34’ motorhome. He also owns a couple of e-bikes and an electric trailer dolly that rides inside the motorcycle trailer when traveling.

Tom needed line voltage in the trailer to charge the e-bikes and the dolly. This allows Tom to charge his e-bikes and the dolly not only when he’s parked, but also when he’s towing them down the road. In addition, he wanted to put solar on the motorhome to provide his own independent power source which gives him the flexibility to park anywhere without the need for grid power.

When it came to sizing the system and understanding the various options on the inverter charger and solar charge controllers, Tom had some questions. He reached out to Adam at Northern Arizona Wind Sun for some advice. The free consultation Adam provided advised Tom to purchase (5) 325W REC Solar Panels. One of those panels is installed on the motorcycle trailer and the other four panels were installed on the motorhome. Tom also purchased a Victron 250/100 Charge Controller for the motorhome and a Victron 150/30 Charge Controller for the trailer.

These additions and the solar design provided by Northern Arizona Wind Sun proved to give Tom the capacity to power everything in his trailer and his motorhome.

Tom’s 12′ trailer used for hauling his e-bikes outfitted with solar

Victron Charge Controller, inverter and batteries inside the trailer

Another Victron Charge Controller inside the bay of the motorhome

Customer Feedback

It’s always great to hear directly from the customer about their experience with our company. Feedback is highly valued, which allows us to deliver an even better product to the next customer.

How was the response time when you submitted an inquiry for a consultation?

Inquiry to response time was instant. Adam did an awesome job consulting and sizing the system.

Do you think the free consultation provided value to you?

Absolutely! Adam provided a complete engineer’s drawing for the trailer install, which I followed exactly. The system works flawless and as advertised.

How are our customized solar systems more beneficial than out of the box solutions?

Not only are your systems customized and engineered to my individual installation, but I was able to choose high quality components as well.

How would you rate the solar system installation process?

I can recommend it to anyone with basic technical skills. This was such a fun, straight forward and rewarding process!

Overall, did Northern AZ Wind Sun meet your expectations?

NAWS exceeded my expectations in every respect.

Our Take

Working with Tom was splendid! We nailed down what he needed for his trailer quickly and precisely. He needed one REC Solar panel, the REC325NP, a very impressive solar panel. It has a 325W nominal power output and comes with a 20-year product warranty and a 25-year linear power output decrease warranty of 0.5% per year. Coupled with the SmartSolar charge controller from Victron Energy and the SC-1200 inverter charger from Cotek Electronic Industries, this makes for a well-built, precisely sized, and long-lasting system. His installation work was also well done and aesthetically pleasing. The type of system he has is one that we design and create frequently.

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Solar Power System Components

Below is a list of components that were used in this system.

Electric Bike Company EBC Solar Panel Review

To run the forums, host the website, and travel, I charge a universal service fee for my reviews. This review was sponsored by the Electric Bike Company. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased, this video and written review are not meant to be an endorsement of Electric Bike Company products.

The Electric Bike Company is known first and foremost for making electric bikes, of course, but they also have an impressive selection of accessories. Most of these accessories are designed and built by the Electric Bike Company specifically for use with their bikes, which I appreciate because that means great compatibility and fit, not to mention being visually cohesive. Their newest model is the EBC Solar Panel, which features a lightweight folding design and is capable of 150 watts of power under optimal conditions. That’s great output, but what I’m most excited about is the portability offered by the folding design. While the unfolded panel is about 12 square feet, it folds down to just one square foot, and when inside its carrying case it can mount easily on the side of a rear rack. The entire package – case, panel, converter, and cables – weigh only 13.1 pounds! Considering a standard rear rack weight capacity of 52 pounds or so, this leaves plenty of extra weight for carrying additional items. This opens up a huge window of possibilities for off-the-grid camping and longer trips, but this freedom doesn’t come cheap with the EBC Solar Panel being priced at 699.

