Over the last 6 months or so we’ve been trying our youwatt power monitor. The idea is simple: the youwatt is an electronic device that sits between your bicycle trainer and whatever you are powering, for example a bank of light bulbs. It reads the voltage and amps of the energy flowing from the bicycle generator to the load.
The youwatt is connected to a laptop via the USB port. Based on this information the software is easily about to derive watts and watt-hours. Armed with this display, educators are about the get people pedalling as see just how much power they can produce.
Many groups who have used this have built their own display from zero to a thousand watts. When people compete; their name goes onto the display next to the power level. The beauty of this system is that it enables educators to easily compare the human effort to everyday appliances and really demonstrates just how much energy is required to power event the smaller of household objects. Kids especially will come back time and time again to try to beat their scores; it's a really fun way to engage children about energy appreciation.