Buy Plans
Learn More

Pedal Powered Generator Workout

Ultimate TV
PPPM Live!
Village Lighting
Workouts
Stats
Energy Fair
Washing Machine
Bread Machine
Blender
Genesee Genny
For Teachers
Convert Your Bicycle
Virtual Gym
PPPM Science
Pedal Power Tools
Circuit Builder
Energy Calculator
Tell a Friend

tracker

Express Yourself LIVE
(Sorry about the Commercial)

You have to see it to believe it. If you have been reading about the pedal generator, you know it can be used to generate electricity. How much electricity? It depends on how hard and how long you pedal.

To give you an idea what to expect if you build your own pedal powered generator, here is a blog of the workouts I do on mine. My pedal generator is in the garage, hooked up through the Trace C12 controller in my Micro Solar Energy System to a recycled battery pack from my Sparrow Electric Car. I work out in the early morning, and for half the year, it's dark. It would be pointless to use as much energy to light the workout area as I generated with the workout, so I light the area with the 12 volt LED Bar Light I put together several years ago. It uses white LEDs to light the workout area. They require almost no power, so virtually everything I generate ends up in the batteries.

One feature of the Trace C12 that I enjoy is the "state-of-charge" indicator. It is a blinking LED that blinks a color-coded signal of how "full" the battery pack is. Lately (Winter) the pack has been lower than normal, so the LED is blinking red when my workout starts. Partway through the workout, the LED begins to blink green - signaling my charging progress!

I have been pretty good lately about working out every day. I am not going to make an entry in this blog every day, though, so don't expect frequent updates.

For several years, while www.stickam.com was operating, you could use a live webcam to meet me in the Virtual Gym! Laptop and lighting powered by me, of course. I think it was the only Human-powered Webcast on the Internet! Sadly, Stickam is no more. I need a new solution but have yet to find one.

Do you drive to a gym to work out? According to this chart, it would take two years of daily half-hour PPPM workouts to generate the amount of power contained in one gallon of gasoline! Don't stop working out - stop driving to do it!


Sun Nov 9 21:39:10 PST 2014 Outside Temperature: 61 Fahrenheit (Global Warming, see previous entry ;-)
Condition of "engine" (me): 60 years old
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-100 watt pace for 5 Wh
50 Watt-hours at 110 Watt pace, 50 Watt-hours at 100 Watt Pace, 10 Watt-hours of sprints at the end.
Power production goal: 110 Watts
Duration of workout: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Heart rate during workout: 100-105

My daily workouts continue. I have slacked off a bit in the last three years, mostly because work has been more demanding. I'm gradually cranking up my power to see if I can get back to the 2011 pace.

Today I pedaled 110 Watt-hours and it was a challenge after spending a VERY late night babysitting a sick computer (corrupt antivirus software caused the Windows "black screen of death" - in fact the system was just so slow it took over an hour to boot!).

The PPPM is looking very good after last month's general overhaul. I am still using the same batteries but they are weaker than they were three years ago. Just like three years ago, during this power generation ride I charged my eGo electric moped. It also needs new batteries! Everything is wearing out except me!

I repeated my mountain bike ride on Catalina Island several weeks ago: I rode from Avalon to the "Airport in the Sky", then down to Little Harbor, back up Middle Ranch Road, and back to Avalon. Thanks to the PPPM, I was again able to complete the ride in 6.5 hours, with the usual stops to have lunch at the Airport, take pictures at the beach, and watch the bison! It was so very dry this year, I saw one rolling in the dirt where three years ago there had been a small lake. If there was a way to generate water with the PPPM, I'd do it.


Sat Nov 5 17:57:30 PST 2011 Outside Temperature: 55 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 57 years old
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-100 watt pace for 5 Wh
45 Watt-hours at 120 Watt pace, 50 Watt-hours at 110 Watt Pace, 10 Watt-hours of sprints at the end.
Power production goal: 110 Watts
Duration of workout: 55 minutes
Heart rate during workout: 100-105

