A Hadley, Mass., gym is the first private group fitness studio in the state to capture clean, renewable energy from high-intensity indoor cycling workouts.
Energia uses technology developed by The Green Revolution Inc. to convert energy created by spin classes to electricity that helps power the studio.
"It gives us an opportunity to do something positive for the environment, to capture energy and return it to the Earth. And it gives our clients a greater sense of purpose," said Jennifer Siddall, who opened the boutique spin and yoga studio in 2003.
The Green Revolution designed a generator that attaches to each of the 13 bicycles and converts the energy produced by the person using it to clean electricity, said Michael Curnyn, the Ridgefield, Conn., company's co-founder.
That electricity is then fed into a grid-tied invertor that converts it from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) and feeds it into an electrical panel, reducing the need for electricity from utilities, Curnyn said.
Cyclists can control their renewable energy output individually through a resistance control panel attached to each bike, and they can see how much energy they generate as a class on a large, flat-screen TV behind the instructor.
A typical group cycling class consisting of 13 bicycles can produce up to 1,000 kilowatts of renewable energy a year, the equivalent of reducing carbon emissions by 1,700 pounds per year and generating enough power to light 20 homes for a month, Curnyn said.
Of the approximately 70 North American fitness clubs that use the technology, some have reported saving nearly $1,000 in electricity costs per month, he said. But so far, none of Energia's clients has asked for a discount on membership fees, Siddall said.
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