Pedaling for a purpose
The Western Front
April 3, 2015
The second floor of the Wade King Student Recreation Center is a place that’s all about expending energy. But Sean Petersmark, junior and business and sustainability major, recognized the cardio area also has massive potential for energy generation.
This spring, Petersmark and two other classmates are competing for the $300,000 set aside each year to fund sustainability projects on campus through Western’s Green Energy Fee Grant Program.
This would be enough to fund new cardio machines capable of producing enough energy to sustain themselves.
“I looked around [the rec center] and saw that it was a lot of people working out on all of these machines and it’s cardio heaven up there,” Petersmark said. “I just thought to myself, ‘that’s a lot of energy being used and a lot of kinetic energy not being harnessed.’”
Petersmark, along with sophomore Kate Thompson and senior Drew Swisher, now have a power-generating elliptical machine on loan from Bellingham Fitness Gear and Training that students are free to try in the rec center.
The monitors of the Technogym brand machines Petersmark and his teammates rented display the power someone generates in terms of how many electrical appliances their workout could have powered. For example, the number of watts produced as someone exercises would be measured in number of lightbulbs that could be illuminated…