Photokina 2014 highlights

Kinetic Energy

The Dancepants kinetic music player concept could make you move if you want to groove

When did running get so complicated? Remember the good old days when going for a run was as easy as changing shoes and heading out the front door? Now, there’s a plethora of running gear and gadgets - ranging from heart rate monitors to state-of-the-art running shoes. It seems that not many runners leave home without their MP3 players either, but would they be prepared to work hard for their music? The Dancepants kinetic music player is a new design concept that would see runners harnessing their kinetic energy to power their music player. Yep, you’ve got to keep moving to keep grooving.  Read More

Using the new technology automobiles and aircraft, like this Airbus A380, could harness cu...

Previously, we’ve looked at technology to generate electricity from roads embedded with piezoelectric crystals that produce electricity when squeezed. Now a group of researchers is looking to shift the technology from the road to the vehicles themselves and use piezoelectrics placed on the vehicles to convert their kinetic energy into electricity.  Read More

The original MotionPower prototype undergoing testing at a Burger King drive-thru

Apparently, the ongoing testing of the MotionPower system for generating electricity from the movement of cars and light trucks - as reported here previously - is paying dividends. New Energy, the company developing the technology, reports it can produce a 25-fold increase in the system’s capacity to capture kinetic energy from moving vehicles, bringing the commercialization of the MotionPower system another step closer to reality.  Read More

The Murakami Rocking Chair powers its own reading lamp through a gentle rocking motion cre...

Not long ago you could retire to your favorite rocking chair after a hearty evening meal and read a good book or catch up on the day’s news. But now with global warming and energy consumption going through the roof, who can relax? Thank goodness for the Murakami Chair – a rocking chair that generates enough power through its rocking motion to power its own reading lamp.  Read More

There is a surprisingly close match between the energy storage requirements of an urban bu...

It seems that the lessons learned in developing a mechanical KERS system for F1 may yet hold the key to a low-cost, high-efficiency hybrid system particularly suited for the stop-start patterns of buses, which are quite similar to the distances between capturing and delivering energy of those of a race car. Torotrak will deliver a paper at the SAE Commercial Vehicle Congress in Illinois next week showing how flywheel KERS for buses can offer more than 30 percent fuel saving over the London bus test cycle, yet package around an existing transmission.  Read More

In a twirl with the Chukka

Listening to music became a truly personal experience when Sony first introduced the Walkman all those years ago. Technological advances since then have seen music players store more songs, become more compact and include color screens - and now they're even beginning to liberate themselves from the shackles of the battery. To achieve its battery free charge, the Chukka Kinetic Music Player combines electromagnetic induction with a unique design that positively encourages the user to twirl it around the fingers, throw it about and otherwise toy with it. The result - an eco-friendly personal media player that also gives you the recognized stress relieving benefits of tactile interaction and repetitive physical motion.  Read More

The Solio H1000 hybrid is perhaps the most versatile solar charger on the market

Learning more about consumption levels and investing in a standby-saver or two to cut down on waste energy is a great way to start becoming more green in the home, but there are also ways to utilize renewable energy when you're out and about.  Read More

Generating electricity from vehicles driving over small plates, MotionPower can be put to ...

When we first came across MotionPower, a prototype system that converts the kinetic energy from cars driving over it into electricity, we mentioned we would keep tabs on the technology to see if it could make the leap to real world implementation. Well, the company behind the MotionPower system, New Energy Technologies, has taken the next step along that road by expanding the durability field tests of the device.  Read More

Nissan's Tiida-based EV-11 prototype has many features including a top speed of around 87m...

Nissan has showcased its electric vehicle (EV) platform on a Tiida-based hatchback model. The Nissan EV-11 prototype seats four-five adults, has a top speed of around 87mph (140kmh), a cruising range of 100 miles (160km) between charges and, being a full EV, produces zero local CO2 emissions. The in-house developed electric motor delivers 80kW (107hp) for “high response and powerful acceleration”. Nissan has also plans some clever IT for its EV platform, like remote ON/OFF charging via a cell phone or the Internet, useful mapping features including automatic updates on the nearest charging stations, a global data center providing 24/7 support and a scheme that could even see non-contact charging introduced in carparks.  Read More

Etive kinetic energy charger harnesses your energy to create a power source for recharging...

Hiking has its share of highs and lows. One of the less pleasing aspects is ensuring you have an adequate source of energy to power your personal electronic equipment. There are a number of renewable energy options available that you may consider when planning your next hiking trip. You could harness the sun’s energy and use a solar-powered charger or solar-wrapped batteries. Perhaps you might choose to use wind power to keep you in touch with the world? But wouldn’t it be great if you could harness power using your own kinetic energy? It makes sense. You’re using your legs all day, surely all that sweat, pain and muscle fatigue is good for something? Enter the Etive – a concept device that uses kinetic energy as a power source for recharging all the electronic gadgets you bring to the great outdoors.  Read More

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