When you ride a bike, your legs generate power (duh), and no small amount, either. According to Mapawatt, pro cyclists riding the Tour de France generate as much as 430 watt-hours. What if we could capture that energy and use it to power other stuff?
That's the question asked -- and answered -- by Fenix, an SF-based tech company focused on creating renewable energy products for emerging markets. The company's soon-to-be-released Velo Bicycle Generator can be installed on a typical single-speed bicycle in just seconds, according to the designers. After pedaling for five to 10 minutes, a cyclist can produce enough energy to power an LED light for more than two hours, or fully charge a mobile phone.
As yet, the device only works for stand-still bikes and not in the streets. But for Fenix's target customers, who live in areas of the developing world that lack access to electricity, it could be life-changing.
The Velo is designed to be used along with Fenix's ReadySet charger, which can also store power from solar panels or the grid.