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Free Electric bike generates electricity with pedal power

Free Electric bike generates e...
Pedaling the Free Electric for one hour is said to yield enough electricity to serve a home for 24 hours
Pedaling the Free Electric for one hour is said to yield enough electricity to serve a home for 24 hours
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Pedaling the Free Electric for one hour is said to yield enough electricity to serve a home for 24 hours
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Pedaling the Free Electric for one hour is said to yield enough electricity to serve a home for 24 hours

One way of providing electricity to parts of the world that still have no access is to give them the means to generate it themselves. That's the approach being taken by Billions in Change. Its Free Electric bike lets users produce electricity by pedalling.

Billions in Change was founded by Manoj Bhargava with the aim of "positively impacting humanity." It seeks to develop and distribute its own inventions that can help to provide solutions to problems in the areas of water, energy and health.

Using pedal power to generate electricity is not a new idea, of course, but Billions in Change says it has been able to refine the concept. "Energy-producing bikes are not new, but before Free Electric there wasn't anything that produced enough electricity to power 24 light bulbs, a fan, a phone and tablet charger at the same time," the group states on its website.

The Free Electric was conceived about three years ago. The initial prototype didn't work, but the design has undergone iterative development until a working version was created. Bhargava tells Gizmag that each working part of the bike has then been refined to be made as simple as possible.

The machine is made out of standard bicycle parts, some weights, an alternator and a 12-V battery. It was designed using these materials so that it could be maintained or repaired by a bicycle mechanic anywhere in the world.

In the interests of simplicity, again, there is only one gear. This spins a flywheel, which turns a generator, which, in turn, charges the battery. The bike is said to be easy to pedal with little little trade-off between ease-of-pedalling and productivity. In order to achieve this, an optimal gear setting was configured by engineers at Billions in Change.

Billions in Change says the the Free Electric is able to yield enough electricity to serve one home with clean electricity for 24 hours, although that depends, of course, on what is being powered. The organisation says that it is continuing to refine and improve the efficiency of the bike and so cannot provide any specific output figures currently.

There are two versions of the bike. A simple version for poorer countries will cost around US$250. A more sophisticated model aimed at wealthier countries where electricity might drop out as a result of a natural disaster, for example, is priced at $1,200-$1,500.

Manufacturing of the two versions will begin early next year, with preorders expected to open afterwards.

The video below provides an introduction to the Free Electric project.

Source: Billions in Change

The Hans Free Electric™ bike: Solution overview

25 comments
Anthony Parkerwood
Put a few dozen in the gym and sell the power to the grid.
Shohreh
> clean electricity
Clean, compared to what?
Bicycle parts, alternators and 12-V batteries don't grow on trees.
Dax Wagner
Looks like someone thinks they can violate basic laws of thermodynamics. I hope people realize these incredible claims are indeed impossible. You can NOT power an entire house for a day after only pedaling for an hour. I don't care if you're Lance Armstrong with an overdose of steroids and cocaine... it's never going to work. Why make such a big claim that is so obviously false?
EmmanuelGrayton
For working out this should be fine but it seems like a silly idea as a way of electricity production for poor families.
A decent workout might give you about 150Wh in 60 minutes which is enough to power a basic appliance such as a fridge for the same amount of time or a small TV for 3-4 hours. Even if you had a single 10W light it'll only stay on for 15 hours.
You also need about 550kCalories to generate this amount of electricity so the person doing the pedaling will need to eat more. When you're poor and maybe not even eating 2000kCal, you now need to consume 25% more calories if you wish to pedal for an hour. They are also going to get really hot doing this.
For $100 you can get a 50W solar power system with a decent long life battery plus a couple of lights and it can be done for less if you work out deals with manufactures and buy in bulk. You could also double the solar and battery capacity for $150.
RadSlayer
I'm glad my dad didn't see anything like this when I was a kid...
Stan Ubeki
Someone needs to review Physics 101. This is way off the rails. You might be able to charge a cell phone or tablet by pedaling for an hour. Please be more responsible.
MQ
Pedal power, that's what made the RFDS so successful, 1929, in memory of John Flynn.
As exercise, it has merit, as an energy source? only if needed to call the Flying Dr when; wind, sun, hydro, gas, coal, diesel and nuclear is unavailable.
ChrisChambers
Why not say how many kwh the bike produces in an hour? Instead of saying it will power your house for 24hrs... It wont. Not mine. We average about 20kwh/day. There is just no way this bike produce that much juice in a hour.
ProfessorWhat
I always thought (relatively) that it was weird how clamp-on bike kits and solitary stations could only be moved at a certain speed to collect current'cy before gettin' all hot & bothered; back when I was a early-90's teenie-bopper doing volunteer lifeguard/spotter duty, I'd get free access to the entire old post gym on Fort Drum, man I used to make those pull-chain rowing machines roar'n'whizz...
If someone made a sliding-seat rowing machine version, I'd be all for it, especially one that was designed for more versatile generator/gearing upgrades.
worf2
a 120wp solar panel costs 100$ and a cheap lead acid battery is 50$. charging controllers are about 10$. 5 led bulbs are 25$. this is slavery: http://conan.wikia.com/wiki/Wheel_of_Pain