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pedal power

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Posted by John on July 15, 2012, 4:50 am
I am thinking of setting up a bike trainer to a alternator to generate
electricity. Can anyone tell me if you can get bike trainers,
alternatiors mains grid tie in inverters etc as a pre-built package from
any place? Or alternatively if you wanted to do this yourself DIY on the
cheap, does anyone have any links to plans and parts, and also ideas on
costs? I believe I can get an inverter quite cheaply here in the UK, so
that just leaves bike trainer and alternator.

Posted by Winston on July 15, 2012, 5:20 am
John wrote:

John, Nooooooo!  :)

Whatever power you generate will be needed to drive the fan
to forestall heat exhaustion.

BTDT, lost the teeshirt.


Posted by mike on July 15, 2012, 6:09 am
 On 7/14/2012 9:50 PM, John wrote:

You need to do some math.
Research DIY wind generators to figure out how to get juice at low rpm.
I once built a 120VDC generator from a car alternator.
The 1.5HP gas engine took all it had to spin it up to speed at no load.

If you want to tie into the grid, do some more math.
The extra service charge for the metering will be more in a month
you'll generate from pedal power in your life time.
The payback period on the system will be a lot longer than never.

File it under "bad idea" and find a new hobby.

Posted by Vaughn on July 15, 2012, 2:53 pm
 On 7/15/2012 2:09 AM, mike wrote:

Exactly!  Figure out how many hours it will take you to generate one
Euro/Pound/Dollar's worth of electricity, and then it will become clear
to you why you need to forget the idea.

In short, you would be peddling for the rest of your life just to pay
for your equipment.  On top of that is the cooling problem that someone
else already mentioned.


Posted by Jim Wilkins on July 15, 2012, 5:13 pm
Without having built one, I think they -might- make sense if you lose
power for extended periods in the winter, when the house is cold and
the solar panel inadequate. I could see one to recharge the laptop
while I browse via landline or cell modem, whichever still works, but
in that case a treadle under the table may be less intrusive than
trying to type while pedalling.


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