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I love powering small appliances with the Pedal Powered Prime Mover, and I recently added another common household appliance to my list of successfuly pedal powered devices.

If you watch the movie, you will see a compressed, 10 minute version of a two 20 minute rides, with a half hour break in between while I waited for the bread to rise.

Here is the setup I used:

  • PPPM (of course!) Show me the circuit!
  • Oster Model 5838-026 Bread Machine, 560 Watts, 110 Volts AC
  • Xantrex 1000 Watt 12 Volt DC to 110 Volt AC Inverter
  • Maxwell 58 Farad 15 Volt Ultracapacitor
  • The Power Board I assembled for demonstration purposes
  • A Watt's Up meter to monitor my output: Search for "battery analyzer"
  • Bread Mix from Bob's Red Mill to make one 1-1/2 Pound loaf of Rye Bread

Based on measurements of the bread machine I made with my Watts Up? Meter, I knew I did not need a battery in the circuit. I calculated the Ultracapacitor would help me with the peak loads as the bread machine motor started and stopped, and that I would just "push harder" if there were peak power needs. As it turned out, the peak load from the bread machine was never beyond approximately 75% of my personal capacity.

The ride started out at an easy pace. The bread machine begins with a mixing cycle that pauses frequently to allow the ingredients to settle. With the Maxwell Ultracapacitor in the circuit, I could not even feel the motor start and stop. It was as smooth as it could be, and the inverter was well-supplied with power.

After the initial mixing cycle finished, the bread machine switched to a more demanding "continuous kneading" cycle that kept me pretty busy! There were still occasional pauses, lowering the average power requirements to roughly 105-110 Watts. I was able to maintain that pace without straining.

The bread machine cycles are short. I only needed to generate 10-11 Watt-hours for each of two cycles to completely mix and knead the dough. After that, it was baking time! Those two cycles of pedaling demanded only half the effort (and generated only half the energy) I typically produce in my daily workout. It was NOT an exhausting effort.

The bread was baked in the machine by plugging the machine into my solar-panel-equipped house power, and selecting "bake." The baking cycle simply demands too much power for a single Pedal Generator. My calculations show it would take three pedal generators to complete the baking cycle, but I have some measurements to make before I am confident of that figure. With a small battery assisting the rider, it might be possible to complete the baking cycle, but the overall number of Watt-hours required is quite high - roughly 170 Wh. That is a LONG, HARD workout. A Solar Oven makes a lot more sense, or multiple riders.

Conclusion: Big Success! It was no problem to power the bread machine up to the point where the baking began. I wish I had a Solar Oven! (And I am considering building one...) The combination would be perfect.

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