Yes - I am still going strong. Today I pedaled 122 Watt-hours and it felt great. The PPPM continues to perform well, and I am still using the same batteries. I charged my eGo electric moped, and it demanded a 145 Watt pace for the first 30 Watt-hours. That's a real challenge! I had a chance to ride a mountain bike on Catalina Island a few weeks ago. I rode from Avalon to the Airport, then down to Little Harbor, back up Middle Ranch Road, and back to Avalon, all in 6.5 hours, with plenty of stops to have lunch, take pictures, and watch the bison! That's the payoff for being in shape from riding the PPPM. That, and saving money. Oh - and helping the planet. :-)


Sat Jun 19 07:03:00 PDT 2010 Outside Temperature: 60 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 56 years old
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-100 watt pace for 5 Wh
45 Watt-hours at 120 Watt pace, 50 Watt-hours at 110 Watt Pace, 10 Watt-hours of sprints at the end.
Power production goal: 110 Watts
Duration of workout: 55 minutes
Heart rate during workout: 100-105

This is a normal workout. I can sustain 120 Watts for 20-25 minutes, but then I need to slow down to 100-110 Watts for the rest of the workout. I'm still improving my fitness, however, so maybe one day I'll be able to sustain 120 Watts for the entire workout.


Four Year Anniversary - Pedal Power and the PPPM
I can hardly believe it, but the first workout I recorded on this page was four years ago. Since that day, in 2005, I have lost 35 pounds, more than doubled the power I can create while riding, and I have ridden the equivalent of 15,000 Miles (24,140 km).

I ride almost every day for an hour, and this year I have kept up a pace that generates a little over 100 Watt-hours each day. Even so, I am steadily getting in better shape the more I ride.

I use my riding time to surf the web, watch my favorite TV shows, charge my small appliances and gadgets (all powered by me) and read magazines. Fours days a week I pedal-power a webcast that anyone can attend to ask questions about Human power.

The PPPM - pedal generator - I invented has lasted through four years of enthusiastic rides, and just this past week the frame finally succumbed to metal fatigue and cracked. Instead of junking the device, as I have had to do with every previous piece of exercise equipment I have owned, I bought a replacement part for $2.69 and repaired it myself.

My quality of life has improved - and I feel powerful. I have not been sick for more than three years, and I ride my real bicycle almost everywhere. I have no fear of hills or long rides - when I need power my body delivers it.

I have sold plans to people all over the world and I continue to improve the PPPM and to make it easier for people to use the power they create.

An hour of exercise feels great and delivers many benefits. Capturing the power from the exercise and using it productively feels even better. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's PPPM ride, and many more years of healthy power production.

Sat Oct 10 18:43:17 PDT 2009 Outside Temperature: 60 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 55 years old
Workout Plan:
Watch the 90 minute season premier of Heroes on my laptop, powered by me of course.
Power production goal: Whatever is needed. 110 Watt pace.
Duration of workout: 95 minutes
Heart rate during workout: 100-105

Great show. Long ride! 170.5 Watt Hours!


Tue Jun 30 08:30:35 PDT 2009 Outside Temperature: 65 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 55 years old
Workout Plan:
Forecast temperature today: 90 degrees F (32.2 C)
Power my Box Fan for an hour to pre-cool the house.
Power production goal: 100 Watt-hours.
Duration of workout: 60 minutes
Heart rate during workout: 105-110

We are having a minor heat wave. Fortunately it's still cool at night. I keep the windows open at night of course, but nothing cools the house faster than running a pedal-powered box fan first thing in the morning, when the air is cool! I use the fan to exhaust the hot air in the house by placing it in an open window, aiming out. Show me the circuit!

The inside temperature was 71 F when I started the ride, and 66 F when I finished! I'll be cool all day, with NO air conditioning!


Sat Mar 28 19:24:15 PST 2009 Outside Temperature: 71 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 54 years old
Workout Plan:
Power the entire final episode of Battlestar Galactica - 96 minutes.
Steady power: 100 watts until Humanity find a new home.
Power production goal: Whatever it takes.
Duration of workout: 100 minutes
Heart rate during workout: 105-110

And I made it. What an episode! I'm sad to see the end of BG, but it was also a new beginning. By a strange coincidence, today is Earth Hour day. In about one hour, everyone in my timezone will power down (except for me, of course!).

I'm still riding every day. I've been very busy at work so I have not made much progress on the PPPM. This summer I hope to free up some time and move it forward to the next generation.


