A California Fitness Center in Hong Kong, a subsidiary of 24 Hour Fitness Worldwide, is using manpower to generate electricity in its gym. In other words, energy burned off by exercisers is diverted and converted to power lighting fixtures, while excess energy is stored in a battery. The program is called Powered By You. Thanks to French inventor Lucien Gambarota, entrepreneur Doug Woodring and the Hong Kong's California Fitness center we will all soon see a lot of healthier people in a much more sustainable world.
The project works like this: there are 13 step, cycling, and cross-training machines to use, plenty of volunteers and batteries that will store the energy that then turns on the lights. According to California Fitness president Steve Clinefelter, "someone running an hour each day on a machine can generate 18.2 kilowatts of electricity and prevent 4,380 liters of CO2 from being released each year."
When all 13 exercise machines are in use the power generated amounts to about 300 watts. 300 watts is about enough to run three 27-inch television sets or five 60-watt lights. The initial investment cost of this project was $15,000. The center is planning to expand the idea throughout the gym if the project is successful and "economically viable".
Don't like the gym. How about dancing or walking to power up? Two projects under development are The Sustainable Dance Club and The Facility:Innovate. The Sustainable Dance Club, a nightclub in Rotterdam, is a dance club/project where you can dance and power up the floor all at the same time. It is a project created by the Dutch environmental group Enviu and the architecture firm Döll. The Facility:Innovate, a London design firm, harvests power from footsteps to light up things like iPods or even street lamps.
It is amazing what can be done with our bodies to spark a little electricity and I don't mean it in a dirty way, but rather in a clean renewable way. It is a rational and simple solution to long time problem of obesity and high electric cost. Did I mention it makes exercising a lot more appealing and motivating?
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