A Christmas special brought to you by Going Going Bike
Pedal power electricity generation isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when you think of Christmas. Take a bunch of bikes, start pedalling and generate enough electricity to light the Christmas tree. Seems such a simple idea and something that authorities in the Mexican city of Puebla have been keen to experiment with as part of their sustainable Christmas campaign.
The local town council there have put up a Christmas tree at the city’s main park whose 8,000 lights get their electricity from the kinetic energy of people riding 15 bicycles. Each bike has a generator attached to it that feeds kinetic energy into two big two batteries that provides the electricity for the lights on the tree.
Each generator attached to the bike delivers 100 to 350 Watts. The batteries can light the Christmas tree for 45 straight minutes. The bicycles must be pedaled at a speed of between 20 kph and 30 kph for about eight hours to charge the batteries for the lights to stay on all night.
The Christmas tree is the centrepiece of “Navidad Sustentable” (Sustainable Christmas) fair at Puebla city park. Visitors to the park are encouraged to do their bit and pedal to keep the lights going. LED fairy lights are so energy efficient that it’s possible for one bike to power as many as 3000 LEDs in case you want to do this at home.
Cycling is also a great way to shift some of those Christmas dinner pounds, but you can worry about that after the weekend…