Wed Dec 31 23:18:35 PST 2008 Outside Temperature: 41 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 54 years old
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-80 watt pace for 2 Wh
Steady power: 100 watts for 100 Wh
Power production goal: 102 Wh
Duration of workout: 45 minutes
Heart rate during workout: 105-110

The last day of 2008. What a year. I managed to avoid illness - even a common cold - for the entire year. I believe the PPPM workouts are keeping me healthy. That is more than I can say for the Global Economy.

I am riding the double-generator PPPM almost every day to test it. So far, I am very happy. In 2009 I'll post some new movies of me powering substantial devices with it. For now, it powers my 12 Volt DC Electric Blanket.


Sun Jul 13 14:02:56 PDT 2008 Outside Temperature: 80 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 54 years old
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-70 watt pace for 2 Wh
Steady power: 100 watts for 80 Wh
Power production goal: 82 Wh (About 5.5 Amp-Hours)
Duration of workout: 45 minutes
Heart rate during workout: 105-110

A great workout. Last night I uploaded four new videos to the Green Virtual Gym and I watched all four during this workout. They were made on a bicycle ride I did several weeks ago from Sausalito to San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge. The camera is a little shaky but the scenery is fabulous, and the Watts flew by as I watch the movies. It was fun to remember the trip!


Thu Apr 10 12:41:19 PDT 2008 Outside Temperature: 48 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 53 years old
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-70 watts for 2 Wh
Steady power: 100 watts for 58 Wh
Sprint: No Sprint - the sprints cause the drive roller to wear out prematurely
Power production goal: 60 Wh
Duration of workout: 36 minutes
Heart rate during workout: 105-110

I have established a new workout level for now to prevent premature wear on the drive roller. It can tolerate 100-110 Watts of power without significant wear, but at 120 Watts or more, it begins to wear more and more rapidly. I plan to solve this by adding a second generator as I have described below. This design will split the power being generated between two drive rollers, enabling a 200-220 Watt pace to be attained without wearing the drive rollers. That is a very strong pace!


Mon Oct 15 23:28:58 PDT 2007

Today's Blog Action Day topic was the environment. In honor of this brilliant idea, I pledge to develop the "double power" add-on to the PPPM. This mounting system will enable two generators to be driven simultaneously. I need this because I am now in good enough shape to overpower a single generator. I'll design the mount and include it in the next version of the plans.

Help the environment. Help the planet. Help yourself. Work out at home on a PPPM!


Sun Oct 7 09:41:20 PDT 2007 Outside Temperature: 50 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 53 years old - I now weigh the same as I did in high school!
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-70 watts for 2 Wh
Steady power: 110 watts for 58 Wh
Sprint: 120 watts for 2 Wh
Power production goal: 60 Wh
Duration of workout: 31 minutes
Heart rate at end of workout: 90-105

I felt great! Compare my performance to my first workout to see how far I have come. What are YOU waiting for?


Sun Sep 9 18:06:23 PDT 2007 Outside Temperature: 68 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 53 years old - almost 30 lbs lighter!
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-50 watts for 2 Wh
Steady power: 110 watts for 58 Wh
Sprint: No Sprint
Power production goal: 55 Wh
Duration of workout: 30 minutes
Heart rate at end of workout: 110-120

After more than two years, the generator/motor on the PPPM seems to have a problem. I was pedaling faster and faster, and the power output was not increasing. I replaced the 200 Watt motor with a 300 Watt motor, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could sustain 110 Watts with the same effort I used to use to sustain 95-100 Watts. I think the new motor is more efficient! I'll have more details in the coming months. It's nice to have my power generation rise to a new level...


Mon Apr 30 10:32:42 PDT 2007
Sun Aug 26 14:45:30 PDT 2007 Outside Temperature: 80 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 53 years old
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-20 watts for 2 Wh while the washer filled.
Steady power: 50 watts for 30 Wh while the washer washed.
Sprint: 130-150 watts for 5 Wh during the pump and spin cycles.
Power production goal: 45 Wh - or one load.
Duration of workout: 30 minutes
Heart rate at end of workout: 120-135 - it was HARD!

Today I powered my washing machine!


