An Amsterdam-based design duo have envisioned a way that enables cyclists to generate sustainable electricity in Amsterdam via their bicycles.
The innovative project, entitled S-PACK, is a bike rack which turns the energy produced by people on their bikes, into electricity for their own neighbourhood. The idea. which was conceived of by designers and cyclists Guillaume Roukhomovsky and Blaž Verhnjak, involves placing a special front wheel on people’s bikes.
Once installed, the special wheel stores the energy generated while cycling and braking in batteries. And at the end of the day, when everyone comes back home and parks their bike, the energy is then redistributed into the neighbourhood’s electrical grid, providing enough clean electricity to power all the surrounding streetlights, to play video games, or power a fridge for a full day.
Every day, Amsterdammers cycle a total of 2 million kilometers. When people pedal to work, to the gym, or to the other side of the city, An average of 19.5 million watt-hours is generated when people in the city use their bikes, according to S-PARK designers Guillaume Roukhomovsky and Blaž Verhnjak.
For a rack of 30 bikes, with an average cycled distance of 3.6 km per person everyday, S-PARK would harvest around 1kWh. That would mean 615 kg less CO2 released in the air.
The S-PARK is designed to fit perfectly in the Amsterdam cityscape, making a clean energy infrastructure part of the environment. Like electrons coming together as a stream, neighbours are coming together around an initiative that saves money and generates clean electricity.
Amsterdam has pledged that 25% of its electricity will be sustainably generated by 2025. But in the city centre, packed with monuments and protected buildings, solar panels are not permitted. Other infrastructure necessary for the transition, like electricity substations and transformers, are way too big to fit.
Guillaume Roukhomovsky and Blaž Verhnjak came up with their solution, S-PARK, as part of Amsterdam’s WhatDesignCanDo Clean Energy Challenge, a call for creatives to rethink how clean energy could be generated in a way that aligns with the cultural and historical values of the city.
In a statement, the duo said: “By hijacking the city’s bike racks, the S-PARK is not only implementing a clean energy system without the need for new spaces, or new behaviours; it is also celebrating and empowering the famous cycling culture of Amsterdam, bridging the demands of a post-fossil future with the most deep-rooted habit of the city: pedaling.”
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea