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Energy on the move

How about we capture and utilize the kinetic energy (KE) we generate through locomotion. We can capture this energy and convert it to potential or electrical energy using a portable and wearable device (yet to be designed or developed). This can then be used to charge devices on the move.

Photo of 'Biola Osho
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The idea is to capture the kinetic energy (KE) we generate through locomotion and convert it to potential or electrical energy using a portable and wearable device (yet to be designed or developed, but possible, we believe). This can then be used to charge devices (laptops, mobile phones, ipads, tablets etc) on the move, that’s it! No chargers, sockets, plugs etc. The success of this idea depends on the portability of this energy converter/storage device (simply a battery). It has to be simple, light-weight and easy to use because the customer will wear it as he/she moves about.
The technology has already been pioneered, so the plan is to retrofit it for subsistence use. Check this link and this one too to see ways in which this innovation has been deployed.

This technology is also used to produce energy in areas with high volume of human traffic, such as airports and shopping malls.
 

What community does this idea benefit and who are the main players?

This idea can benefit both developing economies where there are many communities without sufficient supply of energy. In these communities, also, there is lots of human movement in the form of trekking running, farming, sports and so on. If this KE is harnessed, it will go a long way in cushioning the hardship of insufficient energy supply. This is also beneficial in developing worlds, where people mostly live a sedentary life. Overall, the 3 areas of potential value creation of this idea are: (I) Energy Efficiency, (II) Health (keep fit! - you’re encouraged to move thus, jilt a sedentary lifestyle) (III) and of course, charging on the move (convenient!). The age groups this solution caters to cuts across all demographic and there is no limits to the education level either.

How does your idea specifically help your community rapidly transition to renewables?

Based on initial research, 30 minutes of human activity (running, gyming, jogging etc) can potentially generate up to 300watts in power if fully harnessed. This is enough energy to charge an average cell phone for 15 days (assuming the phone is charged to full capacity once a day) or an average laptop for 5 days (also, assuming the laptop is charged to full capacity once a day). These figures, are of course, estimates but they show at a high level, the enormous potential of energy that can be generated by harvesting our KE.

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Conduct a simple survey within the IE community and Madrid to ascertain if people would love to not worry about chargers, sockets, plugs etc when it comes to charging their devices.

What skills, input or guidance are you keen to connect with from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?

The success of this idea depends on the portability of this energy converter/storage device (simply a battery). It has to be simple, light-weight and easy to use because the customer will wear it as he/she moves about. As mentioned earlier, this device has not been designed nor developed, but, I strongly believe it is possible. I need people with technical science/engineering skills to evaluate the feasibility of creating such a device and advise accordingly, bearing in mind the criteria outlined above.

Please indicate which type of energy is most relevant to this post:

  • A combination of various types of renewable energy

This idea emerged from:

  • A Student Collaboration

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Photo of Natalie Lake
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Hi Tino, Anand, Natalia and Biola!

I think those soccer balls that also work as lights are absolutely brilliant. For your KE harvester, are you thinking of something like a shoe insert or some type of clothing or is the energy created from the piezoelectric energy of their steps? If you are looking at shoe inserts, you might be interested in teaming up with Mathieu!

https://openideo.com/challenge/renewable-energy/ideas/power-generating-marathon

If you guys are planning on working with the shoe inserts, I think building a few off of Mathieu's easy DIY links would be an amazing pilot to test with a group of kids playing soccer! I'm really looking forward to learning more about your idea :)!

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