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"Green" elliptical trainers now at RIMAC

Ten elliptical machines at UC San Diego’s RIMAC Arena are now connected to the campus’s central power grid through an innovative new system that converts human energy into no-cost carbon-free electricity.

The gym is a perfect environment to harness human energy, and the new equipment allows users to burn calories and create renewable energy at the same time, according to John Gaines, Recreation Equipment Specialist at UC San Diego.

“Users get to monitor their contributions while working out, making the use of alternative energy fun, cost-effective and healthy,” he said.

A 30-minute workout on the retrofitted elliptical machines can generate around 50 Watts of energy, which can power a laptop for an hour, a CFL light bulb for 2.5-hours and charge a cell phone six times.

The new machines have been an outstanding success and have become increasingly popular with students, Gaines said. “Students understand that this is the wave of the future regarding exercise equipment being used to save energy.”

Currently the elliptical trainers can be found on the second floor of RIMAC Arena.