12 May 2010

Energy harvesting everywhere

Following my post on the Copenhagen Wheel I noticed another bicycle-based energy harvester, the ReCycle, which has the more modest aim of using kinetic energy to charge a powerpack that could be used, for example, to charge your mobile phone. A step beyond the old fashioned dynamo, but I wonder if, as a user, I'd really be bothered.

Similarly small-scale is the Pavegen slab which can harvest kinetic energy from footfall to, for example, generate lighting for pedestrians at crossing. A 'fun factor' is introduced by the glow of the slab as the pedestrian walks on it (see VW's FunTheory project).

Scaling up Technology Review features Levant Power's electricity-generating shock absorbers, suitable for large vehicles operating on rough terrains i.e. where the forces on the absorbers will generate significant enough energy to justify initial investment.

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