Green Revolution exercise bikes installed in Ridgefield, Connecticut

From a report on CNN, we learn that new technology devised by a Connecticut firm, The Green Revolution Inc is turning sessions at the gym into clean renewable electricity. It’s a workout that hopes to work out some of our energy problems and offers a glimpse of what could be achieved if we all do our bit for the environment.

The first devices were recently installed on seventeen bicycles at the Ridgefield Fitness Club in Ridgefield, Connecticut. The Green Revolution device can retrofit major brands of indoor cycling equipment. 

A group of around 20 bikes used throughout a year has the potential to create 3,600 kilowatt hours of electricity, according to Green Revolution founder and CEO Jay Whelan. That, he says, equates to lighting 72 homes for a month. 

With 36,000 health clubs in the U.S., that could translate into 2,592,000 homes electrified by spin classes. Read the CNN story here , and more about The Green Revolution, Inc. here.


Can the kangaroos get involved? Australian boxing gym wires trainer bikes

“The five spin bikes in my studio have been modified to generate electricity when pedaled,” says Surry Hills Boxing Gym owner Danny Morgan.  “A small generator attached to the front of the bike sends electricity directly back into the power grid through an inverter. The setup does not affect the performance of the bike.

“A person of average fitness can maintain between 50-100 watts when exercising at a moderate pace.  The system is OHS (occupational health and safety) and energy Australia approved.” Read more here about Australia’s first eco gym.

Exercise bikes create usable electricity at The Green Microgym in Portland

“WE DID IT!  It’s a small step for us, but now the two spin bikes by the stereo are sending electricity back to the “grid”.  No switches or batteries to mess with, just straight electricity right back into the building.  This has been a goal since I started thinking about The Green Microgym, so I’m very excited!  Now we’ll continue working on getting all the ellipticals grid tied, and continue to improve our efficiency and results.”

This is from The Green Microgym in the Alberta Arts disctrict of NE Portland, among the world’s first fitness/health clubs generating a significant portion of its own electricity.  A 2,800 square foot neighborhood gym, it is equipped with Team Dynamo and Spin bikes that are capable of collectively generating 350 watts of electricity (in addition to rooftop solar panels generating an average of 8 kilowatt hours per day in often-cloudy Portland, SportsArt EcoPowr Treadmills that use 30% less electricity in their operation and other eco-friendly features).  Learn more about what owner Adam Boesel created here.

ReRev is a company working to capture human current from exercise

We are retrofitting gym equipment to make carbon neutral energy in a safe, fun, and healthy manner.  We efficiently and cost effectively capture the kinetic motion of aerobic exercise which is converted into clean energy that feeds back into the local utility’s power grid.  This is just the beginning of the revolution.

We have developed a low cost method for rewiring every brand of cardio equipment. The energy produced by these machines is currently being emitted as a heat byproduct, counteracting the HVAC system. We wire the machines to instead deliver this energy to a central collection unit which converts the DC power to 240/208 Volt 60 Hertz AC which can be sold back to the exiting network. One machine can produce 150 watts on a continual basis. If this current was instead being emitted to the ambient air as it is now these black 10 omh resistors above would stay at ~140 degrees F…  For more information, click here:

Exercise + Ingenuity = Green Energy

There are ways to convert our physical energy – calories we spend from movement, particularly when we exercise – into energy that powers lights, computers, cell phones, TVs and much more.  This site is a place to grow the human energy movement.

Thousands of diligent geniuses are working right now on green technologies. Some work with generous corporate or grant funding; others are laboring in garages and basements.  Many place their hopes on turning water into fuel.  For others, it’s about reducing the amount of fuel their cars, homes and gadgets consume.

This comes with great precedent. The human mind has always found better ways to do things. This crisis point in our history – and it is a crisis – is birthing a renaissance of energy ingenuity. We will soon emerge from a dark age, when 19th century technologies (combustion engines, coal plants) are doing a bad job in the 21st century. 

This is not unprecedented. As history proves, our species prefers to survive.  That used to involve brute force and strength, but as civilization unfolded so did ways of ensuring survival and prosperity. It was the inventors, the tinkerers, the Da Vincis and Franklins and Edisons and Wrights and Farnsworths (Philo T., who invented TV) who took us forward.

There is no reason to expect this juncture should be any different. Just bigger, better and wildly imaginative.  

Small energy ideas add up

Evidence already suggests the answer to the energy crisis and climate change may not be One Single Thing, a silver bullet such as the Salk Vaccine was to polio.  Instead, the sustainability solutions might come about on multiple fronts, the way children now survive cancer so much more than 30 years ago. The greatly increased survival rates in pediatric leukemia result from a collection of interventions.  

With energy sourcing and consumption, we’re seeing scores of solutions being explored and many of them already being implemented. How much more will we see in two years?  In five, ten and twenty years?

This blog is dedicated to one factor in the equation to reduce use of dwindling fossil fuels and their toxic effects.  That factor?  It’s YOU. It’s how you can employ your own physical strength to generate energy.  

Human current goes beyond bicycling to work – although, kudos to all who do that.  It’s how you might set up your bicycle on a home trainer to create electricity to power a reading light. Someday, the technology might also power the TV you watch as you ride. Or, it’s how you as an inventor create something like the Krank Light, a simple table lamp that needs no plug or batteries, just someone to wind it up every 40-60 minutes. Maybe you would follow the path led, literally, by kinesiologist Max Donelan at Simon Fraser University, who invented a 3.5 pound device that straps to a walker’s knee to harvest biomechanical energy that can be used to recharge cell phones and other devices.

Because as coal and oil lobbies, utility companies and automakers dither on the costs of conversions to alternative and clean fuels, we can’t wait. We are willing to try new things, incrementally but assuredly moving off the grid.

Your exercise can power the world

We have too much stored energy in our bodies. It’s called adipose tissue – fat. It’s energy we try to spend in a health club. We run on electric treadmills when an outdoor track might not be practical.  We lift weights, then lower them – with no energy captured.  We spin furiously on bicycles in ride classes, but friction, sweat and body heat are left behind in the classroom. Wood floors move when 25 people jump in unison in a fitness class, yet the music is played with electricity from the power grid.

So what’s your idea?  Or do you have a general concept for another person to develop?  Maybe you’ve seen or heard about someone who has a neat trick, technique or practice that either conserves energy use or generates new current.  If so, share what you can here.

Even if you’re not inventive, you can do so much to push the human current revolution. Products need markets to succeed – so if something looks like it makes sense, by all means, buy it, use it and tell your friends about it.

Dancing feet generate electricity for lights

ROTTERDAM, the Netherlands — If you felt that the atmosphere in the new hip Club Watt was somehow electric, you would be right: Watt has a new type of dance floor that harvests the energy generated by jumps and gyrations and transforms it into electricity. It is one of a handful of energy-generating floors in the world, most still experimental.  Read more from this New York Times article here ….