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Old 12-07-09, 08:18 PM   #81
MetroMPG
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Nice setup! Yeah, the 24v motor would make a big difference.

Did you get a kit or make it up yourself?

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Old 12-08-09, 08:18 AM   #82
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Thanks! Actually my brother has a small home machine shop in his garage and he likes to tinker as well. He had several small motors lying around and gave me one. We machined that roller from a piece of aluminum he had. I had the trainer and use it a lot during winter already. The only things I purchased were the diode and watt meter. I made the plastic diode box at work.
Ok, I ran a test last night. I was WRONG about the motor producing more power with a diode. As a matter of fact, I think the diode robbs some wattage as it read higher when the diode was bypassed. Very interesting, you might be onto something with the switch.
I tried to keep as consistent cadence as possible while my girlfriend connected and disconnected a jumper several times to bypass the diode. Everytime it was bypassed the wattage went up by about 10 watts while resistance remained the same. Not sure how accurate the test is this way because of the constant fluctuation but we did it several times.
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Old 12-08-09, 08:38 AM   #83
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Good stuff jimmo!

I believe the non-diode setup is more efficient because the diode does create a small voltage drop (efficiency loss) across it. You might be able to find another diode that has a voltage drop that is smaller and acceptable.
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Old 12-08-09, 08:50 AM   #84
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Thanks for testing that, jimmo. I'm still impressed with your output - I bet it has a lot to do with the 24v motor and the related points you made.

And judging by your bike, I bet there's a chance you're in better shape than I am!

But you reminded me that I have a 36v permanent magnet motor. I might have to make up a new pedalgen for this winter now that the snow is on the ground here.
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Old 12-08-09, 09:14 AM   #85
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In that website I linked in an earlier post I read that human power is only in the range of 25% efficient.
When I was building my generator I thought I would be able to sustain around 200 watts. When I am on the computrainer and it is calibrated correctly the wattage is a lot higher. My last workout on it displayed an average of 237 watts and a peak of 10039 watts. The average was taken over a 40 minute period. On the generator, my all time peak watts was 438. It was really a wake up call as to how much energy is used in the home everyday. Working out very hard, even for 2 hrs is only worth a nickel, hahaha. With tahat said it is still a lot of fun to work out now, I feel like I am getting something accomplished.
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Old 12-08-09, 09:20 AM   #86
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237w average? OK, yes you're definitely in better shape than I am! And less lazy.

Also, I agree 100% about how generating power yourself changes your perception of energy use overall and the value of the energy we use.
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Old 12-08-09, 10:24 AM   #87
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Electric Pedals

have you seen this?
click on some of the services on the left.
I would soooooo volunteer to do something like that in my neighborhood.
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Old 12-09-09, 08:33 AM   #88
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Yeah, the human body is about 25% efficient at converting food calories into mechanical work. Another consideration is that the current farm system is about 10% efficient at converting oil into food, and often much worse. So, you should only exercise enough for health, unless you eat from an organic garden.

Regarding generator hook-ups, I'd try using a serpentine belt from a car or a clothes dryer. The dryer has a tiny pulley to get high step-up ratios. You can wrap the belt over even a knobby bike tire, and it will ride in the middle, the same as on any crowned pulley with a flat belt. It can be bundled and wrapped on the frame for road use, or removed by popping the wheel off.
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Old 12-09-09, 01:02 PM   #89
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Thanks for the tips, Bob.
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Old 12-09-09, 02:55 PM   #90
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Thanks Bob. I think I will try the belt method in the future. I am also going to try switching the diode . I wanna see how efficient I can make this thing. I was reading about a guy last night who is running his wash machine with it at about 140 to 150 watts thru the spin cycle. I can never keep that pace up as it is now. I dont know what kinda shape he is in though.

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