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Discussion in 'Home Power and Microgeneration' started by Brian Gaff, Feb 5, 2012.

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  1. Brian Gaff

    Brian Gaff Guest

    New visitor here, so if its in an archive, sorry.
    Is there a relatively cheap device that can turn pedal power into a charger
    for batteries for phones or other devices? All this keep fit going on seems
    so wasteful.
  2. Jim Wilkins

    Jim Wilkins Guest
    or Google "pedal generator".

    It looks like this simple project separates the dreamers from the doers.
  3. There are lots available. Search the web for "pedal power"


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  4. Vaughn

    Vaughn Guest

    In my (brief) experience, about 50 watts is the most power a non-athlete
    could hope to generate for any length of time on a peddle generator. As
    an old guy in only average shape, I have no problem peddling at 14mph
    for an hour at a time, which probably comes to about 50 watts output.
    The difference is, I'm doing it out in a breeze. On a stationary bike
    you will likely need a fan to keep you cool while you are peddling.
    Guess how much power that will take?

    Now do the math! At 50 watts, it would take you 20 hours to generate
    one kilowatt-hour, or about 15 cents worth of power. As a further brain
    exercise, figure out how many hours you would need to peddle to pay for
    your equipment.

    Now you know why peddle-powered generators aren't common.

  5. Jim Wilkins

    Jim Wilkins Guest

    One of my maybe-someday projects is a treadle generator, like an old sewing
    machine, that would sit under the computer desk and charge the laptop

  6. Vaughn

    Vaughn Guest

    While that would be fun to build and a great conversation piece, a PV
    charger would likely be much more practical.

  7. Jim Wilkins

    Jim Wilkins Guest

    I already have the "45 Watt" HF kit, and usd it to run the TV and laptop and
    charge the cell phone during our weeklong October power outage.

  8. Mho

    Mho Guest

    Stop peddling and your monitor goes blank. My guess is you would lose about
    30 pounds in a year chatting.

    "Jim Wilkins" wrote in message

    I already have the "45 Watt" HF kit, and usd it to run the TV and laptop and
    charge the cell phone during our weeklong October power outage.

  9. Brian Gaff

    Brian Gaff Guest

    Yes, I know about that, but this is not in the US, I want one in the UK, it
    will cost a packet to import the bits.
  10. Brian Gaff

    Brian Gaff Guest

    But being blind and not wanting to hang of the back of a tandem, I still
    think its a gooer. after all you can get useful battery charges from hand
    cranked devices, it should be possible as i said originally to get a bit
    more from pedalling and simply use it to charge up AA rechargeable for
    example. At least all your energy does not go into warming up a friction
  11. Brian Gaff

    Brian Gaff Guest

    Well I have the old Treadle sewing machine, so what is next?

  12. Brian Gaff

    Brian Gaff Guest

    I don't think you get it do you?

    Are you an accountant? grin.

  13. Brian Gaff

    Brian Gaff Guest

    and I thought i was cynical.

    You charge the battery and use that to power the tv.
  14. Jim Wilkins

    Jim Wilkins Guest

  15. If I were going to make a pedal generator I would use the motor and gearbox
    assembly from an electric wheelchair. The in-line ones would work better
    than the right angle ones. I have a set like these:
    only mine are from an Invacare.
  16. AJH

    AJH Guest

    The guys who assembled two bike generator to power an offgrid concert
    which I helped at used a standard shopping, lady's bicycle. The back
    wheel was held clear of the ground by a triangular frame attached to
    the back axle. A 200W DC motor from a child's 24V electric scooter was
    held against the rear tyre and driven by friction. This fed via a
    rectifier into 2 1Farad capacitors and power was taken off these.
    There were three leds across the capacitors to indicate correct
    voltage. It was steady work to maintain a 60W output and I just about
    managed to peak at 200W.

  17. Jim Wilkins

    Jim Wilkins Guest

    Ah, another good item to watch for at yard sales. I used to repair
    power wheel chairs and other medical devices and have mixed feelings
    about diverting their still-useful repair components to other
    purposes. For various reasons not all users quality for government
  18. Winston

    Winston Guest

    Jim Wilkins wrote:
    Not to worry. Bicycle power generation is a nanoscopic market.

    In my yout, I actually tried to maintain ~70 W into a
    bicycle crank over an extended period of time. Best I ever
    did consistently was about 30 minutes. Then I was All Done.

    I could not have done that unless I was in the breeze
    of my trusty *90 W* fan. :)

  19. Jim Wilkins

    Jim Wilkins Guest

    I really need only 30W to maintain a battery powering this laptop or
    my 22" HDTV. A USB flex light is enough to illuminate the keybard to
    type when the room lights are off. 50W would be the goal, though I
    might design the frame and drive for 500W, which I can't maintain very
    long if at all.

    This would be my model, a foot-powered lathe meant for continuous
    duty, unlike a sewing machine where you stop at the end of each seam.

    I don't think I could pedal a crank and type at the same time, but the
    treadle drive is well proven for delicate work.

  20. Winston

    Winston Guest

    Jim Wilkins wrote:

    I think you mentioned using a stepper motor
    as a generator in a wind charger application.

    That, combined with your PV panels sounds like a
    valuable parallel wattage source for your
    treadle genny.

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