Thursday, November 18, 2010

Prison powered electricity?

Here's a Fermi question for you.

How much energy could be generated if every inmate in the USA rode an electricity generating stationary bike for 2.5 hours a day?

Well the folks over at Treehugger, inspired by a sheriff in Arizona who installed just such a bike to power the inmates' television, did the math.

Their results?

363,641 kWh of electricity which at $0.12/kWh amounts to $109,092/day or nearly $40,000,0000 per year.

Beats making license plates.

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  1. I'm pretty sure you think this was a bit of a joke. I'm pretty sure the folks at Treehugger thought it was a bit of a joke.

    But the idea of FOR PROFIT prisons - and there are getting to be more and more of them in the U.S.; they are a real thing - getting prisoners to make or generate anything FOR SALE absolutely terrifies me. In my day, it used to be called slavery. That anyone can even talk about this stuff openly is extremely frightening.

  2. An Arizonan11:53 am

    Not Texas. That From Sheriff Joe Arpio's Maricopa Country Jail

  3. How many more calories would I burn in a day if my boss let me use my exercise bike as a chair?

  4. Anonymous5:03 pm

    @Patti Be careful what you wish for :o) Did you know about "the" Walkstation of David Levine
    35-40h/week could be longgggg Hihihi
    N :D

  5. mavis2:19 am

    Ferdzy, criminals are no joke, the fright is in the "bad" might of a prisoner. My good friend is the medical director of the state of California prison system. You would shudder at what is happening to those people locked up, and how they have lived their lives. The exercise would help them and generate enough electricity to light up one major city, please plug them in....

  6. The idea is to get them into shape.
    "and if the prisoners want to watch TV, they have to exercise". And hey, burning calories while producing power seems like a good deal to me.

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