So, you've got some creative types, some amplifiers, and some instruments, but no power supply - what do you do? Thankfully for those looking to hear some sweet tunes at this year's European Solar Decathlon, the Ciclalabs team has come to the rescue with a solution that will keep the music playing! Using a bit of pedal-power, they found all they needed to keep crowds entertained and calories burning. Showcasing their mobile entertainment center at the Villa Solar in Madrid, we got a firsthand look at their impressive setup. The Ciclalabs team have been visiting various festivals throughout the year, as well as setting up impromptu gigs across Madrid, but here they bravely let us have a go at spinning some tunes ourselves!
Utilizing the combined power of a couple of efficient photovoltaic panels and bicycles employed as dynamos, the Ciclalab team provided the crowds with music and entertainment all weekend. Both the panels and the bikes are connected to a 12v car battery, and via an inverter they create the required power to run the amplification, the instruments, the turntables and a film projector.
Running a simple turntable linked to a computer library of tunes gave anyone on site the chance to live out their superstar DJ dreams. Mixing tunes, loops and adding effects were fairly simple to learn, not to mention very entertaining!
The bikes have no back wheel, and therefore the pedal power generated is used to help charge the battery unit, acting as a simple dynamo. The Madrid heat didn’t prove to be too much of a barrier, and people were happy to add their muscle to the collective effort of keeping the music going!
This basic design for a mobile generator has long been used to stage music, theatre and film, as well as powering lighting. Throughout the year, Ciclalabs has taken their mobile stage to plenty of festivals across Spain, and during the Solar Decathlon the station functioned as a DJ workshop, a hip-hop open mic session, a capoeira display, as well as mode to watch films on the big screen. The transient nature of their set-up means they can organize gigs and film showings in a varied array of places, and so long as people are willing to add a bit of pedal power, their electricity supply knows no bounds!