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Using a bicycle generator to recharge a battery bank  RSS feed

 
John Smithe
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So, I'm fairly new to this. I've been researching for a couple of years, but haven't made the move off grid, yet.
I'm looking into a bicycle generator system, and I have two questions:
Is it feasible to recharge a battery bank (say 4 to 6 batteries) using pedal power?
Would one still need to use a charge controller, if such an action would work?
Thank you
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Wikipedia says that a fit peddler can average about 75 watts of output during an 8 hour workday. So that is 50 amp hours per day at 12 volts... If you choose a modest size battery that holds 100 Amp-Hours then it would take 2 workdays to charge the battery. So charging a battery bank containing 6 of these batteries would take 12 days of peddling. A charge controller wouldn't be needed if you installed a voltage meter and stopped pedaling when the battery was full.

Or instead of peddling for 8 hours a day you could install a single 75 watt solar panel to get about the same output.

Or better yet, give some thought to doing things in ways that don't require electricity.... If I had a choice between going to bed when it gets dark, or peddling for an hour or two to keep the lights on at night, I'd choose to not do the peddling.



 
R Scott
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Pedalling to charge a battery to turn a motor is hugely inefficient just by the nature of batteries and motors. You lose half the power to heat.

Pedal the machine directly for what you can.
 
John Smithe
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Or better yet, give some thought to doing things in ways that don't require electricity....

That's definitely the plan...
All I'm really looking to power is a medium sized refrigerator, a food processor from time to time, LED rope lights, and cell phones / laptops...
I appreciate the detailed breakdown...looks like panels, and maybe a wind turbine, are the way to go.
 
Steve Farmer
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75W average over an 8 hour period maybe. But the same person could knock out 250W+ in bursts.
 
R Scott
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Steve Farmer wrote:75W average over an 8 hour period maybe. But the same person could knock out 250W+ in bursts.


Yes, which is one more reason it is better to turn the appliance direct. Especially things like blenders, grinders, food processors. They are in the 250w range and short use.



 
Joseph Lofthouse
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When I am working around the farm, I prefer to expend my effort as "slow and steady" rather than in rapid bursts. That way, I can continue working all day long rather than overexerting myself and then having to spend the rest of the day recuperating. An example of that would be my weeding hoes. A standard hoe is 6" wide. Wears me out to use it in my hard clayish soil. So I cut my hoes down to 4" or even 2". A 2" hoe takes 1/3 the power to operate as a 6" hoe. Using a light easily wielded hoe is more like pole-dancing than weeding. I do the same thing with the wheel hoe: operate it with up to 80% of the teeth missing so that I can operate it all day long instead of overtiring myself after a few minutes.

I don't understand refrigeration in an off-grid lifestyle... It is one of the most energy intensive applications, and it does a task which can be easily avoided... For me, it's much easier to conserve the electricity by doing without refrigeration than it is to have a big enough system to run a refrigerator.

 
Charli Wilson
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Olympic cyclist Robert Förstemann creating 700W to make toast: http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/latest-news/olympic-cyclist-versus-toaster-can-forstemann-toast-a-slice-of-bread-video-175175

Looks like hard work.
 
John Smithe
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:

I don't understand refrigeration in an off-grid lifestyle... It is one of the most energy intensive applications, and it does a task which can be easily avoided... For me, it's much easier to conserve the electricity by doing without refrigeration than it is to have a big enough system to run a refrigerator.



So, do you just cook an amount of food you will be able to eat in a sitting, and not have leftovers? Or stick with raw?
 
John Smithe
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Charli Wilson wrote:Olympic cyclist Robert Förstemann creating 700W to make toast: http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/latest-news/olympic-cyclist-versus-toaster-can-forstemann-toast-a-slice-of-bread-video-175175

Looks like hard work.


My God, the thighs on that guy...
 
kevin stewart
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Last year i was on the island bonaire and i saw this at a friend's house.

He found it at the landfill.

At the landfill
CAM00205.jpg
[Thumbnail for CAM00205.jpg]
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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When I live without refrigeration, I change the nature of the foods I eat, how I cook them, how I store them, etc...

Instead of storing pre-made sauces under refrigeration, I add spices directly to the cooking pot.

I don't much care for raw foods, but most raw vegetables don't need to be refrigerated, and store remarkably well without refrigeration, even though we are in a habit of refrigerating them.

I eat more fermented foods when I don't have refrigeration.

I eat more seasonally, and more bingingly... If I cook a chicken in the summer I eat the whole chicken during the day.

It seems to me that the food-handler permit process has seriously damaged people's perceptions regarding what foods can be safely eaten the next day even without refrigeration.

 
John Smithe
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:

When I live without refrigeration, I change the nature of the foods I eat, how I cook them, how I store them, etc...

Instead of storing pre-made sauces under refrigeration, I add spices directly to the cooking pot.

