ReRev Makes Energy Generating Gyms a Reality

by , 02/09/10

exercise, elliptical machines, human power, human generated power, renewable energy, zero carbon, zero energy, ReRev,

Many of us have been to the gym and wondered why the exercise equipment isn’t hooked up to generate electricity and feed it back into the grid. At long last a company in Florida called ReRev has answered our calls, converting existing elliptical machines into sources of power. Now when you hit the gym, you can burn off those calories while creating some renewable energy for a carbon negative workout.

When you work out on standard exercise equipment in the gym, all of the kinetic energy you generate is completely wasted on the machine. It’s certainly not a new idea to transform that kinetic energy into electrical energy, but up until recently nothing was commercially available. ReRev’s system easily converts existing equipment into power generating machines, so when you step on and start moving, most of your energy generates DC power. The DC power is then sent to an AC converter and then sent to the grid.

With a ReRev system a 30 minute workout on an elliptical cross-trainer will generate around 50 Watts of power, which is enough to power a CFL bulb for 2.5 hrs, to charge a cell phone 6 times, to run a laptop for 1 hour, or a desktop for 30 minutes. When you add up all the people coming into the gym throughout the day and using these machines, you could produce some serious power!

So far ReRev has installed the conversions in around 180 machines around the country in university athletic centers and gyms. Next in line to get the human-powered machines is Furman University, whose Senior class is currently raising funds to get 15 installed at their Athletic Center. Recently, energy generated by a set of elliptical machines at the University of Kansas powered the basketball court during a game!

+ ReRev

Via Newswise

Lead photo by YMCATwinCities

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  1. Claus Mikkelsen January 3, 2014 at 5:20 am

    This is a perfekt idea, good koncept.


    Claus Mikkelsen

  2. Noel A. Thomas September 28, 2011 at 11:09 am

    I worked on this concept two years ago and promoted this idea where it could be used by individuals for purpose of exercising and at the same the main target was to look into the possibility of this concept to be tried out where the poor and unemployed could get paid for the power they could generate individually or collectively. I was unable to make any progress as the equipment was then not available. Can someone advise me how this should be done. Noel A. Thomas

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  4. eheller August 13, 2010 at 10:19 am

    This is great. I think every little bit can make a difference, especially when added up by many people participating – and we as a globe are many poeple after all – part of the problem of too much resource use these days! So this leads to my question: How can I help my gym (Planet Fitness) adopt these machienes, even if on an experimental basis? Just think of the implications of a CHAIN having these machines, not just isolated cases and universities for example. Thanks!

  5. Greg_09 February 9, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    This is pretty cool! I’m interested to see how it plays out and if its a successful financial investment.

    I would double check your units though, I think that a 30 minute workout would generate energy, given in Joules or Kilowatt-hours. Using the elliptical would generate a given amount of power (Watts) at any given second, because power is a rate of energy conversion. Multiply that rate by how long you work out, and you get total energy produced.

    I’m sorry if I’m being nitpicky.

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