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Pedal Powered Washing Machine (PPWM) is a low cost washing machine made up of easily
and readily available scrap parts in daily life. It is a machine which generates power through
human pedaling and with the drive mechanism, converts the pedaling motion into required rotary
motion of the drum. Its innovation lies in its simple design, use of inexpensive parts, very low
repairing and maintenance cost, affordability to each member of the society and it does not affect
the environment. Our team intends to directly address the problems faced in washing clothes, and
thus have developed a new design for easy effort in washing, rinsing and drying clothes. PPWM
is a completely new concept, which in its one laundry cycle does washing, rinsing and drying of
clothes similar to that of an automatic washing machine available in the market.

Index Terms: Bicycle Chain, Drive Selector, Drying, Pedal Power, Pedaling Rate, Rack and
Pinion, Rinsing, Slider Crank Mechanism, Sprockets, Washing.

The project covers one of the daily house-hold activities (washing clothes) but solves a lot of
other problems with it as well. We all wash clothes either by our hands or use power driven
washing machines. Over the years, this has been either a very strenuous and time consuming or
an expensive process. The project intends to solve the problem faced by so many persons in their
day-to-day life. In the rural areas where electric supply is unavailable and expensive, powered
washing machines becomes almost impractical. Several attempts have been made to develop a
solution for these areas and to solve these problems, but either the project in itself becomes very
expensive, or the repair and maintenance of the machines require a lot of money and imported
parts to replace. Thus the project has the following objectives

Provide a low cost machine.

A very effective machine which is not only cheap but has low maintenance cost. It should
have readily available components and should be ergonomically efficient.

Wash any type of cloth.

Must have all the mechanisms Washing, Rinsing, and Spinning.


Throughout history, human has applied energy through the use of arms, hands and back. With
the invention of bicycle and pedaling, legs also began to be considered as a means to develop
power from human muscles. A person can generate four times more power by pedaling than by
hand cranking. At the rate of 1/4hp, continuous pedaling can be done for only short periods,
about 10 minutes. However, pedaling at half this power (1/8hp) can be sustained for around 60

Pedal power enables a person to drive devices at the same rate as that achieved by hand
cranking, but with far less effort and fatigue. Pedal power also lets one drive devices at a faster
rate than before, or operates devices that require too much power for hand cranking. Over the
centuries, the treadle has been the most common method of using the legs to produce power.
Treadles are still common in the low-power range, especially for sewing machines. The

maximum power output from treadles is very small; perhaps only 0-15 percent of what an
individual using pedal operated cranks can produce under optimum conditions.

Pedal Power Levels

The power levels that a human being can produce through pedaling depend on how strong the
pedaling person is and on how long he or she needs to pedal. If the task to be powered will
continue for hours at a time, 75 watts mechanical power is generally considered the limit for a
larger healthy non-athlete. A healthy athletic person of the same build might produce up to twice
this amount. A person who is smaller and less well nourished, but not ill, would produce less; the
estimate for such a person should probably be 50 watts. The graph in Fig. 1 shows various record
limits for pedaling under optimum conditions. The meaning of these curves is that any point on a
curve indicates the maximum time that the appropriate class of person could maintain the given
average power level.


This study pedal-powered washing machineis design to solve and provide solution to the stated
problems below:

Remote areas/unreached areas where the source of electricity is not yet available.
For those regions experiencing heavy rains where washing and drying of clothes took a
long period of time.


The main objective of this project intends to directly address the problems faced in washing
clothes, and thus have developed a new design for easy effort in washing, rinsing and drying
The specific objectives are as follows:

use of inexpensive parts for making the prototype of pedal powered washing machine
very low repairing and maintenance cost of this project
Affordability to each member of the society and it does not affect the environment.
It is also a form of exercise which helps individuals to develop a good figure.



Although the working model of the drive of PPWM is fabricated and implemented, there is a
scope of further work in the project which has not been undertaken. There are a number of ideas
where the loss of power can be reutilized and the design can be modified for better performance.
Some of them are listed below:
Energy Storage
The energy being wasted during washing can be stored using flywheel and can be used at the
time of spin drying. This would reduce the effort required during drying and would increase the
overall capacity of the machine as more energy would be available during spin drying.