I don't much care for raw foods, but most raw vegetables don't need to be refrigerated, and store remarkably well without refrigeration, even though we are in a habit of refrigerating them.

I eat more fermented foods when I don't have refrigeration.

I eat more seasonally, and more bingingly... If I cook a chicken in the summer I eat the whole chicken during the day.

It seems to me that the food-handler permit process has seriously damaged people's perceptions regarding what foods can be safely eaten the next day even without refrigeration.



I'm pretty inspired by this...I don't think it would be too much of a stretch for us to accomplish it.
All we really eat is legumes, grains, and vegetables... We'd have to give up Vegenaise and half gallon almond milk.
I had suggested to my wife that on our next trip to Big Bend, we don't use coolers and ice...cook what we can eat, and eat it.
I think she's starting to see the light.
 
Rob Arnold
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This is an interesting topic. Serious cyclists/triathletes will sometimes purchase devices which measure the amount of mechanical energy delivered to the drivetrain, either by measuring the energy that causes the crank arm to flex (i.e. quarq brand), or by measuring the acceleration/torque of the real wheel hub axle (i.e. powertap brand). So keep in mind that when you're doing internet research, most of the values reported for cycling power are in terms of mechanical energy "at the crank", and probably do not account for gearing/drivetrain losses, or conversion to electrical energy.

The actual article text of the wikipedia "human power" article should be quoted. Note these numbers are "mechanical energy produced", i.e, would be measured 'at the crank' as I discussed above, and not a measure of usable electrical energy produced.

A trained cyclist can produce about 400 watts of mechanical power for an hour or more, but adults of good average fitness average between 50 and 150 watts for an hour of vigorous exercise. A healthy well-fed laborer over the course of an 8-hour work shift can sustain an average output of about 75 watts.[1] The yield of electric power is decreased by the lack of efficiency of the human-powered generator, no known generators are 100% efficient.


Based on my experience as an amateur cyclist/triathlete who has actually one of the devices mentioned above (purchased used, and quite old), I would say that anyone who can produce in the range of 175-200 Watts (measured at the drive train) continually, for 4-6 hours straight should seriously start to think about training to be a professional athlete. Producing this much mechanical energy continually is a serious drain, and not something that you should consider to be an easy task to crank off in a few hours, and then hop straight to an additional 8 hours of hard farm labour.

The other posts are correct, if you're going to go the cycling route, focus on direct mechanical conversion of energy for short-term high energy tasks, like running a threshing machine, clothes spinner... possibly lots of things, I'm sure there are a lot of ideas in this space.

I just purchased an 80Watt solar panel for under $100 Canadian dollars online. If I worked my ass off all day on a bike, I could (probably) match the output of this panel for a few days... after that, fatigue, chores, work, and probably over exertion injuries would sideline me, and the panels output would start to surpass what I could do on a cycle all within about a week. Amortize this over the life of the panel, and take into account that while the panel is producing power you can do other things (talk about stacking functions) and an 80 Watt panel blows away spending your time cycling out watts for hours, days, weeks, and months on end.
 
Larry Noel
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I need to make an input here. What is being discussed here is "mechanical watts" which is in reality not related to "electrical watts." "Mechanical watts" is a mathematical function between calories burned and horsepower output. "Electrical watts" is a mathematical function of volts times amps. While it may take 400 "mechanical watts" to power a bicycle for a given time, that physical energy of the wheel turning can be used to turn a car alternator which will have an electrical wattage output that is in no mathematical relationship to the mechanical watts consumed. Make sense?

Several years ago I had an old 26" English racer with the super skinny tires. and I took the rear tire off the rim, got the longest fan belt that they had at the auto parts store, and built a plywood stand to hold the bike upright. I got a 100 amp single wire alternator and rigged up a spring tensioned mount in line with the fan belt and hooked it up. The single wire alts need 12 volts in the system to "excite the field" and turn the electric magnets on to start generating amps. I am not sure what RPMs are needed, but as long as that speed is maintained the thing will make amps. I ran it once with a meter on it and it was putting out 13.8 volts at 85 amps at the speed I was pedaling and that is a pretty good rate to charge a battery at. Anyway I had my proof of concept working and I put it away and it is in the "just in case" worst case file...ready to go. In a worst case where all you had was this and a dead battery a solar panel could be enough to "excite the field" and make it start generating amps. Watts = Amps times volts so 100 amps at 12 volts is 1200 watts. Pedal for an hour and you should have 1200 watt hours stored. Thats the theory at least. Like I said, it works and I put it into the special file as a back up to may back up. Cost: $20 for bike+$100 for alternator+$30 fan belt=$150 experiment and a few hours and nuts and bolts with scrap plywood. I call it my "Gilligan's Island" generator.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Larry Noel wrote:Make sense?


