To answer your questions Silverbear
- Yes I'm going to set this trike up for pedal assist. Pedals are just too darn useful on low powered vehicles to go leaving them off. I'm going to install another bottom bracket and pedal shaft further forward as well as lowering the seat which should give me a semi-recumbent arrangement and the ability to give the pedals a bit more of a push.
After a lot of discussion my daughter and I decided that the new calcium alloy SLAs would be the best choice for our pattern of use rather than get into the expense and esoteric strangeness of magic batteries full of noise and fire just waiting to burst out. I do have a pair of near new 20 amp hour SLAs already and a major benefit of selling our car is that we have the money in hand to buy more.
While I do have a spare 24volt controller for brushed motors which may get used on my Hercules trike, my daughter is developing a programmable controller for light electric vehicle use which hopefully will become the standard fitting on our small fleet of electric bikes and trikes.
It's awfully nice having a daughter who studied Computer Science and Electronics at university
We're going to try using a modified car alternator for charging batteries first of all, but we also have a lovely French made DC motor in reserve which can be converted to a generator if we need to. I don't think I will be able to build something that will keep up with the motor output. The Stirling engine's job will be more about charging the batteries when the trike is stationary, but I guess that will be experiments and tinkering territory once everything is put together.
As to fuel, I will be using the larger of the two vintage kerosene stoves that I have to provide the heat. The guys on the Stirling engine forum seem to think this will work Ok, but I will make a wood fired stove at some stage that can be retrofitted if I need to.
As to various bits and bobs I still have some of the parts I used to build my previous trikes as well as a large pile of hoarded electronics and computer hardware which can be used as a source of parts during the prototyping stage.
Selling the car has been the biggest boost to our plans though as it gave us an injection of cash which as enabled us to buy such things as a professional electronics soldering station, accurate measuring equipment and other expensive tools we couldn't ordinarily afford. It might seem odd to sell our car, but neither my daughter or I are medically able to drive safely anymore and the thing was just sitting on the driveway getting in the way and doing nothing. Being what is these days considered to be a classic Japanese car the best thing we could do was turn it into money.
If you've got those electric bike parts to hand Silverbear it wouldn't be so difficult to put together a spare bike for getting about on. Or you could replace the front wheel on your sidecar outfit for a little extra boost should it be needed