Increasing Washing Capacity

The capacity of washing can be increased so that more clothes can be washed, thus utilizing the
wasted energy. It has a disadvantage that all the clothes would not be rinsed and dried
simultaneously in the same cycle. The capacity of rinsing and drying is low as compared to
washing. Thus, increasing the washing capacity would require the rinsing and drying of the
clothes to be done in turns. The machine would then no longer complete the entire laundry
process in one cycle
Designing a Multipurpose Machine
The energy wasted during washing can be utilized in most fruitful way by using it in another
household machine which would work simultaneously as the washing goes on. Load on the new
machine would be such that entire energy is consumed and not wasted. The excess energy can be
used to generate electricity to charge battery. It can be used to operate pedal powered pumps.
Many machines operated on pedal power have been developed such as, Cassava graters,
Coffee/grain hullers, cracking of oil palm nuts, Potter's wheels, Flexible shaft drive for portable
grinders, saws, etc., Tire pumps, Sewing machines.

This project tackles only about pedal powered washing machine and its properties and
mechanism and how it works and does not discuss other machines which are not related on this


This project aims to help communities especially the indigenous people who cannot afford to buy
washing machine on the market and by the use of mechanical energy instead of using electrical
There are many types of benefits of human powered equipment
It is good exercise, and fitness activities are not a waste of energy. On a stationary exercise bike
all the energy produced is simply wasted as heat. When the resistance unit is replaced with a
generator, the user can power an external device while cycling. Another benefit is that which
saves money for tourists and festival participants on a budget. Importantly it saves all the carbon
emissions and pollution associated with the electricity generation that is avoided.
Pedal-powered devices have and educational effect and raise the awareness of environmental
topics. The equipment may be very useful in remote situations, or for emergency backup, as it
does not rely on the sun or the wind. A further advantage is that the pedal powered devices, such
as the washing machine are easily transportable and storable and relevant atpop-up locations
and events.


This chapter discusses all the principles which can be applied on the pedal-powered washing
machine in the design. These parts of the study also discuss how each of the following theories
and principles can help and be used in the study.

Machine Elements - Machine element refers to an elementary component of a machine. These elements
consist of three basic types:
1. structural components such as frame members, bearings, axles, splines, fasteners, seals, and lubricants,
2. mechanisms that control

movement in




as gear

trains, belt or chain

drives, linkages, cam and follower systems, including brakes and clutches, and
3. Control components such as buttons, switches, indicators, sensors, actuators and computer controllers.

Machine elements may be features of a part (such as screw threads or integral plain bearings) or they may be
discrete parts in and of themselves such as wheels, axles, pulleys, rolling-element bearings, or gears. All of
the simple machines may be described as machine elements, and many machine elements incorporate concepts
of one or more simple machines.
Mechanics - is an area of science concerned with the behavior of physical bodies when subjected
to forces or displacements,











The branch of physics that deals with theaction of forces on bodies and with motion, comprised of ki
netics, statics, and kinematics.
Economics - is the social science that describes the factors that determine the production, distribution and
consumption of goods and services. Economics focuses on the behavior and interactions of economic
agents and how economies work. Consistent with this focus, primary textbooks often distinguish between
microeconomics and macroeconomics. Microeconomics examines the behavior of basic elements in the
economy, including individual agents and markets, their interactions, and the outcomes of interactions.
Individual agents may include, for example, households, firms, buyers, and sellers. Macroeconomics analyzes
the entire economy (meaning aggregated production, consumption, savings, and investment) and issues
affecting it, including unemployment of resources (labor, capital, and land), inflation, economic growth, and
the public policies that address these issues (monetary, fiscal, and other policies).


This chapter of the study aims to further the origin of the research; from the basic facts to more
complex one and also some of the other related literature and studies about this project study.
Wash Mechanism

