Debunked: 1 Hour on this Bike Can Power Your Home For 24 hours [More like 5 minutes]

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Bike_Power_Metabunk.jpg
Philanthropist Manoj Bhargava plans to distribute 10,000 stationary electricity generating bikes in rural India. The bikes power an electric generator which charges a battery, which can then be used to power a few lights and charge some mobile devices in homes that often do not have any electricity.

Unfortunately this story has been shared many times with the suggestion that it can power your home, typically with the suggestions that just one hour on the bike can power your home for 24 hours. Example:

20160224-105444-450tu.jpg
The reality however is that the bike is designed for very small houses in rural India, and the actual usage is limited to a few very low powered lightbulbs, possibly occasional use of a small fan, and charging portable devices like phones.

An hour on the bike will generate around 0.11 kWh (more or less, depending on how fast you cycle, but probably not much more).

The average american house uses 30 kWh per day. So an hour on the bike provides only 0.37% of the energy needed for 24 hours, or approximately enough for five minutes.

People in the US who want to go "off-grid" prune down their homes to the bare necessities, using smaller homes and smaller energy efficient appliances. However they still use around 3-5 kWh per day, and so the hour on the bike would provide less than an hour of power.

Now of course people in the US are famous for being big consumers of electricity. Could the bike power a typical home in a more energy frugal country?

Source: http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/average-household-electricity-consumption

No. While European countries have usages as little as 1/3 that of the US, that's still 10 kWh, which is still 100x what the bike generates in an hour.

Even in India, the target market, the average home used 900kWh/year, or about 2.5 kWh/day

So while Bhargava's bike might be a useful solution to the problem of powering a few lightbulbs in rural India, it cannot power a home with just an hour of pedaling. It can't even do it with 24 hours of pedaling.

Bhargava kind of glosses over this point himself. In his documentary he shows the bike powering a wall of 24 lights, a small fan, an iPad, and an iPhone.

On the board next to the display is written:
  • 10,500 Lumens
  • 1050 Watts equivalent lighting/power
This is somewhat misleading, suggesting the bike is outputting 1kWh (1000 watts for an hour). However what they seem to be doing here is using very efficient 4 watt LED bulbs, and then calculating the power efficiency as if they were using old fashioned 40 watt incandescent bulbs, which gives them a power output ten times as high as it actually is.

In fact the bulbs are clearly labeled 4W. 24 bulbs at 4W each is just 96 watts. They are also 12 volt bulbs, which uses DC voltage. To power your home, the power would have to be converted to AC, which loses around 10% of the energy.
20160224-112803-p4uye.jpg
The wall of lights is also using ALL the output from the bike. It's not running off the battery. To keep the lights lit you'd have to pedal constantly for 24 hours. So if we are talking about pedaling for just an hour a day, well that's about enough to power one 4 watt bulb for 24 hours, and maybe charge your phone.
 
Last edited:

vooke

Active Member
Looks like the philanthropist is being deliberately misled by the suppliers/manufacturers of the bikes.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Looks like the philanthropist is being deliberately misled by the suppliers/manufacturers of the bikes.
I thought the bikes are the invention of his own research company, and he seems to have some technically savvy people.
 

Shogan

New Member
Looks like the philanthropist is being deliberately misled by the suppliers/manufacturers of the bikes.
I think it's more the public are being mislead by whoever wrote the headline for the article, but I'm not surprised as I see similar examples every day in all of the MSM that I read online.

Often these claims then turn up on social media & more often than not I then feel obliged to set the record straight on the more outrageous claims & it was following up on an Anti-Vax claim that I came across this website as I always try to provide back up material when disclaiming something.

One thing I have learnt over time is to always check the source of what I am reading & a quick Google search normally puts things into perspective, although judging by some people's comments on social media you would swear they have only read the headline.

"Just because something is on the internet doesn't mean it's true!!" has become an often used statement of mine.
 

vooke

Active Member
I thought the bikes are the invention of his own research company, and he seems to have some technically savvy people.
In that case,this could just be a populist move, and like the free energy gang, the distribution of the bikes would never take off, with dozens of flimsy excuses for delay.

