How one Birmingham start-up is using exercise in the race against climate change.
In the 1997 sci-fi blockbuster The Matrix, Morpheus tells Neo that the machines are using human-powered battery farms to create power. Clever but very, very creepy. Don’t worry. Energym isn’t harvesting people as a power source. But it is using gym equipment to harvest the energy people generate during exercise and turning that into clean electricity.
Energym is a precision-engineering start-up founded in 2017 by CEO Will Flint. As a self-confessed gym rat and experienced energy-reduction analyst, Will knew that the energy generated during a workout was being wasted. He wanted to find a way to capture it and then convert it into renewable power.
“The biggest challenge was really the efficiency problem”, Will says, “to extract and harness energy from people’s workouts is possible but the trick is making sure that you’re maximising the efficiencies you're getting from the human to the battery, the building or the end source”.
Maximising efficiencies is exactly what Energym has done. Working alongside some of the UK’s leading universities, its human power project has been four years in the making. Energym’s mechanical engineer, Leon Rembges, remembers the early days.
“We were just a handful of engineers throwing about ideas on a whiteboard”, he says. Now the team is just days away from launching the RE:GEN – Energym’s first clean-energy generating fitness bike.
But it doesn't stop there. The company has its eye firmly on the climate change countdown clock and is working hard to push its innovation further, to ensure the future of human power as a viable source of renewable energy.
Energym is a precision-engineering tech start-up based in Birmingham. Its technology captures and converts human generated energy into clean useable electrical power. Based at Birmingham’s Innovation Campus, Energym has received business acceleration support from Gymshark and in 2018 won a KIC climate award.