#2681: JouleCycles

Sometimes I am very surprised not to be able to find one of ‘my’ ideas anywhere…already on sale or lurking in the dusty drawers of the patent office.

Today’s invention is one such small spark of inspiration.

Opel Adam berry red at IAA 2013

Everyone has seen the wheels of bicycles spinning as they are driven down the motorway on a bike carrier strapped to a car. There is a small industry focussed on providing straps etc to stop this overuse of wheel bearings and the possibility that bike mileage computers will give inaccurate readings.

Another small industry involves people making domestic wind turbines from bicycle wheels equipped with vanes between the spokes.

Today’s invention is to take advantage of wheel spinning in a car’s slipstream. It makes sense to use any spinning to generate some electricity.

A bike mounted on a rack has a friction dynamo pressed lightly against its wheel. The protruding wheels’ spokes could be fitted with clip-on vanes in order to promote their wind-driven rotation. As a wheel spins, it generates energy which can be used to illuminate extra rear lights during night driving, for example…or to charge smartphones/tablets.

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