What are the disadvantages of using human power?





Question: What are the disadvantages of using human power?

Answer: Using human power as a source of energy has many benefits but there are also disadvantages. First off it requires food and water as that is how humans generate energy. The energy costs associated with the production and delivery of that food and water must be taken into account when you figure out the net energy produced.

This means that to be considered a useful source of energy human power needs to be harnessed in forms where it’s currently being wasted. For example, if someone exercises 2-3 hours every day to stay in shape that is wasted effort that could be recaptured through things like treadmill or bicycle generators. This would be an advantageous use of human power since it’s just going to waste anyway.

However, if someone doesn’t exercise and is solely doing so to generate electricity for example you have to take into account the other things they could be doing instead. For example, would it be more productive to have a human ride a bicycle 2-3 hours a day for electricity or over the course of a single week setup a small scale hydroelectric or wind power generator that would then produce electricity with only maintenance to worry about? Essentially it all comes down to why human power is being used. Is it recapturing wasted energy or creating wasted energy instead?

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