The construction of this panel gives it a nice durable feel, with thick black vinyl serving as the backing for the panels and providing the flexibility for folding. The folding pattern results in the solar panels being on the inside protected by several layers of thick vinyl which I appreciate, that will help keep them safe from bumps not to mention bad weather if you get caught riding in a storm. When unfolded the panel takes up about 12 square feet at 4×3, and there are metal eyelets on the long edges which can be used to fasten the panel down to a variety of surfaces. The controller has a nice heft to it and uses standard connectors for connecting to the solar panel and the battery cable, and I appreciate that it is well labeled with electrical specifications, pictures to show which component to connect where, and an activity light that flashes when power is flowing. The cables are thick and well shielded, although I did notice one connection point that had a gap in the external covering which I’ll be covering with electrical tape to prevent any wear and tear. Transporting this panel is made easy thanks to the folding design, folding down to about a foot on each side and only three inches thick! There are velcro strips to make sure the panel stays folded, as well as a thick rubber handle on the top for easy carrying by hand. The additional canvas carrying case fits the folded panel perfectly and has an inner designed to hold the controller and cabling. For reference, the dimensions of the case when carrying all components is 14″ x 13.5″ x 3.5″. The case is tastefully designed and kept shut by a combination of more velcro plus a strap and clamp on the front, and it has removable hooks for the rear that are the perfect size and position for mounting on the side of a rear rack. One thing I’d like to call out on these hooks is that they just rest on the rear rack without actually fastening to it, which means that the case can bounce loose pretty easily if you jump a curb or hit a large bump. Fortunately, there are ways you can work around this, the hooks would be easy to replace with something a little more secure, or if you are carrying anything else on the top of the rear rack it would also serve to hold down the hooks.

Operation of this solar panel is nice and simple: Unfold it, connect the panel to one end of the controller, connect the other end to the battery on your bike, and you’re off to the races! The different connection points on the controller are clearly labeled, and the connectors themselves have clear warning labels about not disconnecting them under load – you would want to disconnect your battery first before disconnecting the rest of the components. Once everything is connected the activity light on the bottom edge of the controller flashes to indicate that charging is in progress. The big question is, just how fast is this thing when it comes to charging? This is a 150-watt solar panel, and according to the Electric Bike Company, it can charge one of their standard batteries (48v, 11.6ah) in just four hours. I didn’t want to drain my battery all the way to zero as that is pretty hard on the cells, so I started charging while my battery was at 50%. This was on a warm (about 75 degrees) sunny day, and it took a total of 1 hour and 39 minutes to get to full charge – not bad at all! Keep in mind that the battery readout on these bikes is in 25% increments, so I don’t have a way of knowing if it was actually at 50% or maybe a little bit higher than that… regardless, it certainly seems that this panel can charge as quickly as advertised. Once you’re finished charging simply unplug your battery first, and then fold the panel back up and you’re all done.

This solar panel comes with everything you need to connect to and charge batteries made by the Electric Bike Company. So, what if you wanted to use it to charge something else? I can see a lot of use cases for this, for example, you might already have an Ebike that you love but you want a solar charger for it. Or perhaps you want to also use it to charge deep-cycle batteries in your camper. There are tons of situations where having a folding solar panel would be super handy, and you could potentially do that with the EBC Solar Panel… but you’ll have to invest in some extra cabling and probably a different controller depending on what you want to charge. This panel uses standard MC4 connectors so adding the extra functionality would be pretty easy, and you could use the original controller if the battery you are charging is of the 48-volt or 60-volt variety. Let’s say you have a different Ebike that has a 48-volt battery but a completely different charging connector, you would need a charging cable with the appropriate charging connector on one end and the MC4 connectors on the other… so how feasible is that? It’s unlikely that the manufacturer of your bike would provide such a cable so you’d have to either make it yourself or pay someone with the necessary skill to do so. For other non-Ebike charging applications, it would be a lot easier to find the required cabling and/or controller hardware already available for purchase, but of course, this would be an added cost on top of a solar panel that is not cheap to begin with.

