Thursday, November 20, 2008

On the Trainer for More Than Fitness?

As the cold months approach and the trainer starts getting its workout, I find it timely that the latest issue of Mother Earth News has a BIG article about Making Electricity While You Exercise. Yup - they are talking about a set-up very similar to the trainer set-up we all love and use all winter long. Ellsworth Actually had this same set up at Interbike in 2007. SEE THE VIDEO FROM INTERBIKE HERE. It sure makes sense to me to actually USE that energy we expend in a hour or so of pedaling. But don't expect too much in that hour of energy - one hour of pedaling produces about 100 watt-hours. That’s about enough energy to power:
A clock radio for 10 hours
A 15-watt compact fluorescent light bulb for 6 hours, 40 minutes
A laptop computer for 2 hours
A 19-inch LCD TV for 1 hour, 40 minutes
A toaster for 7 1/2 minutes
An iron for 3 1/2 to 6 minutes

The article claims one hour of pedaling is worth about one penny -- that's $.01 cent. Geez - you'd think we'd be worth more than that for an hour's worth of pedaling. The article didn't get into exertion or force, so I'm sure the possibility exists that you animals will generate more power than the average joe sitting on a bike for an hour. And where to get the equipment to hook up to your bike? Wind Stream Power is the primary source, manufacturing home sources of power since 1974. (They have other cool stuff on their website too -- but it ain't cheap!) It'll set you back about $1,000 for the set up to generate power from your bike. Is it worth it? Maybe. You tell me!

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