Human Power Generator Series
Bike Power Generator
How does it work?
The average output of a person pedaling the Bike Power Generator is about 60-100 watts when connected to a load - usually a 12V Battery. Power output depends on the energy available from the person pedaling.
The generator we use can actually produce a maximum PEAK power output of around 275 Watts (13.6 V x 20A = 272W) for a few seconds when someone pedals with all their might. This is the nature of the peak power rating. It is more realistic however, to look at and ask about, what the average and sustainable power output is. This is the case with all pedal power generators on the market.
How long does it take to charge a 12V battery?
The quick answer is that it depends on the capacity of that battery and the resting voltage of that battery when you begin to charge it. Generally, the aH rating - or "amp hour" rating tells you what the capacity is. A car battery might have 200 aH but the battery in a portable power pack might only have 18 aH.
It takes less time to charge a 12V battery with low amp hours.
The quick formula is to divide the aH rating by the average amperes (current) you are producing. For example 18 aH divided by 6 amperes = 3 hours. This assumes a completely flat battery. If you battery is 50% or more full, it takes less time.
If you can produce 40 watts comfortably, then it's best to power devices that match your own output. If you plug an appliance into the power pack and it draws 300 watts to work, it will use up all of the stored power very quickly. Items like laptops, small dvd players, radios, lights and small electronics are good choices for human power because they require less power.
The Bike Power Generator consists of a powder coated steel trainer frame holding a high RPM permanent magnet DC generator. Your bicycle (typical adult 26-27 inch wheel diameter) is mounted securely to this frame and the rear tire is positioned to turn the friction drum that has been custom fit over the generator shaft. The amount of electrical power that can be generated by the Bike Power Generator is determined by the energy available from pedaling the bicycle. The stronger the user, the higher the production of electrical power. A well inflated tire with a smooth tread allows for maximum contact and efficiency.
Our generators are known for their robust and long lasting performance. They are made here in the USA.
Please note: The Bike Power Generator does not include a front tire riser. This is usually a plastic form that holds the front tire and keeps it level. Some risers are circular with different options for front tire height. They can be found at local bike shops or online, usually for between $ 10.00 and $ 20.00. They are not essential but can be nice to have. You can also make a perfectly functional tire riser with scrap wood.
While it is possible to directly power some DC appliances such as water pumps, the Bike Power Generator is primarily designed to charge a deep cycle, 12-Volt battery or to contribute to a 12 Volt battery bank. Most household appliances require alternating current (AC) which requires a DC to AC inverter (see our Portable Power Pack HERE). Certain DC appliances, such as DC lights, can be powered directly, but it is important to observe maximum voltage ratings to avoid damaging these appliances. It is usually necessary to use a voltage regulator or carefully monitor output with a voltmeter or multimeter.
The output of a permanent magnet DC generator is variable - based on rpm and load. Meaning that it depends on how fast a person pedals (rpm) and the voltage of the battery the generator is connected to (load). There is more information about this on our Permanent magnet DC generator page HERE. The Bike Power Generator is designed to connect to a 12V battery or similar resistive load. We use our # 443542 High RPM Generator in our Bike Power Generator.
The Bike Power Generator comes with a 10ft (3 metre) connecting cable of your choice SEE CABLE OPTIONS HERE . Each cable is diode protected to prevent reverse current from flowing back from the battery. Each cable also uses a Full Wave Bridge Rectifier to allow the user to pedal in either direction, regardless of generator polarity.
You can purchase the Bike Power Generator with a Power Pack (we use Black and Decker's Electromate 400 for $155.00 and includes a custom connecting cable to match it). The total cost for this set-up is $ 750.00 plus the cost of shipping - usually by UPS Ground. It is turn-key and ready to go.
You may prefer to use a simple 12V battery. We recommend a 12V deep cycle battery with fairly low amp hours - 18-30 ah. When you order your Bike Power Generator, please specify the type of cable you would prefer - in the case of a simple battery, you might choose plier style or ring terminals. We also offer bare wire if you want to crimp on a custom termination.
We recommend voltage regulation if your system will not be monitored as you charge.
The Electromate 400 power pack has a 3 light indicator that will let you know the level of charge. If all three lights are on, then you can assume the battery is full and needs no more charge. It is the simplest way to manage voltage regulation.
It's also possible to take a reading of the level of charge in the battery with a simple and inexpensive ($ 12.00) hand held voltmeter (a fully charged 12V battery will read 13.6 V) and a low 12V battery generally reads around 11V or below. If the battery reads low, you can pedal for 30 minutes or so, and take another reading to see what the level of charge is at that point - and you can go along that way to monitor the level of charge in the battery and simply stop pedaling when the battery is full. This option is recommended for individuals that have the equipment and skill to self monitor the battery.
If however, you are using the system at a school, museum or conference where many people will be pedaling, you should consider voltage regulation. We recommend the Flexcharge NC25A/12 Charge Controller SEE PRODUCT INFORMATION HERE Windstream does carry this charge controller for $135.00 or you can go directly to the manufacturer's link here - HERE Flexcharge is a great, small company based in Michigan..
It is the responsibility of the end user to wire the charge controller or voltage regulator into the system.
Let us know which connecting cable you prefer when you place your order. We have several different types available!
Bike Power Generator
All Connnecting Cables Have an Inline Diode To Prevent Reverse Current From The Battery.