TNA Energy Cycle
This pedal-powered electricity generator was made mainly from scrap or second-hand parts. Its purpose is to provide a light-hearted but very direct way to engage with energy generation, and an invitation to think about energy, and how much of it we use.
By pedalling the bike you can get an indication of how much power you can produce, measured in watts. The pedals turn the wheel, and the wheel turns an alternator, which can charge a battery, light a lamp, or heat up some water. A meter provides a power reading.
An athlete might generate 250 watts for several minutes, enough to light a dozen low energy bulbs. The rest of us may not do so well: 100 watts for a minute would be a good attempt.
In the UK, pedal-powered generators like this one have an educational value, but in some remote parts of the world, they have a practical use, supplying electricity to a radio or computer.
Our energy cycle attracted interest at a number of events during 2010. If you are planning an activity that relates to energy use, whether for the public or in school, and would like to involve the energy cycle, please get in touch. We would also welcome help in developing the cycle further.