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Hamster wheel power generator

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TheNiceGuy

Golden Member
Dec 23, 2004
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Hi all
Our hamster is driving us nuts with his wheel. Within a couple of weeks he overloaded the lap counter at 99999 cycles.
Anyway, I salvaged a light generator from a trashed bike today. You know, the type that lean on teh tire wall to use the spinning to light a bulb. The generator casing has "6V-2.4W" printed on it.
I think I can find a way to hook up the wheel. I'm just wondering what the power could be used for? A battery charger of some kind? Any help appreciated. Thanks.
 
May 11, 2008
18,312
832
126
Hi all
Our hamster is driving us nuts with his wheel. Within a couple of weeks he overloaded the lap counter at 99999 cycles.
Anyway, I salvaged a light generator from a trashed bike today. You know, the type that lean on teh tire wall to use the spinning to light a bulb. The generator casing has "6V-2.4W" printed on it.
I think I can find a way to hook up the wheel. I'm just wondering what the power could be used for? A battery charger of some kind? Any help appreciated. Thanks.
With the right electronics for the correct charging characteristics :

telephone charger.
ipod charger.
Random mp3 player charger.
led flashlight charger.
 

C1

Platinum Member
Feb 21, 2008
2,262
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Used to have a hamster. Dont know how much energy that you expect to get from it, but it aint going to be much. (You arent going to get blood from a turnip.) How much energy do you suspect can be extracted from the diurnal diet of a hamster, particularly after conversion losses?
 

TheNiceGuy

Golden Member
Dec 23, 2004
1,564
3
81
Used to have a hamster. Dont know how much energy that you expect to get from it, but it aint going to be much. (You arent going to get blood from a turnip.) How much energy do you suspect can be extracted from the diurnal diet of a hamster, particularly after conversion losses?
I don't know, but its better than drinking a bottle of gin and going to sleep.

With the right electronics for the correct charging characteristics :

telephone charger.
ipod charger.
Random mp3 player charger.
led flashlight charger.
What kind of right electronics are we talking about there poncho?
 

Gibsons

Lifer
Aug 14, 2001
12,523
29
91
http://en.allexperts.com/q/Science-Kids-3250/Hamster-Power.htm

Question
About how much energy can a hamster on a wheel generate?

Answer
Hi Hannah.
I was able to get Skippy the hamster to produce peaks of about 150 milliamps of current at 3 volts, and 3 * 0.150 = 0.45 Watts. However, this was like running up hill for him -- he wouldn't run for very long before getting tired. So I experimented, and found he would run for his usual 3-4 hours per night if I turned the output down to 50 milliamps -- like running up a hill, but not as steep. So, thats 0.050 * 3 = 0.15 Watts, * 4 hours = 0.6 Watt/hours per night. That's the same unit of measure as your family's power bill each month, except your power bill is in kiloWatt hours -- one kW/hr = 1000 Watt hours, to give you an idea of how much power he could make.
DAN
 

C1

Platinum Member
Feb 21, 2008
2,262
57
91
Outstanding. And from a hamster owner, I can vouch that this is not clean energy either. Besides CO2, there are mounds of excreted hamster pellets. As such, be sure then to clean the hamsters work area no less frequently than once per week as well as provide sufficient H2O.
 

Rubycon

Madame President
Aug 10, 2005
17,768
485
126
Any sort of load north of 100mA at 3-4VDC is going to make the resistance too stiff for the little guy and he or she will not use it. The resistance of the wheel spinning is very small and once it gets going the inertia is nearly pushing him! ;)

I suppose you could use a couple of neo magnets and small coils to charge a 10F cap and that could power an LED, LCD alarm clock or calculator. Those shake lights (shake for five minutes, 15 minutes of light, etc.) work on very similar ratios.
 

Modelworks

Lifer
Feb 22, 2007
16,240
6
76
Maybe consider using piezoelectric plates in the bottom then you get power from it walking around too. They did that to some public sidewalks, seems to work, but they have a lot more traffic.
 

imabiggles

Junior Member
Dec 6, 2010
10
0
0
first of all, I love the concept and it must be done! When someone asks you how much energy do you expect to get, you can tell them how much you got!

Secondly, the bike generator will be a huge PITA to hook up. You will have to gear the hell out of and each gear loss will be substancial. If I had a rodent and this thought, I would get a low small brushless motor and wind it for low KV (http://www.gobrushless.com/shop/index.php?app=ccp0&ns=prodshow&ref=GHOST2GKIT). Hook it directly to the center hub and build a three phase rectifier (very cheap to do). Have it charge a set of AA's nicads and bobs your uncle.

I like the idea of using it to power LEDs for the cage. If your clever, you can have the LEDs turn on once x mah's are stored or once you hit x volts on the nicads. That'll slow the little noctural cutie down at night as now it is too well lit.

good luck, love the idea of rodent power - green energy for the 21st century!
 
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