As people are becoming more aware of the hazards of the non-renewable energy sources, they are now gradually shifting to making use of renewable energy resources in every possible way. The more we use renewable energy, the more we benefit the environment and also strengthen our energy security. These renewable resources like sun and wind are available to everyone for free. As solar panels and wind turbines generate green energy by making use of these renewable energy sources, they are very ordinary things to be found in every household these days. The power generated this way is clean, green and more cost efficient. However, there are some other uncommon and wacky alternative energy ideas that we probably may not have ever seen being used to produce green power. Let’s take a look at four such weird ways of producing eco-friendly energy.
1. Human Motion
While doing any physical work like exercising, running, walking and dancing, we generate energy. This power produced by human motion is a sustainable source of energy which can be transformed into electrical power and can be reused again. This technique of obtaining energy was used by environmental organization Enviu and Dutch architectural firm Döll to design the Sustainable Dance Club in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The concept behind creating the Sustainable Dance Club project was to generate electric power from the kinetic energy of 100s of clubbers. Studio Roosegaarde who are well known for their interactive artworks and environments designed and created the dance floor. Whenever a person dances on the sustainable dance floor, energy is generated that powers the club’s lights, speakers etc. The Sustainable Dance Club also inspires the young generation to live a sustainable and green lifestyle.
2. Wind Kinetics
California-based internationally known designer and artist Michael Jantzen has gained national attention as he has been exploring the possibilities of utilizing alternative energy systems in architecture. Wind Shaped Pavilion is an architectural structure that turns out to be a source of renewable and sustainable power. The building consists of six segments and the structure stands out in a symmetrical formation. As wind blows, the segments start to move randomly under its pressure generating electricity for the night hours. Lightweight fabric structure is used to construct the entire segments of the building that moves around a central open support frame. The occupants could themselves alter the position of the segment depending on their requirement to see different views or weather conditions.
3. Sound Energy
Physist Orest Symko and his team from University of Utah has developed a phenomena to successfully convert (waste) heat to sound energy and then to electricity by miniaturizing and optimizing the devices. When a heat source is brought into contact with any enclosed space, this process expands the air inside the area, thereby increasing the internal pressure. With the help of a filter or an air opening on the side, this pressurized air moves out and makes a simple clear sound, which has a standard frequency. This frequency is directly proportional to the amount of energy extracted. The energy can be extracted easily if the frequency is more focused. The piezoelectric devices can be used to transform the sound into electricity, when the sound waves are made to pass through them. This concept can be implemented in our every day used gadgets like laptops, television sets etc and the waste heat they generate can be ultimately fed back to power them.
4. Spinach (photosynthesis)
Spinach is a healthy vegetable and now this vegetable is being used to produce electricity in a green and innovative way. MIT researchers have developed an electronic device that uses spinach to convert light into electrical charge. Matthew Coates and Tim Meldrum have designed a house that obtains the electric power needed in the house from spinach. Actually, the solar energy indirectly powers the house but because of the protein complex called Photosystem I obtained from spinach, it is given the regards of generating green power. This protein from the chloroplasts of the spinach leaves work as organic semiconductors to make a solar cell and thus harness solar energy and convert it into green electricity.