Among the more unusual features at the Green Microgym, which opened Friday, is a four-person machine called Team Dynamo, which harnesses the collective power of exercisers as they pedal and turn hand cranks. Unlike with spin bikes, the added hand cranks are designed to provide rigorous upper-body workouts ó as well as yield additional electricity.
In addition to the Team Dynamo, Boesel has re-engineered a small motor to capture the pedal power from a trio of spin bikes and generate electricity for the gymís television and stereo system. A more sophisticated version, he said, could be scaled up for larger spaces.
The total output is small but not insignificant ó initially, Boesel believes the Team Dynamo and his modified spin bikes could collectively generate about 1,000 watts per hour. But beyond the modest boost in member-generated power, Boesel also hopes to encourage patrons to reconsider how they can reduce their own electricity use while trimming their waistlines.
I think it's an excellent idea. I heard of a gym here in Australia trialing a similar thing. When you think about it, busy gyms with a shitload of exercise bikes could atleast generate a significant amount of power to be put to some good use.