Sunday, April 6, 2008

Gyms Producing Electricity

I remember in high school when I heard of the idea of producing electricity through gym equipment powered by fitness enthusiasts. I always had the idea in the back of mind and wondered if it had already been patented by someone, so I decided to search on the web for the idea. Well as you might have guessed, the idea has already been implemented (February 2007) by California Fitness centers in Hong Kong. Machines like ellipticals and Stairmasters use the rotational energy produced by individuals and convert that rotational energy into stored electricity. Lucien Gambarota, a Hong Kong-based renewable energy entrepreneur and the man behind this gym’s human powered electricity, claims that an average person is capable of producing 50 W of electricity per hour. He explains that “Each of these machines, they are equipped with a generator inside. So what we did, we diverted part of the electricity produced by the machine to recharge a battery, he said. And with what we store in the battery, we have been able to power part of the lighting system."

As of now 13 of the club’s exercise machines are hooked up to a battery. The fitness centers hopes that, with the success of the initial exercise machines, they will expand the idea throughout the entire gym. Considering the size of mega-gyms in large cities throughout the U.S., human powered electricity generation via exercise equipment could rotationally supply enough electricity for at least the lighting needs of large facilities. This idea has fascinated so much that I am using this as my topic for research for our individual projects. Once done, I will add my conclusions and further thoughts to this post.

The full article from which I found this information can be found here: