At the NYU gym a year or so I go, I had one of those adrenaline-induced flashes of insight: why aren’t we using exercise equipment to generate electricity? Inhabitat reports that inventor Lucien Gambarota has done the obvious, hooking up step, cycling and cross-training machines to lighting circuits for Hong Kong-based California Fitness. Maybe I won’t be getting rich off the idea anymore, but at least somebody out there’s doing it.
According to the article, each exerciser generates enough energy to power one 50 watt incandescent, or about 3 CFLs. That’s not a lot – unless we all start getting really ripped, we won’t be powering our cities with stairmaster anytime soon. Still, Gambarota’s innovation makes it possible for fitness centers themselves to become carbon neutral, and maybe add a little bit to the grid.