Home Pedal Power, the use of human energy  
 

For many years people have used pedal power to get from location to location. As a child I had a bicycle with a small generator that turned on the wheel as I pedaled the bike. This in turn caused the light on the handle bars and on the back fender (yes we had fenders in those days), to light up, thus giving you light to see at night and light to allow motorists to see you riding you bicycle at night (hopefully).

Through my friend John after talking to him about my idea of a pedal powered generator, he called me up and said "when would you like one dropped off?" "I have one that I used to use so I could watch TV while exercising. (DC power TV).

This exercise bike is connected to a DC treadmill motor/generator, that at top speeds will produce 90 VDC. At a comfortable pedaling speed the bike produces about 15VDC give or take a volt or two. As you can see in the photo below I placed a large electrolytic capacitor in parallel with  the 12VDC Headlight/LOAD, so as to buffer the voltage just a bit. I have found that doing so keeps from burning out bulbs when you accidentally pedal too fast for just a second too long. OOPS! ;)

My near future plan is to tie this unit in with my solar charge controller, with the use of a rather LARGE DIODE to keep the generator from becoming a Motor, and taking me for a ride. This will allow the power I produce to go into the batteries that I store my solar power in as they charge during the daylight hours.