Generating electricity with a bicycle - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 10-31-2005, 10:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As I recall, I saw a peice in an issue of Mother Earth News a few years back where a reader rigged up some sort of system where you turn a bike into a stationary bike indoors and hook it up to some sort of generator system. I have heard of this to heat water and to create electricity. In fact Real Goods Catalog tells the story of families who make their kids bike the electricty needed to power the tv. Their system costs $600 something dollars.

I am not overly educated in this arena but I am wondering if anyone has heard of this or is better yet doing this! I want to learn about it and set some sort of system up in my household. Any ideas or info would be very welcome!
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#2 of 15 Old 11-02-2005, 11:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Nobody knows anything about this????
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#3 of 15 Old 11-03-2005, 10:46 AM
 
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What I know is heresay from my brother who read about a man and his wife who went totally offgrid and rigged up some really neat systems to get things done around the house.

One of those systems was a stationary bike system. I am not sure of the details, whether it was running water related or electricity but they had to get on the bike for a total of 30-60 minutes daily to keep the thing charged or whatever. So it was a way to make them do their exercising and it served a useful purpose for living.

I'll find out what hte name of the book was if you are interested.

Trying to build up my house, not tear it down namaste.gif.   Got 3 wonderful kids jumpers.gif  ribboncesarean.gif autismribbon.gif, blessed with a wonderful husband luxlove.gif and have the privilege of staying home full time to enjoy it all! 

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#4 of 15 Old 11-04-2005, 12:30 PM
 
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Hey! we're JUST now getting into making one of these. We found a few web sites that describe one of these contraptions. I think you can make one for less than $600. So far we've purchased a trainng stand for a bike, but that's as far as we've gotten. I can let you know as we work out more- and Id love to hear from anyone else on this subject.

Mama to James 4-05 and Leland 7-07, and feeling so privileged to be growing kiddo #3 due in September!
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#5 of 15 Old 11-04-2005, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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YES! This is AWESOME! We just converted our car to run off of veg oil so this bike thing is our next big project and I really want to make it happen.

Danielle, It would be unbelievable if you could get me the name of that book. I would really appreciate it.

Lissybug, yeah, I definately think we could rig one up for cheaper than $600. Could you give me the website you referred me too? Where did you purchase your training stand and what are you planning to do with the energy you create? Let's work together and make this real!
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#6 of 15 Old 11-04-2005, 01:41 PM
 
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Tell me more...this is great! When I saw the thread title, I thought, duh...what a super idea. What could be better than generating some E and getting a good workout at the same time. (DH and I both ride our bikes to work for similar reasons.)

Please...keep us up on your progress.
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#7 of 15 Old 11-04-2005, 10:55 PM
 
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Hey Hillary, I was wrong, it wasn't a book he read but an article. He read it a couple weeks ago on www.motherearthnews.com

He said on Monday he would try to find the article. I'll let you know what I find out then.

Trying to build up my house, not tear it down namaste.gif.   Got 3 wonderful kids jumpers.gif  ribboncesarean.gif autismribbon.gif, blessed with a wonderful husband luxlove.gif and have the privilege of staying home full time to enjoy it all! 

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#8 of 15 Old 11-06-2005, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I think I read the same article a while back. I should try and find it. I spoke with a friend last night who knew of it but she had only heard of it on small scale...like generating power to run a few specific appliances. We have three young healhty adults in the house who I think could give at least 35 + minutes of hard biking a day. I need to figure out how that transfers into how much power. Because even if we designated certain appliancews to be powerd off the bike it would decrease our electrical use. ( We are on the grid but our power company does give us the option to buy from renewable sources).

We are even thinking of trying to run the fridge because we know that sucks so much electricity plus it would keep us really mindful of how much effort it takes to keep a fridge cold and what a luxury that really is.

I am going to try and find that article. If I recall it was actually a reader writing in about the system he had hooked up in his house. Does this sound similar to what your dh had read?
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#9 of 15 Old 11-08-2005, 04:00 PM
 
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#10 of 15 Old 11-08-2005, 05:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you!
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#11 of 15 Old 11-11-2005, 05:15 PM
 
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We've got to finish up a bit of winterizing around our place before we can concentrate on this more, but I'll keep you updated- have to ask Dh what the website is. Thanks for the article link Leav97!

Mama to James 4-05 and Leland 7-07, and feeling so privileged to be growing kiddo #3 due in September!
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#12 of 15 Old 11-11-2005, 05:20 PM
 
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I always kid my husband about starting a health club with these in there, and you get a discount according to how much you pedal! We're both electrical engineers, so of course the idea had occurred to me, but I wasn't aware that people had actually done it.
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#13 of 15 Old 11-11-2005, 11:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That would be so funny! Charge people membership to ride your bikes like crazy and create electricity. Hey we might have a good idea going. Can you imagine if we started health clubs where all the stationary tools where creating electricty instead of drainingit!
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#14 of 15 Old 11-15-2005, 01:01 AM
 
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Here's the website we found that seems useful: http://users.erols.com/mshaver/bikegen.htm

Mama to James 4-05 and Leland 7-07, and feeling so privileged to be growing kiddo #3 due in September!
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#15 of 15 Old 01-03-2006, 05:16 AM
 
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Also some good info here on how to make your own: http://www.humboldt.edu/~ccat/pedalpower/index.html

I used to help power the blender bike for smoothie fundraisers.
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