Home Energy conservation Energy-efficient gym equipment installed at The Rec – The Oracle

Energy-efficient gym equipment installed at The Rec – The Oracle

Power-generating ellipticals, exercise bikes and treadmills have been installed in the recreation center to generate lights and air conditioning. FUS

USF became the first university in Florida to welcome 12 new green energy-generating gym equipment, which were installed in the recreation center.

The final cost of the project was $66,691, which was covered by the Student Green Energy Fund (SGEF). The costs included the equipment itself, as well as the materials to configure the WiFi for the machines and their installation.

Purchased from SportsArt ECO-POWR line, the equipment generates energy during use. The energy created is captured and transformed into usable electricity by the installation to which the machine is connected.

While The Rec is open and equipment is in use, the energy generated will power features such as lights and air conditioning, according to Director of Recreation and Wellness James Souza.

The energy produced by the equipment cannot be stored for later use and must be used immediately due to the lack of a power bank, which would have been more intensive to install, Souza said.

One of the advantages of this line of equipment, Souza said, was its “old school design”. While many modern pieces of equipment use motors to start and keep it moving, ECO-POWR equipment uses the user’s body weight to move and has a curved shape that allows it to move like a hamster ball .

Without being plugged in, the machines could be operated, unlike other more power-hungry designs. Due to this design, the equipment requires less energy while producing it to offset the footprint of the rest of the facility.

Projected on a TV to the left of the equipment, users can track the amount of energy produced, as well as the liters of gasoline saved and the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. Users can also be classified by logging into the SA Well+ Appwhere the amount of energy produced by users can be placed in rankings.

This holds the potential to establish contests, where users of the equipment try to produce more energy than others, in exchange for some sort of prize. Souza said there are currently no plans for such an event, but he hopes it will encourage more people to train.

Souza first asked the SGEF to cover the equipment in December 2019, then received the funding in April 2020. Souza said he thought the initiative was something that students would be excited about and wanted to take advantage of. opportunities. offered by SGEF.

“[I wanted] something different. Something that sets us apart from all the other institutions in Florida,” Souza said. “To be the first [university] having it is exciting, as a preeminent university.

First installed and available to the community in July 2020, the gear has since been updated to allow its screens to work. Souza said Recreation and Wellness was also waiting to announce the addition until COVID-19 subsided in severity.

The decision to accept Souza’s candidacy was simple, said Alexis Mootoo, associate vice president of resource management and development and non-voting board member of SGEF. The committee unanimously supported the project.

“It was easy to fund the project because it was clear that it was going to improve the experience of a student or a professor or a member of staff in the [Recreation Center]”, said Mootoo. “It was a way to show the community at large that we care about saving energy and that we can do our part.

Because the project required no additional work or construction to install, only free space, it was easy to implement, according to Mootoo. Other projects may require more resources to install, but Souza said the plan was simple and promised results.

“The conservation of energy is so broad, it’s so complex in so many ways,” Mootoo said. “So this project was easy to measure because it wasn’t going to use any energy at all.”

As part of the selection process, nominations are voted on by a committee of six faculty and staff and six students. The vote for gym equipment was unanimously in favor of the project, Mootoo said.

Souza said he thinks installing similar equipment in the other leisure and wellness facilities would be “wise”, citing the potential savings in energy costs, but in the long term he relies on it. students’ preference for the installation of other identical equipment.

“I want people to be excited about getting on a machine that produces power instead of using power, and they can see the direct result,” he said.