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Solar-powered bike conquers Sahara

 

simon milwardAdventurer Simon Milward has completed his journey across the Western Sahara on his solar-powered bicycle.

Screened from the hot sun by his large solar panel, he made the journey from  Guelmin in Morocco to the Mauritanian border in just nine days – despite a slow start caused by cloudy conditions on the first day.As we reported in FI at the beginning of the trip, Milward was not expecting cloudy conditions and feared the bicycle would be too slow to get up even a slight gradient under an overcast sky. However the sun shone brightly throughout the rest of the trek, proving that solar energy works even without a battery to store the power.

saharasimonThis was more than a charity fund-raiser – although he has so far made £300 for Oxfam at www.justgiving.com/simonmilward

The aim was to raise the profile of solar power in a part of the world where – despite abundant sunshine – it is rarely used. The solar panel was provided by AKT and Simon designed the frame himself that holds it aloft above the crossbar. He was surprised how well it worked….click here to hear full details of the journey in our interview Solarbike Simon Milward

Simon believes his  trip had the intended effect. En route a car drove past and the driver asked him to stopover at an oasis town, to demonstrate his solar motor at the local technical college.”They were already using solar panels to generate power. But this was the first time they’d seen it drive a motor” said Milward.

His trek left him saddlesore, with blistered hands from the hot sun. With only his younger brother and a support vehicle as back-up, this was a feat of endurance. Now he is back at his desk in the financial services industry and already planning his next adventure…