The Physics Police

The Physics Police

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Power your home with only 150 Indurains!

Today I saw an hilarious news article (more like covert advertisement, but whatever) with the fantastically bullshit headline Pedaling For A Hour Can Power Your Home For Twenty-Four Hours. This may be true if your home has only one dim light bulb. But for modern homes in the USA, it's demonstrably false.

The article advertises a bicycle that's hooked up to generator and battery. You can store charge from exercise and run your home on this power. Well, partially run your home on this power. Don't get me wrong. It's an awesome bike! I want one!

But the average American rural household consumes 93.6 million Btu of electric energy per year.

(93.6 million Btu per year) / (365 days) = 75 kWh per day

The most bad-ass professional cyclists in the world can output at most 0.5 kWh per hour.

So how many Miguel Indurains would you need to invite over to your American rural household each morning to spend an hour peddling in order to supply the average day's power consumption?

(75 kWh) / (0.5 kWh) =  150 Indurains

"We're here to power your home. Don't worry, this will only take an hour. Got any food, by the way...?"

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