Have you ever looked at an elliptical machine and wondered if there was a way to use the energy generated by the exerciser to power your facility? You’re not alone. Using specialized technology called ReCardio, Oregon State University (OSU) and private firm ReRev.com have been able to capture this energy and send it back to the power grid. The energy generated from 22 retrofitted elliptical machines was estimated at about 3,500 kilowatt hours per year. “Its output could be equivalent to what is needed to power a small, very efficient house,” stated Brandon Trelstad, OSU’s sustainability coordinator. According to a press release, each machine is equipped with a display screen that shows “momentary power production, production to date, production peaks and more.”
OSU is not the only university to implement power-producing elliptical machines. Texas State University—San Marcos recently unveiled 30 retrofitted elliptical trainers that will convert user-generated energy into electricity. “We want the Texas State community to gain a better understanding of how much energy it takes to power simple devices we use on a regular basis,” stated university officials in a press release.