Electric Generating Stationary Bikes (Human Hamster-Wheels)
Very interesting. This truly piques the engineer in me’s interest.. I’m with the idea 100% of the flywheel approach and it running around $100.. the kicker would be the battery bank and the inverter..
You could get some cost savings using an old bike as a donor for parts, and the larger the flywheel the better off you could be. (once it gets going momentum would help you continue the spin) Throw a decent transmission (from donor bike) in there and you can keep the speed controlled and wouldn’t need a voltage regulator.
Now tied to an existing offgrid setup.. like a Tesla Battery (Powerwall i believe they are calling it?) with a good diode.. That could be a great boon!
I am somewhat dubious of the “1 hour” thing as that’s extremely variable depending on usage of power and condition of battery; that’s more of a ‘sales’ point but the concept itself is sound as well as proven in other applications (the manual treadmills in gyms in the 90’s powering attached TVs come to mind)
That all said; there is another side to it that I would be remiss in not bringing up.. Unless you have a REALLY well made system you will lose energy to the inefficiency inherent in converting mechanical energy to electrical energy.. (not to mention the chemical energy (calories) required to produce the mechanical energy to convert to electrical energy.. so for like an off grid setup this would be great, but something where you’re trying to shave cost off of your utility bill the savings VS upfront cost would be somewhat hard to justify unless energy costs SUPER skyrocket or you are super efficient with your use of energy in the first place. Good source on that:
Bottom line? Do-able and valid, REALLY cool too! but unless you’re super efficient with your use of energy, have batteries and an invertor on hand or for cheap… not necessarily cost effective VS grid.
- Tom Overby, Inventor (from a comment on a FB SCOD Group Post)