Exercise machines like indoor cycles can help generate plenty of electricity.
Pet hamsters love running in their wheels. So take a hamster, put it in a wheel, link up the wheel to a permanent magnet alternator and connect the alternator to LED lights. Hey presto, what you have is a hamster generating green electricity to keep the LED lights on at night. Over your desk, say.
Neat, yes. The only problem, of course, is that the hamster will eventually tire out and stop running.
So how about doing this on a larger scale? How about connecting some exercise machines like indoor cycles in a gym to various electric devices so that when people work out they can help power them?
That’s what Eco Fitness, a small gym in Sacramento, California, has done. What makes workouts different there, the gym explains on its website, is that “not only are you getting into the best shape of your life but you’re also making a contribution to improving the environment.”
Whenever members get on the gym’s Eco-Power cycles they start generating watts that help power the facility. “We will then store the watts generated to power the facility during off peak hours,” the gym’s owners explain.
Nor is this a unique venture. Several other gyms have been doing the same. At Eco Gym in Rochester, New York, 21 cardio machines, including 16 indoor cycles, two recumbent bikes, and two ellipticals, have been hooked up to a micro-inverter technology that helps turn human energy into utility-grade electricity.
“When plugged into an outlet, the equipment converts the energy produced through the workout into kilowatts that are capable of producing more than 160 watt-hours of electricity in a single workout,” the facility explains.
Several sport manufacturers such as SportsArt have been specializing in turning exercise machines into mini-generators with the aim of harnessing the power of human energy for electricity generation. That way the facilities can reduce their carbon footprints at no extra cost to the environment.
As you set about losing weight and staying in shape, you can also help save the environment just a little bit more.