"Healthy clean energy" may soon become a catch-phrase used around the world. As Time magazine reports, fitness centers and gym across North America are using energy converters on equipment such as stationary bikes and ellipticals to generate electricity for the gym. According to Time, there are over 80 locations in North America that generate electric power from the sweat of their customers.
Such innovative fitness centres are yet to surface in Australia, buit the Clean Energy Centre is advising several clients who are trialling such technology. the Clean Energy Centre expects to see clean energy Fitness Centres to launch in 2011.
Adam Boesel, the owner of Green Microgym in Portland, Oregon says an average workout produces 37.5 watt hours, which is enough to power a phone for one week. Although this may not seem like a lot of energy, when one considers some gyms house hundreds of individuals at the same time, the figure grows exponentially.
Boesel says that his gym (a 3,000 square foot space) cannot produce enough electricity to make the facility carbon neutral, but if all his cardio machines are used at the same time, more than 10 times the amount of energy needed to run the gym at any one moment can be produced.
The idea of capturing the wasted energy generated from a spinning bike wheel or moving elliptical foot pads was first introduced in a fitness center in Hong Kong in 2007. It has taken some time for the idea to cross the ocean and catch hold in America, though. But, as Mike Curnyn, co-founder of the Green Revolution, a company that wires stationary bikes into batteries that store energy, explains, "We have seen a significant increase in interest in the past six months, which is a good sign that fitness centers are ready to invest in green technologies." Adam Boesel can attest to this. Green Microgym has become so popular that he is franchising it.
Fitness centers are ready to make the switch and so are gym-goers, many of whom take serious pride in the fact their workout generates clean power.