While I have not been putting many posts on the website recently, I have been very busy with pedal powered projects! In 2019 I worked on 12 large pedal powered projects (not including the hire of pedal powered equipment for events). This included supplying 31 pedal generator units and 7 pedal powered Scalextric systems. I’ve been trying to standardise a lot of kit I supply, but every project is different! I thought I would review some of these projects.
Pedal Powered Drawing Machine
This was a project called “Mr Arkwright” working with artist Jo Fairfax. This used a tandem bicycle with a hub generator to power a water pump. This pumped water through large plastic piping network and powered a drawing machine which mechanically drew an image onto a postcard.
This interactive artwork was installed at Arkwrights Mill in Derbyshire for the summer season. More detailled information is available here and a short video here:
Pedal Powered LED Light Units
I supplied two control units designed to switch on a set of three LED lights as a person pedals. These come on depending upon the energy from the cyclist. These were used for in-shop interactive demonstration.
Running Machine LED Lights
This was something I’ve been wanting to build for a while – using a running machine to generate electricity. I added a small generator unit to a roller-style running machine. These were built for an events company to use at sporting related events. These worked very well and generated up to about 50 watts from the runner. The energy generated was monitored and controlled a bank of LED lights which switch on as energy is generated. Information about energy generated and speed of runner was outputted from the control units and read by a computer to display on monitors.
Pedal Scalextric Systems
I built seven different pedal powered Scalextric systems for various different clients. This included three 4-bike Scalextric systems and some with and some without the track. The design for these units is quite standard now. I also supplied some systems with lap-counters and power and energy displays.
Pedal Battery Charger Unit
This was for a farming college where pedal power was used to recharge a lead-acid battery. The battery was then used to power the electic fences at the site. I was very pleased with the information display on this system, which shows power and energy and also has a scrolling bar graph of power to see what has happened in the last minute.
Pedal 240V Inverter Units
I built two pedal powered inverter units for a client. These could run any mains appliance (up to a power rating of about 200W). I usually stay away from mains voltages, as it brings in additional safety concerns. These units were fully earthed and had residual circuit breakers (RCD) on the outputs. These were used to power printers at a promotional event.
So it’s been a busy 2019! I also moved into a bigger workshop with more space for building equipment and for storage.