Mon Apr 30 10:32:42 PDT 2007 Outside Temperature: 60 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 52 years old
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-80 watts for 5 Wh
Steady power: 100 watts for 35 Wh.
Sprint: 110-120 watts for 5 Wh.
Power production goal: 45 Wh
Duration of workout: 30 minutes
Heart rate at end of workout: 110-115

Today I powered a mix of equipment:

  • IBM Thinkpad with Wireless Connection and Webcam
  • 8 Watt Fluorescent Bulb
  • Ray-O-Vac Battery Charger with 2 AA NiMH Batteries charging
  • 12 Volt DC LED Light with 3 White LEDs
  • 500,000 Candlepower Spotlight Charger
  • Cell Phone Charger
  • AirMan Rechargeable Air Compressor
  • Portable Power Pack
I was able to power all of the equipment listed above and STILL have some left over for the main battery bank.


Thu Mar 22 21:42:42 PST 2007
Outside Temperature: 62 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 52 years old
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-80 watts for 5 Wh
Steady power: 65 watts for 95 Wh.
Sprint: No sprint.
Power production goal: 100 Wh
Duration of workout: 1.5 hrs
Heart rate at end of workout: 100-105

Today, in honor of the debut of the PPPM Virtual Gym, I set a goal to pedal a total of 100 Watt-hours. I made it! I pedaled 30 Wh in the morning workout, and 71.2 Wh between 8:00 PM and 9:00 PM. The pace was perfect to power the Virtual Gym equipment, which consisted of an IBM Thinkpad T40 to run the Webcam and wireless connection, and a 14 Watt Compact Fluorescent bulb to light the Gym. I was online the entire hour, and my first contact was with a guy in Detroit. I'll keep the Gym online during my morning workouts as long as anyone is interested.


Fri Feb 16 09:05:03 PST 2007
Outside Temperature: 55 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 52 years old
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-80 watts for 5 Wh
Steady power: 100 watts for 40 Wh.
Sprint: 110-120 watts for 5 Wh.
Power production goal: 50 Wh
Duration of workout: 30 minutes
Heart rate at end of workout: 110-115

Friday is "fifty" day. I actually generated 51.6 Watt-hours because I slow down gradually after reaching my power production goals. I missed a week of pedaling in February due to a cold. All better again.


Tue Jan 16 21:45:24 PST 2007
Outside Temperature: 30 Fahrenheit (Record cold!)
Condition of "engine" (me): 52 years old
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-80 watts for 5 Wh
Steady power: 100 watts for 35 Wh.
Sprint: 100-110 watts for 5 Wh.
Power production goal: 45 Wh
Duration of workout: 30 minutes
Heart rate at end of workout: 110-115

Today was really, really cold. I am working out in a detached garage with no heat. In this weather, it takes about 5 minutes just to get warm! I am looking forward to Spring.


Sat Dec 16 21:57:37 PST 2006
Outside Temperature: 46 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 52 years old
Workout Plan:
Warm up: None
Steady power: None
Sprint: None!!!!
Power production goal: 30 Wh
Duration of workout: 3 Hours Clock Time/72 Seconds Each
Heart rate at end of workout: 70

Today I tried a whole new approach to generating electricity. I am preparing to construct two new PPPM units for Customers who are unable to complete the construction themselves, and I needed space in the "workshop" - actually, the garage. It's cold outside. Not freezing cold, but too cold to be comfortable. I decided to stay warm by generating electricity.

Every 10 minutes or so, as I worked on clearing the area, I hopped on the PPPM and generated 2 Watt-hours of electricity. I was running a number of LED lights, including some new 2.5 Watt PAR20 Warm White bulbs I bought on Ebay, so I was using the energy as I produced it. I generated at a 100 Watt pace, so each "mini-workout" took about 72 seconds. I never got cold, not even for a minute, and I managed to keep up with the electrical demand of the lights. It was a nice change from the more strenuous workouts that leave me hot and sweaty at the end. I'm certain I could have continued for hours.


Sat Dec 9 12:35:25 PST 2006
Outside Temperature: 64 Fahrenheit (It's California!)
Condition of "engine" (me): 52 years old
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-80 watts for 2 Wh
Steady power: 95-100 watts for 35 Wh.
Sprint: 100-110 watts for 6 Wh.
Power production goal: 43 Wh
Duration of workout: 30 minutes
Heart rate at end of workout: 115-120

43 Watt-hours at 90+ watts almost the entire time, and it felt great. Near the end of the workout sometimes I get chills because the feeling of being a "machine" generating electricity is so thrilling!

