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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)





How easy is the Pedal-A-Watt to setup and use?

The Pedal-A-Watt is very easy to setup and typically takes well under a minute for the average customer to get up and running once out of the box. See the Videos for more information.

How long have you been in business?

We have been in business since 1998 and have thousands of satisfied customers all over the world and have received hundreds of testimonials.

No one else has been providing human powered generator products as long or does it as well. The Pedal-A-Watt has been field tested for over a two decades in the jungles of Africa, the deserts of the Middle East and the rigorous conditions on ships and sailboats.

Lifetime Warranty. Use it as intended and we will replace any component that fails.

Made in the USA. We employ Americans and pay good wages. None of our finished products are assembled overseas.



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? 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.



How much power can I create?

The Pedal-A-Watt is capable of 400 watts of output but is limited by the rider's strength and level of conditioning. The typical adult will create between 100 watts to over 200 watts of power depending on the rider's strength. Those who train regularly and are n excellent shape that are stronger can create between 200 and 300 watts or more.


How can I power my smartphone, laptop, TV, stereo or other household appliances with the Pedal-A-Watt?

Plug the Pedal-A-Watt into the PowerPack and it will store energy created by the Pedal-A-Watt and will allow you to plug (using USB or wall plug) in any small, typical household such as a TV, PC, laptop, stereo, small pump, video game, etc. See below for the wattage requirements of typical appliances.



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 more than 100 watts for some very useful power than can get something done.



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.


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.



What is 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 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)
Charge an iPhone, from zero charge, about 80 times



Power Consumption of Typical Appliances that can be powered by Pedal-A-Watt:
  • Smartphone: 12 watts
  • Small TV: 100 watts
  • Large TV: 200 watts
  • Laptop: 30 watts
  • Desktop PC: 75 watts
  • Stereo: 12 watts

Appliances that cannot be powered by Pedal-A-Watt:

  • Refrigerator: 700 watts (not continuous)
  • Dishwasher: 350 watts
  • Dryer: 400 watts




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.