When you attach a generator to your exercise bicycle you can store the electricity produced when you pedal. This stored electricity can be used to power small appliances such as TVs, laptop computers, mobile phone chargers and LED light bulbs. With some technical knowledge, you can turn your daily exercise into an eco-friendly activity.
Generating electricity through an exercise bike has many benefits. As you produce your own energy, you are reducing your carbon footprint and engaging in an eco-friendly activity. Using your own power to run appliances will cut down on your electricity bill. Also, producing your own electricity through exercise is great for your body. Riding an exercise bike is a cardiovascular activity that strengthens your circulatory system and heart and reduces your risk for diseases like obesity and diabetes.
How it Works
In order to start producing your own energy, a small generator must be attached to the exercise bike. The small generator is similar to a hand-cranked generator and is capable of producing a small and inconsistent electricity wattage. Each pedal rotation produces a force which is converted into an electrical current. The faster you pedal, the more electricity you will create. A 30-minute bike ride can produce around 150 watts of power. This is enough power to charge a cell phone or run a laptop for an hour. Excess electricity that is produced can be stored in 12-volt batteries and the batteries used to power appliances using a power converter.
The electrical current produced in a generator is a direct current--or DC--and can not be used directly to power appliances because of its inconsistent voltage. An easy way to remedy this problem is by adding a DC-to-AC power converter. Through the converter, the DC electricity is converted into a stable AC voltages. Most appliances run safely in the 110-120 volt range, but the electricity that comes from a DC is usually 10-20 volts. Using a converter will help you run your appliances efficiently and safely.
Using a Flywheel
Adding a flywheel to your exercise bike can significantly increase the amount of electricity you produce with each bike ride. The front wheel of the exercise bicycle is replaced with a heavy flywheel. Because the flywheel is so heavy it takes a lot of force to initially make it spin. But once it is already spinning, it can rotate on its own for a long time before stopping. This means you can produce more energy from the free-spinning of the flywheel without using as much effort.