Not to me. If your device can get 1200 watts out of 75 watts worth of effort, then you should be selling energy. A watt is a watt is a watt regardless of whether or not it is mechanical or electrical. 1200 Watts is about 1.6 horsepower. Humans can only produce about 1/10th horsepower on a sustained basis.
 
Rob Arnold
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Larry Noel wrote:I need to make an input here. What is being discussed here is "mechanical watts" which is in reality not related to "electrical watts." "Mechanical watts" is a mathematical function between calories burned and horsepower output. "Electrical watts" is a mathematical function of volts times amps. While it may take 400 "mechanical watts" to power a bicycle for a given time, that physical energy of the wheel turning can be used to turn a car alternator which will have an electrical wattage output that is in no mathematical relationship to the mechanical watts consumed. Make sense?

Several years ago I had an old 26" English racer with the super skinny tires. and I took the rear tire off the rim, got the longest fan belt that they had at the auto parts store, and built a plywood stand to hold the bike upright. I got a 100 amp single wire alternator and rigged up a spring tensioned mount in line with the fan belt and hooked it up. The single wire alts need 12 volts in the system to "excite the field" and turn the electric magnets on to start generating amps. I am not sure what RPMs are needed, but as long as that speed is maintained the thing will make amps. I ran it once with a meter on it and it was putting out 13.8 volts at 85 amps at the speed I was pedaling and that is a pretty good rate to charge a battery at. Anyway I had my proof of concept working and I put it away and it is in the "just in case" worst case file...ready to go. In a worst case where all you had was this and a dead battery a solar panel could be enough to "excite the field" and make it start generating amps. Watts = Amps times volts so 100 amps at 12 volts is 1200 watts. Pedal for an hour and you should have 1200 watt hours stored. Thats the theory at least. Like I said, it works and I put it into the special file as a back up to may back up. Cost: $20 for bike+$100 for alternator+$30 fan belt=$150 experiment and a few hours and nuts and bolts with scrap plywood. I call it my "Gilligan's Island" generator.


Hi Larry,

Electrical power (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_power) and Mechanical Energy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_(physics)#Mechanical_power), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Work_(physics) both have the same SI unit, there is no caveat that Watts produced by mechanical energy are different than Watts produced by electrical energy.

As for your results, if you believe they are correct, then I encourage you to repeat your experiment and publish them! As you are roughly a factor of 8-10 higher than what most people reportedly achieve, any improvements you have made would be quite welcome (and indeed, quite groundbreaking).

For fun, though unscientific, here is an olympic athlete powering a toaster - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3112063/Can-Olympic-cyclist-power-toaster-Science-experiment-shows-energy-REALLY-takes-make-simple-slice-toast.html and though it doesn't appear to be published in the most prestigous journal, here at least is some work that others have done in a somewhat quantitative manner - http://www.ijetae.com/files/Volume3Issue5/IJETAE_0513_130.pdf

and some other interesting food for thought: http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2011/05/bike-powered-electricity-generators.html
 
Larry Noel
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from wikipedia: "The watt (symbol: W) is a derived unit of power in the International System of Units (SI), named after the Scottish engineer James Watt (1736–1819). The unit is defined as joule per second[1] and can be used to express the rate of energy conversion or transfer with respect to time. It has dimensions of L2MT−3."

In other words.... scientific "consensus" has muddied the waters to the point that no one can see anything. "The watt (symbol: W) is a derived unit of power" (from above) ... note the term "derived" ... this is a "science by consensus" term to "define" things and to ultimately limit knowledge. I contend that there is little relationship, other than the manipulated mathematical one derived by "consensus science", that is in any way relative to reality. I have built, tested, and have the working model to prove that one can run a alternator with bicycle power and generate electricity ... no matter what "consensus" and "mathematics" says is possible. Tesla ran across this problem, but I am in no way comparing myself to him, just using his experience with "known science" to illustrate my point of "known mathematics" and "consensus science."

Isn't that what permaculture is all about? Breaking all of the "rules" and finding ways that really work? Never mind what the science and the manipulated mathematics tell you, just dig in and experiment ... follow that little voice in your head that says "what if...." and dare to try something that the "consensus science" says that will not work through their manipulative mathematics of "derived units." Remember that mathematics and numbers only exist in man's mind and not in "nature." You will never see a mathematical equation in your garden, unless you subscribe to "science by consensus" and look (very hard) for it.

Just dig in and break the mold and try something new. That is how rocket stoves have been developed and improved over time. Then share your results for others to try to improve on. That is all I am doing here. Try it ... you'll like it! Or prove me to be a fool. Either way ... how can you lose?

