Power While You Walk...

7 March 2011

 

Power While You Walk

Just imagine what it would be like if you could walk, talk and power your mobile up at the same time?  Sounds like science-fiction, well it’s not, your body and its efforts are an absolute power house.  You know the story of how so much heat is lost through your head? 

Well, heat is energy - at the other end of the body, nearly 20 watts of power is lost as heat every time your foot hits the ground!  Imagine if you could collect all that heat loss and store it to provide you with a cheap and alternative power source for your mobile phone.  The human body can generate up to a kilowatt of power when in sprint, which has got to be one of the cheapest and environmentally friendly ways we've heard of yet.

So how could you do it? Well a couple of American engineering experts, Tom Krupenkin and Ashley Taylor, have come up with a technology that they call Reverse Electro wetting.  It's really a case of harvesting all the metal micro droplets in the soles of your shoes and you do that by converting the energy of moving liquid droplets into electrical current.

Well, to start, you have to use two layers of nanometer thin film and in between them place an electrically conductive liquid, so when the top layer is pushed down on to the bottom layer, this compresses the liquid, bingo - you'll start to produce electricity. 

If you do the math’s, you need 1,000 droplets on a 40 centimeter square area, then you'll be looking at generating up to 10 watts per step, you could potentially charge up your mobile in a 2 hour stroll.  And instead of just plugging a cable in, Krupenkin and Taylor are looking at it being transmitted to your mobile phone (or lap-top) wire free.

So with all that electrical power generator under your foot, running out of power half way through your conversation could be a thing of the past.