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Old 01-14-2009, 10:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Project! Pedal power bicycle generator, ghetto style

I just started a thread over at EcoRenovator to document my attempt to make a bicycle based DC generator:

I built the bike stand today:



And on the floor by it, you can see the 12v permanent magnet blower motor I scrounged from the red ForkenSwift car.



Plan is to mount that on the stand, pressed on the rear tire and pedal like mad to see if I can make it spit out 14 ish volts and a few amps to charge an old car battery. A 150w DC/AC inverter will then let me harvest the stored energy later to run various stuff.

Sound like fun? I really have no idea what I'm doing!

Come check out the thread at ER and see if I can make it work:

Building a pedal power bicycle generator, ghetto style - EcoRenovator

.

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Old 01-14-2009, 10:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Check "Livin' with Ed" on the Green channel.. he does this every morning to make his toast... 15 mins on the bike.

It's a good work out, and it's "free energy".

GL on the project, although I don't know if the blower motor will be the most efficient source of energy... I'd think using a car's alternator might yield you better results.
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Old 01-15-2009, 08:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, I've seen Ed biking up some toasty breakfast before.
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Old 01-15-2009, 10:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I've totally been wanting to do this for about 30 years, ever since seeing that Pres. Jimmy Carter and family had one hooked up to the television. Little Amy had to cycle for her cartoons.

That's what I remember anyway... I haven't been able to confirm my recollection on "the google". (I was pretty young then, and maybe I didn't understand what I was seeing.) But I'm sure it wasn't the SNL skit.
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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My suggestion would be to get a smoother tire to enhance contact w/ the motor. My guess is that it would make it much more efficient.
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Or a junker bike where you can re-gear it, remove the tire all together and run to the motor/alternator directly. I have seen these that power bike headlights and taillights for night time use. Cool project.
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Old 01-15-2009, 03:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyatt View Post
Or a junker bike where you can re-gear it, remove the tire all together and run to the motor/alternator directly. I have seen these that power bike headlights and taillights for night time use. Cool project.
That tire makes for one huge pulley for gearing up Much can be done with a belt - and since the tire has a round cross section, the belt will self center to ride on the high spot
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Old 01-15-2009, 04:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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here's simply a google seach results page for

pedal power generator:

pedal power generator - Google Search

I remember reading in "Home Power" magazine about 10 years ago or more a fellow from Davis, CA, USA, wired up a wheelchair motor backwards to be a (pedal-powered) generator.


I'm surprised that the human-powered TV noted by akashic in post #4 (Amy no pedal? Amy no see cartoons) hasn't caught on for gyms and home exercise set-ups. Good motivation there.

Last edited by oldpecan; 01-17-2009 at 10:11 AM..
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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oldpecan: a wheelchair motor would be a good choice since it's probably 24v, which means you won't need crazy RPM to get 12v out of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bikin' Ed View Post
My suggestion would be to get a smoother tire to enhance contact w/ the motor. My guess is that it would make it much more efficient.
A slick would definitely make it easier. The tire-side-contact of the generator hub is far from ideal. But the goal was to make do with stuff I already have, or could easily scrounge, and also to retain the bike's usability - pluck it off the stand and ride it up slippery, snowy hills if desired.

I mounted the motor/generator and did a test pedal tonight ... and blew out a 6v light bulb. Whoopsies.

Also posted details on how I made the stand: Building a pedal power bicycle generator, ghetto style - EcoRenovator

Goal for this weekend is to recharge my camera batteries... WITH! MY! LEGS! Woo.
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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So is the generator powered off the circumference of the tire?

If it is, and you want the best possible contact patch - take the tire off. Let the belt ride in the groove of the rim.

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