What do pizza and power generation have in common? For students at Montana State University, it's a pair of treadmills that help them burn off those late-night snacks and generate power at the same time. Students who frequent the campus' Hosaeus Fitness Center can now hop on a treadmill to help power the gym.
The university in Bozeman, Mont., recently installed two treadmills that don't rely on power from the grid but generate it from students in sneakers. The installation required a roughly $16,000 system that converts kinetic energy into power and sends it to the facility's grid as well. The two treadmills, which also use the kinetic energy for power, each come with a price tag of almost $9,000, according to a report in The Exponent.
An average half hour workout generates about 50 Wh--enough to power a laptop for an hour or a T.V. for 10 minutes. Joggers won't reduce MSU's power bill; the machines are meant to raise campus hype about sustainability, Stephen Erickson, recreation sports director, told The Exponent.
A spokeswoman for the university was not immediately reached for comment. Whether generating power will help turn the tide in the battle of the freshman 15 could not be learned.