PowerSpinner – pedal-powered generator

My mate James and I have just created the above machine from an earlier design which didn’t work. The arm is modular, allowing for easy transportation and storage. It would also be possible to put different alternators on the end of the belt, or different sized pulleys to change the gear ratio.

We think we got up to around 1000 rpm as the gear ratio would have been about 100:10 multiplied by 100:10, a gear ratio of ~100 between the crank axle and the generator shaft. Standard cadence is around 70 rpm.

Why did we build this thing? Because it was fun, and shows the potential of human powered homes when fossil fuels are less abundant. In addition, we plan to take it to Small Is… festival as the basis of a workshop demonstrating pedal power applications for educational and small electricity generating purposes. Pedal-power has huge potential, kicking out ~100 W of power. Imagine pedal-powered pillar drills, liquefiers, food grinders and washing machines. They all exist, as illustrated by The Human Powered Home.


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