There are a lot of solar panel solutions available today, so how does the EBC Solar Panel stack up against the competition? You could buy solar panels with similar output for a lot less than the 699 price tag here, but then you’d also have to purchase a controller and cabling, do the work to set everything up… and you wouldn’t have any of the portability you get with the EBC Solar Panel. For me that portability is the big win here, combined with the absurdly simple ease of use; this panel is easy to set up and use, easy to fold and pack up, easy to transport on a bike or anywhere else. Yes, there are lots of portable solar panel solutions out there, but everything I’ve seen is either a lot bulkier and more difficult to transport, or they have significantly lower power output. I also really appreciate the sturdy construction and tasteful design of the EBC Solar Panel, it has a nice rugged feel to it and I wouldn’t hesitate to bring it along for a camping trip or long-distance trek. The warranty is also impressive, covering this solar panel for eight years!

As always, I welcome questions and feedback in the comment section below. Whether you own this solar panel, have seen it in action, or are brand new to the space, my goal is to provide an objective and honest resource. You can also join the Electric Bike Company forums and share your own photos, videos, and review updates to help others! Have fun out there, and ride safe 🙂

Pros:

  • Extremely portable thanks to folding design and lightweight material
  • Simple to use, just unfold and plug in
  • Panels-inside folding design and carrying case protect the solar panels from physical and weather damage
  • Sturdy construction of the vinyl panel base and canvas case, thick shielded cabling, and metal eyelets for securing the panel while unfolded
  • Standard connectors mean you could easily adapt this for use with other bikes or batteries
  • Fast charging times under optimal conditions, able to charge a 48v 11.6ah battery in about 4 hours

Cons:

  • The included hooks for hanging on a rear rack aren’t very secure and will easily bounce off if you hit a large bump at speed, but you could swap them out for something more secure, also placing other items on the rear rack will hold everything down
  • Only compatible with bike batteries from the Electric Bike Company (or others with similar charging ports), but you could add extra compatibility with different cables or controller

Solar Kit Introduction

We’ve had customers building solar charge systems onto their ebikes ever since our earliest days in this business, but interest has really grown in recent years. Solar panels are lighter, cheaper, and more efficient than ever before, and using solar to charge an ebike battery is eminently practical in many situations.

In 2018 we finally participated in the Suntrip solar bike race from France to China, and in the lead up to this event we developed a custom branch of our Cycle Analyst firmware that added solar power logging to the already rich feature set. That gave us the basis for providing solar kit packages explained here.

Basic Hardware

The key elements of our solar ebike systems include the following items:

Solar Panels

The flexible Sunpower solar panels are among best in class for high efficiency and weight. Panels are rated in watts via a standardized measure, and realistically in most situations you will see about 75-85% of this value in full sunlight, and anywhere from 10-50% of this value in overcast conditions. To get an appreciable charge for touring you need a LOT of panel area, usually at least 200 watts or 1m^2. Smaller panels like 50 watts can be useful if you have a short commute and are leaving the bike parked in the sun all day to top up, but that won’t do much to help while actually riding. In addition to knowing the expected wattage of a panel, you will also want to know the nominal voltage and current when it comes to selecting the MPPT charge controller and wiring strategy. Each silicon cell produces about 0.6 Volts and in most panels all of these cells are wired in series. A panel with 24 cells would produce 14.4 volts. The amount of current that flows through the panel at full sunlight depends on the size of the individual solar cells and their efficiency. The Sunpower Maxeon cells produce about 6 amps. So you can see each cell contributes 0.6V 6A = 3.6 watts of power.

MPPT Boost Charge Controller

This device is just like a battery charger, but instead of taking AC power from the wall and converting that to a DC voltage for the battery, it is taking the lower voltage DC from the solar panel and boosting it up to the higher voltage of an ebike battery pack. It is also constantly optimizing how much current it draws from the solar panel to get the highest possible charge rate on the battery for the given sun conditions. Unlike a wall charger that charges at a fixed current, the charging current of a solar MPPT will fluctuate with available sunlight.

Cycle Analyst

The V3 Cycle Analyst display has an option to load on a custom solar CA firmware that shows not only how many watts your motor and controller are pulling from the battery, but also how many watts your solar system is putting back into it.