In wash mechanism, the 28 teeth pedaling crank sprocket is meshed with the 28 teeth rear hub
sprocket. If the peddler pedals at 60 rpm, there is no reduction and the power is transmitted to
next hub sprocket. Here, the 18 teeth sprocket is chained to a 44 teeth sprocket which gives a
reduction of 2.44 times. Thus, the 60 rpm speed is reduced to 24.59 rpm. After the crank slider
mechanism, the angular velocity of 24.59 rpm is increased to 75.73 rpm. This is then transferred
to the drive selector with no reduction. Therefore, the speed of pulley comes to be around Rs.
6000/- (Varies depending on the market survey, and on the market conditions). Here, the 65 teeth
gear is meshed to a 32 teeth gear which gives a reduction of 2.03 times. Thus, the 205.2 rpm
speed is increased to 416.81 rpm. This is then transferred to the drive selector with no reduction.
Therefore, the speed of pulley during rinse mechanism is 416.81 rpm when the pedaling rate is
60 rpm. If speed of 500 rpm is required during rinsing, then the pedaling rate should be 71.98
Rinse Mechanism
In rinsing mechanism, the 48 teeth pedaling crank sprocket is meshed with the 14 teeth rear hub
sprocket. This gives a reduction of 3.42 times. Thus the 60 rpm speed is increased to 205.2 rpm.
If the peddler pedals at 60 rpm, with the reduction above calculated, the power is transmitted to
the gear (having 65 teeth) attached to the shaft containing rear hub sprocket. This is then
transferred to the drive selector with no reduction. Therefore, the speed of pulley during rinse
mechanism is 416.81 rpm when the pedaling rate is 60 rpm. If speed of 1000 rpm is required
during rinsing, then the pedaling rate should be 143.95 rpm.

Spin Mechanism (Drying)

In rinsing mechanism, the 48 teeth pedaling crank sprocket is meshed with the 14 teeth rear hub
sprocket. This gives a reduction of 3.42 times. Thus the 60 rpm speed is increased to 205.2 rpm.

If the peddler pedals at 60 rpm, with the reduction above calculated, the power is transmitted to
the gear (having 65 teeth) attached to the shaft containing rear hub sprocket. The 65 teeth gear is
meshed to a 32 teeth gear which gives a reduction of 2.03 times. Thus, the 205.2 rpm speed is
increased to 416.81 rpm.
From Figure 2 it can be counterchecked that the required pedaling rate produces required power
for each of the three processes viz. washing, rinsing and drying.

A working model of PPWM was fabricated using the selected scrap components as mentioned in
the design. The machine was fabricated to study the design feasibility and the efficiency of the
working model. It was found that PPWM can be easily manufactured in a workshop using scrap
components and conventional manufacturing processes. Manual Metal Arc Welding (MMAW)
was key manufacturing process used. Other operations such as lathe works, press fitting, cutting
and grinding of scrap metals etc. were also done. The fabrication of the model provided the cost
estimate for the machine. The total cost of PPWM (including materials, machining, and
components). during wash mechanism is 75.73 rpm when the pedaling rate is 60 rpm. If speed
of 20 rpm is required during washing, then the pedaling rate should be 15.84 rpm.

Washing by hand
Laundering by hand involves soaking, beating, scrubbing, and rinsing dirty textiles. Before
indoor plumbing, the housewife also had to carry all the water used for washing, boiling, and
rinsing the laundry; according to an 1886 calculation, women fetched water eight to ten times
every day from a pump, well, or spring. Water for the laundry would be hand carried, heated on a
fire for washing, and then poured into the tub. That made the warm soapy water precious; it
would be reused, first to wash the least soiled clothing, then to wash progressively dirtier
Removal of soap and water from the clothing after washing was originally a separate process.
First, soap would be rinsed out with clear water. After rinsing, the soaking wet clothing would be

formed into a roll and twisted by hand to extract water. The entire process often occupied an
entire day of hard work, plus drying and ironing.
Washing by machine
Clothes washer technology developed as a way to reduce the manual labor spent, providing an
open basin or sealed container with paddles or fingers to automatically agitate the clothing. The
earliest machines were hand-operated and constructed from wood, while later machines made of
metal permitted a fire to burn below the washtub, keeping the water warm throughout the day's
The earliest special-purpose mechanical washing device was the washboard, invented in 1797 by
Nathaniel Briggs of New Hampshire.
By the mid-1850s steam-driven commercial laundry machinery were on sale in the UK and US.
Technological advances in machinery for commercial and institutional washers proceeded faster
than domestic washer design for several decades, especially in the UK. In the United States there
was more emphasis on developing machines for washing at home, though machines for
commercial laundry services were widely used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The
rotary washing machine was patented by Hamilton Smith in 1858. As electricity was not
commonly available until at least 1930, some early washing machines were operated by a lowspeed, single-cylinder hit-and-miss gasoline engine.
Wringing by machine
After the items were washed and rinsed, water had to be removed by twisting. To help reduce
this labor, the wringer/mangle machine was developed.
The mangle used two rollers under spring tension to squeeze water out of clothing and household
linen. Each laundry item would be fed through the wringer separately. The first wringers were
hand-cranked, but were eventually included as a powered attachment above the washer tub. The
wringer would be swung over the wash tub so that extracted wash water would fall back into the
tub to be reused for the next load. As implied by the term "mangle," these early machines were
quite dangerous, especially if powered and not hand-driven. A user's fingers, hand, arm, or hair

