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Gym workout could cut your electricity bills

SWEATING it out at a gym could soon provide enough energy to create electricity, according to research by an Irish student.

Trinity College student Victoria Whelton said gyms around the country had expressed interest in her idea to capture kinetic energy and create a power generation mechanism.

Victoria (22) from Cork was a runner-up in the Accenture Leaders of Tomorrow programme for her project promoting health by incentivising exercise and also addresses the green energy agenda.

The Business Economic and Social Science student said spinning classes would be the ideal place to retrieve this energy.



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"I use the gym in college there quite a lot," she said. "There has been a lot of work to find new ways of creating energy.

"I spoke with gym owners and there is a lot of interest amongst them. So hopefully something will emerge to take it further."

The student said that the business would work like a crediting system, or value club points.

Kinetic energy can be converted into electrical energy and stored in a battery and then credits generated will be recorded on the computerised system.

"People could generate energy and then redeem the credits against their electricity bill or gym membership," she explained. "It will incentivise people who are overweight to exercise and it will increase green energy opportunities."

Victoria investigated means of feeding the energy back into the national grid, but she said that it was too cost competitive and would require a huge amount of gym work in order to work.

"My business idea would simply be a great means of corporate social responsibility for the gyms," she said.

While she has yet to develop the prototype, Victoria said that there are similar systems in place around the world.

"In the Netherlands there is a sustainable nightclub where technology used within the floor actually means that people dancing power the nightclub," she said. "There is the technology available and I hope to collaborate with a few different parties.

"When I develop the business, I would like to provide the entire service. There is quite a lot of funding available from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, so I would hope to assist companies in gaining these grants."

clairemurphy@herald.ie


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