Human Power! Renewable with Many Positive Social Benefits – 10th Entry into the Wild Energy Challenge – Please Cast Your Vote
This is an entry into the Adult section of Wild Energy. If you like this entry please give it a rating out of five stars (see the bottom of this page).
A new source of energy!! Entry submitted by Anthony Field.
My entry in the Wild Energy competition, is a new paradigm, harnessing an untapped source of energy. This energy is entirely renewable, and has many positive social benefits.
New Zealand has a total of 8,500 prison inmates. I propose that each prisoner should exercise on an exercycle connected to a generator. We could then use this energy, and they would be contributing positively to society.
How much Energy ??
“For tasks lasting a few minutes, a fit human can generate perhaps 1,000 watts. For an activity that must be sustained for an hour, output drops to around 300; for an activity kept up all day, 150 watts is about the maximum.” (Source)
So to calculate the energy this could provide New Zealand we start by assuming each prisoner has one hour on the exercycle each day, working at a rate of 100w for that hour.
8500prisoners * 100w =850 KWhr / day
Now since everyone needs exercise every day, we can multiply this by 365.25 to get a total of 310 MWhr / year
Thats a lot of previously unused energy !!!
How much is this energy worth?
Assuming electricity costs stay at 20cents per KWhr, this is $62,000 dollars of electricity each year !!!
Replace the Mokohinui Dam?
However there are added social benefits too:
- Fitter and healthier inmates.
- Prisoners receive exercise, but they would no longer have axcess to weight training, thus they are not be able to build intimidating physieks to scare little old ladies when they are released.
- Prisoners will have a higher self esteem, knowing they helped power their country.
- Perhaps when they leave prison, they will become cyclists, enjoying the cheap and carbon free form of transport they have trained for.
Given that this could generate $62,000 each year the cost to implement my plan would be very very
low, and pay for itself very quickly.
The initial cost of the generators would be small since each generator bike would be used by many
prisoners each day.
Perhaps we could have another competition to design / make cheap generator bikes to get the cost
I envisage all prisons would have many generator bikes in one exercise room, and this would need
no new staff, since one existing staff member could easily supervise over this room.
Because Prisons are spread over our country, but are mainly near to population centres, there will be very little or no line losses due to the transmission of this energy. It can be used at source.
Tags: green energy design