could become entangled in the laundry being squeezed, resulting in horrific injuries; unwary
bystanders, such as children, could also be caught and hurt. Safer mechanisms were developed
over time, and the more hazardous designs were eventually outlawed.
The modern process of water removal by spinning did not come into use until electric motors
were developed. Spinning requires a constant high-speed power source, and was originally done
in a separate device known as an "extractor". A load of washed laundry would be transferred
from the wash tub to the extractor basket, and the water spun out in a separate operation. These
early extractors were often dangerous to use, since unevenly distributed loads would cause the
machine to shake violently. Many efforts were made to counteract the shaking of unstable loads,
such as mounting the spinning basket on a free-floating shock-absorbing frame to absorb minor
imbalances, and a bump switch to detect severe movement and stop the machine so that the load
could be manually redistributed.
Combined processes
What is now referred to as an automatic washer was at one time referred to as a
"washer/extractor", who combined the features of these two devices into a single machine, plus
the ability to fill and drain water by itself. It is possible to take this a step further, and to also
merge the automatic washing machine and clothes dryer into a single device, called a combo
washer dryer.
Early machines
The first English patent under the category of Washing and Wringing Machines was issued in
1791. A drawing of an early washing machine appeared in the January 1752 issue of The
Gentlemen's Magazine, a British publication. Schaffers washing machine design was published
1767 in Germany. In 1782, Henry Sidgier issued a British patent for a rotating drum washer, and
in the 1790s Edward Beetham sold numerous "patent washing mills" in England. One of the first
innovations in washing machine technology was the use of enclosed containers or basins that had
grooves, fingers, or paddles to help with the scrubbing and rubbing of the clothes. The person
using the washer would use a stick to press and rotate the clothes along the textured sides of the

basin or container, agitating the clothes to remove dirt and mud. This crude agitator technology
was hand-powered, but still more effective than actually hand-washing the clothes.
More advancements were made to washing machine technology in the form of the rotating drum
design. Basically, these early design patents consisted of a drum washer that was hand-cranked to
make the wooden drums rotate. While the technology was simple enough, it was a milestone in
the history of washing machines, as it introduced the idea of "powered" washing drums. As metal
drums started to replace the traditional wooden drums, it allowed for the drum to turn above an
open fire or an enclosed fire chamber, raising the water temperature for more effective washes.
It would not be until the 19th century when steam power would be used in washing machine
designs. In 1862, a patented "compound rotary washing machine, with rollers for wringing or
mangling" by Richard Lansdale of Pendleton, Manchester, was shown at the 1862 London
The first United States Patent titled "Clothes Washing" was granted to Nathaniel Briggs of New
Hampshire in 1797. Because of the Patent Office fire in 1836, no description of the device
survives. A device that combined a washing machine with a wringer mechanism did not appear
until 1843, when Canadian John E. Turnbull of Saint John, New Brunswick patented a "Clothes
Washer With Wringer Rolls."
Margaret Colvin invented the Triumph Rotary Washer, which was exhibited in the Women's
Pavilion at the Centennial International Exhibition of 1876 in Philadelphia.
Electric washing machines were advertised and discussed in newspapers as early as 1904. Alva J.
Fisher has been incorrectly credited with the invention of the electric washer. The US Patent
Office shows at least one patent issued before Fisher's US patent number 966677 (e.g.
Woodrow's US patent number 921195). The "inventor" of the electric washing machine remains
It is presumed that the first laundromat opened in Fort Worth, Texas in 1934. It was run by
Andrew Clein. Patrons used coin-in-the-slot facilities to rent washing machines. The term
"laundromat" can be found in newspapers as early as 1884 and they were widespread during the

