The e-bike is an excellent way to enjoy a day outdoors in nature by yourself or in a company without exerting yourself too much. But how long you can enjoy such an adventure will always be limited by the range of your e-bike. Unless you can extend that range.
On an electric bike, you can ride up to 100 miles on a single charge, or just over 20 miles, depending on the road and weather conditions. If you are on a camping trip or similar outdoor adventure, an electric outlet to charge your electric bike can be hundreds of miles away. That’s when solar electric bike chargers come as a solution for charging your batteries.
You can charge an e-bike with a solar charger, but not all solar chargers are made equal, and to charge your electric bike using the free energy of the sun, you will need to use one that is specifically designed for charging them.
Why Do You Need a Solar Charger for Your E-Bike?
Investing in a solar charger is a great way to have a very portable power source for your electric bike on your trips. Having the ability to recharge your bike while on a trip in the wilderness only increases your ability to enjoy riding your bike on a camping trip. Wherever you are you will beagle to recharge the batteries and continue enjoying.
While a solar charger will charge the electric bike’s batteries much slower than a wall socket, it will provide you with a practically limitless source of free energy. It will also provide you with energy when you need it, and more importantly where you need it, for all intents and purposes freeing you from the power grid.
How Do I Charge My Bike Battery With a Solar Panel?
If your electric bike manufacturer offers a solar charger as an option, charging the bike battery with a solar panel comes down to positioning it as directly exposed to sunlight and connecting the cables appropriately. Otherwise, you will need to purchase an aftermarket electric bike solar charger. When looking for a solar charger for your e-bike, you should be aware that not any solar battery charger will do.
Electric bikes most commonly come with either a 36 or 48 volts battery, and you will need a charger that can supply that current. The majority of solar chargers available among the camping goods and equipment can charge batteries of up to 12 volts, which makes them completely useless for charging your electric bike.
Besides the actual output power, you will want that its output connector matches your battery charger connector. Using it is very simple, you just have to position it in the way to receive as much sunlight as possible and connect to your electric bike battery.
TYPES OF SOLAR CHARGERS
When it comes to charging your electric bike with solar power you have several types to choose from. They all have their strengths and weaknesses and essentially are intended for different types of use.
Stationary Solar Chargers
Just as their name implies, these solar chargers are not portable and are best to be installed at your home. This allows you to quickly hook up your bike when you don’t ride it and leave it to charge. These solar chargers will allow you to charge your bike at no cost of electricity, taking the already very environmentally friendly transportation option to another level.
Because these are stationary on your property, you can be fairly confident that they will not get stolen. The most efficient way to utilize this type of charger in case that you use the electric bike as an everyday mode of transportation is to buy a spare battery. This way you can charge one set while using the other, thus allowing you to ride your bike whenever you want.
Foldable Solar Chargers
Foldable and portable electric bike solar chargers are a great option to have when taking a trip outdoors. Especially on camping trips that last several days. It will allow you to take your charger with you in the wilderness away from the power grid. With a portable solar charger, you will not have to worry about getting stranded or having to paddle on heavy terrain.
Besides charging your electric bike, some of these portable solar panels can be used for charging your other devices. This flexibility does come with some drawbacks. First is that foldable solar chargers are smaller than stationary ones, which limits their maximum output power and also the speed at which you can charge your batteries.
Another potential drawback is that you can’t ride your electric bike while charging, and you will need to take breaks to replenish the charge of your batteries. The weather can be your worst enemy when using this type of solar charger, as overcast weather can make them completely useless.
Another potential problem for some people can be where to store the charger when it is not in use. Unless you carefully plan your gear kit, it can be unwieldy and create clutter.
Rear Rack and Trailer Panels
One option you can choose is a rear rack or bike trailer solar panel chargers. Bike trailers allow for bigger panels to be used, and bigger means more power and faster charging. If you are planning on a long-distance journey, this can be a convenient option for you. This type of solar charging allows you to charge your battery while riding.
Because you will use a bike trailer, this setup can limit the type of tracks you can ride on. Taking it through bush and off-road trails is a big no-no.
The rear rack solar panel chargers are also an option and are very convenient for extending the range of your electric bike as they can charge your battery while you ride. While they make it possible to travel narrow and twisty bike trails, their weight can be a significant factor. By being mounted on the rear rack they can impact the balance of your electric bike.
What Is the Best Solar Charger for Electric Bikes?
Solar chargers for electric bikes, depending on the type, come with certain drawbacks. Stationary chargers are, well stationary, rear rack and trailer panels are bulky. If you need a portable solar charger, the foldable type is the best. Compared to other types they are very compact and many come in sturdy packages that can be stored in a backpack.
Electronic bikes are very popular among many people because they are an extremely economical way of commuting. But the range limit of an e-bike can be a limiting factor for its usability in the wilderness or on camping trips. Fortunately, solar chargers are a solution to this problem. The most common design is a foldable type design which can be neatly packed in a backpack.
You can practically carry them with you wherever you ride your electric bike, and it will give you a convenient and practically free power source. They are also extremely easy to use, you just need to unpack them and connect them to your electric bike and it will start charging the battery for as long as there is sunlight.
Most of these are surprisingly durable and built to survive in the harsh outdoor environment. Solar charger for electric bike will allow you to recharge the batteries wherever you need.