# Lawrence Lile's posts

#### Posted by Lawrence Lile on Mar 14, 2009 09:06 pm

#1 -
I have not used this product but it sounds credible.
http://www.solderlesscopperbonding.com/pg/section.html?secpath=01.04.&pgid=6
As usual, its best to consult with the manufactures first.
Here is somebody that should know with a degree certainty.
http://kingsolar.com/contact.html

We thought about using that kind of epoxy.  I was hoping someone from Alt-E store would pipe up, this is a problem they must have to solve daily.

#### Posted by Lawrence Lile on Mar 13, 2009 10:05 pm

#2 -
Sounds liek a great expedition!

Well, let's do a little math.  First, we'd need to know how much juice your laptop and other rechargables use.  If you can find a watt rating on your laptop power supply, that might be an estimate.  If not, maybe you can get creative with an ammeter. (Don't try this if you don't know how - liable to light yourself up like a christmas tree)

So, how long do you expect to use the laptop and other loads per day?  An hour? TWo?  Try to estimate how many watt-hours you'll need in a day.

Then we come to the question of solar panels.  Let's pretend you calculate you'll use a 200 watt laptop for two hours a day.  That's 400 watt-hours.  If you get 6 hours of sun a day (the rest is lost because your bike isn't oriented right, or the sun is at a high angle) you'd need a 66 watt panel.  Since things aren't totally efficient, maybe 80 watts would do.

Then you've got to have a battery around that can store at least that much power.  400 WH / 12 v is 33 amp-hours, but batteries are not perfect, and you might need a 50 amp-hour battery to do it.

Inverters - on a bike, you need low weight.  A small 200 watt inverter runs my laptop fine.  It is a cheapie, from a truck stop.  These units aren't but about 80% efficient, but they are light and readily available.

If you are frugal, and can use your laptop for just an hour a day, you could get by with solar cell and battery half that size.  The solar cell will set you back plenty and act like a sail, so it would be better to go as small as you can stand.  Still, a 40 watt panel will be a pretty big item to lug around.  If you could get by with using the laptop every other day, and relying on the laptops battery topped off at the nearest electrical plug, you might get by with a 10 watt panel. That would be a lot more reasonable to take on a bike, but you'll have a miserly power budget.

I am preparing for a solo cross country bicycle trip beginning June 1. The route will follow the Lewis and Clark Trail from Astoria , Oregon to Council Bluffs, Iowa where I will join the Ragbrai (10,000 bikers crossing Iowa). From there the route will continue East , with  Washington, Dc the final destination. The plan is to camp about 50% of the time and stay at overnight lodging the rest of the time.

I will be using my Blackberry as a GPS . I also want to use a helmet cam to record a good deal of the trip as well. In addition I will taking a laptop. There are many stretches where it will be inconvenient and/or impossible to recharge batteries in a conventional manner.

I am asking your advice and suggestions to seek solutions using solar power to keep the batteries on these devices adequately powered. Is it possible to mount a solar device on my rig so that recharging can take place as I am riding?
If so, what type of specific products should I be looking at?

My rig consists of a Stratus XP long wheel base recumbent bike (with a wind screen)  pulling a B.O.B. trailer. This presents a larger than usual surface area to attach a solar panel system , either on the bike (wind screen or behind the seat) or possibly modifying the B.O.B. for the same purpose.

Any assistance you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

#### Posted by Lawrence Lile on Mar 13, 2009 09:42 pm

#3 -
Just recieved two shiny new AET solar panels.  The instructions with the panel state that there is a "nipple" connection, which I would usually interpret to mean a threaded connection.

However, there is simply a 1" pipe sticking out of the side of the collector.  There is a rubber gasket right next to the pipe, which leads me to believe that it would be a bad idea to solder it and overheat this gasket.

What is the correct method of attaching a pipe to this threadless, non-solderable 1" copper pipe?

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