California Fitness Power Plant
By Elmer W. Cagape Aug 05, 2007 12:00AM UTC
Not too long ago I read a story California Fitness Gym’s demonstration how energy is generated from gym users.
As the political and ecological aspects of energy rise in people’s consciousness, the search for new and clean ways to generate energy is gaining momentum. A fitness center in Hong Kong has joined the movement with a new idea: the energy generated by the members as they exercise is transformed into electricity to help light the facility. Now that’s renewing energy exerted on trying to be physically fit.
At Hong Kong’s California Fitness centers, the new catch phrase might be, no sweat, no light, a slight divergence from the proverbial no pain, no gain. When club members use certain exercise machines, the energy they generate is turned into stored electricity. To make the fluorescent tubes in the studio’s ceiling light up, they have to start doing something. This is just the same as pumping water first from the well before a thirst quenching drink is served or simply work first before you get paid.
Lucien Gambarota, a Hong Kong-based renewable energy entrepreneur and the inventor of the idea, says an average person can produce 50 watts of electricity per hour. He explains how the energy created by the exercisers is transformed into electricity.
Gym users are enthusiastic about the new project, which started at the end of February.
So far, only 13 of the club’s exercise machines are hooked up to a battery. Because of the encouraging results in the start-up phase, however, the center is planning to expand the idea throughout the gym.
Clinefelter’s other vision for the future: he says he plans to hook up the club’s television sets to the human-generation system. If you want to watch TV while working on the stationary bike or the Stairmaster – you are just going to have to pump harder.
So the next time I pass through Wan Chai’s California Fitness gym near the Immigration Tower across Gloucester Road, I can start imagining the treadmill users as human electricity sources.