Solar panels on a bike! How?

Installing a solar panel on a bike may sound simple at first. But if we want to do long distances, we are tempted to embark a large area of solar panels and the installation becomes more complex. The creativity of each suntriper has given birth to many original solutions.
The table below shows the variety of combinations selected by the participants in the different editions of the Sun Trip.

Position of solar panels
Bike Type at the front roofing at the back on trailer
2 wheel bike classic Bike + ++++
tandem +
cargo bike ++++ + + ++
recumbent bike ++++ ++
3 wheel bike trike ++++ +
tandem trike ++++

In the Sun Trip, the regulation allows a surface of solar panels of not more than 2, 5m ², for a maximum power of 450Wc (visible panels). The installation of such a panel surface is not simple and can also steer the choice of the type of bike: tandem, cargo bike, reclining bike, recumbent tricycle (trike), or encourage to add a trailer. The constraints encountered sometimes require the designer to install a lower surface of panels, at the expense of the vehicle’s autonomy.

On the reclining/seated tandem of Raf van Hulle, the seating position at the front is sacrificed to accommodate a panel, supplemented by other panel on trailer (Sun Trip 2013, 2015, 2018). This front layout is found on cargo bikes, except for the cargo bike experienced in 2013 by Lionel Candille with roofing panels. In 2018, Éric Morel had a sign attached to the back of his cargo bike.

On recumbent bikes and trikes, the panels are frequently installed in “roofing” and are sometimes supplemented by a trailer panel.

On conventional bikes, the panels are very frequently installed on a trailer.

One exception, Daniel Jenni installed his “roofing” Panel on a classic bike for the Sun Trip 2018.

Sun Trip 2018 trailer !

The Sun Trip's organizing team today publishes a video that traces the incredible adventure experienced by the participants of the 2018 edition, from Lyon to Guangzhou in China, 12000 kilometers of efforts, wonders, discoveries, encounters, under the sun or in the rain, in the wind…
An adventure that has transformed them all, and that shows us the efficiency of this new form of mobility on solar bike!

A must see:

Blog or social network of the participants of the Sun Trip 2018

To relive the emotions of the Sun trip 2018 or follow personal news, here is the list of the social network or blog of each Sun trip 2018 participant.

     Prénom   Nom  Pays  Blog ou réseau social  
Raf Van Hulle
BEhttps://www.instagram.com/rafvanhulle/
Mickaël Joguet
FRhttps://www.facebook.com/leptitvelo/
Éric Morel
FRhttps://www.facebook.com/ericsuntrip/
Stéphane Bertrand
FRhttps://www.facebook.com/stephanebertrandsuntrip/
Herman Segers
BE-
Jack Butler
GBhttps://www.facebook.com/JackSuntrip2018/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8RchFhGNkatH6isqeDRa2w
https://www.instagram.com/jack_hits_the_road/
Laurent Souchet
FRhttps://www.instagram.com/jmerecycle/
Auguste Colle
BEhttps://www.facebook.com/bro.colli.100
Camille Colle
BEhttps://www.facebook.com/bro.colli.100
Romain Neauport
FRhttps://www.facebook.com/Team.O2feel.Romain.Neauport.Suntrip2018/
Daniel Jenni
CH-
Dirk Huyghe
BEhttps://www.facebook.com/dirk.huyghe.9
Peter Helsen
BEhttps://www.facebook.com/peter.helsen.75
Thierry Rassat
FRhttps://www.facebook.com/Thierry.Rassat.Suntrip
Françoise Denel
FRhttps://www.facebook.com/francoise.delabeoux
Michael Polak
CZhttps://twitter.com/ArachneLabs
Catherine Pozzobon
FRhttps://www.facebook.com/cathy.pozzobon
Didier Pozzobon
FRhttps://www.facebook.com/didier.pozzobon
Youssef El Haouass
MAhttps://www.facebook.com/youssef.elhaouass.5
Mohamed Saïd Jeberi
MAhttps://www.facebook.com/canarias.said
François Médalle
FRhttps://francois-medalle.blogspot.com/
Gilles Coural
FRhttps://francois-medalle.blogspot.com/
J-Claude Viguier
FR
Corinne Courvalin
FRhttps://www.facebook.com/corinne.courvalin
Gregory Lewyllie
BEhttp://www.solarbiketour.com/
Eymeric Thuliez
FRhttps://www.facebook.com/eymeric.thuliez.9
Juergen Burkholz
DE
Patrice Plozner
FRhttps://www.facebook.com/patrice.plozner
Paul Baudry
FRhttps://www.facebook.com/paul.baudrysuntrip
Lionnel Serra
FRhttps://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010411689737
Alain Viguier
FR-
Bernard & Yann Cauquil
FRhttps://www.facebook.com/bernard.cauquil.12
Justin Lemire-Elmore
CAhttps://www.facebook.com/annesophie.rodet
Anne-Sophie Rodet
FR
Michel Bamps
BEhttps://www.facebook.com/michel.bamps

