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How Many Students Does It Take to Power A Light Bulb?

Article by Mobile Maiden

The University of North Texas (UNT) has converted the Pohl Recreation Center into a human power plant. UNT now has students generating electricity via exercise equipment. According to an article posted by UNT, “The 36 elliptical machines that are included in the project are fitted with a device from Renewable Revolution (ReRev), a Florida company that developed the system, which feeds electricity produced by each machine into the recreation center’s power grid. ReRev says during a typical 30-minute workout, each machine produces 50 watt hours of clean, carbon-free electricity, enough to power a compact fluorescent light bulb for 2.5 hours or a laptop computer for an hour.”

“UNT has a vast array of sustainability programs under way on campus and this project underscores our commitment to saving energy,” said Laurie Klein, (Sr. Associate Director). “It’s a great educational opportunity for our students, faculty and staff. This system provides a lesson in sustainability and energy use. As they work out, they’ll be thinking of the energy they’re producing and perhaps it will influence them to consider sustainability in their daily lives.”

The equipment developed by ReRev captures and diverts the kinetic energy produced by exercise and then converts it into an alternating current, feeding into the recreation center’s electrical grid. While 36 elliptical machines won’t power the world, each step (pardon the pun) brings in electricity, providing a way to let students contribute to sustainable energy, something this planet needs to bring to global awareness.

Other schools are getting into the action as well. University of Oregon, University of Nebraska-Lincoln and James Madison University are among the most recent institutions to work with ReRev.

What else can we do to help with power needs? If you have a cell phone (and frankly who doesn’t in this day and age), consider buying a Solar Restore Charger. The charge using regular charging cables or by harnessing the power of our greatest gift, the sun. The more conscious we are about our carbon footprint on this planet, the better off the future will be for our grand Mother Earth.

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