We recently built two smoothie bike systems with large light-up advertising signs. These use our electrical pedal generators to charge some capacitors. This electrical energy is then used to power some standard electric smoothie machines. There is a large LED sign which lights up as you ‘fill’ the unit with energy and the, when the energy is used up, the lights switch off.[Read more…]
Spirax Sarco produce energy efficient boilers and steam systems for industry. They run outreach activities for younger folk at the Cheltenham Science Festival, which is a large six day event. They have used our pedal power equipment for a couple of previous activities at this festival. This year they wanted to highlight the energy required to produce steam and link it to the various areas of industry that they work in.
Through discussion with their team, we developed some pedal powered light systems that changed colour from blue to red to indicate getting hot. Two additional displays showed steam ‘clouds’ which moved up to the top and each player raced their cloud to the top of their light display by pedalling. The event ran smoothly with several hundred participants over the six days.
Please drop us an email if you have a bespoke pedal power demonstration idea!
Here is our two-bike pedal power challenge. This comprises of two large LED bar graphs to show either power or energy.
The challenge can be either a timed challenge, where the winner is the person who generates the most energy or the maximum power, or it can be a race to generate a certain amount of energy.
This can be linked in to energy efficiency advice and gives the users an interactive way of feeling how much energy different devices use.
Bespoke Gear was comissioned to build the display system for an energy bike at the Arcola Theatre in Hackney, London. The energy bike is in the front-of-house at the theatre to help demonstrate and educate on energy consumption and efficiency.
This display system fitted to a pedal generator built by Magnificent Revolution. It has a bar-graph read out of the power and an actual value in Watts.
The system also worked as a voltage regulator, limiting the output voltage to 12V DC and shunting away the excess as heat, so that devices, such as phone chargers, can be plugged in for demonstration. The display is fully powered by the generator.
Re-innovation was asked by Magnificent Revolution to help build an 8-bike pedal powered generator for use over in Australia. Greer Allen has started up Magnificent Revolution Australia and has been working with Magnificent Revolution in London. She will be taking the generator over to Australia for a cinema event in Sydney.
She came up to Nottingham to build the main power equipment and wire it all up and test it. We had a fun week crimping, drilling and waiting for packages to arrive. She kept a great blog with photos here. [Read more…]
Renewable energy innovation has an active program of renewable energy promotion. We have a number of pedal generators and solar PV system which can be used to interactively engage the public, helping to explain the concepts of power and energy and promote renewable energy sources and energy efficiency.
We created our pedal powered water cannons to do exactly that. Use water cannons to knock down environmentally themed targets with an upbeat soul soundtrack – all powered by human pedal power. We were asked to exhibit at Nottingham Carnival of Cycling, a Sustrans event to promote cycling in all its forms. Loads of activities and demonstrations were provided and we promoted pedal power alongside Junk4Funk, who helped keep the beat with recycled musical instruments.
Pedal power is a great, inter-active demonstration of power generation and consumption. Building your own pedal generator is also an amazing learning experience. There are a number of plans and designs around for the generator and stand (check out our own here), but information about the electrical systems is usually lacking.
Here is a full design for a shunt regulator for pedal power systems. A PCB, kit of parts and a fully built circuit will be available.
This included a two-day workshop for a number of bicycle related community groups to produce four pedal power generators, a one-day public pedal power workshop and a two and a half hour pedal powered screening of Metropolis at the Cube cinema. This was organised with the help of Sprockets and Dust.