What about the K-Tor Powerbox?
K-Tor's products are useful. The Pedal-A-Watt can produce up to 400 watts while the Powerbox produces a maximum of 20 watts. 20 watts is fine for charging small, handheld devices but can't do much beyond that. Even a laptop requires around 40 to 60 watts.
The Pedal-A-Watt provides a much smoother pedaling experience than the K-Tor Powerbox while. Since you are using a full sized bicycle on the Pedal-A-watt stand the momentum of the spinning rear wheel (it acts like a flywheel) makes pedaling easier and smoother. If your bike has multiple gears you may adjust to the most comfortable setting. The K-Tor Powerbox has a much jerkier motion as there is almost no spinning mass to provide a smoothing action to pedaling.
Does the Pedal-A-Watt come with a Blocking Diode?
Yes, it comes with a 20 amp blocking diode.
Do I Need any Accessories?
This all depends on how you intend to use the Pedal-A-Watt. Most of our customers need at least the 12 vdc regulator accessory and here is why.
Out of the box the Pedal-A-Watt, with no accessories, produces pulsating DC up to about 75 volts. This works for powering incandescent light bulbs and things that are NOT voltage sensitive.
However, most customers need an even 14.1 volts DC output (same power as provided by your car's cigarette lighter socket) and this is why the 12 vdc regulator is needed. It provides the perfect voltage for 12 volt battery charging, powering all 12 vdc devices such as a PowerPak or inverter.
Many of our customers also decide to use the Pedal-A-Watt with a PowerPak so that they can store the energy created. The PowerPak we offer has two outlets on it like you have on the wall in your home so you may plug in your appliances such as TVs, heaters, etc. To use the PowerPak you'll need the 12 vdc regulator and the 12 foot cable with male cigarette lighter plug options.
To run the LED Light Strip and/or USB Port you'll need the 12 vdc regulator and 12 foot cable with male cigarette lighter plug. The USB Port is a great way to power and charge any device that can plug into a USB port. The LED Light Strip is very bright and can provide sufficient light for a 400 square ft. room for 5 to 6 hours with only 10 minutes of pedaling.
Why are Hand Crank Generators Not Really Practical?
While a hand crank generator is theoretically a good idea it is not very practical because it creates so little power that you'll find you can't do much with it. Most hand crank generators create only between 5 and 15 watts. This means that for every hour of continuous hand cranking you can run your laptop for about 6 to 10 minutes or your iPhone for about 16 minutes. OK for extreme emergencies where you need to make a quick 911 call but hand crank generators are not very useful otherwise.
Your legs are about 20 to 30 times stronger than your hands so you are much better off using the Pedal-A-Watt stand along with the mechanical advantage provided by your bicycle and creating 150 to 400 watts for some useful power than can get something done.
How does the Pedal-A-Watt work?
The Pedal-A-Watt concept is a simple one: you pedal, turning the bike's rear wheel, which in turn spins the generator.
What is a generator anyway? It is simply a spinning magnet within a coil of wire. As the magnet spins within this coil, electricity flows through the coil. This electricity can then be used immediately to power something or stored in a battery for use later. See this video of the Pedal-A-Watt powering a LED light strip.
This seems very technical. I am an average person and want to power something? Can I do it easily?
Yes! We now offer the Easy Pedal-A-Watt Package. Simply unpack your order when it arrives, plug it in and you are ready to go! Click here to learn more.
How much power can I create?
The typical adult will create 100 to over 350 watts of power depending on the rider's strength. Those in better shape that are stronger can create between 225 and 410 watts or more.
What if I need the voltage regulated to 12 volts?
When ordering the Pedal-A-Watt you may select the 12 vdc voltage regulator option at checkout. This regulator provides a level 14.2 volt DC output.
The regulator also converts any "excess" voltage from the Pedal-A-Watt into useable output amperage.
For example, let's say that you are pedaling the Pedal-A-Watt very fast and it is producing 30 volts. The regulator will give a level output of 14.1 volts DC and will convert the excess voltage of 15.9 volts (30 vdc - 14.1 vdc = 15.9 volts) into another 1.11 amps at the regulator's output. This regulator ensures that no power is wasted and all converted into useable amperage at 14.1 volts DC.
What is a Watt?
A Watt is an instantaneous measure of power. For example, while pedaling we measure the power output from the generator and see that 200 watts are being created. So what? Well, that means you can power a 200 watt TV but not a 400 watt TV. However, if you store the power from the generator in a battery, you have much greater flexibility. Let's look at the difference between watts and the more important measure, watt-hours.
The Difference Between Watts and Watt-Hours:
If I am pedaling and creating 200 watts of power and I keep pedaling for 2 hours, I create 400 Watt-Hours, or 200 Watts x 2 Hours = 400 Watt-Hours
Now, with 400 Watt-Hours stored in the battery, I can power:
A 400 watt TV for 1 hour (400 Watts x 1 hour = 400 Watt-Hours)
A 200 Watt TV for 2 hours (200 Watts x 2 hours = 400 Watt-Hours)
A 20 Watt laptop PC for 20 hours (20 Watt x 20 hours = 400 Watt-Hours)
A 15 Watt fluorescent bulb for almost 27 hours (15 Watts x 26 hours = 400 Watt-Hours)
Our LED light strip for about 48 days continuously
Charge an iPhone, from empty, about 80 times
Run a typical microwave for a total of about 45 minutes of run time - enough for about 25 meals
Power Consumption of Typical Appliances:
- Small TV: 100 watts
- Large TV: 200 watts
- Laptop PC: 30 watts
- Desktop PC: 75 watts
- Stereo: 12 watts
- Charging a smartphone: 5 watts
- Hi Efficiency Desk lamp: 15 watts
- Refrigerator: 700 watts (not continuous)
- Dishwasher: 350 watts
- Dryer: 400 watts
As you can see, some household appliances make good candidates for powering via the Pedal-A-Watt, such as TVs and stereos. Some appliances, like a refrigerator, require far more power than the Pedal-A-Watt can provide.
What is the difference between a volt, an ampere and a watt?
We will skip the textbook example and go to a visual example, the garden hose.
Voltage is the strength coming out of the end of the hose. Higher voltage, say 20 volts, is like having water come out of the garden hose faster and lower voltage, say 2 volts, is like water coming out much more slowly.
Amperes, or amps, is the amount of water at any point in the hose. Think of it this way: a straw is like low amperes, say 2 amperes, because no matter how much force, the voltage, the water has behind it there is only so much water that can go through a straw. Then, think of a big pipe used to supply water to a city. This is like high amperes, say 100 amperes, because the pipe can carry a lot of water.
Watts is what most people care about. Watts = volts x amperes.
How can I power my laptop, small TV, stereo or other household appliances with the Pedal-A-Watt?
Visit our Accessories and Other Products page to see the PowerPak. Plug the Pedal-A-Watt into the PowerPak and it will store energy created by the Pedal-A-Watt and will allow you to plug in any typical household (AC) appliance (up to 400 watts) such as a TV, PC, laptop, stereo, small pump, video game, etc.
What if I want to demonstrate how much electricity the Pedal-A-Watt creates?
We sell several products that are helpful in displaying the electricity created such as the Power Meter and our LED Light Strip. Please visit our Accessories and Other Products page.
If you have further questions, feel free to email us at Support@econvergence.net