Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Electric Bikes
Reload this Page >

Does charging source matter? Definition of E-Bike

Notices
Electric Bikes Here's a place to discuss ebikes, from home grown to high-tech.

Does charging source matter? Definition of E-Bike

Old 04-08-20, 09:40 AM
  #1  
KC8QVO
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 687

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 195 Post(s)
Liked 26 Times in 23 Posts
Does charging source matter? Definition of E-Bike

First off, I have not dipped in to the E-Bike realm and have never given much thought to it before. However, reading about HPV's of one variety or another electric drive options are quite the norm it appears. That got me thinking...

Most definitions of an E-Bike are that under electric drive it can not be capable of going faster than 20-25mph (depending on local regs). There are other regulations to keep in mind also - wheel count (typically 3 or less it appears, 4 is a gray area - only localities that specify bicycles without a wheel count as being human powered with gearing etc would this perhaps apply to).

I have not seen any definition that specifies how the electricity is generated, however.

Batteries are a given. All systems implement some type of battery from which to draw the power to propel the vehicle.

How can those batteries be charged?

For example - if you took a 4 stroke engine, like from a string trimmer or leaf blower, and put an alternator on it (like a 3 phase style seen on some small wind turbine designs) to create the electricity from which to charge - is that legal? What if you bypass the battery and directly push current to the electric motor from the engine powered alternator? The device driving the vehicle is still the electric motor, is it not? You could do the same thing with solar panels - though with much less power available unless you had a ton of solar panels.
KC8QVO is offline  
Old 04-09-20, 06:37 PM
  #2  
unterhausen
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 19,538
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 286 Times in 223 Posts
that would be a very inefficient way of using a small gas motor. Best to use it directly
unterhausen is offline  
Likes For unterhausen:
Old 04-09-20, 07:16 PM
  #3  
KC8QVO
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 687

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 195 Post(s)
Liked 26 Times in 23 Posts
Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
that would be a very inefficient way of using a small gas motor. Best to use it directly
Then you would for sure have a "motorized vehicle".

The point I was trying to get at was if a combustion engine can be used to charge and not have the vehicle classified as a "motorized vehicle" - most closely a moped, unless the vehicle had 3+ wheels.

On the other hand, a motor set up that way for charging purposes has more uses than just "powering the bike". If you think of a portable solar power system - the solar panels charge a battery then you can run what ever you want off the battery. If you use a 12v class battery there are a bazillion things that run on 12v, as well as adapters for USB devices. Or, you can use a 12v DC power inverter that can give you 110v AC to run things such as a laptop charger (that outputs 15-20v - higher than 12v hence why you need the AC power input and thus an inverter, not a DC chord of some kind).

A stator from a wind turbine is a good way to generate electricity. What powers it is irrelevant - wind, hydro, or a combustion engine. The AC that is generated (3 phase in the case of my example) is rectified (3 bridge rectifiers - one bridge per phase) to get to DC. So long as the voltage is higher than the nominal voltage of the battery current will push in to (charge) the battery. With a charge controller of some type to control how high the voltage of the battery can get it is easy to regulate the charge.

From the engine perspective of being inefficient - perhaps. However, if you have an electric bike/trike and are in the boonies on a cloudy day, or even a rainy day, what are you going to charge it from to keep it going? It would be relatively easy to get power off a small gas engine.

I know, an off-the-wall thought that probably is so far "not the norm" that everyone thinks its not practical. Perhaps the use of an electric vehicle "in the boonies" where the ability to recharge off of mains/commercial power isn't possible is pretty "far out there" in and of itself.

Just ideas and food for thought.

Edit - I only used the 12v above as a reference for the basic principal I was getting at. I realize there are a lot higher voltage E-bike drive systems.

