An Ultra-Affordable Pedal Generator for Low Load Applications

EPA Grant Number: SU835936
Title: An Ultra-Affordable Pedal Generator for Low Load Applications
Investigators: Lacks, Daniel J
Institution: Case Western Reserve University
EPA Project Officer: Page, Angela
Phase: II
Project Period: October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2017 (Extended to August 31, 2018)
Project Amount: $75,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet - Phase 2 (2015) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Sustainability , P3 Awards , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Energy


Our project is to design and produce an ultra‐affordable pedal generator for low‐load applications, which will meet a strong need in developing countries in two contexts: (a) rural villages in the most underdeveloped countries, where most of the population lives far from the electrical grid; (b) disaster relief, where large‐scale catastrophes (typhoons, tsunamis, earthquakes) leave large segments of the population without electricity for extended periods. The low‐load applications are powering LED lights and charging cell phones.


Our innovative idea is to create a device that combines four key features – ultra‐affordability, convenience‐to‐use, environmental‐friendliness and on‐demand electricity – that are not available in combination in any competing product. The device operates by converting up‐and‐down pedal motion to one‐way rotational motion of a flywheel; the conversion of the rotational motion of the flywheel to electrical energy; and the use of the electrical energy to power lights or to charge a cell phone.

Expected Results:

The results of the project will include optimizing the design of the device and its fabrication, producing the product and launching the distribution in the two targeted market segments, and creating a company to continue producing this device so that the project continues after the EPA funding ends.

Supplemental Keywords:

Alternative energy source, renewable energy

Relevant Websites:

P3 Phase 1: An Ultra-Affordable Pedal Generator for Low Load Applications

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2016 Progress Report
  • 2017 Progress Report
  • Final

  • P3 Phase I:

    An Ultra-Affordable Pedal Generator for Low Load Applications