A crash course in changing the world.
Apparently, engineers at Princeton are developing a new flexible sensor that stores the mechanical energy from normal human activities such as walking and dancing. It's a tiny thing that can be placed on the bottom of one's shoe in such a way as to be bent and rounded with every step, so that just walking or running can produce the energy to keep a small utility's battery charged all day long. The article says that it converts 80% of the mechanical energy we produce by walking into electrical energy, which is pretty impressive efficiency. The most we get out of burning fuels in cars is 40% usually.
No wonder everyone with a new energy invention is trying to switch from chemical change to mechanical energy.
This raises many questions for me, though. My first query concerning this was "How much energy would something like that be able to store? No very much, surely...." Well, the article doesn't really answer that question, but the smallest medical battery in the world is said to be able to last more than 15 years. This only barely covers the question and brings up many others, such as how much does the device it's powering use a day, and what would happen if it were hooked up to... say, a computer?
The other inquiry that struck me is how durable this thing would be. Certainly, you COULD stick it on the bottom of your shoe, but would that be at all good for it? How long would it last before you would need to get a new one? I think that if this ever comes out on the market, I would be skeptical at first, because I wouldn't know if the little thing would be all that durable.
On the less critical side of this tiny invention, it would certainly give people INCENTIVE to walk around and use their bodies, instead of using their cars. I would like to see something like that in use sometime in the near future because that would have people leaving their cars at home for sure!
If anyone else finds more about this device, or knows anything else, I would be happy to discuss with you below.