I know the point of the article is to examine the specific claims made by the philanthropist, but I can't help questioning his sincerity. I think this would be measured by the amount of his wealth he pours into the bikes
 

Elfenlied

Member
I would have expected more from National Geographic. If the bike alone wasn't sufficient to label him a fraud or an idiot, then his ridiculous idea about using graphene cables to transport geothermal heat surely would be.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/...-billionaire-wants-to-power-homes-with-bikes/
An absurd suggestion, heat transport by conduction is driven by temperature gradient: you need a temperature difference, and for a given heat flux, that difference will be proportional to the distance.
Suppose you want to replace central heating pipes by so-called "graphine cables". The distance between radiator and boiler is 10 m, you allow a temperature drop of maximum 10° C over that distance, and the heat flux required is 3 kW.
Based on a thermal conduction k of 5000 W/m.K for graphene (one study found 5300, others have questioned this result, their experiments gave values of only 1500 to 2500 W/m.K), what would be the required diameter for that cable?
The amount of heat transferred per second is Q=k*A*T/L (A= cross-sectional area, T=temperature difference in °C or °K, L=length in meter k=thermal conduction).
A=Q*L/(k*T) = 3000 * 10 / (5000 * 10) = 0.6 m², which gives you a required diameter of 0.87 meter!

Say you want to use geothermal heat from a depth of 2 km, want to limit the temperature drop to 100 °C and your power plant has a thermal efficiency of 10% (fairly typical value for geothermal power plants); it would take 8000 m³ of graphene (a cable 2 km long, with a cross-section of 4 m²) for a heat flux large enough to generate 100 W of electricity. To put that in perspective: the power plant at Nesjavellir (Iceland) currently generates almost a million times more power (90 MW), using 10 holes with a combined cross-section of less than 0.5 m².
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Auldy

Senior Member.
A bit more realistic usage of bike power.



http://thehomestead.guru/wash-your-...ut-with-this-bicycle-powered-washing-machine/

Of course, using the machine creates dirty clothes too, but at least there are no unrealistic power generation claims.
 

Whitebeard

Senior Member.
A bit more realistic usage of bike power.



http://thehomestead.guru/wash-your-...ut-with-this-bicycle-powered-washing-machine/

Of course, using the machine creates dirty clothes too, but at least there are no unrealistic power generation claims.
A lower tech version of that does the rounds of the music festivals in the UK, here it is at Glastonbury a couple of years back
 

Dewis A

New Member
I just watched the video a few days ago. I think that the news title that was misleading, click bait? :D.

The bicycle always meant to bring light to the poor. Of course it can't generate 30KWh/hour but it's sufficient to power a few lights for one night. They pretty straight forward about it in their FAQ
http://billionsinchange.com/faq

 

lsb61

New Member
While the Kilowatt assessment is accurate it is interesting how intelligent people always jump to discredit an Idea rather than improve on it. The Idea is brilliant. In this country alone there are Millions of people potentially generating energy on Bikes, ellipticals, and who knows what else that is being wasted. With some tweeks to the idea more Wattage could easily be generated, and thus so to the effectiveness.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
While the Kilowatt assessment is accurate it is interesting how intelligent people always jump to discredit an Idea rather than improve on it. The Idea is brilliant. In this country alone there are Millions of people potentially generating energy on Bikes, ellipticals, and who knows what else that is being wasted. With some tweeks to the idea more Wattage could easily be generated, and thus so to the effectiveness.
We were addressing the very specific claim that you can power your home for 24 hours with one hour of cycling. It was pointed out that you can power a few low powered lights for a while.

The actual amount of energy you can get out is limited by how much is being put it. It's not physically possible to get significantly more out that the bike is currently doing.
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
With some tweeks to the idea more Wattage could easily be generated, and thus so to the effectiveness.
With respect, people furiously pedalling bikes are never going to generate a great deal of electric power. Even a Tour de France cyclist will only average 300-400 watts power output over any sustained period. Actually probably less, as this analysis of a winning professional race ride shows:



http://velonews.competitor.com/2012...-usa-pro-challenge_235832#OoIZ0Vi7vVyiT4xf.99



So even if you had a team of professional cyclists taking it in turns to pedal the bike non-stop, you would only be looking at about 0.4 kW x 24 hours = less than 10 kWh, or a third of the power consumption of a typical American home. (And that's assuming 100% electrical conversion efficiency.)


