Department - Author 1

Electrical Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Electrical Engineering



Primary Advisor

David Braun


As Cal Poly moves towards an environmentally friendly campus, the Energy Harvesting from Exercise Machines (EHFEM) project looks to generate a new source of renewable energy to help power the Cal Poly Recreation Center. The project focuses on retrofitting exercise machines to generate electricity. As of December 2009, Audrey Nakamura, Justin Arakaki, and Praveen Lawrence developed a design which allows the contribution of electricity generated from multiple exercise machines into the power grid.

The project will require an investigation of retrofitted machine designs by Cal Poly students and commercially available products and systems. The information obtained from the product research determines the most feasible approach for the Cal Poly Recreation Center. The proposed design for interconnecting multiple machines must conform to the following requirements:

1. Safety is the number one priority for the Rec Center implementation.
2. The expected life of the system should be at least 8 years with minimum maintenance.
3. The design must not hinder or change the workout experience for the end user.
4. The final design should be considered the most economic and energy efficient.
5. The design should allow several dozen exercise machines to produce power simultaneously without negatively impacting the Rec Center electrical infrastructure.

Additionally, the proposed design must conform to the following specifications: 1. The design should comply with safety standards of the National Electric Code (NEC), Underwriters Laboratories Inc (UL), Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), and Cal Poly regulations.
2. The Rec Center power should be continuous and uninterrupted by operational malfunctions or maintenance of individual exercise units.
3. The operational condition of a single unit should not affect the operation of other exercise equipment.
4. The design should utilize existing Cal Poly equipment by retrofitting the equipment to generate electricity.
5. The final system implementation should be aesthetically appealing.