Table of contents:
- Picture gallery
- Many components in one housing
- Assembled in less than ten seconds
- Practical solution for commuters
Video: Electric Drive To Take Away
In large cities in particular, many people use their bikes to get to work. Depending on the weather, route or mood, cycling can be quite exhausting. Many cyclists would like an electric motor for these situations. A conventional pedelec (Pedal Electric Cycle) is too expensive for many people to use it for daily driving and to park it relatively unprotected at the train station or at work.
Felix Römer, PhD student at Tumcreate in Singapore - a joint research facility of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) - cycles almost every day to the next subway station to commute from there to work. With the humid climate in Singapore, cycling is not always a pleasure. This is how Römer developed the idea of a flexible electric motor that can be easily attached to any wheel.
Picture gallery with 5 pictures
Many components in one housing
"There are already a number of approaches in this direction, but these usually require changes to the bike," says Römer in a press release from the TU Munich. "Many shy away from this effort." In addition, these units often only fit special bicycles or rims. Römer and the master students Marius Mrosek and Simon Schmalfuss therefore developed a completely independent device.
The biggest challenge for the team was to pack the required components such as the motor, battery and sensors in a compact housing. "For example, we need optical sensors that recognize that the pedals are being pedaled," explains Römer. For most pedelecs, these sensors are permanently installed in the bottom bracket. "It took a lot of time and effort to get everything without a cable or additional unit worked. "The detection of the pedal movement is necessary in order to meet the legal requirements for pedelecs. Pedelecs are legally equivalent to bicycles, they may be ridden without insurance plates, approval and driving license.
A lithium battery is built into the device, which has a range of up to 50 km depending on the load and can be recharged within a few hours. The motor has an output of 250 W and switches off automatically when a speed of 25 km / h has been reached - this is also one of the requirements for pedelecs.
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Assembled in less than ten seconds
The engineers have already developed a functional prototype. This weighs 3.5 kg and can be folded up at a joint in the middle. The drivers should be able to easily stow the device in their backpack.
It is attached using a cable loop, which is hooked into the frame and attached with a rotating knob - in less than ten seconds. "If you remove the unit, nothing remains on the bike," says Römer. The scientists are said to have constructed the unit so that it fits different frame shapes. It can also be attached to both sides of the bike. The device should automatically recognize which side has been selected.
The chameleon among bicycles
Practical solution for commuters
Römer does not see "ease" as a competitor to conventional pedelecs. "Our product is suitable for people whose daily commute is too far to ride a bike, but for whom the purchase of an expensive pedelec with a long range is not worthwhile."
The team is already working on improvements. "After the initial tests, we received feedback that some drivers had hit the unit with their shoes," says Römer. The first errors are now to be corrected and the unit optimized. For further developments, the scientists hope to cooperate with an industrial partner Only then is it possible to estimate how much "ease" will cost. The scientists have applied for a patent for their invention. (Sh)
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