Last edited by KC8QVO; 04-09-20 at 07:20 PM.
KC8QVO is offline  
Old 04-09-20, 07:18 PM
  #4  
DeadGrandpa
Senior Member
 
DeadGrandpa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Carolina
Posts: 817

Bikes: Trek 1120, Santa Cruz Tallboy 3CC, Fandango DC-9 MTB tandem, Jamis Renegade Expert, Bike Friday Pocket Llama, Santana Arriva tandem, Bridgestone RB-1

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 263 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 47 Times in 38 Posts
Could you use a Son charging hub to recharge the battery on an e-bike?
DeadGrandpa is offline  
Old 04-09-20, 07:25 PM
  #5  
KC8QVO
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 687

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 195 Post(s)
Liked 26 Times in 23 Posts
Originally Posted by DeadGrandpa View Post
Could you use a Son charging hub to recharge the battery on an e-bike?
Dyno hubs run around 6v AC. That, and they produce so little power. I'd say the vast majority are under 10 watts - at 6v. As soon as you transform that voltage (you can do so with a step up transformer, for example) you loose so much power in the transformation process you only have a couple of watts left.

That reason is why I don't yet have a dyno hub on any of my bikes. I have a 17+w solar set up that I charge a 12v battery from when I stop on my long rides. The battery is not used for drive, only powering accessories.

Back to my edited comment in my last post, also - E-bike drive systems can get up pretty high in voltage, also (48v on some, I'm sure there are a lot of other voltages). The larger the difference in input voltage and output voltage, in a step up transformation, the less efficient the transformation is.
KC8QVO is offline  
Old 04-09-20, 10:31 PM
  #6  
linberl
Senior Member
 
linberl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 2,832

Bikes: 2017 Bike Friday PakiT. Dahon Mu Uno (trailer bike) Sold: 2003 Bike Friday NWT, 1997 Trek 720, 1993 Trek 520)

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1097 Post(s)
Liked 91 Times in 79 Posts
California law - it matters not how you charge the batteries as long as that process happens OFF the bike. However, the bike cannot have any gas motor on it when you ride it and be classified as an e-bike.
linberl is offline  
Old 04-11-20, 02:40 AM
  #7  
trailangel
Senior Member
 
trailangel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Pasadena, CA
Posts: 4,054

Bikes: Schwinn Varsity

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1485 Post(s)
Liked 185 Times in 122 Posts
Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
Dyno hubs run around 6v AC. That, and they produce so little power. I'd say the vast majority are under 10 watts - at 6v. As soon as you transform that voltage (you can do so with a step up transformer, for example) you loose so much power in the transformation process you only have a couple of watts left.

That reason is why I don't yet have a dyno hub on any of my bikes. I have a 17+w solar set up that I charge a 12v battery from when I stop on my long rides. The battery is not used for drive, only powering accessories.

Back to my edited comment in my last post, also - E-bike drive systems can get up pretty high in voltage, also (48v on some, I'm sure there are a lot of other voltages). The larger the difference in input voltage and output voltage, in a step up transformation, the less efficient the transformation is.
You might be overthinking a bit. IMHO nobody in there right mind would put a gas motor plus a generator on an electric bike. Think about how much weight you are adding.
Here is the definition of ebikes in your state of Ohio:
https://wsd-pfb-sparkinfluence.s3.am...ts_OH_2020.pdf
trailangel is offline  
Old 04-11-20, 04:23 AM
  #8  
tmac100
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Doha, Qatar
Posts: 957

Bikes: More bicycles than I can ride at one time: 2 custom made tourers, a Brompton 6-speed, and an Indian-made roadster.

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 126 Post(s)
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
Then you would for sure have a "motorized vehicle".
.........
This is how railway diesel-electric locomotives work: the diesel engine runs a "generator" which uses switching equipment to energize the traction motors.
tmac100 is offline  
Old 04-11-20, 06:54 AM
  #9  
unterhausen
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 19,538
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 286 Times in 223 Posts
If gas motors aren't allowed, I doubt the law really cares if there is an electric transmission, which is what you are describing in the OP
unterhausen is offline  
Likes For unterhausen:
Old 04-11-20, 11:38 AM
  #10  
KC8QVO
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 687

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 195 Post(s)
Liked 26 Times in 23 Posts
Originally Posted by tmac100 View Post
Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
that would be a very inefficient way of using a small gas motor. Best to use it directly
Then you would for sure have a "motorized vehicle".
This is how railway diesel-electric locomotives work: the diesel engine runs a "generator" which uses switching equipment to energize the traction motors.
Direct drive from a motor is a physical mechanical connection - drive shafts, gears, and/or chains or belts.

