Humans convert food energy (calories) into chemical energy that is used for moving their muscles. The human body is about 25% efficient, meaning that only 25% of the food energy is converted into available chemical energy. The rest is lost as heat which keeps our body temperature around 96 degrees (36 Celsius). Utilizing cutting edge technology to convert calories into power is something more and more exercise, health and ecology fiends are looking for.
Fitness exercise equipment help us stay fit and healthy, but what about the energy that is consumed while using those equipment? On one hand, the energy we release during exercise goes untapped while on the other, we use external energy to run the fitness equipment. What if we could turn this entire mechanism into a human dynamo?
One hour of intense pedaling produces about 100 watt-hours. That’s about enough energy to power:
- A clock radio for 10 hours;
- A 15-watt compact fluorescent light bulb for 6 hours, 40 minutes;
- A laptop computer for 2 hours;
- A 19-inch LCD TV for 1 hour, 40 minutes;
- A toaster for 7 1/2 minutes;
- An iron for 3 1/2 to 6 minutes;
- The stationary bikes are a great basic option for any home or fitness gym. Using a generator system, these machines can generate up to 500 watts of energy depending on the fitness level of the human using them. Pedal power is a fun idea that does generate usable amounts of electricity, but it’s easy to understand why a human-powered device can be viewed as a trinket without a meaningful role in a household’s energy supply. Nevertheless, some pedal generators are used regularly to do serious work. The low factor to making pedal power a viable option is matching expectations with realistic output.
- Think of Pumgo Scooter that you power yourself. You can zip around town while getting exercise in the great outdoors with this human-powered gadget! It’s the world’s first pedal-powered scooter and can be used as fitness exercise equipment and as a form of transportation.
- Because they involve both arms and legs, elliptical trainers are an ideal piece of fitness exercise equipment for turning human power into electricity.
- There are other futuristic things in the works you may be able to use at home to create your own renewable energy. Consider, for instance, this knee brace developed by researched at the University of Michigan that captures kinetic energy from walking and turns it into energy. This works much like regenerative braking on a hybrid vehicle system and could be coming to your home soon.
- Also see how to generate electricity using a simple bicycle.