Grid-Tie Exercise Machines: A Long Overdue Idea

by Tim Fulton on April 16, 2009

Photo: robertDouglass

Every wonder what happens to all the calories you burn when you’re working out on the machines in the gym? Besides all the heat your body makes when you’re sweating it out, the machines waste a lot of energy generating the friction that your muscles work against.

Wouldn’t it make sense to put that energy to good use rather than just burning it all up? Well, some of the good folks at Oregon State University thought so. Recently they added grid-tie power generating capabilities to 22 of their elliptical machines.

The machines can produce 1 KWH of energy for every 10 hours they are in use. This may not sound a lot, but with over 22 machines used every day this adds up to quite a bit of energy:

Trelstad added that OSU’s effort will produce an estimated 3,500 kilowatt hours of electricity in a year – enough to power a small house. What’s more, OSU will save money on cooling costs since latent heat produced from the machines will be captured.

When you consider that they only cost about $300 to convert each machine, this seems like a very worthwhile thing to do in the long run.

Source: NWF

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