Research Papers: Alternative Energy Sources

A Systems Engineering Approach to Harnessing Human Energy in Public Places: A Feasibility Study

[+] Author and Article Information
Alex Jafek

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Brigham Young University,
Provo, UT 84602

John L. Salmon

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Brigham Young University,
Provo, UT 84602
e-mail: johnsalmon@byu.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received January 19, 2016; final manuscript received January 27, 2017; published online March 21, 2017. Editor: Hameed Metghalchi.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 139(4), 041201 (Mar 21, 2017) (12 pages) Paper No: JERT-16-1032; doi: 10.1115/1.4035904 History: Received January 19, 2016; Revised January 27, 2017

This study analyzes the feasibility of placing modified exercise equipment in public places to enable human energy harnessing. By assessing the impacts as a system-level synthesis of economic, environmental, productivity, and health benefits, it is shown that introducing human-powered equipment (HPE) in public places would be feasible and beneficial both to society in general and to the specific stakeholders investing in this technology. This study develops a framework to evaluate applications of this technology using benefits to costs analyses. The benefits and challenges for successful implementation of HPE technology are also presented and evaluated in various case studies involving public places at airports and schools.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

(a) Total HPE technology benefits for various locations. (b) HPE technology benefits for various locations separated by benefit category. Scale on the x-axis is adjusted for better intracategory comparisons.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

(a) Total HPE technology costs for various locations. (b) HPE technology costs for various locations separated by cost category. Scale on the x-axis is adjusted for better intracategory comparisons.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Total annual cost versus total annual benefits for the 12 locations. The solid line represents a ratio of 1 between costs and benefits.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Proliferation of Wi-Fi hot-spots over 7 yrs (from 2009 to 2015 [80], left axis) compared to a forecasted growth curve of HPE technology over 7 yrs (right axis) with uncertainty range



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