Powering Campus One Exercise at A Time

This project can continue on for the lifetime of the Student Recreation Center with minimal maintenance.

Goal: Harvest kinetic energy from the gym machines to power various parts of campus

Anyone from gym rats to students that don’t want to gain the freshman 15, the recreation center on campus is constantly swamped with people throughout the week. The machines are always being used so why not take what’s already existing and make it beneficial for the entire campus.

The kinetic energy from the exercise machines can be collected and used to power parts of campus. Not only would students be more focussed on their physical well being, but they can make a larger difference outside of themselves without having to step out of their normal routines.

For example, when a person pedals on a stationary bike, kinetic energy is being created; this energy can be stored with some type of spinning motor. While pedaling, a generator will capture the energy from a revolving component, after the pedaling has stopped the spinning motor will reverse, releasing that energy into a usable form of power. If that energy is stored it can be used to charge a phone (on a small scale). Kinetic energy can be stored at anytime and is a highly sustainable source of power. It does not create any waste, pollution, or elimination of precious non-renewable resources.



Flywheel is one kind of energy storage systems currently being used on larger scales outside of the home. How flywheel is used:


Kinetic Energy Storage and Kinetic Energy Storage and Power- Stanford



One thought on “Powering Campus One Exercise at A Time

  1. First of all, I enjoyed your topic because it dealt with technology like the Flywheel and applied it to exercising in the Rec. The video and presentation that you left at the bottom of the proposal helped me get a visual understanding of what you are proposing. But also, your explanation of a stationary bike being used to create energy was described well and thoroughly. Lastly, my only concern about the proposal is how much would it cost to harness this energy if the machine was in the Rec? Would the machine be connected to UIC’s power grid and what are the costs of labor? Great proposal, I enjoyed learning about Kinetic Energy and the Flywheel.


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