People send me stuff. This story is making the rounds on Facebook. From Goods Home Design:
60 Minutes On This Bicycle Can Power Your Home For Twenty-Four Hours
Wouldn’t it be great to power your home without having enormous costs to starting a journey on the alternative road? Now, you can achieve that and also take care of your figure! The founder of the Free Electric hybrid bike, Manoj Bhargava, says that his invention uses mechanical energy in the most basic way in order to transform an hour of exercise into supplying rural household with energy for 24 hours. The mechanism is simple: when you pedals, a flywheel is put in action, which turns the generator and thus charging a battery. What better motivation to work out from now on than to power your own home without any costs whatsoever? Watch the video featured to see the bike in action.
That idea is not only ridiculous – it is impossible. Normal human metabolism produces heat at a basal metabolic rate of around 80 watts. During a bicycle race, an elite cyclist can produce close to 400 watts of mechanical power over an hour.
A regular person, who isn’t an elite muscular cyclist, might manage half that. The dead-giveaway is in the video itself, where you see the wattmeter displayed while the inventor is cycling peaking at about 274 watts:
Then there is the separate dead-giveaway shot of the voltmeter and ammeter:
From basic electricity, Power = Volts times amps (P=EI) Do the math: 12 volts x 10 amps = 120 watts.
So, at it’s best it might produce 400 watts for an hour is 0.4 kilowatt-hour. More likely the average person will produce 0.2 kilowatt-hour in one hour. At the 0.2 kWh rate, if you cycled 24 hours, you’d produce 4.8 kilowatt-hours
Look at your electric bill and note how many kilowatt-hours you used in a month, and then tell me you can keep up with that, especially in the summer when you need air-conditioning.
According to the EIA, in 2017, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential home customer was 10,399 kilowatt hours (kWh), an average of 867 kWh per month.
That works out to 28.9 kilowatt-hours per day. Compare that to the 4.8 kilowatt-hours per day you’d produce if you were able to cycle on this generator bike 24 hours a day.
But given how innumerate the public is these days (math is hard), surely some eco-dupe will buy the generator bike thinking they can power their entire home and are “saving the planet” by “going green”.
Even if the idea was originally to help poor people who have no electricity, there’s this set of complications (from a commenter on the YouTube video):
Uh, if people are too poor to afford electricity, they
A: Can’t afford this gizmo,
B: probably don’t have enough use for the electricity,
C: This thing cannot run a fridge or freezer, which is a major use,
D: And people THAT poor probably don’t have the spare calories.