The design firm Pedal Power created two such cycling generators that produce electrical power known as Big Rig and Pedal Genny.
The Pedal Genny is a more portable, single function machine. It has an optional seat, but no work surface. It features a flywheel to smooth pedalling, full-size cranks, and an all-steel, hand-built frame, the company said.
It has been used for generating electricity, milling grain and pumping water, but can be configured to power most any mechanical device requiring less than 1 horsepower.
Big Rig is designed for off-grid applications and features a work surface, ergonomic seat for comfort, quick adjustments for different riders, a flywheel to smooth pedalling, a wide range of gearing, and an all-steel, hand-built frame, the company said on its website.
An average adult can use it to generate 100W of electricity, pump 5 gallons of water per minute, grind a variety of grains, as well as operate an air compressor, a hydraulic pump, most any hand-cranked machine, and a variety of small shop tools, the website said.
It has been found to be particularly suitable for small scale agricultural applications such as cracking grains, churning butter, and pumping water.
“With an efficiency of 97%, bicycle technology is nearly perfect. So why do we use it only for transportation?”
“Bicycle technology can and should be used for many everyday tasks. Using your own power rather than plugging into the grid is not only fun, but helps you understand your energy use and reduce your ecological footprint,” the company said.