The goal of the Engineering committee for Coastalong this year is to bring awareness to solar energy at UCLA. In previous years, we have focused on bike-powered energy. This year, we still have the same goal: to teach people about alternative energy sources. However, in addition to bike-powered energy, we want to make solar power a focus. Solar-powered lights and phone chargers, which will be built for Coastalong, are an alternative energy source that everyone can use in their daily lives.
Solar lights will be used to add visibility at night to the festival. This will be powered on the sun alone, and will not need extraneous energy. Solar-powered energy at Coastalong will show our attendees that solar power is a sustainable and inexpensive source of energy that they can adopt in their everyday lives.
SO... HOW DO GENERATORS WORK?
There are many ways to build a bicycle generator. Differences depend on power needs, your level of complexity, your price range, and of course your creativity. Somewhat counterintuitively, more complex generators can be less efficient due to power losses in electrical parts. Coastalong 2013 showcased both a simple, low-budget DIY student generator to power a blender and a more refined, complex system of ten generators from Rock the Bike to power the sound system.
Bicycle generators utilize energy conversion processes to create a renewable energy cycle!