Sustainability #3: Walking for Power

Walking Power

Credit: Pavegen

PavaGen is a company that has developed the concept of piezoelectricity into a real world technology. Just a lab experiment a few years ago piezoelectricity can now be harnessed to the benefit of humans. This form of electricity works by applying stress to materials which upon changing shape generate an electric charge. But what is the best way to apply this in real life? Walking space. By installing panels where you walk, people can passively generate electricity to be used for any purpose. Most places in the world won’t be ideal since any meaningful amount necessitates a larger amount of foot traffic but for cities this is ideal. The immediate ideas I’ve seen are to power street lights and lights on crosswalks however they could easily sell the excess to cities for use in their electrical grids. A few other ideas that come to mind are powering lights in parks, lighting up displays or creating light shows on LED screens. They may not be a major innovation but they are a unique idea for generating power from what we do every day, just walk.

http://www.pavegen.com/

The Sun Tree

Credit: CGTN America

An Israeli company called Sologic is creating the eTree, a tree shaped solar panel array. The branches and leaves of a would-be tree are remade here into solar panels to collect energy while the tree as a whole provides an interesting host of features. It will have:

  • Benches for people to relax
  • Shade for you to avoid sunlight
  • Charging station for phones and tablets
  • Free WiFi
  • A water bowl for pets
  • A water fountain
  • Night lighting

The eTree is made to fit in with natural trees as well as a park setting, integrating it into the environment. The goal is for it to be used as a resting spot. Eventually a portion of the tree will act as a video monitor which would allow you to talk with someone at another eTree across the world. In a way, you’ll be able to interact with other people around the globe, resting in a park like you.

Credit: Michael Lasry (also the inventor)

http://sol-logic.com/etree/

http://www.newsweek.com/israeli-solar-power-tree-giving-charge-small-french-town-617074

 

For more articles related to sustainability go to Sustainability and check out my other pages for excellent content on science, technology, history and more!

 

 

 

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