For Gregory Lewyllie, the end of Sun Trip 2018!

Curiously, for several days, the GPS trace of Gregory Lewyllie did not progress. Was it a time of rest? Well no, Gregory was the victim of a bike fall, here’s what he just published on his Facebook account:
“Over the past two weeks, I have enjoyed my gratitude throughout Laos.” It was almost too good to be true… Just before the final farewells and on the way to Cambodia, fate unfortunately struck. I lost control of my bike on a narrow path along the Mekong, and I fell 10 meters lower. I broke my right shoulder! After a lot of thought about the situation, I decided to temporarily stop the trip and go home. I have stored all my equipment here and I hope to return in 2019 to continue the trip. I am comforted at the idea that it could have been much worse and that this is not the end of the solar Bamboe bike trip. »
Best wishes for a good recovery to Grégory Lewyllie!

The video is impressive: we understand the height of his fall by seeing the inhabitants recover his bike. It is easy to imagine that the consequences of this accident could have been much worse:

Gregory Lewyllie still on the way

Gone in June on his bamboo solar bike, Gregory Lewyllie continues his journey through Laos. He attended for a week at a Buddhist festival in Luang Prabang (World Heritage of Humanity – Unesco).
On the eve of November, he is crossing the province of Xieng Khouang and his GPS track shows that he takes time to discover the country.

Solar bikes made in Africa!

Spotted on Twitter: Since 2014, a company (NGO?) is developing light autonomous electric vehicles for Africa. It has deployed electric bikes and scooters, 3-and 4-wheeled vehicles, and charging stations, under leasing, rental, Pay as you go conditions.
His efforts are now focused on the development of environmentally friendly and affordable solar powered vehicles for isolated rural areas outside of the electricity grid in Africa.

The site: https://www.solar-e-cycles.com/

A solar bike at the car show in Paris!

This year, the Sun Trip was invited to the 2018 motor show in the part for vehicule of future. The challenge was to present to the public the diversity of vehicles, electric and solar, emerging. This was the occasion for Florian Bailly, the creator of the Sun Trip, to show an example of solar bike, the type of those who have travelled this summer the 12000 km that separate Lyon from the city of Canton in China (Guangzhou).

Daniele Gonano presented the solar recumbent bike he used in June for the prologue of the Sun Trip 2018. He was accompanied by Paul Bermejo who participated in Sun Trip 2015 and 2017 [ find out more about this bike ].
Daniele's bike has even done the honors of the press:


© Charlie Hebdo-N ° 1368 – October 10th 2018

Sun Trip 2018 participants awards

Françoise Denel, the dean of the Sun Trip, was honoured with the Public Award. She was acclaimed for her enthusiasm and optimism in all circumstances, her benevolent and poetic look at the regions crossed.