PS: I am not interested in selling electricity, power, or anything else, I am just extremely lazy and just want to have the best possible life with the lest work extended and that is the basis for all of my experimentation. If necessity was the mother of invention ... laziness was its father. I built my working model on a hunch and it worked, and I filed it away for future use if needed. I am in no way trying to sell or profit from this "knowledge" that I have stumbled upon, just sharing freely. If you don't think this will work .... try it and prove me wrong. I have nothing to lose and I have a working prototype for my extreme needs.
 
Rob Arnold
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Consensus in this context here means that there is an agreed upon nomenclature of what a 'Watt' means. As an example if pounds, feet, acres, yards all meant different things to different people then the act of even discussing permaculture in a quantitative and meaningful manner would be a difficult and confusing affair. Derivation is a way of defining some quantity in terms of other defined quantities. For example, one might "derive" an acre in terms of feet, by first defining an acre as being 10 square chains, where a chain is defined as 60 feet, where a foot is defined as 10 inches, and so forth.

Permaculture, as some define it (https://www.facebook.com/geoff.lawton.12/posts/329439103909294) is a 'design science', so I implore you to reproduce and publish your findings. If, as you say, it is only $150 and an afternoon, then if what you claim is true then it would be indeed quite fundamental.

Larry Noel wrote:from wikipedia: "The watt (symbol: W) is a derived unit of power in the International System of Units (SI), named after the Scottish engineer James Watt (1736–1819). The unit is defined as joule per second[1] and can be used to express the rate of energy conversion or transfer with respect to time. It has dimensions of L2MT−3."

In other words.... scientific "consensus" has muddied the waters to the point that no one can see anything. "The watt (symbol: W) is a derived unit of power" (from above) ... note the term "derived" ... this is a "science by consensus" term to "define" things and to ultimately limit knowledge. I contend that there is little relationship, other than the manipulated mathematical one derived by "consensus science", that is in any way relative to reality. I have built, tested, and have the working model to prove that one can run a alternator with bicycle power and generate electricity ... no matter what "consensus" and "mathematics" says is possible. Tesla ran across this problem, but I am in no way comparing myself to him, just using his experience with "known science" to illustrate my point of "known mathematics" and "consensus science."

Isn't that what permaculture is all about? Breaking all of the "rules" and finding ways that really work? Never mind what the science and the manipulated mathematics tell you, just dig in and experiment ... follow that little voice in your head that says "what if...." and dare to try something that the "consensus science" says that will not work through their manipulative mathematics of "derived units." Remember that mathematics and numbers only exist in man's mind and not in "nature." You will never see a mathematical equation in your garden, unless you subscribe to "science by consensus" and look (very hard) for it.

Just dig in and break the mold and try something new. That is how rocket stoves have been developed and improved over time. Then share your results for others to try to improve on. That is all I am doing here. Try it ... you'll like it! Or prove me to be a fool. Either way ... how can you lose?

PS: I am not interested in selling electricity, power, or anything else, I am just extremely lazy and just want to have the best possible life with the lest work extended and that is the basis for all of my experimentation. If necessity was the mother of invention ... laziness was its father. I built my working model on a hunch and it worked, and I filed it away for future use if needed. I am in no way trying to sell or profit from this "knowledge" that I have stumbled upon, just sharing freely. If you don't think this will work .... try it and prove me wrong. I have nothing to lose and I have a working prototype for my extreme needs.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Larry Noel wrote:I have built, tested, and have the working model to prove that one can run a alternator with bicycle power and generate electricity.


I am not questioning the known fact that car alternators make electricity, nor that alternators can be rotated with bicycle power.

I am questioning why Larry's experiment produced about 10 times more electricity than others have achieved when doing the same sorts of experiments. I am questioning the validity of the testing protocol, the accuracy of the instruments used to measure current and voltage, and the interpretation of the results. For example, what load was connected to the bicycle powered alternator while testing voltage and current? What components were part of the test circuit? Those kinds of data points would help others to reproduce the experiment for themselves, or aide them in debunking the experiment so they don't misallocate the time and resources of conducting it themselves.

Nobody is trying to obfuscate anything here. The first person to break the laws of physics as we currently know them, and market a product to do so will become a multi-billionaire in a year. Scientists have many faults. However we've known about electricity for hundreds of years now. If there was a way to get 1200 Watts of electricity out of 75 watts worth of labor we would be using it already. Especially if the techniques and equipment required were so commonplace that anyone could aspire to do it in their own garage.

 
Larry Noel
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"Consensus in this context here means that there is an agreed upon nomenclature of what a 'Watt' means. As an example if pounds, feet, acres, yards all meant different things to different people then the act of even discussing permaculture in a quantitative and meaningful manner would be a difficult and confusing affair." as quoted from above poster.

