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: http://www.jdf.or.jp/idc/dw/index.php?md=Detail_Work&id=116&ln=2]