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Human Power Generation in Fitness Facilities

[+] Author Affiliations
Maha N. Haji, Kimberly Lau, Alice M. Agogino

University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

Paper No. ES2010-90195, pp. 495-501; 7 pages
  • ASME 2010 4th International Conference on Energy Sustainability
  • ASME 2010 4th International Conference on Energy Sustainability, Volume 1
  • Phoenix, Arizona, USA, May 17–22, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division and Solar Energy Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4394-9 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3871-6
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


As energy usage across the world continues to rise, there is a strong need to develop new methods for energy conservation and power generation, particularly approaches that have less environmental impacts. Although human power is not ideal in terms of life cycle costs [1], there are promising application areas for human power in emerging regions where electric power is either not available or not affordable [2]. There is also untapped potential for harnessing human power at most fitness facilities. This paper focuses on the feasibility of capturing this energy at fitness facilities, particularly the Recreational Sports Facility (RSF) at University of California, Berkeley, which averages over 2,800 patrons per day. In particular, we estimated that patrons using 28 elliptical machines would supply approximately 10,000 kWh into the electric grid over a year. This amounts to only 0.7% of the RSF’s total energy needs, but is valuable nonetheless. An additional benefit in human power generation is its positive social impact. A survey of the RSF users has evinced remarkable enthusiasm for implementing energy generation technology into the facility, both as a power generation tool and as an educational resource. This paper will also address the social benefits of human power generation technology in the gym.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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