Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pedal Power Is Fueling Green Awareness

From Detroit to Denmark, the power of the pedal is generating electricity and energy conservation awareness. But this concept of human-powered exercise equipment has not become mainstream. The idea is there, but implementation is going slowly, said Adam Boesel, the owner of a human-powered gym in Portland, Oregon. ‘Nobody is coming out with the Prius of exercise equipment,’ he said. ‘I think it's because big companies move slow. I liken it to the hybrid car. Five years ago, there were only a couple electric cars, now everyone wants to do it.’ All the elliptical trainers and bicycles at his Green Microgym convert human energy. The human and solar power at the gym generated 36 percent of its electricity, saving about 37,000 kilowatt-hours in 2009, Boesel said. The average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer is about 11,000 kilowatt-hours. ‘The way we look at it, you can waste energy or not waste energy,’ Boesel said. ‘Anytime people exercise, that exercise is being wasted in terms of heat. We're trying to save...

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