Our ECO-Bike is a Human Powered Generator.
Our ECO-Bike is just one example of what can be achieved by people when they are concerned about Climate Change. It´s important to understand the ECO-nomY is much more than the ECO-bike, which is just ONE application, as we can have several human powered generators from other innovators.
ECO-bike is a Human Powered Device with capabilities of energy generation and health parameters monitoring.
The ECO-bike project has also three main components:
Mechanical system, smart monitoring and control system, harvesting and usage of energy
1 Mechanical system
To be able to use the human energy with the ECO-bike, a conversion system is need which allows the muscular power of a person can be either improved or at least used at its maximum. The mechanical system should:
- Allow the maximum working time for a person
- Be stable at least within specific limits
- Be simple to use.
- Allow the use by any user no matter the age or the height.
- Optimize the muscular effort and energy.
2 Smart monitoring and Control system
In order to be connected to the grid, the system must be able to deliver information in a bi-directional way. Since a lot of information can be derived, this is one of the most critical developments since the smart monitoring and control system becomes the core between the device and any external information systems or web platform.
In addition to the technological needs, the possibility of bringing the system to any place, without any major installation problems, generates a very interesting scalability profile.
On the other hand, the smart monitoring system is applicable to any other third party development and then, all kind of external devices can be easily adapted to be connected to the ECO-nomY platform, which in turns, allows the growth of users and applications.
The world is also demanding information analysis coming from huge sources, where the statistics could be more accurate. This is called the BIG Data, and the ECO-bikes will be a very powerful source since a lot of simultaneous online information can be obtained.
The possibilities of valuable data are endless: metric tons of Greenhouse emissions saved, CO2 and other gases, energy generated and saved, efficiency of energetic systems, real time contributions of renewable sources and human energy, operational data of each energetic system, cross comparisons of countries and sustainability in real time, environmental data like weather, temperature, wind rates, health parameters like weight, cardio and heart rates, calories burned, workout times, speed , distance, health evolution, energy generated, people involved in the ECO-nomY with all types of statistics, ECO-points transactions. ECO-point and money paid, etc.
3 Harvesting and usage of energy.
The energy form a human powered device has to be either used immediately or saved to be used at a later time.
In the first case, the energy generated must be in DC voltage to simplify designs and avoid problems with frequencies. If the load accepts DC voltage then it can be connected directly as long as the voltage level of the generation reaches operational values, but in the other case if the load requires AC voltage then another equipment named INVERTER is required, This device receives a non-regulated DC voltage at the input and produces an AC voltage at the output, which also can be synchronized with the grid (known as grid tie operation). Since the Inverter has a cost, the idea is to have load that can work with both types of voltages without any problem; for example LED lights.
The switching from DC to AC and viceversa could be noticeable with mechanical connection devices like electromagnetic relays but if solid state relays are used it would have a much better operation.
In general there are a lot of applications which work with DC voltage, because many of them include solar panels which only have DC output voltage.
In order to storage the human energy, most of the applications use Lead-acid batteries basically for three reasons: they are available, the charging current is much lower than the current they handle and the cost, compared with other more sophisticated technologies, ,they are more affordable.
Batteries have some environmental restrictions so, new technologies are required but in the meantime, they are quite popular.
Solar panels systems are also used to charge batteries which, through an inverter, supply the AC energy during night periods.