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Hotel guests pedal for their supper

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April 18, 2010

Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers has installed install two electricity-producing bicycles wh...

Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers has installed install two electricity-producing bicycles which are connected to the hotel's main electricity supply

If you find yourself in an expensive hotel without the funds to cover that three-course seafood buffet you've just demolished, you may not be led to the back of the kitchen to scrub pots and pans after all... you could be off to the gym instead. Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers has installed two electricity-producing bicycles which are connected to the hotel's main electricity supply. Guests who pedal hard enough not only get a dose of environmental feel-goodness, but can also score a complimentary meal.

The energy produced is stored in a battery on the bikes and then fed into the hotel's mains supply and you can monitor your progress on an iPhone attached to the handlebars.

It's estimated that pedaling at 30 kilometers per hour for 60 minutes will produce about 100 watt hours of electricity (which would run one 100W bulb for one hour), so reaching the goal of 10 watt hours to earn your free meal should be comfortably doable in under 10 minutes.

If the pilot scheme is successful, the power-bikes will be rolled-out in the 21 Crowne Plaza hotels in Britain.

OK, so it's easy to be cynical about this "world first" as a bit of a gimmick, and your pedaling efforts are hardly going to offset all the electricity you use during your stay. But it does raise awareness about energy use and promote alternative sources of energy production that harness kinetic energy, and it's hard to argue with that.

The 366-room hotel's green initiatives also go way beyond exercise bikes. There are 2,400 solar panels installed on the Crowne Plaza's facade and it uses low-energy lighting and a groundwater-based cooling and heating system.

Via Inhabitat and The Guardian.

4 Comments

Of course, after that sweaty ten-minute cycle ride, patrons probably go and take a hot shower, consuming a few watt-hours of gas or electric heating energy. Perhaps they need to raise the generation threshold for the free meal? Nice idea, though.

francis
19th April, 2010 @ 12:45 am PDT

I have been saying for years that this is what needs to be done in our prisons. Get the inmates our of the weight rooms and pumping iron...and get them on a cardio workout and truly let them repay their debt to society.

corey
19th April, 2010 @ 06:53 am PDT

Ten (10) watt hours is only 0.01 KWh so the value of the electricity produced is not much. However, giving the guests an incentive to exercise is a very fine idea and will help keep them in good health.

Adrian Akau
19th April, 2010 @ 12:58 pm PDT

I was also doing the calculation, and that is a free meal for less than a penny's worth of electricity (assuming 10c per kilowatt-hour).

matthew.rings
19th April, 2010 @ 07:17 pm PDT
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