The El Paso "Human Dynamo"
by Catherine Cromer
Posted on August 14, 2008
The name Human Dynamo sounds like a creation from a sci-fi movie. In reality, this human-powered energy machine represents what could be a new wave of alternative energy production from televisions at the gym to whole electrical power systems.
The Human Dynamo is an updated cycling machine created to generate electricity while exercising the body. Dynamo is the idea of El Pasoan Mike Taggett,, president of Henry Works Research and Development, which focuses on developing new technologies that are healthful, energy efficient and eliminate waste, according to www.henryworks.com. The concept came about 20 years ago but finally was brought to light in the past few years.
“It wasn’t a full-time project until the past two to three years, when I believed the Human Dynamo had the most potential,” Taggett said. “I’ve had about five different prototypes to find the most simple way to combine arm and leg rotation.”
The HD combines the typical pedals of a cycling machine with rotating arm cranks to produce a full-body workout. The machine can also be adjusted to create a standing climbing mode for a more intense workout. By using an “off grid” system batteries are charged to create an electric current of 120 volts. Most U.S. electrical appliances use a standard of 110-120 watts. Taggett’s newest product the Team Dynamo combines four of the machines and is being tested for the first time at The Green Microgym in Portland, Ore., where it will power TVs and the stereo system. Cyclists work together as a team to power the entertainment system. Each station gives off 50 watts, enough energy to power a TV or stereo, to 200 watts, which can power lightbulbs.
“It's very effective because the person needs to stay busy pedaling on the bike in order to watch TV or listen to music,” Taggett said. “This gym is very environmentally conscious and eventually the machines could go to powering more than just entertainment.”
According to its website, the gym is one of the only fitness facilities in the world to use solar and human power to generate its own electricity. The gym is set to open Aug. 29 with Taggett’s Team Dynamo as one of their premiere machines. Owner Adam Boesol found Taggett’s product online and decide to add it in addition to equipment such as energy saving treadmills which save up to 30 percent than the originals, self-generating elliptical trainers and spin-bikes.
“I was looking for a way for my gym to be different so I took the idea of being green,” said Microgym owner Adam Boesel. “People seem to be excited about it and Mike had a cool idea with the Human Dynamo. It was the only product of its kind out there.”
Taggett and his team will be at the gym to install the equipment this weekend.
Boesel said he got the idea from a gym in Hong Kong that uses human-powered machines. The gym, called California Fitness, uses machines to generate an estimated 300 watts of power for TVs, light bulbs and iPods, according to a Wall Street Journal article.
“I am hoping for a lot of exposure with this gym,” Taggett said. “Portland is a very progressive city so it’s a good place to start.”
Taggett also mentioned that the HD could be used solely as a source of energy and water pumping. Countries that are lacking sufficient electricity could use a modified version for water irrigation, machinery and power generation in the future. However, for the time being Laggest is focusing on the commercial launch of his product Sept.1.
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