In case my last post about the USB dynamo didn’t tip you off, I’m working on a third version of a solar power system for bikepacking.

Solar trailer 2.0

V2.0 on the GAP Trail. Solar panel covered up.

My first and second attempts were a 12 volt system in a bike trailer that used a large 22Ah SLA battery for storage. The first version used a commercial 15 watt solar panel, and the second used a 20 watt hand made panel. These were somewhat successful in that they worked, but I never really utilized their capabilities to fully try them out. The size and weight were drawbacks and even though I did take the trailer on at least one major trip, I didn’t use it all that much. I don’t think I ever used the 120 vac inverter.

Since then things have changed a bit in terms of my requirements. I’ve given USB powered bike accessories more thought and since they seem to be the way of the future, if not totally here already, it makes a 12 volt DC system a bit of overkill. That’s why I’m looking at the dynamo charging as well as more compact solar panels. Continue Reading…