Does a vehicle need to move to charge its alternator?

Do I actually need to move around on the map or can a person generate charge the battery with juice by standing still on top of a foot peddle if I have an alternator?
I found a tour bus would should make an excellent mobile base but to keep the fridge running I’ll need to recharge it, and I currently don’t have the mechanics to install a gas engine or solar panels. I was thinking it would an excellent way to pass the time while reading if I exercised on the pedals while doing so

An alternator doesn’t care whether the gear box is engaged or not. The important thing is that the engine is running. However, for a leg powered vehicle to be powered without moving you’d need to raise it so the powered wheel is off the ground, e.g. like an exercise bike, but I don’t think you can make or find one of those in the game, and the game doesn’t run engines while vehicles are stationary. There’s a next to useless hand charger, though (charging a battery for a day allowed me to read by flashlight light for less time than it took to charge the battery).

to be honest if we could generate energy so easily with only manpower america would never have been so obsessed with oil
you ever tried actually using a hand charger? it takes alot of effort. you’re more supposed to use those things for charging headlights for exploring basements, instead of extended use…

Humans are lazy. Even if it’s possible to use stairs escalators are used anyway. Also, oil is cheaper than man power. What would the price of electricity be if you’d produced it by employing people to produce it with pedals (I bet it would be excessive even if those people “employed” were slaves, as you still have to provide them with food)?

I haven’t used a hand charger, but I would expect an LED flashlight to be capable of providing light for as long as I’m prepared to charge it, rather than shorter than that.

if your going to use a foot pedal/ alternator combo some notes:
-you can charge it by running the “engine” at speed zero,
-you don’t need wheels to be able to charge
-counter intuitively the smaller the alternator the better, I don’t understand why but empirically using a car alternator results in barely any charging, while a bicycle alternator charged much faster.
-you can’t read while pedaling but you can craft while pedaling.
-later on wind or solar power is better since no micro (unless your crafting station is underground)

humans aren’t “lazy”. If we were lazy we would’ve never gotten down from the trees and remained like literal sloths, or have created cities because a collection of sticks was “good enough”. If you ask me lazy people have degenerated to subhumans. But this isn’t the place to discuss philosophy.
It really does take alot of kinetic energy to create electrical power. It’s why we have to use things like massive waterfalls or giant windmills, instead of just making a electrical grid consisting of hamster wheels.

I agree, but that’s depending on how you view it…

We’ve made great inventions based solely on “laziness”.
To be honest, cooking food is one of these things. We cook food so that our own body can extract the calories more easily. This saves us energy while also increasing the amount we get from it.
There are a lot of other examples, but that was just a obvious one (and, based on the work of some scientists, one of the main factors resulting in our “intelligence”, as the body could use the newly won energy to develop more complex brain structure).

Well, it depends on the power output of said flashlight.
I do have a handcranked lantern consisting of 6 LEDs, and it says cranking it for 1 minute will provide 2 minutes of light. It’s not very bright though (enough to read, but not really useable to search for a person, for example), and of course it depends on the cranking speed/consistency.
I had an older version, built as a flashlight, that provided about 5 minutes of light for 15 minutes of cranking but would output moderate amounts of light.

As for generating power using our body… We’re really inefficient as “turbines”. It doesn’t matter if you’re “lazy” or not, you can - if I remember right - convert about 30% of the power our body generates per calorie stored (70% wasted in form of heat) into movement energy.
While this is quite a bit, you’d get around 50% from a low to medium efficiency turbine if you’d instead burn it directly and use the heat to evaporate water and power a turbine.

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Yes, we are. All technical progress, starting from the wheel, heck, from the sticks, is a story of maximizing (our own) energy and time expenditure efficiency. Describe way of life of nowadays citizen of 1st or even 2nd-world country to anyone living mere century ago in any country, and you’d hear “wow, what a bunch of lazy ***s they are. In my days we didn’t take X, Y and Z for granted, we had to do it with our bare hands”.


The problem is, that “lazy” is a broadly used term and usually used in a negative context.
For every thing that gets automated or more efficient, we get additional time. However, we use that additional time we gain from that to do other stuff.

To my knowledge there are some scientific studies that provide evidence that “have to do nothing” is actually harmful and usually not wanted. Our body and brain deteriorates if forced into inactivity.
People tend to forget that if you’re “lazy” for using a robotic lawnmower and/or vaccum cleaner, you (usually) don’t stand the whole time around and watch it do it’s job. You use that time for other activites, hence actually increasing productivity.

