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Latino Daily News

Sunday November 27, 2011

Mexico Debuts Bicycle-Powered Lighted Christmas Tree

Mexico Debuts Bicycle-Powered Lighted Christmas Tree

Photo: Navidad Sustentable in Puebla, Mexico

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

A Christmas tree whose 8,000 lights get their electricity from the kinetic energy of 15 bicycles has been lighted in the Mexican state of Puebla, officials said Sunday.

The tree is being showcased at the “Navidad Sustentable” (Sustainable Christmas) fair at a park in Puebla city, where visitors can pedal the 15 bicycles surrounding the Christmas tree, charging the batteries that provide electricity for the lights.

“Each bicycle has a generator attached to the rear tire that when it moves generates from 100 to 350 Watts, charging the two batteries, which allow us to light the Christmas tree for 45 straight minutes,” CocoLab representative Rudy Laddaga told Efe.

The bicycles must be pedaled at a speed of between 20 kph (12 mph) and 30 kph (19 mph) for about eight hours to charge the batteries so the tree’s lights will stay on all night, Laddaga said.

The energy produced by people pedaling the 15 bicycles for eight hours is enough to light 60 rooms with 100-Watt bulbs, Laddaga said.

When 15 people pedal the bicycles simultaneously, the Christmas tree plays a song “that conveys the idea that together, if we agree, we can generate savings and benefits for the environment,” Laddaga said.

The LED lights on the tree can remain on for about 4,000 hours, compared to 2,000 hours for conventional bulbs.

The use of clean energy is less costly in the medium term because LED lights can produce savings of from 50 percent to 90 percent, Laddaga said.