A mechanical engineering student, Gaël has been travelling by bike for about ten years already and at 26 years old he is one of the youngest adventurers of the Sun Trip Europe 2021!
Passionate about sustainable travel and eco-design, the Swiss is betting on the use of a folding bicycle, whose trailer is imagined as part of his diploma. He had the opportunity to test a first version of the trailer in the summer of 2019 (see photo below).
Moreover, Gaël can count on the generous support of his engineering school, the HEIG-VD in Yverdon-les-Bains, which is doing him the honour of financing his participation in the Sun Trip Europe. In 2014, he has already reached the North Cape on a “muscular” bike!
His solar Brompton
I am currently in possession of a solar Brompton (electric kit from GrinTech, personal battery 36V9Ah, Radical design Cyclone trailer with 2 x 80Wp flexible PV panels). The results are relatively good but a new prototype is on the way.
The foldable bike (Brompton) will be transformed with 20″ wheels, All-Axle Grin V2 engine, phaserunner, Rohloff hub and disc brakes. What is not yet final is the storage. A storage with supercapacitors is being tested. If the results are not convincing, batteries are available (from 300Wh to 1kWh). The new trailer is currently being designed. There will be 3 PV panels of 75Wp each (225Wp in total). The trailer will be built with as many durable elements as possible (curved wooden structure, glued laminated body, more complicated shapes in flax fibre). An important point of this trailer for the bachelor project is that it is easily foldable and suitable for public transport (the combination with the Brompton is excellent).
The challenge of performing the complete tour would allow to validate the design and/or to find points of improvement while comparing the performance with the other participants.
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