Months back I was working on e-assist cycling possibilities for my trike & once had a discussion with Shankaranna. He was very much skeptic that human input can displace battery usage and said it will use battery anyway. Later he admitted it is working after my demonstration, but I never got along to explain to curious onlookers who see me on the road.
At a given speed and throttle at particular level, I can see decrease in battery usage as I increase the pedaling effort that reinforces my knowledge but again it is not obvious to the non user. Yesterday the similarities of using biogas on diesel engines flashed in my mind. Having a gasifier developed in IISc,
Producer gas is a mixture of carbon monoxide and Nitrogen produced by burning biomass with restricted supply of Oxygen. So it gets partly burnt and is in gaseous form. Energy equivalent of one liter of diesel requires three kg of wood chips. The same technology was used during WW2 to run civilian transport.
The Carbon monoxide (Producer gas ) or Methane ( Biogas) is fed to the intake manifold of diesel engine and engine progressively reduces the diesel intake to the extent of 75 %. Similarly when I increase my pedaling effort, my Cycle Analyst meter shows the decreasing Wattage being used to propel the trike.
So presently my trike runs on human effort plus battery power. I am working on adding solar energy to the above inventory so that riding range is considerably increased. There are plenty of hurdles to cross and it is expensive too. Plenty of technical problems and right materials not available in