Consider this. For all of human history the amount of power the average person had to expend across each day was, well, one person-power's worth.
And how much was that in terms of energy? Well, our little bike example gives us a good estimate: Eight hours of biking per day yields 800 Wh (0.8 kWh). So since the dawn of our species 300,000 years ago, 0.8 kWh was pretty much the energy available to pretty much everybody each day. If you personally wanted more energy you would need to buy someone else's person-power in the form of servants or, worse, enslaved populations.
Timothy Markus wrote:I haven't looked into the comparison of materials or energy between solar or wind vs a pedal generator, but I'd be looking at a couple of other aspects as well. First, it's not easy to produce energy by pedalling. It's doable, sure, but it gets old fast. Second, who pedals when you're sick? Third, buying something that passively creates energy is just good management. If you've got hours a day and nothing to do, that's one thing, but if you don't, you're into resource management (your time) territory.
thomas rubino wrote: I think even with pedal power you would want some type of battery, and (sorry) but a backup propane generator
As a way to teach your children about power production and power usage it could be a great tool.
Pedal the bike for an hour , produce the power to play their games for an hour.
Skandi Rogers wrote:1. how much does your power cost? assume 50W is what you can peddle, that's 5% of 1KW (for me at 30c a KWh each hour peddled on the bike would save me 1.5c meaning that $800 set up would take 53333 hours to pay back!) of course if you are fitter than me and can manage 100w then it'll only take 3 years of constant peddling if your electric also cost 30c per KWh
To clarify ... electrical energy is expressed as watt-hours or joules. Watts is the unit of measure for power. Energy takes into account time but power is an instantaneous value. Energy = power x time.
Timothy Markus wrote:There's also a big spike in energy in order to get the compressor started. They have capacitors to help smooth it out, but you'll need enough to get it going and may not be able to without a battery.
Nicole Alderman wrote:
(Looking at my bill and seeing how many KWH we use in a month is depressing, and I'm going to go order one of those Kill-a-Watt things. Why are we using 1,000kwh per month? That's the average amount that a US household uses, and it's depressing that that is my number! Is it the 175 and 75 gallon aquariums my husband has running in the garage, or what?)
Michael Cox wrote:This feels to me much like the "wind up torches" that my well meaning family keep on giving me "for camping". They weigh more (I like to pack very light), have less bright light, need winding every few minutes, are noisy and cumbersome to use etc... They are simply less good than a head torch with rechargeable batteries that gives me 100+ hours of light for reading or cooking. And when I think about the times that I need or want a torch they are always the times when I need my hands free - when cooking or eating, or trying to put my boots on in the dark. The headline of "wind up power" doesn't even come close to matching the convenience of a fully recharged battery at the start of the week.
Rita Vail wrote:Has anyone mentioned yet that you will burn more calories with all that pedalling and will perhaps require an even bigger freezer full of food to get through the winter/earthquake?