Technical report of this Sun Trip 2017

What worked well:

  • The bike, the engine and its controller:
    no worry for me, I became aware of my luck in seeing several participants complain about their controller, running irregularly with jerk in their engine.
  • Battery :
    On this second-hand bike with an end-of-life battery, I had reconditioned it with new Lithium Ion cells. The company had proposed to increase its capacity: the evolution of the cells since 2010 and the increase in the number of elements made it possible to multiply by three the original storage capacity (of 9.6 Ah, it is increased to 28Ah). This proved very useful for this journey with, at the beginning, a capricious weather and then with significant differences in elevation.
    State of Charge: Since I could not recalibrate the indication of the charge level, I had to learn, over the days, one to interpret the voltage of my battery indicated on my power meter.
    Regeneration of the battery in the descents: a priori, I did not think to use it because of controversies read in forums. But I finally used it from the 3rd day: in Ardeche, in the descent of Lamastre Tournon-sur-Rhone with a negative drop of 500m, I was able to fully recharge my battery. Then, in the Alps, I always used it: for example, at the Iseran pass, my battery was empty and the descent to Val d’Isère recharged it to 90%. 
  • Solar and its regulation:
    The Genasun regulators have made their service perfectly, the solar panels too. On the other hand, connectivity quickly showed signs of weakness and required interventions. Choosing its connectors while thinking about vibration, rain, sand is paramount.
  •  Panels:
    Good operation also for the sliding rail system for the 2 lateral solar panels (to reduce the width of the trailer). I used it on roads with high traffic especially in the valley of the Rhone and in Lyon.

What caused me trouble:

It was the intermediate structure between the solar panels and my trailer that was cause for concern for me and required interventions. My constant search for lightness was at the expense of solidity.
Moreover, to divert parts from their original function, by not knowing well the mechanical constraints that they were going to undergo – continuous vibrations, pitching – constituted a risk-taking …
The positive of this experience is that I have learned to cope with the means of the edge: RILSAN collars of any size, DuckTape adhesive or packing brown …

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