Energy Harvesting

Someone mentioned Energy Harvesting to me last night. The idea of converting the small amount of energy that’s generated from human motion into power for small gadgets and devices like phones. It’s on the way apparently.

S’cuse the pun, but I think the idea has legs, as people have already powered nightclubs by their pounding feet.

A core technique of small-scale energy harvesting is the use of piezoelectric materials. When these materials bend or stretch, they create power.

Larger scale harvesting, like the Crowd Farm proposed by 2 MIT students in 2007, could power lights and signs in train stations and other urban settings.

According to the MIT students,

a single human step can only power two 60W light bulbs for one flickering second. But get a crowd in motion, multiply that single step by 28,527 steps, for example, and the result is enough energy to power a moving train for one second.

Anyone know anything more about it?