The diesel electric loco example is right in line with what I was getting at. There is no mechanical linkage to propel the vehicle. The energy source (fuel burning engine) creates electricity. Using electromotive force electricity is generated by an alternator, conducted to a motor, then the energized coils in the motor to generate rotational force again from which to propel the vehicle. Once you have electricity in the mix you can supply that electricity any number of ways but the motor propelling the vehicle is still the same.

Stored sources:
Super capacitors
Batteries

Active sources:
Solar
Alternator driven by mechanical means (braking force, fuel burning motor, wind/hydro)

Unless you had a fuel burning motor driving an alternator none of the other alternator generation methods would make any sense on-the-go. Maybe if you were stopped for a couple days and had a wind turbine to recharge from, but certainly not rolling. Without a mechanical means of generating electricity or enough solar surface area available while moving the power sources would all be confined to recharging a storage unit (battery) while not moving, then pull power from the battery to move.

Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
The point I was trying to get at was if a combustion engine can be used to charge and not have the vehicle classified as a "motorized vehicle" - most closely a moped, unless the vehicle had 3+ wheels.
If what is propelling the vehicle meets all the requirements - electric motor, speed limited - and the vehicle meets the requirements (wheel count, wheel size, etc) - then it wouldn't appear to matter where the electricity comes from. Except California, perhaps other areas maybe:
Originally Posted by linberl View Post
California law - it matters not how you charge the batteries as long as that process happens OFF the bike. However, the bike cannot have any gas motor on it when you ride it and be classified as an e-bike.
I have an inverter generator (honda EU2200i) that I got last year and have used it surprisingly often. I even found myself keeping it in a boat with me when I was out on the lake for back-up charging power if I drained batteries too far trolling. I even got a 60 amp 12v DC power supply out one day and ran one of my trolling motors off of it to see if I could do it. The generator didn't come very far off of idle, if any, with the trolling motor on full power. From a "get home if we have to" perspective (main motor broke or otherwise inoperable, for example) the theory works surprisingly well. I have carried any one of a 4, 5, or 9.9hp motor as a spare if I am beyond our bay and communication range - and I have had to put one of the spare motors on to get back. With the generator idea - I have much more flexibility and less room is taken up as I don't need a spare motor for back up - the generator, power supply, and trolling motor take the place of it (and the trolling motor is there 90% of the time anyway as its the only motor we use fishing unless we're running down riggers).

That got me thinking about the smaller motor driven alternator idea. I don't need AC on a boat. Or if I ever do I have power inverters that will provide more than enough (up to 1000w or so, the only reason would be to run chorded power tools - anything else would be 12v DC or USB). All I need there is an alternator that can push more than the full charge voltage of a battery (13.8-14.2v or so) so as to be able to charge.

Thats where the E-bike power generation idea stems from - an engine driven alternator able to provide a relatively high amount of electrical power for its size that can be used for charging batteries, but also maintain the voltage while a motor (E-bike motor, trolling motor) draws power for vehicle movement. I am not sure what the power draw is of the trolling motor on high speed, but that running off a 60a power supply didn't budge the generator throttle of the EU2200i = not very much power consumption otherwise the engine would have throttled up to keep up. That also means the generator is over-kill for that application. So by scaling down (WAY down - maybe a couple hundred watts, under 500 lets say) I could have a much more compact, much lighter, possibly more fuel efficient, and much more versatile, power source.

Hence my question in the thread - odd question, perhaps, but my curiosity is exactly what I asked - if an electric motor is propelling an E-bike does it matter how the battery is replenished, or maintained?

Last edited by KC8QVO; 04-11-20 at 11:45 AM.
KC8QVO is offline  
Old 04-11-20, 11:45 AM
  #11  
tmac100
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Doha, Qatar
Posts: 957

Bikes: More bicycles than I can ride at one time: 2 custom made tourers, a Brompton 6-speed, and an Indian-made roadster.

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 126 Post(s)
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
You could also run an air compressor to power the big air horn too.
tmac100 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.