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That reminds me of Robert Heinlein’s Tale of the Man Who Was Too Lazy to Fail, a parable about innovation, loosely based on his own experiences at the Naval Academy.
It’s a humorous story about a clever young man who hates the “honest work” at his family’s farm:

Before and after school he had to do chores on his family’s farm, which he hated, as they were what was known as “honest work” – meaning hard, dirty, inefficient, and ill-paid – and also involved getting up early, which he hated even worse.

He enlists in the Navy to get away from it and there he keeps seeing people doing pointless extra work just because “it’s always been done that way.” IE, the stupid kind of lazy! As he was the smart kind of lazy, he finds ways to get his job done right, faster, and easier, and becomes highly successful because of it.


I actually had two things in mind while writing about that… First a quote that has many variations and the source isn’t clear;

Second, there was a story about a thoothpaste factory (if I remember correctly), not sure if made up or real, about the “genius of the lazy”. I’ll link it when I find it. Found it:

Reading your brief description of the story you got reminded of - which I totally have to check out at some point - made me remember that programmer sometimes prefer to write code for 2 hours to automate something that would have taken 1 hour at max if it would have been done manually… And yes, I was and am guilty of that too :laughing: .
Not sure which kind of laziness that is, though…


I believe the Tale is recounted in Time Enough For Love, the last Lazarus Long novel. Not Heinlein’s best, but far from his worst either.

and I had a handcrank flashlight that was a very powerful flashlight meaning you had to be constantly cranking at a fast speed to power it, the issue was the crank on it was terrible.

there is a colossal difference between laziness and efficiency. A lazy person is slothful and degenerate, who doesn’t care about the consequences of his own actions (or more specifically lack thereof) and will procrastinate and let things deteoriate until the very last minute to maintain bare functionality (like how youtube or windows only step in after the system crashes or becomes completely unusable or create significant social problems). However a efficient person hates idleness (e.g. having idle pawns in rimworld) and strives to improve instead of let things detoriate, while minimizing negative consequences/by-products (such as making a system that requires less fuel to operate, or consumes more memory because of memory leaks and inefficient programming requiring more “arguments” than necessary to achieve a goal).
A concrete example is a lazy person does not organize his documents because it takes too much work and ends spending more time having to search through things when the eventually need them, however a efficient person keeps their documents organized and can quickly retrieve documents when needed because he knows where they are, thus achieving a net gain of gain of time even though he spent just a little effort keeping documents in place, as opposed to a lazy person who spent no time organizing his documents and ends up having to sift through files for hours to try and find things even though he spent so little time before.

If I were to be entirely frank I believe modern capitalism is to blame for the twisted misconceptions of confusing laziness with being “efficient” but this really isn’t the place for discussing historical economics or politics.

Do we have forum badge for necroposting? It would be so thematic.

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What do you mean with “terrible”? Very hard to crank? Because that usually means high power output and is not “terrible” but what’s necessary to maintain the light. Otherwise you probably could not provide the energy needed to power it.

For one, procrastination already means that you wait until the very last possible moment, so you’ve basically doubled down on that.
Secondly, you’ve actually contradict yourself in the same sentence; first you say they will do the minimum to maintain functionality, but state that Youtube & Windows (with that you’ll probably mean Microsoft, as Windows is the operating system) wait until after something breaks, which is actually past the point of maintaining and now requires fixing.

That’s usually not how memory leaks work. Memory leaks denotes unused but also still (unnecessarily) allocated memory and are rarely a sign of inefficiency, but rather bad programming, missing destructors, a lack of understanding (be it code, communication or the programming language itself), or bugs.

There are other examples where laziness (“I don’t want to keep doing that”) turned an inefficient process into an efficient one (see my post above).

While I agree that laziness and efficiency are not synonymous with each others, they don’t oppose each other either.
Someone can be lazy and efficient. Same as productive and inefficient too.

I guess by your own definition you’re lazy, considering that your last bug report did not contain the version number even though I’ve asked for it there and on other oaccasions already? Making the whole process of helping you inefficient?

I don’t think discussing the definition of laziness is directly related to politics, but yes, it’s probably not really the point of this topic.

See the last answer in the FAQ on vehicles. Human beings aren’t strong enough to easily turn the shaft on the larger alternators.