Electric bike to electric generator - Simple DIY mobile interactive science museum

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I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
Attribute to Confucius (~500 BC).  Still true 2500 years later.

When I was 7 or 8 years old on a miserable cold gray day in February my parents dropped my brother and sisters off  at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus. http://cosi.org  What a wonderful place!  Our  favorite of all exhibits was the interactive bike generator. Hop on and pedal. Flip on the switches and power your own lights. See how many watts you could make and for how long.  All day long we kept coming back to try it again and again.  We got it.   Work, power, energy, electricity, volts, amps, watts, watt hours, renewable energy, conservation, limitations of the human body it is all included.  Dead simple and yet brilliant.

For science teachers, PE teachers this should be a  simple to build fun educational demonstration that could fit well into many different standards of learning objectives.  This should also be great for anyone who wants to make a fun interactive exhibit or a science project. 

To keep this simple start with an electric (assist) rear wheel direct drive hubmotor bike.  This is a popular version of Chinese electric conversion kits.  (Crystalyte, 9 Continent, Golden Motor (full size not mini)) (Pictured is the Crystalyte Roadrunner - 408 http://www.electricrider.com/crystalyte/).  

For this conversion -
1)Place bike on stand (a simple stand for an Xtracycle  - see my previous instructable http://www.instructables.com/id/Xtracycle-Stationary-Bike-Stand-for-Less/
2)Remove and Replace battery with Load (light bulbs and switches) (see following steps)
3)Pedal to generate electricity

Starting with another (not a rear wheel direct drive hubmotor electric bike) is likely doable but more complex. I will leave that as an exercise for the reader.  The popular Bionx direct drive may work but as the Bionx motor contains a proprietary internal brushless controller it may (or may not) be more challenging to convert in this way.

anybody remember "soya green "?
dsdekker3 years ago
Love the quote and the story - puts the entire endeavor in context. Also think anytime you can make learning an experience you have made your teaching much more effective. Way to go Pat!
wilgubeast3 years ago
That looks like a lot of fun. And I really dig that Confucius quote.
I love this - combining PE and science works perfectly in this case. :D