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Think about this for a moment before you dismiss it as a crazy idea

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LeftyFingerPop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:20 AM
Original message
Think about this for a moment before you dismiss it as a crazy idea
I was watching T. Boone Pickens' commercial last night, and I was looking at the wind turbines.

The wind turns the propellers, and that mechanical energy is converted to electricity. Pretty simple. Looking at the turbines, it does not seem to take a huge amount of wind to turn one of those things.

The theory is simple. Mechanical energy, driven by the wind, is used to power a device that makes electricity. The wind takes the place of other forms of energy (steam, coal, petroleum, etc.).

Following this concept, I started thinking about the mechanical energy that is created by human beings. Think of one of those crank radios. You turn a crank for a few moments, and that generates the electricity that is needed to power the radio for a short amount of time. In essence, the electricity is made by a generator that is powered by the human hand.

What would happen if we were to devise a way to capture the mechanical energy created by human beings and convert it to electricity? Let's say some sort of treadmill device.

To carry this theory further, lets say the government bought up huge amounts of unused land all over the country in major metropolitan areas. This land would be converted to "treadmill farms" for lack of a better term. I'm not thinking of treadmills that are used to exercise on, I am thinking of a very large treadmill type device that would be powered by several thousand people. And I'm talking several of them, on several different plots of land all over the country.

People would literally walk on these treadmills, thus creating the mechanical energy to produce electricity, thus freeing up the petroleum that is required to produce electricity in the traditional manner. If you think about it, IN THEORY, this is not much different that having a field full turbines powered by the wind.

Ok, so in theory, it sounds like it might not be impossible to create a treadmill like device that would create some electricity when powered by human beings.

Would this work as a practical matter? Let's see...

The first question becomes...how many treadmills are needed across the country to make an appreciable dent in our electricity generation. Also, what is the initial capital cost of building these treadmills. I have no idea how to answer this.

Secondly, how the hell do you get people to walk on a treadmill? answer" You pay them. That is their job. To walk on a treadmill. Let's say you pay them $15/hour, which is equivalent to $30,000 per year if they did this 8 hours a day. They clock in and out, and they are paid by the hour. This would save a lot of unemployed people, and serve as a stop gap for people who temporarily cannot find work.

Third. how many people do you need, on a macro scale, to generate enough mechanical power to make a difference? I have no idea. Let's say 2 million. 2 million people times $30,000 a year equals 60 billion dollars annually, to be funded by the Government. How much mechanical energy could 2 million people create? No idea. Would it be enough to justify a 60 billion dollar annual outlay? No idea.

Ok, so I have presented a theory that is based on converting human mechanical energy to electricity, similar to wind generated power. In theory, it seems like a grand idea. As a practical matter, I have no idea since I am not an engineer.

So, if you want to flame me and call me stupid, at least provide some rationale for why this would not be possible.
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meegbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:22 AM
Response to Original message
1. I prefer 'The Matrix' ...
We're converted to batteries to run machines and brain fed an alternate reality that is viewed as a life.


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LeftyFingerPop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:24 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. I'm serious here...
I'm looking for input on whether this concept would work on even a small scale.
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meegbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:29 AM
Response to Reply #3
11. OK, on a small scale ...
you hear/read about treadmills that are connected to a TV and you have to run to make the TV work (I've personally never seen one). Instead of directly connecting to a TV, why not just a plug? Then one could plug in any device and run it.

Again, it's a small scale, but it saves you money ....
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:24 AM
Response to Original message
2. humans are very inefficient engines
they break down easily, require downtime, food, water and on and on. The offset of this against the electricity they'd create is probably in the negative, although I'm just speculating there.
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LeftyFingerPop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:26 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. however....
The supply of people would constantly change. If you knew that you could make a few bucks over the weekend by walking on a machine...would you do it if you had the chance?
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Mike Nelson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:24 AM
Response to Original message
4. The concept would work
might not "look" like that. All things are possible. We need to think BIG and get rid of the energy put into WAR (and get rid of BUSH types).
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LeftyFingerPop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:27 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Good point...
might not "look" exactly like I laid out...but it is a concept that I would like to see some more discussion on.
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ingac70 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:30 AM
Response to Reply #4
12. A good idea would be to...
Open a huge facility with bikes and treadmills hooked up to generators and allow folks to exercise for free, but charge consumers for the energy generated.
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LeftyFingerPop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:39 AM
Response to Reply #12
26. Yep....
good concept.
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #12
53. I've had that idea for years
Stationary bicycles turn all that energy into heat. Why not use it to charge a battery?

