Energy Harvesting

If you have ever read any of my husband, Rob’s, blog posts you will know that energy conservation and sustainable living are subjects that are high on the agenda of the Prouse House. So when I heard an interview with the director of ‘The Facility’, (an architect’s agency in the UK) on the radio, I thought it would be interesting to blog about.

We all know what energy harvesting is to a degree. Think of hydroelectric or solar power. It harvests the natural energy from falling water or the sun, and converts it into usable energy that will power our tumble dryers, computers and television sets etc.

So the people at The Facility, known for their ‘blue sky’ thinking, have come up with innovative designs that harvest energy in other ways.

Take for example the theory that street lamps could be powered by the footsteps of passers by or a railway tunnel being illuminated from the vibration caused by the trains that pass through it.

How do you feel about charging your iPod from the energy your footsteps create whilst walking to the photocopier, or recharging your mobile phone as you walk to your car on the way home after work each night?

I think the most radical idea they have come up with is the idea that your gym membership could be reduced proportional to the amount of energy you create by using the cardio equipment! Some of those triathletes could end up being PAID to work out at their local gym!! This is a really great article that gives more detail from the BBC News website.

This type of thinking may seem a bit kookie, but so did the telephone when the idea was first invented. I am sure they are onto something.

Another organization is currently conducting research into taking energy, in the form of heat, from the earth’s core and converting that into usable electrical energy. Apparently there is so much heat there it could power us for centuries to come. I can’t help thinking though that recent information would suggest we ought to have had enough buggering about with the natural balance of the planet upon which we live?

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