Instructables

Exercycle Generator

63% of Americans are struggling with obesity (http://www.americansportsdata.com/obesitystats.asp). There is also a large green movement going on. So what if we combine these two ideas? I have been looking at instructables on how to build your own wind turbine, and instructables on how to use your bike as a generator for charging ipods and cellphones... why not combine the two ideas and create a stationary bike that puts electricity back into the power grid, much the way a home turbine does? Granted... it wouldn't be much power, but the more you exercise, the more money you save--and the better shape you get in. And those pennies each month add up to dollars each year... and again... the health benefits. It's almost like getting paid to exercise, which can be a big motivating factor. Thoughts?

bizz5 years ago
I am looking to make one for uni - that will heat the kettle - something simple and cheap. I have the exercize bike, its well rusty but it should do the trick.. I have next to no electrical knowledge so any tips/ideas/jargon decifering would be amazing
maybe you should look for mechanical solution (friction --> heat) and not electrical
wd465 years ago
Enviro-techs SSI-200 Grid Tie Inverter hooked to a bike generator will also work.
captainimij6 years ago
I have been thinking about this for quite a long time now.I see a Recumbent Bike style so that you can sit back.The trick is to generate more juice.That where a bigger wheel comes into the picture.More cranks on the alternator the more power,right?Then all you need is a battery pack like the ones used for wind generators.I'm just wondering if that's the case or not?
forgesmith6 years ago
To put electricity back into the grid, it has to be perfectly (99.9% or thereabouts) synchronized with the 60 Hertz (US) incoming power. This requires a grid-tie inverter, which can roughly cost three times (to much more) what a plain inverter costs, expect at least a thousand bucks. Your electricity provider would like to be notified that you intend to put power into their grid. They will likely require that an electrical inspector checks the work, and maybe that a qualified electrician does it anyway. Plus there must be a means of disconnect between the inverter and your incoming power for the safety of their work crews. Transformers work both ways, if the power lines have been shut off for work and your system is pumping power back thru your transformer, then the high voltage power lines the transformer is still connected to are still energized. People have died from that, normally from generators used for home power during an electric outage that do not have a transfer switch.Some grid-tie inverters will automatically disconnect if they sense there is no incoming power, that may be acceptable to the electric company, otherwise you'll need a manual disconnect installed outdoors that work crews can easily get to.

All that, to burn some calories and pump a few watts into the grid. You'll easily sink $2000 into it, then watch those pennies add up.

Or.....

Set up an "in-home off-grid" system. Like a DIY UPS. Deep-cycle storage battery, inverter, hook up to automatic battery charger. Select something you always want power for, like your refrigerator, plug that into the inverter. Then charge the battery. Use whatever you have, photovoltaic panels, wind turbine, exercycle generator, anything. If that should be insufficient then the automatic charger will kick in. You could size the system rather large at the start, 2 or more batteries, large inverter or more than one, or add on later. Add more panels or whatever, get your friends and family using the bike, whatever gets more charging. You could get it to the point where you normally don't need grid power, got plenty, everything is run off the inverter(s). Or just keep it to the bike, with a small system you use for some living room lights.

You won't be selling power back to the grid, but you will duck much expense and hassle. And have an expandable flexible system that will be good for emergencies, plus getting those pennies back into your piggy bank.
PS: I prefer a recumbent, but I'd also like an upper body workout. Perhaps something like this with a heavy flywheel, I'd find that ideal.
I would like to build one of these or find one at discount... TreadMiill Bike - Excercise that gets you somewhere....

treadmillbike.jpg
Goodhart6 years ago
I am thinking of a lower impact type of jogging, possibly a treadmill cycle or something....there are several ideas floating around in my head about this one.