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Treeboy demonstrates renewable energy-Bicycle power! May 27, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in Uncategorized.
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Zoinks! Here is an interesting article on how much energy it would take to power a incandescent by bicycle in comparison to a cfl. Guess which one takes more pedal power!

Dr. Z


Treeboy demonstrates renewable energy

Updated: May 27, 2009 09:00 AM CDT

Indiana State Fairgrounds – How much human energy does it take to power a light bulb? Tim ‘Treeboy’ Bush paid a visit to the state fairgrounds to demonstrate renewable energy. To make a comparison between how much energy it takes to light incandescent light bulbs as compared to compact flourescent lamps, or CFL’s, the power energy exerted from a pedaling bicyclist is transformed to energy capable of lighting light bulbs.

“It takes four times the power to light the incandescent verses the CFL,” Eric Burch, Office of Energy Development, said.

While pedaling at a quick pace, the goal was to light four incandescent light bulbs.

“He’s pedaling pretty consistently, too, and you can see that he’s not even going to get all four lit,” Burch said. “If we switch that over to the CFL’s, the same amount of power is getting three of them lit and the fourth one is starting to come on.”

Contrary to the incandescent, the CFL will flicker if there is not a consistent amount of power, like the bursts of power emitted from the bicyclist.

Burch said a very power-hungry, common household appliance is the hair dryer. While the bicyclist pedaled, Burch turned on a small hair dryer and the light bulbs quickly turned off.

“This (hair dryer) is barely running,” Burch said. “This is a 12-volt hair dryer, but it’s probably trying to pull about 500 volts.”

As part of the world’s largest classroom at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, the Normandy Barn houses the Office of Energy Development, which shares its space with the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman put together the space to serve as a year-round classroom for many topics, including agriculture and energy.

In August, state fair goers will be able to try the same bike out on their own at the Office of Energy Development’s booth. This will give people a chance to learn more about how energy can only be transformed rather than created or destroyed.



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