SAN MARCOS, TX -- Texas State University-San Marcos (TSU) created the “largest human power plant in the world” recently when it debuted 30 ellipticals retrofitted with devices that convert user-generated energy into electricity.
The energy created will flow into the university’s power grid and help educate students about energy usage, officials say. TSU, which has a student body of about 30,000, was the first university in Texas to add the technology.
“We want the Texas State community to gain a better understanding of how much energy it takes to power simple devices we use on a regular basis,” university officials said in a statement. “A typical 30-minute workout will produce 50 watt hours of clean, carbon-free electricity. That is enough energy to power a laptop computer for one hour, or a desktop computer for 30 minutes. We believe that once students understand how much energy it takes to power appliances or electronics, they will adapt their lifestyles to create a more energy-efficient and sustainable community.”
The cost of the project was $19,750. It was funded by Texas State’s Environmental Service Committee and TSU’s Department of Campus Recreation, with support from Associated Student Government.
Although other universities have installed similar equipment, TSU’s array is the largest thus far. The University of Oregon and Oregon State University installed the technology earlier in the year and hosted a creative competition during the annual “Civil War” football game between the two schools to foster student sustainability awareness.