The Energy Bike is an educational tool to help explain the concepts of power and energy, along with the energy efficiency message.
With summer here and sun every so often shining through, we have recently been involved with loads of pedal powered activities. One recent event was pedal powered water cannons which was run as part of the Celebrate Cycling event at Nottingham University Jubilee Campus which was part of a larger programme of events celebrating 125 years of Raleigh Bicycles.
We set up two pedal powered water pistols which were used to know down environmentally themed targets, such as a coal fired power station or a fat-cat banker. At the same time a sound system kept energy levels up. We also rigged up a children’s bike with a bubble machine for the smaller children. While the weather was not so kind to us, the water cannons were in constant use throughout the day.
There were loads of bicycle related activities – making spiral drawings from bike parts, tall bikes, wind powered bikes and a slow bike race. There was also a performance of ‘lifetime guarantee’, a specially commissioned performance from Hanby and Barrett
If you are interested in any of our pedal powered activities, or think we could help at your event, then please get in touch.
Last Friday saw the Magnificent Revolution 20 bike cycle-in cinema being set up for the Milton Keynes Fringe Festival for an event organised by Independent Cinema MK.
The event attracted loads of keen cyclists, both young and old. Team MK were there and pedalling for the whole 3 hours. We even had power generated by the Mayor and a number of local MPs.
The event ran throughout the day and showed a number of interesting family-friendly animations, chosen by local animator, Tim Searle.
We have been involved with Magnificent Revolution for a number of years now and were involved with the design and build of the 20-bike generator and electrical system. We have worked together for a number of other pedal-powered projects including the giant power monitor at the Arcola Theatre.
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.
A few months ago we helped Magnificent Revolution Australia build their 8-bike pedal powered cinema.They recently used the pedal generator for a high-profile event in the heart of Sydney. More photos from the event are on their website here. It looked like a great event.
This followed the general design used for the Magnificent Revolution 20-bike generator, which I was involved with building a year ago. A blog post on the design and build is here.
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…]
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.
Here are full constructional plans for a do-it-yourself pedal generator, including the bicycle stand. This is designed so that there is no welding involved. I have built two of these stands and they have proven to be quite reliable and robust.
A pdf leaflet of these plans is available here.
An instructable of this is available here.
Notes and thoughts on pedal power, including motors and stand configurations.