In the era of sustainable energy, power grids and electric cars, I think it would be appropriate to talk about sustainable gyms too. Sport and fitness are considered the most common leisure activity for the majority of people. This occurs even more often while we approach the Christmas holidays and New Year’s Eve, when our tables will be stuffed of cakes and calories.
So why not thinking about powering a gym,
by just doing a workout?
I envisioned a floor that would generate energy just by walking on it. The energy could be immediately used to power the display of the spinning bike our buddy is cycling on. Or just stored in a battery for later. Weight lifting is yet another source of energy. Every time the weights are “smashed” on the floor, they would generate an amount of watts. After all, that’s what people do when they go to the gym: they generate watts in order to burn that cake they really could not say no to.
I recently came across pavegen.com a company that makes a tile that, indeed generates electricity just by stepping over. Regardless of the fact that these guys do that since 2012, the problem of such a technology is that they need about 1500 euros to cover 1 square meter of surface.
The gym where my mate is used to go is about 400 square meters, meaning that the whole floor would cost 600 000 euros plus maintenance. Moreover, it would generate approximately 2kW at its best. Not so much for such a large gym and for the cost of the floor. This cost would be payed back in 3 years with a minimum of 1000 subscribers. Quite risky.
I am looking at this fact just as a technological gap, not an unfeasible idea. The day this technology will be more affordable there would be no reason to tile gyms, offices and even streets to produce energy just by walking on them.
This, of course, should not discourage us from doing workouts today.