Solving the climate crisis requires smart energy solutions that will reduce the need for fossil fuels and create sustainable options. This is exactly what WZMH Architects is focused on. It wants to design buildings with reduced energy consumption that are fueled by renewable energy. But buildings that run on renewable energy need a renewable energy source to draw from. How about a combination of human energy, the sun and a great idea?

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A rendering of an apartment with a stationary bike plugged into the wall and connected to solar panels to generate energy.

Together with Ryerson University, WZMH has created a microgrid in a box. It’s a personal green energy-producing machine. Dubbed mySUN, it can be used to power LED lighting, mobile devices, heating systems and air conditioning units, among others.

Related: DC Microgrids, building infrastructure for energy’s future

A person riding a stationary bike connected to a wood platform.

This solar-powered design uses a plug-and-play system. The system works with the Sunrider bike, so users can generate their own energy, which can then be stored. Energy is generated through biomechanical power, otherwise known as the power of biological movement.

A stationary bike connected to a wood platform.

You create energy every time you move. The average person creates 100 to 150 watts of power while riding a stationary bike. Adding a motor to a stationary bike can produce enough energy to run the lights in a 300-square-foot space for an entire day. This system harnesses that power.

Two solar panels, one mounted on the wall and one on the ground.

And because the mySUN box is so small, it can be put right into the walls of apartments. This creates power easily for individual units. The implications of such a device are enormous. With a device like this, apartment buildings could be erected with no copper wiring whatsoever. Each unit would have its own power source.

A rendering of an apartment with a stationary bike inside plugged into the wall and connected to solar panels outside.

In the words of Zenon Radewych, Principal at WZMH, “Think of the mySUN box as your own personal and portable green energy producing utility. It is a low-voltage, direct current device, making connectivity to a DC microgrid very simple. The mySUN can be integrated into a community of buildings that are DC-based, all feeding from the same DC microgrid. Green energy is then created through the use of solar panels, wind turbines or energy bikes, and is stored in battery packs that are part of mySUN. Instead of large and complex electrical plants in buildings, hundreds or thousands of mySUN units can share energy with multiple users through a DC microgrid.”

A close-up of a wood box with a black screen and white panel.

DC Microgrids is a large-scale project WZMH Architects has been involved in where multiple energy sources are explored so their power can be harnessed. Ultimately, the plan is to use wind and solar power, among other renewable energy sources, to power entire communities and buildings.

A light-toned wood box with the mySUN logo in the middle.

“At WZMH, we truly believe that people today want to make a difference in reducing their carbon footprint, and hope innovations like the mySUN provide cost-effective and sustainable solutions to our world’s energy problems,” Radewych added.


Images via Idea Workshop