Pedaling for a Purpose: The Sustainable Sound System

We have seen bikes that are made out of bamboo, bikes that transport kegs, even bikes that can shift gears using one’s mind – but these bikes are used to power a musical concert.

It is called the Sustainable Sound System and it is a clean audio and lighting system powered by humans pedaling away on bikes and used by the local Boston band Melodeego.

The set up is rather simple; benches with bikes mounted to them that are wired into a main box that manages and stores the power. The pedal power is harnessed by small generators attached to each bolted down bike frame.

While the band plays, people from the audience are invited on stage to pedal the bikes and keep the energy flowing that power the band’s instruments, sound system, and lights. For Melodeego, people are what make the music happen.

Inventor Sean Stevens says that one person can sustain about 100 watts of power on their own without breaking much of a sweat. Five people can amass enough wattage to power a small live show as demonstrated recently at Occupy Boston.  An iPod can even be attached to the Sustainable Sound System and as a person pedals the music plays.

All of the parts needed to build the Sustainable Sound System were easy to procure and it is such a do it yourself project it would be easy to duplicate.

The bike powered sound system spoke to Melodeego because one goal for the band is to get off fossil fuels. Since the band formed, Melodeego has staged bike powered shows at colleges, environmental rallies, and the Massachusetts State House. The band has also raised funds as they develop a ten bike system that will be independently mobile.

By relying on people powered bikes and not needing to plug into a wall, Melodeego is free to set up a show wherever they please. This is not only convenient for the band, but it also makes a statement by showing what limitations can be broken by thinking outside the box and what can be done when people break their reliance on fossil fuels.

Source: wbur.org | Photos by: Andrea Shea/WBUR

Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail.

 

 

Andrew Meggison

Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor's Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master's Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMeggison