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Energy Generation
Electrical Signal
Energy Usage
Remember: Power Units

1 hp
2545 Btu/hr
550 ft-lbs/sec
178.2 cal/sec
745.7 watts
Household Energy Usage
Energy Hogs
4400 watts Clothes dryer (electric)
4400 watts Electric oven
3800 watts Water heater (electric)
3500 watts Central Air Conditioner (2.5 tons)
1500 watts Microwave oven
1500 watts Toaster (four-slot)
900 watts Coffee maker
800 watts Range burner
500-1440 watts Window unit air conditioner
200-700 watts Refrigerator
140-330 watts Desktop Computer & 17" CRT monitor
1-20 watts Desktop Computer & Monitor (in sleep mode)
45 watts Laptop computer
4-165 watts Video game (30W for PS2, 70W for XBox, and 165W for XBox 360)
55-90 watts 19" television
U.S. Household Energy Consumption:
The amount of carbon dioxide (CO) emitted from a power plant generating
enough electricity for the average American home for one year is nearly twice
the amount of CO generated by the average family car in a year.

Annual household lighting use: 2,100 kilowatt-hours (kwh)

Annual household electricity use: 10,660 kwh / household

Emissions factor: 1.58 pounds CO2 / kwh

Annual household emissions: 22,880 pounds CO2 / year

Car emissions factor: 11,500 pounds CO2 / car / year

Number of U.S. households: 109,902,090

Total Annual U.S. household energy use: ~1200 billion kwh / year

Power output of one power plant: ~4 billion kwh / year

Sources: Census Bureau, Energy Information Administration, Environmental

Protection Agency
Humans as Energy Sources
Energy Generation and Storage

Power = Voltage * Current

Energy = Power * Time, or

E (t ) P( ) d
E (n t ) P1 t P2 t P3 t Pn t

Windstream DC generator
DC ammeter

DC voltmeter

portable power pack
Humans as energy sources

2008-11-20,, John Tetz

How Much Power Can a Human Supply
Producing 1800 watts for a few seconds should be within the range of
the best power lifters and perhaps for up to a minute. Remember 1 watt
means applying a force of 1 newton through a distance of 1 meter in 1
second. So if you lifted 1 kg, that's 9.8 newtons of force, about 10
newtons, for 1 meter in 1 second, that would be 10 watts. So lifting
180 kg, 1 meter high in 1 second would be 1800 watts.

The best power lifters can do squats of several times their body
weight for 1 rep. Let's say the power lifter weighed 100 kg, about 220
lbs. He might be able to do 3 times his weight for a single rep. That
would be 300 kg. But remember he's actually raising his own weight as
well. So he's actually lifting 4 times his weight, 400 kg for this one
rep. For a male of average height, he might be raising this over a
distance of 1 meter.

So doing 1800 watts of power for one minute would be like giving this
power lifter a weight of only 60 kg (for a total weight of 180 kg) and
doing squats with this light weight for the high number of reps of 1
per second over one minute. This would be possible for a
weight so much lighter than their usual 1 rep maximum weight.
Paul Cassel <>
Available Muscle Power

The average "in-shape" cyclist can produce about 3 watts/kg

for more than an hour (e.g., around 200 watts for a 70 kg
rider), with top amateurs producing 5 watts/kg and elite
athletes achieving 6 watts/kg for similar lengths of time.

Elite track sprint cyclists are able to attain an instantaneous

maximum output of around 2,000 watts, or in excess of 25
watts/kg; elite road cyclists may produce 1,600 to 1,700 watts
as an instantaneous maximum in their burst to the finish line
at the end of a five-hour long road race.

