Tom Olson

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Community power bikes

Most of us know what bike shares are. What if we could utilize human kinetic energy and turn it into electric energy. There are disk breaks that use the energy lost from stoping to produce energy for the community or run safety applications like cameras and GPS systems on the bike.
We could also add batteries on the bike to store energy and drop it into the grid when you lock into a kiosk station.

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    May 29 2011: I think with the new battery developed by harvard, that can be woven into clothing with micro fibers or in to any medium, may be the key. These batteris are lighter, flexible, more efficient, and better longevity.

    My true vision is that people will be riding a bike that will just charge there clothing and the kiosks could have a wireless charging system that will take the energy, unless you were to keep it for personal use. The kiosks would also reward the riders by giving them a coupon, of some sort depending on the amount of energy they produced, for a local business that endorses community power.

    To make the system simple there would be a touch screen that acts as a visitor center for the city on each kiosk. These would be powered by solar panels and could be the size of a ipad or bigger.
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    May 29 2011: You'd assume the larger the battery, the heavier the bike overall - Perhaps "an uphill battle"

    Therefore there is a tradeoff between 'ability to store more energy' and 'the ability to carry a large heavy battery on a bike'

    Perhaps do some calculations on what critical mass would be for this to be viable to "drop [energy] into the grid when you lock into a kiosk station"
  • May 29 2011: The first two rules for any public enterprise are these: It has to be idiotproof, and it has to be thief-resistant. I'm a little fuzzy on your wording, but from my understanding, you're envisioning a mashup of regenerative brakes/electric bikes and communal bike shares?

    It's bold, certainly, but banks on a lot of goodwill. The first requirement - idiotproofing, or more accurately, building a durable, affordable design - is entirely feasible for this idea. But the second - thief-resistance - is much more difficult.
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    May 28 2011: One problem with this is that the bikes will become more valuable rising the cost of a lost bike to the company. If you could have warning zones within your city and have an operator ready to watch live video on the bike this should prevent theft and make it easier to catch the thief.