Is This The Most Efficient DIY Bicycle Generator Design?

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  • Kokopelican says:

    I read about this. Totally brilliant design. The flywheel is key, along with the fact that there’s no extra stages. Interesting that he recommends you actually DON’T convert to electricity if you can avoid it — ie. use it to run a blender or washing machine mechanically — since it’s so inefficient to convert energy forms. (Look at the examples on his site.)

    I’m reminded of a recent article explaining that over short distances up to a mile or so, a wire and pulley system outperforms electricity as a better way to transfer mechanical power to pull loads or spin milling equipment. Kinda mindblowing.

  • Cindy Thompson says:

    Hey! Thanks for this article. I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to make a bike generator, but I kinda suspected I could make a better one than what was out there. I love that it takes up so much less space! Are you going to make one of these? Totally thinking I might. 🙂

  • Dave says:

    I think the flywheel is a fine idea, it does not need to be so central in the design. You could make a “bicycle trainer,” a platform that you set your bike on and the back wheel spins the device when you sit on the bike and pedal. That way you could take advantage of the bicycle’s installed gearset as a transmission. Have the output go to a flywheel of some type, perhaps like yours or you could rig one up from an old car, and then when you want to pedal faster, you can shift up and only have to turn the pedals once for several spins of the flywheel.

    But the capacitor idea is great because it avoids using a battery.

    • Mobile Rik says:

      Hi Dave – You should check out the original project on his website and read his extensive rationale for the design. “Bicycle trainer” style generators are not uncommon. His innovation was in eliminating all the mechanical inefficiencies he could by removing everything between the pedal drive and the flywheel.

      If I made a version I personally would opt for a non-fixie, so that it could be used for High Intensity Interval training, while taking full advantage of the flywheel’s stored energy to keep generating power even during the rest intervals.

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