Thursday, September 18, 2008

How to make electricity

My pv panels.

I should stop bragging about my new panels. Invariably the person I am talking to will ask: "So. how much electricity do you get?" and it is almost impossible to answer this without sounding like a complete asshole.
"I have panels rated at 180 watts, and 550 ampere hours of batteries."
This sounds like total gibberish to most people. It would have sounded like total gibberish to me five or six years ago.
So far I've used 376 Ah, less than 10 Ah a day. Even though I've worked quite a lot on my computer during this time. But the batteries are running low, and I will have to get a generator here.
But I found this guy, who has made a purpose-built human power generator, basically a stationary exercise bike with a big flywheel and clever use of an ultracapacitator. And goodness me, if I worked out at his pace an hour or two and cut down slightly on my computer time, I wouldn't need any fossil fuels to fill up my batteries at all. Considering the hassle of getting hold of gas and transporting it up here, it might almost be worth it.

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