63 competitors spun their way to more energy in the first ever Harvard Business School’s (HBS) SA Cup/Green Living Spinning Competition on Saturday, April 16. The event was organized by the HBS Student Association Cup (HBS-SA Cup), an athletics contest between the sections at HBS, with support from the Green Living Program and HBS Operations.
Shad Hall, the HBS fitness center and home of the competition, is equipped with 20 spin bikes supplied by The Green Revolution, an organization dedicated to “connecting health & fitness with the creation of clean renewable energy.” The energy created through exercising on the spin bikes is connected to the electrical power grid through a grid-tied inverter. The energy produced is put back on the grid, which helps to reduce the school’s reliance on fossil fuel generated electricity. An average person’s workout on these machines will produce 70 – 100 watt hours of energy, enough to power four compact fluorescent bulbs for an hour.
Each HBS section participating in the HBS-SA Cup Spinning Competition signed up five competitors who had 20 minutes to generate as many watt hours as possible. "Over the course of three hours, through brutal 20 minute time trials, our 60+ competitors produced over 4000 watt-hours of energy” boasted the event organizer and MBA RC, Luke Owings. Sections NG and NA shared the prize for most spirit and section OI produced the most wattage, generating 426.3 watt hours of energy. This much energy could power a washing machine for one hour. The fastest-pedaling participant, Jon McKenna generated 121 watt hours of energy, enough to power his laptop for almost three hours!
Over the course of three hours, through brutal 20 minute time trials, our 60+ competitors produced over 4000 watt-hours of energy.
Throughout the event, the spin instructors encouraged participants to increase resistance on their bikes. The higher the resistance, the more calories burned and electricity generated. Competitors stayed motivated with the help of a large screen at the front of the room displaying real-time watt-hours being generated. The event was a fun and competitive (it is HBS after all) way to promote exercise while raising awareness of creative alternatives for generating clean, renewable energy.