Jack Butler received the Jury Award that rewards the adventurer who knew how to achieve the sun Trip in recharge 100% solar, while communicating best on his adventure. The organization team particularly appreciated Jack’s talent for making videos (sometimes even with the use of a drone), as well as his strong presence on social networks.

Youssef El Haouass and Mohamed Said Kaan have received the  “Coup de coeur 2018” award by the organization team. Together they formed a welded duo, capable of an exceptional performance: the design and construction by Youssef of a solar tandem adapted to the handicap, the courage of Mohamed Said to embark on this adventure despite his handicap. To move the mountains!

Gregory continues his journey to Laos!

Gregory Lewyllie illustrates here his temperament as a great traveller : not only does he make a France-china journey on the silk roads, on a solar bike, but he does not stop in Guangzhou, the intended destination of the Sun Trip. He goes further!
As his GPS continues to function, we can see that he continues his crossing of China and that he now arrives at the border of Laos.
He left Lyon, in France, 118 days ago, almost 4 months!

Gregory Lewyllie continues his journey, but where is he going?

Gregory Lewyllie did not arrive in Guangzhou within the allotted time of 100 days, probably because of his long exploration of the silk roads in Uzbekistan. In the days following the arrival of Michael Polak in Guangzhou, Gregory's GPS began to draw a straight track: we thought that he had decided to take the train to Guangzhou.

But in fact, he went to Kunming (昆明市) in Yunnan province, and there, he resumed his solar bike journey. Today, he is in Pu'er (普洱市), a city 200 km far from the Chinese border, close to Laos, Burma and Vietnam.
But where did he plan to go?
The future will tell us…

The Sun Trip 2018 is over!

From Lyon to Guangzhou in China, more than 12000 km, some 30 countries crossed, the adventurers of Sun Trip 2018 have written a page of history of solar ecomobility.
It was an extraordinary adventure for all of them and for all those who followed them, thanks to their stories and photos published on the Internet.

Thank you to the organizers for making us live this adventure!

See you in July 2019 for a new Sun Trip Tour!

Final ranking of Sun Trip 2018

     Nom   Prénom    Solaire  ArrivéeDuréePays
1er
Raf Van Hulle
100% solaire
3/0845jBE
2ème
Mickaël Joguet
100% solaire
9/0951jFR
3ème
Éric Morel
100% solaire
11/0853jFR
4ème
Stéphane Bertrand
100% solaire
16/0856jFR
5ème
Herman Segers
100% solaire
17/0859jBE
6ème ex
Jack Butler
100% solaire
22/0864jGB
6ème ex
Laurent Souchet
100% solaire
22/0864jFR
-
Auguste Colle
hors challenge
22/0864jBE
-
Camille Colle
hors challenge
22/0864jBE
8ème
Romain Neauport
100% solaire
29/0870jFR
9ème ex
Daniel Jenni
100% solaire
04/0977jCH
9ème ex
Dirk Huyghe
100% solaire
04/0977jBE
11ème
Peter Helsen
100% solaire
10/0982jBE
12ème
Thierry Rassat
100% solaire
26/0999jFR
13ème
Françoise Denel
hors challenge
01/10103jFR
14ème
Michael Polak
100% solaire
04/10106jCZ
-
Catherine Pozzobon
hors challenge
25/0998jFR
-
Didier Pozzobon
hors challenge
25/0998jFR
-
Youssef El Haouass
hors challenge
25/0998jMA
-
Mohamed Saïd Jeberi
hors challenge
25/0998jMA
-
François Médalle
hors challenge
25/0998jFR
-
Gilles Coural
hors challenge
25/0998jFR
-
J-Claude Viguier
hors challenge
25/0998jFR
-
Corinne Courvalin
hors challenge
27/09100jFR