I know it's a tiny amount of energy, but we've got to be thinking about ANY way to generate more.
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ingac70 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:27 AM
Response to Original message
7. $15 an hour...
to walk on a treadmill will make for some expensive electric bills.

http://www.humboldt.edu/~ccat/pedalpower/hec/hpeg/index...
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KatyMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:28 AM
Response to Original message
8. You'll find this interesting:
Edited on Tue Jul-22-08 08:31 AM by Kentish Man
Edited because I found a better link

Sustainability got sexier last week as Coldcut and Jade Jagger hosted the opening of Surya in Kings Cross. The Club4Climate project is Londons first taste of eco-friendly clubbing, making clubbers happy in the knowledge that their organic beverage-induced booty shaking can generate 60% of the energy needed to run the club. The venues most exciting innovation is the piezoelectric dancefloor, which uses quartz crystals and ceramics to turn clubbers movement into electricity!


http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/07/16/green-a-go-go-at-lo... /




Edited to fix picture link.
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LeftyFingerPop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:30 AM
Response to Reply #8
13. Excellent....
The people in the building could generate enough energy to meet 60% of the energy needs of the building.
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:45 AM
Response to Reply #8
33. maybe they could put thes under the sidewalks in major cities...
let all those pedestrians power up the place.
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LeftyFingerPop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #33
37. Another interesting thought....
Good....
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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 09:38 AM
Response to Reply #8
58. That's neat! Years ago someone came up with...
a scheme for peizo clothing so we could generate as we walked.

I've always thought about lots of little piezos in trees and bushes when the wind bends them over...



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justinaforjustice Donating Member (519 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #8
64. What About Subway Steps?
Love the dance floor idea; you could lose weight and get in shape by dancing while generating electricity at the same time!

But a larger scale solution might be to put your floor power system on the down stairways at all major subway stations in New York, Boston, Washington D.C. and similar cities where millions of people go down the steps every day. The pressure of each downward step would transfer the energy needed to create electricity. No need to pay anyone at all or to commute to "treadmill farms". A few well-placed systems in busy subway stations would do the trick.
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Hav Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:28 AM
Response to Original message
9. .
I've got absolutely no idea whether it would work, I just found it interesting considering that right now, many are paying fitness studios to do exactly that. So you wouldn't even have to pay them. You could make it cheaper for them though, use their energy instead and increase the health of the people ;). In theory, it doesn't sound that bad.
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LeftyFingerPop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:32 AM
Response to Reply #9
17. Exactly.....perhaps only pay people 2 dollars an hour...a stipend of sorts....with the benefit of
getting fit.
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mikeytherat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:29 AM
Response to Original message
10. Like a "Treadmill Workstation"?



mikey_the_rat
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EV_Ares Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:31 AM
Response to Original message
14. Its an idea, There is no such thing as a "stupid idea".
Edited on Tue Jul-22-08 08:34 AM by EV_Ares
Several great ideas have come from those such as yourself. Who knows, it might work. I don't have the knowledge to know if it would work but its an idea, just probably needs refining and tweaked as all ideas and plans. Also, just think of the health benefits that would be derived from it. Our nation is totally overweight and as you say, you could pay people to work on these "treadmill farms". Also, for those who are overweight, they could get extra benefits, money, days off, coupons, whatever, for the amount of weight they lost. This would help cut down on medical costs, etc.

Anyway, not any more ridiculous idea than some that our own government has come up with.
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LeftyFingerPop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:35 AM
Response to Reply #14
21. Exactly....
Imagine the non-monetary benefits.
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EnviroBat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:42 AM
Response to Reply #14
30. Oh yes there are "stupid ideas".
Edited on Tue Jul-22-08 08:43 AM by EnviroBat




Helicopter Ejector Seat

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EV_Ares Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 09:06 AM
Response to Reply #30
51. Maybe so; actually I think I was probably thinking about there are no stupid
questions but I have always felt, let the ideas flow and tweak them, refine them and maybe something will come out of it. Whatever.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:31 AM
Response to Original message
15. 2 million people hired to walk on treadmills for 8 hrs a day?
I mean where on earth did you come up with the number 2 million? That's just ridiculous. And walking on a treadmill for 8 hrs a day sounds like hell to me- and I love my treadmill. I've done over 2 hours on it in one session, but I can't even begin to imagine doing 8 hrs.


