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People Who Make Energy Updated: 2012-01-25 00:00:00 KST

The whole world is in an energy crisis, and some people have decided to take the problem into their own hands.

In an alley in Seoul, there is a very unique bicycle that catches the eye. When the pedals go around and around, lights and music turn on in the machine hooked up to it.

[Interview : Ji In-gi, Seoul resident] "You turn the wheels, and you get electricity. It's great exercise and it's a great idea."

Moon Jang-man has learned to create electricity with a bicycle.

[Interview : Moon Jang-man, Inventor ] "The generator is attached to the bicycle so that electricity is created when you push the pedals."

Three years ago, Moon Jang-man was working out of the back of a truck. He needed a way to use electricity without the high cost.

That's how the bicycle generator was born. It can even be used to charge cell phones.

[Interview : Moon Jang-man, Inventor ] "This can be very useful in mountainous areas or in countries without electricity. With just this one generator, you can provide an entire village with light."

The battery for the generator is made out of an old washing machine motor.

[Interview : Moon Jang-man, Inventor ] "You're reviving something that was dead. This was a dead motor, but it will come alive again as a generator."

Even at home, Moon Jang-man continues to save electricity when he can. Riding the bicycle generator for two hours creates 73 kWh a year. His wife helps him with his endeavors.

[Interview : Jo Myeong-hui, Wife of Moon Jang-man] "I can work out while watching my favorite show. Then when my show ends, I can stop pedaling and the electricity will shut off automatically. We can save energy and get exercise at the same time. It's wonderful."

Electric devices that use relatively low amounts of energy can be powered by the bicycle generator.

[Interview : Jo Myeong-hui, Wife of Moon Jang-man] "This tastes good when made with regular energy, but it tastes even better when made with the electricity that I created."

Another energy-saving trick is hidden in the balcony.

[Interview : Moon Jang-man, Inventor ] "These are solar panels, which store solar energy. In the summer, we have energy left over, but the days are shorter now so we run a little short. That energy can be supplemented with the bicycle generator."

He also gets solar energy from old cell phone batteries.

All of the lights in his home utilize only solar energy! This represents a significant drop in electricity costs.

[Interview : Moon Jang-man, Inventor ] "We save about US$8.80, but through the progressive tax we save another $8.80. We used to pay about $44 for electricity, but now we only pay about $26."

At a restaurant in Pocheon, visitors are delighted by surprises in every corner! Trains run across the ceiling,

and dragonflies circle the diners' heads.

There are even toys that dance when they hear clapping.

[Interview : Choi Yun-ju, Diner] "I like coming here because there's a lot of interesting things to look at while eating."

[Interview : Mattu Gross, Tourist
United States] "I think it's really impressive, what he's done around here, both all inside here and outside too. It's really great."

Oh Ui-jang also cuts down on energy use by using briquettes for heating instead of gas.

[Interview : Oh Ui-jang, Inventor] "Two briquettes cost $0.80, and with that I can boil the broth and heat my restaurant for a day. On cold days like today, I use four briquettes, which costs $1.60. It's only about a tenth of the money I would need to use gas."

He also attached his broth pot to the heater to cut energy costs in half.

[Interview : Oh Ui-jang, Inventor] "I made this with scrap metal and other parts I found lying around."

The heater is responsible for both cooking and heating.

Oh Ui-jang is especially vigilant in winter, making sure to reduce energy costs while keeping his water pipes from freezing.

[Interview : Oh Ui-jang, Inventor] "When the motor stops at night, the water freezes. We wrap heat cords around the pipe to keep the water from freezing, but these cords use up a lot of electricity if they're plugged in 24 hours a day. So I attached a timer that would turn the cords on once every 15 minutes, just enough to keep the water from freezing."

His inventions also help conserve water. A small water tank ensures that no water is wasted but used effectively.

[Interview : Jo Hyeong-ja, Wife of Oh Ui-jang] "A while ago our underground water pipes froze and burst. It would have been all right if it was at home, but here at the restaurant we constantly need water. We ran around trying to get water and eventually connected a hose from our own house. Now, I can rest assured we'll always have water thanks to my husband. It's great."

Snow plowing motorcycle. His winter inventions also include a snow plowing motorcycle.

[Interview : Oh Ui-jang, Inventor] "In terms of energy, we save on human strength and time."

Oh Ui-jang says he invents items to make life more comfortable. Everyone who knows him calls him the Inventor of Pocheon.

[Interview : Kim Yu-il, Resident] "I think he's very admirable. It's amazing that he continues to invent new things even at his age."

New inventions are constantly born at his fingertips.

He even has a switch that brings him his glasses. His inventions are unique and convenient.

Recently, he created an electric car.

[Interview : Oh Ui-jang, Inventor] "This costs about a tenth of the price of gas. This battery would have just been thrown away."

The car is made of scrap parts, but it's got all the essentials.

[Interview : Oh Ui-jang, Inventor] "Drive, Neutral, Reverse.Putting in a horn and headlights would have used too much electricity, so I decided to skip the headlights and ride this only during the day. This is the horn."

The fundamental principle of saving is to use no more than absolutely the necessary.

The electric car can run all day on just three hours' charge. It only costs about a tenth of the cost of gas used by a normal motorcycle, so it is perfect for cutting down on energy resources and costs. Oh Ui-jang's inventions are never state-of-the-art, but they always bring more convenience and joy to life.

[Interview : Oh Ui-jang, Inventor] "Saving energy seems like something really hard, but it's really not. We consider all forms of saving to be saving energy. Cutting down, saving on resources, that's what saving energy is. It's not something grand and difficult. It's all in the everyday habits."

Saving is the key to overcoming the energy crisis. With enough hope and effort, we will be able to secure enough energy for a bright future.
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