As if you didn’t think you were productive enough on any given day, some cities are getting commuters to do extra work, simply by going about their normal routine.
A train station in the Netherlands is using a revolving door to produce energy for one of its cafes. As people walk through it to get to the Natuurcafe La Porte, the train station expects they will produce some 4,600 kWh in the next year. While that’s not a lot, it’s enough to say that you’re putting your caffeine-high to good use. Back in September the Dutch also opened Club Watt, a sustainable dance club that lets dancers power the club with their own two feet.
Israeli engineers have recently created a road that generates electricity as cars drive over it (as if you weren’t feeling lazy enough in your car already). Inhabitat explains, “supercharged surface is embedded with piezoelectric crystals, which transform kinetic energy from passing vehicles into an electrical current. With widespread adoption, the technology could feed energy back into the nation’s burgeoning electric vehicle grid, transforming congested roadways into a clean green source of energy.”
Piezoelectric crystals have also made their way into Japan’s subway system. JR East (East Japan Railway Company) is using these crystals in its floor to generate electricity. As commuters walk through the Tokyo Station, they will produce enough energy to power the display systems and ticket gates each day.
If you can’t make it to the Netherlands, Japan, or Israel, don’t worry, there are heaps of new energy-generating ideas popping up all over the world (like in the U.K., Sweden, and San Francisco, to name a few).
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Photo: Natuurcafe La Porte
- Nat Geo Expeditions