Free Energy for Sale Using Vibrations
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. These three Rs are more than just a cliché of environmentalists, they are something that we may have to live because we don’t have a choice. After all, we live in an age where we all fear that are energy is just going to run out. I’m not talking about oil, but we simply need to find renewable energy sources.
The solution is actually simpler than we would think. When you think about it, there is all sorts of energy that is just being wasted in the form of vibration and sound. Every time a car goes on a bridge, there are at least a few watts of power that go to waste there as it creates vibrations along the way. If there was some way to channel this energy, make it work for us, then we would be well on our way to creating an entirely different kind of energy that would take us out of “energy-crisis” mode.
Fortunately, a design team at the University of Southampton has discovered a way to make certain that the energy we waste with vibration and sound get used for something else. Their prototype device is about the size of a sugar cube, and it is a smaller size of one that is already available. However, these tiny machines are ten times better at generating current than others of its kind. It uses cantilever magnets to induce a current in a copper coil for some magnetically generated power.
The best part is that these tiny generators could be used anywhere. So if you have a workbench with a saw that creates a little vibration from a circular sawblade, there is no reason you can’t use that energy that happens during the residual shaking.
This can also come in handy for some manually induced power. For example, all that energy expelled on a stationary bike or stairmaster could go to a lot better use than just burning fat. After all, there is already a fitness club in Hong Kong that is doing this.
One of the best applications of vibration power is that it can be used a power source for pacemakers. Instead of a battery that has to be replaced surgically, this type of pacemaker would be powered by the vibrations of the human heart itself.
Of course, the real question is how much power these little devices can store. I mean, if we can only get a few microwatts worth of power from something that wastes more, I suppose that’s a little gain. However, we will have to ask ourselves if it is worth the energy. Pun intended.