Bicycle Ride Generates Electricity
May 28, 2009
- "I wanted to make a bike that would generate enough energy to light a light bulb," said Denean Summers.
- I thought this would show the children who attend the event that it takes effort to generate electricity.
Earth Day 2009 brought an innovative energy project to the Arsenal. Workers from Garrison's Environmental Management Division, along with contractors from Chugach Management Services Inc. and many other Redstone employees, created a display in which people could generate their own electricity simply by riding a bicycle.
"I wanted to make a bike that would generate enough energy to light a light bulb," said Denean Summers, the Sustainability, Recycling, Solid Waste Program manager, who first had the idea. "I thought this would show the children who attend the event that it takes effort to generate electricity."
The project got started when Summers spotted an old bicycle that belonged to Arlis Dudley, who works with 90-Day Hazardous Materials on the Arsenal. She presented to him the idea of turning it into a display for Redstone's Earth Day 2009.
Dudley got straight to work, rounding up the materials to make the bicycle. He only used recycled materials that he had found around the Arsenal.
"Anything I find that's worth recycling I keep, so I had a lot of stuff already," Dudley said.
"I didn't know how to make all of it so I would call someone to help me with something, like the welding, then if we encountered a problem we couldn't solve we would call someone else."
In the end, the light bulb was powered by the bike wheel which would spin around, turn the fly wheel of the alternator and transfer energy to the bulb.
"Overall the bike was a great success," Summers said. "A fun and educational aid that can be displayed for years."