Pedal Power

What if your bicycle could help power your neighborhood?
That’s the idea behind S-Park, a system that uses kinetic energy harnessed
from bicycles to generate public electricity.

Designers Guillaume Roukhomovsky and Blaž Verhnjak came up with the idea as part of Amsterdam’s “Clean Energy Challenge”. Their invention is a special front wheel that can easily be installed into any bicycle frame.

As the bike is ridden, the wheel stores the energy expended from cycling and braking, in its batteries. When the rider returns home, the bike is parked in a special communal bike rack, that’s plugged into the local power grid.

The battery’s energy is then deposited into the area’s electrical infrastructure, providing clean electricity to power streetlights or run home appliances.

The front wheel can stay on the bike for long periods of time, acting just like any other bike wheel, and the system doesn’t require the rider to change their regular habits. This energy is already being generated, S-Park has simply found a way to capture it and bring it back home.

The designers estimate that a rack of 30 bicycles with an average commute of two miles a day, could generate about one kilowatt-hour per day.
In a city where 68% of its residents commute on bicycles, S-Park has the potential to power thousands of homes.

The City of Amsterdam has pledged that 25% of its electricity will be sustainably generated by the year 2025, and has committed to investing about $100 million dollars in biking infrastructure in the near future.

While S-Park is still in the design phase, several interested companies are already reaching out to help them bring the concept to life.

With over two million bike racks in Amsterdam, harnessing the existing, free bicycling energy, is a genius way to bring power back to the people who are actually making it.