Assume I have a small bicycle generator which usually feeds the front and back LED/light bulbs. Powering a small gadget from this generator should well be possible.
The setup would involve a full-wave bridge rectifier followed by some sort of regulator. However, the rectifier output voltage does vary wildly depending on speed and load:
- low speed and/or high load by lighting: low rectifier output voltage
- high speed and/or lighting switched off or defective: high output voltage
The first case is non critical and simply means that I need some sort of battery backup and/or a boost converter for hold-up power while going slow or standing.
The second case is more critical since it dictates the voltage rating of regulator and capacitors. And I wonder: Is there a clever way to limit the voltage and or current of a bridge rectifier?
I considered zener diodes but these would dissipate quite a lot of power and I wonder wether there is a more clever way.