A new problem emerged today - the generator is getting hotter and hotter as I get in better and better shape. I am thinking of developing a "finger guard" for the pulley that also captures the slight breeze created by the flywheel and directs it over the motor. That should be enough for a while. I am also thinking of "graduating" to the next size larger motor, which will be able to handle the higher amperage with less heating (it will have less internal resistance).


Fri Nov 24 12:55:28 PST 2006
Outside Temperature: 58 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 52 years old
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-80 watts for 2 Wh
Steady power: 90-95 watts for 48 Wh.
Power production goal: 52 Wh
Duration of workout: 35 minutes
Heart rate at end of workout: 115-120

50 Watt-hours!! I felt great and just kept on going. At least I worked off a few extra grams of holiday feast!


Thu Nov 16 15:35:23 PST 2006
Outside Temperature: 58 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 52 years old
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-80 watts for 2 Wh
Steady power: 90-95 watts for 30 Wh.
Power production goal: 32 Wh
Duration of workout: 25 minutes
Heart rate at end of workout: 115-120 - good sweat

In preparation for the Holidays, I have changed my "normal" goal to be 30 Wh, and my Friday, Saturday and Sunday goals to be 35 Wh. I have also started walking in the morning with my delightful wife before the workout, and I can tell it wears me out a little. Nevertheless, I have increased my production goal.


Sun Oct 29 10:21:18 PST 2006
Outside Temperature: 62 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 52 years old
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-80 watts for 2 Wh
Steady power: 100 watts for 30 Wh.
Power production goal: 32 Wh
Duration of workout: 23 minutes
Heart rate at end of workout: 115-120 - good sweat

Today I aimed at my highest sustained power level ever: 100 Watts for the entire workout. YES, I achieved it - and YES, it was challenging! But I would never have been able to pedal this hard a year ago. I am in much better shape than I was then, thanks to the PPPM..


This is the one year anniversary of my first Pedal Workout!
Sat Oct 14 16:08:01 PDT 2006
Outside Temperature: 58 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 52 years old, ONE YEAR of workouts to date
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-80 watts for 2 Wh
Steady power: 95 watts for 25 Wh.
Steady power: 100 watts for 5 Wh.
Power production goal: 32 Wh
Duration of workout: 25 minutes
Heart rate at end of workout: 110-115 - good sweat

ONE YEAR of daily workouts! I pushed up to 95 Watts and stayed there for almost the entire workout, ending with a final sprint to 105 Watts.


Thu Sep 28 08:51:31 PDT 2006
Outside Temperature: 63 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 52 years old, 11 months of workouts to date
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-80 watts for 2 Wh
Steady power: 90 watts for 20 Wh.
Steady power: 100 watts for 10 Wh.
Power production goal: 32 Wh
Duration of workout: 25 minutes
Heart rate at end of workout: 110-115 - good sweat

Today I pushed a bit. I decided at 20 Wh that I would pick up the pace. I pedaled the final 10 Wh at a 100 watt pace! 100 watts used to be a sprint, and now I can push up to that rate and stay there. It felt great!


Tue Sep 19 21:14:46 PDT 2006
Outside Temperature: 70 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 52 years old, almost 11 months of workouts to date
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-70 watts for 2 Wh
Steady power: 90 watts for 23 Wh.
Power production goal: 25 Wh
Duration of workout: 25 minutes
Heart rate at end of workout: 110-115 - good sweat

90 Watts! I am ready for Fall. In another month I will celebrate ONE YEAR of pedaling. Even at 90 watts, I am not out of breath. I feel great - and I am nowhere near being in "excellent" shape. I need another year for that ;-)


Fri Aug 25 11:38:22 PDT 2006
Outside Temperature: 70 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 52 years old, 10 months of workouts to date
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-70 watts for 2 Wh
Steady power: 80 watts for 23 Wh.
End Sprint: 90 watts for 5 Wh.
Power production goal: 30 Wh
Duration of workout: 30 minutes
Heart rate at end of workout: 110-115 - good sweat

A good workout! I was able to maintain 80+ watts all the way until the end, and then I had enough energy left to reach 90+ watts and hold it for the last 5 Wh.


