I teach 6th grade physical science. My electronics knowledge is limited. I have a bike powered generator from windstream power, and I have it hooked up to a board with light sockets so students can feel the difference between different kinds of bulbs. The students easily generate 120 volts, and can sustain .5 amps to power 60 watts of bulbs.
Problem one: I'd like to be able to have LED bulbs in the mix (Philips 12.5 watt, 110 volt edison base), but the voltage is too unpredictable. My understanding is that fluctuating voltage will damage them. The generator is capable of producing 150+ volts. Am I looking for a voltage regulator? Does it need to regulate minimum and maximum?
I also have a battery pack with an inverter from the same company, but it's giving me problems and I'd rather dispense with the battery altogether. I don't want to deal with the maintenance issues, and the battery seems to make it harder for the students to understand the whole system.
Problem two: What's the best way to build an array of LED lights that could be run continuously off of the generator. I'd like to have enough storage (in a capacitor maybe?) that the lights would stay on for a few seconds while one student gets off the bike and another gets on. I'd rather not have a battery. The purpose of this is to "light" the room for a day while teaching about other subjects. I put that in quotes because 60 watts of even the most efficient LED's is a little dim for my classroom. The lesson for the kids is to gain an awareness of how much power we're consuming regularly. I can't use incandescents for this purpose because my room has no windows and it would be too dark. I'm looking for bright white LED's as the most efficient lighting source. The reason I'd like to have the lights stay on while the students switch on and off the bike is because otherwise it will be too dark in the room.