Solar Current Sensor

In order for the CA3 to know the solar watts flowing into the pack, a current sensor has to be wired inline with the output of the MPPT. This hall effect current sensor plugs into the white 3 pin Aux input plug of the CA3. The analog Aux In functionality of the CA3 is no longer available for tweaking limits, but those wanting on-the-fly adjustments can still make use of the Digi Aux inputs for discrete up/down adjustment.

Solar DAux Buttons (legacy)

If you have a CA3-DPS or CA3-DP device then the standard Digi Aux buttons are not compatible with the solar current sensor and the solar power readings will not be stable. We make a somewhat different Digi Aux device if you want to have both up/down Aux adjustment as well as a solar sensor on the same plug. With the newer CA3-WP units that come with a MFSwitch, there is no need for this product. The solar current sensor can be plugged in and the up/down buttons on the MFSwitch will still behave as expected.

Wiring Hookup

The solar industry has standardized on MC4 connectors. They are robust and waterproof and make it very easy to string panels together in series.

A cable harness needs to connect this MC4 output to the Anderson Powerpole input of the MPPT charge controller. The output of the MPPT charge controller needs to flow through the Solar Current Sensor (if a CA3 is being used), and then into the charge port of the battery pack. In some cases you may also splice into the discharging port of a battery pack, but be aware that you may not have BMS overcharge protection this way.

Multiple Panels

The easiest hookup is with a single solar panel, but more often than not solar ebike projects involve two or more solar panels all charging the same battery pack. There are a few ways to wire things up.

  • The panels can be wired independently with each having its own MPPT charge controller. The outputs of the MPPT charge controllers are then wired in parallel to the battery input. This approach has the best performance when some panels are partially shaded or are oriented at different angles, but it is also the most expensive approach since you need multiple MPPT devices.
  • If you are using panels that have the same or at least very similar current ratings, then you can wire your panels together in series and treat them as a single larger panel. This has the effect of increasing the panel voltage while the current stays the same. You can do this as long as the combined voltage is less than the max input voltage of the MPPT, and also less than your battery voltage. If the total voltage of your panels in series is higher than the battery voltage, the boost mode MPPT charge controller will not function properly. Series connected panels should be oriented in the same direction; you do not want them facing different angles to the sun (eg. one tilting and one fixed).
  • If you have panels that have the same voltage (ie same number of solar cells) then you can also wire them up in parallel, as long as the combined current of both panels is within the input current range of the MPPT charge controller. The Genasun charge controllers are specified to 8A max input current, so you can’t hook up two Sunpower panels in parallel as that could supply up to 12A and exceed the rating. The imported programmable MPPT’s we carry support 15A, so you can hook up 2 and (for the most part) 3 panels in parallel OK.

Within these constraints, we generally advise hooking up panels in series if your MPPT at Battery voltage supports it, and if not hook them up independently (if you have to spend on MPPTs) or in parallel (if you are being thrifty). See our YouTube video on this very topic.

Cycle Analyst Settings

Vehicles equipped with a V3 Cycle Analyst have the option to monitor solar charging current and amp-hours on the display, independently of the current flowing to the motor controller. This is accomplished with a Solar Current Sense wired inline with the MPPT output leads and a special solar CA firmware.

The signal from this solar current sensor plugs into the white 3 Pin Auxiliary input plug on the Cycle Analyst. The solar firmware can be downloaded via the CA Setup Utility software and once installed it repurposes the Aux Input pin as a current sensing source.

There are two settings that must be set for the solar current to read accurately. The current offset will zero the current voltage point on the input to be zero amps, while the current gain scales how this voltage is converted into charge amperage. On the Grin supplied current sensors, the calibrated gain is laser engraved on the surface of the device.

If you are using a 3rd party current sensor or are unsure of the devices calibration, it is possible in a pinch to wire it up in series with the battery discharge leads and calibrate it against the discharge amp-hours. Both the solar watts and battery watts should read exactly the same.

