Bicycle Generator

Discussion in 'Alternative Energy' started by Beef11, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. Beef11

    Beef11 Also known as ------

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    Awight i have access to a small old generator with just the coilsand and cords, it has a pulley on the side i assume this is where the driving force behind the orignal design was. My question is would it be possible to convert it over to a bike powered generator and just plug the beast into the wall? Would it run the meter backwards? I live in a new townhouse in a mountain town and utilities will kill a poor college kid. I really like the idea of converting a freezer to solar power. Anybody know of a real efficent AC unit?

    thanks, yall are as crazy as me.
     
  2. John Hill

    John Hill Grand Master

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    Hi, sorry I dont know about your generator and I dont know what would happen if you plugged anything into the wall.

    However, I have made a fairly efficient generator using an exercise bike and a washing machine motor and I know that only a really fit person could produce more than 100 watts for more than a few minutes so I dont really think the answer to your electricity bills lies in sweating on a stationery bike!

    Sorry... :shrug:
     

  3. Dubai Vol

    Dubai Vol Well-Known Member

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    No, you can't plug it into the wall. Tying two generators together (in this case yours and the power comany's) is a tricky business, not just the voltage and frequency have to be the same, but the frequency has to be "synchronised" so that the wave forms match exactly. That takes expensive equipment.

    So that's both impossible and unsafe. DON'T try this at home!

    Next, as above, about 100 watts is all you can make. Lance Armstrong might make 500W for a while, but he's a monster on a bike. For a mere mortal 100W is plenty hard work. So to make 1 kilowatt-hour, you'd have to pedal like a madman for ten hours. One kW-h from the electric company costs about a dime.

    Study harder :p
     
  4. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    Dubai Vol has it right. Don't now many people that would work for a penny an hour.
     
  5. Jim-mi

    Jim-mi Well-Known Member

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    And by the time you buy the electronic stuff to sync your *generator* to the grid you could have paid the utility for a big bunch of KWH's.
     
  6. The Paw

    The Paw Well-Known Member

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    There are some organizations that do human power demonstrations, and they hook up a generator to a stationary bike and run a blender off it. They take it to the park, and people pay a buck or two to pedal up the power to blend their own smoothy. I've never done it, but if you need to stay in shape anyway, it is a good reminder that electricity comes from somewhere....

    I can't remember where, but somewhere there is a college dorm that is running on self-generated power for tvs and walkmans, etc. They also have washer barrels that you agitate by turning a crank etc. I don't know what happens when they get old...

    anyway, it doesn't hurt to experiment (as long as you don't plug anything into the wall), so have some fun.
     
  7. Micahn

    Micahn Well-Known Member

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    I have heard of people running things like TV and other things with a set up like that but never making all that much power.
     
  8. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    If you generate over 100 watts,dont let em check your testosterone.
    They might take away your bicycle or something.If nothing else you would be publically humiliated. :rolleyes:

    BooBoo
     
  9. Oregonsparkie

    Oregonsparkie Well-Known Member

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    Dubai Vol is right in most statements but syncing the generator to the power grid can simply be done with a light bulb. In most power plants I have been in the grid will force the generator to stay in sync until the generator gets to far out of phase then automated equipment disconnect the generator from the grid.
     
  10. Unregistered

    Unregistered Well-Known Member

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    In a power plant the power factor of the generator will determine how the generator leads or lads the grid. If the power factor lags the grid you will be importing from the grid. If the power factor leads the grid you will be exporting power to the grid.
     
  11. ckncrazy

    ckncrazy Well-Known Member

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    You are talking VARS not watts. We lead or lag depending on how much congestion is on the grid.
     
  12. ace admirer

    ace admirer Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Might i get you to explain the powercompanies side of lead /lag? i know that a lot induction loads in a plant will cause lagging with in the plant....it that what causes lagging in the grid? Thanks for a little education.
     
  13. John Hill

    John Hill Grand Master

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    Power factor is I believe the term used to describe the phase relationship between voltage and amps. If these two are in phase (which they in an a resistive load) power can be determined by multiplying volts x amps. In a capacitive load current initially rushes in freely at the start of the cycle so in that case current leads voltage and multiplying them together would give a false indication of a higher power. In an inductive circuit voltage leads current and again multiplying them together would give a false indication of power.

    You can correct a power factor by adding either capacity of inductance to bring current and voltage back into phase. A poor power factor is bad news because it increases resistive losses, maybe other reasons too.
     
  14. Oregonsparkie

    Oregonsparkie Well-Known Member

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    And more costly also(per kw)
     
  15. ace admirer

    ace admirer Well-Known Member Supporter

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    hmmmm, i think that because volts and amps are not in syc. that to make a certain mechanical or even heat (water heater for example) power, more current will have to be delivered to make the P=I x E formula balance. the peak of voltage will not arrive at the peak of current. i think that at the comsumer end it makes no difference (except in billing method) but that it causes the generators a real problem in that they have to work harder to compensate for the two peaks generated at two times...

    since most loads are resistive and inductive...then there will be a lagging pf...plants used to be billed with compensation to the power provider based on their lagging effects...in the seventies companies used to add banks of capacitors to move their effect to unity (in syc.)

    i'm wondering the exact effect to the power companies generators.

    again, one would not want to back drive a home meter with an internal combustion generator because fuel would cost many times more that the powercompanies power. and even a horse could not drive a generator at 746 watts for anything like one hour. if it could you would only back drive the meter for what maybe 7 cents. could not afford to pay for horses food.

    whether we like it or not, power is cheap,,,,,its just that we use it so much of it in our lives that the bill at the end of the month is high.