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Posted By Grisu,
Jun 27, 2013 at 11:08 PM
For all of you who think of alternative ways to provide electricity for your home :
Gives you a little bit more appreciation for all the electricity we consume each day, doesn't it?
I am flabbergasted the most by the tiny amount of coal (or oil) the whole ordeal amounts to. That's what I put in my grill for a barbecue!
Yes, it really puts energy consumption in more tangible perspective.
If the members of each household had to use their own human generated power just for one day each year, and then limit daily consumption during the rest of the year to the amount the members could self-generate, the result indeed would be quite interesting.
That video reinforces several different ideas with me:
- Every time I go to the gym I think of how we consume electricity where our workouts should actually be producing it. In spin class the workout energy is converted to heat which is handled by air conditioning. Why don't the bikes or other workout equipment power the AC? I've always thought that small, grid-connectable mini generators are needed for workout equipment and energy harvesting in general.
- The incredible density of chemical energy. Its quite amazing how much power is stored in chemical bonds. When you think of it in scale it makes our reliance upon fossil fuels all the more onerous.
- How incredibly important efficiency and conservation are. We really seem to underestimate the benefits.
- It would be great if every energy user could get immediate feedback on the impacts of their consumption (mining, power production, waste production, air and water pollution, etc.). How do you provide this info in a meaningful way in a way that makes people care enough to change?
Regarding your first point: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/3113/could-the-energy-from-gym-workouts-be-harnessed
(That article actually inspired me to this thread because it reminded me of the TV show.)
In essence: The energy generated may just not be enough to justify the investment necessary. The better approach is to use your physical energy to replace fossil fuel use directly. E. g. Use your fiskars instead of your splitter, walk or bike to buy groceries, use the stairs not the elevator etc. Workouts are essentially a waste of (food) energy.
I could not agree more with your other points.