This Revolutionary Wheel (‘Super’wheel) Significantly Improves Cycling Efficiency
We are seeing an era where electric vehicles are gaining popularity with each passing day. However, the value proposition is not quite strong when it comes to selling electric bicycles – the main reasons being:
- The very purpose of cycling is lost if the bicycle is made completely electric.
- The battery needs to be recharged at regular intervals that again need either a human effort or grid support.
- The battery pack cannot be stuffed beyond a particular capacity as it adds unnecessary weight.
But now an Irish company is looking to enhance the cycling experience with considerably improved efficiency by literally not just reinventing the wheel but reinventing the bike.
This revolutionary wheel (named Superwheel) is an invention of Simon Chan, Founder of the Superwheel System. It’s a bicycle wheel with built-in power assistance technology.
The science behind the Tech
The Superwheel system uses the patented ‘Weight to energy conversion technology’ that is responsible for improving cycling efficiency.
It is the first technology that uses the reaction force from the ground in response to weight and generates additional energy resulting in an improvement in cycling efficiency.
The action/reaction force caused by your body-weight compresses the springs in the upper section of the wheel and decompresses in the lower section.
The reaction force from the ground (the action is the human body weight) is transferred to the system. Using the center as the pivot helps to reduce the effective frictional force in the opposite direction and thus facilitates rotation.
SuperWheel, while rotating, continuously diverts this reactive force of your body-weight to the springs located on the upper section of the wheel. If the wheel is seen as a clock, the spring compresses from approx. 9 to 12 o’clock position and decompresses from 12 to 9 o’clock position.
The compression and decompression of the spring mechanism during rotation creates an impact on the rim section providing additional momentum for the rotation. The SuperWheel (WTECT) consists of two mechanisms- the external springs mechanism and the patent-pending Internal drive system – both powered by the reactive force of weight during rotation and responsible for simple and reliable power assistance; enabling a comfortable ride.
The inspiration behind the Innovation
Inspired by the Power-steering system of his father’s new truck, the founder Simon Chan dreamt of developing a bicycle that could fully utilize human power and began his developmental work when he was 14 years old.
He says that the inspiration for this development concept can be seen in a car wheel. The center to 6 o’clock position is shorter than the lines from the center to any positions. “What if this was applied to a wheel mechanism?” was the question he wanted to be answered.
Capabilities that Make this Tech Revolutionary
The following are the benefits that you get from the superwheel:
- Reliable, robust, and low maintenance
- Gives you more than a 30% power boost compared to a standard bicycle without any additional power source
- Has no battery, charging, or range problems. Provides for an unlimited range
- No Maximum power-assisted speed limit. Power-assistance is unlimited
- Environmental friendly and no toxic e-waste is generated
- It’s sustainable, Not just for a few years but forever.
- Lightweight and without a battery means you can take your bike anywhere.
Other Potential Applications
- If this revolutionary wheel is scaled and adapted for power generation, it has the potential to increase the efficiency of power plants (at least for captive power-generation applications). For the same power input, the amount of output power can be increased using just the weight of the rotor. However, the technology needs to be adapted to be made suitable for power generation.
- It can also provide power-assistance to gravity-based energy storage systems. The energy spent on lifting the weight for storing energy can be reduced to an extent.