Page data
Type Draft
Keywords Human power, Cycling, Bicycle
SDG Sustainable Development Goals SDG03 Good health and well-being
SDG07 Affordable and clean energy
Authors Jose Hernandez
David Williams
Published 2007
License CC-BY-SA-4.0
Impact Number of views to this page. Views by admins and bots are not counted. Multiple views during the same session are counted as one. 2,595

Pedal power is the use of human power by pedalling to either power a device directly through a mechanical connection or to generate electricity that will be used to power it.

Pedal powered generator[edit | edit source]

WaterPod Tour de Volts pedal powered generator
A pedal powered generator is a Human Powered Energy Generator (HPEG) that provides a method of generating electricity by means of a modified exercise bike for use in energy storage and running household appliances. Human/mechanical energy is converted into electrical current by means of a Direct Current (DC) generator that is connected by a fanbelt to an exercise bike flywheel. The energy created by the DC generator can be stored in various types of lead-acid batteries. Energy stored in battery form can act as a supplemental energy source for battery banks that may already be used for wind, hydro and photovoltaic systems. Also, energy that is stored within the lead-acid battery can be utilized as DC current for use in DC appliances such as those found in automotive mobile homes. If Alternating Current (AC) appliances are in place then a inverter must be used to transfer the 12 volts of DC current into the standard 110 volts of AC current for usage by these appliances.

Mechanical pedal powered devices[edit | edit source]

Pedal mechanical blender
Instead of generating electricity (like with pedal powered generators), devices can be powered directly through a mechanical connection.

Lever arms[edit | edit source]

Lever arms on cranksets can increase the power output (well) over 50%. One such system has been designed by Maurice Houbracken. Figure 1 shows 2 systems inspired by Penny-farthing bicycles.

Fig. 1 Lever arm systems for use on cranksets

Elliptical sprocket wheels[edit | edit source]

A similar objective can be achieved by having sprocket wheels on chain drives which are elliptical, rather than round. For example, if the sprocket that is attached to the pedals of a bicycle is elliptical, with its major axis perpendicular to the axis of the pedal cranks, and with the axle of the pedals passing through the centre of the ellipse, then effectively the gear ratio of the drive varies as the pedals revolve. When the rider's foot is driving downward, the gear ratio is highest, to achieve highest speed. When the rider's feet are moving horizontally, with little force, the gear ratio is lowest, giving best mechanical advantage, and getting the feet past this alignment as fast as possible.

See also[edit | edit source]