Bambootec, a consortium from Yucatán, has designed a bamboo bicycle that transforms the kinetic energy generated by pedaling into a source of electricity that has the ability to simultaneously recharge mobile devices, external smartphone batteries and power a navigation dashboard located on the handlebars which measures the distance and time. It also has Bluetooth capability.
The energy transfer is possible thanks to a converter, which is composed of a circuit installed on the rim that captures the kinetic energy and converts it into electricity, passing it through the core of the system located under the seat, which regulates the voltage generated and prevents discharges, says Cristina Espinosa López, founder of Bambootec.
When pedaling, the cyclist produces energy that is transformed into electricity. However, if done irregularly, by either unexpected racing or braking, the load rises and falls; to solve this problem, a regulator was added to the converter to administer the charge evenly.
In addition to the power converter system, the bicycle has a frame (vertices and edges) assembled with bamboo sticks connected by a special resin. The aim was to replace metal parts in order to provide the vehicle with greater resistance (supports 120 kilos), also making it lighter and less prone to heat, explains the founder of Bambootec.
Once the converter regulates the energy charge, it is transmitted through three channels of power, which are cables with USB outputs. One is connected to the navigation screen located on the handlebars of the bicycle, which indicates the number of kilometers and time passed, and provides the option to establish a connection via Bluetooth to link to a smartphone.
The other terminal of the power converter recharges any mobile device, while the third one is exclusive to recharge external smartphone batteries. The energy generated by the bicycle (over 10 volts) is enough to feed the three tracks simultaneously, López Espinosa says.
Currently, bicycle testing has shown that the charge capacity for the devices is of one percent per minute. It is required to optimize the system in order to accelerate the charging process.
The team has as a main goal to create the necessary machinery to scale the product and mass produce it; because of this, the company participated in the Cleantech Challenge Mexico, a contest that promotes the development of green enterprises.
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