Agreed. Therefore I choose to expand upon my previous statement that agreed upon consensus serves to limit the experimentation through limiting the definitions. "If my mathematics says it can not be, then you are wrong." I agree that universal terms are required to achieve continuity, but in the same breath continuity serves to limit expansion. See what I mean? If we only agree to terms that are defined by those that seek to limit knowledge, then we are subject to those limitations. Units of measure of physical things can be agreed upon, but units of measure for "concepts" are mathematical and ambiguous at best and are not universal. If we rather choose to redefine things as we have proven to ourselves, rather than accepting what we have been "taught," then we have a unbiased view of reality that can be expanded upon. If we only use the mathematics and definitions that are supplied to us, we would be biased to the opinions and teachings of others, and we would be limited to the view of a flat earth where the solar system revolves around it. Rules were made to be broken and there are very few "hard fast rules of science" that have lasted more than 20 years before being over turned.

Certain units of measure of the physical world are useful for common ground discussions, but "scientific consensus" of terms to limit the "out of the box" thinking are limiting and should not be entertained. Do not believe what your teacher told you out of respect for the teacher, but that which is uplifting to mankind, hold onto and evolve, because that is the right thing to do. Remember that mathematics only exists in man's mind and not in nature. Just because the "scientists" (read indoctrinated idolaters and professors of the religion of science) say something is so because that is what their teachers told them, does not make it reality. Reality can not be mathematically reduced unless you subscribe to limitations. Mathematics is a creation of man and limited by his acceptance of it, and nature is limitless and unaccepting of man's limitations by his definitions. I believe that limitations are figments of imagination of the human mind, and the nature of things is to break the rules regularly and that is how we progress.

I have nothing to prove to anyone. I have a working model that I believe will serve my needs if ever the need arises. I only wish to share that experience and invite others to try it. Or not. It is no skin off my back if you do not believe me, and I do not have the time nor finances to pursue a "proof" to others, for I am in the process of building hugleculture mounds and lots of other things that I have learned about and am perusing this forum to learn more about..

Quoted from above "Consensus in this context here means that there is an agreed upon nomenclature of what a 'Watt' means. As an example if pounds, feet, acres, yards all meant different things to different people then the act of even discussing permaculture in a quantitative and meaningful manner would be a difficult and confusing affair." This does not exclude the fact that a "Mechanical watt" is an entirely different animal from an "electrical watt" no matter how the mathematics can be manipulated to describe otherwise. Apples are apples and oranges are oranges no matter how one may mathematically prove they are both fruits.
 
allen lumley
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I have been following the developments in this bicycle/flywheel/permanent magnet motor* project- /////// See link below :


http://news.nationalgeographic.com/energy/2015/10/151006-energy-drink-billionaire-wants-to-power-homes-with-bikes/


If this billionaire wants to give me one I would take it, this unit will probably take decades to ''pay-for-itself'', in terms of

both materials used and manufacturing costs but it must set the bar for everything else to be measured against !


For the Crafts ! Big AL


* For a different application ( sterling engine ) This Motor Generator was quoted at ~$500~ so the whole thing will not be $100 !
 
Larry Noel
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I knew that it was possible! I hope he succeeds and makes good on his promise and he will eventually give away the specs and plans. One hour of pedaling for 24 hours of usable electricity sounds like a good trade off of watts for watts. I hope that I will never have to use my trail rig, because that would mean that the electric grid has gone down and this country will be FUBARed.
 
allen lumley
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Plese note on the story of the Hybrid Bike that is going to families in India. The Basic Idea is the Flywheel makes it easier to keep peddling as it stores energy,

But he is meeting the Energy needs of a very rural Indian people who get Electricity off of the grid for several hours a day only -with frequent interruptions.

Total storage of Energy is geared to charging cell phones and running a lap top, and basic L.E.D. type lighting .

It is very likely that the payback will take decades if ever to pay off the cash, energy, and materials cost !

In this new clip the amount of time the hybrid bike is on the screen is several seconds starting at 1:37 , you will have to start and stop and rewind this video

Several times to get a good look ! //// Link below :


http://news.nationalgeographic.com/energy/2015/10/151006-energy-drink-billionaire-wants-to-power-homes-with-bikes/

For the good of the Craft ! Big AL
 
Larry Noel
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I totally get it. This is never intended to be a total system, and I never intended for my experiment to be that either. If one could build something for less than $300 and have a good back up emergency system to charge a battery for basic needs, that would be a good investment. I have 250 watts of solar panels as a back up and the bike is a back up to my back up, which is why it is in the attic and has not come out since it was built.

I have seen small wind generators for about $500 that put out 450 watts with a 10 mph wind, I had always wanted to try hooking one of those up to a bike to see if it could be a good emergency tool, but if I had the $500 I would just mount it on the roof of the house and use the wind.

