“The alternative-energy tree won’t be sucking up electricity from Indiana Michigan’s power grid. Rather, visitors to the Festival of Trees will be allowed to hop on a bike connected to a generator and pedal away. The generator creates energy that goes into a power pack that lights the tree.
Because the power pack can store energy, the strand of lights will stay on for a while even when no one is pedaling. When the power starts running low, an alarm will sound indicating it’s time to start pedaling again.”
Maybe Children’s Museum, maybe Science Center, but a cool exhibit would be a bike-driven generator that lets kids choose to run one of three light strings, (A) Old-style incandescent bulb string,
( Newer incandescent bulb string (mini-lights),
(C) String of LED lights
with “B” and “C” run off of a small-capacity battery pack. With “A” going out as soon as the pedals stop, “B” going out in a few seconds, and “C” staying on for upwards of a couple of minutes, it might help kids visualize power usage concepts we’d like to get across.
Toronto’s Ontario Science Center had a bike-driven set of 100-watt bulbs that you had to about half kill yourself to keep lit, back about 1972, so this shouldn’t be too hard to do today.