Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Harnessing the Energy of Exercise
Have you ever been at your local fitness facility with your uncharged iPod and looked around at all the people alongside you on treadmills and bikes and got to thinking: "How strange is this? I mean, really... all the electricity required to run these machines and all this human energy gone to waste? There's got to be some room for greenprovement here, no?"
Well I have. All the time actually. And apparently the masterminds behind a new system at the Copenhagen Crowne Plaza Hotel have too. They've connected exercise bikes to a generator that harnesses approximately 10 watt-hours of electricity per 15 minute ride. Not only to the riders get some cardio and a little reduction in their carbon footprint - the hotel even offers a meal voucher in exchange for their efforts. Read more about the system here.
So how much longer until all gyms are powered by generators charged by patrons' exercise? And why stop at buildings? How about electronics? Researchers at MIT are leading the pack in this technology. Meet the Copenhagen Wheel: