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I would like to invent a power generator that would collect into an electric battery some of the energy produced while riding a bike. It would have to be extremely light-weight, easy to attach to the back tire, and aerodynamic. There are a couple of places to start with this idea.

Look closely at this image. This solution has a stationary bike.

The Pedal Power Generator is almost what I'm envisioning. I would love to work with a student of in the next couple of weeks to build this and use my bike for it each day. I ride my bike to work each day (see below), and (right now) we could follow the directions on this site, PedalPowerGenerator.com, which offers:
free videos and plans to make your own pedal power bicycle generator station. Good for powering up your television while watching your favorite show. (Or your radio, cell phone, blender, or laptop, or wheat grinder!)

This power generating system is also great for emergency survival backup generator power. Pedal Power is one of the more reliable and consistent forms of alternative energy because solar panels can get blown away in a storm and only work during the day, and wind turbines only spin when there is wind....

From this, you can see the parts that we would need to have. The trick would be to get an extra belt to come off of the back wheel, and this belt -- somehow -- would have to connect to a generator that (perhaps?) could be carried in the biker's backpack? There's plenty to work out here.

Other ideas might come from looking at how electricity gets generated in non-battery bike lights like these two different examples: Reelight SL100 Flashing Compact Generator Bicycle Headlight and Tai... (left) and Bell Generator Bicycle Light Set (right).

There are many other places for us to find information once we start this journey. Here are two: Pedal Generator Projects and Bike Generator. (But everything looks so heavy and stationary.)

I wonder when this idea will be practical, in that, I'll still be able to get enough speed on my bike AND be able to store electricity in a battery.

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Comment by Parker Schultz on April 7, 2010 at 1:28am
I have one of these systems on my bike. The light works, and the generator doesn't slow down the bike much. For the bikes that you had in mind, would they charge as they were ridden, or in stationary mode? (like the picture).
Comment by Paul Allison on April 7, 2010 at 1:30am
Right! I'm curious to learn more about the stationary ones and about the generators that power lights, like on your bike, but I'd love to have a system that could generate and store electricity while the bile is moving.
Comment by Parker Schultz on April 7, 2010 at 1:32am
Another option would to be create a system where you wouldn't have to take the bike apart to generate electricity. That way, people could use their bike to get around, and then snap it into their generator.
Comment by Parker Schultz on April 7, 2010 at 1:32am
The main problem with riding and generating is that the batteries you would need might way more and slow down the biker.
Comment by Paul Allison on April 7, 2010 at 1:36am
Maybe we need to invent a smaller, safer battery first?
Comment by Parker Schultz on April 7, 2010 at 1:45am
That would defiantly help! That way the people who needed the electricity wouldn't have to constantly generate it to power something. I know that even in "modernized" countries like China, there are still more bikes than cars. This could a great resource to tap into. I talked about a similar topic on my blog. I researched a soccer ball that when kicked can generate power.
Comment by Paul Allison on April 7, 2010 at 2:30pm
I really like the idea that we might be able to use common things like soccer balls and bikes to generate power.
Comment by Joshua Z on April 7, 2010 at 3:07pm
Your discussion here makes me think of the possibility of making a sort of cradle or platform one could set a street or mountain bike into, then hop on and ride stationary -- with the back wheel delivering kinetic energy to belts or cylinders.
Comment by Michele Baron on April 13, 2010 at 11:46pm
mayve use a two-wheel assembly that could lower onto back wheel instead of belt; the smaller belt or a cog-style converter could then be substituted. If you need large battery packs, get back-wheel saddle bags to house (water and dust proof); otherwise, if you are utilizing smaller assembly, fanny-pack battery might work?? There are already stationary bike systems: http://www.urgentevoke.com/profiles/blogs/new-ways-to-power-convent... and see the sub-entries http://ezinearticles.com/?Build-Bike-Generator-to-Generate-Electric
http://www.econvergence.net/electro.htm among others. Have fun
Comment by ahartman on April 19, 2010 at 5:35pm
rollergen or shakti are possibles for mobile/stationary power generation


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