Self-fueled work station concept generates energy while you sit
July 5, 2012
Unplugged is an office work station of the future concept that envisions powering your electronic devices via energy collected off the human body. The prototype was created by Swedish designer Eddi Törnberg as part of his final year thesis at Beckmans College of Design, in Stockholm, and you will be pleased to know that it doesn’t mean you'd be required to pedal away while you work. In fact all you would have to do is move about your office as normal, sit in your chair and let the heat of your body do the rest.
Incorporating three different modes of self-sustaining energy, this future office would see energy generated from the movement of a person walking across carpet, from the body heat of sitting in a chair and from the process of photosynthesis that occurs in plants.
The office carpet would incorporate piezo-electric elements that have been woven into the fabric. When someone walks over the carpet square or rolls the office chair back and forth, energy can be then collected and put to use. Meanwhile the plant in the corner is not just for aesthetics or clean air - similar to the Moss Table prototype which was developed by designers and scientists at the University of Cambridge, Unplugged draws energy from the plant’s natural process of photosynthesis.
Finally a thermoelectric office chair would convert temperatures into an electric current using the heat of the human body. Naturally the seat warms up when you sit in it while the base metal elements remains cold and it is the difference between these two temperatures that allows an energy current to be generated.
While it is unlikely that Törnberg's prototype can actually generate enough energy to power a laptop (or even a desk lamp) the idea gives us food for thought as energy-harvesting technology evolves along with low-energy consumption electronic devices .