Butt EnergyWednesday 2nd October 2013
When we think of renewable energy generation we picture wind turbines, solar panels and such like - well, how about including the office chair, desk, plant and carpet?
Swedish designer Eddi Törnberg has created an office to run on the principles of the Seebeck effect, piezoelectricity and even photosynthesis.
Energy in Törnberg's office is generated through the pressure of the person walking on the carpet, through the body heat of the person sitting on the chair, through the office plant's natural acids and sugars, and even through the heat from the electronics on the desk.
The chair features an embedded thermoelectric generator, which warms up as it is sat upon. The temperature difference between the heated surface and the ambient temperature helps generate renewable electricity. Also as the user moves their butt on the chair, electricity is generated by a piezoelectric generator.
The office plant has also been modified to work similar to the age-old school science project, the potato battery. It is a plant-microbial fuel cell, which means that the natural sugars and enzymes help to extract energy through photosynthesis.
This concept will not run everything that is likely to be used in a modern office, but it would probably provide a charge to a laptop or smart phone.
Maybe if your smart phone is running low on power, wiggle your butt a bit and charge it up!
Wednesday 2nd October 2013