When riding a stationary bicycle, it easy to feel as though you aren’t getting anywhere or doing much of anything other than managing a quick workout. The cardio is great, but what if you could capture the energy generated by all that pedaling? Instructables member KlockworkKevin has created an ingenious bike-powered generator hidden inside his patio furniture. When not in use, it is a colorful porch appointment that can be easily transformed into a power-making machine. As an added bonus to being unassuming and out-of-the-way, the generator is quieter than the previous models he built using noisy cordless drills.

KlockworkKevin was amazingly able to fabricate his generator without making any major modifications to the bicycle. To work, the table is flipped over onto its side and functions as a front wheel rest that stabilizes the bike. The table cover and pedal generator were all built from scrap wood and a treadmill found on the street. The only items he needed to purchase were a Deep Cycle Marine Battery for power storage, a 400-watt inverter, and some odds and ends he couldn’t find through E-waste to build his own voltage regulator. A full set of step-by-step instructions are available on his Instructables page.

For his next project, KlockworkKevin hopes to add a charge controller so that he can attach solar panels or a wind turbine as well as more batteries to his clever contraption. His project is currently an entry into the Instructables Green Design Contest. There is still time to contribute to the competition with your own environmentally-friendly inventions.

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Via TreeHugger