As people the world over continue to search for renewable energy sources, innovative and interesting ideas for generating power are constantly being devised. Those interested in keeping fit and producing power at the same time might be interested in this unique product – the Pedal-A-Watt. It converts your bicycle into a stationary bike and uses your pedal power to generate energy that can be stored in a power pack. An average rider can produce up to 200 watts – ride for an hour and you'll generate enough to power a 25 watt fluorescent light bulb for eight hours.

So how does it work? It’s not unlike the River gym concept - you simply attach your bicycle to the Pedal-A-Watt stand and start pedaling. The stand contains a generator which is spun by the movement of the bicycle’s back wheel. The generator is made of a spinning magnet within a coil of wire, as the magnet spins, electricity flows through the coil. The energy you generate can be used straight away or can be stored in a battery in the power pack for use later. The bicycle can be clipped into the stand in less than 30 seconds without having to remove the rear tire, and if you want to do some road riding you simply pop your bike out of the stand. Too easy.

How much pedaling will you need to do to charge average household appliances? If you pedal for two hours then you should produce around 400 watt-hours of power. That's enough to power a 200 watt television for two hours, or a 100 watt light bulb for four hours. A 20 watt laptop PC could be charged for 20 hours and a 15 watt fluorescent bulb for almost 27 hours.

An average adult rider could produce from 100 to 320 watts of power depending on their physical strength, stronger and fitter adults could create between 225 to 320 watts or more. The stand is best suited to bicycles in reasonable condition with 26 or 27 inch wheels, but can also work with wheels greater than 10 inches. It weighs 23 lbs and optional extras such as the cigarette lighter plug and 12 foot cable are also available.

The Pedal-A-Watt package has a lifetime warranty and can be purchased for US$399. That includes the bicycle stand, generator, 20 amp blocking diode, adjustment knob and instructions. The power pack is sold separately for US$365.95 and is suitable for household appliances up to 400 watts.