Fully Charged SCIENCE has put a spotlight on Energym, a UK based fitness startup that has created a smart fitness bike that captures and converts your workout into clean, useable, electrical energy. Given its increased efficiencies in how we reuse energy, the benefits can be tremendous. Here’s how it works.
Energym is an engineering and tech-focused startup based in Birmingham, UK on the cusp of releasing its flagship product, the RE:GEN fitness bike. This bike gathers energy created by its rider, and harnesses it in Energym’s Ohm battery, capable of storing 100-220 watt-hours (Wh) of energy.
Helen Czerski and the Fully Charged team have created a detailed video outlining the potential of this technology, along with a trip to Energym HQ to try out the RE:GEN close up. The video also explains how the process works in an appropriately British way… using tea biscuits.
Energym looks to add a new dynamic to fitness
We as human beings are about as efficient as an internal combustion engine. In our day to day movements, and especially when we workout, our energy output is mostly released in the form of heat. Energym saw an opportunity in this energy being wasted, and has created the technology to capture it in a battery pack. We can then reuse that energy to power other devices and potentially entire fitness studios someday.
The RE:GEN bike contains a flywheel with a patent pending generator system which spins magnets around a coil, pushing the kinetic energy of your workout through a rectification unit which the filters the power into the battery pack. This battery can be fully charged in about an hour and a half of cycling, which is generally about two workout sessions. Energym CEO Will Flint elaborates:
It’s clean, renewable energy bottled, right? So you can use this to do whatever you’d like with it. You can power your home office for a day, or for a single workout typically.
After a workout, you can unclip the Ohm battery pack and use it to charge any USB capable devices. According to Energym, one workout is capable of full charging 2.6 Macbook Pros or 30 miles on your eBike. There is not main power capability on the battery pack yet, although Energym has stated it is working on an inverter which will power devices up to 500w with a 240v or 110v plug.
Potential for the future of fitness
While the initial potential of being able to charge your own battery pack from your fitness routine is enticing, Energym has much larger plans for its technology to enable a more positive environmental impact for owners. Flint again explains:
This is usable energy and usable power that is currently just being wasted and burnt off as heat. So why not? Why not utilize that power? When we start to look at things from a more macro perspective, like what the current situation is with the climate change and everything else, you start to understand that every aspect of renewable power resource is important.
Czerski and Flint share a great representation of what sort of energy a spin class full of RE:GEN bikes could generate demonstrated by stacks of tea biscuits. A class of thirty riders working out for an hour generates about 200 watts per person, which equals about 6 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy per class.
Factor in 6-10 classes per studio in a day and you’re looking at 48 kWh of stored energy simply from people coming in and getting exercise. That’s enough energy to power the entire fitness studio and then some.
Energym hopes to power entire buildings someday
Gyms don’t necessarily need to purchase brand new RE:GEN bikes either, Energym has designed its technology to be retrofitted into existing equipment too. Flint shares his insight:
We’re working out now, not just to get fit individually, we’re working out for ourselves and for our planet, and I think there’s something to that, definitely. From the motivation perspective, as well as a collective camaraderie of us all working out along side each other. So the future of Energym and this technology is to be able to live in a world and in cities where everything is recycled. And it’s all pushed back and as you say, the flow of energy goes from earth and well as humans into the rest of our resources.
You can view the Fully Charge piece in its entirety here:
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