With global climate change bringing about worldwide concerns regarding fossil fuel consumption and CO2 production, entrepreneurs everywhere are looking for ways to cut down on fuel use while still generating the electricity we rely on every day. Ranging from common sense to completely outlandish, these possible solutions bring with them the potential for a more efficient society.
One place where you might not think to find innovation is in your local gym. However, as a British gym just outside of Bristol has demonstrated, exercise machines can be utilised to produce electricity. So, is this a common sense solution or completely outlandish? Lets take a moment to review the science and practical application of this in the real world.
The Production Of Power
Get on a mounted bike, and what do you do? Well, if you are looking to lose weight or stay healthy, then your start pedalling. The pedalling motion is considered a form of work that if harness correctly, can be utilised to generate power and power a battery. From there, this electricity can be shared throughout the gym, lowering the overall power costs of the gym. Bikes are not the only gym equipment that this works with. Treadmills, elliptical, and more work under a similar theory where electrical generation comes directly from you working out your muscles. Surprisingly the best rowing machines tend to produce the most, like the Concept2 Model D.
Does This Work In The Real World?
On a small scale, you can already see this technology in place. Many stationary exercise equipment require peddling to turn on and then use the electricity generated by the movement to power the display. However, if you stop peddling, then you may notice that screen shut off after less then a minute. While using exercise to produce energy is not a problem, finding ways to store the energy and transfer it out of the machine have.
Simply put, this technology does work and there are examples of it. What is required however for this to work is the right equipment, which can be expensive, especially if you are building your gym from scratch. However, as the costs of electricity continue to go up, the energy saved through this gym technology may make it the preferred way of saving power in the future. As a final note, advancements in the underlying technology have been making equipment in gyms more and more affordable, so keep an eye open as this equipment may be coming to a gym near you.