Forget Fuel Cells, Let's Make Human Powered Batteries

from the sounds-brilliant... dept

Okay, so it’s a bit of a modest proposal, but a writer for the Guardian is pointing out how annoying it is to carry around all the various spare batteries and chargers for all our electrical devices. As he points out, when you go away, you almost need to pack those first before figuring out if you have room for things like, say, clothing. He points out that fuel cells sound promising, but is more interested in the possibility of powering gadgets off of human energy. His modest proposal is figuring out a way to use “bio-energy” that comes in the form of a patch that converts calories to electrical energy for devices. Think of the possibilities… lose weight while you power your mobile phone… Of course, he leaves out the obvious connection to the movie The Matrix, but I guess he’s trying to focus on the more positive aspects of this idea.

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Comments on “Forget Fuel Cells, Let's Make Human Powered Batteries”

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SamIam says:

BioFuel Cells

The emerging field of biofuel cells is quite diverse–covering everything from using biomass as a fuel source for relatively traditional fuel cells to using enzymes as catalyst in completely novel systems. Some of this research is focused on implantable fuel cells which consume sugars and oxygen from the blood and produce electricity. These would be used to power implanted devices such as pace-makers or implantable drug delivery systems…but in the distant future, who knows? I know I certainly could use an implanted memory backup. A quick Google search on implantable fuel cells reveals lots of references for more information.

OldYeller says:

Solving the wrong problem

Capturing human power’s a niche need that doesn’t apply to everyday life – power outlets are too accessable.

The real trick is in creating a universal standard for Plug-and-Play style recharging, so all small devices can use the same adapter.

This would be a benefit to manufacturers, who’d no longer have to package and pay for the shipping weight for adapters with their applicances.

Buyers of phones, laptops, etc. would benefit, since there’s little hassle in buying one universal adapter up front and reusing it across all downstream purchases. Too heavy? Buy one for each key location and leave it there.

Universal adaptor jacks could also be provided in airliners, cars, hotel rooms and the like as a value-added feature.

If it’s done well, there’s really not much of a need to go for biometric-generation.

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