I know more now. I warm to the man - he's as mad as the rest of us. ;o))
His aging father has an electric bicycle but it only has a short range & he
seeks to widen that range by towing a little trailer carrying a small
generator. Apparently, British special forces use one & he is hoping to pick
one up on WD surplus.
The motor peaks at 250 watts & normally draws 150 on the level. And by the
square I make no doubt .......
Very interesting - I have often wondered whether carrying an IC (or other)
engine powered charger on an electric bicycle would make it a hybrid moped
in the eyes of the law, and thus subject to very different requirements with
regard to licensing, insurance etc.
Hi Nick, I also think it would make the cycle subject to moped regulations & also
motorcycle licence & insurance regulations if the generator was greater than
The generator & motor would just replace the chain.
> Hi Nick, I also think it would make the cycle subject to moped
regulations & also
Were we talking about straightforward electric transmission a la Tilling
Stevens bus or Tiger tank, then I agree it would be an open and shut case.
But carrying a battery chartger with you strikes me as subtly different.
i did an road legal electric motorcycle a few years ago and needed to do a
in pennsylvania (usa) a trailer would require another licensing problem.
i made it into a sidecar that was was hinged to the frame of the bike.
i called it my "lowbrid" system instead of a hybrid..
Bit different in the 'States - aren't those 'Whizzer' bolt-on petrol engines
for bicycles still legal over there? Like the idea of the heavy bits in a
mini banking sidecar though - like a Wall (or Smiths/Briggs in USA) auto
Only if you use the charger whilst stationary.
The bike is supposed to be only electrically assisted to avoid motor
vehicle status. I think that means you must pedal, the motor must be
<200W and the speed must be <12mph. My wife's complies in all respects
except the pedaling bit but I still pedal because I feel like a fool
Yes it is also 36V (11Ah), 16 mile round trip no prob.
I suspect you're right, but it would probably nedd to be tested in court.
Whether power to the motor is activated by pedalling or by a simple
handlebar switch depends on whether the machine is built to the British EAPC
standard (nice and simple) or the theoretically superseding Euro regs
Bit late on this one, but I just came across this Department for Transport
Does say "if the vehicle is to be regarded as an EAPC the motor assistance
must be provided by an electric motor and not by an internal combustion
engine" however, it is still unclear as to whether using an ic engined
charger to top up the batteries 'in flight' as it were, would count as
powering the vehicle (and anyway what about a stirling or steam engine?).
Mind you, despite being a governement publication it is careful to state
that it "should not be taken as definitive legal advice as this is a matter
for the courts"! Is your mate's father up for being a test case Kim?!
BTW. Where do the increasingly popular mobility scooters fit in - cant be an
EAPC as no pedels, but still presumably exempt from licencing and insurance
32/36 volts is an old standard for farm lighting systems.
There were still quite a few around in South Africa in the 70s when we were
there and 32 volt light bulbs were easy to find in rural shops.
ISTR that they were also commonly used in railway carriages in the UK
Most of the generators were Lister or Petter powered, but interestingly
the ubiquitous Johnson/OMC Chorehorse was available in 32/36 volt
versions, which would exactly fit your request if you could find one,
you might have better luck in Canada or the USA.
There were a few 32 volt light bulbs in the Internal Fire showcases
in the entrance lobby when I was there last year, so they could know more.
How much can one squeeze out of the standard UK 30v (for charging 24v
batteries) job if you crank the control knob right up? Every sale seems to
boast a selaction of them at various prices and there was on on ebay last
week which drew not a single bid:
The idea is that the sense line will 'see' the output voltage minus the drop
across the zener and thus regulate at the higher voltage. Should work, but I
think the guy is looking for a ready made compact 'jungle genny' type set
rather than something nailed together from bits such as might appeal to the
rest of us ;-)
My thanks to all who responded to this query & various ideas are being
investigated. I suspect he doesn't realize just how much power it is going
to take to drive the genny in order to maintain the battery at peak
I have a 24 volt lorry alternator that will stop a Petter AA1 dead in its
tracks if you attach it to a couple of flattish 12 volt batteries without a
slide resistor to bring it on load gradually - and it sure does grunt to
J. Kim Siddorn,
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