Using Your Head for Renewable Energy: Solar Bike Helmet

If you’re already riding your bike to work to reduce your environmental impact, why not take it one step further and use the ride to charge your gadgets? Pragnesh Dudhaiya and Aalok Bhatt, two engineering students from the Nirma University of Ahmedabad, India, developed a bike helmet that allows bike riders to use wind and solar energy to charge a cell phone during the morning commute.

The pair came up with the design in an impressive three days, and although it still needs some refinement it’s well on the way to becoming the most useful – albeit nerdiest – bike helmet out there. Just a 40-minute commute is enough to charge a phone with the built-in solar cells and wind energy-generating fan.

If the pair are able to patent and market their invention, they hope that it will encourage more people to ride their bikes, use clean energy, and use safety gear when biking. They plan to be able to sell it for around $22, which would make the device one of the most affordable personal alternative energy generators around…and pretty affordable for a bike helmet, too.

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See more in Energy & Power or under Science. May, 2010.