Cycling Across America - Marissa Muller (Solar Powered Specialized Turbo)

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hey guys! I just saw this today and thought it was very cool. This woman Marissa Muller got a Specialized Turbo S and added a Burley Nomad trailer that was custom built with a swiveling mount for two Sunpower high efficiency solar panels (custom joined to be light weight).


The entire trailer setup with extra tubes, tools, extra battery and some changes of clothes (as well as a ukulele) weighs just 50 lbs and the panel weighs 10 lbs. I really like the wind faring thing she attached to the front of the bike (looks like it's from Zzipper). Very inspiring, the little video talks about how the panels were custom made and output ~240 watts continuously to the battery and since the motor is rated at 250 watts (that's nominal, using lower assist levels) energy is replaced fairly quickly and efficiently.

custom-250-watt-sunpower-electric-bike-panels.jpg extra-gear-for-the-solar-bike-ride.jpg custom-solar-powered-electric-bike.jpg

If I remember correctly, isn't @Ravi Kempaiah going to be doing a cross country ride with a Stromer or something? I feel like Marissa should have gone with the Turbo X and added a Suntor NCX seat post suspension with all that saddle time. Hopefully your trip is smooth Ravi, definitely get some gloves and wear cycling pants to reduce the vibration and take it easy and safe out there :)

Marissa is doing a blog here that's pretty interesting (she's stopping and visiting with city leaders and businesses along the way) and Pete from Electric Bike Report did a vide story about her below:

 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
Cool! Much nicer way to travel across the US than the RAAM people had with no power. Marissa Rocks!
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
It's quite clever the way she put the variable tilt on the panels. The zz website suggest that the fairing plus tight 'skins' will net a 20% speed increase. I hope Ravi looks good in a skin tight lycra suit. Go RK!
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
She is an inspiration for sure. Excellent setup with the solar panel.
I will be meeting her when she comes to DC and may be even do a quick video!

For me, as a full time student, getting 40 days chuck of time is the biggest challenge.
For now, this summer, I will be doing a bunch of small rides and prepare extensively. Will update the forum as things progress.
 

Marko

Active Member
Very cool. I would like to have the same solar setup for my Turbo. Too bad it isnt available commercially. Those recon glasses looked also kind of interesting. I wonder how well they stay on while running.
 
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Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
I will be meeting her tomorrow morning and plan to do a brief video interview in front of the White House.
If there is any question you want to ask her, I will be happy to include that in the list.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
I will be meeting her tomorrow morning and plan to do a brief video interview in front of the White House.
If there is any question you want to ask her, I will be happy to include that in the list.
How did the "traditional" cycling community across the country react to her ride and accomplishments?
 

EbikeR2

Member
She is an inspiration for sure. Excellent setup with the solar panel.
I will be meeting her when she comes to DC and may be even do a quick video!

For me, as a full time student, getting 40 days chuck of time is the biggest challenge.
For now, this summer, I will be doing a bunch of small rides and prepare extensively. Will update the forum as things progress.
What are you studying Ravi?
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
Ravi,

I was wondering how she managed her power needs and how well, overall, the solar system worked? What was her total battery capacity? Did she have to stop in cloudy weather? Did she have a good system to monitor the charges? I think she could put it in her blog, but I was impressed with the system she came up with, from the tilt panels to the refined charger system. Thanks. Say "Hi" to Barry.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
It was wonderful meeting Marissa Muller. What she has accomplished is truly admirable. She is heading to NY now and that will be the end of her journey.
She answered all these questions. I will post the video once I transfer it from my GoPro.

@EbikeR2 , I am a PhD student at the University of Maryland studying Nanotechnology and Chemistry.

Here are some pics.

MM 1.JPG MM 2.JPG
 

EbikeR2

Member
It was wonderful meeting Marissa Muller. What she has accomplished is truly admirable. She is heading to NY now and that will be the end of her journey.
She answered all these questions. I will post the video once I transfer it from my GoPro.

@EbikeR2 , I am a PhD student at the University of Maryland studying Nanotechnology and Chemistry.

Here are some pics.

View attachment 4085 View attachment 4086
That's awesome Ravi -- what a great ambasssador for E-Bikes you are! And Nanotech scientist huh? Well hope you can fit part of that into your love of ebikes (not sure how but I'm sure you can figure it out!) Happy riding.