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
at the front
at the back
2 wheel bike
3 wheel bike
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.
le tandem solo de Raf Van Hulle au Kzakhstan (2018)
le vélo-cargo d'Éric Morel en Chine (2018)
le vélo-cargo de Peter Helsen (2018)
le vélo-cargo de Lionel Candille (2013)
On recumbent bikes and trikes, the panels are frequently installed in “roofing” and are sometimes supplemented by a trailer panel.
le vélo couché avec remorque de Mickaël Joguet (2018)
le vélo couché avec remorque de Stéphane Bertrand (2018)
le vélo couché avec remorque de Laurent Souchet (2018)
le vélo couché avec remorque d'Alain Viguier (2018)
le vélo couché grande longueur de Michael Polak (2018)
le trike de Herman Segers (2018)
le trike tandem de Justin Lemire-Elmore et Anne-Sophie Rodet
le trike tandem de Camille et Auguste Colle (2018)
le trike tandem de Youssef et Mohamed Saïd (2018)
le trike tandem de François Médalle et Gilles Coural (2018)
les trikes de Didier et Catherine Pozzobon (2018)
le trike de Paul Baudry (2018)
On conventional bikes, the panels are very frequently installed on a trailer.
le vélo avec remorque solaire de Françoise Denel (2018)
le vélo en bambou avec remorque solaire de Gregory Lewyllie
le vélo avec remorque solaire de Romain Neauport (2018)
le vélo avec remorque solaire de Dirke Huygues (2018)
le vélo avec remorque solaire de Jack Butler (2018)
One exception, Daniel Jenni installed his “roofing” Panel on a classic bike for the Sun Trip 2018.
Are all the next Suntripers present in this photo-montage?
No, if thirty are already posted, there are still about fifteen or twenty that we will discover soon.
They will probably be about fifty to take the start, on July 6 next in Le Puy-en-Velay, a record!
Sushil Reddy is a young Indian engineer who has carried out over 7500 km of solar cycling in India and in various contines. We participated together at the Sun Trip Tour 2017. He is now one of the “80 Day Race Ambassadors” alongside Bertrand Piccard (Solar Impulse) and many other adventurers.
More information: 80 Day Race Ambassadors
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!
The departure of the next Sun Trip Tour will take place in Le Puy-en-Velay on July 6, 2019. The itinerary will pass through the cities of Saint-Ours (Vulcania), Divonne-les-Bains, Chamonix, Lanslebourg-Mont-Cenis, Pinerolo (Italy), Die.
The city of Valence will welcome the arrival of the Sun Trip on July 20.
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:
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.
Luang Prabang (patrimoine mondial de l’Humanité - Unesco)
Luang Prabang (patrimoine mondial de l’Humanité - Unesco)
Luang Prabang (patrimoine mondial de l’Humanité - Unesco)
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.
Our most recent AWD-solar powered mobility, power for the home and economic empowerment for 4 trillion people yet to be born in Africa Pic.twitter.com/fLPobhRyGN
The GPS trace of Gregory Lewyllie shows us that he crossed the Chinese border today and that he continues his journey in Laos. It is exactly 4 months since he left Lyon in France (120 days).
How far will he go?
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:
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!
Outre Jack Butler, ce prix salue Thierry Rassat, Romain Neauport, Michael Polak et Laurent Souchet qui, chacun à leur manière, ont faire vivre l’esprit du Sun Trip, en entraînant derrière eux des milliers de suiveurs !
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 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…
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!
Shenzhen International Forum Low Carbon City
Portrait Mohamed Said Jebarri
Youssef El Haouass Mohamed Said Jebarri sur leur tandem a Zixing au Hunan
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, li>
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).
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?
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.
Youssef et Mohamed Said à Zixing au Hunan
Youssef et Mohamed au départ de l'aventure à Lyon
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 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 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!