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Generating electricity by working up a sweat

Work & Lifestyle

Like the sustainable dance club we featured last year, a gym in Hong Kong is turning human movement into kilowatts. While the gym’s customers are working up a sweat on cycling and cross-training machines, the energy they create is used to power lighting. Excess energy is stored in a battery. The “Power by You” concept was developed by French inventor Lucien Gambarota and Californian entrepreneur Doug Woodring. Gambarota rigged up the exercise machines using a variety of bits and pieces, from washing machine parts to a car battery. California Fitness, part of an international chain of fitness centres, won’t have humans powering entire gyms anytime soon. The modified machines generate approximately 50 watts when used by an average person. So if all 13 machines are in use, enough electricity is generated to power 10 or 11 60-watt light bulbs. However, the idea is smart and appealing, and could well make gyms more sustainable if the technology is improved and if manufacturers of exercise equipment can be convinced to adapt their products accordingly. Spotted by: Inhabitat



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