Wheel Surfer: A Device to Recharge Batteries from Mechanical Motion; Alternative Energy for the Future: Are Solar Panels Here to Stay?

Shiu, Michael, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Norton, Peter, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia
Momot, Michael, EN-Mech/Aero Engr Dept, University of Virginia

Renewable energy, the fastest-growing energy source in the United States, may slow the devastating effects of climate change.
Mechanical energy from human movement may yield clean and useful electric power. The research team designed a prototype marketable product with which a cyclist can produce electricity mechanically while biking. Drawings and SolidWorks 3D Cad renderings were prepared, a cost analysis of materials and electrical components was conducted, and a prototype was fabricated and tested. The first prototype maintained a charged battery on an iPhone. Two DC motors were mounted to a spindle wheel, encased in a 3D printed packaging. In a drop test, no damage to the device’s internal electronics was incurred. This proof of concept demonstrates that power-generating gadgets may tap useful power from human movement.
Solar energy is the fastest-growing electricity source in the United States. California is the nation’s leader in solar energy, yet sustainability policies, net metering, and the environmental impacts of solar arrays are controversial. Interest groups representing old and new energy sources compete for market share, while others demand cleaner sources of energy for sustainability. Policies favoring solar energy succeed when they take into account the interests of major participants.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Michael Shiu, Mechanical, Solar Energy, Wheel Surfer, Bike

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Technical Advisor: Michael Momot
STS Advisor: Peter Norton
Technical Team Members: Michael Shiu, Jonathan Moon, Dylan Ishikawa, David Braatz

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