News / Health

Spinning Exercise into Environmental Action

Exercise bikes convert fitness energy into clean electricity

Health club members can see how much electricity they generate while riding their exercise bikes.
Health club members can see how much electricity they generate while riding their exercise bikes.
June Soh

Riders of a new kind of exercise bicycle can generate electric power for their fitness center's use while they burn their own calories.  
The technology helps health clubs save money and also gives added incentive for the exercisers to work harder.

In a group exercise class at one of the Washington Sports Club's locations in Washington D.C., riders spin their bikes faster and faster following the instructor's command.

Jillian Cooney, a sports club for four years, enjoys the spinning class. But these days, she says, the group exercise is a little different.



"I think it is more challenging. I would not necessarily say it is more difficult but more challenging," says Cooney. "I challenge myself more with these levels than when I use the resistance."

The sports club's stationary cycles were recently retrofitted with so-called "Green Revolution" technology, which turns every bike into an electrical generator. The technology allows riders to generate power with every turn of the pedals.

"We put a generator on each bike in the group cycling studio so while the fitness enthusiasts are getting their workout," says Mike Curnyn, of The Green Revolution, a company based in the eastern U.S. state of Connecticut, "their energy is being captured and being converted to clean electricity that is being used to help power the health club."

A touch-pad screen on each exercise bike shows how much energy the cycle is sending to the electricity grid.
A touch-pad screen on each exercise bike shows how much energy the cycle is sending to the electricity grid.

Instead of turning a knob to adjust resistance, riders control the resistance levels of the bike with a touch-pad screen, which also shows how much energy the cycle has sent to the grid.

"We add this control panel. If you want to simulate you are climbing a hill, you would click the uphill button and now the resistance level will change," says Curnyn. "It can go up to level 20. Or if you wanted to be on a flat road and you wanted to sprint, then you could lower the resistance. The key is, by changing the resistance levels on the control panel, they are now controlling how much electricity they're producing."

No single rider generates a large amount of electricity in a one-hour session.  But Curnyn says if you add in the bike next to yours, and the one next to that, and so on, you can see real results.

"Each person has the potential to generate about 100 watt-hours during their hour cycling class, so if you have 25 people in the class, you have the potential to create about 2 ½ to 3 kilowatts of electricity," says Curnyn. "And that is enough electricity to light all the lights in this large fitness room, or to light the air conditioning system that is being used to cool the health club."

Not only does this help the health club save money, it also provides added incentive for the exercisers to work harder.

"I like that since I am coming to the gym to work out anyway it is good that I get a work-out while also helping produce energy and cutting back on the power the gym has to use," says sports club member Jillian Cooney.

Michel Pranikof has tried the bike twice so far. "I really like it. This is really cool because you know that you are contributing to the environment. You are actually giving power, giving some power back."

The Green Revolution's first installation was a year and a half ago.  Now, they have installations in about 60 facilities across the United States and Canada. The company is testing ways to apply the technology to other kinds of cardio-fitness devices, such as rowing machines and elliptical trainers.

You May Like

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

Physically and culturally close to Western Europe, Lviv feels solidarity with compatriots in country’s east but says they need to decide own future More

West African Women Disproportionately Affected by Ebola

Women's roles in families and the community put them at greater risk for contracting the disease, officials say More

Video NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft Arrives at Mars

Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution craft will measure rates at which gases escape Martian atmosphere into space More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid