There are some pretty innovative ways of producing energy out there: we’re getting smarter, greener, and cheaper. The number of carbon neutral options available to us is constantly increasing. Wind, solar, ocean, and of course, pot generated are all pretty cool, but does it get much better than energy harvested from dancing?
You can put an energy-harvesting generator seemingly anywhere nowadays, and several night clubs are using this technology to make you feel even better than you normally do while shaking your booty. Sustainable Dance Floors have begun popping up worldwide, and the reception has been groovy. In 2008, the world’s first eco-club, Club Watt, opened it’s doors in the Netherlands. The design for the smart dance floor was initiated in 2006, “made from a fusion of electronics, embedded software and smart durable materials” to “create personal experiences where sustainability and fun are combined. To inspire young people worldwide to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.”
The company, SDC, has been touring major cities worldwide, showcasing their hot new product. They set up a display at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 that incorporated a number of 65 x 65 cm tiles resting on springs and hooked up to a generator. Less than a week into the games, the display had generated over eight million watts of electricity! Sustainable Dance Club is planning the same thing for the 2012 games in London. The United States finally got in on the action in 2011, as Temple Night Club in San Francisco embarked on it’s plans to be one of the cleaner clubs in the world.
Dance floors obviously aren’t the only places this technology is finding a home. In Tokyo, train stations have begun using piezoelectricity to power many of their daily operations. Piezoelectricity literally means electricity produced from pressure. The floor harvests kinetic energy from the thousands of people boarding and deboarding the train everyday. The East Japan Railway is one of the busiest subway stations on Earth; and they are currently powering all of their ticketing and display systems with the foot energy from their twenty-five square feet of piezoelectric floors!
Even more remarkably, a company called Innowattech has already started implementing piezoelectric technology around busy roadways. The technology has been administered to highways in Israel, and railroads and runways are next! The energy is going straight to local infrastructure with the rest going directly to the power grid.
Malls and supermarkets are now using smart floor technology as well, and international music star David Guetta even used one in his music video. Could we soon see sustainable parks with generators under the grass? How about basketball courts and football fields? Once economies of scale kicks in and costs become affordable for all, the answer is yes. Have you had a chance to sample this technology? Any suggestions you have to improve upon it?
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