The revolution involving green sources of energy goes beyond the need for solar and wind turbine technology. Many businesses and universities are bringing awareness to alternative energy by utilizing pedal power and generators that involve a stationary bicycle. Using a pedal-powered means of producing electricity is hardly efficient but it can get the job done. Even a simple hand crank can power a radio for a small amount of time. Why are so many companies turning to bicycle energy for clean alternatives? Here are some answers.
The number one reason why so many people are hearing about pedal power is simple awareness. If pedals can be turned by the energy of human legs to produce power, imagine how much wind turbines can create using the same process. That’s the message of the ReRev according to CNN. Company CEO Hudson Harr admits that “It teaches people about energy.” ReRev retrofits exercise equipment to be used for power generation on a small scale.
As such, using pedal power can charge a 12 Volt battery, recharge a cell phone, and even power a computer for a limited time. Inmates in Arizona are pedaling for power to get television time as the power they generate goes into batteries that run televisions.
Not only can you help offset your carbon footprint by using pedal power you get a good workout as well. The Green Microgym in Portland, Oregon, is one such facility. If you take advantage of the “burn and earn” discount, for every hour you pedal on their stationary bikes to generate power you get one dollar towards a ten dollar gift certificate for coffee and the like or a discount at a nearby Adidas store.
Even better, you can buy a stationary bicycle for your home to power whatever equipment you want and help reduce your electric bills even if it is on a small scale. Imagine Lance Armstrong’s house-he could probably generate enough power to run his entire house.
A recent hotel in Copenhagen is offering a free meal if you pedal a bicycle for a half an hour. The Crowne Plaza says anyone who generates 10 watt hours gets a meal worth around $44 according to Reuters. How long it takes to generate that power depends upon how fast you pedal.
Students are also getting in on the act. A high school physics class in Indiana is bringing awareness to Pendleton Heights High School. The class made its own generator and hooked it up to a bicycle to demonstrate how power generation works simply by something going around and around over and over again. The method by which the power is produced varies but recent pushes for wind and solar power are certainly being brought to the forefront of energy policy and production.
Pedal power is more than just seeing what you can do for the environment. You also get a good workout and educate your mind and body about what can be done for effective power generation without burning fossil fuels.