Juice Up Your Gadgets While Burning Calories

Juice Up Your Gadgets While Burning Calories

Sonia Zjawinski
Nov 20, 2008

The other day we were ranting and raving about the wasted energy opportunity gyms have. All those people working away on treadmills, stationary bikes, and elliptical machines could be generating power to juice up the very buildings they're in. As if on cue, New Scientist came in the mail with a great roundup answering dumb eco questions. One of those dumb questions concerns the validity of our rant. It turns out there is such a gym in Portland. The Green Microgym opened in August and features specially adapted machines that can generate 1000 watts.

For those who don't live in the northwest there's Pedal-a-Watt, a stand that turns your regular road bike into a stationary bike. As you pedal your bike's rear wheel spins a generator. The generator consists of a spinning magnet within a coil of wire. As the magnet spins electricity flows through the coil, which can then be used immediately or stored in a battery.

Depending on how powerful of a rider you are, the typical adult can generate between 100 to over 320 watts of power per biking session. Here's a breakdown of how much power is needed to juice up your gadgets.

Small TV 100 watts
Large TV 200 watts
Laptop PC 10 watts
Desktop PC 75 watts
Stereo 20 watts
Charging a cellphone 5 watts
Hi Efficiency Desk lamp 15 watts
Refrigerator 700 watts
Dishwasher 350 watts
Dryer 400 watts

photo: econvergence

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