Depression. England established public wash rooms for laundry along with bath houses
throughout the 19th century.
Washer design improved during the 1930s. The mechanism was now enclosed within a cabinet,
and more attention was paid to electrical and mechanical safety. Spin dryers were introduced to
replace the dangerous power mangle/wringers of the day.
By 1940, 60% of the 25,000,000 wired homes in the United States had an electric washing
machine. Many of these machines featured a power wringer, although built-in spin dryers were
not uncommon.
Automatic Machines
Bendix Corporation introduced the first domestic automatic washing machine in 1937, having
applied for a patent in the same year. In appearance and mechanical detail, this first machine was
not unlike the front loading automatic washers produced today. Although it included many of the
today's basic features, the machine lacked any drum suspension and therefore had to be anchored
to the floor to prevent "walking". Because of the components required, the machine was also
very expensive. For instance, the Bendix Home Laundry Service Manual (published November
1, 1946) shows that the drum speed change was facilitated by a 2-speed gearbox built to a heavy
duty standard like a car synchromesh gearbox. The timer was also probably fairly costly, because
miniature electric motors were expensive to produce.
Early automatic washing machines were usually connected to a water supply via temporary slipon connectors to sink taps. Later, permanent connections to both the hot and cold water supplies
became the norm, as dedicated laundry water hookups became common. Most modern frontloading European machines now only have a cold water connection (called "cold fill") and rely
completely on internal electric heaters to raise the water temperature.
Many of the early automatic machines had coin-in-the-slot facilities and were installed in the
basement laundry rooms of apartment houses.

Modern washers
In the early 1990s, upmarket machines incorporated microcontrollers for the timing process.
These proved reliable and cost-effective, so many cheaper machines now incorporate
microcontrollers rather than electromechanical timers.
In 1994, Staber Industries released the System 2000 washing machine, which is the only toploading, horizontal-axis washer to be manufactured in the United States. The hexagonal tub spins
like a front-loading machine, only using about third of the water as conventional top-loaders.
This factor has led to an Energy Star rating for its high efficiency.
In 1998, New Zealand based company Fisher & Paykel introduced its SmartDrive washing
machine line in the US. This washing machine uses a computer-controlled system to determine
certain factors such as load size and automatically adjusts the wash cycle to match. It also used a
mixed system of washing, first with the "Eco-Active" wash, using a low level of recirculated
water being sprayed on the load followed by a more traditional style wash. Other variations
include the Intuitive Eco, which can sense the water level and type of fabric in the wash load,
and the agitator less AquaSmart line. The SmartDrive also included direct drive brushless DC
electric motor, which simplified the bowl and agitator drive by doing away with the need for a
gearbox system.
In 2000, the British inventor James Dyson launched the CR01 ContraRotator, a type of washing
machine with two cylinders rotating in opposite directions. It was claimed that this design
reduced the wash time and produced cleaner washing than a single cylinder machine. In 2004
there was the launch of the CR02, which was the first washing machine to gain the British
Allergy Foundation Seal of Approval. However, neither of the ContraRotator machines are now
in production as they were too expensive to manufacture.[26]
In 2001, Whirlpool Corporation introduced the Calypso, the first vertical-axis high efficiency
washing machine to be top-loading. A washplate in the bottom of the tub nutated (a special
wobbling motion) to bounce, shake, and toss the laundry around. Simultaneously, water
containing detergent was sprayed on to the laundry. The machine proved to be good at cleaning,

but gained a bad reputation due to frequent breakdowns and destruction of laundry. The washer
was recalled with a class-action lawsuit and pulled off the market.
In 2003, Maytag introduced their top-loading Neptune washer. Instead of an agitator, the
machine had two washplates, perpendicular to each other and at a 45 degree angle from the
bottom of the tub. The machine would fill with only a small amount of water and the two
washplates would tumble the load within it, mimicking the action of a front-loading washer in a
vertical axis design.
In 2008, the University of Leeds created a concept washing machine that uses only a cup (less
than 300 ml) of water and 20 kg of re-usable plastic beads to carry out a full wash. [28] The
machine leaves clothes virtually dry, and uses less than 2 % of the water and energy otherwise
used by a conventional machine. As such, it could save billions of liters of water each year. The
concept is being developed as the Xeros Washing Machine.
In 2013, a French designer created L'Increvable, an open source washing machine delivered in
kit for self-assembly. In order to fight planned obsolescence its design is simplistic and every
constituent is replaceable; it is designed to last over 50 years.
Features available in most modern consumer washing machines:

