There are so many different ways energy can be generated, sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the latest innovations. Most aren't yet feasable as perminant solutions, however, sometimes the most strange and quirky methods are the best. Here’s just a few crazy ways power can be generated. Enjoy!
Sugar is potentially the vehicle fuel of the future as scientists are currently working on ways to combine plant sugar with 13 enzymes and H2O in order to convert the mixture into hydrogen (with excess traces of CO2) to produce three times more hydrogen than traditional extraction methods. The intended purpose of this fuel is to use it in fuel cells for vehicles. Unfortunately this technology is still a work in progress and may not be available to the general public for another decade but it’s just a taste of the innovative fuel options that are yet to come. The same technology is also being researched for small devices such as mobile phones, laptops and other electronics. SWEET!
2) Party for power
Partying to save the planet? Now that’s a tag line everyone can buy into! Generating power by vibration is currently in development and is making its way into pubs, clubs and even the military. The vibrations made from movement are captured using piezoelectric material that produces electrical charges when put under stress. Bar owners are using it in their dance floors to power electronics and the military are developing piezoelectric shoe soles that will be used to charge portable devices such as radios. Although a quirky source of renewable energy, it’s not cheap. Club Watt in Rotterdam paid just short of £170,800 for a first generation 270ft2 piezoelectric floor, which is more money than it can recover for its owner. However, with the advances in technology anything is possible and the floor may be able to be reprogrammed to improve its output in the future. The possibilities are endless!
You should never drink and drive, but here’s an interesting concept. There is a business in Sweden that has partnered up with the Scandinavian customs in an effort to convert previously poured away booze into biogas. In one year, they managed to convert 185,000 gallons of smuggled booze into enough biogas to power over 1000 vehicles such as buses, trucks and even trains! This is a fantastic use of what would otherwise be money down the drain and is cost effective to produce because the booze is free!
4) Plain sailing with kites
Cargo ships ploughing through the seas worldwide are supposedly responsible for about 2.7% of the planets man made green hour gas emissions creating approximately 870 million tonnes of pollution per annum. This is why efforts are being made to bring ships back to their wind powered hay day with the suggestion of flying 13,000ft2 kites above ships to help propel it along. Obviously this isn’t a favourable method for forces ships as it lacks discretion but for the average none military boat it could be a serious money saver. It was found that fuel consumption can be reduced by up to 25% by using these kites, which could save £500,000 per year on fuel for larger vessels. Now that’s plain sailing for the environment.
We Love Innovation
With all of these crazy ideas, alongside many more, who knows what will be powering our homes and businesses in the not so distant future and what the next large scale, energy innovation will be. If we combine all of these methods there’s a real chance a big difference can be made on our environmental impact and emissions.
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