Sat Jul 29 22:18:24 PDT 2006
Outside Temperature: 70 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 52 years old, 6 lbs overweight, 9 months of workouts to date
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-50 watts for 2 Wh
Steady power: 75 watts for 35 Wh.
End Sprint: 85 watts for 5 Wh.
Power production goal: 40 Wh
Duration of workout: 30 minutes
Heart rate at end of workout: 110-115 - good sweat

A new record! 40 Watt-Hours!

I have generated approximately 5,500 Watt-hours with this unit. I am going to create a page on this site for tracking not only the power I generate, but the power other pedalers generate as well. Do YOU generate electricity? Let's tell the world!


Thu Jul 20 11:48:12 PDT 2006
Outside Temperature: 70 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 52 years old, 6 lbs overweight, 9 months of workouts to date
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-50 watts for 2 Wh
Steady power: 75 watts for 23 Wh.
End Sprint: 85 watts for 5 Wh.
Power production goal: 30 Wh
Duration of workout: 25 minutes
Heart rate at end of workout: 110-115 - good sweat

I am >still< getting in better shape! The Pedal Powered Prime Mover is holding up well. All I have had to do in the past 9 months is tighten the clamps and bolts on it once a month.


Wed Jun 28 23:48:12 PDT 2006
Outside Temperature: 64 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 52 years old, 7 lbs overweight, 8 months of workouts to date
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-30 watts for 2 Wh
Steady power: 75 watts for 20 Wh.
End Sprint: 90 watts for 3 Wh.
Power production goal: 25 Wh
Duration of workout: 25 minutes
Heart rate at end of workout: 110-115 - good sweat

My workouts continue. My appetite has increased, and it's offsetting my plans to lose more weight! I'll just have to start pedaling harder. We are having a heat wave (well, at least it's a lot warmer than it was a few months ago) and I am very glad I have the small computer fan mounted on the handlebars. I still end up quite hot at the end of the workout. As you can see, I have settled at around a 75 watt pace. I am going to gradually work up to the point where 80 watts is "normal" - not an extra effort like it was on June 5.


Mon Jun 5 07:17:34 PDT 2006
Outside Temperature: 58 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 52 years old, 7 lbs overweight, 7 months of workouts to date
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-30 watts for 2 Wh
Steady power: 80 watts for 23 Wh.
Power production goal: 25 Wh
Duration of workout: 25 minutes
Heart rate at end of workout: 110-115 - good sweat

The goal today was to attain and hold an 80 watt pace, and I did! It's great to be able to actually see and measure progress. At 80 watts and 14 volts, the PPPM is producing just slightly less than 6 Amps and sending the power into the battery bank. I don't think I will ever get to the 150 Watts I could produce when I was in my early 20's, but it's nice to be getting into better shape.


Sun May 21 23:09:26 PDT 2006
Outside Temperature: 65 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 52 years old, 8 lbs overweight, 7 months of workouts to date
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-30 watts for 2 Wh
Steady power: 70 watts for 33 Wh, then 34 and 35 Wh at 80 and 90 watts, respectively.
Power production goal: 35 Wh
Duration of workout: 30 minutes
Heart rate at end of workout: 110-115 - good sweat

The goal today was to attain and hold a 70 watt pace. With the weather warming up, I needed some help to keep from overheating. I added a 3-inch computer fan to the handlebars, blowing directly at my face. It uses less than 2 watts of power, and it was just what I needed. I was able to hold 70 watts of output for the entire workout, and still sprint at the end.


Fri Apr 22 09:56:01 PDT 2006
Outside Temperature: 58 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 51 years old, 9 lbs overweight, 6 months of workouts to date
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-30 watts for 2 Wh
Steady power: 60-65 watts for 38 Wh, then 39 and 40 Wh at 70 and 80 watts, respectively.
Power production goal: 40 Wh - A new record!
Duration of workout: 36 minutes
Heart rate at end of workout: 110-115 - good sweat

Today I wondered how 40 Watt-hours would feel. I was surprised to find it feels just like 35 Watt-hours! Once I am "in the zone" - warmed up and exercising at a steady pace - it feels like I could pedal for hours.

A week of pedaling now generates 197 Watt-hours (4*23 + 3*35) and I am still getting in better condition. This summer will be fun!


