A Portland, Oregon gym is blazing a new trail in renewable energy, and it's human powered! The Green Microgym, set to open this Friday, is said to be the first fitness center in the country to use the energy from exercise equipment, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Although the idea isn't brand new, Adam Boesel's Microgym is being touted as the first example to have human-power intimately tied to its operations and business model. In the gym's Human Dynamo prototype, four spin bikes attach to a small generator, which includes a digital readout. The system can reportedly produce 200 watts to 600 watts of energy an hour.
Boesel expects the 3,000-square foot gym to use about half the energy of most gyms, which are known to be power hogs. Eventually, he hopes to be energy self sufficient.
The Microgym will also include roof-top solar panels and cork and recycled rubber floors.
While some critics may argue that human pedal power isn't likely to replace large amounts of fossil fuels anytime soon, the technology surely can't hurt. It's possible that the psychological benefits could be substantial, particularly in getting people to think more about conservation (as they see how much effort it takes to generate a Watt), and to spur invention and investment in other alternative ventures.
It's going to take a lot of effort to break our addiction to fossil fuels, and every little bit will help (particularly if the idea catches on across more gyms). So start working up that sweat!
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