Tag Archives: Inhabitat

Kinetic Microgenerators: A new way to charge cellphones

In today’s society humans need energy, and over time many sources have been established to keep up with the current standard of living. Usually these include the familiar natural gas, oil, coal, and even nuclear energy sources. These sources are quickly being used up and cannot be recreated. Thus, we have begun searching for ways to utilize renewable energy from the natural forces of wind, water, solar power, geothermal energy, and biomass.

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In an article by Jill Fehrenbacher, titled “Charge Your Cellphone Just By Moving – With M2E Kinetic Power,” the idea of a kinetic microgenerator is presented by a company called M2E (Motion 2 Energy). The problem being addressed is the large environmental footprint left by the charging of cellphones. Because of the diversity of cellphone types, excessive amounts of plastic cords and gadgets are produced for each model. When plugged into a wall, charging adapters suck up a large amount of energy. Cellphone batteries tend to contain 30-40% of toxic heavy matals. In addition, it is very easy to lose a charger or to forget to charge your phone while traveling.

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Images: Inhabitat

M2E attempts to lower the environmental impact of cellphone production and recharging, and make charging a phone more convenient for the user. M2E has developed a technology which converts the kinetic energy from minor movement into an electrical charge to power mobile communication devices. This will allow even the slightest jostling movement to provide a significant charge.

Other alternative energy initiatives:

Sustainable Dance Club

Human-Powered Gyms in Hong Kong

VIDEO: Portable Renewable Energy

Small Is Beautiful – and Green

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Above is the Rolling Stones traveling capsule by Slovakia-based Nice Architects. It was a submission for the Andes Sprouts Society residency program, which called for housing units representing the theme “Small is Beautiful.” The designers were inspired by gypsy wagons and created a completely mobile unit that can be towed behind a vehicle or stationary open-air studio space. The pod is supposed to resemble a rock in a meadow that blends into its natural surroundings through the use of a reflective surface.

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Images: Inhabitat

Besides its aesthetic qualities, this portable home is built from environmentally friendly materials and is self-sufficient in energy, water, and waste. For instance, the exterior surface is made of recycled aluminum can tiles, while the rest of the structure is constructed from locally sourced wood and OSB panels. It also functions as an off-grid system.

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Specifics:

270 sq feet area
2-6 person occupancy
1 bedroom with double bed and closet
1 bathroom with toilet, shower and sink
1 living room with kitchenette
1 reservoir on top for rainwater collection
1 solar energy system
1 wind turbine
1 composting toilet
1 electric heater for unit and hot water