Feeding the Grid By Bike: Electricity Generating Gyms (Video)
Image credit: Green Power Science
There's something very charming about Dan and Denise Rojas of Green Power Science. Not every energy project they pursue is the most practical in the world, but from huge DIY solar collectors to solar flash cooking an egg in ten seconds, you certainly couldn't blame these guys for a lack of experimentation. And now they are tackling one of those perennial questions that keeps popping up in our comments box—couldn't gyms be tied up to the grid to create power? The short answer is yes, they could, but as Dan explains, they wouldn't create very much power. You only have to look at the insane amount of cyclists it takes to power one house to understand that electricity-generating gyms could never be more than a tiny drop in the ocean when it comes to overall power usage.
But that doesn't mean it's not worth pursuing. In fact, green gyms have started appearing all over the place—including this green gym for the homeless in Detroit. As Dan points out, if gyms hook up all of their bikes to the grid, users can compete to see who generated the most energy. And it's a great way to educate folks on just how much power really is required to run our fossil fuel dependent lifestyles.
So how do you do it? Using an old bike, a grid-tied inverter, and an old scooter motor, Dan gives us some ideas: