Zero Impact Environmental Alternatives

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Pedal power- easier than I thought

I got a 19V permanent magnet DC motor off eBay as a freebie with a $17 purchase of two smaller motors. I decided to hook it up to my exercise bike and use it as a generator to power some small lights.

I can power about 21 Christmas lights or a small radio with easy pedaling. I should be able to power any low-powered DC appliance, or anything that runs on AA or AAA batteries. I just don't want to try to power more sensitive electronics for fear of frying them with too much power.

If a permanent magnet DC motor is hooked up to a battery, electricity makes the shaft spin. Conversely, if you spin the shaft of a DC motor you generate electricity. Non-sensitive electric devices like Christmas lights and radios can be wired directly to the DC motor with no need for voltage regultors, batteries, diodes, or inverters. Just start spinning the motor to make electricity.

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