Generating energy from human daily actions in New York's public spaces and converting it to electricity.
the energy of our routine and daily actions (running, walking, working out, jumping rope, skateboarding, cycling, etc.) in many of the public spaces the city of New York offers us (parks, sidewalks, subways) usually ends up depleted into the ground, or go to waste in another form. This energy can be used to generate electricity, save money and reduce the world's Carbon footprint. All that without making any extra effort or changing our good old habits.
Finding sources of energy in human actions and converting it is a currently a subject occupying the design and technology industry.
Some examples of products and researches in that field of interest:
-1- NASA's products+research: People Power: Capturing The Body's Energy For Work On and Off Earth
In this article, by Eric Baard, there are few new technologies by NASA, some are working and some are in progress-
Piezoelectric devices: Generate electrical energy from mechanical strain but without the need for voltage to be applied. This material is the core of "heel strike" devices that generate electricity from walking (the impact of the heel hitting the ground) used by astronauts and soldiers to charge essential equipment in times of need. click to view image
Urine-based fuel cell: This process used in spaceships actually turns human urine into fuel cell, and the by-product of this process...drinking water.
Thermoelectric materials: These materials convert body heat into electricity by using a combination of materials (metals or ceramics) that are poor thermal conductors and good electrical conductors. Using body heat to energize small electrical products. This technology has ben available since 1989 when Seiko introduced the "Thermic WristWatch" click for image
-2- Backpack can generates its own electricity - All the person wearing the backpack has to do is walk - the backpack does the rest. The backpack captures energy from the up-and-down movements of its heavy contents and converts this energy to electricity (published in the Sept. 9 issue of the journal Science published by AAAS)
-3- The human battery: Turning body heat into electric power A thermoelectric Thermoelectricity generator (TEG) draws electrical energy from differences in temperature. The generators previously required a difference of several tens of degrees to be effective, but thanks to a circuitry system created by the "Fraunhofer Institute" (Germany) that runs on a miniscule 200 millivolts, TEGs are now able to create an electrical charge from body heat. gizmag magazine
-4- Body Movement Generates Electricity in Miniature Device -Bio Zinc Nanogenerator - Nanogenerator that produces electrical current through the bending and relaxing of zinc oxide nanowires. When the nanowires flex, they emit a piezoelectric discharge, which is electricity generated by certain materials under mechanical stress
-5- "Crowd Farm"- A responsive sub-flooring system made up of blocks that depress slightly under the force of human steps would be installed beneath the station's main lobby. The slippage of the blocks against one another as people walked would generate power through the principle of the dynamo, a device that converts the energy of motion into that of an electric current. MIT News click for image