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Top 5 Crazy, Yet Very Real, Energy Generation Projects

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energyduck1If there is a new, super cool, fancy and slightly sci-fi-looking energy technology, be sure that you will definitely hear about it from us. What is more, when the number of these great inventions becomes so huge that it is difficult to keep track, then count on us to put the coolest ones in a chart.

So, here it is. The top 5 super cool energy projects, which are so out-of-the-ordinary that could make you wonder if the makers are really serious or just fooling us all around.

1. Thermoelectric energy harvesters

The idea here is to find a way to use temperature differences, to generate useful electricity. Although in theory this would work perfectly well, in practice, to generate sufficient amount of electricity is not so easy.

Nevertheless, predictions for the future development of the energy market have indicated that devices that harvest thermoelectric energy could reach sky-high prices in the coming decade. The explanation behind this is quite simple, new technologies will simply harvest the energy that our body releases and convert it into electricity that powers, let’s say, cool wearable devices.

And before you say it is just a theory and it would never work out in practice, think twice. The guys from KAIST already made the flexible thermoelectric generator that can be worn around your wrist.

2. Vibration-to-electric energy conversion

No such chart could go without the technology that produces electricity from movement, or the so called vibration-to-electric energy conversion. Just as with the thermoelectric generators, it sounds like there is no way that anyone would be able to produce sufficient amount of electricity, but well- they can.

Not only that there is a club in Rotterdam named Watt, where people walking and dancing power an entire light show (check out the video here), but now Mitsubishi is also working on it.  They are looking into magnifying the vibrations that vehicles create as they drive by, and use these to generate electric power.

3. Cheap rechargeable batteries

These are supposedly everything that conventional lithium-ion batteries are not. Coming from a team at University of Southern California, the new water-based organic batteries are super cheap, super eco-friendly and can go through 5 times more recharge cycles than the conventional lithium-ion batteries. Will this be the energy storage technology that everyone is waiting for? The researchers say, yes!

4. Solar highways

The first time I heard about people wanting to replace the typical asphalt on the road with glass-covered solar panels, I honestly thought that the inventors are joking. However, the incredible support that the guys from Solar Roadways received, firstly by the federal government back in 2011 and now through their mind-blowing campaign, is proving me wrong. Will nearly $3 million be enough to shape up the future of our highways? It is highly likely.

5. Energy Duck

I left my favourite for last. I reckon this will be the must-see tourist attraction of the coming decade, for which people will pay loads simply to fly to Copenhagen and see if it is really there.

Designed by a team of British artists, the Energy Duck, undoubtedly an incredible contestant in the 2014 Land Art Generator Initiative Copenhagen design competition, is shaping up to put DisneyLand to shame. Not only that it will bring up to people’s attention that the habitat of the eider duck in Copenhagen is at risk, but it will also generate solar and hydropower using photovoltaic panels and hydraulic turbines.

Have you come across something stranger than these? Tell us.

Image (c) Energy Duck

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