There have been many inventions created that take normal everyday objects and turn them into energy generating instruments. These inventions could help us turn into a world that is completely reliant on renewable energy.
1. Tiles that generate energy from walking
Walking is something that almost everyone does everyday. According to Verywell, the average American walks between 5,000 and 7,000 steps a day. Pavegen, a British technology company, has taken advantage of that and created tiles that generate kinetic energy from footsteps. Each tile only generates about 7 watts of power, depending on the person’s weight, but the more footsteps you take the larger amount of energy it creates. Pavegen claims twelve tiles can generate enough electricity to power two streets of a large city.
These tiles are designed to withstand rain, snow, and ice and have a lifespan of at least 5 years. The topcoat is made up of recycled tire rubber and around 80% of the other materials used to make the tiles are recyclable. Their new product is triangular shaped with a generator in every corner, which means you can generate energy no matter where you step.
The company first became popular when the tiles were installed in Olympic Park, London, during the 2012 Summer Olympics. Throughout the duration of the summer olympics, over 72 million joules were generated from the 12 million footsteps on the tiles. This was enough energy to illuminate the street lamps at full power all throughout the night and half of the time during the day, with energy left over. The tiles were also placed under a soccer field in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, underneath artificial turf. The steps the players take generates enough energy to run the stadiums lights for night games.
2. Floating solar panels
According to Ciel-Terre, the founder of these floating solar panels, in many countries there is a “lack of space to install large scale ground-mount solar systems… large-scale floating power plants are necessary for the solar energy to contribute to the energy mix.” These floating solar panels can be installed on any lake, damn, irrigation reservoir, water treatment site, lands liable to flooding, as well as many more.
These floating panels are created using Ceil-Terre’s patented floating technology, Hydrelio®. All of the materials used to create these floating solar panels are recyclable. They are very easy to install, eco-friendly, as well as cost effective. The panels have been tested and have a lifespan of over 20 years.
3. Electricity generating windows
A company named, SolarWindow, has created an electricity-generating liquid coating that can transform light into energy. These windows are not only great for generating energy, but they also provide reductions in carbon emissions. According to SolarWindow’s website, from installing these windows on one 50-story building this could, “Avoid the carbon emissions produced by vehicles driving over 2.2 million miles each year, compared to today’s rooftop (PV) systems with only 180,000 miles.”
When applied on all four sides of a building or house, electricity can be generated using natural, shaded, and artificial light. Most solar panels need to be in direct sunlight in order to preform to their maximum capability. This liquid can be applied to any type of glass as well as flexible plastic. The liquid is almost completely made up of hydrogen and carbon, which are the most abundant materials found on Earth.