Energy Hack – moving power plants

Talking about energy, let’s first hear Bucky. When he was asked by a 12 year old boy, “How would you suggest solving international problems without violence? he answered: I always try to solve problems by some artifact, some tool or invention that makes what people are doing obsolete, so that it makes this particular kind of problem no longer relevant. My answer would be to develop a world energy grid, an electric grid where everybody is on the same grid.

All of a sudden there would be no problems any more, no international troubles. Our new economic basis wouldn’t be gold or dollars; it would be kilowatt hours.” (Fuller’s Earth, 1983, Richard Brenneman)

Sounds good to me, that change from dollars to kilowatt hours and I wouldn’t mind either
imagine my life standing (metaphorically) on a collective energy grid. Of course, in a way we always do that, since all is energy and all is us. Since energy is constantly changing its
form, the central question seems to center around the question: How can we access best/most efficiently the form of energy we need in that moment?

Besides the energy produced by our internal combustion system (also called digestive system), we mostly speak about electricity that drives our nowadays environment. Thus, food as an input energy for the human and electricity as an output energy for current societies seems to be important. From an energetical standpoint, ensuring access to food and availability to electricity are probably the two energetic forms bearing most power on earth (and power in a hierarchical societal system of course always means potential for conflicts).

So, to make the long story short – we as society should (especially) care about these two forms of energies in the hand of all of us.

The following is an idea of how to decentralize (electrical) energy production. It basically is
a mere derivation from the most prevailing output energy form of humans (kinetic energy) into the most important energy form for current societies – electricity.

Kinetic energy –> electric energy

To transform kinetic energy (movement) into electric energy, we can make use of induction!
Without going too much into detail, we can simply use a magnet and make the magnet move through some windings of a coil. The magnetic field thereby pushes out some electrones within the winded wire (coil) and thereby produces electricity. In the next step, we just have to find a way to store the produced energy. For example, we could charge a battery with it. Once the battery is full, we can talk on how to design Bucky’s electric grid – “…where everybody is on the same grid”. Well maybe, “walk” on the same grid would meet it more specifically because the part of us that moves most of the time are our feet. So putting the linear generator described above into our shoes for example would enable everyone to automatically generate electricity as soon as one moves the feet. We would act as little micro energy systems – and well, moving around we do anyways…

Prototype

I already built a first prototype, based on the prinicple described above – and it works. Schematics  as well as more technical details will be added soon – I was just to enthusiastic about it and had to write it down directly… :)

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