Utilization of Human Energy
In today’s enlightened world, power and energy constitute the essentials of life since they are required in producing electricity, running devices and machines and various other activities are dependent on this essential item. Therefore, it is important to conserve energy from every source capable of doing so. Human body is capable of generating large amounts of energy in the form of heat. This heat released from the body is wasted and is not utilized in producing power and running machines.
Humans use energy when they are involved in different motions like sleeping (81watts), walking (116 watts), running (1048watts), standing (128 watts) etc (Wilkens, 1952). Power can be generated from every step taken by humans. These human activities must be carefully harnessed to produce energy that can be used in other necessary tasks. Through this way the human dependence on non-renewable sources of energy will decrease like petroleum, coal and gas etc which are already short in the world market.
Scientists and engineers are involved in producing technologies that can efficiently transform the human energy into usable power. Constraints on Harnessing Human Generated Energy Every technology involves some constraints and similarly the technology to be used here must be efficient enough to produce power from human energy. Since the devices used are only capable of producing small amounts of energy so every possible way must be employed to conserve human energy. Another issue involved is the safety in using these devices.
The design should be convenient and easy to use by the public at large because if the masses fail to understand or use these devices then it will render useless. And finally, costs should not exceed the benefits one receives from using these devices. METHODS OF HARNESSING BODY HEAT AN D HUMAN KINETIC ENERGY Several ways have come to the front for harnessing the energy released from the body. This human kinetic energy can be exploited through the use of advanced technologies like biochemical energy harvesters, nano generators etc.
The biochemical energy harvesters are installed in knee braces which people use when they walk and this device harvests the energy released from the movements. Nanotechnology is combined in the fibers of the cloth in which power is stored during sitting, walking and even in the beating of the heart (Tracy, 2008). Sensors can also be used in the clothing for absorbing the thermal energy from the environment which can later be transformed into electrical energy. There are endless technologies which can be used in different devices used by humans.
For example, wrist watches contain a technology which can harness energy from wrist movements (Tracy, 2008). Similarly radios and flashlights are also used to do the same. Another place where heat released from the human energy can be harnessed is in gyms where humans exercise for hours and considerable amount of energy is released from their bodies in the form of heat as well as from the exercise equipments. This energy generated is in large amounts and can be used in producing electricity for running the machines kept in the gym.
Another way can be through using pressure pads under pavements on which humans walk and this energy can be conserved for use in generating electricity and power lighting. A type of such pads is the piezoelectric pads either installed in shoes or under road pavements (Carter, 2006). We discuss some of these technologies in the following paragraphs: Piezoelectricity These are crystals which are capable of converting mechanical energy into electrical energy when compressed of pressurized. Such types of crystals include Quartz which are used in wrist watches, Rochelle Salt used in microphones for producing large voltages of energy.
Materials like Barium titanate, lead zirconate, and lead titanate also exhibit the property of piezoelectricity and are used in ultrasonic transducers as well as microphones. Dynamos These are electrical generators that use commutators to produce direct current. It consists of complex mechanism in which a loop of a wire rotates in the magnetic field to generate an alternating current. POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS Crowd Farm This is a device that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. It is a pair of shoes that works with the principle of a dynamo.
It consists of blocks that are pressed with the footsteps humans take and by slipping against one another. It is an efficient producer of renewable energy. Other such types of devices that can be used in shoes which operate with the same functioning are heel-strike generators and super capacitors. Through this generated energy we can use it in power lighting, LED displays and audio systems used in the public places. Installation of Dynamos on exercise Equipment Devices can be installed in exercise machines which conserve the human energy as well as that produced from running these machines for example, an exercise bike.
A wind-generator motor is attached to a bike which produces electricity needed to charge small appliances like a music player placed in a gym. Health conscious people use these types of machines at home or in gyms frequently and this can help a lot in harnessing human energy. Piezoelectricity Walkways These are the walkways under which pressure pads are installed capable of harnessing human energy on every step and producing piezoelectricity. The energy is absorbed by these pads instead of being absorbed by the grounds. They can also be installed under staircases. (Carter, 2006) Geek Technique
This technique involves using a dynamo generator in a bicycle to generate energy for charging portable iPods, flashlights or even cell phones. The bikes have dynamo generators attached to them and the small appliances to be charged are connected to it. When the bike runs, the dynamo is capable of producing electricity which will charge the connected appliances (Schipper, 1992). Cost Benefit Analysis The costs of using non-renewable sources of energy are increasing worldwide to a great extent. Other means of producing energy are necessary which are less costly as well as efficient.
There is a cost involved in using the above mentioned technologies and devices for harnessing human energy but the value derived from it is even more. Moreover, the cost of producing human energy is less as compared to the prices of petroleum and natural gas in the world market. The rising costs have made the processes inefficient so it is necessary to look at alternate sources of producing energy like conserving human energy. Environmental and Ethical Impacts The usage of the above mentioned technology for harnessing body heat and kinetic energy have little to no impact on the environment and do not violate the ethics.
The devices are safe to use and do not damage the environment by creating pollution or other wastage. Instead they are efficient in conserving energy that was being wasted. However, since these devices are also used on exercise machines so some harm is involved in the creation of these machines as they require melting of metals and plastic which is dangerous to the environment. Otherwise, the process through human energy is being conserved is very safe and healthy and does not includes any dangers to the environment.Sample Essay of Edusson.com