I did my experimentation after 2 weeks with no electricity after hurricane Katrina. Now I have a generator, batteries, solar panels, and several different sized inverters. When there is a loss of power now, I an run the TV, DVD player, a few lights and a fan or two off of the batteries for about 8 hours. Then I run the generator for about an hour to charge the battery and charge the refrigerator (it stays very cold for about 8 hours if you don't open the doors much and the ice doesn't even melt in that time). Neighbors were running generators full time and going through tons of gas, but my system used far less and we were comfortable. It works as a back up but I would never try to live like that.

Now I moved ti Tennessee and I will be trying my hand at aquaponics in the barn next year, and there is no power at all there. I am hoping that I will be able to use my simple system to run the pumps and lights needed. I would sure like to get one or two of those small wind generators, but I would have to win the lottery first.

My whole original point still stands, that mechanical watts and electrical watts are two different animals.
 
Michael Cox
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Larry Noel wrote:from wikipedia: "The watt (symbol: W) is a derived unit of power in the International System of Units (SI), named after the Scottish engineer James Watt (1736–1819). The unit is defined as joule per second[1] and can be used to express the rate of energy conversion or transfer with respect to time. It has dimensions of L2MT−3."

In other words.... scientific "consensus" has muddied the waters to the point that no one can see anything. "The watt (symbol: W) is a derived unit of power" (from above) ... note the term "derived" ... this is a "science by consensus" term to "define" things and to ultimately limit knowledge. I contend that there is little relationship, other than the manipulated mathematical one derived by "consensus science", that is in any way relative to reality. I have built, tested, and have the working model to prove that one can run a alternator with bicycle power and generate electricity ... no matter what "consensus" and "mathematics" says is possible. Tesla ran across this problem, but I am in no way comparing myself to him, just using his experience with "known science" to illustrate my point of "known mathematics" and "consensus science."

Isn't that what permaculture is all about? Breaking all of the "rules" and finding ways that really work? Never mind what the science and the manipulated mathematics tell you, just dig in and experiment ... follow that little voice in your head that says "what if...." and dare to try something that the "consensus science" says that will not work through their manipulative mathematics of "derived units." Remember that mathematics and numbers only exist in man's mind and not in "nature." You will never see a mathematical equation in your garden, unless you subscribe to "science by consensus" and look (very hard) for it.


For any conversation of energy generation to be meaningful there needs to be a common agreed language. It exists to limit confusion rather than "muddy the waters". By using SI units we all know that we mean the same thing. The kilogram I refer to is the same as the one you refer to.

The system we use has some base units - fundamental measurements of things in the real world. Measurements of length, for example have base si units of meters. Kilograms are the base units for mass and is currently defined as "having mass equal to this lump of stuff locked in a vault in France". Other than a handful of such base units everything else is a derived unit. Area is found by multiplying two lengths together. Area has SI units of square meters. "square meters" is a derived unit as it follows naturally from the consequences of defining length and knowing the formula for area.

If your definition of a Watt involves something other than a combination of the base units, then simply there is no way for us to communicate - the words as you are using them have totally different meaning to how they are understood by everyone else. Commonality of language itself is a good thing, as it lets ideas spread. Ditching the language means your ideas cannot be tested, used or adapted by others. No matter how ground breaking your design is it is relegated to the hinterland because it isn't effectively communicated.

That said, there are some pretty counter intuitive experiences to do with energy and power that can lead to the type of cognitive dissonance you describe. Issues with temperature and energy are some of the most obvious; looking at a raging waterfall you can see it has a lot of energy. The kinetic energy of the water falling is sufficient to raise it about 0.1 degrees C which is not very much. This type of disconnect is where many misunderstandings about energy and power come from - the numbers don't seem to match our casual understanding of the real world. It is only when you dig deeper and try to really understand the physics behind it that you can correct your intuition.
 
Michael Cox
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Larry Noel wrote: If we rather choose to redefine things as we have proven to ourselves, rather than accepting what we have been "taught," then we have a unbiased view of reality that can be expanded upon. If we only use the mathematics and definitions that are supplied to us, we would be biased to the opinions and teachings of others, and we would be limited to the view of a flat earth where the solar system revolves around it. Rules were made to be broken and there are very few "hard fast rules of science" that have lasted more than 20 years before being over turned.


I would suggest that you actually do have a biased view - everyone does. The fact that your bias comes from you intuitive experiences of the world, rather than formal science lessons, does not mean the bias does not exist. Intuition can be useful, but it only takes you so far before it needs to actually be tested against reality. Your intuition that "mechanical power is not the same as electrical power" should actually be easy to test and disprove. Taking intuition and designing experiments to confirm or refute those intuitions is the whole point of the scientific method.

A quick google search came up with an experiment specifically designed to test your hypothesis:
Experiment to show that electrical and mechanical energy is conserved

This does not exclude the fact that a "Mechanical watt" is an entirely different animal from an "electrical watt" no matter how the mathematics can be manipulated to describe otherwise. Apples are apples and oranges are oranges no matter how one may mathematically prove they are both fruits.

