Alternate energy production resources - electricity 1

Pedal Power Book

Here is a link to a free pedal power book, including making your own bicycle powered generators:

Low Tech Magazine

Hi, I recommend Low Tech Magazine for reviews of all kinds of proposals for energy alternatives. They do the research and crunch the numbers on how viable these things really are.

It turns out that direct use of the rotary power is great but generating electricity is not so great. Of course they are not costing it out using salvaged alternators from old cars either.

Human-generated electricity is expensive (but batteries moreso).

In round numbers, you can literally crank out about 100W for about 10 hours per day, so a good day's labor is 1 kiloWatt*hour (kWh), and you'd have to pay about $100 in wages for the crank-turner.  (That seems to me like a reasonable amount of energy to expect from a home-size wind turbine, too.)  From the grid, we currently pay about $0.15 (fifteen cents!) for that much energy.

An "AA" alkaline battery, for which we pay $0.50-$1.00, is good for about 1 Watt*hour (or at least $500/kWh). 

My "5 kW" solar array, on a sunny day in December, is putting out about 10 kWh ($1.50), but put out a little more than 30 kWh ($4.50) on a sunny day in June. (Installed cost, with no energy storage, was about $15,000 in 2014, before subsidy incentives.)

Lathe Chuck, AB3NA

Thanks for this

What an amazing book. I now have it as a PDF file on my computer, and will hopefully print it out.