Mechanical Installation

Securing all of this hardware to your vehicle is now your fun problem to solve! Solar panels are large and awkward, and require the construction of a rigid support structure that doesn’t interfere with your handling of your bike. Most people use 1 or more of the approaches below:

Bike Trailer: If you are towing a bike trailer, then that provides a natural surface on which to secure a solar panel. Trailers are far enough back that the rider’s body does not cast shade on the cells, and often they have a suitable mounting surface already present. As a plus side, the whole solar setup is only tied to the trailer, leaving the untethered the bike unencumbered for nimble riding when the trailer is detached. It also results in very little additional wind drag since the panels are sitting on top of an existing surface.

Solar Roof: The most ambitious option is to build a roof over your bicycle on which the solar panels get mounted. This has an added plus of providing sun shade for the rider, and even rain protection too. Solar roofs are extremely tempting on recumbent tricycles which are stable and low to the ground. They work well on recumbent bikes too, but they are more awkward with upright bikes due to the required roof height and corresponding stability concerns in the wind. Extensive custom mechanical fabrication is required to build a roof over any bicycle, and DIY home jobs will often succumb to vibration and fatigue failure over time. As a general rule, do not use aluminum for structural members unless you really know what you are doing. It may be light, but it doesn’t like the concentrated stress forces of supporting a roof over bumpy roads.

Solar Racks: While bicycle don’t have roofs by default, most touring bicycles DO have front and rear carrier racks. In order to use these for solar panel mounting, the racks need to extend much further forwards and backwards than usual, and the proximity to the rider means that the rider’s body will frequently cast a shadow on the cells near the bike. Unlike a trailer though, rack mounted solar panels do not result in extra rolling drag, and cause less windage than a whole roof assembly since the panels are in the existing slipstream.

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Stowed Solar: Finally, if your main goal is to your ebike off grid and chill out for a while, then you may not need to bother mounting the panels at all. Just carry them with the rest of our camping gear and set them out to recharge your battery at the destination or at various stopping points along the way. No special framework or custom fabrication required.

Range Estimation

Our analysis of solar bikes on the Suntrip race showed that on average people were getting just under 4 watt-hours of energy per nominal panel watt. That’s averaging out the cloudy days, sunny days, days riding through forests and cities full of shadows and days riding through open plains.

This is a great metric for getting a ballpark idea of how much extra charge a given solar panel would bring in. Expect a single 100 watt solar panel to average about 400 watt-hours each day, or enough to get a typical 500 watt-hour ebike battery to 80% charged. Any individual day could vary from this by quite a margin, up to 7-8 wh/watt on perfectly sunny day, and as little as 1 wh/watt if it’s thick dark clouds overhead.

From there you can extrapolate how far it will take you in kilometers or miles based on your wh/km usage metric. The table below shows some examples of expected range from an average day of solar. 6 wh/km would be someone who uses their ebike motor sparingly, 10 wh/km is typical for using assist all the time but at modest speeds, while 15 wh/km is typical if you are carrying heavy loads and riding fast.

Consumption Rate 100 W Panel 200 W Panel 300 W Panel 400 W Panel
6 wh/km 60-70 km 120-140 km 180-210 km 240-280 km
10 wh/km 35-45 km 70-90 km 100-140 km 140-180 km
15 wh/km 25-30 km 50-60 km 75-90 km 100-120 km

FAQ

Is this really worth it versus just buying an extra battery?

This is an excellent question and we used to routinely challenge people building solar bikes to ask if the cost, weight, and complexity of a solar system really outweighed the cost and weight of more lithium battery. This metric used to favor adding more batteries. If you had the ability to charge up from the grid each night then you were better off buying additional lithium batteries than buying solar gear. Only when grid charging was not an option did solar start having merit.

However, as with so much in renewable energy land the tides have turned. For instance, a 170 watt sunpower solar panel is 300, the MPPT charge controller is 75, and their combined weight is 3.5kg. In sunny summer weather, this will reliably produce about 900-1000 Wh of energy per day. By contrast, a 900-1000 watt-hour lithium battery costs about 700, and weighs closer to 6kg.