Fri Apr 7 09:56:01 PDT 2006
Outside Temperature: 54 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 51 years old, 10 lbs overweight, 6 months of workouts to date
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-30 watts for 2 Wh
Steady power: 60-65 watts for 33 Wh, then 34 and 35 Wh at 70 and 80 watts, respectively.
Power production goal: 35 Wh - A new record!
Duration of workout: 30 minutes
Heart rate at end of workout: 110-115 - good sweat

TGIF! In celebration of the first sunny day in what feels like months, I decided to start a little earlier and see how I felt. I pumped out 35 Watt-hours and felt great. 35 Wh is the new "Friday and Weekend" goal.


Sun Apr 2 18:04:04 PDT 2006
Outside Temperature: 58 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 51 years old, 10 lbs overweight, 6 months of workouts to date
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-30 watts for 2 Wh
Steady power: 60-65 watts for 28 Wh, then 29 and 30 Wh at 80 and 90 watts, respectively.
Power production goal: 30 Wh (Weekends I have more time, so 30 Watt-hours is attainable.)
Duration of workout: 30 minutes
Heart rate at end of workout: 110-115 - good sweat

Great workout. I felt good at 20 Watt-hours, and I have been using the PC monitor a lot lately, so I pushed a bit at the end. From 25-28 Wh, I stayed at 70 watts, and then went to 90 and 100 watts for 29 and 30 Wh. It feels great to generate 100 watts, even for a minute. The pedal generator is smooth and the power is steady. At that pace, a Wh goes into the battery bank every 38 seconds or so. It counts up fast!


Mon Mar 20 05:50:41 PST 2006
Outside Temperature: 50 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 51 years old, 10 lbs overweight, 6 months of workouts to date
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-30 watts for 2 Wh
Steady power: 60-65 watts for 19 Wh, then 2 Wh at 70 and 80 watts, respectively.
Power production goal: 21 Wh (I am adding a Watt-hour to the weekday workout)
Duration of workout: 30 minutes
Heart rate at end of workout: 100-110 - good sweat

I am going to gradually increase my weekday power production goal, by increasing the number of Wh I plan to produce. I am staying with my pace of roughly 60 watts output. I have limited time in the morning before work, so I will eventually have to increase the pace to make more power in the same amount of time. Right now, the final two Wh at 70 and 80 watts tell me I have to get in better shape before I can keep either pace up for 30 minutes. I'm getting there little by little.


Fri Feb 17 08:18:30 PST 2006
Outside Temperature: 40 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 51 years old, 12 lbs overweight, 5 months of workouts to date
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-30 watts for 2 Wh
Steady power: 60 watts
Power production goal: 30 Wh (Friday is now "30 Watt-hour day"!)
Duration of workout: 30 minutes
Heart rate at end of workout: 100-110 - good sweat

I am getting into better shape! 30 Wh was no problem! Sometimes I "sing" to myself while pedaling. The latest tune to lodge itself in my head is "Rolling on the River." "Big wheels keep on turning." Perfect.


Sun Jan 29 15:05:39 PST 2006
Outside Temperature: 60 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 51 years old, 15 lbs overweight, 4 months of workouts to date
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-30 watts for 2 Wh
Steady power: 50-60 watts
Power production goal: 30 Wh (I have never pedaled 30 Wh before)
Duration of workout: 33 minutes
Heart rate at end of workout: 100-110 - good sweat

Today I decided to see what 30 Wh feels like. I started the workout later in the day, and it was quite warm (for January!) at 60 degrees. I noticed immediately that I did not need as much "warming up" as I do in the morning when it is cold. I was "up to speed" within two watt hours.

Today is partly sunny, and when I was pedaling steadily (at roughly 4 amps, 15 volts, 60 watts) the voltage on the batteries brought the Trace to a "full charge" level of 5 green blinks! I am a power generator. It feels good.


