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Published on January 19th, 2014 | by Important Media Cross-Post


An Open Source Pedal-Powered Generator

January 19th, 2014 by  

Originally published on Sustainablog

simple pedal power set-up

Building a simple pedal-powered generator isn’t that difficult – we got one (kind of like the one above) going on the fly nearly four years ago at the last blogathon up at Dancing Rabbit.  It didn’t really generate enough power reliably to help us, though – that takes a bit more engineering. If you want to run your laptop, or a blender, or a log splitter (seriously), you need something like Pedal Power‘s Big Rig… which is the product of five years of engineering and testing.

Don’t have that kind of time or inclination? No problem: the Big Rig and other creations from this small company will soon be available as open source plans. A wildly successful Kickstarter project has provided the funding for developing the build plans and instructions, and, judging from the time frame mentioned at the Kickstarter page, you could see them on the market as early as next month.

Want to know more? Check out this post from our sister site Planetsave:

Pedal Power — Simple Human-Powered Means Of Generating Electricity

By: Nathan

If you’ve ever thought that you’d like to own an electricity generating bicycle, well, guess what, now you can. Pedal Power — as the concept has been dubbed — will give consumers the means to create electricity using nothing but their own muscle, via one of two newly designed machines — the Big Rig, and the Pedal Genny.

The machines — developed over the past five years by a pair of entrepreneurs from upstate New York — were recently the subject of a very successful KickStarter campaign — completely blowing past it’s goal. The developers are currently in the process of creating open-source plans for the machines.

The Atlantic provides more:

Pedal Power is a tiny start-up (two guys) based in Essex, New York. A few weeks ago, photos of their bike machine spread widely across the Internet. “With an efficiency of 97 percent, bicycle technology is nearly perfect,” they wrote in their pitch. “So why do we use it only for transportation?”

Or, even more wastefully, for spin classes or SoulCycle. That is kinetic energy just floating up into ether and steam and sweaty song. It’s like pouring crude oil down the drain. The Internet agreed. Last week their Kickstarter campaign reached its $10,000 goal. Today it’s over $30,000. This week they begin work on open-source plans; the stated goal of the crowd-funded project.

“I would love to see Pedal Power machines in every coffee shop in every city in the country,” co-founder Steve Blood stated in an interview. “So that people who are working on their laptops, working on their iPads, are at the same time generating their own power for those devices. I want to connect people to the energy they use. I want people to understand how precious energy is, and how hard it is to come by.”

You can learn more about the technology in the video posted below.

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