Several participants did not reach Canton:
  N°         Nom   Prénom  RetourDuréeDistance parcouruePays
-
Gregory Lewyllie
voyage Laos
145j11000 kmBE
-
Eymeric Thuliez
à vélo solaire
102j9100 kmFR
-
Juergen Burkholz
à vélo solaire
101j10400 kmDE
-
Patrice Plozner
à vélo solaire
80j9200 kmFR
-
Paul Baudry
rapatriement53j6750 kmFR
-
Lionnel Serra
rapatriement49j6700 kmFR
-
Alain Viguier
rapatriement45j5500 kmFR
-
Bernard & Yann Cauquil
rapatriement34j5800 kmFR
-
Justin Lemire-Elmore
mariage au Canada !33j5000 kmCA
-
Anne-Sophie Rodet
mariage au Canada !33j5000 kmFR
-
Michel Bamps
rapatriement24j3500 kmBE

These SunTripers did not arrive at the goal for various reasons:

  • some suntripers felt mid-term that they could not get to Canton within the 100-day time limit, they chose to go home by solar bike and still traveled between 9000 and 10000 km, which remains a good performance,
  • others chose repatriation either because of technical problems, or for reasons of physical fitness not allowing them to face the 12000 km France-China,
  • Justin and Anne-Sophie went to Canada to get married,
  • finally, the great traveler Gregory Lewyllie, who favors discovery at speed (he has long explored Uzbekistan), has not managed to catch up to arrive in Canton in 100 days. But he continues his trip to Laos, Thailand, his trip lasts 4 months (120 days).

Crossing Kazakhstan on a sailing bike!

Yes, I concede, this article did not quite fit on this blog, it does not talk about solar bike. But as soon as I saw it on twitter, I did not resist the desire to relay this adventure that values another form of ecomobility, the sailing bike! Crossing Kazakhstan to Kyrgyzstan with the steppe ship @asiatrek, great!
And then the sun plays a role in the formation of the winds, right?

For more information, a very complete video:

“Coup de coeur” award to Youssef and Mohamed

The organization team decided to award a "coup de coeur" 2018 to the Moroccan duo Youssef El Haouass and Mohamed said Jberi. In fact, their participation was a challenge to the administrative realities and the physical constraints. Their performance was at the height of the hopes brought!

First of all, Youssef managed to design and build the first solar tandem adapted to handicap and able to travel over a very long distance.
And on the other hand, Mohamed said accepted the crazy bet to embark on this journey France-china, despite his handicap.
Together they formed a welded duo, able to overcome all obstacles, including some administrative complications. Together they inspired the world and grew the adventure of Sun Trip.

This performance is part of the continuity of those of other SunTripers, since the first edition in 2013. The solar bike is a way to push the limits and it is an honor for the Sun Trip to be the vector of such a humanist message.
Bravo again to Youssef and Mohamed Said who will be celebrated on their return to Tangier in Morocco.

Michael Polák is in Guangzhou!!!

Michael Polák arrived with great emotion this morning in Guangzhou, concluding this incredible 2018 edition of the Sun Trip, after a 106-day journey! He was greeted by 5 SunTripers and Angélique, from the organization team of the Sun Trip, under the admiring gaze of a Chinese audience present en masse on the arrival site on this official holiday day.

Bravo to Michael for his choice of daring itineraries in the mountains of Europe and in the Highlands of China.
Bravo also for having managed to make this journey in 100% solar mode on an original bike that he built entirely himself.


The Sun Trip 2018 officially ends today after 106 days of Adventure. Out of 36 participants, 24 will have been able to reach the finish, including 13 adventurers in 100% solar Mode. The adventure spread its joy and message on the ecomobility throughout the 12 000 km road.

Françoise Denel arrived in Guangzhou !

Françoise crossed the finish line today, October 1, 2018, wich is Chinese National Day, in a bright sun and in front of a large crowd. This seventy-year-old woman traveled 103 days from France to reach Guangzhou.
The dean wins the Sun Trip 2018 Audience Award!