I get excited about concepts that capture kinetic energy. Remember that leg brace that generates electricity? Yeah, I was SO ready to get one when I heard about it on NPR. How awesome is it to be able to power your iPod while you’re on your walk?
Well, there’s a new way to capture energy while you walk without having to look like a half-cocked Robocop or cyborg escapee. Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, UK has a proposition in front of it that could capture the kinetic energy created by everyone walking up and down the stairs from the tower’s viewing platform. David Webb hopes to install miniature “heel-strike” generators beneath the steps, with the ultimate goal of…taking over the WORLD MWwahhhahahaha….or at least installing them all over train stations, shopping centers and other practical places. While the technology has been around for a short while on how to capture muscle power, it is only now getting some serious attention.
Heel strike generators can obtain between about 3 and 6 watts by using the pressure of feet pounding on the floor to compress underlying pads, which drive fluid through mini-turbines that generate electricity, which is then stored in a battery. Webb says that if these generators were utilized at the Victoria Underground Station in central London, the foot traffic could power about 6,5000 light bulbs. The Japanese are already testing this out, so I’m sure it’s a hop, skip, and a jump…er, step…until other places take up the case and improve upon the current technology. Just imagine how this could make Grand Central Station glow…
Via Inhabitat, TimesOnline, BBC