March 23rd, 2007 by rbanks
I’m a big believer that longer term we could end up generating a lot of our energy needs by exploiting our environment, and installing micro energy generators. Doors could be generating electricity for your home as they are opened and closed. Your doormat could be powering a light in your hallway by capturing the energy of footsteps.
This car ramp, installed in Japan, that generates energy when cars pass over it, is a great example. This BBC article provides some overview on Energy Harvesting. This sensor draws its power from vibrations, while this Japanese ticket gate draws its power from the constant opening and shutting of ticket doors.
These micro wind turbines still draw their power from a “traditional” renewable source, but they offer a new, more flexible way of fitting these kind of devices into your life then the existing, larger installations. You could spread these around your house, or put them in areas of the garden that are more discreet.