A new generation of workout machines that generate electricity as you exercise may soon be coming to your gym or fitness center.
The power produced as you work up a sweat goes back into the grid, helping to offset the facility’s consumption and helping it to save on its utility bills.
Called the Green System, the eco-friendly innovation is the brainchild of Woodinville-based SportsArt Fitness and it represents a unique and novel way to “harness human power,” explains Ken Carpenter, director of sales for the company.
He says, “It’s a ‘pod’ of fitness products attached to an inverter that harnesses human-generated power from exercisers and feeds it back into the power grid as useable energy.”
The inverter is the size of a stereo receiver and has a 208-240VAC plug that needs to be wired to the grid for safety. To operate the system, a person simply starts exercising.
Each pod of products, which can consist of any combination of ten elliptical trainers and bikes (recumbent or upright), can generate up to 2,000 watt-hours at maximum capacity.
That’s enough electricity to power a washer for six hours, a microwave oven for 2.5 hours or a 27-inch flat screen TV for 17 hours. A typical gym or health club that replaces its ellipticals and cycles with Green Systems could see savings of over $3,000 per year on its electricity bills.
According to Carpenter, SportsArt launched the revolutionary system last March at a national trade show in San Francisco, followed by two other soft showings in Las Vegas and Florida.
“The response was exceptional,” he comments. “Everyone was very positive and very excited about it.”
The Green System, which is made in the company’s factory in Taiwan, is expected to earn full government approval later this month and hit the market soon after. A number of sources have already expressed interest in the product.
“YMCAs are very interested in it,” says Carpenter. “It’ll also be marketed to rec centers, fitness clubs and schools and colleges.”
SportsArt is currently working with Canadian-based EcoFit, a company which produces digital technology to calculate the number of watts a person generates during a workout. The data is put on a graphical display and the watts are then monitored on a card.
This technology can encourage and motivate exercisers to compete with others in their gym.
“We also hope to use the data generated as points that people can ‘cash in’ at coffee shops or other stores,” adds Carpenter. “It’ll be an extra incentive.”
SportsArt Fitness is an industry leader in the design and manufacture of high quality cardiovascular and strength equipment for home and commercial use.
The company has a long history of eco-friendly product innovation and is considered a pioneer in the field. It was one of the first manufacturers of self-powered elliptical trainers and cycles. Five years ago, it created a treadmill motor system engineered to use 32 percent less power than standard treadmill motors.
“The combination of our ECO-POWR treadmill motors and our Green System ellipticals and cycles will save facilities thousands in energy costs,” says Carpenter.
He predicts that demand for the Green System will grow as the motivation to be green continues to rise within society.
“People choose to be green because they want to leave a smaller carbon footprint and/or they want to save money,” he notes. “This system appeals to both those motivations. It’s a clean, renewal energy source – an alternative energy source – and it’ll also save you money.”
For more information on the SportsArt Fitness brand and the Green System: www.sportsartamerica.com.