We’re becoming ever dependent on new and innovative ways to create, store, and utilize energy and some companies have found ways to do so through movement.
Julia Silverman and Jessica Mathews began their idea as a college project. They never knew their invention would help change the lives of children and their families all over the world. In order to combat the lack of electricity in developing countries, Julia and Jessica decided to have some fun with their idea. They’ve come up with a way to store kinetic energy within a soccer ball. Kids are able to play with this soccer ball and the energy from their kicks is stored in a battery within the ball. Just 30 minutes of play time can create 3 hours of electricity. When kids are done playing they can take the ball home and plug an LED lamp into the ball. For many families living in rural and developing regions, this little bit of extra light after dark can be a big help when it comes to cooking, reading, and other activities. This year, 3,000 of the balls will be given to children living in Mexico, El Salvador, Haiti, and South America in order to deliver both fun and electricity to rural communities.
Another innovative way to create electricity comes in the form of small plates called Piezoelectric plates. These can be placed on walkways or even on roadways. When groups of pedestrians walk over the plates, or when cars drive over, the places collect the kinetic energy drawn from the foot and car traffic. The plates are able to store the energy in a large batter, like the above mentioned soccer ball, and can redistribute the electricity to power things in the nearby area. These plates have already been tested in New York City (think of how much energy this would create) and even in some schools where students crowd hallways during passing period, creating the electricity to light their classrooms.