Pedal Powered Generator – Electricity From Exercise

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You have to see it to believe it.

Curious about Human Power? Need some exercise? Trying to lose weight? Need inspiration? Researching technical information? Expensive electricity and gasoline making you nuts? You have come to the right place.


I built the first version of the Pedal Generator in 1976. Let me describe my original invention to you. As an improvement over similar bicycle generator designs, I went all-out for efficiency and versatility. While a bike generator is an alternative to my design, pedaling will be less efficient, and powering non-electric equipment may be difficult. A unique feature in my design was a 36″ particle board disk with a groove routed in the edge that served as the flywheel and crankshaft for the permanent magnet 36 volt DC motor ( 1 2 ) seen at the upper right edge of the device. A small-pitch chain provided the power transfer system. The groove around the outer edge was lined with “rim strips” – thin rubber straps that prevented the chain from slipping and digging into the particle board. They are standard bicycle parts. The motor was obtained around 1980 from Northern Hydraulic, now known as Northern Tool and Equipment Company. It is a General Electric Permanent Magnet Motor, model 5BPA34NAA44, a very nice heavy-duty, ball bearing unit. I paid USD $29 for it if I remember correctly, and I still have it.


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