Bicycle as generator/power source?



J

Jasper Janssen

Guest
On Sun, 04 Dec 2005 12:46:19 -0600, [email protected] wrote:
>On Thu, 01 Dec 2005 14:42:42 GMT, Jasper Janssen <[email protected]>
>wrote:


>>Human-powered or AC powered as you choose, laptop costing $100 in
>>quantities of a million or so. They are considering bringing versions of
>>this on the market for Westerners as well -- I know I'd buy one at 2-300
>>or so to take on my vacation.

>
>You can get used, full-sized laptops for <$200, and they will probably
>be more capable than the $100 thing with a crank.


No, you can't buy laptops for <$200 that still work. Especially not with a
functioning battery. Anything that price is probably a P1 instead of P2,
and this thing is supposed to be a 500 Mhz processor of one variety or
another. Also, lighter and more efficient with its energy than any
full-size laptop. You just try handcranking one of those on a backpacking
vacation in the Alps.

>>Crank-powered radio. Originally developed for the third world, now also
>>sold for disaster use in the West.

>
>I have yet to see a review of one of these that really abuses the
>thing physically or even tests it to its ultimate mechanical failure.
>If you're going to depend on something in an emergency, you want it to
>WORK. The original one came out about 15 years ago if I recall, and
>now there are hundreds of brands of cheap knock-offs. If you're
>designing a mechanism to be operated by everyone from children to big,
>burly pro-wrestler types, you have to make the thing robust, and that
>means expensive. Unless of course you are trying to make a fast buck
>from the paranoid, terrorist fearing, gullible American public.


Sure trying to honour the email address, aintya. Crank mechanisms don't
need to be different for a pro-wrestler or a child. It's the rest of the
thing that needs to be robust, but that's no different from the previous
variant of emergency radio which was a battery powered one with lots of
spare batts in the closet.


Jasper
 

>No, you can't buy laptops for <$200 that still work. Especially not with a
>functioning battery. Anything that price is probably a P1 instead of P2,
>and this thing is supposed to be a 500 Mhz processor of one variety or
>another. Also, lighter and more efficient with its energy than any
>full-size laptop. You just try handcranking one of those on a backpacking
>vacation in the Alps.


I did. It came with 3 lithium batteries + charger, a case, and
network and modem cards. If you look, the deals are out there...
Still, I don't think I'd take it on a backpacking vacation in the
Alps...

>>The original one came out about 15 years ago if I recall, and
>>now there are hundreds of brands of cheap knock-offs. If you're
>>designing a mechanism to be operated by everyone from children to big,
>>burly pro-wrestler types, you have to make the thing robust, and that
>>means expensive. Unless of course you are trying to make a fast buck
>>from the paranoid, terrorist fearing, gullible American public.

>
>Sure trying to honour the email address, aintya. Crank mechanisms don't
>need to be different for a pro-wrestler or a child. It's the rest of the
>thing that needs to be robust, but that's no different from the previous
>variant of emergency radio which was a battery powered one with lots of
>spare batts in the closet.


Hmmm. Maybe YOU should be using my email address...
 
W

Werehatrack

Guest
On 30 Nov 2005 08:37:33 -0800, "Scott Gordo" <[email protected]>
wrote:

>During the winter I sometimes ride on a trainer, and think about how
>much energy I'm expending and how it would be cool to harness it to
>power, say, my espresso maker.


You'd need to pedal for a long time to brew a cup. the power
requirement for that appliance is on the order of three to twenty
times your likely generated output, depending on both you and the
device...and the efficientcy of the generator.

>I finally did a quick google and found this:
>http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3ab928b76932.htm
>which is pretty close to what I envisioned. He uses this contraption to
>charge batteries that power devices.
>Has anyone seen a marketed version of something like this produced? I'm
>not electrical engineer, and for the right price I'd be happy to forgo
>the experimentation.
>And, yes, I'm well aware of friction light generators. I have two of
>them.


The net return on investment and the net return for the effort both
look pretty meager to me. To date, the only trainer/generator lash-up
I've seen that made a small amount of sense was one which used the
rider's output to power the laptop computer that the rider could
utilize for either watching a DVD, browsing the net, or other such
things...as long as the pedals were kept in motion with adequate
effort. As a way of encouraging the rider to keep pumping, it
reportedly worked pretty well.
--
Typoes are a feature, not a bug.
Some gardening required to reply via email.
Words processed in a facility that contains nuts.
 
J

Jasper Janssen

Guest
On Mon, 05 Dec 2005 09:41:37 -0600, [email protected] wrote:

>>No, you can't buy laptops for <$200 that still work. Especially not with a
>>functioning battery. Anything that price is probably a P1 instead of P2,
>>and this thing is supposed to be a 500 Mhz processor of one variety or
>>another. Also, lighter and more efficient with its energy than any
>>full-size laptop. You just try handcranking one of those on a backpacking
>>vacation in the Alps.

>
>I did. It came with 3 lithium batteries + charger, a case, and
>network and modem cards. If you look, the deals are out there...


No, they aren't. Except stolen. There may be some <500 MHz laptops at that
sort of price point *in the US*, but there sure as hell aren't here in
mainland europe, and I wouldn't call the <500 or even the <1000 MHz
bracket better than the hand-cranked thing.

>Still, I don't think I'd take it on a backpacking vacation in the
>Alps...


Exactly.

>>Sure trying to honour the email address, aintya. Crank mechanisms don't
>>need to be different for a pro-wrestler or a child. It's the rest of the
>>thing that needs to be robust, but that's no different from the previous
>>variant of emergency radio which was a battery powered one with lots of
>>spare batts in the closet.

>
>Hmmm. Maybe YOU should be using my email address...


So explain to me how what I say is nonsense, exactly. One would expect
andre the giant to be able to spin the crank faster than a kid, but I very
much doubt that a cranking mechanism is all that much more likely to break
when he'd be using it. Certainly the ratio between breakage rates is no
worse than for, say, chairs.

Jasper
 
W

Werehatrack

Guest
On Thu, 01 Dec 2005 14:42:41 GMT, Jasper Janssen <[email protected]>
wrote:

>The protagonists of Harry Harrison's _Make Room, Make Room_ (you might
>know the bastardised movie version _Soylent Green_), living in Malthusian
>overcrowded New York of.. well, actually, pretty much today, IIRC, but
>seen from 4 decades ago, use exactly such a device to charge some 12 volt
>car batteries that power a small fridge and a reading light or two.


Fortunately, they only had to do it in fiction. One person pedalling
vigorously to keep the batteries charged *might* produce enough output
to run a small well-insulated fridge whose door isn't opened often (if
its drain is sufficiently intermittent and small, and the interior
light is doused) and provide a small amount of low-wattage lighting,
but that would basically be all that they'd do besides eat, sleep and
take a shower. (This is taking the inefficiency of storage batteries,
power converters, alternators, etc, into account; the specific output
of a human might be enough to allow a little downtime if the
throughput was close to 100% efficient, but it's not.)


--
Typoes are a feature, not a bug.
Some gardening required to reply via email.
Words processed in a facility that contains nuts.