Energy is used to run everything. Anything that moves or performs some function does so via the use of energy. Energy is never destroyed, but during certain processes it can be converted into different types of energy. Heat energy from the sun is converted into electricity in solar panels. Potential energy in coal is converted into heat energy when burnt, which in turn is turned into electricity. Potential energy in food is turned into energy to power the human body when eaten. Within reason energy can be converted form one form to another with relative ease.
So creating electricity from solar and wind seems obvious because it is common, but what about converting the energy of the human body into electricity? In the gym humans use lots of energy to move weights and exercise. The Great Outdoor Gym Company (TGO) has created the first outdoor gym which converts the energy exerted by people during exercise into electricity.
At the Green Heart gym in Hull, England, the electricity generated on the cross trainer and exercise bikes are used to power the LED lighting for the site, but TGO’s creative director said that they are working with the National Housing Federation to find sites where the gyms could provide the electricity to power local buildings, or just connect to the local grid.
According to TGO, each piece of equipment has the potential to produce between 50W and 400W, although this clearly depends on the physical ability of the person using the machine at the time, and the average power production is more likely to be about 100W for those people who are not Olympic athletes.
TGO has plans to build 100 new gyms each year for the next five years. Each gym generally serves a community of about 5,000 and therefore in five years time the power potential of 2.5 million people could be adding clean electricity to the grid.
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com