And then you have to consider the cost of food needed to replace all those thousands of calories you burn while pedalling away.
 
Last edited:

NoParty

Senior Member.
...people always jump to discredit an Idea rather than improve on it. ...more Wattage could easily be generated, and thus so to the effectiveness.
I see no harm in people being realistic.

Are those easy "tweeks" something you could link to?
 
Obviously the free electric bikes are for rural households in India where the eleteicity to indidvidual homes is non existent or unreliable. All these homes want is some light during waking hours in the night and probably some charge for cellphones. I welcome any changes to the status quo that these bikes can bring. if it can not suffice, at least it is a definitive step in the right direction for a place where basic living facilities are uncomparable to the western world.
 

Whitebeard

Senior Member.
Obviously the free electric bikes are for rural households in India where the eleteicity to indidvidual homes is non existent or unreliable. All these homes want is some light during waking hours in the night and probably some charge for cellphones. I welcome any changes to the status quo that these bikes can bring. if it can not suffice, at least it is a definitive step in the right direction for a place where basic living facilities are uncomparable to the western world.
While I agree with your sentiments, the thrust of this thread is aimed at the claims that one hour peddling can power ANY house for a day. These claims are not coming from the projects originators, but from certain press outlets and other people and are misleading, that is what is being debunked here, not the original, and very worthy project.
 

Eric H

New Member
I just came across this claim. Yes, you could power a couple of LED bulbs and a phone charger from this if that was your entire household energy consumption. The video waxes poetic about connecting to the internet and “energy is the great equalizer” as if this thing were a revolution. Then some commenters on this thread want soooo haaaard to believe in it.

Get a grip. I ride a bike and I know about how much power and energy I generate, so I can tell you that this idea is just not practical for many reasons. Here is an eye-opener if you want to understand how hard it really is to provide household energy with a bicycle: Source: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=S4O5voOCqAQ


Do you want to provide energy to poor people in rural areas ...
* with sunlight? Spend the money on a solar panel and battery. It will work most days, require almost no maintenance, and won’t eat up an hour of their time or require them to consume more calories. Poor people in rural areas do not need to get a workout - some of them already require more than 2000 calories/day to haul water and fuel for stoves
* with wind? Spend the money on a micro turbine, generator, and battery for the same reasons
* with neither sun nor wind? Make a small generator & battery set that they can mount a real bicycle onto and provide the real bike, too. That way, they can use the bike for transport when they aren’t charging their cell phone.

The biggest user of energy in any poor, rural home is the stove. The time and energy invested in this Free Electric cycle could be put to use to support programs that put clean stoves in those homes. This would
* eliminate the need to spend hours and calories gathering wood
* allow them to breathe cleaner air, a major source of health issues
* decrease deforestation
* improve the lives and value of women so that they live longer, have time to teach their children and grandchildren, are more likely to be valued, are therefore more likely to receive an education, are therefore more likely to practice birth control and contribute to family income generation, etc.
 

nil

New Member
The reality however is that the bike is designed for very small houses in rural India, and the actual usage is limited to a few very low powered lightbulbs, possibly occasional use of a small fan, and charging portable devices like phones.

An hour on the bike will generate around 0.11 kWh (more or less, depending on how fast you cycle, but probably not much more).

The average american house uses 30 kWh per day. So an hour on the bike provides only 0.37% of the energy needed for 24 hours, or approximately enough for five minutes.

People in the US who want to go "off-grid" prune down their homes to the bare necessities, using smaller homes and smaller energy efficient appliances. However they still use around 3-5 kWh per day, and so the hour on the bike would provide less than an hour of power.

Now of course people in the US are famous for being big consumers of electricity. Could the bike power a typical home in a more energy frugal country?

Source: http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/average-household-electricity-consumption

No. While European countries have usages as little as 1/3 that of the US, that's still 10 kWh, which is still 100x what the bike generates in an hour.

