I'm currently researching and experimenting a system concept about hydropower-based fintness. I recorded my initial experiment footage and you can watch the video on Youtube.
Befor talking about this idea, I must tell you that I AM NOT going to make human force a major source of energy.
All I want is to build a system which allows higher variety of exercises and can efficiently utilize the energy generated by users. If the users see the result of their workout can both benefit their own health and the environment, they might be more willing to do exercise regularly.
The system collect and sore the work done by users in the form of water potential energy. Common methods of generating electricity by exercises are restricted because they have to keep the motor spinning. In my case, the users can do more kinds of exercises with different training style.
Here's some example:
1.Lifting up bottles filled with water The simplest one, which I chose in my experiment. If the user like dumb bell or kettle bell, this will be their choise.
2.Pump integrated cable machine / rowing machine The weights connected to cables are replaced with pistons. When the user pull the cable, the pistons will pump the water up.
3.Spinning bike If the user really like this classic exercise, they can use a pedal water powered pump like this on Youtube to store energy
The water lifted/ pumped will be converged to the upper water tank. There will be only one hydro-power generator which convert the potential energy into electricity. We can control the output of electricity by adjusting the rate of water flow. Therefore, we can generate power according to the need of the facility.
This system don't require every exercise equipment to be installed with generators and we don't have to setup complex electricity wires.
The batteries are also not need in this system. Without those expensive components, this system will be much cheaper to build and maintain.
My initial experiment and result:
Height of hydralic head: 170cm
Water tube diameter: 1/2 inch
Flow rate: 47.5 ml/Sec
Voltage:4.8V Current:46 mA
Please check the Youtube video I mentioned earlier for detailed footage.
The generator I used:
This is much like a "cross flow" generator, but have only one water input.
You can easily find on Amazon by typing "BQLZR Portable Micro-hydro Generator Water Charger High Efficiency 3.5W "
Working pressure: 0 to 1.75 Mpa
Test pressure: 1, 2 MPa
Temperature range:0 to 120 degrees Celsius
Maximum Flow: 30l/min
Flow range: 1.5-20L/min (press 0.05-0.2MPa)
Shell material: nylon
Size: approx. 8 x 4cm/3.15 x 1.57"(L X D)
The system successfully generated electricity and I could easily keep the water flowing. However, this is obvious that the electricity generated was too weak to be utilized.
My next setp: I'm planning to build a system which have 10~5W output per second. I had bought a 795 DC-motor.
The energy generated will be converted by a DC-converter module which have 5V output.
This system will be able to charge common electronics like tablets and smartphones. If I make any further result, I'll post them here.
And finally here are my questions:
1.Do you think there's any drawback/bugs in this system besides the problem of water storage and leaking?
2.Is there any existing system which have similar concept?
3.Do you know suitable parts for my next experiment?