Producing Electricity with Exercise Bikes for Environmentally Friendly Gyms
The New York Sports Club Facility in Manhattan has a unique way of not only keeping their customers fit, but of also saving on electricity bills and doing their bit for the environment. This gym has set up their row of exercise bikes to produce electricity when the customers start pedalling and working out.
Each stationary bike in the gym has a compact generator connected to it that converts the energy from each wheel revolution into electricity – so the cyclists are not only burning calories and getting fit, but they are also helping to make the planet a little bit greener.
This might sounds like a utopian vision and will let gyms that take this technology on promote themselves as being environmentally-friendly – however the actual output of electricity produced by an exercise bike is very small in reality. Studies state that gyms would probably need their customers to cycle for decades until the machines actually start to pay for themselves given the amount of investment required in setting the bikes up to work like this.
On Tom Nelson’s blog he’s put some good calculations together to help make an assumption on how much energy and electricity this can produce. He calculated that if the exercise bike is used for five hours daily over a year then each cyclist could generate 100 watts of energy.
Check out his blog for the full breakdown of how this would work, but his estimate is that each exercise bike could produce about $18 US dollars of electricity each year.
So whilst a great idea, in practice it is not an economically sound decision – but you have to give this gym credit because in years to come they could be seen as one of the standard bearers in the way we use gyms.