As part of a collaboration between NTU Library and the Energy Research Institute @NTU (ERI@N), ERI@N has procured Greenbikes – in a circular 3-kiosk format and a single kiosk format for deployment in Lee Wee Nam Library. These bikes promote sustainability as part of the EcoCampus initiative and provide new ways for the library to engage users in participatory activities.

The Greenbikes – pedal bike charging stations that turn human kinetic energy into usable electrical power – were officially launched on 10 October 2018 with the “Potato Challenge”. We devised our launch campaign for the bikes to be titled the Potato Challenge so as to tie in with and promote the oneNTU initiative “ECHO” in a “fun way”.  A pair of potatoes with electrodes inserted into them and wired to power a digital clock* were on display to challenge participants to generate their own power, or be couch potatoes. The challenge encouraged users to come down to the library to pedal the Greenbikes and generate 3 watt-hour (or 10,800 joules) of energy as quickly as possible.

Over 30 challengers took to the saddle during the half-day event and the 2 winners (staff Samantha Seah and student Loo Yee Feng) emerged neck and neck at 3 minutes and 7 seconds. Lim S. L., a second-year engineering student, remarked, “I will most certainly come pedal for 30 minutes to recharge my mobile phone daily and reduce my carbon footprint!”. All participants walked away with a potato and the winners received a goodie bag from the Library.

During the challenge, there was also a talk by Nilesh Y. Jadhav  who is currently a Senior Scientist and Program Director at ERI@N, to talk more on oneNTU initiative “ECHO”.  “ECHO” was launched by President of Nanyang Technological University, Professor Subra Suresh on 27 August 2018 and, stands for NTU’s “Eco-friendly”, “Connected”, “Healthy” and “oneNTU”. The ambition is to create a smart, eco-friendly and healthy campus through the use of digital and sustainable technologies, as well as healthy lifestyle practices to enhance the quality of life for all members of our university community.

In line with this, the Greenbikes empower members of the NTU Community to choose to charge their own devices through physical effort as part of a sustainability drive. This is also part of NTU Library’s continuing efforts to engage its users with innovative services to make the library a participatory, memorable, empowering and trans-formative space.

* The electricity is generated as a result of chemical reactions between the electrodes and electrolytes in the potato.

Curious about the Greenbikes? They are located at levels 2 (Huxibit area) and 3 of the Lee Wee Nam Library (to the left of the entrance). Come on down and cycle your way to a fully charged phone/laptop!

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