I have personally done the experiments in the first year of my degree to show that energy and power can in fact be converted from one form to the other. These are the same set of experiments that each student on the course has done every year for the past 20 years or so. They were chosen precisely because they lead to a more intimate understanding of the principals of conservation of energy, which in turn refines each students intuition so that they are more likely to make correct guesses in future.

Basically the neural systems we inherited from monkeys are really really bad at making intuitive leaps, especially in some areas of science. It was a great survival trait in monkeys "this red berry made me sick, all red berries are poisonous", but over dependence on intuition is a weakness when you are aiming for deeper analysis of the world.

 
Larry Noel
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Hi Michael, I understand that common definitions are needed to relay and test ideas, but I also understand that some of the definitions have been tweaked over time to fit a picture of reality that is desired by others. I listen to and am a fan of Dr. Richard Alan Miller, who collects doctorate degrees for fun and has degrees in physics, plasma physics, metaphysics and a few other disciplines, and he says that most of what is taught in colleges is manipulated and unproven "scientific religion." He says that in all of his years of studies he has not run across a single "theory" of physics that has stood for more than 20 years without being proven wrong. All mathematics originates in the human mind, which in itself is flawed.

Just like "calories" are a unit of energy measurement that is in food to provide the body with energy, a "calorie" is also a unit of measurement of the amount of energy that is in a bucket of oil, or in a dry stick. The "calories" can be released by combustion in the case of oil, wood, coal or other physical things, but it is digested by consumption in a human. Sure it is a fire in our gut that does the digesting but it is a chemical fire not a plasma fire. If a human consumes the oil, wood, coal or what have you, if a "calorie is a calorie" then there should be no problem. In the same vein a "watt" produced by mechanical means as a mathematical derivative of calories burned in relationship to horsepower out, in no way is the same as measurable voltage times amps in an electrical circuit. Is there a mathematical relationship between calories and watts? Sure there is, some where, and if something does not perform to the exact derived product, then the thing is said to be 40% or what ever "efficient."

I will look at the article you posted but just looking at the title it says that "electrical and mechanical energy were conserved" which means that they are two different things or it would just say "energy was conserved." I agree that common definitions are very much needed, but there needs to be distinctions when the same word is used to describe different things, or else confusion is installed into the product. Sure both types of energy can perform work, but the measurements are of calories and horsepower in one and voltage and amps in the other, but yet some how both outputs are defines by the same word "watt."

I am not a scientist nor do I claim any special knowledge, I just have a knack of seeing ambiguities in language and searching out the reasons they exist. I left school after 1 year of college because of this "flaw" I have. I decided at an early age that the game is rigged, and after 60 years of life, and seeing to my own education through researching subjects on my own, and I continue to have the ambiguities of language jump out at me. I constantly look up words in several dictionaries and search the etymology of them, and I am astounded by how much ambiguity there is in language, and most of what I run across is in "science."

There exists today on this planet, technologies that have been invented and have been sequestered away by those that wish to retain power, and the schools educate the students AWAY from the knowledge that is needed to rediscover what has already been invented. Stan Meyers' dune buggy that ran on water is just one example. If the technology that he ran across was taught to the students in school, they could improve on it and those in power would lose it. If all of Tesla's discoveries were ever released to the public, science would be turned ion its head. Ambiguity in language is the best form of mass mind control to keep the herd in line. Just look where language is headed today with "politically correctness" and you can project out and see the future. Technology has also been limited by confusing the definitions and teaching students to only see things in one light with one book of "approved" definitions. If Stan Meyers or Tesla only went by the approved definitions, they would have never created the things they did. Oh wait- did they? We may never know the whole truth.

All of the "experts" say that Sepp Holtzer's methods are insanity and will not work. They say the same thing about Paul in Back To Eden Gardening with wood chips, yet both of these men continue to blaze trails against the flow of "science" and teach others that take in the knowledge and run with it and teach others. Yes I admit I am biased, and that I march to a different drummer. The future will be reinvented by those of use that are. I may never make great contributions like Tesla and Stan Meyers (oh wait- we are not supposed to know about those) but I will work hard, study hard, learn from my mistakes (and there are a lot of THEM)and try to make it better while I am here, defining things for myself along the way. All I could ever hope for the world is for the rest of humanity to do the same.
 
Tailora Qinta
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To the person who asked what could be done with 75 watts of power. Actually a lot. A chest freezer converted to a refrigerator uses 100 watts a day. A 10 gallon water heater uses 100 watts a day when it has a Missouri wind and solar DC water heating element..
Lights? You are better off seeing how liter of light night lights work and not have lights on your solar.

I was outside a thrift store and noticed a person about to donate an exercise bike. I asked how much they'd take for it and he just gave it to me. I'm needing to loose weight and ready to pedal.

