What’s a slice of pizza worth to you? Calories? Carbs? Fat? Sodium? What about a couple of watts?
While there’s little debate in what makes your favorite slice (or two, or three) of pizza taste good, simple physics says fuel in, as food, equals energy out. Science.
It’s time to sweat the details. What if you could burn off the day’s one guilty pleasure (or two) and get in a workout that also provided some energy atonement. Connecting a stationary bike with a generator is an easy way to pedal off the pounds while powering the PC.
Oregon State University harnesses power generated from 22 elliptical machines to help power the recreation center in which they are located. FOX employed a team of cyclists to ride 42 stationary bikes, for 12 hours a day for four straight days, generating enough energy to power its Super Bowl Pre-Game Show for 30 minutes in 2008. This is a far cry from the digital clock powered by a potato.
Now, find your ride. It should have multiple gears to make the most efficient use of your workload. And, you’ll want a comfortable seat. If the bike is strictly for indoor purposes, something that isn’t roadworthy will work. You’re not likely to plow into any walls, ideally.
Find a suitable rear-wheel bike stand, one that holds the bike securely upright, elevating the back tire off the floor as directed. Motor kits can be easily purchased for a nominal cost, though some purists would likely condemn anything other than a converted washing machine motor that is equipped with a voltmeter to help power small electronic DC devices. Typical appliances draw anywhere from five watts to charge a cell phone, to 10 watts for a laptop, all the way to 200 watts for a large TV. Watt ratings are typically included on the back of an appliance, near the power cord. By most accounts, a rider can generate about 200 watts with steady pedal power.
Oh, and the calories burned running a 100 watt television for one hour is about the equivalent to one piece of pizza, so you might want to watch The Godfather and stay in it for the long haul.
*The information in this blog is for informational use only; no products or websites referenced are endorsed by Duke Energy.
*FOX is a registered trademark of Fox Broadcasting Company.