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Eco-minded hotel installs bicycle-powered television

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May 11, 2012

An eco-minded hotel in the UK has installed a bicycle-powered television in one of its roo...

An eco-minded hotel in the UK has installed a bicycle-powered television in one of its rooms

If you're on a cycling holiday where you spend all day in the saddle, there's nothing like getting back to your accommodation and flopping down in front of the TV for a well deserved rest. But for guests at one UK bed and breakfast, it really is nothing like that ... because Cottage Lodge in Brockenhurst has installed a bicycle-powered television in one of its rooms.

Guests at the retreat in the New Forest National Park have the option of pedaling away to generate the electricity needed to power the LCD TV on their wall - which might make them reconsider what they're watching. "It isn’t a gentle speed - but equally it is not going to kill you," B&B owner, Christina Simons, warned Gizmag when asked just how much pedaling it takes to get the TV running.

The setup is fairly simple and consists of a bike in a training stand which, when pedaled, spins a generator to create electricity that is stored in a battery wired to the TV. Christina says this isn't an off-the-shelf solution like the Pedal-A-Watt, but the result of hard work which has seen her get through three prototypes each made from recycled second-hand parts. The breakthrough, she says, was moving from a bike with 20-inch wheels to one with 26-inch wheels, capable of spinning the generator faster.

"In order to power the TV you need to do a little bit of cycling to get some power in the battery and then it will work whilst you pedal at a reasonable speed," said Christina. "The electricity is stored in a battery and then used to power the TV. This overcomes spikes of power as you speed up or slow down."

She said that response to the bike has been very positive adding that many hardened cycling enthusiasts stay at Cottage Lodge to make use of the New Forest National Park which has 192 km of off-road cycling. Less exercise-inclined visitors to the £129 (US$207) per night room have the option of using an electricity supply generated by photovoltaic cells on the roof.

Other eco-friendly tech at the B&B include a wood burning stove that heats the hot water during winter and solar panels on the roof to heat the hot water in the summer. Furniture has a low carbon footprint and is made from local trees. However, as this isn't the first time we've seen bikes used to generate electricity in the tourist industry we'd like to see them go the whole hog by doing the laundry with a human-powered washing machine and having a WeBike in the lobby.

Source: Cottage Lodge via The Telegraph

About the Author
Simon Crisp Simon is a journalist and photographer who has spent the last ten years working for national UK newspapers - but has never hacked a mobile phone - and specializes in writing about weird products and photography technology. When not writing for Gizmag, Simon is often found playing with LEGO and drinking far too much coffee.   All articles by Simon Crisp
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7 Comments

For people who ride a bicycle to work. They should make a battery charging system to install on their bike & to use this generated energy when they return home.

Robert DuBois
11th May, 2012 @ 12:25 pm PDT

I do not think that this would solve any real world problem.

See, my grandmother did raise my mother alone, she was her only child. My mother did the same with me.

I have two childs that I'm raising with my wife. She was the only kid in the family.

You see, our family has been zero net gain for the world ecological system for generations.

Kris Lee
11th May, 2012 @ 03:58 pm PDT

Kind of like the internet - when the connection goes down, or the PC breaks or something...

Wow look at all the really neat things to do!!!

If you get tired of pedalling..... perhaps the crap in the TV really isn't that interesting after all.

Mr Stiffy
11th May, 2012 @ 05:18 pm PDT

Kris Lee,

if nothing else, this serves as a valuable eduation tool. People in today's societies really have no appreciation for how much energy we use and/or waste. If people need to pedal to power a TV they then realise just how much energy we use for these simple devices we take for granted.

It would be great to have an average sized car converted to low gearing and pedal power to help people realise just how wasteful we are with the average 1 to 2 tonne vehicle. If people had to pedal to move these things there is no way we'd be driving the cars we buy today.

Personally I'd like to see governments increase taxes on fuel so the largely ignorant public is forced to make more energy efficient choices. This in turn would force manufacturers to get serious about energy efficiency in transport.

So you see education is vital if we are going to contend with the energy crisis that looms in the future. People need to understand just how much work is required when they throw on the light/power switch. When easy oil is no longer available we are in for a rude shock.

Australian
11th May, 2012 @ 06:45 pm PDT

Anyone have plans for a similar project? I want one for our daughter who is an avid viewer of cartoons rather than going outside and using up some energy!

@Robert - that would only make them more tired when they arrive at the office (or home). Storing energy from a vehicle which is human powered isn't practical, it should only be used to help the rider up hills etc. DOn't forget - you only get out what you put in!

agulesin
14th May, 2012 @ 04:43 am PDT

I can see it, the kids want to watch TV daddy has to peddle

jochair
14th May, 2012 @ 06:21 am PDT

Considering how much TV we watch and how fat we are something like this in every American home could go a long way toward reducing America's rate of obesity

Nelson
14th May, 2012 @ 10:28 am PDT
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