New to forum and Arduino circuits. Basically, I've not much electronics experience at this level, but have the capacity to learn :o . I work for a school district and hope to pick up a teacher or two with more electronics background, but until then I'm hoping for some advice on a bike-powered project.
I've a stationary bike-powered generator that puts out anywhere from 12 to 48 volts DC, depending on how fast the rider pedals. With middle school students, they produce around a steady 24-30 volts. It has a rectifier and we do okay with powering strings of LEDs connected directly, so long as the strings are long enough to absorb the voltage. We would like to develop greater applications, including a circuit-building kit that is powered by the bike generator. We do have a power converter that has a bank of capacitors and a transformer to produce AC voltage, but wanted to see if we could use the DC power directly off the bike somehow. Here are some specific questions:
1) What Arduino kit would be a good place to start that would allow students to develop 4 or 5 different circuit projects (e.g., lighting LEDs, running a fan, etc.).
2) What "regulator" mechanism would be needed to control the voltage output and provide steady power to the Arduino board without burning it up. I know I could simply attach batteries to absorb the voltage, but wanted to see if we could do it without batteries or capacitors. Maybe that's just not feasible.
3) Any suggestions on projects that use the Arduino system and the bike generator?
Thanks in advance for any help. Rusty