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imPulse is an energy harvesting alternative for bicycles

Arduino TeamJuly 16th, 2018

Javier Betancor is developing a system that collects power as you ride a bike, with the goal of powering data collection and lighting. “imPulse” uses a stepper motor for power generation, along with a geared hub to make the motor spin at multiples of the wheel speed.

While the project is still a prototype, the headlights and rear lighting assemblies already look very good, and CAD files as well as Arduino code are available here.

The aim of this project is to provide a cost-effective alternative to power generation on bikes using conventional stepper motors while adding other capabilities, such as: 

– An integrated data logging system to monitor power generated on each trip.

– A smart lighting system with addressable LEDs, working as indicators, braking lights and headlights, incorporating Light Dependant Resistors (LDRs) to sense the environment and to reduce the risk of glare.

– Power Distribution Board (PDB) to charge two different/generic powerbanks. While one powerbank is charged, the other one is used to supply energy to the system.

You can see a prototype of the lighting system in the video below, using an Arduino Uno for control as a turn signal and brake light, as well as a constant beam for visibility. Find additional information and follow along with Betancor’s progress in his Hackaday log.