Thursday, March 01, 2012

Sing, Dance and ….. Make Energy?

For those who are used to flicking a switch for light, turning on the TV for entertainment, and keeping food healthy through refrigeration, it’s pretty hard to imagine life without watts.

But over 700 million people in the Asia and Pacific region do not have access to electricity.

It’s so easy to overlook the lack of electricity when thinking about the causes of poverty – but education, good health and economy are all connected to a country’s supply of energy.

There are many ways you can find out about how to be more energy efficient in your life, and back in December we looked at some unusual renewable resources – including turkey guts, chocolate and onions.

While some of the ideas may sound, well, unconventional, necessity is the mother of invention, and if turkey guts light up your life, why complain?

More research is being done on building prototypes for sustainable, renewable energy. At the University of Utah, work is quickly advancing on turning heat caused by sound into energy. While you would need an awful lot of noise to create even a small amount of heat, right now the researchers say they can power up computers, televisions and other small devices through sound waves.

Like waves created by sound, people create a lot of hot air. Researchers have started harnessing that human movement to create energy. Already it’s being used on a small scale here in Asia.

Hungry for more? We’ll leave you with another off the wall idea: spinach. There’s a new solar energy harvesting system currently in development based on on photosynthesis. The solar cell system is generated by a protein called Photosystem I, which is derived from spinach. When researchers extracted the Photosystem I and exposed it to light, heat was generated. While spinach was initially chosen because of its intense green color ( indicating high photosynthesizing power) the energy researchers are also looking into the potential of peas, olives and other green vegetables.

There may be a day in the near future where we could plant vegetables for power as well as for food. But in the meantime, conserve what energy you have...flick on your brain...and enter MyView.

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