Think about the number or libraries, underground stations, amusement parks, football stadiums and other places that use turnstiles as a way of regulating foot traffic. Now think about the amount of people that pass through such checkpoints. That’s a lot of feet.
A team of Chinese designers at Guangdong University of Technology have come up with a really simple and powerful idea: harness mechanical energy energy from turnstile movement and convert it to electric energy to power the facilities.
Along a similar premise is a new idea being trialled in Maryland, USA. The Colombia Athletic Club has fitted their workout bikes with generators which collect energy and store it for use by the club. People pedal-power the facility while working out. The gym is already seeing a return on the investment they spent installing the generator system.
Be it turnstiles in a library or bikes in a gym, inventions around generating energy from people and everyday activities are endless. If you’re feeling inspired, check out plenty more people powered ideas – or maybe even try and build one yourself.
Katherine Hui is currently the Social site editor at Green Thing, a web-based public service in London that inspires people to lead greener lives through creative content.
Before this, she worked as the Development Manager at Social Innovation Camp, an organization that encourages people to use web and mobile-based technology to mobilise social change. She oversaw 300 ideas submission and helped build 20 prototypes – five of which have gone on to get further funding or investment.
Katherine’s came over to the UK form Canada in 2007 for an MSc program at the London School of Economics. Before arriving in London, she managed a small environmental start-up in Vancouver called the Canadian Climate Change Alliance.
Katherine is football mad. She is a loyal supporter of Arsenal FC, plays for Islington Borough Ladies FC and coaches for Gunners in Islington in her spare time. Her second favourite hobby is kite surfing and she can sometimes be found chasing the wind.