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Pedal Bike Charging?

Lt.Dan

Solar Wizard
Joined
Dec 25, 2020
Messages
3,755
Location
Tulare, Ca
Any fitness nuts hook up an alternator to a pedal bike to charge their system? (Or something probably far more efficient and nicer lol)

Just a fun thought experiment, also curious how much power you could generate?
 
About 100w per hour. Should be able to charge your system in a few weeks of pedaling.
 
Years ago as a young'un I built my own bicycle trainer for winter use. I had my tire ride in the groove of a regular car alternator. I found the perfect load to be one plain old sealed beam headlamp. So, about 50 or 60 watts of useful power from that setup. These days I ride a fancy exercise bike that claims my output is 150W constant, 200W if I'm feeling my wheaties. That's probably inaccurate but it's in line with estimates of pedal power output.
It's not nothin' but it sure makes you appreciate the amount of power we routinely rely upon for our daily activities!
 
A lot depends on how long you are capable of working those pedals at a particular power level.
A two or three minute maximum effort spurt is very different to plodding along for half an hour or more.

Many years ago in the Antarctic we participated as volunteers in many types of testing, any crazy schemes our mad doctor could think up.
One of those was how hard you could pedal an exercise bike (to exhaustion) for three minutes. I managed to just reach 500 watts one time only.
The last twenty seconds were terrible.... But it was a lot of fun competing with the other guys.

I am told that world class professional cyclists can reach 1Kw+ for very short bursts.

The pedal power human flight guy in the Gossamer Albatross across the English Channel for a huge monetary prize, could do 300 watts for almost three hours.

Its definitely a very miserable way to charge a battery......
 
This reminds me of a story I read probably 30 years ago. A dad hooked up a car alternator to a stationary bike. He connected that to 12v battery and a 12v to 120v inverter that he used to power a TV. He told his kids they could watch as much TV as they wanted, but they had to pedal the bike to power the TV.

Brilliant ......
 
The Ontario science centre in Toronto used to have a display where the harder you pedal, the more lights light up.
Very popular with kids till the novelty wore off!
 
This reminds me of a story I read probably 30 years ago. A dad hooked up a car alternator to a stationary bike. He connected that to 12v battery and a 12v to 120v inverter that he used to power a TV. He told his kids they could watch as much TV as they wanted, but they had to pedal the bike to power the TV.

Brilliant ......
Lol

I have always wanted to do something like this, but instead of you providing the power for the TV, the TV only stays "ON" while you pedal.
Meaning it's getting its power in the normal way, but you have to maintain a certain amount of effort on the exercise bike or it'll trigger a relay or something like that and shut off the TV.

The Ontario science centre in Toronto used to have a display where the harder you pedal, the more lights light up.
Very popular with kids till the novelty wore off!
There is a similar display at a children's museum in Vermont close to where I live.
Except that it's right below their actual full size elevator And supposedly you have to pedal the same amount of energy it takes to push the full size elevator up one floor.
 

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