Adults (18+)

Adult workshop

MR facilitates adult workshops for those interested in learning the ins and outs of pedal power generators.  Our workshops have a good balance of theory and hands-on experience. Participants can discover how to use their own bike as part of a small power station, capable of powering computers, stereos, TVs and other small household appliances.

Participants will take turns in constructing 3 different types of pedal powered systems. The 3 scenarios provide  insight into the various equipment used in renewable systems and the pros and cons of these systems.  Basic D.I.Y skills are an advantage but are not essential to take part in any of our workshops.

Participants will find out about:

  • Basic system design
  • Load assessment
  • Power generation
  • Electricity storage using batteries
  • Conversion of DC to AC electricity by inverters
  • Control and monitoring of power.

There is a possibility to run a workshop where participants leave with their own generator at the end. However, these inquire extra costs in materials and planning.

Our adult workshops last between 3 hours to a full day. Group sizes are flexible as we can provide more than 1 tutor per workshop. The maximum number of participants however shouldn’t exceed 18 persons to ensure that everyone has a good learning experience.

We’re happy to develop and run workshops tailored specifically to various organisations and/or events (e.g. build your own 12V sound system). You can inquire and request more details via contact us.


“Thanks so much for putting together the Mag Rev workshops and letting me come down to share in the experience. You guys have a really good thing going: it’s the basics of making energy brought to life in clear and memorably replicable ways.

There was this magical (magnificent?) moment when I watched the back wheel of a bike rotating as power passed back from a capacitor (without diode ) into the motor. Transcendental stuff!

Your presentation is clear enough that I left with my own ideas of how I can use the knowledge you provided, rather than just imitating what you do. This must be the hallmark of good teaching.”

Tom Besley, Resonance FM

“All the equipment was on hand and it worked and I was amazed that they got all three groups to construct all three projects – a testament to their organisational powers and good timekeeping. There were 75% women attending the course so it was the first time around that 80% of them had handled wire strippers and done plug wiring.

Probably the most experienced trainers I have encountered on any of the workshops I have attended this year.”

Liam – LILI Secret Shopper

“The workshop was well attended, with over 20 people participating (including delegates, teachers and helpers). There was lots of lively debate and interactions between everyone. We covered some basic electronics, and had a good look at all the components which make up a pedal power generator.

We split into three teams and each team looked at a different type of generator. In true participatory style, we all had a go at cutting and crimping wires; testing the circuitry and voltage; riding the bike and adjusting the regulator.

We made a sound system from a DC car amplifier, using a wind turbine capacitor, which could store enough power to keep the PA system going for 5 minutes (wow). We got the motor output polarity wrong and almost blew the circuit. Shaun quickly picked up on our “mistakes are great” mantle.

Our next task was to connect an inverter to our generator, so we could plug in any AC appliance. But what could we realistically run using only one bike. We plugged in an energy efficient light bulb and easily got it running. We then plugged in an ordinary light bulb, and all of a sudden it became really hard work to keep it lit.

On average we realised we could easily produce 30W, peaking at 50W to 60W. This time our capacitor could only hold 1 second of charge, so it was obvious when we were not producing enough power. We then tried plugging in a cheap inverter. The inverter was made for a specific purpose (to charge appliances via a car battery). As soon as the input voltage dropped outside the expected range (approx 12v), it shut down and made a horrible beep. We adjusted the regulator to make sure we did not exceed the 12v, but soon realised the inverter also shut down when there was too little power. So the conclusion was this type of inverter is almost impossible to use in this scenario.

Our last set up was to make a battery charger. We learnt the difference between deep cycle lead batteries and car batteries.

We had lots of fun, learnt a lot, and raised £50 for the Lambeth Hub.”

Insightshare London Hub, Rakaish

Page last updated on October 7, 2010 at 4:43 pm