All Things Electric - Vol III
Keep the street lights of your neighborhood illuminated by walking beneath them? Meet the future of human generated renewable energy in All Things Electric Volume III.
Your footsteps do more than just schlepp you from one place to another - they generate transferable kinetic energy that prodigally departs untapped. This is where Pavegen Systems come into the picture - they can actually use your footfall to generate electricity. How many times has the same piece of urban pavement been trampled by feet, and lain there unused and inert? Up to 23,000 times per hour at the Victoria Train Station in London, according to the creater of the Pavegen System, 24 year-old Laurence Kemball-Cook.
Five hours of pedestrian walking at a busy time could generate enough energy to, for example, light a bus stop for 12 hours. Pavegen slabs 'flex' an undetectable bit - less than 5mm under every footstep, and use this movement to funnel energy that is then harvested within a Lithion Polymer battery in the slab, and can then be transfered to electrical devices at nightfall, which the Pavegen System automatically detects with a light sensor.
However, the pavegan slabs aren't just practical goldmines of energy deliverance, they also remind people of the importance of using renewable energy and products. The system is, "meant to be a visual icon of saving energy" says Kemball-Cook. The green pavegen slabs include a circular center that lights up when it's stepped upon to signify to the pedestrian that his work is done. Only 5% of the total generated energy is used to light the slab, which is extremely useful for crosswalks where walker safety becomes an issue in darkness.
Things like the information display that accompanies the slabs and street lamps, can use the remaining 95% of the energy transmitted from pedestrian footfall to keep themselves illuminated. The slabs consist of 100 % recycled rubber and require no grid connection on the surface upon which they lie. Experimental Pavegen Systems are continuously being established in the UK, and, will, if proven successful spread in early 2010.
Laurence Kemball-Cook spent two years researching how to power cities using human energy. "We all know solar panels are great, but they aren't that efficent in cities," he says. Educated at Loughborough University, he studied industrial design before accepting a position at Eon for a year, where he investigated how to make sustainable urban furniture.
This exciting kinetic energy development leaves us wondering whats next, maybe gyms that are self-powered by exercise?
More than 9,000 kilometres over perilously soft sand dunes, through fields of treacherous boulders, across the gargantuan heights of the Andes, and through the relentless desert heat of one of the driest regions on earth: anyone with victory in mind must be prepared to suffer. That much is certain, as MINI looks to successfully defend its title at the 2015 Rally Dakar.
Take it from the guys who go the extra mile to top the podium. This is what they say it takes to win.
Get up close and personal with the MINI ALL4 Racing and see what it takes to get a MINI tuned to take on the devilish dunes of the Dakar Rally.
He did it! After completing a 9,000+-kilometre loop through South America, Nasser Al-Attiyah won the Rally Dakar 2015 in the MINI ALL4 Racing. It is the fourth time in a row that MINI has won the world's toughest rally.
MINI has competed in the gruelling Dakar Rally since 2011, winning 3 of the 4 it's entered. Recap one of the greatest winning streaks for MINI since its legendary days of the 1960s here.
Stay toasty through the shortest days of the year with these wintry tracks that beat the dreariness out of the greyest afternoon.