Two Types of Muscle Fibers

Every muscle is made up of two types of fibers. Fast-twitch fibers move

2 to 3 times faster than slow-twitch fibers, but they tire more easily.
Fast-twitch fibers, logically, are used for sprinting and quick ascents.
Inversely, slow-twitch fibers are used for long rides of moderate
Most people have half slow-twitch and half fast-twitch fibers in their
muscles. However, genetics again plays a role. Some long-distance
runners have as much as 80 percent slow twitch fibers, while sprinters
tend to have more fast-twitch fibers.
How do I convert Watts to Calories burned?
First keep in mind that Watts and Calories are two different units of measurement
that can't be directly converted back and forth. However if you use Watt-Hours
instead of just "Watts" you then have a way to convert to calories. Here are the
Convert Watt-Hours to Watt-Seconds (Joules), then convert Joules to Calories, then
adjust Calories with human body efficiency factor.
So for this example let's assume that you provide pedal power to a 100 Watt
television for one hour. Since one Joule is equal to one Watts X Seconds you
perform dimensional analysis and get:
100Watt-hours X (3600 seconds / 1 Hour) = 360,000 J
Now use the conversion factor: 1 cal = 4.184 J to convert Joules to Calories
360,000 J / 4.184 = 86,042 Calories
When you look at the label of Oreo cookies or other food items at the store, the term
"Calories" is really (kilo-Calories). So you divide by 1000 to get 86 Calories.
Assuming that your body is about 25% efficient when cycling you divide by 0.25:
Calories burned running a 100 Watt Television for 1 hour = 86 / 0.25 = 344 which is
about equivalent to one piece of PIZZA!
How Far Do You Want to Go?

It takes less energy to bicycle one mile than it takes

to walk a mile. In fact, a bicycle can be up to 5 times
more efficient than walking. If we compare the
amount of calories burned in bicycling to the number
of calories an automobile burns, the difference is
One hundred calories can power a cyclist for three
miles, but it would only power a car 280 feet (85
Energy Usage and Speeds

Electric bicycles are
even more efficient
than human powered

This is because
humans need to eat,
and our US food
supply chain is highly

This chart shows that

the (food supply)-to-
(human mechanical
output) is only
about 2.5% efficient.

Notice that humans

are only about
25% efficient in
converting food to
mechanical output.
Some other
pedal powered possibilities
Pedal Powered Blender
Pedal Powered Cell Phones
Pedal Powered Boat
Pedal Powered Washer
Pedal Powered Water Pump
The ASME 2009 Human Powered Vehicle Challenge East and West competitions have been confirmed!

HPVC East will be hosted by Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA from April 17-19, 2009.
HPVC West will be hosted by Portland State University in Portland, OR from May 1-3, 2009.

Click here to view revised rules for the 2009 Human Powered Vehicle Challenge! For further details on the 2009
competitions, please continue to check this website or visit the HPV Peerlink site.

Results are in for the 2008 HPVC Latin America, which took place September 2-4, 2008 in Maracaibo, Venezuela!

Visit the HPVC Results page for complete details on all three HPVC 2008 competitions. Email us at

Human Powered Vehicles are aerodynamic, highly engineered vehicles that may be for use on land, in the water or the air.
Some land-based HPV's have achieved speeds of over 60 mph. ASME sponsors the Human Powered Vehicle Competition
in hopes of finding a design that can be used for everyday activities ranging from commuting to and from work to going to
the grocery store. Senior engineering students can use this competition for their capstone project and with their efforts
design and construct a fast, sleek, and safe vehicle capable of road use.

The point of the competition is the elegance and ingenuity of the design, including presentation, practicality and safety. All
areas of engineering problem-solving are addressed - it's not as simple as it appears to design and build these vehicles.
And the competition itself is great fun for the team.

The vehicles are judged on design, safety and performance. The first stage of the competition is the preparation of a
comprehensive design report. The second part of the competition includes design presentation and performance events,
held over a weekend where the vehicles race against one another in time trials and an endurance event.
There are three different vehicle classes:
Single Rider - operated and powered by a single individual
Multi-rider - operated and powered by two or more individuals
Utility - vehicle designed for every-day transportation for such activities as commuting to work or school,
shopping trips, and general transportation
The rider (or riders) can be in upright, prone or recumbent positions. The single and tandem vehicles compete in sprint and
endurance events. The practical vehicle emphasizes the usefulness of the vehicle for daily activities such as shopping,
transportation or recreation. The practical vehicles must negotiate a slalom course with the challenge of carrying packages,
going over bumps, potholes or other obstacles while stopping at signs and obeying the rules of the road.
U.S. Energy Usage
Energy Information Administration,, 2008-11-20
Energy Generation: Choices
The total solar energy absorbed by Earth's atmosphere,
oceans and land masses is approximately 3,850 zettajoules
(ZJ) per year.

In 2002, this was more energy in one hour than the world
used in one year !?!

The amount of solar energy reaching the surface of the

planet is so vast that in one year it is about twice as much as
will ever be obtained from all of the Earth's non-renewable
resources of coal, oil, natural gas, and mined uranium
combined. From Wikipedia, 2008-11-20,