Human-Powered Electricity Generation as a Renewable Resource

Michael Carbajales-Dale, Benjamin Douglass
  • BioPhysical Economics and Resource Quality, March 2018, Springer Science + Business Media
  • DOI: 10.1007/s41247-018-0036-5

Human-powered gyms - can human power be used to generated electricity renewably?

What is it about?

This paper looks at whether people exercising in a gym can power the gym as an alternative to other renewable sources, like solar panels.

Why is it important?

There is a lot of focus on renewable energy. This is the first assessment we have seen in the literature of using humans to produce electricity as a renewable resource and to actually put some numbers behind that.


Dr Michael Carbajales-Dale
Clemson University

As an energy researcher, folks always come up and say they have this great idea for powering gyms. So, we decided to do a study on it. Even though the energy is 'free' you still have to pay for the upfront investment for the special equipment - bikes, rowing machines. That money would be better spent on other power sources. Basically, there's a reason we replaced humans with machines for a lot of manual tasks - humans can't supply very much power.

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