Recharging mobiles with an electric bicycle

The pupils of Maatulli Elementary School can now recharge their mobile phones using their own pedal power. Helsingin Energia donated the school an electricity-generating exercise bike built at a power plant workshop.

Last spring, Maatulli Elementary School, which has been commended for its energy saving activities, was granted with Helsingin Energia’s Energy Bonus award. The school was planning to spend the award money on an electricity-generating exercise bike. Helsingin Energia discovered that it would be possible to recycle old spinning bicycles used in the gym and, as a result, an electric bike was built at the workshop in Hanasaari.

A charger was attached to the bike chains at the workshop. A mobile phone or tablet can be connected to the charger with a USB lead, and the device can be recharged as the bicycle is being pedalled. When a light bulb is connected to the bike, the harder you pedal, the brighter the light will be.

- The teachers and pupils were very excited about the electric bike. When I asked how many pupils would like to test the bike, almost all of the 300 children raised their hands, describes Environmental Specialist Pirjo Jantunen who handed the bicycle over to the school.

- When you pedal a bicycle, you realise that it is not all that easy to generate energy, and therefore it is worth saving it. You really have to put some effort into pedalling to be able to recharge a mobile phone, Jantunen explains.

Another electric bike built at Helsingin Energia will be donated to the Enterprise Society in the Museum of Technology, and a third one will be reserved for use at events and fairs.

Vili Tuittu, pupil of class 5b at Maatulli Elementary School, has pedalling power:

Published: 08.11.2013 13:16

Seija Uusitalo
Team manager, communications