Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pedal Power



What if this was how you did laundry?

Pedal power is not a new idea, in fact I remember this being big in Europe in the 70's and early 80's but it never really took off due to the expense and human effort involved. But did you know that right now, NGO's the world over are producing these power transforming bikes into useful tools for remote and impoverished people to serve a variety of uses? It's true. These people have even set up their own generating systems where people pedal for hours to charge a battery bank used collectively. How is that possible you ask? Well simply put, they draw very little power. Less demand requires less production. Anyone who lives with a solar system or in fact any system with limited storage (even a well) knows to pay attention to their consumption. Electrical appliances that generate heat are used judiciously or not at all, light bulbs are as efficient as possible, some people use 12v DC in place of AC like in a motor home or boat. There are lots of different ways of making a system that works for you.

The following article is great and I LOVE Low-tech! But I'm warning you...it's very long. If you make it all the way through, read the comments for more info. Follow the link and happy reading. If I post the article in it's entirety then it'll take up a tremendous amount of space so the link is my recommendation.

So what do you think? Could you pedal for an hour to watch your favourite show or to wash clothes? Is this the fitness method of the future?

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