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goodechilde 05-21-2008 03:18 PM

Home Wiring
This is my first venturing into the concept of electrical wiring and since re-wiring my lamps without flipping off the breaker when I was 12, haven't had any practical experience so please forgive me if this is a basic question.

Is it possible to feed electricity back through a electrical socket? The idea I have is I have a stationary bike, if I add a generator to it and could just plug it into a normal wall outlet could it work? I know it wouldn't be much, more of a hobby thing just to see if it could work.

If it did work what would be the maximum amount of power you could push back into the system?

Termite 05-21-2008 03:46 PM

What you're talking about is probably possible. You can backfeed a breaker to power your house during a power outage using a generator.
I honestly don't know what the result would be in backfeeding a circuit that has normal power running to it. Doesn't sound like a good idea.

Where this really concerns me is that someone that doesn't know what they're doing can really cause problems. In a power outage, without the correct transfer gear, an improperly installed generator will backfeed the power lines that supply your home (and others). The real hazard is to the unsuspecting lineman that thinks he's working on a dead transformer or line...They get shocked and killed because of peoples' incorrectly installed generators backfeeding the lines.

There's no reason to attempt this. It ranks right up there with re-wiring a lamp without flipping off the breaker.

jerryh3 05-21-2008 03:56 PM


Originally Posted by goodechilde (Post 124846)
Isn't it the same theory of someone with a generator like you said? So there has to be some sort of safety mechanism that it doesn't go out past the breaker or like you said a lineman would be working on a live wire if a homeowner was using a generator.

Yes. That's the function of a generator transfer switch.

pcampbell 05-21-2008 05:23 PM

This is a neat idea, but there is no way you can get the power stable enough to do this. The best way to do this is to get a car battery and a DC motor and backfeed the motor into the battery, then power either 12v appliances off of it, or get an inverter and use that. The cost to purchase all of this junk will sadly likely never be paid off by your pedaling efforts. You might do 100 watts for an hour. If you did that everyday you might make 5 dollars worth of electricity in a year. I have thought about it myself :)

-Pedaled 9446 miles last year.

goodechilde 05-21-2008 05:29 PM

hmm thats interesting
Money is not really the pay off here its the geek factor :)

The idea of doing it to a car battery sounds interesting. Thanks for the idea.

Super33 05-21-2008 07:35 PM

If you're plugging into a 15 amp circuit you will have a limit to 15 amps before that breaker trips. If it's a 20 then you have a 20 limit. You'll know the amperage of the breaker by the number on the breaker itself.

Before you plug into the outlet turn OFF your main breaker in your electrical panel to kill the power to the house. Make sure whatever breakers you want to supply power to are ON and the ones you don't want to feed are OFF. Make sure the breaker feeding the outlet you will be plugging into is ON. Plug in your bike. RIDE!!

Keep in mind you're only back feeding roughly half the circuits in the house. 2 hot phases enter the house and the outlet you're plugging into is only backfeeding 1 phase.

pcampbell 05-22-2008 06:21 AM

This isnt going to work and I think he has accepted that. Your voltage will be like 90, 200, 50. Good way to break things.

If you want to go geek, find some good 12 volt appliances. I have a Tivoli radio that runs on solar. It uses such little (1-2 watts) power and I listen to it all day long. You could do the same with the bike. 1 hour of bike riding would power the radio for 50-100 hours! There are also LCD TVs which are 12v native, but use more like 60 watts.

You could also get an inverter, but you will lose a big percentage of your power when inverting from 12 VCD to 120v AC.

CowboyAndy 05-22-2008 06:24 AM

I keep threatening my kids with an idea like this...

just sayin...

BigJimmy 05-22-2008 09:29 AM

You're gonna have to pedal like a mo-fo when that washing machine kicks into spin cycle!:laughing:

Super33 05-22-2008 03:38 PM

This reminds me of the old hamster wheel idea. You probably would be better off with a 12 appliance and to make things really crazy, make a big hamster wheel that will fit your dog on it and make him run and power the radio!! Or if you do stick to the bike, make your wife ride it:laughing: It would make for a good youtube video.

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