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Crowd Farms And 'Coppertops'

MIT graduate students have found a remarkable renewable energy source - you. Well, you and millions of your friends.


(Crowd Farming for electrical energy)

Crowd Farms would make use of the endless human movements found in train stations and sidewalks, harnessing this power source to create electricity. Here's how it would work:

A responsive sub-flooring system would be placed under, say, the platform of a subway terminal. The blocks that make up the system would depress slightly under the force of human footsteps. As the blocks slipped against each other, they would generate power in the form of an electric current.

The students' creation received first place honors at the Holcim Foundation's Sustainable Construction competition earlier this year.

At least you get to move around. In the Matrix movie version, human beings are trapped in pods while producing electricity.


(Crowd farming Matrix-style)
Update 05-Jun-2021: Here's a very early reference in science fiction to the idea that power can be harvested from minute stray sources of energy in the environment; see harvesting power from stray energy from The Golden Girl of Munan (1928) by Harl Vincent. End update.

If you are interested in the idea of parasitic power harvesting, take a look at these previous articles:

Read more at LiveScience. Thanks to Jeff Schwenneker for the tip.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/15/2007)

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