Home Power #83 • June / July 2001
becoming more common. In Mongolia, wind chargersare widely used (over 150,000) to charge batteries for atelevision and one light. On average, a solar/windbattery charger costs Rs 30,000 (about US$638) inIndia. And wind chargers can’t be operated in all places,since wind is site specific and intermittent.I designed a hand-operated battery charger. It consistsof a bicycle wheel and a low-rpm generator that ismounted on a frame and driven by a V-belt. There is ahandle attached to the system. The system also has ablocking diode to prevent reverse flow of current.
Three 12 volt lead-acid batteries are connected inparallel, and then to the battery charger. By rotating thewheel for six hours, the batteries can be charged. Sincemany of the sewing machines are hand operated(especially in Northern India), people are familiar withthis sort of system.
•The whole unit weighs about 5 kg (11 lbs.) and ismobile—it can be carried on the back.
Pedal-Powered WashingMachines in the U.S.
Urban Homebrew Machine
©2001 Laura Allen
This pedal-powered washer was built in a day bytwo motivated people (Reuben and Laura). We usedwhat we had: an old 55 gallon drum, an old bike,scrap wood, nuts, bolts, and one bale of hay (to liedown on). Anyone—especially you!—could build awasher like this.•It provides employment to rural people.•The unit is easy to fabricate, even in rural workshops.•In most countries, generators are available, and if not,they can be imported. Many countries exemptrenewable energy equipment and generators fromcustoms duty. Alternatively, automobile generatorscan be used by changing the windings.•The unit is inexpensive—it costs about Rs 7,000(US$150).•It can be operated with either hand.•It occupies little space.•Women, as well as children, can operate the system.
Dr. A. Jagadeesh, Renewable Energy Specialist, 2/210,First Floor, Nawabpet, Nellore - 524 002, AP., India++ 91 861 321580 • Fax: ++ 91 861 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.comLaura Allen, PO Box 3831, Oakland, CA94609laur_ax@lycos.comAmy Preuit and CCATstaff, Campus Center forAppropriate Technology (CCAT), Humboldt StateUniversity (HSU), Arcata, CA95521 • 707-826-3551Fax: 707-8263772 • firstname.lastname@example.org/~ccat
The hand-operated battery charger utilizes a low-rpmgenerator,a bicycle wheel,and human power.The author using her homebrew washing machine.