Bikers help power their own gym

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 09:02 AM
posted by rene5432

The green energy sector has understandably focused on large-scale technologies like wind, solar, biomass and others that can be used to provide power on an at least somewhat reliable basis. But some smaller efforts are worth taking note of as well.

The Boston Herald reports that Energia, a gym in Hadley, Massachusetts, has introduced a new program to generate renewable electricity direct from its own customers.

Using a system designed by The Green Revolution and employed in 70 fitness clubs around the country, the gym taps into the efforts of cyclists in so-called spin classes.

People in these high-intensity biking classes can increase or decreases the resistance on their machines, and the energy they create is put directly into a grid-tied inverter similar to those used with solar power installations.

“It gives us an opportunity to do something positive for the environment, to capture energy and return it to the Earth,” Jennifer Siddall, the founder of Energia, told the Herald. "And it gives our clients a greater sense of purpose."

One 13-person class can produce around 1,000 kilowatt-hours of renewable electricity in a year. Through November of last year, that would amount to an average of more than $140 in Massachusetts, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, though some gyms have reported saving as much as $1,000.

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