• Design Brief / Renewable Energy / Oz Etzioni

    Environment, Industrial Design

    Perspecbollardvelo2_432_

    A. Design brief:

    Create an energy self-sustaining park in NYC by converting energy, generated from human activities in the park, into electricity.

    B. Project’s Concept:

    As “global warming”, “carbon foot print” and “greener world” become part of our daily vocabulary it is time to try and find ways to embed those slogans into actions and actual systems that utilize what each one of us has to offer towards a better future. Daily activities in public spaces, such as running in the park, riding bicycles with friends or family and working out in gyms, are all actions that generate and discharge an incredible amount of energy from a great source – the human body. By identifying those habits and routine actions we can design systems that collect and use this energy in multiple ways, instead of having this energy depleted into the air. By not forcing any extra activities upon our users, but adjusting the systems to the users’ daily actions, we can create an almost “transparent system”. A system that creates a “win-win” situation for both its users and the environment, and self sustain its own needs a long the way.

    C. Project’s Vision:

    A self sustaining park where people of all ages can participate in creating energy for their own public use and to support the park's electrical needs. The park and its energy are a reflection of the people occupying it and their actions.

    Project's Phase 1: (Feasibility: Present)

    -Energy Metro-Bikes: A system of bicycles and outdoors bicycles stations (racks). People will ride “pedal generator” bicycles; the riding action will generate energy that will be stored in batteries (on the bicycles). Once the bicycles are returned to one of the many stations of the park, its battery discharges itself into the station’s main battery. This electricity is then to be used for the park’s electrical needs.

    Benefits:

    1. Free bicycles for citizens / tourists to explore the park or simply get from point A to B.

    2. Riders generate electricity for the park’s electrical needs (lighting, fountains, music) while doing their daily routine activities.

    3. Reducing the Carbon footprint of NYC (In Lyon, France the city-bike system (without generators- simple bikes) lowered vehicle traffic by 4% and saved 3,000 tons of Carbon dioxide a year).

    4. Reduced electricity consumption of the designated park.

    5. Raising awareness about Renewable Energy and the change each of us can make in our daily lives.

    6. Create the first “Energy Self-Sustaining Park”, in NYC, to set example for other cities to follow.

    7. The success of Phase 1 could financially support the continuation to Phase 2.

    D. Case study:

    1. The 'Velib' - Bicycle-sharing system in Paris, France.
    2. 'Bicing' - Bicycle-sharing system in Barcelona, Spain.
    3. Existing Pedal Generator motors + Dynamo motors (bicycle headlight, flashlights, radios, etc.)

    * Project's Phase 2: (Feasibility: 2-5 years)-*

    Few examples of additional energy generating facilities to be added to the park:

    -Outdoor gyms: Free admission outdoor space for people to work out. The work out is translated into electricity that powers the space and its facilities.

    -Children’s playgrounds: Use the endless energy of children and let them explore, step, run, jump and produce energy through a variety of children friendly spaces and facilities.

    -Skateboards space & ramps: Use the so-called “underground” street sport to generate energy – the more you jump, ride and use it, the more energy the space crates.

    -Energy absorbing methods: Flooring tile (park roads) - generate energy from pedestrians / strollers / personal transportation vehicles (scooters, rollerblades,etc.)

    -Solar energy: Absorbing flooring tiles, light posts, roofs, etc.

    Concept's Basic Energy Circular Flow Chart:

    Activity device is ready for use, battery indicator shows “empty” ---> Generators (assembled on the activity device) charge battery ---> Battery meter indicates “full charge” ---> Device’s battery discharge energy into system battery (goes back to first item: Activity device is ready for use, battery indicator shows “empty” and so on)

    E. Optional Existing Technology:

    • Pedal Generators (generators connected to pedals – charging a battery)

    • Piezoelectric technology to generate energy from surfaces (Ex: Rotterdam dance club, “heel strike” army boots, MIT’s “crowd farm” train station installation)

    • Body heat generators technology (laptops, textiles, mp3 devices chargers)

    • Solar panels with LED lights embedded, solar brush-on paints.

    F. Optional Materials and Processes:

    1. Bicycles:

    100% Recyclable Aluminum skeleton (extruded pieces connected by TIG welding process). Recyclable rubber- handles, seat cover, wheels.

    1. Stationary rack for Bicycles:

    Stainless steel body cover. Melamine electrical boards. Extruded PVC - electrical wires. Solar panels- manufactured solar panels mounted on aluminum frame. (option of using printed solar surfaces on a roll of transparent plastic)

    1. Battery:

    Ion Lithium / nickel cadmium 12V batteries - might change a long the research and prototyping experiments. Battery cover (self designed- cast thermoplastic - probably polypropylene or styrene)

    1. Pedal generator (alternator)

    stainless steel body frame / aluminum frame

    G. NFPs involved:

    1. PPS - Project for Public Spaces (NYC)

    2. NYCPlan2030 - NYC "Green" Ecological Ideology plan for next 2 decades to convert NYC into a more environmental-friendly city.

    3. NYC department of parks & recreation (Central Park)

    4. Optional - Transportation Alternatives (NYC) - Reduce carbon foot print and other side effects of fuel motored vehicle in the city by addressing other possibilities and solutions.

    H. Possible Locations:

    New York City’s parks.

    I. Users:

    New york city inhabitants. Tourists. Age: 4 and above (depend on the product/facility)

    J. Marketing techniques:

    1. A personal card that you swipe in order to get the free bikes for a "Energy Drive" anytime the user wants.

    2. A website where users can follow their daily/weekly/annual physical activity + electrical effort and contribution to the city. "How much energy you produce instead of how many calories you burned"...

    3. Advertisement: Internet banners, a competition ("Who is the Energy Super Hero of NYC?"), Ads on local newspapers (AMNY, Metro,etc), Free registration booths spread in the city, free registration to tourists on the plane / in airport (part of the paperwork they have to fill).

    4. Schools and offices - free registration and cards give-away.

    5. Combine the opening ceremony with a band-concert and a "green event"

    K. Cost:

    It is too early in the process to determine. Based on the Paris "velib" bicycle-sharing model - each bicycle cost (including the rack to connect it to) - around 1300$ dollars. the idea is to use cheaper materials and a different technology of what Paris used (they also have to pay for the electricity to operate the system - something that my system eliminates).

  • Oz, You should check out the bike-sharing system planned for release spring '09 in Montreal called Bixi (Bike/Taxi). It is very similar to the Paris/Barcelona systems, but uses solar energy to power its bike stations. Here is a website explaining the system.

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