On the other hand this did remind me of my dad, who rigged up the TV so we had to ride on an exercise bicycle to provide the power for it.
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LeftyFingerPop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #15
18. Open your mind....
I picked a goddamn number. Don't nit pick. I'm looking for some brainstorming here. You pick a number then.
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LeftyFingerPop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:38 AM
Response to Reply #15
25. Maybe it is 4 million people for 4 hours a day....
and people would rotate....plenty of unemployed people in this country.
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Phred42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:31 AM
Response to Original message
16. Yeah - then we could get more Illegals in here to run the things
work Americans won't do?

:rofl:
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LeftyFingerPop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. I'd do it for supplemental income. n/t
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guitar man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:34 AM
Response to Original message
20. not a bad idea
but if you slightly modify the way the electricity is produced, you could skip the wage part and get the electricity producers to work for tips....

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/06/bra-power-breas...

:evilgrin:
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LeftyFingerPop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:36 AM
Response to Reply #20
22. Now there's an idea....
:rofl:
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guitar man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #22
34. exactly
entertainment and energy production rolled into one. "The Power Station", a national chain of green energy producing strip clubs...I can see it now! :D
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Pharaoh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:36 AM
Response to Original message
23. I would think horses
would work a whole lot better. You don't have to pay them , they eat grass and they are a heck of alot stronger than humans :o)
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LeftyFingerPop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:37 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. Horses, cattle.....
anything that can generate mechanical energy.
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EnviroBat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:39 AM
Response to Original message
27. How bout we just use convicts to walk the treadmills?
that would save brazillions of dollars! It would also give said convicts something constructive to do other than rape and kill each other. They could expend all their pent-up aggression and work out all at the same time!
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LeftyFingerPop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #27
29. Or, we pay the convicts a small amount....
and offer early release incentives if they reach certain goals.
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EnviroBat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:45 AM
Response to Reply #29
32. Yeah, I like that. Walk 1000 mi get a month off of your sentence.
Yep, I think it would work!
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Truth4Justice Donating Member (806 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 09:01 AM
Response to Reply #29
45. Prison labor = Slave labor. And its plain wrong.
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LeftyFingerPop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #45
46. They would be rewarded for their efforts...
either monetarily, or via sentence reduction. And it would be optional.
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Truth4Justice Donating Member (806 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 09:14 AM
Response to Reply #46
55. Nothing is optional in prison and some of those convicts are innocent victims of the war on drugs...
I won't buy from Dell or sny company that pays pennies on the dollar for slave labor. Many of these convicts need help to keep them off of dope or booze and a way to make an honest living when they are released.
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kydo Donating Member (44 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:40 AM
Response to Original message
28. Living with Ed
The Bicycle that's Bringing Home the Bread!
Every morning that Ed gets up craving toast, he goes for a ten-minute bike ride on his stationary bike. This activity does two things: 1.) it provides Ed with an excellent cardiovascular workout, and 2.) it generates enough electricity to heat his toast.


Yes, Ed is known for his quirky and electric ideas for saving energy, but his stationary bike/power generator is an idea that's got some wheels. On Living with Ed, he chronicles his daily routines and forays of environmental engineering around his home, which includes a star project. Yes, you guessed it, the toaster-producing exercise bike.


Apparently, rigging up a bicycle like Eds is pretty simple. With these instructions, you can set up your bike to power the toaster, or anything else that needs a quick jolt of 60 Watts to function. Kudos to Ed for using the great motivator of food to necessitate exercise. One question: would feeding a family of eight require a little more distance to "bring home" the bread?


<http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/living-with-ed/bicy... >

I have gotten addicted to planet green. My goal is to have a green house, like Ed's. I almost have the hubby thinking about solar panels. But there are many things we can do for free or low cost that will have an effect on energy consumption and carbon effects.

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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:43 AM
Response to Original message
31. This is the worst idea on DU since "save your poo for fertilizer"
First, that $60 billion may be "funded by the government" but we have to pay it. That means $60 billion less healthcare, debt service, defense, et al.