Even in India, the target market, the average home used 900kWh/year, or about 2.5 kWh/day
I just checked my electricity bill. 68kw per month. I know, that is very low. When i came on grid, the electricity company came to check 3 times if i had maybe fiddled with the meter. In use the latest tech in lighting, a classAAA washing machine and fridge, single household. I am on computer 6 hours per day. I lived from 2000 to 2014 with a 250 watt solar panel and a small backup generator, and learned how to be efficient with electricity. So, this bike certainly is an option for me. Thing is, we dont use lamps 24/7 only a fraction of that. When you are a spoiled westerner, you dont think about turning off your lights when you dont need them. I am in rural Portugal. Will also be looking into a small generator that can work on 2 bars of natural waterpressure, because thats what i got here. Hurrah for gravity!
For clean cooking that also generates electricity, look at the BioLite products. I think of getting one of the larger stoves, since firewood is abundant here. Huge amounts of forest were burned here (they say to make way for the planned litium mines). Trees die, but the trunks still stand. Folk have firewood for generations to come.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I just checked my electricity bill. 68kw per month.
That's 816 kWh/year, in line with the average in India. Or around 2.25 kWh/day. That's a bit less than the peak output of the bike, so you could power your home if you cycled on the bike 24/7 at top speed.

So even in your frugal home, it's not really practical. Especially not in the advertized form of "cycle an hour, get 24 hours of electricity"

Revisiting the "Billions in Change" site, the full film there still makes the 1 -> 24 claim, but now almost in passing, and not very much in the context of providing a few lights for rural Indian homes. The technology focus now is about a battery pack (with built-in lights and a small solar panels), and portable folding solar panels.

The section the bike, and the change in focus, starts at 4:40
Source: https://youtu.be/UE8exLmcu-Y?t=280


Quote: "we found out the bike itself was an accessory, what a person really needs, in the villages, is a light"

It does seem like a genuine philanthropic program. I think they learned as they went along that the bike was not especially practical, and they were better off focussing elsewhere.
 

nil

New Member
Thanks for your reply. For now, i´ll abandon the idea of a bike generator. The reviews on Amazon of the Hans powerpack are terrible, with a few exceptions. 2.5 out of 5 stars is bad. It costs around 320 dollars.
I just got this , Biolite Solarhome 620, a week ago. Is not portable, but costs a little more than half the Hans powerpack.
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=60&v=akKqnztc6n4&feature=emb_logo

still evaluating. One downside of it is, that it has no way to charge it other than with the solar panel. Planning to use it in an offgrid cabin.

edit: after rereading the posting guidelines, decided to link to the amazon page for the powerpack.To find the price i googled around a bit. It is taken out of production or is out of stock.https://www.amazon.in/HANS-PowerPack-300-Electric-System/dp/B075LNLSJK
 
