Going Green at the Gym

Thursday, March 8, 2012 - 11:37am

The spinning bikes at Energia have been retrofitted to turn the energy of a workout, into electricity.

After a long workout at the gym, you might think that all of your energy has just disappeared.

Nick Bannin found a gym where that's not the case.

Energia is no ordinary gym and these are no ordinary bikes.

These spinning bikes have been retrofitted by a company called "green revolution" to turn the energy of a workout, into electricity.

"While people are riding the bikes the demand for electricity from the utilities goes down, as soon as the bikes are idle, the demand for electricity from utilities goes right back to its normal levels, it's all dynamic, the health club owners don't have to throw any switches," says co-founder Mike Curnyn.

"An average hour long workout on one of these bikes creates about 110 watts, that's enough to power two laptops and you're reducing your carbon footprint at the same time."

This is the first fitness center in Massachusetts to harness the energy of spinning, and it's one of only 70 in North America.

"They're realizing: wow, this is tough to generate energy and why are we wasting it, why not think twice and really make an effort to conserve and it's pretty cool that I get to create energy as well," says Energia owner Jennifer Siddall.

All the bikes are connected to a device known as a grid tide command center which converts the energy from direct current to alternating current which can be used as electricity.

As a gym, Energia has been open since 2010, but only just started harnessing the energy of the spin class.

"I think it's been a long time coming for gyms to harness energy that's already created," Lindner said.

And as an extra benefit, creating electricity is also a good motivator.

"I’ve never seen anything like this before so seeing how many watts I’m producing in the hour during the workout is not only a good gauge of how hard I’m working out, it's a really positive reinforcing aspect," said Warhaft.

Over the course of a year, the gym should produce enough power to light 72 homes for a month while reducing 5,000 pounds of carbon dioxide.

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