Exercisers Burn Energy While Creating it

Green gyms use equipment designed to make electricity.

The modern gym typically uses a lot of electricity to run the treadmills, the big-screen TVs that keep exercisers entertained, and the air-conditioning to cool them. However, not only are some gyms trying to use less power, but they are even putting some back into the grid.

Power up

In order to look good in a swimsuit for her upcoming trip to Hawaii, Cory Bilger hits the elliptical trainer at Portland’s Green Microgym pretty hard these days. And she’s not just burning calories, she’s creating electricity – 4.19 watt hours of energy – by pumping her arms and legs. The elliptical trainer she exercises on generates electricity in the same way a windmill does.

“Wind turns the turbine, that kinetic energy is converted into electricity through a generator,” says Aaron Bird, chief technology officer for Resource Fitness, which developed the equipment. “It then runs through an inverter to convert it to AC electricity, which goes into the grid.”

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