Nov 25, 2008

The Carbon Negative Quest: Portland Gym Converts Energy Of Pedal Bikes Into Electricity

The world’s finally come full circle for members of a new gym in Portland which is converting the pedal power of its bikes into real energy.

The gym, opening September 1, takes human powered energy from its fitness bikes and stores it in a battery which runs some of its other equipment. The 2,800 square foot gym, called the Green Microgym is owned by Adam Boesel, a former grade teacher. He was interviewed by the Seattle Times and told them its the first human-powered gym in the US.

The gym's equipment is geared up to the gym’s mains includes fitness bikes, treadmills, and elliptical trainers. At the moment, the treadmills are 30% powered by the energy generated by humans. Boesel hopes to run his entire operations on energy generated through human activity. Four spin bikes (which do not require electrity) generate 200 to 600 watts of energy an hour, depending on how fanatic the person using it is.
The gym also has solar-panel awnings, energy-efficient ceiling fans and a yoga room with a cork floor. Oh, and there are no showers.

Even though the Green Microgym is the first of its kind in the US, a similar gym is already up and running in Hong Kong. Called the California Fitness gym, exercising people power the lighting system as well as the gym’s batteries, according to the Seattle Times.
And in London, nightspot Club Surya is even more exotic; a dance floor converts movement directly into energy!

Boesel is available for one-on-one consultation to other gym owners who wish to make their gyms green. As energy prices soar it makes sense to do some exercise that results in more than burning off calories. Creating energy whilst losing calories is certainly the closest human beings get to becoming carbon negative.

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