A fully open source electric bicycle wheel that utilizes state of the art design and control mechanisms developed by the community.

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I am looking to create an electric bicycle wheel that utilizes super capacitors, a high efficiency electric motor (probably 250W), and state of the art control mechanisms. The goal of the wheel is not to turn your bicycle into a scooter, but rather smooth out the difficult parts of your bicycle journey.

This involves storing your brake energy, but also sapping off energy while you are biking at high efficiency. I want the whole system to work in such a way that it will last for 20+ years and you will never have to charge it or swap out any of the components.

I am currently unsure as to how the regenerative braking mechanism of the wheel will work -- I am thinking of doing the old fashioned kid bike method of simply back-pedaling to break, but another option is to have a high efficiency solar powered controller on the handlebar.

I have extensive electronic experience in programming and board design, but minimal experience in mechanics or other requirements of wheels. Need help!

I am currently in the forumlating stages. The current build plan is as follows:

1) Find a suitable motor for prototyping: currently considering the MBG36F 36V motor:

2) Find a suitable open source motor driver with regenerative braking -- this is in the running, have contacted developer:

3) Find suitable capacitor array + make sure driver can handle it

-- This seems like a good candidate:

-- would need 36 / 2.7 = 13.3 = 14 caps. That means about $100 of super caps (when buying them in bulk), $150 when prototyping.

-- This would give us about 5 Watt Hours of power, which could run the 250W wheel for 71.4 seconds at full power. It would run a 150W wheel for 2 full minutes, which might be the wheel we design for in the end. (again, we are aiming for light weight that helps smooth out the ride, we are not turning the bike into a scooter!)

-- The caps would weigh 60g * 14 = 0.84 Kg, or 1.85 pounds.

4) Hook all these things together and get them to work. Start at step 1 until things look good.

5) While 1 - 4 are happening, work on Open Source Motor design and fabricate it. Use and test it.

6) When the above are finished, work on designing the hub to integrate all of them

-- Hub designed to act as heat sink

-- should also include high power resistors to do heat dump braking (if the caps are full or if the regenerative braking fails).

-- Lightweight.

The goal is for the total added weight (compared to a traditional hub) to be < 5 pounds.

Additional Goals:

-- Look for organization / non-profit / grant to fund project. It is a good project and may get some interest.

-- connector to charge caps + add a battery pack (for those who want a scooter)

-- connector to plug USB device into like phone or light so that can charge.

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Josh Geating wrote 07/01/2014 at 00:52 point
If you really solidified the controller and proved things out, I might be interested in providing mechanical design and fab support - I'd estimate 20-30%, nothing too committed at this point (reading that again, not to sound elitist, ha, just want to see your progress first :)

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Josh Geating wrote 07/01/2014 at 00:50 point
I've read a while back that a decently trained cyclist can produce 400W continuous, 700W intermittently (forget where).

Reading again, amateur to elite cyclists can produce 3 W/kg to 6 W/kg continuously respectively = @70 kg 420 watts continuous. Up to 1600 instantaneous. See the energy efficiency section here:

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