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Row Electric while erging

Do you want to capture your energy when using the Concept 2 rowing machine? I have developed a … read more

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Do you want to capture your energy when using the Concept 2 rowing machine?

I have developed a device that can be retrofitted to a Concept 2 rowing machine.  It replaces the conventional fan with a generator that will allow the user to capture the energy produced during a workout and store it in a portable battery.

I have built a prototype that I am currently testing, but the next stage will be to build a small number to sell.  This obviously involves cost and I was hoping to find out if this is a product that existing rowing machine users would be interested in.

row electric, concept2, rowing machine Concept 2 adapter to generate electricity

How does row electric work?

The device at the moment charges a portable power pack so, once charged,  it can be moved around and used where ever the need arises (at home, out camping, in the garden shed, etc). The power pack has a 12V socket, USB socket and 230V inverter outputs and a big 33Ahr LiFePO4 battery (400Whrs).

To charge the power pack the user will just row as normal.  The experience of rowing is the same, with the performance monitor working as before and the user able to change the ‘damper’ setting as before.  It feels just the same, except it is a bit quieter and has no air flow from the fan.

To replace the fan is simple and does not damage the Concept 2 so it can be returned back to a normal machine at any time.

The concept of capturing your energy during a work-out seems obvious to me, and I have been working on it for years to develop a simple design.  If it can be done, why would you not do it?  Why waste your energy when it can be captured and used productively. However before people get too excited and starting thinking about all of the coal fired power stations that could be turned off the brutal reality is humans cannot generate much power.  I think most fit users could generate between 120 and 270 watts of electrical power constantly over an hour depending on your fitness level.  So charging the battery would take about 3 hours of rowing in total.

The first users might be the home Concept 2 owners enthusiastic about capturing their energy, even if it is just for motivation, or as a back-up when the power goes out, but then gyms and rowing clubs might get interested in conjunction with solar battery’s such as Powerwall, Moixa and Powervault.  With multiple users in an air-conditioned space the potential savings to your electric bill start to add up. Instead of heating the gym with your work-out energy you can be charging a central battery and reducing your air-conditioning costs.

So the question remains, would anyone be interested in such a device?  And if anyone lives in the Southampton area of the UK and wants to have a go then just contact me via my website ( or via this blog comments below.


Mark Smythers,

About Rebecca Caroe
Rebecca is the host of RowingChat podcast and is a masters athlete and coach. Passionate about helping others enjoy the sport as much as she does. View all posts from Rebecca Caroe

11 thoughts on “Row Electric while erging

  1. I’ve been thinking and hoping for something like this for years. I’d definitely use and pay for a device like this. Great way to make kids earn their device time…want it charged? Row for it! …

  2. I Live in Northern Ireland & am a member of a rowing club. Rowed over 100,000m since September 15th. Would be extremely keen to see this fitted to my erg & will share this info on club FB page.

    1. Great idea. Ever thought about worldwide crowdfunding project for gyms and sports clubs with direct connection to public electricity grid such as solar panels do?
      Our rowing club in Hamburg would love to try.

  3. Tees Rowing Club’s official Erg Fairy (who comes in the night and fixes/services them) here – this is just what I’ve been looking for! Since we put all our Model C ergs over to PM5 we’ve been eating batteries for breakfast. Do shout if we can get involved – we have Model Ds as well if it isn’t Model C compatible…

  4. Greetings from Berlin! Is this still a thing? I’d love such a device because spending all these watts on the concept2 and not being able to utilize them, seems a gigantic waste of energy.
    I’d buy such a thing!

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