Monday, July 6, 2009

Capturing sound energy

In a sci-fi story I once read, their was a carthat was almost totally silent. The characters in the story believed sound was reflective of bad design. Any noise from a device, like a car, represented poor components and lost energy. Don't know if that is a true engineering concept or not, but I've always remembered that silent car. (If anybody remembers the name of this story, shoot me a note.)

This award winner from the 2008 International Design Competition got me thinking about noise. The SONEA is a device that captures sound and turns it into energy. Pretty much the opposite of what a microphone does. Place a bunch of these along a busy highway, a train station, a crashing surf.......a high school gymnasium, and you could gather some of that wasted noise and feed it back into the electrical grid.

Fascinating concept! I foresee a day when my lectures could power my students iPods. They would beg me to lecture longer......or at least until the charge bar is in the green!

[Image captured from JDF:]

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