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Green Gadget of the Week: SportsArt self-powered fitness equipment

The company's line of treadmills, elliptical trainers and other equipment operates on 'human-generated' power.

(This is the latest in a regular weekly series of spotlights on green technology that’s accessible to you and me. If you have a product to suggest for coverage, please send a note via my contact email.)

The train to getting fit for summer beach-bumming has pretty much left the station. But if you're interested in making your daily workout a little greener, you might want to check out the S770 Pinnacle Trainer from SportsArt Fitness.

OK, so maybe this really can't be considered a gadget, because it technically is a commercial trainer that you would find in a gym. It weighs a good 374 pounds, and it's not inexpensive, roughly $8,500 per machine.

But, hey, look at it this way. You don't have to plug the equipment into the wall to run it. That's because the forward/backward and medial/lateral motion that you create on the machine powers the system. In fact, SportsArt has an entire line of elliptical trainers, treadmills and equipment that operate on this same principle. Earlier this year, the company started showing off what it calls the Green System. This is a "pod" of machines attached to an inverter, which then feeds the "human-generated" power back into the grid.

The company's original products focused on reducing power consumption of fitness equipment. Now, it is really flexing its muscle.

Said Bob Baumgartner, product manager for the company:

"The power inverter attached to the Green System is about the size of a stereo receiver and has a regular 240-volt AC plug that needs to be wired to the grid for safety. To operate the system, a person would simply start exercising. Each pod can generate up to 2000 watts per hour during full use. A typical health club that replaces all of their ellipticals and cycles with Green Systems could see savings of over $3,000 per year on electricity bills."

Past Green Gadgets of the Week: