Design Con 2015
Breaking News
Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
User Rank
re: Green silliness, or 'there is no free lunch, sorry'
antennahead   8/26/2010 1:35:48 PM
Move this up a notch to the Enertia electric motorcycle, found at; I actually own one of these. They intentionally left off regenerative braking from this vehicle for the very reasons stated in this article- there isn't really that much energy to be recovered, and with the appropriate riding style there is no need as the brakes aren't used much. Also, I'll add that the generator hub goes back a long, long time. I have a vintage 1950's era generator hub made by Sturmey-Archer. But it's performance pails in comparision to the contemporary offerings commerically available today. These hubs are generally used to power headlights. From a systematic perspective it's probably still a very inefficient way to power a headlight, but at least the energy source is always available and that convenience and reliability is the key.

User Rank
re: Green silliness, or 'there is no free lunch, sorry'
alzie   12/22/2009 7:36:10 PM
I bicycle a lot, and the regenerative recovery mech makes great sense in hilly areas. I wind up zooming down hills @ 30 mph, only to grind up the other side @ 8 mph. The regenerative recovery would be used to reduce decent to like 10 mph to reduce drag. That recovered energy would be used (partly) to climb the other side. In that sense, its quite useful, plus the afore mentioned advantages.

User Rank
re: Green silliness, or 'there is no free lunch, sorry'
JMWilliams   12/22/2009 6:34:08 PM
Very true. Third-World countries are "greener" than more developed countries because they depend on concealed costs in the form of food for humans or animals, and they deliver less power per person for healthy and comfortable life styles. Life-spans are shorter and diseases are more plentiful (although not "green", bacteria are, after all, wild plants). Also, in a Third-World context, the work-time lost cycling for 30 minutes is of no matter when compared with the same travel for 10 minutes in an automobile. Third-World time is cheap, as is the labor. This is not so, in a highly competitive, industrialized environment. The benefit of the bicycle is that it involves only about 100 kg or less of "equipment" (mostly the rider), whereas an automobile involves more like 1000 kg. Eating 50 cal per day more of food to compensate for unavailability of regenerative braking should mean nothing to a cyclist, Third-World or not. Regenerative braking may make cycling in a hilly area a little less stressful, but it has no other "green" benefit, no matter what MIT might claim.

User Rank
re: Green silliness, or 'there is no free lunch, sorry'
asdasdsa45646456   12/21/2009 2:49:09 PM
"any half-way decent cyclist doesn't use the brakes very often" I believe the device in question in intended for city communing. Even a "half-way decent cyclist" has to yield to other traffic at times. "Either you'll have to pedal harder to maintain your target speed" I took from the article that the rider can control when the generator is active. "That's a very inefficient process when you look at the total energy chain from growing and transporting the food, to converting muscle power to electrical power." Many people over eat as is. It'll be better to have the extra calories be used for work instead of carried around as fat. Also, a lot of "green silliness" is going into reducing the energy required to grow and transport food (e.g. encouraging the consumption of seasonal and local food).

Peter Clarke
User Rank
re: Green silliness, or 'there is no free lunch, sorry'
Peter Clarke   12/21/2009 11:56:12 AM
Bill's observations are cogent, but there is one aspect to the human "progress" that he does not touch upon. The move from inefficient animal power to engines of various types was nearly always a move from renewable energy to the non-renweable consumption of coal and oil. And it is that "free-ride" from the consumption of natural resources that is not sustainable and which the planet is struggling to accommodate. So, in which direction does progress lie?

Top Comments of the Week
Flash Poll
Like Us on Facebook Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
EE Life
Frankenstein's Fix, Teardowns, Sideshows, Design Contests, Reader Content & More
<b><a href=Betajet">

The Circle – The Future's Imperfect in the Present Tense
The Circle, a satirical, dystopian novel published in 2013 by San Francisco-based writer Dave Eggers, is about a large, very powerful technology company that combines aspects of Google, ...

Max Maxfield

Recommended Reads From the Engineer's Bookshelf
Max Maxfield
I'm not sure if I read more than most folks or not, but I do I know that I spend quite a lot of time reading. I hate to be idle, so I always have a book or two somewhere about my person -- ...

Martin Rowe

Make This Engineering Museum a Reality
Martin Rowe
Post a comment
Vincent Valentine is a man on a mission. He wants to make the first house to ever have a telephone into a telephone museum. Without help, it may not happen.

Rich Quinnell

Making the Grade in Industrial Design
Rich Quinnell
As every developer knows, there are the paper specifications for a product design, and then there are the real requirements. The paper specs are dry, bland, and rigidly numeric, making ...

Special Video Section
The LT8640 is a 42V, 5A synchronous step-down regulator ...
The LTC2000 high-speed DAC has low noise and excellent ...
How do you protect the load and ensure output continues to ...
General-purpose DACs have applications in instrumentation, ...
Linear Technology demonstrates its latest measurement ...
Demos from Maxim Integrated at Electronica 2014 show ...
Bosch CEO Stefan Finkbeiner shows off latest combo and ...
STMicroelectronics demoed this simple gesture control ...
Keysight shows you what signals lurk in real-time at 510MHz ...
TE Connectivity's clear-plastic, full-size model car shows ...
Why culture makes Linear Tech a winner.
Recently formed Architects of Modern Power consortium ...
Specially modified Corvette C7 Stingray responds to ex Indy ...
Avago’s ACPL-K30T is the first solid-state driver qualified ...
NXP launches its line of multi-gate, multifunction, ...
Doug Bailey, VP of marketing at Power Integrations, gives a ...
See how to ease software bring-up with DesignWare IP ...
DesignWare IP Prototyping Kits enable fast software ...
This video explores the LT3086, a new member of our LDO+ ...
In today’s modern electronic systems, the need for power ...