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Creative Energy

Popular sustainable energy choices like solar and wind are thankfully becoming more prevalent. However, there are some other really interesting innovations in energy research and application. Typically present things capable of producing power, like motion, are being successfully looked into for energy sources.

Items that are in movement possess kinetic energy, which can then be turned into even more energy. The motions created from things like vibrations are being considered for netting and producing energy because of their usually constant availability. The pulsating caused from repeated movements can be manufactured into small bursts of power. Since there are numerous things in the environment that cause natural and man-made rhythmic motions, there is a potential to capture and transmit it into minor power applications.

Piezoelectricity is a form of energy that uses crystal and ceramic fiber elements, which are capable of producing small amounts of power when they are compressed. If repeatedly packed down, this can cause a small current of power from the vibrations. The energy that is naturally produced from this type of motion poses some very interesting power possibilities.

For instance, motion is being turned into energy and can be applied to everyday uses, like the creation from engineers in New York who made an energy harvester that utilizes impulsive vibrations and converts them to power for use in things like regenerative shock absorbers. Experts say these developments combined with real world uses are a perfect fit when considering both energy and monetary issues.

Also, preliminary examinations into a vibration energy venture on a designated highway in the Netherlands found that this type of motion power could viably be used in place of the batteries that are typically placed in roadside sensors, among other uses. Further, capturing the currents from vibrations is being employed to do everything from turning on street lamps on a Paris walkway, to running electrical gates and displays at a Tokyo train station.

Seizing already existing energy for mild usage is ideal in a world where at any given moment countless amounts of people are expending some sort of energy. Other things that can operate on smaller amounts of power can benefit from advancements like these, and hopefully even more smart energies will continue to be put to practical uses.

Sources:

University of Twente: Generating Electricity from Vibrations in Road Surface Works
Good vibrations: Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting

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