Real Alternative, Alternative Energy

Alternative energy isn’t just solar, wind, hydro and geo-thermal, but also sources that are right under our noses.  Some of the most innovative and brightest minds are tapping into the excess waste we produce every day.  Yes, we, as in humans.

The gist is that we are walking energy sources.  Matrix anyone?  In the movie The Matrix, humans have been hooked into by machine for the energy we create.  In exchange of this energy, computers feed us a “normal”, albeit illusion of an existence.  How is that different from what we are living now?  You can run this through your mind.

Alternative Energy Is Everywhere.  When we talked about alternative energy, we think of the obvious solar, wind, etc. sources, but there are others.  One of our favorite posts talked about recouping lost footstep energy by people walking on special flooring that convert pressure to electricity.  Another one talked about recouping that lost heat into atmospheric control for buildings.  And how about clothes that generate electricity?

Working Out At The Gym.  Every time we work out at the gym, we wonder why we don’t tap into that wasted energy on those elliptic modules.  Think about the electric saving if we could garner into a static storage device, SSD to be used during the day when electricity is expensive?  AP has an article on that looks promising.  The University of Oregon has retrofitted elliptical machines to generate electricity using technology from ReRev, splitting the $14,000 cost between the local utility, Eugene Water and Electric Board.  Granted, the amount of electricity produced is small, with 3,000 people a day on 20 machines for 6,000kw/H a year.  But imagine using more machines and it starts to make more sense.

What is truly amazing in this story is when we couple other innovations into the pictures, such as more efficient electric motors and SSD systems, we get closer to a sustainable future energy resource mesh.  Add to this other more traditional alternative energy sources and you can see where our societies are heading for.

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