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# Hamster based power generation conversion tables

How does your new energy generation idea stack up to a generator attached to your hamster's running wheel?
 (+17, -1) [vote for, against]

Whenever you're looking at a potential energy source you need to consider the amount of power your getting to see if it's worth your while. For instance, you could hook a generator up to your hamster's running wheel, but would it be worth it? This should be the basic unit of measurement for any bad power idea. Tables based on hamster power could be used to cross reference other bad power generation ideas.

Let's look at how much hamster you'd need to power a house. Since there are so many clever engineer types on the h.b., I know I post these numbers at my own peril but here's what my tables look like for starters. My base is 1 hp = 746 watts = 550 lbs falling 1 ft for 1 second, so to power an average house, you'd need a 550 pound hamster running about 3 miles an hour in an 8 ft wheel. That's a big-ass hamster.

Now here's where somebody might point out that my numbers are wildly off, but that's not the point. You could get by with a smaller hamster, say 225 pounds, but he'd need to run twice as fast, say 6 mph. By the time you get to a hamster of any reasonable size, say 25 pounds, he'd have to be running about 60 miles per hour. Even that's one badass hamster. So knowing this, whenever your kid, your 60s hippy in laws or some politician comes up with a radical new energy source, like strapping a harness onto the goldfish in order to power the refrigerator, you can whip out your hamster power calculation tables to learn 'em the folly of their ways.

"Well, Bobby, I know Grandpa's farts really pack a punch, but if we were to harness that energy as you've suggested, by strapping a methane burning turbo-generator to his walker, we'd only have a power source equal to a 5 pound hamster running ten miles per hour in his generator wheel, not nearly enough to electrocute your sister."

 — doctorremulac3, May 25 2005

How James Watt left his mark http://auto.howstuf....com/horsepower.htm
Horsepower definition [Ling, May 27 2005, last modified Jan 31 2016]

hamster powers... http://www.otherpower.com/hamster.html
one night light [TheLightsAreOnBut, Mar 12 2007]

The hamster power (hP) standard comes of age. http://edgefactor.c...h-of-hamster-power/
It's looking like hP is becoming an actual, useful unit of measurement. Where's my Nobel prize? I want to hang out with Gore and do bong-hits. [doctorremulac3, Jan 09 2008]

(?) More on hP http://www.newscien...s?id=mg19325862.300
Everything you need to know and then some. [doctorremulac3, Jan 09 2008]

Mice frog slug doing the wheel, just for fun.. https://www.theguar...stereotypy-neurosis
[not_morrison_rm, Jan 30 2016]

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Annotation:

A good idea, but perhaps we should stick to a specified number of average sized hampsters. But hey, that's just me.
 — justaguy, May 25 2005

Horsepower would be too easily confused with Hamsterpower.
 — Laimak, May 25 2005

 Even a 25lb hamster would be something I wouldn't want anywhere near my house and, especially, if he could run 60mph.

 I am curious about why the hamster has to weigh 550lbs. The hamster isn't falling.

Hmm. This does give me an idea, though.
 — bristolz, May 25 2005

Actually, the inclined side of the wheel is falling relative to the hamster due to the hamster's weight pulling it down as it climbs up. That force isn't exactly 550 lbs as that would be the force of the hamster hanging straight down (I hope that's not your idea) as opposed to on an inclined hamster ramp in motion, which is what this is. Laimak & justaguy inspired a good idea, referring to H.P. as hamster power for smaller cars like the geo metro. When trying to impress chicks with your 76 Ford Pinto, point out that it's packin' an 80,000 hp (hamster power) engine.
 — doctorremulac3, May 25 2005

The calculations would appear to be simpler with a vertically-falling rodent. Can we not the Metric Lemming as the base unit here?
 — Basepair, May 25 2005

 [Well, whatever we agree to use, there's going to have to be an international gold standard, and all working standard hamsters/lemmings are going to have to be calibrated against it.]

 The CEO was beaming.

 "It's great ! We outperformed the competition in all the estimated ratings ! " He shook hands all around and exited, visibly glowing.

 The test tech turned towards the cage on his desk.

"Sorry little fella, but you're on a diet this week. Calibration due date is coming up"
 — normzone, May 25 2005

So you're saying we should genetically engineer a hamster up to 550 pounds. How much energy would be required to feed the thing? Would you keep it running in the dark? That would me mean, so youw ould have to give it at least a nightlight, so it might have to be up to 575 pounds, but close enough. Croissant!
 — trekbody, May 26 2005

I'm announcing today a breakthrough in home energy production that will revolutionize... oh my GOD! IT'S GOTTEN OUT OF IT'S CAGE! NO POOKIE NO! IT'S AFTER MY NUTS! AAAAAARRRRGGHGHH!
 — doctorremulac3, May 26 2005

 This is a good idea.

 The problem I see is that the people who propose such energy harvests will think "Hmm, the breeze from the toaster's convection currents would have to be equivalent to eight and a half 780 pound hamsters running at 53mph to power this office. Sounds feasible, and what's more, it's free!"

Cases in point are most energy harvest ideas on this site.
 — Texticle, May 27 2005

The units are killing me! I’m calculating a 10 million pound hamster, but I’ve had 2 liters of Merlot this evening, or was that one fifth of Jack? What are these biscuits, anyway? Are they SI, or some weird Germanic measure that Jutta came up with?
 — ldischler, May 27 2005

Hp for Horse, hp for hamster.
Assume hamster can pull 2oz at 1 ft per second.
1Hp =550ft-lb/s
1hp =0.125ft-lb/s
Ratio =4400
 — Ling, May 27 2005

Ratio? <flipping through my bartender's manual>
 — ldischler, May 27 2005

 So a Geo Metro would be pulling about 220,000 HmP.

Thank you Ling.
 — doctorremulac3, May 27 2005

You could just have 20,162 4oz hamsters running at 1.2mph in an 8" diameter wheel.
 — Livingfishguy, Aug 25 2007

Getting them to fit might be a problem.
 — 37PiecesOf Flair, Jan 09 2008

Uhhh, halfbakery has been outgunned. Researchers plonked a hamster wheel out in the wild, then videoed what occured. Many mice strolling past had a go on the wheel along with rats, one frog and slug. God alone knows what it all means. Linky.
 — not_morrison_rm, Jan 30 2016

 I'd be curious to see an "animals necessary per 100 watts" that Not Morrison alluded to.

 So a horse is 14.9 horsepower, (which raises questions) so that's a little over 6 horses, maybe 2 elephants, a hundred million lady bugs etc.

A chart showing these might be a thing that some people might possibly look at. I know for a fact it would definately be a thing.
 — doctorremulac3, May 03 2022

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