The VelociCharger: A Modern Device for Harnessing Pedaling Power to Create a Sustainable Energy Source
Prince of Wales Secondary
Floor Location : M 061 N
The number of bikers worldwide is constantly growing, which creates a huge opportunity to utilize the power that bikers generate. The purpose of this project is to create an electrical generator which harnesses the kinetic energy of a bike to charge a battery or USB device such as a smartphone. My hypothesis was that I would be able to design and build a device which is cheaper and easier to set up and use than those commercially available.
The design of the project consists of two aspects: the electrical circuit and the mechanical bike mount. The final circuit was based on a standard USB charge circuit into which multiple improvements were introduced. The design of the mechanical bike mount is entirely original. The generator which I designed and built ended up cheaper and easier to set up than others on the market. The commercial products range from around $150-$200. Since I was able to build the prototype for less than $110, it is safe to assume that mass production will reduce the unit price significantly. In addition, this design has several improvements over commercial devices. First, it can be mounted on any bike without the disassembly of bike parts as commercial devices require. Second, it contains rechargeable batteries that can store electricity when no device is being charged such that no energy is wasted. Finally, it has an adjustable voltage output that allows it to charge a wide variety of devices that require different input voltages.
This invention has a significant real-world application. In Vancouver, around 10% of people ride their bike to get to school or work every day. In Canada, the number of people biking as their main method of commuting in 2016 rose 87.9% over the last 20 years. This device harnesses the power these bikers generate on a daily basis, to create a sustainable energy source that gives citizens one more reason to switch from cars to biking and help better the environment.