Last edited:
Thread starter Related Articles Forum Replies Date
Mick West Debunked: Pentagon has Evidence of "Off-World Vehicles Not Made on this Earth" UFO Videos and Reports from the US Navy 14
derrick06 Debunked: United Nations creates a "NWO" website Conspiracy Theories 2
N Debunked: Google Mail icon shows linkage to Freemasons Conspiracy Theories 4
Mendel Debunked: The WHO did not take the Taiwan CDC seriously Coronavirus COVID-19 0
A Why 9/11 Truthers Are Wrong About The Facts | (Part 1 w/ Mick West) 9/11 1
Mendel Debunked: Radar Waves Affect Clouds General Discussion 0
Pumpernickel Need Debunking: Foucault's Pendulum debunked through Mach's principle (the Earth is a static object in the center of the Universe) Science and Pseudoscience 16
M Ufos arrive to the central zone of Chile. (Debunked). Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 0
Jesse3959 FE Debunked with water tube level - 187 foot building 21.2 miles away below eye level Flat Earth 0
H Debunked: Cadillac Mountain from 220 miles Flat Earth 7
Jesse3959 FE Claim Debunked: JTolan Epic Gravity Experiment - Flat earther disproves Perspective! (or his instruments.) Flat Earth 0
Mick West Debunked: DoD prepares for martial law in CONUS: Conspiracy Theories 0
Oystein Debunked: AE911T: CNBC Anchor Ron Insana claims Building 7 a Controlled Implosion 9/11 13
A Debunked: NASA tampered with the original television audio of the Apollo 11 moon landing Conspiracy Theories 1
Greylandra Debunked: media headline "Judea declares war on Germany" [boycott] Conspiracy Theories 20
Mick West Discovery Channel's "Contact: Declassified Breakthrough" was debunked 2.5 years ago UFOs, Aliens, Monsters, and the Paranormal 8
Joe Hill Debunked: "The North Face of Building 7 Was Pulled Inward" 9/11 66
A Debunked : Fake Set Moon Landing with TV Camera and Stairs Conspiracy Theories 3
Mick West Debunked: Photo with Sun Rays at Odd Angles Flat Earth 0
Staffan Debunked: Wikileaks releases unused footage of moon landing (Capricorn One movie scenes) Conspiracy Theories 2
Mick West Debunked: Neil deGrasse Tyson : "That Stuff is Flat" Flat Earth 10
Mendel Debunked: Air Map of the World 1945 is a flat Earth map Flat Earth 0
Trailblazer Debunked: Trees being cut down "because they block 5G" (tree replacement in Belgium) 5G and Other EMF Health Concerns 44
deirdre Debunked: Exemption from military service doc proves Jews had foreknowledge of WW2 (fake leaflet) General Discussion 0
Trailblazer Debunked: Obama called Michelle "Michael" in a speech. (Referring to Michael Mullen Jr) Quotes Debunked 0
Rory Debunked: 120-mile shot of San Jacinto proves flat earth Flat Earth 39
Rory Debunked: The Lunar Cycle affects birth rates Health and Quackery 26
Rory Debunked: Study shows link between menstrual cycle and the moon Health and Quackery 30
novatron Debunked: California Wildfires Match the Exactly Path of the Proposed Rail System Wildfires 3
Rory Debunked: "You must love yourself before you love another" - fake Buddha quote Quotes Debunked 7
W Debunked: Qanon claims there have been 51k sealed indictments filed this year. Current Events 11
K Debunked: Audio of David Rockefeller "leaked" speech in 1991 [Audio Simulation] General Discussion 2
tadaaa Debunked: Fake photos-Novichok attack Russian 'agents' (side by side gates) General Discussion 34
Mick West Debunked: XYO Device Replacing GPS, Saving $2 Million a Day General Discussion 23
Mick West Debunked: "Tip Top" as a QAnon Clue from Trump [He's said it before] Conspiracy Theories 3
Whitebeard Debunked: Nibiru FOUND? Mysterious gigantic rogue planet spotted lurking outside our solar system Science and Pseudoscience 1
Mick West Debunked: "There Exists a Shadowy Government" — Daniel Inouye Quotes Debunked 0
Mick West Debunked: Delta Lambda Compression General Discussion 16
MisterB Debunked: Isle of Man from Blackpool at water level proves flat earth [refraction] Flat Earth 19
JFDee Debunked: Wernher von Braun confirmed that rockets can't leave earth Conspiracy Theories 23
Mick West Debunked: Missing $21 Trillion / $6.5 Trillion / $2.3 Trillion - Journal Vouchers Conspiracy Theories 33
MikeG Debunked: Obamacare Article 54 (Satire FB Page) General Discussion 2
Mick West Debunked: "Deadly Ultraviolet UV-C and UV-B Penetration to Earth’s Surface:" [Stray Light] Contrails and Chemtrails 30
Astro Debunked: Apollo Lunar Module Hatch Too Small for Spacesuit Science and Pseudoscience 0
Mick West Debunked: NIST's Lack of Explanation for WTC7 Freefall [They Have One - Column Buckling] 9/11 38
Jedo Debunked: WTC7 was the only building not on the WTC block that had a fire on 9/11 9/11 0
Mick West Debunked: Thermite Slag on WTC beams [Oxy Cutting Slag] 9/11 2
Mick West Debunked: The WTC 9/11 Angle Cut Column. [Not Thermite, Cut Later] 9/11 137
Mick West Debunked: AE911Truth's Analysis of Slag Residue from WTC Debris 9/11 20
Dan Wilson Debunked: Steven Crowder: The AIDS epidemic was a hoax Health and Quackery 9
Related Articles


















































Related Articles

Top