Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Human-Powered Generators

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 28, 2008

Following up on the roads-as-solar-collectors post (yes, renewable energy’s been on my mind a lot lately):

I was at the Minnesota State Fair recently and got to try out the “We Power” bicycle power generation system at WCCO-TV’s We Power stand. Power generated from the eight Specialized step-through frame has been used to power several WCCO-TV broadcasts during the Fair, both this year and last year. Per the We Power people, it takes the average fairgoer about twenty minutes to generate 500 watts; I did it in around sixteen, and my spouse did it in just under eight, which surprised the We Power folk as he’s a bit hefty. (Pro bike racers could do it in five or less.)

That got me thinking about the potential for using bikes as power sources, not just as transportation. Think about it: How many people do you know who spend $60 a month to use an exercise bike at a gym when they could be pedaling a stationary bike at home or when car camping or doing other off-grid activities? You could get or stay fit and pay for the bike and the generator in three years’ time or less (and that’s if you ordered the ready-made easy-to-use Pedal-a-Watt package system made by Econvergence). Plus, you’d be saving a few dollars every month by generating a little bit of your own power.

It’s certainly not going to cover all your power needs (unless of course you’re very energy-stingy), but it could help tide you over for those times when the wind’s not blowing or the sun’s not shining – and keep you healthy at the same time.

2 Responses to “Human-Powered Generators”

  1. Sheila Kerr said

    The Bike Power Generators used by WCCO are manufactured by Windstream Power out of Vermont. Windstream has been in business since 1974 and is the oldest and most trusted source for well made human power products.

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