Self-powering gyms: A case study on energy harvesting from a static bicycle

Publication Date

January 2020

Document Type


Publication Title

ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition

Conference Location

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA


10.1115/IMECE2019-11972 Published Online: January 21, 2020


The increasing levels of pollution and global climate changes have spurred growing interest in harvesting green energy from all possible resources. One of the under-utilized sources is the energy that one spends during physical exercise at gymnasiums. If the energy that a person expends can be harvested, that may suffice to power the facility at least partially. This paper describes the research, development, and execution of a low-cost arrangement to harvest energy from a static bicycle at a gym. Primarily, the setup uses a generator attached to the bicycle to produce low-voltage electricity. Further, an electrical circuit is designed and implemented to amplify the voltage and send it to a 585CCA battery. The resulting arrangement is found to be sufficient to completely charge the car battery with 12–15 hours of riding of one bicycle. It is estimated that this battery can power two energy-efficient lamps for around 13 hours. In other words, a simple setup attached to various cardio equipment in series may be sufficient to power the gym partially. Further, an economic analysis is conducted to estimate the energy saving resulting from the implementation of the energy harvesting arrangement in a college gym. It is found that with the help of such an arrangement, approximately 20% of the energy cost of the gym room can be saved.


energy harvesting, gymnasiums, human energy, electricity generation

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