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posted by hubie on Sunday December 10, @09:32AM   Printer-friendly

Low-tech Magazine has built a bicycle generator for a public exhibition on energy at the Pavillon d'Arsenal in Paris, France. Their two other bike generators can be seen and experimented with in Rotterdam, Netherlands and Barcelona, Spain.

In October, we built a third energy bicycle during a workshop at the House of the Future in Rotterdam. This bicycle generator is now used as an energy source in the community center. The House of the Future is open to the public, for details see their website and instagram.

In a future article, we will cover the construction process and technical details of these two new muscular power plants. These machines are based on spinning bikes and are more powerful than the first bike generator we built.

With electricity prices continually hitting new record highs, maybe the market is the EU?

[The Toaster Challenge can help put this energy-generation idea into perspective. --hubie]

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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by pTamok on Sunday December 10, @02:27PM (4 children)

    by pTamok (3042) on Sunday December 10, @02:27PM (#1336019) []

    How much power humans can generate and for how long varies with physical form. The specific power may be expressed in watts per kilogram of body mass. Active humans can produce 1.5 W/kg (untrained), 3.0 W/kg (fit), and 6.6 W/kg (top-class male athletes). 5 W/kg is about the level reachable by the highest tier of male amateurs for longer periods.[8] Maximum sustained power levels during one hour range from about 200 W (NASA experimental group of "healthy men") to 500 W (men's world hour record).[9]

    On that basis, you can probably use 200 Watts per hour as an approximation.

    IPhone batteries vary from about 4.25 Watt hour to 17.1 Watt Hour capacities. ( [] ), so assuming no losses (which is implausible), it's take between 5 and 10 minutes to generate enough power to charge an iPhone fully.

    A laptop PC has a battery capacity of 'about' 50 Watt-hours. That's 15 minutes of cycling, again, assuming no losses.

    This calculator []

    tells me that at 100% efficiently, 200Watts will boil a quarter of a litre of water (enough for a cup of tea) in 7 minutes,

    A 'typical' PC and monitor will probably add up to 200 Watts power draw on their own. You would need to pedal continuously while working. As for gaming, you'd need several people pedalling to allow you to run a semi-decent graphics card and powerful PC.

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by captain normal on Sunday December 10, @09:49PM (3 children)

    by captain normal (2205) on Sunday December 10, @09:49PM (#1336056)

    A 24" LED monitor uses less than 30 watts. You'd have be driving a pretty big monitor to suck up 200 watts. The typical laptop uses far less than 30 watts.

    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts"- --Daniel Patrick Moynihan--
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 10, @10:06PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 10, @10:06PM (#1336057)

      And one litre is a damn big cup of tea.

    • (Score: 1) by pTamok on Monday December 11, @07:38AM

      by pTamok (3042) on Monday December 11, @07:38AM (#1336094)

      A 'typical' laptop PC, yes: but a 'typical desktop PC has a higher power draw. I didn't make myself clear.