The Well partners with SMUD to energize electrical grid through students working out

ReRev is the system being used by The Well and SMUD to convert human energy in to electricity. Currently, 19 machines at The Well are using the system.

ReRev is the system being used by The Well and SMUD to convert human energy in to electricity. Currently, 19 machines at The Well are using the system.

Kayla Oliverio

On Tuesday, Sacramento State will display how working out at The Well now not only energizes the body, but energizes an entire electrical grid.

This isn’t science fiction, but a new partnership with SMUD in Sac State’s newest effort to join the green revolution. These energy-generating workout machines are part of a new electrical grid that helps to generate electricity while exercisers get their sweat on.

The 19 elliptical machines, purchased with funds awarded to the university by SMUD, are connected to a system called ReRev.

ReRev is the electrical system that converts the kinetic energy created by exercisers on the machines into energy that is fed back into The Well to help power the building.

Kate Costello, assistant director of The Well, said the campus has been awarded this opportunity to continue advancing in the green revolution due to its participation in already using renewable resources and being Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified.

“(The Well) is Gold LEED certified, which means it is basically an environmentally friendly facility,” said Costello. “You receive certain points when certain materials come from certain recycled materials (like) wood or concrete and when you decrease your carbon footprint. Because of our LEED certification, in our first year of operation, SMUD gave Sac State money to go toward green fitness equipment.”

Students can get involved by signing up online or at the kiosk in front of the ellipticals at The Well.

“Students (can) create a login, designate which machine to use and once they check in, they get on the equipment,” Costello said. “A TV screen shows who is on which machine and how much energy they are creating.”

You can login from home and track your energy progress as well as learn the energy conversion.

This conversion shows the exerciser a typical 30-minute workout can generate enough energy to power a laptop for one hour or a desktop computer for 30 minutes. The program is only working with the elliptical training machine because it is the best equipment suited to convert human energy into electricity.

“There is limited equipment that the system works well with. If you get on an elliptical, your legs are what is pushing so you can dictate the distance and difficulty,” Costello said. “If you’re on a treadmill, it’s the belt that is moving the machine, not you. That’s why the system only works with the ellipticals.”

The main goal of this program is not only to encourage students to maintain their health through fun new ways of working out, but to educate them about alternative uses for renewable energy.

“From the student perspective, our goal from the beginning was environmental wellness,” Costello said. “The reason we chose this program was to educate our students and help them become more aware of the electricity that can be saved and generated.”

Mirjana Gavric, director of the Well, is looking forward to the open house and introducing students to this program.

“We have been working on this for a while and it is another great piece to our Gold LEED certification,” Gavric said. “The green initiative for Sac State is (important) and we are hoping students will come try the ellipticals. I hope they get involved.”