Here is what they are doing in Guatemala with a bicycle.


 
John McDoodle
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My "doomsday exercise bike"

I was going to use a permenant magnet motor from a treadmill, but long story short, I didn't end up getting the treadmill, so I used an auto alternator
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john's doomsday exercise bike
 
Oliver Walker
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Can anyone help me?! I have an alternator from a Nissan, and don't understand the terminals (and if I did understand it, I'm still not sure I'd know how to wire it). There are *so* many videos of people having built bike powered generators (using both alternators and fixed magnet dynamos), yet so few clear wiring instructions (with the 'exciting charge').

Also, under one video someone suggested that I wouldn't need a full 12 volts to excite the circuit, and any would do, further thoughts?

Help would be great!

Thanks.
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John McDoodle
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mine uses an alternator and its like peddaling uphill towing a moose lol.

twist the two wire from the plug together

connect them together to a momentary push botton (exciter button) then to the big positive lead- or directly to the battery. the big main + post will need to be wired live full time- and a ground
 
John McDoodle
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blk is neg groung
whites are +
plug is exciter wire(s) which can be joined if you dont know which
magnet motors are way easier to drive
Having a 12v battery is best, for storing the energy produced, and also for having the proper power to excite the alternator. Mine uses an alternator and it works, but it's hard to pedal so I'd rather a magnet motor, but I built it strictly for emergency use anyway
 
Oliver Walker
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Thank you so much!
Yes, I haven't worked out the pros and cons of motors versus alternators yet. Actually I'm just doing this as a first step, because I know so many people have done it and the materials are available... after I want to use wave power to power it!

I'll get a car battery, just didn't want to get one yet as I don't know if it'll work and it'll be difficult to dispose of if it isn't the right thing.

So can I just connect a positive to one of the small wires and negative to the other?
 
John McDoodle
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no

blak is -
whites are +
small coloured wires are for exciter and CEL but twist the coloured ones together if you dont know which. yellow is likely exciter but idk
 
S Bengi
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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To me alternative energy is about cutting usage.

Use a phone or laptop vs a 500watt plasma tv or 21inch monitor/PC combo. limit myself to 1 hour of electronic time vs 6hrs
Use a 10w led light vs 60 regular light bulb, limit usage to 2hrs vs leaving them on all night, go to sleep or open window blinds early in the mornin.

Get a smaller fridge and open it only once or twice a day only.
Water kefir to make soda/carbonated juice/nut milk fermented almond milk.
Milk kefir to make fermented milk
Solar dehydrate your fruits, herbs and vegetables, spring, summer, fall and maybe even in the winter, it is mostly air movement dependent not air temp
Most root crops, grains, dry beans, can store without refrigeration. And the other ones can be stored in kefir water with or without salt.
You can leave your wet food un refrigerated for 5+ hours of exponential bacterial growth and still eat it.
if it is your home bacteria, that you are already 'vacinated and immune' to then even longer, and if you add a bit of your good probiotic starter bacteria to it, it will outcompete the bad one. Even if you don't purposely add it, the fact that you are fermenting in your house will make a good amount of the 'wild fermenting/bacterial growth' that occurs 'healthy' because they are already floating around the house. 24hr outside the fridge in the winter is very normal

Actually low electrical usage will forced you to eat healthier, sleep healthier, drink healthier.

If you hang dry your clothes you don't really need a iron or dryer.
 
John McDoodle
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there is a separate forum category for that discussion SBengi . its called PERMIES / ENERGY / CONSERVATION - PRESERVATION
But i also preserve with LEDS and passive solar and much more.

this forum is for ALTERNATE (different than usual) ENERGY PRODUCTION

-ALTERNATE with ALTERNATORS LOL
 
Oliver Walker
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Thanks John.

I used the battery from the power drill which of course I already have, so that's one problem sorted for now. It's a 14v battery.

But still now volts coming off my alternator, as far as I can see.

The black wire is connected to the negative on the battery (and the neg on the multimeter).
The two small wires are connected with one another. The large white wire(s) are connected to the positive of the battery, and interrupted by a switch (well, another pair of wires which I connect to one another to close the circuit).

When connected, it has the full 13.88 volts.

I then start pedalling, and cut the switch, breaking the link between the battery and the positive (white) lead.
The multimeter then gives a reading of 0.2 volts.

I also tried connecting the battery to the two thin wires. This means the circuit for some reason gets just around 2volts.

It would be great if you had some more ideas.
I'm dissappointed I can't make this work, everyone else seems to get it up and running in a day!
Thanks
 
Oliver Walker
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Correction - when I disconnect the battery and keep pedalling, the terminals give off a reading of 1.2 volts.

There is a little 'vppp' sound when I connect the battery when I'm pedalling, which makes me think something is happening!

 
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