Of course the solar system is much more involved to transport, and has additional cost and weight for mounting the panels. The justification is also weather and season dependent, increasingly so the higher your latitude. But on the surface you can see the economic appeal, not to mention being free from searching from hunting down charging outlets each day.

You will never recover your electrical savings, that’s not part of the is it worth it equation. Electricity from the grid is dirt dirt cheap, so much so that it doesn’t even factor in any lifecycle ownership cost analysis of an ebike. Nobody is saying you should build a solar ebike to save money on your electrical bill. But even for home charging a solar setup can be a very practical way to charge your ebike battery if you don’t have grid power near your bike shed.

Do I really need an MPPT? Can’t I just wire the panel directly to my battery?

In principle yes you can get a solar panel that is higher in voltage than your battery pack and wire it up directly and it will charge. However this approach has the following downsides:

  • As your battery voltage changes and the sun conditions change, you may get quite far from the optimum maximum power charge point. You will be charging much slower than if you had an MPPT device in the system. You will spend more on extra solar panels to compensate for this than you would on the MPPT controller.
  • By necessity, the open circuit voltage of the solar panel will be higher than the full charge voltage of your battery pack, and that means you are 100% relyant on the BMS circuitry of your battery pack to prevent overcharging. If the solar panels are inadvertently hooked up to the charge port of the battery or the BMS circuit fails, you can be at serious risk of overcharged lithium cells and ensuing unwanted pyrotechnics.

Can you use a buck mode MPPT?

Yes, in principle you can have a total solar panel voltage that is higher than your ebike battery pack and use a buck style MPPT charge controller to step the voltage down to your battery voltage. This is how most 12V solar charge systems are configured, as well as all large scale solar installations. But there are not many buck mode MPPT charge controllers on the market that are compatible with the common ebike battery voltages (36V, 52V), and it would require that your panel voltage is quite high, at least 60V or more.

How important is it to tilt the panels toward the sun?

If you are a geek and technical optimizer, it is of paramount importance. You will spend half of your cycling day thinking about sun angles and devising mechanisms to track it. If you are a pragmatist, you simply point them facing up to get the best average and forget about it, being grateful for all the watts you get, and still wind up harvesting 80% or more of what the technogeeks pull in.

Most of the total daily energy input comes in the middle of the day when the sun is overhead, and an upward facing panel does a pretty good job capturing it. In the mornings and evenings with the sun lower on the horizon, a correctly tilted panel can have 3-4 times the output of one facing straight up, but this significant benefit only exists for a few hours of the day.

What is this about diodes, hot spots in shaded cells, and other stuff?

The behavior of solar panels gets a lot more complicated when a part of the panel is shaded while the rest is in full sunlight. In this case you have most cells with enough sunlight on them to produce the full amperage, while the shaded cells can only supply a small fraction of that current. In a series circuit connection the amperage flowing has to be the same everywhere, so either two things can happen:

  • The current flow is limited to that of the shaded cell, meaning you only getting a fraction of the power that the sunny cells are capable of supplying.
  • The shaded cells develop enough reverse bias voltage that a large current flows anyways, along with a corresponding reduction in the output voltage of the panel. Most types of solar cell drop 10 to 20 volts when current is forced through them, and that causes significant heat in the shaded cell and a precipitous drop on the panel’s output power (VA). The Sunpower cells are exceptional in this regard, in that they start conducting current at about.2.5Volts, so the amount of heat when current is forced through a shaded is quite negligible, and the total drop in output power is a lot lower too.

Because of this, many of the caveats about partial shade cover on a solar panel and the need for pass diodes etc. does not apply with the Sunpower panels that we stock.

Using Portable Solar Charger For Electric Bikes

With about 7% of the entire United States population using an e-bike at least once a month, it’s no surprise that this eco-friendly method of transportation is catching on. Electric bikes help reduce your reliance on harmful fossil fuels, but they can also allow you to keep more of your money in your billfold.

