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Monday 8 September 2014

Treadmill running belt - PowerBelt

PowerBelt Treadmill Running Belt Reduces Energy Consumption by up to 75%

(Part 1 of a 2-Part report - click here for Part 2)

I have some data regarding the current consumption measurements that I made after fitting a new PowerBelt running belt recently supplied for our Life Fitness T9i treadmill at my own gym in Worcester.

For this test, I measured the “before” and “after” amps using a true RMS (AC) current clamp hooked up to a Treadmill Saver current loop. The results below are what I found at a 5kph steady walking pace.

For clarity, the terms "unloaded" and "loaded" below simply refer to whether the treadmill was being walked on or not when the measurement was taken.

Finally, for the true Engineers out there, I weigh 91kgs (200lbs) and the treadmills are all European spec 220V AC 50Hz. 
Before belt & platform change:

1.3amps unloaded walking pace
2.7amps loaded walking pace.
Note – upon removal, the original belt and platform were found to be in good condition and plenty of residual silicone oil was in evidence.

After fitting new belt and new platform and fresh application of silicone oil lube:

Unloaded 1.3amps walking pace
Loaded 2.1amps walking pace


It has to be said, that the baseline current measured here in the “before” condition was very favourable (low) to start with and would not normally have warranted a new belt or platform being fitted. This reflects the high standard to which we maintain our own gym equipment. For comparison, in my experience, I have measured baseline current draw at 6A to 8A in the “loaded” condition in facilities where there has been little or no treadmill maintenance. In these situations, a PowerBelt and preventative maintenance routine could reduce energy consumption by as much as 75% based on these figures.

I can conclude that by using a new treadmill belt combined with a new platform resulted in a significant and measurable reduction in current draw.  Even under these rather favourable conditions I was able to measure -0.6A (-23%) less current after the new PowerBelt and platform had been fitted.

Besides the obvious savings in electricity running costs, in my opinion, reducing the current  will also have a long term positive effect in helping avoid failures of expensive components such as the motor and drive circuit board; the lower current consumption means these items will run cooler for longer and will ensure they operate well within their design parameters (so no stresses to bring about premature failure!).

Next Steps:

The current monitoring capabilities of the Treadmill Saver provides a convenient way to alert the user when belt maintenance is required and, now that we have optimum conditions here with the new belt and platform fitted, I will conduct some further work to establish where we should be setting the trigger points for the amber (maintenance overdue) and red (stop using) warning.

The Treadmill Engineer - August 2014
For more details about this test, please contact me

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