Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

Electricity from the Motion of Buildings

Alright, so everything vibrates naturally from daily occurrences. Just look at how the trees sway in the wind. But we have replaced many, many trees with many, many buildings. Yet, those buildings still vibrate, those same buildings still sway even if you can’t feel it. The higher the building, the more likely it is that you will feel it drifting back and forth. What does this back and forth motion create? That’s right, kinetic energy that can be turned into electricity.

All of these buildings are designed to resist lateral loads mainly from wind. So there is a structure in place that we can attach highly tensioned cables to from the very top running along the columns to beneath the building. Attach these cables to magnetic rotors that can generate electricity. Hook the rotors directly inline to the buildings power supply. In this way we can diminish the energy usage of the building just from its natural movement.

But why stop there? Why not add transducers in the floor so that the movement of people and vibration of machinery induce motion in the floor. This motion, through the transducer and deflection of the floor (even though you can’t feel the floor deflect, it does!) can generate electricity. We can apply this same idea to the cladding, façade, windows, siding etc of a building. All we’ve done is gone from a horizontal plane to a vertical plane. Instead of people moving, we are relying on the wind again. And then apply the floor concept to the roof! Since wind pressures create forces, deflections and vibrations on the roofs. Maximize the electrical efficiency of the building through its own motion.

Thus, just from natural occurrences and forces on a building, people and wind, we can generate electricity through motion that is going unused. This generated electricity will not likely be able to fully power a building, but it will reduce the external electricity needs of the building. In this way we can make energy cheaper and less taxing on the environment. We can make the concrete jungle a little more lifelike.

Now in order to make this happen, a lot of research needs to be done and a lot of resources and people must be gathered. Retrofitting buildings is no simple task and takes a lot of time. However, if we can get the buyback period for the installation in terms of energy cost savings to 5-10 years, people will buy it. We cannot let free motion go to waste, we must harness it!

Views: 14

Comment by coxcrow on March 29, 2010 at 2:50pm
Great ideas! FAR out of my area of expertise but I like your thinking.


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