Second, the entire point of the industrial revolution is to free humans from toil in order for them to live a better life. When I run on a treadmill for an hour I'm usually pretty tuckered out after an hour. When you are that tired you can only eat and sleep. It would suck.

Third, we have to raise food in order to get the energy to walk eight hours. That is pretty inefficient.
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LeftyFingerPop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #31
35. I contend that walking for as many hours as you are able each day gives you a "better life".
60 billion, if that is a reasonable number, is a drop in the bucket if we change our foreign policy regarding war.

Remember, it does not have to be ONE PERSON for 8 hours. it could be 8 people for one hour each.
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:48 AM
Response to Reply #35
36. And how do each of these people get to your slave treadmill farm?
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LeftyFingerPop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:50 AM
Response to Reply #36
38. They are built near populated areas....
And if the pay is reasonable, people migrate there if they have been unable to find work.
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:52 AM
Response to Reply #38
41. And why do you want to save their poo?
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LeftyFingerPop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #41
42. Think about the millions in this country....
that walk or run FOR FREE to better their health.

What if instead of running at the park, the went to the treadmill farm?

AND got paid some amount.

But I think this is all lost on you.

Not only are you snarky, but you are not funny.
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Schema Thing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:50 AM
Response to Reply #31
39. But not nearly as good as: Save your Treadmill Chimp's Poo for Fertilizer
That's right, I'll say it. Monkeys need to start carrying their load.
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LeftyFingerPop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #39
40. Very constructive....
thanks.
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scheming daemons Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 08:59 AM
Response to Original message
43. You'd have to pay me a helluva lot more than $30K/yr to walk for 8 hours a day...
...sorry.
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LeftyFingerPop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 09:01 AM
Response to Reply #43
44. Forget the numbers...
They are only a very rough example. And you would not have to walk 8 hours a day. you could walk whatever time you wanted to. The point is, I think there would be plenty of people willing to do this if it were logistically feasible. Some might do it for free.
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scheming daemons Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #44
48. Like an earlier poster said..... use horses.....
except for racing and recreation, horses have become obsolete.

This would help make them useful again...


And they work cheap.... and one horse probably provides the mechanical energy of 5 or 6 humans, and a fraction of the cost.


Your idea would make energy bills VERY expensive.



But.... if you use horses instead of humans..... we'd basically have power that is based on hay/grass. And that is DEFINITELY renewable.
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LeftyFingerPop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 09:07 AM
Response to Reply #48
52. What if the reimbursement were only 2 dollars per hour....
and people that normally run the roads and parks for free were used for this effort?
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scheming daemons Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #52
54. I don't think it'd work..... people that normally run the roads and parks
like the scenery, I would imagine.


I know that I enjoy a good bike ride in the park more than riding my exercise bike.



There are too feasible applications for your idea:

1. micro-usage, as an earlier poster said, by having people use their own energy to power the gym that they work out in.

2. Quarter horses. Why pay humans to do it when you can use "beasts of burden" for pennies? This would provide energy at a very cheap price to the populace. And.... it runs on grass. Stuff we can grow, but that isn't "people food".

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jtrockville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 09:04 AM
Response to Original message
47. Micro application: could be used to power the local gym.
Maybe the application can't be as broad as you suggest, but certainly in a gym this could be harnessed and produce enough power to take the gym off the grid.
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LeftyFingerPop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #47
50. Exactly right....
And the people who chose to exercise at the treadmill farms, instead of the gym, could take other facilities off the power grid.
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NightWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 09:05 AM
Response to Original message
49. isnt there an exercise bike for kids that makes them make their own power for tv?
if they wanna watch tv for an hour, they need to peddle for an hour. I love that idea
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Heidi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 09:15 AM
Response to Original message
56. philboy, I don't think it's a crazy idea, but if you scaled it down, and people did this
without expectation of being paid, perhaps even buying the tricked-out, power-producing treadmills themselves for use in their own homes, that might be a more realistic way of getting something like this off of the ground.

