An Innovation to Minimize Individual Energy Consumption: Exercise/Washing Machine

Introduction: An Innovation to Minimize Individual Energy Consumption: Exercise/Washing Machine

Excess energy usage remains one of the greatest sustainability problems for our globalized and industrialized society. Although the biggest carbon footprint comes from large corporations, business, and buildings, individuals still play a collective role in negatively contributing to the planet’s ecological systems. Collectively, the average individual’s daily consumption of energy and water is exorbitant and compounded by the unsustainably high population. These excessive energy uses have an impact on the future viability of our planet’s ecosystem to thrive and rejuvenate itself to its full potential. Our project cuts down on both the energy demand and the time needed for both washing clothes and exercising. With our product, both of these mundane tasks can be completed simultaneously, since the energy generated by exercising is used to wash the clothes.

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Step 1: Materials

  • 1 Bike Frame (with an attached back wheel)
  • 3 similarly-sized wheels (26-inch frame)
  • Wood (to cut and shape into pieces described below)
  • One (1) thin piece of wood
  • Three (3) long and thick pieces of wood
  • Eight (8) moderately sized pieces of wood
  • Bolts, Nails, as needed
  • Plastic 5 Gallon bucket (or bigger) with a removable but sturdy lid (to mitigate leakages)

Step 2: Procedures

  1. Remove kickstand from the bike and remove all wheels from bikes except for one back wheel, which should remain attached to the bike frame.
  2. Create wooden base out of a thin flat piece of wood. This will be used to fasten thicker wood blocks to support the bike frame and wheels.
  3. Measure a wooden block by mounting the bike to the slab of wood and testing it at a height where the back wheel can spin freely. Cut accordingly.
  4. At the corner edge of the flat piece of wood, fasten (with nails) the block of wood from step three to the thin piece of wood, allowing space for another wheel to run parallel to the bike’s back wheel.
  5. Mount bike to the vertical piece of wood. Do not yet screw it in place.
  6. Take a thick, long piece of wood and place it perpendicular to the bike, leaving the center to rest below where the front wheel frame would go.
  7. Measure the distance from the front wheel axle to the ground and measure the width between the two bars of the front wheel bike frame.
  8. Cut a new piece of wood accordingly so that it can fit snugly between metal bars, taking account the thickness of the perpendicular board from step 6 and allowing one inch above the location of the axle so that a hole can be drilled through where the exact height of the axle would be.
  9. Screw the vertical board (step 8) to the perpendicular board (step 6). Drill a hole through the vertical board (step 8) at the height of the axle, and screw axle through the board, tightening until the bike feels sturdy and in place.
  10. Screw the back section of the bike frame into the first vertical board (step 3) by drilling a nail through the hole where the old kickstand was previously fastened.
  11. Measure from back wheel axle to board (15 inches)
  12. Make six new blocks to accommodate the 3 other wheels. Cut these boards to accommodate a similar height as the first wheel. This means the boards should be roughly 16 inches high so that a notch can eventually be cut and the axle of each wheel can rest at 15 inches above the flat piece of wood (allowing all of the wheels to spin freely).
  13. Cut boards so that an axle--to hold spinning wheels--can be placed 15 inches from the bottom (1 inch from top). Drill hole at this mark.
  14. Drill a hole in the top center of the board at 15 inches from the bottom of each board. Cut a notch from the bottom of the hole to cleanly reach the top of the board. This is where the axle of each wheel will rest. Repeat this process for all 6 boards.
  15. Create two long and thick boards that will be used to support the 6 boards that hold the wheels. Measure them to the same width as the axles (in our case, 100 mm and 115 mm). Cut these boards to the aforementioned widths.
  16. Drill 3 holes at the bottom of each of the 6 boards. Drill screws through these holes into the block supports, first testing the wheel placement by putting the axles in the notches and aligning the wheels within 1-2 inches of the adjacent wheels. The wheels need to be close enough to, when spinning, support the laundry buckets (see photo model).
  17. When all pieces are cleanly aligned and tested, screw in all boards tightly to assure that the wheels will be able to spin freely and quickly without compromising the frame of the contraption (see photo model).
  18. Place 5-gallon bucket at the crucifix of all four wheels. The back wheel will be controlled by the manual pedaling, while all other wheels will spin freely like gears in a clock. The spinning motion will rotate the laundry bucket, sloshing the water within and washing the clothes. If necessary, add a stabilizing board to rest against the bucket.

Photos of finished product are attached.

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    2 years ago

    That's a neat design :) You can work out and get your laundry done at the same time.