Friday, 14 December 2007

Reinventing the Wheel is A Good Thing

That clockwork MP3 player reminds me.

I have this idea about sustainable technology that it is often a matter of finding new applications for what are often actually old (non-combustion) sources of energy: solar heating, concentrated solar (like magnifying glass), windmills and watermills, hand cranks. And of course the bicycle and things of that ilk are back in favour too.

There are some great recent examples on ecogeek of mechanical power, eg a combined pedal/electric cycle car, a Sony camera prototype (pictured - & here's the link) which is hand powered by rolling its wheel on a table.

Would be interesting to speculate as to others that might be reinvented/rediscovered. I wondered if walking might be an interesting source (energy generated by compression in soles to charge batteries), also whether typing could part charge a laptop, treadmills could create lighting energy in gyms (when they arent in use you dont need much light?) and so on.

I'm probably reinventing the wheel here too, I cant be the first to have noticed all this.


lee bazalgette said...

On your compression soles idea, what about paving slabs that generate electricity when people walk on them? Imagine if every paving slab in oxford street were generating electricity - enough to power the crimbo lights perhaps?

Cas said... / .be shows cool eco-concepts. Is in Dutch, but images and links to other sites might be inspirational anyway.

A quarterly selection is presented in the magazine of Waag Society (i.a. initiators of Picnic), in Amsterdam :
Waag Society Magazine.

Aim of the blog: showing inventive / smart green ideas that that look good or are otherwise cool.
Most important is to persuade people that would otherwise not be interested in green / environment.

(For the same purpose /.be was launched.
Also in Dutch... )

Regards, Cas Gijzen