Instructables

The intention of this project is to build a straight forward human powered generator from a used bicycle and to use it to power light bulbs, blenders, cell phones, laptops, and other small appliances. This project will help one develop engineering skills while learning about a clean way of generating electricity.

The project was created as part of Infrastructure Academy's environmental technology curriculum for high school students, so it is intended to be both achievable and affordable.

Before continuing with the actual bicycle generator, one should understand how it works, and the components that make it up. View the PowerPoint presentation before moving on to the next step.
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Parts Tools

- 2" X 4" Wood
- Wrench
- V-belt
- Saw
- Diode
- Wood screws or nails
- Battery
- Hammer or Screwdriver
- Inverter
- Tape Measure
- Wire
- Screwdriver
- Motor (12-V or higher)
- Perforated plumbers steel
(if motor does not have mounting bracket)

Note: The bicycle generator could be accomplished by skipping steps 5, 6, 7, and 8, to save money, but connecting anything other than a halogen lamp directly to the motor is not recommended due to the varying voltages.
 
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Step 1: PowerPoint Presentation

Picture of PowerPoint Presentation
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Step 2: Obtain a bicycle and remove the back tire.

Picture of Obtain a bicycle and remove the back tire.

You will need to unscrew the back rim to remove the tire and tube. Since the only part of the bicycle that needs to work is the chain and pedals, a junk bike or an old used bike would work just fine.


Step 3: Build a stand to elevate the bicycle off the ground.

The design of the stand is completely up to you. A few examples are shown below. Just be sure that the stand keeps the bike elevated and secure. If your bike has pegs attached to it, make sure your stand accommodates that feature.

The stand should be built so that the rear wheel of the bike is about 5-7 inches off the ground. The dimensions of your stand will be specific to your bike.

Before beginning construction of the stand, be sure to draft a design with appropriate dimensions. A design on paper will save time and prevent mistakes.
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Danp13 months ago

will a DC 12V 50mA 5RPM 31Kg.cm High Torque DC Gear Motor work? It would be great to get specific details about the motor, diode, batery and inverter for those of us unskilled in the electronic arts.

Mojo_JoJo4 months ago

I've been thinking of using a solar cell to charge my inverter
batteries, while I understand the use of the diode, the only problem I
have is how do you stop current being driven into the inverter circuit
by the motor/solar cell?

hnadeem26 months ago

can i use a 12v 7 ampere battery

Ian114876 months ago

you should put this in the green design contest

i made it

dmeyer137 months ago

what if i hook the motor straight up to the chain instead of using a v belt and back rim

cool!!!!!!!!!

johnsv68 months ago

I'm thinking mountain bike for the gears to get a flywheel going. Also, there is a double chain ring (the thingie thats connected to the cranks) Why not run another rear wheel on the front with another chain connected to the second chain ring and be able to turn 2 alternators at the same time?

svdkisore9 months ago

what is the voltage that is poduced during cycling??

Franco caca10 months ago

do u have a video for the second picture?

Franco caca10 months ago

how do i make the second one do u have a vide?

ddemille10 months ago
Can you just use a altenator instead of a motor? Or are they the same thing...
dsweid10 months ago
can i by any chance get a bicycle generator to store energy in order to produce electricity to run a builiding??
cyfekt3 years ago
Could you possibly use a larger motor, and 6 batteries??

And if you did what kind of inverter would you need??
astral_mage cyfekt11 months ago
depending on wat u like to power up. small fridge, lamp, net work gear. 4000k would do nicely. then yr talking batteries. wat type do u plan to use seald lead acid, universal, or golf cart. golf cart types are the best but expensive. go universal cheaper plus u can get them from harbor freight for roughly 75 bucks or so.
viciousz0rz3 years ago
What is the overall price of a project like this (if I already have a bicycle, anyway)?
from 100 too 200 dollars depending on the route u take.
ExxoShock2 years ago
I was wondering. What affects of a larger than 12V motor on the amount of electricity produced? Because I would like it as efficient as possible, without it being overkill.
go with a geo metro alternator abut 50 bucks +/- at a local auto scrap yard.
Aron3132 years ago
Where did you get the motor?????
correct me if im wrong but it looks like a 24 volt 250 watt electric scooter motor
Is it ok to charge a 12 v battery with a 24v motor?
Sure In fact you need at least 15 volts to efficiently charge a 12 volt battery this is because of the internal resistance. I wouldn't risk going over 30 thou :D
but take care of the current and make sure the current given to battery remains lower than the capacity of the battery if it exceeds the battery will be drained instead of being charged
wagman452 years ago
is it possible to run an inverter straight from the generator without a battery? or do i need one for any excess energy produced? could i just use a capacitor?
yes of course you can ... but the voltage will surely vary on the speed you pedal. if the voltage goes high the inverter will take care but on low voltage nothing can be done..
Im not an expert, but you probably can, Yet, if you dont have a battery, you wont have any power if you stop, yet if you have a battery, it can charge the battery, so you can stop if you want.
note: i'll be using a charge controller
LiftAndLove2 years ago
How much do you think this would cost? Minus the bicycle.
40 to 50 USD...and some hard work for the wooden frame...
vgamesx11 year ago
I have a slightly more practical idea.. why not instead get an even larger motor and a Grid Tie inverter? then feed power right back into your house, why not? it would be heck of a lot simpler than the idea of setting up a battery and an inverter and plugging different appliances into it and best of all you could just do it whenever you want rather than preparing a device beforehand and save some electricity.
i think in the above instructables you can also connect your device directly to appliances while pedaling... but connecting to the main line power supply will not be advised. if there occur a back current flow from main line your generator will burn up...
rmandalaa1 year ago
wow
JCG51 year ago
Does the diode control the direction of the electricity?
dmetcalf21 year ago
here is a great way to go green and get some much needed exercise
gpdas1 year ago
Very good.
ExxoShock2 years ago
Good job, could have been more detailed, but other than that, I applaud you.
wozzz2 years ago
Has the base RPM of a 12v DC motor, to be taken in consideration?
wozzz2 years ago
What should be the minimum specifications of the diode?
Tabbytha2 years ago
What kind of motor? A stepper motor or another kind?
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