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.

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2 responses to “Green Revolution exercise bikes installed in Ridgefield, Connecticut

  1. This is a feel good story to be sure but it is environmentally and economically an unsound and unjustifiable decision. Here is another in an all too long string of stories highlighting just how technically illiterate we’ve become as a society.

    An average production worker can produce 50 watts of power for an extended period of time (i.e. a workday.) Given that these workouts would be of a higher intensity but for a shorter period of time let’s assume people would produce 120 watts for 0.75 hours per class (that’s roughly a 1 hour class minus warm up and cool down time.) So each bike would produce 0.090 kilowatt hours per class. At 4 classes per day, the bike would produce 0.36 kWh per day or 131.4 kwh/year. An average household uses about 1000 kwh per month so the total annual output of the bike gym assuming 100% utilization, 365 days a year would only power 1 household for about 0.5 weeks. Additionally, most people pay about $0.12 per kWh for the supply (there are usually delivery charges, taxes, etc. which drive the total consumer price higher. Again the total annual output in dollars would be just under $16 per bike (again assuming ridiculously optimistic numbers.) I couldn’t find any pricing info for the equipment but I can tell you that in addition to the generators, the inverters and tie in to the grid would not be cheap. It’s very hard to see this working out (no pun intended.)

    P.S. The following quote indicates my assumptions above are very close. 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.

    Those 72 homes must be using a singular nightlight as their sole source of illumination.

    • Rotary: Thank you for your comment and for doing the calculations, which I will trust to be correct. While the numbers you provide suggest the article cited is in error, I’d like to point out the spirit of this site is to identify reporting on new ideas that harness human energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. My personal position is this: we have ignored alternative energy sources for far too long, and that any creative idea might build toward something meaningful. Of course, critical review of ideas can only lead to smarter innovation. But that said, there are many, many choices people are making to try to live in a more green, sustainable way that may not make sense in the short term. I spent about $700 winterizing my home last year, and expect at best $100-200 in energy savings this year as a result. But over time, this will pay me back (4-8 years), while I can concurrently feel better about having spent money on products that conserve, not spend. As more consumers show an interest in energy conservation, manufacturers and marketers will find greater incentive to create and market products that satisfy this interest. Not all consumer rationale is based solely in short term results.

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