Workout machines that create kinetic energy could power lights, TVs, computers and more.
Excerpt from MSNBC
The University of Oregon — one of its school colors is, after all, green — is the latest in a growing number of college campuses and exercise clubs across the country where workouts produce watts.
Splitting the $14,000 cost with the local utility, Eugene Water and Electric Board, the school has retrofitted 20 Precor elliptical machines to generate electricity using technology from ReRev.com of St. Petersburg, Fla. The power from each machine in the Student Recreation Center goes through a converter that turns DC into AC, and a meter to keep track before it flows into the grid.
Only produces a small amount of electricity
The amount of electricity produced is small. The university estimates that 3,000 people a day on 20 machines would generate 6,000 kilowatt hours a year, enough to power one small energy-efficient house in the Northwest. But it fits in with other sustainability projects, such as solar panels on the rec center roof, and a high sense of being green among the student body.
“Oh, wow! It’s awesome! That’s cool!” said sophomore Eileen Donnerberg when told the machine she chose for her workout was producing electricity. “I never thought of that. It’s a good thing.”