How to Build your own Bike-generator

Sometime ago, I had come up with the idea of making a green gym. A place where all of the exercise equipment could be used to generate power for the gym itself. In order to do that, I’m going to start with a simple bike generator that can be made for fairly cheap if you shop around.

These are all the things you will need:
Training Stand
12V Generator or a Permanent Magnet DC Generator
a Deep Cycle Battery (PowerPack)
a Voltmeter (optional)
a DC-to-AC inverter
Some plywood
saw, screws

First you need a bike. Now, a bike with multiple gears is more preferable, but any rear-wheel powered bicycle will work. Stationary exercise bikes (front-wheel) would also work with some minor modifications. All that is important is that the pedals power a chain that powers a wheel. Brakes are irrelevant.

You can pick up an old clunker of a bike at any yard sale, or if you are more morally flexible, go to the police station and tell them your red bike was stolen. They have rooms full of bikes, odds are one of them is red.

Next, you’ll have to pick up a Training Stand. I found one on ebay for $70, but that seems a little steep. If you go to any of those used sporting goods stores, I’m sure you can find one.

Now there are two ways of mounting the 12V Generator (this is the thing that spins and creates energy, they usually sell for about $30). The first and less efficient way is to attached the generator to a drum, or small wheel and position it in such a way that the when you pedal the bike’s wheel make contact with the small drum/wheel, creating power. The problem with this set-up is that the two wheels can sometimes loose contact and this won’t create the optimum power-generating situation. The Second way is to take the rear tire off, but leave of the metal rim (the rubber tire is just extra weight now). The shaft of the generator should be able to fit into the void between the spokes and the bike’s frame. This will eliminate the risk slipping. Once you find where the best place the mount the generator, construct a plywood stand for it and attach the stand securely to the training stand.

Now, all you have to do is connect the dc-to-ac inverter and the voltmeter (this is actually optional). Some basic wiring and splicing to give this bad boy a plug and you got your self a human-power generator.

Now, you can plug this in directly to appliances (blender, toaster) but for real efficient use, plug into a battery pack to store the electricity created. Then this battery pack (usually called PowerPacks at Home Depot) can be used when you are tired or lazy.

All things considered, this generator can be made for well under $200. It helps the environment and you might even get in shape.


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