Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Don's Solar Scooter -- 8 years and still going strong

Don just sent the 2012 update for his solar electric scooter -- see below.

For those who missed this nice and simple conversion of EVT 4000E electric scooter into a solar powered electric scooter, the full plans and how-to are here...

Don's conversion is somewhat unique in that he added folding PV panels to the scooter so that it can charge while he is at work or in town.

Don and the solar scooter

This is the 2012 update from Don:

The scooter still flying...returned to Earth Day 2012 At University of Michigan, Flint.    Scooter a hit again.  Kind of humbling that the interest is still strong.  Will be on the local TV 25 news in May.  They are doing an ECO Fuel Story about people doing things to avoid purchasing gasoline. 

The scooter survived another winter outside.  I took off the  rear view mirrors and covered Scooter with plastic except for the solar panels this year.

14 miles into Flint for Earth Day and 14 back.  No problems.  The evening before I replaced one of the top cross locking bars that was bent the night before Earth Day last year when Scooter tipped over in the wind when I was out of town and a storm hit.   I had hand straightened it, but decided to replace it this year.  Replacement took less time than going to town to purchase a new piece of stock. 

For others with electric scooters, check you tire pressure.  On the first after winter  trip to town a couple of weeks ago, the light kept going to the second or third level down from full charge indicating a higher amp drain.  This despite a full battery.   Apparently only having 10 lbs of pressure in tires made for 40 lbs,  does effect performance and subsequently range.

That is about all for this years update.


See the link above to see the details on converting the scooter to solar and 8 years worth of riding experience with it.

Showing the solar panels folded out for charging.
Thanks again to Don for sharing the details on doing the conversion and the updates on how its working out.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sandbed Heat Storage for Solar Homes -- A Minnesota Example

An example of a home in northern MN that uses an insulated  sand bed under the home to store solar heat for  space heating the home.

The house is 600 sf and has a 2 ft deep sandbed under the concrete floor slab.  The home is well insulated with strawbale walls and R60 ceilings.

About 160 sf of conventional solar thermal collectors add heat to the sandbed on sunny days.

The heat from the sandbed is conducted directly into the living space through the floor slab.

After 3 years in the house, the owners are very happy with the house both from an energy saving and comfort point of view.

All the details on this Minnesota sandbed storage solar home...

Thanks very much to Maureen for providing the details.


Also,  revamped the whole section on sandbed storage homes and related ideas....

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