Delayed execution: a timer to delay the start of the laundry cycle

Predefined programs for different laundry types

Rotation speed settings

Variable temperatures, including cold wash

Additionally some of the modern machines feature:

Child lock


Time remaining indication

It is the summary of all procedures and methods that will be performed by the researchers are
stated and illustrated. The design process for the study is defined in this section the main steps in
building the design of the prototype and testing for its effectiveness are briefly discuss.
Research paradigm








Design of Wash Mechanism

The washing of clothes in front loading washing machines requires that the tub of the washing
machine executes rotations in both senses i.e. clockwise for some time, then anti-clockwise for
some-time and then again clockwise and so on. The shaft connected to the bicycle rotates in one
direction only so some mechanism had to be designed by which the sense of rotation could be
changed i.e. the power obtained from a shaft rotating in one direction had to be modified so as to
execute rotation in both senses in a periodic way. Thus rack and pinion arrangement was used. In
this mechanism the rack would reciprocate and a pinion would mesh with the reciprocating rack,
as the direction of motion of the rack changes, the sense of rotation of the pinion would also
change and the required objective shall be accomplished. The reciprocating motion of the rack
from a shaft rotating in one direction could be achieved in two ways:
i. Quick Return Mechanism
ii. Slider Crank Mechanism
Major drawbacks of Quick Return Mechanism:

1. It gave unequal time for both senses of rotation i.e. rotation in one sense was done faster than
rotation in the other sense.
2. It did not lead to uniform motion of the tub which could degrade the quality of wash.
3. It was a very bulky setup to implement.
4. Use of bulky setup would unnecessarily increase the cost of the product by increasing the
material, labor and machining costs.
5. Use of bulky setup would also increase the pedal effort significantly and therefore it would not
be ergonomically feasible.

Therefore quick return mechanism was eliminated as an option for the wash drive mechanism.
Slider Crank Mechanism was then considered for converting the rotary motion of the output
shaft of the bicycle into the reciprocating motion of the rack by which the pinion connected to
the rack would execute rotary motion in both senses.

For transmitting the drives to the final tub three options were available- gear drive, chain drive
and belt drive. The use of gear drive or chain drive would lead to jerks at the instants the sense of
rotation changes but the use of belt drive allows the tub to slip over the belt and come to stop and
rotate in the other sense smoothly. Therefore, belt drive is used as the mode of power
transmission to the tub. Although the load on the tub remains constant for all the processes, the
washing process requires slow agitating motion with speed around 20 rpm. Rinsing and Drying
processes require comparatively higher speeds. The power available at the tub is constant which
is 125 W. The capacity of the tub is 1.2 kg and the torque required for washing is 1.19Nm. Thus,
the power required for washing is,

The excess of power available is wasted. As, the washing process continues for 30 minutes a lot
of energy is wasted. This energy can be used effectively by increasing the loading of the machine
during washing.

Design of Rinse and Spin dry Mechanism

For the rinsing and spin dry the tub needs to rotate in one direction only. One of the important
parameters for rinse and spin dry processes is the speed at which the tub rotates. Since there was
no need for us to change the sense of rotation for rinsing and spin dry processes, it could be
achieved simply by meshing of gears having the proper gear ratio. In the case of pedal powered
washing machine, we required a reduction ratio of 2 for the spin and rinsing processes, so
appropriate gears were made to mesh and the drive was finally sent to the tub to execute
rotations at high speeds for the rinsing and spin dry processes.
Design of Drive Selector
In order to switch between the wash mode and the rinse and spin dry mode a drive selector was
designed by the use of which the tub could be made to rotate in the desired mode by the user. The
drive selector has a very simple design; it consists of a hollow pipe on which a gear (drive
selector gear) is mounted. The hollow pipe has a hole for a bolt to pass through. This hollow pipe
can move over a solid pipe which has holes in two positions where the hollow pipe can be
bolted. In one of the positions, the drive selector gear meshes with the spin and rinse gear as
shown in the image and in the other position it meshes with the wash gear. Accordingly the tub
rotates in the desired mode.