Hack: DIY Bicycle Generator

Last week we posted about Fenix’s forthcoming Velo Bicycle Generator, which rekindled my interest in do-it-yourself bike generators.  There’s all kinds of information out there on the subject, but I think this version is one of my favorites because it combines blue collar ingenuity and frugality with green minded eco-consciousness.  Basically take a car’s alternator, run a belt from your back wheel to drive the alternator, throw on a 12 volt battery to get the system started, connect to a power inverter so you can charge or run items via a conventional plug, and voila, you’ve re-created a car’s electrical system for your stationary bike.  Another viable option that you’ll find kicking around youtube is to use a DC treadmill motor instead of an alternator and battery.  If you already have a battery bank for solar panels, it looks like you could just plug right into that and charge away.  I haven’t built one yet, but when I do someday I’m sure it’ll be interesting  to see what I can get myself to run with it. — even if it’s just the TV and fan I normally run while on the trainer.


anon - 02/10/13 - 2:03pm

Et voila, un viola!

kyle - 02/10/13 - 10:30pm

400 watts, my typical output, is enough to power four 100 watt light bulbs. Do some math and realize this is a dumb idea.

T - 02/11/13 - 7:08am

If your normal, continuous power output is 400 watts, then hooking up the generator is just what you need to save a little money. I hear EPO is expensive.

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