For this project I refined some of the lessons I've learned building (or trying to build) bike generators in the past in an attempt to build one that was quiet, less obtrusive in our living space, and capable of being used by a bicycle without any modifications or additions to the bicycle. The Table is flipped over onto its side when you need to use the generator and functions as a front wheel rest to stabilize and balance the bike. I built the pedal generator and the table cover from scrap wood and a treadmill that I found in the trash out on the street. For power storage and use I used a Deep Cycle Marine Battery and a 400 Watt Inverter I purchased from Harbor Freight. I also built a voltage regulator using some electrical components from scraps and I realize that painting it wasn't quite as green as leaving it au naturale, but I figured the paint would help prevent the wood from rotting and having to build another one. While the generator stand is made from scrap materials I found I did buy the battery and the inverter, as well as some of the components for the Voltage Regulator I couldn't find in E-Waste. I connected the generator input voltage to a Deep Cycle Marine Battery and Inverter through a diode and Voltage Regulator that I made.
I attached the Voltmeter where the Battery typically would be. I did the little backwards pedal hiccup halfway through to show why a heavy flywheel sort of thing is great to have an a pedal powered generator, it helps get the spinning smooth. The reason the Voltage stays up after I finish pedalling is the inverter holding a bit of the charge in a capacitor somewhere I guess. The beep at the end is me turning the inverter on so it drains the little bit of residual it had in its system. Normally the plastic tub with the battery and electronics is inside the house, I just moved it out so the video would be easier to shoot, the cord goes in a slot under the door usually.
Finding The treadmill a while back was definitely the impetus for this project. While they aren't something one sees everyday out in the trash, they aren't too hard to come by if you keep your eyes open(and watch craigslist too).I have built bike generators before with broken cordless drills and they are very noisy(best case scenario as loud as a drill), also the drill can't support or balance the weight of a bicycle and that required a stand of some sort to rest bicycle pegs in. I fixed both those problems in this iteration.
I hope in the future to build a charge controller to add to the system so I can add some solar panels and/or a wind turbine generator to power the battery(or in future batteries). I'm currently working an a charge controller design I found at http://mdpub.com/555Controller/ . My electrical work is pretty novice so if you notice any ways you feel the voltage regulator could run better please feel free to let me know.
Scrap Wood (I used mostly 2X4's, some 1X6's, some 2X6 scraps and 1X4's, a scrap piece of plywood, and I made the legs of the table from scrap 2X6, it was based mostly on what I could find in dumpsters/outside construction sites)
EverStart 12VDC Deep Cycle Marine Battery 101 Amp Hours
Parts from Treadmill -DC Motor (motors vary from treadmill to treadmill, this one is rated for 90V continuous duty so it will definitely be able to take the spinning of the bicycle. I hope one day to use this in some sort of wind powered generator, but for now in our small apartment scenario its the bike generator -Freewheel that screwed onto the shaft of the motor. If the DC motor from your treadmill has one attached to the shaft that the belt sits on ( and most I've seen do) then you're in luck. The freewheel helps the wheel keep spinning if you "hiccup" while pedalling, and smooth out the spin. -2 rollers (the rollers that came off the treadmill can support of a lot of weight, and also one is already set up to spin the rubber belt that the motor used to use to turn it.) -rubber belt Paint- Get Creative with it! I painted mine with some cans leftover from other projects, so it it would look better and also be protected from the moisture and sun here in New Orleans Assorted Screws
Parts for Voltage Converter LM317 Adjustable Voltage Regulator 100 ohm resistor 1K ohm resistor Processor Heat Sink and Fan taken from broken Desktop Computer Motherboard
Tools Used Cordless Drill with bits Pencil for marking Holes and Cuts Hand Saw Table Saw (You can do the project with just a hand saw but I had the opportunity to use a Table Saw to Cut the Boards for the Table to go over the generator so it definitely saves some time/energy)