There are currently 70 gyms across the United States using their pedal power to generate electricity. Energia Studios outside Boston, MA opened in 2010, now ranks among those trying to get off the grid with help from those feeling the burn in their spin classes.
The gym’s exercise bikes are connected to equipment that can harness and store power, which are built and designed by The Green Revolution. “We have had our Star Tracy Spinner Pro bikes fit with the patent pending device that attaches directly in front on the fly wheel,” owner Jennifer Siddall told BikeRadar.
Siddal says the gym even came up with its tagline, “Exercise for Energy” more than two years before she even started thinking about this cutting edge green technology. Instead her tagline of exercising for energy was rooted in another idea, however, now the line seems less than fortuitous. “I firmly believe that the more energy you put into your fitness regime, the more energy you have for everything else in your life,” said Siddall. “And now we mean it on a whole other level as well.”
Energia’s co-founder, Mike Curnyn, noted that the average hour-long workout on one of the bikes creates about 110 watts, which is enough to power two laptops. An hour long spin class could also generate enough power for 50 florescent lights.
Doing this math it is worth noting that the gym over the course of a year could actually produce enough power to light 72 homes for a month while reducing 5,000 pounds of carbon dioxide.
Power is converted and stored right next to the spin instructor: power is converted and stored right next to the spin instructor Energia Studios
Power is converted and stored right next to the Spin instructor
And when riders stop spinning the lights not need go out. “The energy gets stored in the inverter cabinet that is attached to each Spin bike via a cord plugged into the alternator at the front of the bike,” said Siddall. “It converts captured DC energy into AC. So, yes! The energy generated can be used when classes are not in session.”
This is still a small step — or small pedal stroke — in the right direction, but is just one way that Energia is trying to go green. In addition to the classes that harness the power of the ride, the gym employs bamboo flooring, and uses 100-percent recycled material in its sustainable workout studio.