DIY Information

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One of the things you should be aware of before you start on making pedal generators is the energy output of an average person. Although some athletes can produce amazing power outputs for short periods, the maximum continuous output you can get from an average person is an eighth of a horsepower or a bit less than 100 Watts. (Makes you think about making a horse powered generator doesn't it). Not only that but by the time it's been converted by a homemade contraption, the 100 W of mechanical energy translates to maybe 60 W or so of electrical.

You’re not going to get impressive amounts of power out of a pedal powered device; though of course that’s only because people’s expectations have been jaded by being able to get disproportionate amounts of cheap energy by plugging in to the wall socket in their house or hitting a car’s accelerator.

That means you need to be careful what you use as a demonstration of the output energy. Sound is a good one. 30 to 40 Watts of input will support a 100 Watt amplifier (because unless you’re going for really horrible distortion you’ll only be going close to 100W on peaks). LED light is also good but forget the idea of heating anything. I know Electric Pedals started off with a labour intensive pedal powered tea stall at the old Kingston Green Fair in the 90’s but they soon graduated on to pedal cinemas and sound systems!

If you've got stuck trying to follow any of the designs or instructions, or if you need advice on small scale renewable energy demonstrations use the form below.

In the middle part of the year you may not get an instant response as we're often busy or away on festival projects.