For example, CMW and I would certainly consider buying an exercise device that could be used to power the many energy-consuming electronic devices in our home: stereo, TV, radio, iPods, computers, scanners, printers, etc. If people would buy these treadmills (or whatever form they might take) themselves and use them both for exercise and to produce energy to offset their regular power bills -- doing it because it's the right thing to do instead of something they'd be paid to do -- that might be a more realistic starting point.
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Gidney N Cloyd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 09:26 AM
Response to Original message
57. How about smaller devices worn on the body to capture incidental kinetic energy?
Like a self-winding watch is powered by normal body movement. Normal day-in, day-out movement otherwise wasted could be captured and stored in a "body battery" to be transferred later.
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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 09:46 AM
Response to Original message
59. Why pay 'em? People pay to go...
to gyms and for all sorts of workout tapes and equipment and diet plans.

Sold properly, this could be a monumental moneymaker from both sides-- charge people to walk the treadmills like all gyms do and then sell the electricity they generate.

Seriously, though, it would probably be difficult to actually coordinate "treadill farms" into the grid, but home exercise equipment that generates electricity already exists and really should be expanded.

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Autumn Colors Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
60. walk for free, get a discount on electricity
How about the idea that the exercise equipment is offered for free (instead of paying for a gym membership), but then depending on how many miles walked per month, you would get a sliding discount on the cost of electricity generated.
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exothermic Donating Member (570 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 09:51 AM
Response to Original message
61. Just build the treadmills over the Mexican border...
won't even have to pay 'em.
:eyes: :rofl:
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JackDragna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
62. Far too inefficient.
The amount of usuable energy humans can put out is negligible in terms of how it can be harnessed. It's no accident our society runs on oil and not human power. From the moment a foodstuff is consumed to the moment a human would use it to power something, most of the usable energy is lost.
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IDemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
63. A bit of math makes this unlikely
Edited on Tue Jul-22-08 10:24 AM by IDemo
A single Zond Z50 wind turbine is rated at 750 kW. Its actual output will depend on current wind conditions, so for the sake of comparison, we'll say we get an average 500 kW. And that's just one tower out of many in the average wind farm.

Even elite athletes (think Lance Armstrong) can achieve a sustained power output of only 0.4 horsepower (about 300 watts) for long periods. A reasonably fit person can expect to maintain between 0.1 and 0.15 HP for a 4-hour period.

Let's say we have a 'reasonably fit' treadmill farm employee who can output a steady .133 HP for a 4 hour shift, or an even 100 watts. It would take 5,000 individuals like this to match a single wind tower. It's not free energy, however, because you have to factor in the total food calories burned (not to mention water intake). It takes about 10 calories of fossil energy to produce one calorie of food.

But you would also need to figure the energy cost to build those 5,000 single treadmills (or fewer large ones) compared with the equivalent wind tower/turbines.

And I would assume we're going to light and air condition these facilities.
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exothermic Donating Member (570 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #63
65. A little more analysis: The average person consumes about 2000 calories a day,
more or less...which is equivalent to about 2200 watt-hours. So even if a person could convert ALL of that food energy* (at 100% efficiency) it still would only be about enough to keep a single 100 watt light burning for one day. :-)

Would leave no extra for ...uh, like making whoopie.
:D

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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
66. I prefer human habitrails with the little exercise wheel.
I'm thinking also of instead of wood shaving on the floor we use recycled newspapers. The water fountain would be mounted right above the exercise wheel as well.

My god, where do I even begin with such a truly bizarre concept.

This is right up there with the solar shade to cool off the earth.

How about we all just conserve energy.

We use 25% of the earth oil, natural gas and coal resources to power our energy hungry nation. We all could get by on one 5th of that, just like Europe and there wouldn't be any energy problem.

However, we in this nation are sooooo desperate to continue our "way of life" that we are basically resorting to ideas that loosing fit the term "paid slavery" to justify our needs.

We pissed and moaned when dickhead chaney stated, "there is no compromising the american way of life". Yet, people still come up with lame ideas to justify chaney's statement, without even know it!!!

We live in a country of self imposed denial about what needs to be done, but hell be it for us to actually cut back.

Sigh.
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joe_sixpack Donating Member (655 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-08 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
67. It's not a bad concept, but perhaps...
if instead of walking on a treadmill to generate electricity, we walk to work one day instead. The energy we save by not using an automobile that one time might exceed the energy we generate on a treadmill in the same span, and the scenery would at least change a little.
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