Power generation from mechanical devices is a project developed by a team at IDDS 2008. The motion from everyday tasks can provide low-cost electricity for lighting and other appliances in rural households.
Incorporating electricity generation into the daily routine can reduce the time, effort, and cost burden of the user. The team feels that harnessing daily tasks to provide electricity is more acceptable than isolated stationary human power generation because people who have already worked all day may not want to work again to power a light at night. There are many possible motions for electricity generation, such as using a hand pump to collect water, using a mortar and pestle to grind grain into flour, using a treadle pump to irrigate fields, walking or running, riding a bicycle, and even the motion of animals. This team chose to convert the motion of the treadle pump into electricity because it is a widespread irrigation tool used by millions in Asia and Africa.
There are many potential benefits of being able to generate electricity while pumping water for agriculture. The basic mechanical challenge was to convert the linear oscillatory motion of the treadle pump pedals to a unidirectional circular motion. All major components have been derived from bicycle parts. Consequently, all parts are easily and widely available at fairly low cost all around the world. Maintenance of devices can therefore be taken care of by any local bicycle mechanics without any special training.
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