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Years ago I met a pioneer woman living in the Rocky Mts. and her sons built her a system where she would bicycle, hooked up to a battery and then she would watch her black and white TV. Do you have a simple idea how that would work or does your description give that capability to me? I would like to hook up this kind of system to my water well pump and/or house lights. My electricity goes out a couple of times a year due to storms and I would like to have a backup system other than solar or gas generators.

RV (recreational vehicle) stores sell 12 DC battery operated TV’s. One body pedaling is not going to produce much power. 100 to 300 watts is my current guess. Don't figure on running anything but essentials. Takes too much labor-energy. It takes battery storage and a DC to AC inverter to run most well pumps (unless it says AC and DC on it). Incandescent lights will run on 120 V DC. This would take 10 charged batteries in series. Florescent lights will not work on DC, so an inverter would be needed. Note: I recommend you use a slow speed permanent magnet DC motor. It makes the most efficient generators. Car Alternators waist a lot of current making a magnetic field in the field coils.

Offered by Mike.

Its easy to purchase 12 volt DC light bulbs that will operate just fine with one battery. It is easy to use regular household bulbs that screw in and look just like AC bulbs. Usually the 12 volt bulbs come in 25 watt to 75 watt sizes. Any good electrical supply store will have them. I use them regularly in my school bus for when I am not close to normal household 120 AC. Just change your lamp to the 12 volt bulb when you need it. I have a regular 14 foot extension cord with a cigarette lighter car adapter replacing the male plug and can use a TV, VCR (12 V DC - Walmart has them), and lights ( I prefer smaller house lamps for portability). I always have a least one spare deep cycle marine/auto battery fully charged and in reserve so that I can always start my bus, but normally can go several 5-6 hour evenings without draining a good battery. I have seen many homesteaders use bicycle type and even VW engines to charge batteries. Many , like myself even have 12 V DC refrigerators.

Offered by Woodie.