Now, e-bike users can enjoy traveling further with the help of a portable solar charger. Just imagine being able to explore more without the worry of running out of battery life. Your electric bike can truly be your outlet for seeing and doing more in your town.

Can You Charge an Electric Bike with a Solar Charger?

In a world where most of us depend on the production of fossil fuels to survive, it can be refreshing when you find a way to help reduce that need. Solar panels are a clean and green source of energy that can power anything from your home’s electricity needs to your electric bike.

Think about it like this for a minute. You can use solar panels on your roof or garage to charge up your e-bike when it’s stationed at home. Then, you can pack a Jackery portable solar charger so that you always have a power source, no matter where your bike takes you.

How to Use an Electric Bike with Solar Charger

If you decide to invest in a portable charger for your e-bike, it’s fairly simple to connect. With one of the Jackery Solar Generators. you can simply plug your charging cord into the generator. Make sure you purchase the appropriate charging cord, as each electric bike has its own charging design.

The Jackery Solar Generator 1500 and Solar Generator 2000 Pro accept AC and DC plugs for your convenience. Now, all you have to do is wait for your electric bike to recharge fully, and you’ll be back on the go in no time. Charging your electric bike with a solar generator is as simple as charging your bike at home.

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One of the biggest advantages of carrying a portable solar generator is that you can traverse more ground without plugging in. You can easily use a home power source to charge up your generator initially. After you’ve depleted the generator’s charge, you can use its connected solar panels to recharge it. Enjoy spending more time outdoors since you’re no longer reliant on being connected to a power source.

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Jackery Portable Solar Charger for Electric Bike

Now that you know a solar charger is an absolute necessity for exploring the ground just a minute ago out of reach, it’s time to determine which solar charger is best suited to fit your needs. Jackery produces some of the best portable solar chargers on the market today. All Jackery solar generators are extremely lightweight and compact for easy transport.

You’ll love how efficient these generators are at converting sunlight into usable energy, allowing your e-bike to explore like never before. These solar generators are very user-friendly, easy to set up, and extremely durable. The best part is that they’re super quiet, so you can take in the sounds of nature around you while your electric bike is being recharged. With foldable solar panels that offer full charging in as little as two hours, there’s no reason not to invest in a Jackery solar generator for all of your e-bike charging needs.

Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Pro

The Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Pro offers a peak power level of 4,400 watts, making it a super fast recharging system. This particular generator can be easily recharged via its six Solar Saga 200-watt solar panels in just 2.5 hours or a traditional AC wall outlet in as little as 2 hours. This unit comes standard with a first-rate lithium battery and four temperature core detectors to ensure a safe and reliable charge every time.

Jackery Solar Generator 1500 Pro

The Jackery Solar Generator 1500 Pro offers 1,800 watts and can be charged in 2 hours with its six solar panels or a wall outlet. This unit features eight state-of-the-art temperature sensors and a patented heat dissipation system for optimal user safety. This solar generator is constructed of a durable and fireproof material that offers both longevity and strength throughout its lifetime.

Conclusion

Electric bikes have become a very useful transportation method that offers the great benefits of exercise and exploration. Investing in a portable solar charger is a forward method for reducing your reliance on fossil fuels while ensuring that your ebike can take you anywhere you want to go, no matter how far off the grid you are.

If you don’t currently have a portable solar charger for your electric bike, it’s time to consider getting one. Jackery offers a great lineup of portable chargers that can be ideal for all of your off-road adventures.

If you’re interested in learning more about solar panels and charging, be sure to sign up for the Jackery newsletter. You’ll get exclusive access to product offerings and receive a plethora of information about how solar panels can change the way that you traverse the country.

FAQs

This section answers the following FAQs below.

Yes, you sure can. In fact, solar is a great eco-friendly way to power your e-bike without using any fossil fuels.

Using a Jackery solar generator is a simple way to capture the power that solar energy provides and give it to your e-bike through its charging cord.

With a typical 48V e-bike battery, you’ll need to have solar panels that produce at least 200 watts of power.

If you opt for using solar panels that produce 200 watts of power, you can expect the average e-bike to take about four hours to charge.

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