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.
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.
Step 1: Materials and Tools Used
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.)
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
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
Cordless Drill with bits
Pencil for marking Holes and Cuts
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)
Step 2: Cutting The Boards for Generator Stand and Table
Step 3: Building the Generator Stand
Important Note:When You attach the rollers make sure you have it threaded through the rubber belt so you won't have to do it later, you can always do it later but saves you some effort.
Step 4: Attaching the DC Motor/Generator
Step 5: Building the Table/ Front Tire Stand
There's the Tabletop/Front Wheel Stand! Now onto the battery/inverter setup.
Step 6: Building The Voltage Regulator, Hooking up the Electronics and Battery
IMPORTANT: Be sure to attach a substantial heat sink to the LM317 component, it will get pretty hot when you are pedaling as it converts the voltage down for the battery.
That being said- Use the Heat if you can- maybe I'll try to add a stirling engine or something in the future, that'd be neat. Though as off now the heat sink is dissipating the heat really well and its not really warming up too much. I attahed the LM317 component to the PC Heatsink using thermal compound and then later a layer or epoxy over the piece to hold it on.
I mounted the Voltage Regulator, 12 V deep cycle battery, and inverter in a used Cat Litter Bucket. I picked this container as it held everything and also kept the battery off of the ground.
First I hooked the Battery to the 400W inverter I purchased from Harbor Freight.
Next was connecting the cables from the generator through the Voltage Regulator to charge the battery. be sure to add a diode to the line between the generator to the voltage regulator as shown so the voltage won't backfeed from the battery to the electric motor. The Diode does cause a small drop in Voltage, but its worth it to not have voltage backfeed through the circuit from the battery or accidentally damage the components if I I happen to hook the generator up in reverse.
Step 7: Hook the Generator to the Electronics and Battery. and Completed!
I realized at the ending of making this instructable I needed to drain the battery down a bit so I can tell you how long it takes to recharge with pedalling. so as soon as I drain it down a bit I will charge it up and report back on the time it took.