Wed Jan 25 08:10:37 PST 2006
Outside Temperature: 38 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 51 years old, 15 lbs overweight, 4 months of workouts to date
Workout Plan:
Warm up: 0-30 watts for 2 Wh
Steady power: 50-60 watts
Power production goal: 20 Wh
Duration of workout: 23 minutes
Heart rate at end of workout: 100-110 - no sweat

I am "in the zone" after 3-5 Wh. I have the unit in the garage, so the air is cold. I start off in a sweatshirt and by the time I have generated 10 Wh I take it off and continue the remaining workout in shorts and a tee shirt. And that's with the outside temperature being 38 degrees! Generating electricity definitely keeps you warm. I am up to 20 comfortable Wh each day (actually more like 21-22 as I "cool down" at the end by gradually slowing my pace...). On Friday I always add 5 more Wh to keep challenging myself to get in better shape, so this Friday I will generate 25-27 Wh. The generator is working flawlessly, and I can take the Trace C-12 from "one blink red" to "two blinks green" in a single workout. That's a good feeling!


Tue Jan 3 11:57:31 PST 2006 - Entry by Guest Rider!
Outside Temperature: 50 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (Guest Rider): 28 years old, healthy, first time on the Pedal Generator
Workout Plan:
Steady power: 50 watts
Power production goal: 20 Wh
Duration of workout: 20 minutes
Heart rate at end of workout: 100-110

On the morning of January 3, 2005, I completed my first 20 Watt-hour workout on David's pedal powered generator. I checked my pulse rate before I saddled up and determined it to be a languid 98 beats per minute (I had recently caffeinated myself). To achieve my 20 Watt-hour goal in 20 minutes I had to pedal at the constant rate of 50 watts. This proved to be very easy, as the effort required to turn the pedals is very low: there is not much resistance. At no point during the workout did I feel the need to stop and rest. When I finished, my heart rate was 122 beats per minute. I had begun to break a sweat, but I felt like I could have easily done another 20 Wh without stopping.


Mon Dec 5 06:07:17 PST 2005
Outside Temperature: 37 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 51 years old, 17 lbs overweight, 11 weeks of workouts to date
Workout Plan:
Steady low power: 30-40 watts
Power production goal: 15 Wh
Duration of workout: 18 minutes
Heart rate at end of workout: 100-110 - no sweat! too cold!

I am exercising the design as much as I am exercising the engine - me. The unit is quiet and stable at 40 watts. I feel like I could pedal indefinitely at this pace. I feel like I am not working hard enough. I would compare the effort to walking. It is less than I would like in terms of effort and output, so I may target the output higher shortly.


Tue Nov 8 13:47:52 PST 2005
Outside Temperature: 52 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 51 years old, 18 lbs overweight, 7 weeks of workouts to date
Workout Plan:
200 revolutions warmup, low power: 40-50 watts
Main workout: steady moderate effort (60-70 watts)
Power production goal: 10 Wh (achieved 10.7 Wh, .91 AH)
Duration of workout: 10 minutes
Heart rate at end of workout: 110-120 - light sweat

Note: My knees began to get sore from the original workout and power generation goals, so I eased off a bit. I am fine now, and I plan to gradually increase the workout over the winter.

I also noticed that the wear on the generator roller was excessive at high power outputs due to slippage. The latest workout does not have the alternating high and low power levels, and the wear has stabilized.


Tue Oct 11 06:17:38 PDT 2005
Outside Temperature: 58 Fahrenheit
Condition of "engine" (me): 51 years old, 20 lbs overweight, 3 weeks of workouts to date
Workout Plan:
200 revolutions warmup, low power: 40-50 watts
Main workout: alternating 100 revolutions brisk (75-90 watts), then 100 revolutions moderate (60-70 watts)
Power production goal: 15 Watt-hours (Wh) (achieved 15.7 Wh, 1.1 Amp-Hours (AH))
Duration of workout: 15 minutes
Heart rate at end of workout: 120 - light sweat


  • You have a green building ...
  • You have a green data center ...
  • You are working to have green products ...
  • Do you have green employees ???
Set up PPPMs in your employee exercise facility and power or charge laptops, PDAs, cell phones, and other personal electronics.

Building the PPPM, and riding it, is the best thing I have done for myself in years.

You could be working out on your own PPPM!

Movie of David pedaling furiously on the rebuilt Pedgen I

The workouts are done on the PPPM System - a tested, matched set of devices selected to maximize Human power generation.

Back To: [ David Butcher's Personal Page ]
[ Pedal Generator | Micro Solar System | Under Cabinet LED Light | Interested in Going Solar? ]
This page is hosted by The WEBworks * Copyright 1994-2006, All Rights Reserved