Some of my best friends enjoy going to the gym. They say they get a charge out of a good workout, a buzz from a good schvitz. I have to admit, though, I never was much of a gym rat. I mean, take a walk or ride a bike and go somewhere, do something. Exercise, to me, should be a value-add. Running on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike seems kind of, well, like going nowhere.
That caveat aside, from where I sit (emphasis on “sit”), someone’s finally come up with a way to make workouts do some work. A company called ReRev is retrofitting cardio gym equipment to turn the kinetic motion of your aerobic workout into DC (direct current) power that feeds back into a building’s electrical system. The current is fed into a ReRev box where it’s converted into utility-grade AC (alternating current), the form of electricity our homes and businesses know and love. That’s free – working up a sweat aside – electricity with no maintenance required.
According to ReRev, the system can turn a typical 30-minute workout into 50 watt hours of clean electricity. That’s enough to power a laptop for an hour, charge your cell phone six times, or power a compact fluorescent light (CFL) for two and a half hours.
The system is installed at a growing number of facilities across the country, including venues at a bunch of universities, such as Florida, Kentucky, Chico State in Northen California, and Drexel in Philadelphia (pictured above). In fact, your gym could be ideal for a ReRev system, depending on its workout volume and amount of equipment.
And if you’re interested, the ReRev site has a nifty form you can fill out about your gym master (Is that what they’re called? I wouldn’t even know).